Location: 56 kms, South-West of Srinagar
Best month to visit: In summers from May-September. In winters from November-February
Meadow of Flowers’ is another name of Gulmarg. Its mesmerizing beauty, its most appropriate location and its proximity to Srinagar make Gulmarg one of the most primary hill resorts in India. Originally called as ‘Gaurimarg’ by the shepherds, the present name ‘Gulmarg’ was given by Sultan Yusuf Shah in the sixteenth century. He gave this name to the place because he was enchanted by the sight of the wild flowers on the beautiful grassy slopes. It is said that the Emperor Jehangir once, collected 21 different varieties of flowers here.
Apart from this, Gulmarg has the highest green Golf Course in the world, with an altitude of 2,650 meters. It provides India’s prime Ski Resort in winters.
Gulmarg also offers a lot of interesting adventure activities such as snow-boarding, trekking, mount biking, skiing, fishing etc. Apparwath peak, Shark Fin and Kongdori are the well- known locations for skiing in Gulmarg.
Vaishno Devi Temple
Location: 61 kms North of Jammu, 12 kms from Katra
Best month to visit: March to October
Vaishno Devi is a very famous holy shrine, which is dedicated to the Goddess Mother of Hindus- Shri Mata Vaishno Devi. It is located at Trikuta Mountain and is a very significant pilgrimage for Hindus. Every year, the people that come here to worship exceeds one crore. It is believed that Mother Vaishno Devi fulfils whatever her devotees wish for, with pure devotion.
You will have to undertake a long trek of about 12 kms staring from Katra, to reach to the holy cave of Mata. The holy cave is located in the folds of Trikuta, the three-peaked mountain. There, you can have the ‘Darshan’ of the Mata, which is in the form of three ‘Pindies’ (natural rock formations). You can have Darshan and take the blessings of Mata any time of the year.
Location: 95 kms from Jammu, on the banks of river Lidder, in Anantnag District, Jammu and Kashmir
Best month to visit: March to November
In spite of being a small hill station near Srinagar, Pahalgam attracts everyone with its charming beauty. The ecstatic deep valleys, the beauteous lakes, the surrounding enticing Alpine Peaks and the admirable meadows attract a large number of tourists every year.
Chandanwadi, which is just 16 kms from Pahalgam, serves as the starting point of ‘Amarnath Yatra’. This Yatra takes place every year from July-August. There are a number of temples which will calm your mind and soul altogether, such as 12th century’s Mamal temple and Avantipur Temple. Kolahoi Glacier, Aru village and Pahalgam Golf Course offer the pure beauty of amazing hills and greenery.
Location: 110 kms from Jammu on Jammu-Srinagar Highway
Best month to visit: May-June, September-October
Originally the name of ‘Patnitop’ was ‘Patan Da Talab’ which means ‘Ponds of Princesses’. It is believed that there was a pond in the meadows, where the princess used to come to have a bath. Patnitop got its name from this pond. A part of the pond is still present in Patnitop, near the Youth Hostel. According to the historians, the British discovered this place as their summer destination.
Located in the Shiwalik area of Himalayas, Patnitop consists of dense forests of blue pine and Cedar trees. During winters, you can enjoy the beautiful snowfall also. Patnitop is the best place to learn skiing. People also visit the famous Nag Mandir here, which is 600 years old.
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