To describe Kashmir, the travelers use the most beautiful words. It is known as the Switzerland of Asia, or even better - the Heaven in Earth. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world. The mountains, the valleys, the lakes and the house boats- Kashmir has everything much more than a tourist can ask for. The miles long colorful flower gardens won't let you worry about the political dilemma of the state.
There has been a long contradiction between Pakistan and India for this heavenly place since their freedom in 1947. But that has not declined the divine view of Kashmir. For your Kashmir, it is better if you start from India as it is more secure and flexible. The capita of Kashmir is Srinagar in summer and Jammu in winter.
Srinagar would be the best place to start. You can the breathtaking experience of staying in houseboats over the Dal Lake. From the floating market in the morning, you can get some fresh vegetables. This floating market is much better and different from other floating markets in the world as you don't have to go to the market always; instead, the marketer will come to you in his boat.
Pahalgam is not very far from Srinagar and the way in between is full of superb views from the mountains. The Lidder River beside the valleys and the pine jungles will make your mind wonder; so will the snow covered peaks of the mountains. The Amarnath Yatra is a multihued festival of Pahalgam you should participate if possible. You can keep couple of days for your visit in Pahalgam.
If you want to be more adventurous, you can travel little north, to the way of Ladakh. Ladakh is all about mountains; because of its height, all the mountains are covered with snow almost all the year round. The Indus Valley divided the forbidden country Tibet from Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in India.
Leh is the capital of Ladakh and very sacred to the Buddhist. Ladakh is the largest place in the earth for the Tantric Buddhist and you will see many temples and relics of this religion. It is also an important place for the Jainan. Tibet has large influence over Ladakh and the cultural similarity is clearly noticeable. So this can be a rare experience for you to know the Tibetan customs.
To enjoy the flowers in Kashmir, you have to go to Gulmarg. It is known as the Meadow of Flowers with a ski resort and an evergreen golf course. Travelling through the Indus Valley is another great experience in Kashmir. The Jehangir's Valley of Paradise is a place with divinity.
People from three different religions live in Kashmir: the Muslims, the Hindus and the Buddhist. For that, the cultural variety and quality in the state is very nice.
If you want to enjoy the other side of Kashmir in Pakistan, you will need different visa to enter Pakistan. However, most places occupied by Pakistan are restricted for the tourists.
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