Jammu & Kashmir

SONMARG
Among all the magnificent places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir, Sonamarg has its own beauty and grace! Also known as the 'Meadow of Gold', it is one of the most charming hill stations in the state and is known for its opulent beauty. Jotted with captivating hills and mountains that are blanketed with pearl-white snow, gurgling rivers and mesmeric glaciers, Sonamarg truly makes it in the list of must-visit places in India.
Beautifully sited on the banks of the Nallah Sindh, this graceful alpine valley is cossetted by the some of the fascinating peaks of the Himalayan Range. Located at an astounding height of 2,800m and around 84km from Srinagar, the meadow of gold got its name from its snow-clad mountains that reflects the magical views of the cerulean sky. Adding more to this enticing phenomenon, as the sun rises over the horizon, the entire Sonamarg valley creates a captivating spell on its visitors.
The abode of the Kolhoi and Machoi glaciers, this stunning hill station in Jammu & Kashmir is also known for its varied adventure options. The origin point of astounding treks to Vishansar Lake, Krishansar Lake, Gangabal Lake and Gadsar Lake, Sonamarag is also known for its 'Mahseer' and 'Trout' fishing angling expeditions. Over the last few years, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Board has also encouraged river rafting that has been attracting rafting enthusiasts from different corners of the globe.
Though a quaint and tiny alpine valley, Sonamarg's enticing beauty has made it one of the most beautiful places to visit in the entire country. It's the magical appeal of this magnificent hill station that has got the meadow of gold featured in several Bollywood films till now! Visit this enchanting valley, and you will cherish its memories all through your life!

PATNITOP
Patnitop By far the most popular of J&K's hill resorts is a hilltop tourist location in Udhampur, situated on a plateau in the Shiwalik belt of the Himalayas, Patnitop sits at an altitude of 2024 metres. The river Chenab flows in close proximity to this location. It comprises several meadows enveloped by thick forests of Deodar(Cedar) and Kail(Blue Pine) trees, and affords peaceful walks amidst conifer groves, beautiful spots for enjoyable picnics and breath taking views of the Chenab basin and the Pir Panjal range beyond. For solace one can visit the beautifully located Nag Mandir at Karlah village.

Patnitop Other activities include horse rides and short treks into the surrounding hills. Patnitop also draws a lot of tourists when it snows during winters (January-February). The meadows with their gentle slopes are ideal for skiing and sledging. Skiing courses for beginners are conducted here. One can also drive through thick forests 12 kms downhill to Batote, an old hill station also known for apple orchards, Amar Cheshma and other springs and countless dhabas (eatries).

PAHALGAM
Once you are in Pahalgam, you will get to know all the reasons, why this magnificent hill station is among the most sought after destinations in Jammu and Kashmir! Located around 90km from Srinagar and at an astounding height of 7,200ft above the sea level, this scenic vicinity along the banks of the Lidder River is known for its lush-green ambience and untouched beauty.
Also the origin of the sacred Amarnath Yatra, Pahalgam not only entices the occasional holidayers or the devotees. Its craggy and uneven terrains, enthralling trekking options and access to several other points also make it a hotspot among the adventure enthusiasts. Among all the treks, the one that trails for around 35km and takes the trekkers through exhilarating passes, dense pine forests and finally leads to the Kolahoi Glacier is the most popular.
Even for the nature lovers, Pahalgam proves to be an ideal destination. The wide range of flora and fauna of this region is an ultimate treat for those who are in love with the enchanting beauty of Mother Nature. This quaint hill station serves as the home to several endangered wildlife species like Leopard, Brown Bear, Hangul, Serow, Grey Langur, Rhesus Macaque, Himalayan Mouse Hare and Musk Deer.

LEH LADAKH
A land like no other with superabundance of attractions to visit and phantasmagoric and fabulous landscapes, amazing people and culture, Ladakh is truly a heaven on Earth.
Bounded by two of the world's mightiest mountain ranges, the Great Himalaya and the Karakoram, it lies athwart two other, the Ladakh range and the Zanskar range. Ladakh is mystical in all the spheres it covers, from nature, geography, sceneries to the modest cultures that it fosters. Right from gompas to the sensational momos, the superabundance of attractions to visit makes this city make it heaven on earth. It is said that only in Ladakh can a man sitting in the sun with his feet in the shade suffer from sunstroke and frostbite at the same time.
Welcome Incredible India is designed to provide you a one stop solution for all your inquiries about this cold desert. The information includes history, culture, mountain passes, lifestyle, local culture, shopping opportunities, wildlife excursions and other trivia like best time to visit leh ladakh, how to plan road trip in Ladakh and getting inner line permits.

Keeping in mind the current foreign exchange rate, India travel is quite a reasonable deal for the overseas travelers. Within a reasonable budget, you can explore Ladakh region to the fullest and with Leh Ladakh in the scene, rest assured that you'll get much more than the money spent by you.
The best time to explore this region is between June to October. Trekking in Ladakh is one of the most popular activity besides sightseeing which includes trip to lakes in Ladakh. Pangong Tso is one of the major draw especially after the pasteurization of climax scene of superhit Bollywood movie 3 Idiots starring Amir Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Mountain biking and rafting is also popular among travelers.
For adventure enthusiasts a road trip to Ladakh is dream trip. Every season thousands of bikers arrive in Leh from as far as Bangalore crossing high altitude mountain passes and to ride across Khardung La which is believed to be the highest motor able pass in the world. For bikers, July - August is the most appropriate time as all the routes and passes are opened. You can travel to Ladakh by air as well. There are regular services from Jammu, Srinagar, Delhi and Chandigarh. There are flight services from Shimla as well which will take only 40 minutes. A trip to Ladakh requires a comprehensive plan with Welcome Incredible India in advance to make the most of your holiday time.

HOW TO REACH LEH LADAKH BY ROAD
By road, there are two routes to reach Leh. From Srinagar, it is around 434 km travel open to tourists visiting the place from June to November. Another way to tread up the place is via Manali. The Manali-Leh road is a stretch of around 485 km and is open from July to October.
Leh Manali Highway is one of the most popular among bikers as the ride involve crossing some very challenging and high mountain passes including second highest motor able pass Taglang La. Ladakh by road is only accessible from Late may to early October as during winter high mountain passes remain closed due to heavy snowfall.

KATRA
Katra or Katra Vaishno Devi is popularly known, is a small town in Udhampur district of the Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is situated in the foothills of the Trikuta Mountains, where the sacred temple of Vaishno Devi is located.Katra is located at an elevation of 754 meters (2,474 feet). Katra is situated in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. This attractive destination is located about 42 kilometers from the city of Jammu.Katra usually serves as the base camp for all those devotees who visit Vaishno Devi and this has made Katra one of the most famous tourist destinations. Hindi, Punjabi and Kashmiri are local languages of Katra.
The main bazaar of Katra is worth to visit which is famous for woolen garments, hosiery, leather jackets etc which are of excellent value from this place. One should also buy dryfruits which are the speciality of this state. Katra is located at 32.98°N 74.95°E.It has an average altitude of 754 metres (2,474 feet). As of 2011 India census, Katra along with Ban-Ganga had a population of 37569. Katra is about seven - eight hour drive from Srinagar, Katra become famous because of the Vaishno Devi cave temple. Pilgrims gather here in millions to this holy temple town of the Goddess Vaishnodevi. This shrine is believed to be built by the Pandavas and it is one among the oldest of the all the temples in India and situated at an elevation of 5200 feet. The temple portrays almost all the deities of the Hindu Pantheon. High amidst the snow clad mountain peaks, the shrine has a commanding view of the wonderful Himalayas.

GULMARG
Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill resorts in the country. Originally called ‘Gaurimarg’ by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. Gulmarg was a favourite haunt of Emperor Jehangir who once collected 21 different varieties of flowers from here. Today Gulmarg is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty-it also has the highest green golf course in the world, at an altitude of 2,650 m, and is the country's premier ski resort in the winter.
The journey to Gulmarg is half the enchantment of reaching there-roads bordered by rigid avenues of poplar give over to flat expanses of rice fields interspersed with picturesque villages. Depending on the season, nature's colours could be the translucent green of spring, summer's rich emerald, or autumn's golden hues, when scarlet chillies festoon windows of village homes. After Tangmarg, the climb to Gulmarg begins through fir-covered hillsides. At one point, known simply as View Point, travelers generally stop their vehicles for a few minutes and look out a spectacle of snow-covered mountains, almost within touching distance.

Places To Visit in Gulmarg
Gulmarg Golf Course - Gulmarg Golf Course with asymmetrical contours is counted amongst the largest 18-hole golf courses in the country. Situated on the lower ranges of Gulmarg, it has emerged as one of the most popular golfing destinations in India. A number of tourists flock this region to enjoy a game of golf and escape the summer heat. Golfing in the region began in the early 1920s, when British came here to spend their summers. Over the years, this golf course has witnessed a lot of changes, and the present structure has been designed by Ranjit Nanda, a well-known golf course designer. The golf course, measuring 7505 yards (par of 72), was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah in the year 2011.
Biosphere Reserve in Gulmarg - Spread over an area of 180 sq km, Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is home to many common and rare species of fauna, flora and avifauna. Located at an altitude varying between 2400 and 4,300 metres above sea level, this reserve is among those regions where biodiversity is in its richest form. Nature has blessed this sanctuary with expansive patches of conifers and green herbs that give it a scenic appearance.
Here, you can catch sight of the endangered Musk Deer - the main attraction of the park. Also seen in this park are Hangul, Leopard, Brown Bear, Black Bear and Red Fox. A paradise for ornithologists, this area has a huge population of indigenous and migratory birds. Worth mentioning among them are Griffon Vulture, Blue Rock Pigeon Monal, Snow Cock, European Hoopoe, Koklas, Kashmir Roller and Jungle Crow. The best time to visit this place is from September to March (for mammal viewing) and March to May (for bird watching).
Shrine of Baba Reshi - Built in the 13th century, people from all walks of life visit the shrine to seek blessings. It is accessible by a motorable road from Gulmarg. Built in 1480, the shrine is dedicated to the Muslim scholar and saint, Baba Reshi who spent his days in meditation and prayer here. It's also an architectural beauty. What makes an immediate impression is the old Kashmiri architecture of the shrine - lattice work windows, intricately carved deodar pillars and exquisite craftsmanship.
Seven Springs - Seven Springs is famously known for seven natural outlets of water, a mesmerizing sight. You can also catch the majestic overview of both the Srinagar and Gulmarg valleys from here.
Strawberry Valley - During summers, taste the freshest strawberry Gulmarg has to offer at Strawberry Valley. A walk to this unexplored part of Gulmarg is a delight in itself as you sample fresh strawberries. Don't forget to pack some for later.

Ningle Nallah - Around 10 km from Gulmarg, Ningle Nallah is an alluring mountain stream that flows through lush green valleys. With snow-capped mountains in the backdrop and meadows of blooming wildflowers on either side, this gurgling stream makes for a dream-like setting that could be found only in screensavers or crayon drawings. The water formed by the melting of ice in Apharwat Peak and Alpather Lake is the main source of Ningle Nallah. After passing through mountains and valleys, this stream merges into the River Jhelum near Sopore. The grassy pastures on the sides of the stream are ideal for camping and picnics.
Ferozepur Nallah - Ferozepur Nallah is a captivating mountain stream flowing through verdant valleys between the beautiful Chinamarg and Nurpur Pass. With surroundings graced by pine trees, lush meadows and towering snow-capped mountains, this place serves as an ideal picnic spot. On a bright sunny afternoon, you can engage yourself in trout fishing, for which this stream is quite popular. So, while planning a holiday in Gulmarg, make sure you include this picturesque attraction in your itinerary.
Apharwat Peak - Apharwat Peak is one of the beautiful summits, situated at a height of nearly 4200 m above the sea level. It receives heavy snowfall and remains covered with snow for most parts of the year. The snow-covered slopes are ideal for indulging in skiing. The Line of Control (LOC) is barely a few kilometres away from here. Lying in the second phase of the cable car ride from Gulmarg, reaching this spot is highly dependent on the weather condition.

Thingsto do in Gulmarg
Horse riding/Hiking
Cable car riding to Khilanmarg
Golf playing
Snow Skiing during winter months (End Dec -Middle March)

AMARNATH YATRA
The Yatra trek through the mountains of south Kashmir Himalayas to the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji is made available only in the months of summer to pay obeisance. In the month of Shravan (July - August) the Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji has the devout flock, where the image of Lord Shiva, in the form of a Lingam, is formed naturally of ice - stalagmite, and which waxes and wanes with the moon. Shri Amarnath Yatra is for a specific period/duration, commencing on an announced date. The Holy Cave Shrine of Shri Amarnathji is managed by Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB), which was constituted by an Act of the Jammu & Kashmir State Legislature in 2000 with His Excellency the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir as its ex-officio Chairman. We offer cheap, affordable & best deals in Amarnath Yatra tour packages from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Jaipur and all the major cities of India. Amarnath tour packages include accommodation as well as transportation facilities. Nowadays, Amarnath Yatra Package by Helicopter is more popular among the devotees for being easy and time saving.
Jaipur and all the major cities of India. Amarnath tour packages include accommodation as well as transportation facilities. Nowadays, Amarnath Yatra holiday Package by Helicopter is more popular among the devotees for being easy and time saving.

VAISHNO DEVI
The Origin of Vaishno Devi is as mysterious as it is about several other Shrines from the past era. That is why it still remains difficult to find out exact date from when the Holy Shrine pilgrimage might begin. In fact a geological investigation and research of the Holy Cave has calculated that approximately one million years is the time frame since when pilgrimage continues. Vedic History of Vaishno Devi explains that there was no presence of female worshippers in the past while Rigveda found their presence in the mountain Trikuta. It especially focuses upon Shakti worship practice that continues since Puranic era.
Epic Mahabharatahas detailedmention of the Mother Goddess which indicates its relevance since time immemorial. The Origin of Vaishno Deviis best defined in this epic with reference to the Kurukshetrabattlefield in which both Pandavand Kaurv armies faced each other. As the descriptions explain, Pandav warrior chief Arjun had been told by Sri Krishna to initiate meditation before the Vaishno Devi Mother to seek her blessing to win battle. Arjun iniitated mediation thereafter and bowed his head while chanting 'Jambookatak Chityaishu Nityam Sannihitalaye' that explains powerful goddess residing in the temple slop in a Jamboo mountain. The Jamboo in it indicated today's Jammu as the researchers claim.
He istory of Vaishno Devi further examines facts like the gestures of winning Pandavs in the form of building huge temples at Kol Kandoli and Bhawan to venerate their gratefulness for this miraculous Mother Goddess whose charisma they had seen. The nearby mountain located close to the Trikuta Mountain supervises the Holy Cave whose five stone structures might symbolize the Pandavs, explain the researchers.

Other important reference that is oldest in nature indeed is the signof Guru Gobind Singh's visit in the Holy Cave. It is said that Purmandal was used for this visit. Indications are clear through old foot tracks passing through theHoly Cave that has emerged as prominent pilgrimage center today.
The History of Vaishno Devi is enriched with many important references so are details about traditions and facts related with this Shrine that support its holiness. This place is considered best of the all holy places or Shaktipeeths that possess eternal energy through keeping the Mother Goddess safe. It is also known for one important reason of evidences found to observe the Mata Sati skull falling at this place. A section of researchers on the Origin of Vaishno Devialso claim that the right arm of Mata Sati would have fallen at this place though large number of researchers oppose such claims. Such researchers have definite claim that the right arm of Sati had fallen nearby Gandarbal in Kashmir region. Stone remains of human hands are still available inside the Holy Cave of Shri Mata Vaishno Deviji which are famously called Varad Hast or hands granting blessings and boons to devotees.