Tourism is one of the major industries of the State. This industry provides employment to lakhs of people directly and indirectly Hotliers, house boat owners, transporters, travel-agencies, traders, guides, porters, ponymen, boatmen, handicrafts and small scale industry units and many others earn their livlihood because of this industry. Private and public sector agencies provide necessary facilities to the tourists and every year the number of tourists increases.
Places of Tourist Interest
The ancient history of Kashmir is present in its beautiful historical monuments. These are Martand temple, Ardnwan Monastery at Harwan, Shankaracharya temple, Sharika Bhagwati-temple, and ancient ruins at Avantipora, Pattan, Baramulla, Parihaspur, Handwara and Andarkot. History of India has left deep marks in Kashmir in its grand remains of early civilisation. These are the remains of temples of learning and worship which were Kashmir's glory in ancient times. Pari Mahal, Kabutar Khana, and Hariparbat in Srinagar are also the ancient monuments in the Valley of Kashmir.
The Mughal gardens- Nishat, Shalamar, Bijbehara, Achhabal, Verinag, Naseem and Chashma Shahi are some of the marks of Mediaeval history.
It is a sport very much liked by tourists. Mahaseer fish is found in the river Jhelum near Sumbal, Sopore, and Baramulla bridge. Trout fish is found in Harvan Hatchery and Achhabal Hatchery. Common carp is found in the river Jhelum and its tributaries. The Wullar lake, the Dal lake, the Manasabal lake and the Anchar lake are other fishing spots.
The hills and mountains of the state of Jammu and Kashmir are known for Big Game. Markhoor, Brown Bear, Leopard, and Barasingha are mostly found in Kanag, Baltistan, Pirpanjal and in the Middle and Inner Himalayas.
Hiking and Trekking
Hiking and trekking is an attractive excursion for tourists. The places for hiking and trekking are:
Affarvat - 4420 meters, Amarnath Cave - about 5372 meters, Dras - 3050 meters, Harmukh Mountain - 5160 meters, Kolahai - 4270 meters, Kausarnag -3965 meters. Qazinag - 4720 meters, Leh - 3630 meters, Mahadev - 3500 meters. Nangaparbat - 8115 meters, Khilin - 3050 meters, Sheshnag - 6470 meters and Kajinag - 3700 meters above sea level.
In the high snows ... mountaineering opportunities in the Himalayas excite even professionals.
Watersports in Kashmir range from river rafting (top) to water trekking on the lakes and rivers of the valley (above).
Winter Sports in Kashmir
Skating in Gulmarg attracts many tourists during the months of December, January and February.
Tourist-Spots and Health Resorts
|Name of Place
Places of Pilgrimage
For Hindus important places of Pilgrimage are: Shri Amarnath Cave, Mattan, Khirbhawani and Mahadev.
The Muslims have the following places of Pilgrimage:
Hazratbal, BabaRishi (Gulmarg), Charar-e-Sharif, Shrine of Makhdoom Shah Hamza and Shah Hamdan.
Valuable plants and herbs are found in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. These vary from altitude to altitude. Interested people visit the state in search of these plants and herbs.
Arts and Crafts
Kashmiris are well known for their artistic talent and craftsmanship throughout the world. Weaving shawls, wood-carving, embroidery on silk and woollen clothes with fine, colouful and attractive designs,making of wicker-willow artifacts, silver-ware manufacture and carpet weaving of very superior workmanship are some of the arts and crafts which they have inherited from their forefathers. Tourists are very fond of these handicrafts
Houseboat life is also a great attraction for tourists in Kashmir. In these well-furnished boats there is every kind of indoor comfort. All the necessaties and comforts of day to day life are available in these houseboats. These are in fact small luxury houses. Thousands of visitors like to stay in these houseboats not only during summer but winter days too.
Houseboats line Dal lake's banks.
Springs and Lakes
Wullar, Dal, Anchar, Harvan, Hukarsar, Konsarnag, Sheshnag and Neelnag lakes in the province of Kashmir are the best picnic spots for tourists to spend their vacation.
Kashmir valley abounds in numerous springs of which Martand, Verinag, Anantnag, Achhabal, Chashma Shahi, Khirbhawani, Alpathar, Kicharnag, Sukhnag, Vishnosar and Harmukat Ganga are famous. These places are fine picnic spots where tourists like to spend their vacation in the company of nature.