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KASHMIR

“God has blessed the vale of Kashmir with grace and grandeur. It is a land of lush green meadows, crystal clear springs and lakes, the majestic rivers and streams, high snow-covered peaks make it a perfect archetype of the promised land of God.”

The emerald valley of Kashmir is cradled in the Himalayas, under the crystal blue skies, against the background of snow-capped mountains. It is a magic land of silvery streams, rivers, fresh water lakes, pine, deodar and chinar forests, snow clad mountains, sparkling waterfalls, shikaras, green meadows and grassy slopes full of flowers of vibrant colours.
Srinagar is the heart of the Kashmir Valley, still preserves the imprints of the Mughals and the British. The valley takes great pride in its lakes, gardens and the charming rows of houseboats floating on them. Popular for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts, kashmiri clothes and dry fruits, Srinagar is bordered by five districts. To its northern side is Kargil, in the south is Pulwama and in the north-west lies Budgam. "If there is a heaven on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here", exclaimed the Mughal emperor Jahangir on his first visit to this place. Srinagar has the privilege of having a multifaceted and unique cultural blend, making it different from the rest of the country, not only from the cultural front, but in point of geography, demography, ethics and social entities. as well. With its beautiful picturesque Himalayan backdrop, the crowning glory of hill stations Srinagar is enticed by the colourful houseboats , shikaras and the grandeur of Mughal sense of style.
Gulmarg is located 52 kms south west of the capital city of Srinagar and lies close to the Indo-Pakistan border area. Immensely beautiful, the landscape of Gulmarg offers a pleasant and comfortable stay to its visitors. Today the place. has been famous for the different adventure activities and gives a fabulous background to many bollywood movies. The original name of Gulmarg was gaurimarg. Its name has been changed by Yousuf Shah Chak after collecting 21 kinds of flowers.Gulmarg, "Meadow ofFlowers", was discovered in 16th century during the reign of Sultan Yousuf Shah. Historians describe the famous love couples, Habba Khatoon, poetess of Kashmir and King Yousuf Shah Chak, and Jehangir and Noor Jehan visiting Gulmarg for enjoying life.. Gulmarg is on full bloom during the Summer with flowers like bluebells and daisies. This wonderland of nature was first discovered in the year 1927 by the Britishers as a place of recreation and relaxation amidst the glory of nature during pre independence India. During summer months Gulmarg is famous for its highest green golf course in the world which is at an altitude of 2732 mtrs. Since 1972, proved by the famous Australian golfer Mr. Peter thomson who played golf at gulmarg. Gulmarg is blessed with nature- the magical meadows and the snow capped mountains is a wonderful touristdestination in the world. One of the best adventure destinations of India, Gulmarg is called the Meadow of Flowers. The towering peaks provide the required background to the landscape of Gulmarg which is oneof the finest heli-skiing resorts in the whole of Asia.
Pahalgam is an angler's delight and even an amateur can catch a rainbow trout from the rushing streams. the large brown bear is a natural inhabitant of the thick Pine and Cedar forests. Pahalgam has a golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. Camping equipment, ponies and skiing equipment is readily available. White water of River Lidder makes it ideal for the thrilling adventure sport like white water rafting. Kolahoi is a popular Trekking destination via Aru Valley a charming meadow. Aru Valley haven for Amature and Professional Trekkers, some of the most popular trekking destinations from Aru are Kolohai, Tarsar, Marsar etc. Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking.
Tulip Garden is located at the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains which are present on the banks of the Dal Lake, Srinagar. This garden is the most spacious one in Srinagar as compared to the other Mughal Gardens which I saw earlier. The major attraction here is the large variety of Tulips found in thousands of numbers. The sight is heavenly during the full bloom season with all shades of the rainbow scattered on the fields of this garden. The Srinagar Tulip Garden is spread over a whopping 5 hectacres of land, all of which will be needed as more than 300,000 new bulbs of 8 new varieties of flowers imported from Holland have been added for the 2012 festival. The garden now boasts more than 2 million bulbs in 60+ types of flowers on view for tourists. Tulip, which has its origin in Persia (Iran), was introduced in Europe in 17th century, where it had been developed in different varieties. Holland is the largest producer of tulips, which inhabits the mountain areas extending from Europe to Central Asia. The plantation of tulips begins from September, before the start of winter season.

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