Friday, July 22, 2005

Kashmir… Jannat-e-Bai Nazir

Kashmir is the principal region in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, the other two supplementary units being Jammu and Ladakh.
Srinagar, the state capital, is situated at an altitude of 1,730 meters above sea level. It is connected by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flights directly to Jammu and New Delhi, and hence to every part of the national network. Srinagar is connected by an all-weather road to Jammu which in turn is connected to many parts of North India. Srinagar's nearest railhead is Jammu which in turn connects all parts of the country including Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai and Kanyakumari.
Kashmir's other three most popular resorts are:
Pahalgam located at an altitude of 2,130 meters above sea level, 96 kms from Srinagar.
Gulmarg located at an altitude of 2,730 meters above sea level, 56 kms from Srinagar.
Sonamarg located at an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, 87 kms from Srinagar.
Al1 these resorts can only be visited by road from Srinagar, as they are not connected to each other directly. While the summer (June-August) temperatures of Srinagar are between 25oC and 35oC, temperatures in the hill resorts are considerably lower. In the evenings, light woolens are required for Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sonamarg, but not for Srinagar.
Spring (March-May) and autumn (October-November) are cold. With minimum temperatures plunging down to 7oC, woolens are necessary. On the plus side, these are Kashmir's most picturesque seasons; off-season discounts are given and all houseboats and hotels have ingenious central heating. Winter (December-February) has snow in all three resorts and frequently in Srinagar, with temperatures sometimes reaching -10oC. Heavy woolens are required. Winter is off-season in Srinagar, Pahalgam and Sonamarg, but peak season in Gulmarg.
Kashmir receives most of its rainfall in spring.

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