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Jammu & Kashmir make up the northern most state of India, bordering parts of Pakistan and China. This state is as much in news for its beauty as it is for the political tension surrounding its history. However, the warmth of the people and landscapes here are nothing short of welcoming. Maybe that is why Kashmir is often referred to as ‘heaven on earth.’

You can spend your days scouting varied sceneries here, from the Dal Lake and Hazratbal to Tupil Gardens and Pari Mahal in the city of Srinagar. There is Gurez Valley’s quiet, gorgeous landscape, Sonmarg’s golden meadows outlined by snow-capped mountains, some thrilling mountain sports, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Anantnag. Go down south to Jammu city and explore the many forts, ruins and lakes, including the beautiful city of Akhnoor (literally meaning ‘light of the eye’) and the holy town of Vaishno Devi. Eat some thorough local fare of breads, naans, pulavs, lotus stem and mutton gravies as well kahwa (flavoured Kashmiri tea). Shop for their renowned Pashmina shawls and don’t forget to take back baked goodies like mawa cakes, plum cakes, biscuits and milk cakes from local bakeries.

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