JAMMU & KASHMIR
Set like a jewelled crown on the map of India, Kashmir is a multi-faceted diamond, changing its hues with the seasons - always extravagantly beautiful. Two major Himalayan ranges, the Great Himalayan Range and the Pir Panjal, surround the landscape from the north and south respectively. They are the source of great rivers, which flow down into the valleys, forested with orchards and decorated by lily-laden lakes.
Kashmir is a land where myriad holiday ideas are realised. In winter, when snow carpets the mountains, there is skiing, tobogganing, sledge-riding, etc. along the gentle slopes. In spring and summer, the honey-dewed orchards, rippling lakes and blue skies beckon every soul to sample the many delights the mountains and valleys have to offer. Golfing at 2,700 m above the sea, water-skiing in the lakes and angling for prized rainbow trout, or simply drifting down the willow fringed alleys of lakes in shikaras and living in gorgeous houseboats are some of the most favoured ones.
Initially, the valley of Kashmir used to be vast Lake, mythologically called Satt e Sar, which in course of time got drained by deepening of the Baramulla - Khadiniyar gorge. The valley is distinctively marked by breath-taking lakes, fresh water streams, luscious fruits, magnificent forests, mighty mountains and lush meadows which makes it a paradise on Earth. The mountain-downs or "margs" are numerous on the tops of the hill ranges prominent being Gulmarg, Sonamarg, Yousmarg etc.
Famous valleys of Kashmir include: Lidder Valley, Sindh Valley, Lolab Valley, Bangus Valley, Dachigam Valley, Gulmarg Valley, Gurez Valley, Yousmarg Valley etc.'