Here is some information of Jammu and Kashmir that will be helpful during your visit to this beautiful state. Read more on the insights that you can’t find on a tourist map of Jammu and Kashmir.
Food of Kashmir
The main food of Jammu and Kashmir varies from southern plains of river Jammu Tawi to northern parts of Kashmir Valley. Kashmiris feast on meat and rice voraciously. Rogan Josh – which is lamb meat gravy cooked with local chilies – and Yakhni – a mutton gravy with yogurt – are two of the most famous food of Kashmir. Locals also have a weak spot for crisp bakery goods. Sheermal, Baqerkhani, and Kulcha found in shops in Srinagar are to die for, especially for those craving sweet treats.
For non-vegetarians, having Wazwan, a full course meat-based dish, in a Kashmiri home is the best way to learn about traditions and lifestyle of Kashmiris.
Climate of Kashmir
Weather in Kashmir, especially in high altitude areas is notoriously unreliable. Some regions are prone to avalanche and landslide, while some roads are cut off during most of the winter season. For travellers, Kashmir in winter is as close to heaven a place can get. The peak of winter and summer brings an inflow of honeymooners and adventurers from plains and abroad.
The average temperature in Kashmir Valley in winter ranges between -2°C and 10°C. Summer in Kashmir is pleasant and fairly dry with mean temperatures between 16°C and 32°C. With its proximity to the plains of Punjab, Jammu witnesses milder winters and hotter summers than Kashmir Valley. On the other side, being higher in altitude, Ladakh region faces harsher winter but lesser rainfall. So, there is a stark difference between the climate of Kashmir and climate of Ladakh mainly due to geographical factors.
Festivals of Jammu and Kashmir
Like much of India, Jammu and Kashmir features an amalgamation of cultures. It’s a microcosm of long-held traditions and beliefs which are being celebrated and preserved by local people. Baisakhi in April and Lohri in January hold a great significance in Sikh and Hindu communities based in Jammu. Festivals like Holi and Diwali are also celebrated with great spirit in the region.
Festivities during Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha bring a great buzz even in the small hamlets of the valley. From Kishtwar to Baramulla, echoes of Namaz prayers by Sunni Muslims can be heard during Ramzan in Kashmir. Urs, Tulip Festival, and Shikara Festival are other important festivals in Kashmir.
Mansar Food and Craft Mela, which runs for three days, is one of the biggest fairs in Jammu. Culture of Jammu is influenced by Dogra, Rajput, and Pandit diaspora while Kashmir Valley is settled by predominantly Sunni Muslims. Local language of Kashmir is Kashmiri dialect of Urdu. Native speakers in Jammu voice themselves mainly in Hindi.
Ladakh region of the state also has a lot of unique celebrations and events among Buddhists and Shia Muslims.
Tips and Facts about Kashmir
Do carry Jammu and Kashmir tourist map as there is no network connectivity in remote regions.
Travellers must adhere to safety procedures defined by security personnel.
Always follow weather forecast during your stay in the Kashmir Valley.