With Srinagar and Vaishno Devi overshadowing most of what Jammu and Kashmir is to an outsider, I, hailing from the land of mountains and temples itself, find many more beautiful stories to be told. Let’s discover some of these.
1.A Friendly spirit: The spirit of friendship still stays thick and untouched without any metropolitan dilution . People take their time out if you ask them for directions, plus they might even throw in a few places where you can eat the best bathure-chhole or get a good deal on those exotic kashmiri shawls.
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2.Stress,What stress? :The pace of a fast moving city does not seep into the footloose attitude of the people from the state. They take their own sweet time and follow the pace the nature moves at, for life is too short to be lived in a haste. Here only people take a moment to bow their heads in the direction of ‘Bawe‘ everytime they cross the tawi bridge, to seek the blessings of ‘Bawe wali maata’. 3.Safe haven for women!:Women walk with a sense of security while it is highly in question through the rest of the country . Jammu and Kashmir also enjoys a high sex ratio with places like Shupiyan and Kulgam having a substantially high sex ratio of above 950 females per thousand males. A late evening emergency trip to the near-by grocery?, feel free in that friendly neighborhood. 4.The air still smells sweet: A morning run or an evening stroll beyond the mondah uphill track provides a breath taking view of the tawi that will refresh your senses and let you admire the nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. 5.The Himalayas and the Trikutas: While the much celebrated himalayas provide all the scenic beauty to most of the state and much adventure for the mountaineering and other mountain sports that keep the adrenaline junkies spell bound; the Trikutas hold the holy cave of Vaishno Devi that keeps on calling its devotees, year after year. 6.The vibe!: The hip atmosphere of a town and the peace of a country side, Jammu and Kashmir has all to offer. You can have that expensive coffee in that high end cafe or drive 10 miles and enjoy a 10rs. tea in an earthen kullhad with a view, outside the city. 7.Food,food and food!: Jammu and Kashmir has a rich menu of cuisines to satiate every palate. From the hearty ‘Punjabi thali’ to the assorted ‘afghani wazawan’ along with authentic dogra and kashmiri dishes of which ‘kalari‘ and ‘roganjosh‘ hold a special mention, foodies find their heaven here.
8.The princely past: From the Hari palace and Bahu Fort that stand proud at the banks of Tawi river to the awe inspiring Mughal gardens, Jammu and Kashmir has a lavish history to honor its kings and princes, who still own the state in one or the other way. 9.The winters: As the winters fall, a whole veil of beauty and serenity descends all over the state. A soft bed of snow covers the gardens in Kashmir while Jammu drapes itself in a graceful mist, winters bring out the best of the scenic Jammu and Kashmir . 10.Diversity: Jammu and Kashmir enjoys a generous diversity, be it the languages, cultures, traditions, religions or the people. The temples here stand proudly and peacefully alongside mosques , such as the one near the ‘bagh-e-bahu’.