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10 must-see tourist attractions in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir are often called paradise, but this doesn’t fully capture its unique charm. This northern Indian…
10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir are often called paradise, but this doesn’t fully capture its unique charm. This northern Indian Union territory, bordered by Pakistan and China, boasts a complex history, stunning scenery, and rich cultural diversity, making it a must-visit destination.

Known as the “Crown of India,” Jammu and Kashmir offer a variety of natural beauties, from lush valleys and serene lakes to mountainous terrains and high-altitude deserts. Alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, vibrant autumn foliage, houseboats, gondolas, and apple orchards enhance the region’s landscape.

The local cuisine is equally diverse and flavorful, featuring dishes like Rogan Josh, Gushtaba, Yakhni, and various breads such as Sheermal and Lavasa. The region is also renowned for its kebabs and the traditional Wazwan feast.

Its beauty is timeless as if nature stretched her imagination to the fullest to create it. In this blog, we highlight the 10 top tourist spots that showcase the enduring beauty of Jammu and Kashmir.

List of 10 Best Places to Visit in Jammu & Kashmir

  • Yusmarg
  • Gulmarg
  • Sonmarg
  • Pahalgam
  • Gurez Valley
  • Verinag
  • Srinagar
  • Vaishno Devi
  • Patnitop
  • Doda

1. Yusmarg

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Yusmarg, a hill station in the western part of the Kashmir Valley, holds a unique cultural significance. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community believes it to be where Jesus once lived, with Yusmarg translating to “The Meadow of Jesus” in Kashmiri. This cultural connection adds a layer of intrigue to the place. Often referred to as the Switzerland of Kashmir, Yusmarg is located 47 kilometers from Srinagar. The landscape here is incredibly beautiful, even more than you can imagine.

Yusmarg, a gem in the Bagdam district, boasts several scenic spots, including the enchanting Sang-e-Safed Valley, and offers thrilling adventure opportunities. It is famous for its stunning flower springs. The highest peaks in the Pir Panjal range, Tattakutti (4,725 m) and Sunset Peak (4,746 m) offer exhilarating skiing opportunities for adventure enthusiasts.

The holy shrine of Charar-e-Sharif is believed to bless the entire region and protect it from misfortunes. Yusmarg’s timeless beauty captivates visitors, drawing them back again and again.

There are plenty of options for sightseeing and activities like trekking and horse riding. Yusmarg is considered the most serene location among Kashmir’s tourist attractions. It’s a fantastic place for trekking, with forests of maple trees offering trails for those who wish to venture into remote areas.

Sightseeing Attractions in Yusmarg

  • Pakherpora Shrine
  • Character-e-Sharif
  • Doodhganga
  • Nilnag Lake
  • Sang-e-Safed

Top Things to Do in Yusmarg

  • Trekking
  • Horse riding
  • Trout fishing

2. Gulmarg

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Gulmarg, situated at 2,730 meters above sea level, is in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is 31 kilometers from Baramulla and 49 kilometers from Srinagar. This picturesque town is in the Pir Panjal Range of the Western Himalayas, within the Gulmarg Wildlife Sanctuary.

Gulmarg, living up to its name, which means ‘meadows of flowers,’ is a sight to behold with its beautiful meadows adorned with daisies. A significant landmark is the Anglican Church of St. Mary’s, a testament to Gulmarg’s rich history, dating back to the 1890s. This church, perched on a solitary hill, is accessible via a road that leads to the 1965 neo-colonial Hotel Highlands Park and the renowned Gulmarg Golf Club, offering a glimpse into Gulmarg’s cultural heritage.

Gulmarg is a haven for adventure enthusiasts, boasting the world’s highest green golf course and cable car project. It’s also home to the prestigious Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM), offering a range of hiking, mountaineering, skiing, and snowboarding courses. Numerous private tour companies in Gulmarg provide comparable courses and facilities for those seeking similar thrills. Additionally, Gulmarg’s scenic beauty has made it a popular choice for Bollywood film shoots, adding a touch of glamour to its adventure offerings.

The climate in Gulmarg is tropical, with significant snowfall during the wet winter season, which is uncommon for its latitude. Summers are pleasantly warm, while the other seasons are quite cold.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Gulmarg

  • St. Mary’s Church
  • Baba Reshi Shrine
  • Maharani Temple/Shiva Temple
  • Golf at the world’s highest golf course
  • Take a ride on the gondola cable car.
  • Ski down Shark Fin, the best slope in Gulmarg

3. Sonmarg

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Sonamarg is a stunning hill station in Jammu and Kashmir, about 80 kilometers north of Srinagar. It sits at approximately 2,730 meters above sea level along the Sindh River. The name Sonamarg means “meadow of gold,” it’s one of the top spots in Jammu and Kashmir for sightseeing and adventure. The landscape features glaciers, forests, and snow-capped mountains. It’s in the Ganderbal district, around 70 kilometers from Srinagar International Airport, and was historically the starting point for the Silk Road linking Kashmir to China.

Surrounded by the massive Kolahoi and Machoi Glaciers, Sonamarg is the source of the famous Three Sisters of Kashmir Valley. You can visit the three Great Lakes of Kashmir: Kishansar, Vishansar, and Gadsar. The town is also home to peaks like Kolahoi Peak, Amarnath Peak, Machoi Peak, and Sirbal Peak, making it a popular destination for adventure sports. The Thajiwas range divides the Sonamarg Valley, with the fir-covered Thajiwas spur on one side, popular for camping, and the main attraction, the Thajiwas Glacier, on the other.

Popular activities include camping and trout fishing. Sonamarg is also the starting point for the trek to Amarnath Cave, a major Hindu pilgrimage site. However, Sonamarg becomes inaccessible during winter due to avalanches and heavy snowfall that close NH1D, the main connecting road. The best time to visit is between April and October, avoiding the winter months (November to February) to enjoy the flowery meadows and favorable weather.

Top Sightseeing Attractions in Sonmarg

  • Thajiwas Glacier
  • Baltal Valley (close to Sonmarg)
  • Amarnath Cave
  • Naranag
  • Kishansar Lake
  • Vishansar Lake
  • Gadsar Lake

Best Things to Do in Sonmarg

  • Whitewater rafting
  • Trekking
  • Camping
  • Trout fishing

4. Pahalgam

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Pahalgam is a scenic village in the Anantnag district, about 90 km from Srinagar, situated on the banks of the Lidder River. It’s famous for the Kolahoi Glacier trek, which passes through the charming Aru village. Pahalgam, often called the Valley of Shepherds, beautifully reflects the natural beauty of the Kashmir Valley. It lies at the confluence of streams from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder River, offering stunning landscapes.

Pahalgam, the backdrop of the Bollywood movie Betaab, has gained fame as Betaab Valley. Its meadows, forests, and pristine environment are a visual treat. Pahalgam is a treasure trove of adventure, with key spots like Aru Valley, Betab Valley, and Baisaran, making it a top destination for thrill-seekers in Kashmir. And while you’re here, don’t miss the chance to buy authentic Kashmiri saffron from Pampore, adding a touch of spice to your Pahalgam adventure.

Baisaran, a slice of paradise known as ‘Mini Switzerland,’ is a mere 6 kilometers from Pahalgam. This picturesque spot is a symphony of serene meadows, clear lakes, and breathtaking surroundings, a sight that will leave you spellbound. It’s the perfect setting for a stroll or a delightful picnic. And if you’re in the mood for fun, activities like pony rides and zorbing are also available. Chandanwari in Pahalgam is the starting point for the famous Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage, adding a spiritual touch to your Pahalgam experience.

The weather is quite cold from November to February, with significant snowfall. It warms up slightly by April, but temperatures still hover around 2-3 degrees Celsius.

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Aru Valley
  • Betaab Valley
  • Baisaran
  • Sheikhpora

Best Things to Do

  • Trout fishing
  • Pony ride
  • Enjoy a picnic

5. Gurez Valley

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Gurez Valley is a stunning natural location in Jammu and Kashmir, situated in the high Himalayas, about 86 kilometers north of Srinagar and 123 kilometers south of Bandipore. Positioned at 2,400 meters above sea level, Gurez Valley enjoys pleasant weather year-round. It’s perfect for photography, peaceful picnics, and hiking adventures. Snow-capped mountains, meadows with linden, walnut, and willow trees, and the flowing Kishan Ganga River surround the valley. The valley is divided into two districts: Dawar and Tilel, with Dawar being the central settlement where all hotels are located.

Due to heavy snowfall of about 2 meters and the closure of Razdan Pass in winter, Gurez Valley is isolated from the rest of the world for six months, which adds to its charm as a tourist destination. The valley is home to the Dard Shin Tribe, one of the oldest tribes in Kashmir, who speak the Shina language. Scattered villages offer a glimpse into the challenging yet peaceful lives of the residents.

Visitors can ride the Gurez helicopter operated by the Gurez Copter Service to see the valley from above. Given its altitude, Gurez Valley is colder than other places, so pack warm clothing, gloves, and extra layers to stay comfortable, especially at night. Network coverage is limited, with Airtel and JIO often not working. BSNL is one of the few service providers available, but its coverage is also minimal.

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Peer Baba Shrine
  • Habba Khatoon Peak

Best Things to Do

  • Trekking
  • Trout fishing
  • Mountain climbing

6. Verinag

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Verinag is a town in the Anantnag district known for its famous Verinag Spring, a must-visit attraction. The town gets its name from this spring and the Mughal garden surrounding it. Verinag Spring is a significant and beautiful natural spring en route to Jammu. Water with a deep blue hue gushes out from the base of a mountain spur, where Emperor Jahangir built a stone basin and arcade around it. The spring is famous for its consistent flow, never drying up or overflowing.

Emperor Jahangir was so impressed by the beauty of Verinag that he wished to be buried nearby when he died. He described Verinag as one of the most beautiful places he had seen during his travels. Today, there are tourist accommodations like bungalows and rest houses near the spring. Adjacent to the spring is a Mughal Garden, originally built by Shah Jahan. Verinag Spring, located approximately 26 kilometers from Anantnag Town, is the primary source of the River Jhelum.

According to local folklore, goddess Vitasta (Jhelum) intended to originate from Verinag but found Shiva already present there. She then moved to Veravurthur, a spring about a mile northwest, giving Verinag its name, which means “returning spring” in Sanskrit. The Archaeological Survey of India recognizes the Verinag Spring and the Mughal Arcade as a Monument of National Importance.

The area around Verinag Spring also features a Mughal Garden constructed by Shah Jahan, adding to the location’s charm. Tourists can explore this beautiful garden during the spring.

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Verinag Spring
  • Mughal Gardens

7. Srinagar

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Srinagar is a must-visit destination in Jammu and Kashmir, renowned as one of the top honeymoon spots. Known as “Heaven on Earth,” it sits on the banks of the Jhelum River, nestled between the Hari Parbat and Shankaracharya hills. It’s famous for its unique houseboats and Shikaras, which are traditional rowboats found on Dal Lake. Srinagar is the largest city and summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.

The city is celebrated for its Mughal Gardens, historic sites, and stunning lakes, earning it the “Land of Gardens and Lakes.” Dal Lake hosts a floating vegetable market where locals sell produce from their Shikaras. Visitors can explore this vibrant scene and enjoy a memorable stay in one of the many houseboats on the lake. Srinagar boasts some of India’s most exquisite Mughal gardens, including Nishat, Shalimar, and Chashm-e-Shahi Garden. Additionally, Asia’s largest Tulip gardens are found here.

Food enthusiasts can savor Kashmiri cuisine, known as Wazwan, which is renowned for its aromatic spices. Srinagar is also famous for its Kashmiri shawls, apples, and dried fruits, which are available at Lal Chowk Market.

However, heavy snowfall from December to February can disrupt travel, and occasional conflicts may lead to curfews in certain areas. It’s essential to check the current situation before planning your visit.

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Mughal Gardens
  • Tulip Gardens
  • Hari Parbat Fort
  • Pari Mahal
  • Kahnqah Shah-i-Hamadan
  • Hazratbal Shrine
  • Shankaracharya Temple
  • Kheer Bhawani Temple

Best Things to Do 

  • Take a shikhara ride on the Dal Lake.
  • Enjoy a houseboat stay on Dal & Nageen Lakes.
  • Visit the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake.

8. Vaishno Devi

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Vaishno Devi is a significant Hindu pilgrimage site located in the Trikuta Hills, about 13 kilometers from Katra in Jammu and Kashmir. Devotees visit this temple town to seek blessings from the Mother Goddess, who fulfills their wishes. Also known as Mata Rani, Vaishnavi, and Trikuta, Vaishno Devi is believed to be an incarnation of the Hindu Goddess Durga.

The holy cave of Vaishno Devi houses three naturally formed rocks, representing the Goddesses Maha Kali, Maha Saraswati, and Maha Lakshmi. Each rock varies in color and texture, symbolizing the goddess’s different forms. Legend has it that the Pandavas from the Mahabharata era constructed this sacred temple.

To reach the temple, visitors can embark on a trek of nearly 14 kilometers from the Ban Ganga bridge. Alternatively, they can opt for battery-operated cars, ponies, palkies, or helicopter rides. Devotees offer customary items like red drapes, sarees, dried fruits, and flowers to Mata Vaishno Devi.

The pilgrimage route is lined with shops selling snacks, refreshments, and religious souvenirs. Every year, millions of devotees visit the Vaishno Devi temple to seek blessings and fulfill their spiritual journey.

Top Things to Do

  • Receive blessings at the Mata Vaishno Devi Temple
  • Explore Ardhkuwari and Bhairo Temples
  • 2 Nights 3 Days Vaishno Devi Tour Package
  • 3 Nights 4 Days Vaishno Devi Tour with Patnitop

9. Patnitop

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Patnitop, nestled in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir, is a favored destination for tourists seeking stunning meadows and breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks. Positioned in the Ramban area, it lies between Ramban Town and Udhampur City, approximately 112 kilometers from Jammu on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.

At an altitude of 2024 meters above sea level, Patnitop offers thrilling activities like paragliding. Joyrides start from Dawariyai, about two kilometers from Patnitop-Sanasar Road. For those interested in skiing and paragliding, Madhatop, just five kilometers from Patnitop, is the place to be.

Visitors can also explore nearby attractions such as Batote and natural springs and indulge in delicious Kashmiri cuisine at the renowned dhabas in Patnitop. Don’t miss tasting Patisa, a local delicacy, during your visit.

Sanasar, 17 kilometers away, is famous for its golf courses, paragliding opportunities, and a wide range of tourist activities, which add to the charm of your Patnitop getaway.

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Bilo ki Powri
  • Kud Park
  • Shiva Ghar (almost 11 kilometers from Patnitop)
  • Enjoy a picnic at Kud Park
  • Try paragliding & skiing at Madhatop (almost 5 kilometers from Patnitop)

10. Doda

10 Must-See Tourist Attractions In Jammu And Kashmir

Doda, a district in the eastern part of Jammu, offers a mix of sightseeing and adventure opportunities. Named after its town, which sits 5,000 feet above sea level, Doda is surrounded by Himachal Pradesh districts like Anantnag, Ramban, Kishtwar, Udhampur, and Chamba. The region boasts hilly terrain and is situated along the Chenab River in the southern-western Himalayas.

Adventure seekers can indulge in activities like snow skiing, mountain biking, trekking, and paragliding, especially in the Bhaderwah region, which is known for its scenic trekking trails. Doda also holds significance for spiritual travelers, with temples like the Chandi Mata Temple and Vasuki Nag Temple drawing Hindu pilgrims.

The district experiences a temperate to subtropical climate, with limited rainfall, particularly desert-like conditions. Temperature variations exist across locations, with warmer temperatures observed in places like Ramban and Doda. While summers are generally dry, the district receives significant rainfall from July to September.

Top Sightseeing Attractions

  • Vasuki Naag Temple
  • Gupt Ganga Temple
  • Jamia Masjid Bhaderwah
  • Shitla Mata Roshera
  • Ziyarat Bangla Nallah
  • Lakshmi Narayana Temple
  • Bhog Taraq
  • Devi Gol
  • Nagni Mata

Best Things to Do

  • Snow skiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Paragliding
  • Trekking
  • Camping


Exploring Jammu and Kashmir promises an unforgettable journey through breathtaking landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and spiritual significance. From the serene lakes of Srinagar to the snow-capped peaks of Gulmarg and the spiritual aura of Vaishno Devi, this region offers something for every traveler. Whether you seek adventure on the slopes of Patnitop or solace in the holy temples of Doda, Jammu and Kashmir’s diverse offerings are captivating. As you embark on your journey, immerse yourself in this enchanting land’s timeless beauty and warmth, leaving you with cherished memories to last a lifetime.


Q1: What are some must-see tourist attractions in Jammu and Kashmir?

Ans: Some must-see tourist attractions in Jammu and Kashmir include the stunning Dal Lake in Srinagar, the picturesque hill station of Gulmarg, the spiritual pilgrimage site of Vaishno Devi, the breathtaking landscapes of Sonamarg, the Mughal gardens of Srinagar, the serene Patnitop hill station, and the historic Verinag Spring.

Q2: What makes Dal Lake in Srinagar a must-see tourist attraction?

Ans: Dal Lake is renowned for its scenic beauty, houseboats, and Shikara rides. Visitors can enjoy leisurely boat rides, witness vibrant floating markets, and explore the charming floating gardens known as “Rudra Vana.”

Q3: Why is Gulmarg considered a must-visit destination in Jammu and Kashmir?

Ans: Gulmarg is famous for its snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, and adventure sports opportunities such as skiing and snowboarding. The Gulmarg Gondola, one of the highest cable cars in the world, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Q4: What is special about the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage site?

Ans: Vaishno Devi is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site located in the Trikuta Mountains. It is believed to fulfill the wishes of devotees who undertake the challenging trek to the temple. The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Vaishno Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

Q5: Can you visit Sonamarg throughout the year?

Ans: Sonamarg is a beautiful hill station known for its glaciers, meadows, and trekking trails. While it is accessible throughout the year, the best time to visit is during the summer, from May to September, when the weather is pleasant and the meadows are in full bloom.

Q6: What can visitors expect to experience at the Mughal gardens of Srinagar?

Ans: Srinagar has several Mughal gardens, including Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashme Shahi. These gardens feature terraced lawns, cascading fountains, and vibrant flowerbeds, offering a tranquil retreat amidst natural beauty.

Q7: What activities can tourists enjoy at Patnitop hill station?

Ans: Patnitop offers various recreational activities such as paragliding, skiing, and trekking. Visitors can also explore the scenic landscapes, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy pony rides in the surrounding areas.

Q8: Why is the Verinag Spring considered a significant tourist attraction?

Ans: Verinag Spring is a natural spring surrounded by picturesque Mughal gardens, making it a popular tourist destination. According to legend, Emperor Jahangir was so enamored by its beauty that he built a stone basin and pavilion around it.

Q9: What makes Doda an interesting destination for travelers?

Ans: Doda is known for its scenic beauty, spiritual significance, and adventure sports opportunities. Travelers can explore temples, mosques, and trekking trails while experiencing the region’s unique culture and landscape.

Q10: When is the best time to visit Jammu and Kashmir?

Ans: The best time to visit Jammu and Kashmir is during the summer months, from April to June, and the autumn season, from September to November, when the weather is pleasant and conducive to outdoor activities. However, each season offers its unique charm and attractions.

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