Kashmir within its confines contains a vast and extremely rich geographical and cultural diversity forming the enduring legacy of Kashmir. The valley has been described as a melting point of different races and cultures. This rich heritage with its ethnic, geographical and linguistic diversity is represented both in the valley proper as well as in the higher surrounding mountain reaches of the Himalayas and Karokoram.

To a large extent, the physical characteristics of the area have determined and channeled rather then blocked human movement, which has resulted in maintaining a persistent contact between people speaking different languages. Hence we see that from time immemorial various tribes, clans have been accepted within the general, overall socio-political fabric of the area, even while retaining their own uniqueness. Aside from the principle race of the Kashir’s (or Kashmir’s as they are referred to) the land is also home to the mountain community of Paharis, the semi-nomadic Gujjars, the nomadic, pastoral community of Bakerwals and the Dards.

Dards: The People and their Land

In a widely known and often repeated story the famous Greek historian, Herodotus (4th century B.C.) mentions a war-like people on the frontier of India near to whom are found gold-digging ants. Herodotus provides the name Dadikai for this group living on India's frontier, which was then the seventh satrapy of the Achaemenian Empire. Writing much later, Strabo (64 B.C. to A.D. 23) and Pliny (A.D. 23 to A.D. 79) repeat Herodotus' story and name the war-like people Dardae. Alexander, whose travels provide much of the data for classical geography of India, apparently did not meet any Dard people, but he did go to a place called Daedala.

The Sanskrit references to Daradas, though laced with a great deal of myths and legends then real facts do nevertheless indicate that the Darada were known to those familiar with such texts. Researchers have based their observations in this regard on the basis of references, found in the ancient hindu texts, especially those in the Vayu, Brahmanda, Markandeya, Vamana, and Padma Puranas. Daradas are also mentioned in the Brhatsamhita, and in Manu, where they are classified pejoratively as Mlecchas. Mahabharata refers to them as degraded Kshatriyas (XII 35,). According to John Mock, who has done extensive research on the subject, the term Dard may have been used by early Sanskrit writers to characterize a fierce people, residing in the northwest, outside the boundaries of the then known civilization rather than a specific people. Even the description of their geographical setting as a land that is near to the "Strirajaya", the “Country of Women”, verges on legends rather than fact. These fantastic and vaguely defined regions and the people who lived in them belong as much to the mythic landscape of ancient India as to the historiography.


The valley of Gurez is located at a distance of around130 kms from Srinagar city, the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Srinagar falls on the National Highway 1-A which is connected by International Airport and national highway network to other parts of the India.

From Srinagar a black top road leads to Bandipora, which forms the main transit point on the journey towards Gurez. Bandipora can also be reached from Baramulla via Sopore. Bandipora is connected to Dawar (Gurez) by sumo as well as bus service.

A black top road leads from Bandipora towards Razdan and then onto Gurez. This road provides some of the most spectacular overviews of the Wullar lake. The 40km (25mile) road stretch, from Razdan to Dawar, is in a bad shape. At Razdan (altitude 11672 ft) one can catch a glimpse of the Harmukh peak, one of the highest mountain peaks located in the Kashmir valley.

The land route to Gurez remains closed for three months of the winter starting from December due to heavy snowfall in the area. Access to the area during this period is maintained through a chopper service. However, there is no regular time table for running of this service.

Amarnath Yatra


Today, Amarnathji Yatra is an essential part of the Hindu pilgrimage and though the route is difficult to negotiate, it is equally exciting. Every year, thousands of devotees come to pay homage before Shiva in one of his famous Himalayan abodes.



Lord Shiva - The Creator, Preserver and the Destructor

Lord Shiva is the creator, preserver as well as the destructor of this universe. The Lord's attributes represent his victory over the demonic activity, and calmness of human nature. Amarnathji yatra embodies this spirit of adventure and helps human being to attain the ultimate level of spirituality.


Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of immortality & creation in the Amarnath cave. Unknown to them, a pair of mating pigeons eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the pigeons-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam (the phallic symbol of Shiva).



Amarnath Yatra Season

The trek to Amarnathji, in the month of Shravan (July - August) has the devout flock to this incredible shrine, where the image of Shiva, in the form of a lingam, is formed naturally of an ice - stalagmite, and which waxes and wanes with the moon. By its side are , fascinatingly, two more ice - lingams, that of Parvati and of their son, Ganesha.



Amarnath Yatra by Helicopter

For travellers convenience, there are helicopter facilities as well. The helicopters for Amarnathji yatra opearte everyday, except during bad weather conditions. One flight accommodates 5-6 passengers. Flight timings are between 0500 hours and 1145 hours. The helicopters to Amarnath operate between Srinagar and Amarnath and Baltal and Amarnath. You can choose either of the routes. However, the cost per person from Srinagar is more as compared to from Baltal.



Amarnath Travel Information

Air : Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir is the closest airport.

Rail : Jammu is the nearest railhead from Amarnath.

Road : Jammu and Srinagar are well-connected by road.


Amarnath Cave Traditional Route

Jammu - Pahalgam - Holy Cave : Jammu to Pahalgam is a distance of 315 km. Regular taxi and bus services connect Jammu with Pahalgam. Another option is to fly to Srinagar and then drive to Pahalgam. Get in touch with our travel counsellors for further route information.

The very auspicious Amarnath Yatra is a Hindu pilgrim's journey to the Amarnath Cave

, named after theMount Amarnath (5,486 m a.s.l.). Due to the high altitude location, the cave is covered with 

snow for most part of the year. It is only during a short period in summer that devotees are able t

o undertake a journey up to the cave. The ice content of the cave, believed to be the phallic symbol of 


Lord Shiva, has a significant place in the Hindu mythology. Though the cave of Amarnath lies at high altitude where temperature is quite low and the journey is arduous, nothing seems to discourage the pilgrims from travelling there. Truly, spirituality is the lifeblood of the nation in India.



Located in the center of the Kashmir valley, the district of Srinagar towers at a height of 1,730 m above sea level. King Pravarasena-II founded the Srinagar city over 2000 years ago. The Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang, who visited Kashmir in 631 AD, found Srinagar at the same place where it stands today. The rule of Hindu kings in Kashmir ended in 1339, with the last ruler being Laltaditya Muktapida. From 1420-1470, the valley came under the rule of King Zain-ul-Abidin, popularly known as Budshah. Some time later, Mughal Emperor Akbar annexed Srinagar and included it in his own territory. Come and explore some more fascinating aspects of Srinagar with us!

It was during the rule of Akbar only that the district got the striking mosques and gardens that it now proudly boasts of. The last one of the Muslim rulers of Srinagar was overthrown by the Sikhs, under the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the year 1819. With time, the rule of the Sikhs ended and the Dogras gained the control of Kashmir from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar. After India became independent in the year 1947, the state of Jammu and Kashmir became a part of the Indian Union, with Srinagar as its capital. Since then Srinagar has been a prominent destination on the tourist map of India.

The district of Srinagar is situated on either sides of the Jhelum River, making its locales picturesque and beautiful. The major attractions of Srinagar travel include Dal Lake and Nagin Lake. Most of the houseboats (Shikaras) in Kashmir will be seen in these lakes only. The Mughal Gardens set up by various rulers of the Mughal dynasty further enhance the beauty of Srinagar. Other major draws of Srinagar are water sports activities, handcrafted souvenirs, amazing resort nearby etc.


The Major Fascinating Sights at Srinagar

Dal Lake : The Dal is famous not only for its beauty, but for its vibrance, because it sustains within itsDal Lake periphery, a life that is unique anywhere in the world. The houseboat and Shikara communities have lived for centuries on the Dal, and so complete is their infrastructure on the lake, that they never have to step on land! Doctors, tailors, bakers- one can see them all in tiny wooden shops on the lake, near picturesque vegetable gardens and acres of lotus gardens.

Nagin Lake : Nagin Lake, which is usually thought of as a separate lake, is also divided from Dal Lake only by a causeway. The causeways are mostly suitable for walkers and bicycles only so they make a very pleasant way of seeing the lake without having to worry about traffic or Shikaras. The main causeway across the lake carries the water pipeline for Srinagar's mains water supply.


Tulip Garden : Tulip flowers are one of the most beautiful flowers available on Earth. It is been said that the Tulip flower is first found in Iran, and is the national flower of Iran. After Rose and Dalia, Tulip is the flower with more demand in the world. The Tulip garden present in Srinagar, the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, India, covers over 75 acres. These flowers are grown in Sirag garden near Dal Lake in Srinagar. 4tulip garden00 men are worked for this Tulip garden to blossom. Here the Tulip flowers are grown in a series of rows, each row with a different color of Tulips. In this Tulip garden of Srinagar, a total sum of 12 lakh Tulip flowers are present, with the Tulip flowers in 60 different colors. Execpt in black and blue, Tulip flowers are available in all other colors. The Tulip flower can hold its freshness for 7 days. A very large landscape covered with thousands of beautiful and colorful flowers arranged in a row is a great view. It is attracting many tourists every year with its beauty and the tourists who entered the garden cannot leave the beautiful scene so easily. This Tulip garden of Srinagar is Asia's largest garden and the second largest in the World.

Hazaratbal Mosque : Across the Dal from Shalimar is the mosque of Hazratbal, the only one of its kind architecturally in Kashmir. Made of white marble with a dome and a minaret, Hazratbal is the repository of a single hair of the Prophet Mohammed, exhibited to the public on certain days of the year.

Mughal Gardens


Exquisitely laid out lawns, cascading fountains, bright flower beds, surrounded by the panorama of Dal lake in front of them, the gardens in Kashmir are astoundingly beautiful. The unity and harmony of design; innovative use of the site and plantings and the diverse mixture of colors, textures and plants impart a sense of ecstasy to the viewer. The Mughal gardens of Shalimar, Nishat, Chashmeshahi and others like Pari Mahal and Harwan are like perfectly carved lawns with stepped terraces and flowing watercourses.



Shalimar Bagh

Shalimar Bagh was built by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan, 'light of the world' in 1616. Although it is known today as the 'garden of love' it was originally named the Farah Bakhsh or 'delightful garden'. A canal is lined with polished stones and is supplied with water from Harwan runs through the middle of the garden. The fourth terrace, by far the best, was once reserved for royal ladies. It included a pavilion made of black stone in the middle of the tank, which was used as a banquet hall. Shalimar Bagh has an air of seclusion and repose, and its rows of fountains and shaded trees seem to recede towards the snowcapped mountains. A Son Et Lumeiere or sound and light show is put on here every evening during the may to october tourist season.



Nishat Bagh

Nishat Bagh was built by Empress Nur Jahan's brother Asaf Khan. The largest of the Mughal gardens, Nishat has 12 terraces representing the 12 signs of the zodiac, which descend gradually and seem to almost merge into the lake. These terraces viewed along with the flower-beds, a riot of brilliant colors, present an unforgettable sight. Directly behind the garden is the Gopi Tirth, a small spring gushing forth crystal clear water, which feeds the garden water. Also found within its vicinity are some remains of Mughal period buildings including a double storey pavilion enclosed on two sides latticed windows.



Chasma Shahi

Cheshmashahi is the first Mughal Garden you will pass after Nehru Park. Smallest of the Srinagar Mughal gardens, the Chasma Shahi, or 'Royal Spring', are well up the hillside, above the Nehru Memorial Park. The fresh water spring in these pleasant, quieter gardens is reputed to have medicinal properties. The gardens were laid out in 1632 by Ali Mardan Khan and include three terraces, an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains. The water from the spring supplies the fountains and then goes through the floor of the pavilion and falls to the lower terrace in a fine cascade of five meters, over a polished black stone chute. There is a small shrine, the Chasma Sahibi, near the gardens, which also has a fresh water spring.



Pari Mahal

Pari Mahal, a Buddhist monastery at one time, it was converted into a school of astrology by Dara Shikoh, Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan's eldest son. Pari Mahal gardens are now exclusively maintained by the state government. Built around a small spring, they house exotic flowering plants laid out in terraces surmounted by the ruined arches of a once beautiful building. Pari Mahal is illuminated at night, and can be seen, located on the on the spur of a hill, most places in Srinagar.



On the hillside, south of the village Harwan, remarkable remains of ancient ornamented tile pavements of the Buddhist period have come to light. The tiles depict the dresses of the people, such as loose trousers, Turkoman caps or close fitting turbans and large ear-rings which reveal central Asian influence.


Wild Life in Kashmir [Dachigam National Park]

Introduction :

To add to the fabled beauty of Jammu and Kashmir, is the Dachigam National Park, an enviable beautiful place, a place that will time and again make you regret the fact that you cannot visit the place as often as you would wish to. The wild cherry, apricot, pear, plum, peach and apple trees in full bloom that populate the park makes it one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries in the country. The park is by itself to breath-takingly beautiful that, you hardly have time to think of what wildlife you came across or did not.


The Dachigam National Park has been a protected area since 1910, first under the care and patronage of the Maharaja of J & K and later under the observation of the concerned government authorities. The name of the park literally means "ten villages" probably in memory of the ten villages that were relocated for the formation of the park. It was finally declared a National Park in the year 1981. Although the Dachigam National Park is the last proper home of the Hangul, or Kashmir Stag, and harbors many rare species within it's borders, it was initially created to ensure clean drinking water supply for the city of Srinagar.


Dachigam National Park- Wildlife

Himalayan black bears, Thick-coated grey langur's brown bears and leopard cats can be occasionally seen. The avian population is also delightful and flowers carpeting the upper meadows are spectacular, especially the blue poppy.


Situated at 9,000 kms. above sea level, Sonmarg is one of the smallest resorts in Kashmir, lying in the heart of a gorgeous valley carved by the river Sindh.. Also known as "Golden meadow", this place gets its name 'Son' meaning golden, from the bloom of yellow crocuses that fill this valley in the spring. It can be reached by roads, which runs through the picturesque Sind valley flanked on one side by the densely populated slopes and many varieties of alpine flowers.


A gushing river is the highlight of this meadow, flowing down from snowy heights into the dense woodlands of firs and silver birches. Glaciers pour down from this stream from the Himalayas on to the many camping sites in Sonmarg. A thick forest cover of sycamore, alpine flowers, silver birch, fir and pine, Sonamarg offers adventure in the form of treks, sledging, angling, alpine skiing and white water rafting.


Sonmarg, on the Srinagar-Leh highway is approximately 110 kms from Srinagar and the road to Sonmarg passes through the famous Jawahar tunnel. Buses and private taxis can be hired from Srinagar.


Few world famous landmarks of sonmarg are:



Thajiwas (3km):

The whole mountain range here is covered by glaciers. Water falls from these in silver sheets. A forest rest house and a tourist hut between Sonamarg and Thajiwas have excellent views.



The Lakes:

The loveliest of the high altitude Himalayan lakes are Vishansar and Krishnasar. The translucent waters of these lakes are speckled with ice flakes, and the occasional trout that pops up now and then.




Also called Harmukh Ganga, it is sacred to Hindus. It can be reached from Sonamarg via Krishnasar and Vishansar - a trek through enchanting scenery.

Zoji-La Pass

20 kms east of Sonamarg lies the gateway to the Ladakh plateau, the Zoji-La Pass at 3,540 m



The best ski resort in the Himalayas, Gulmarg's legendary beauty, prime location and proximity to Srinagar naturally make it one of the premier hill spots in the country. Originally called 'Gaurimarg' by shepherds, its present name was given in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. The towering peaks above the meadow are covered with dense forests of tall conifers and gigantic fir and pine trees, all vying with each other to touch the azure skies. A clear day offers some breathtaking views from Gulmarg: fields of rice; clusters of walnut, pear and mulberry; meadows, ridges and forests that lead to the snow slopes.

The journey to Gulmarg is equally exciting. The wide roads give beauty to flat expanses of rice fields, interspersed with picturesque villages. Gulmarg's international lush green golf course is the highest in the world. Equipment is available on hire for the visitor allured by the golf greens here. Gulmarg is also an important trekking base.

Major Tourist Attractions in Gulmarg

Sightseeing in Gulmarg is an experience of a lifetime. There are lakes, valleys, shrines and springs for you to visit. Major tourist attractions in Gulmarg are as follows. There are more to be seen and experienced in Gulmarg that we have listed here.

Outer Circular Walk

The road encircles Gulmarg and provides scenic views of the massifs of Nanga Parbat, Harmukh, the rugged slopes of Ferozepur, Sunset Peak and Apharwat Ridge.


A 40-minute journey through valleys of wild flowers from Gulmarg to Khilanmarg offers a breathtaking view of the majestic peaks with their reflections in Wular and other lakes.

Alpather Lake

Streaks of floating ice in this triangular lake, nestled in a hollow under the shadow of Apharwat mountain are a visual delight. A well-graded pony track joins Apharwat Ridge with Gulmarg.

Ningle Nallah

Flowing from the snow bed, the nallah springs from near the Apharwat Ridge, cutting through thick pine forests along the way.

Baba Reshi

Surrounded by a courtyard of carved deodar, the shrine of the saint, Baba Reshi, is linked to Tangmarg and Gulmarg by roads. The latticework shutters here provide a glimpse of old architecture.

Activities in Gulmarg

Adventure has its own taste in Gulmarg. Though one of the most recent, the ski resort of Gulmarg is increasingly popular among tourists. Skiing and snowboarding are two most important adventure activities in Gulmarg. As soon as winter sets in, travellers and adventure seekers keep flocking to Gulmarg from all across the world. Besides, Gulmarg gives you an opportunity of enjoying golfing on the world's highest golf course, at an altitude of 2,650 m. Hiking is also a wonderful adventure activity to be enjoyed in Gulmarg.

Travel Information

There are many options if you are worried about how to reach Gulmarg. The airport is closely located and rail and road connections are good.

Closest Airport : Srinagar, which is only 56 km away.

Closest Railhead : Jammu is the closest railhead from Gulmarg.

Road Link : Well-linked to Srinagar by road, Gulmarg can be accessed from all the key destinations in northern India.


lIf you are off to Pahalgam, keep it in mind that you are visiting the 'Jewel of the Lidder Valley', a wonderful collection of soul-stirring scenes. The tiny village of much popular Pahalgam is located at an altitude of 2,130 m and occupies a position on the banks of the River Lidder. Pahalgam is also the very place where a number of earlier bollywood films have been shot. It is interesting to know that Pahalgam in Jammu & Kashmir also is a part of Asia's only saffron growing area. Trout fishing in the Lidder River is a favourite pastime with travellers. The village also offers a number of hiking trails where you can come in close contact with nature and its mind blowing creations. Summers (April to June) in Pahalgam are mild while winters (November to February) are cold. During the rainy season (July-August), a large number of pilgrims are headed here to visit the holy cave of Amarnath; the famous Amarnath Yatra begins from Pahalgam itself.



Major Tourist Attractions in Pahalgam

The tiny but scenic village of Pahalgam offers a number of wonderful sites to see. Before you get yourself busy and indulge in light adventure options at Pahalgam, do remember to visit the famous tourist attractions in Pahalgam, some of which are given below.



It is famous for its snow bridge. Lying at a distance of 16 km, Chandanwari is also the starting point for the auspicious Amarnath Yatra. It is a small valley, situated at an altitude of 6,500 above sea level. Good sturdy shoes are a prerequisite if you are hiking in this area.



Pine forests dot this meadow which presents a picturesque view of the snow-clad mountains. The snow covered Tulian lake at an altitude of 3353 m is 11kms from Baisaran.


Sheshnag Lake

The waters of this greenish blue lake are covered with ice till June. Sheshnag lies at a distance of 13 km from Chandanwari and is at 11,330 ft above sea level. The place has derived its name from seven peaks that look like the head of Sheshnag, the sacred snake in the Hindu mythology.



It is the confluence of five streams and gives Panchtarni its name. For those headed towards the holy cave of Amarnath, Panchtarni is the last camping site. From Panchtarni, Amarnath is located at a distance of 6 km.


Amarnath Cave

Pahalgam is the base for the religious trek to the abode of Lord Shiva. A narrow spiralling path from Panchtarni leads to the Amarnath Cave. The massive ice shivlingam is visited by thousands of pilgrims between July and September.



This charming meadow can be reached by walking along a mountain path. The river Lidder disappears at Gur Khumb and reappears after 27 mts.



A beautiful camping site set among dense forests. Starting point of the trek to the Sindh Valley.


Activities in Pahalgam

Pahalgam has lots of recreational activities especially trekking adventures. It offers wonderful treks, skiing, mountaineering and camping sites. Trekking can be undertaken to Kolahoi Glacier which is very beautiful via Aru village. Sledging at the frozen Glaciers is also offered by locals. You can take long walks in the jungles and explore rich flora and fauna. Pahalgam is the main base camp to Amarnath Cave. Alpine Skiing is also available at high altitudes. A Popular trek from Sonamarg to Pahalgam and trek to Chandanwari and Sheshnag lake can also be undertaken. The Liddar River is popular among travelers interested in angling. Stretches of this river are suitable for trout fishing. Pahalgam has a golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. Camping equipment, ponies and skiing equipment is readily available.




Travel Information

Once in Jammu & Kashmir, you can easily reach Pahalgam. Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir, connects quite well to Pahalgam.


Closest Airport : Srinagar, which is at a distance of 95 km from Pahalgam


Closest Railhead : Jammu, which is further connected to the rest of India by NH 1A


Road Link : A road drive of 2½ hours from Pahalgam takes you to Srinagar, the capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Regular buses and taxis connect Pahalgam to Srinagar.


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A very warm welcome to our valued clients,i must extend my thanks to our valued clients for choosing jammu,kashmir and ladakh as their preferred destination, who really have been a source of inspirration for us in our endeavor, i would be trying to grab this oppurtunity to inform the valued clients that jammu,kashmir and ladakh is a unparallel tourist destination as jammu , kashmir and ladakh is naturally blessed with bounties of beauty. jammu, kashmir and ladakh offers sorts of tourists attractions be it vacational tourism, adventure tourism,leisure tourism or pilgrim tourism. therefore we can say with confidence that jammu , kashmie and ladakh is a complete tourism destination. we are fortunate enough to have hospitality as our heritage.


Mazda Tours And Travels is serving tourist world since decades . It has undoubtedly achieved reputation for excellent services rendered to domestix and foreign tourists.


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Welcome to Mazda Tours And Travels… and to our team of professionals. The key personnel highlighted in our web site are the heart of this tremendous success because the old fashioned concept of a ‘family business’ has been the basis of Mazda Tours And Travels . our ‘staff ownership’ principal can respond to the needs of our clientele using the best of local creative talent in combination with our best travel managers. This local ownership empowerment extends to all levels of staff; the result being a drive to create unique and cost effective travel products and services that is unequalled anywhere in the World. As we are committed to providing your clients the best possible services, we are always seeking ways to improve our products and services. Your clients’ comments and suggestions were of great help to improving our future services Mazda Tours And Travels and its old fashioned values of family commitment, product excellence and total support to our customers, will always be forefront in our service to you.

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