Few facts about Jammu & Kashmir
( from my research, can’t able resist to share, mainly the last part )
1) The Dumhal is a famous dance in the Kashmir Valley, performed by men of the Wattal region. The women perform the Rouff, another traditional folk dance.
2) Kashmir has been noted for its fine arts for centuries, including poetry and handicrafts.
3) The Constitution of India does not allow people from regions other than Jammu and Kashmir to purchase land in the state. As a consequence, houseboats became popular among those who were unable to purchase land in the Valley and has now become an integral part of the Kashmiri lifestyle.
4) Kawa, traditional green tea with spices and almond, is consumed all through the day in the chilly winter climate of Kashmir.
5) Jammu’s Dogra culture and tradition
6) After Dogras, Gujjars form the second-largest ethnic group in Jammu. Known for their semi-nomadic life style, Gujjars are also found in large numbers in the Kashmir Valley. Similar to Gujjars, Gaddis are primarily herdsmen who hail from the Chamba region in Himachal Pradesh. Gaddis is usually related to emotional music contend on the flute. The Bakkarwalas found both in Jammu and the Kashmir valley is wholly nomadic pastoral people who move along the Himalayan slopes in search of pastures for their huge flocks of goats and sheep.
Famous Personality of Jammu and Kashmir
Alla Rakha – Ustad Allarakha
Shivkumar Sharma– Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is an Indian santoor player from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The santoor is a folk instrument.
Alia Bhatt– Alia Bhatt is a British film actress and singer who works in Bollywood. Born into the Bhatt family, she is the daughter of filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and actress Soni Razdan.
Anupam Kher– Anupam Kher is an Indian actor and the current Chairman of Film and Television Institute of India. He has appeared in over 500 films in several languages and many plays.
Jeevan– Jeevan, born as Omkar Nath Dhar in Srinagar , was an Indian Bollywood actor who played the role of Narad Muni in mythological films of the 1950s a total of 49 times. Later, he played the role of a villain in many films of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. His son Kiran Kumar is also an actor.
K L Saigal– Om Prakash was an Indian character actor.He was born in Jammu, as Om Prakash Chibber
Vidhu Vinod Chopra– Vidhu Vinod Chopra is AN Indian director, screenwriter and producer. Parinda, 1942: A love story , Munna Bhai film series (Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and Lage Raho Munna Bhai) and three Idiots are a number of his extremely popular films.
Suresh Raina– Suresh Kumar Raina is an Indian professional cricketer. An aggressive left-handed middle-order hitter and an occasional off-spin bowler, he’s thought of as one of the most effective fielders in world cricket.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra– Vidhu Vinod Chopra is an Indian film director, screenwriter and producer. Parinda, 1942: A Love Story , Munna Bhai film series (Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and Lage Raho Munna Bhai) and 3 Idiots are some of his highly popular films.
Suresh Raina– Suresh Kumar Raina is an Indian professional cricketer. An aggressive left-handed middle-order batsman and an occasional off-spin bowler, he is considered as one of the best fielders in world cricket.
More tips from my Kashmir travel Experience
1) Understand your trip plan very cautiously like how many points cab driver will take you. Take everything written.
2) Set your payment plan while booking a cab at a travel agency. Like how much you will pay in advance and how much will you in subsequent phases.
3) Tell your driver clearly that he should stop where ever you want.
4) Take your Songs inventory (of your choice) with you otherwise, you may end up other songs, not of your choice.
5) Check that your driver had proper sleep because it is very risky to drive on Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
6) Don’t pre-book your hotel or houseboat. Without seeing you should not decide.
7) Do thorough research on the internet about good hotels, restaurant, houseboats, and prices etc.
8) Always leave early for Gulmarg and Pahalgam else you may miss a few beautiful places.
9) Make a proper Itinerary and stick to your plan. Don’t trust your driver or Local people; they will tell you things beneficial to them only.
10) Have all important contact numbers with you.
11) Don’t buy Chingu from any shop in Kashmir.
12) Make sure your TV, Geyser and other appliances are working in a hotel room.
13) Try to bargain for everything there. For Shawl, carpets and other local made things, you can expect a discount of up to 70%. Don’t hesitate in speaking your price.
14) There are benefits of booking vehicle on day to day basis. It would be up to you to drop the vehicle if the behavior of driver does not suit; whereas you can always continue the driver if his behavior is okay!
15) Even if you book a vehicle for the whole trip, don’t give more than one days fare as advance. Several time drivers insist on getting the tank full for the whole trip, but you would have to deny it.
16) Take Postpaid mobiles only, as prepaid mobiles from outside the state are banned by Government and will not work.
17) Weather in Kashmir is very unpredictable. Get some woolen clothes and raincoat along with umbrella which is required while staying in the Hotel. Otherwise, Raincoats and Snow Jackets are easily available for Rent in Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam etc.
18) While booking Hotel asks for a price with a room heater and electric blanket (for all season) and Warm water availability. Always bargain. Why should you feel shy if Kashmiris don’t feel it when quoting astronomical prices? As I said earlier, Kashmiris have got a lot of Experience in tourism; they leave no stone unturned to extract money from their big source: TOURIST.
19) If you are a couple or going in a small group then always prefer Jammu Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) buses (Available near Tourist Reception Center (TRC)). They run especially for tourist and are on same day return pattern. If you are planning to halt then return by a bus next day evening then book tickets accordingly. They are very cheap compared to Taxi (Rs. 220 v/s Rs. 2200) and are very reliable. Don’t buy things where the driver of bus stops. They also might have a commission. Reach the destination and look out for things on your own.
20) Only buy Dry-fruits (Walnut, Almond and pista nuts only, other dry-fruits are imported). Don’t buy clothes and shawls (even from villages). All are very costly and are imported from Amritsar and Delhi.
21) Take precautions while going high altitude, some breathing problem may occur.
22) Never believe on the words of locals, howsoever nice, hospitable and reliable they seem to be. Everyone is linked with the nexus of commission. Always discover your own ways and decide according to your wish.
23) Never follows the advice of Hotel receptionist or Taxi driver (remember Commission Nexus).
24) Never opt for photography by Local Photographer.
22) Pony Ride: Never agree to the amount of which Pony-wala tells you at first. Start with 10 % of that amount and settle within 20 %. Always be ready to walk up to the point. It’s easy and more enjoyable. Never believe the words of Pony-wala about the difficulties and dangers. Don’t argue or bargain too much.
23) Shikara Ride: Rates are displayed everywhere in Dal lake. Even in that, bargain a little.