The most dominant of all Kashmir languages is the native Kashmiri
language. Other common languages of Kashmir valley are Urdu, Hindi and
English. The following lines provide more information about the major
languages spoken in Kashmir: Kashmiri Majority of the population in
Kashmiri is an Indo-Aryan language and is popularly known as Koshur.
The Muslim population in Kashmir speaks Urdu language. An Indo-European language, it sounds very much similar to Hindi. Also, Urdu is the only language that is written and read from right to left.
The second most spoken language of Kashmir is Hindi. It is mainly spoken by the Kashmiri Pandits and the Gujjar population of Kashmir.
You will easily find locals conversing in English in Kashmir, especially the businessmen, guides, etc.
The main means and mode of transport in Kashmir are the Mini buses and Taxis.
Apart from that also, there are some other ways of commuting in the valley. Read
on the this Kashmir transportation guide to know more about local transport in
Luxury coaches are available for tourists for the purpose of local sightseeing. The buses are operated by J&K Tourism Development Corporation (J&K TDC) and the J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&K SRTC).
Taxis are easily available for local sightseeing as well as trips and excursions out of Srinagar.
Mini buses are the most common and widely used local transport in Kashmir. The buses operate throughout the city as well as the suburban areas on fixed routes.
Throughout the city, auto rickshaws are easily available for the purpose of commuting.
The valley of Kashmir occupies the topmost position in the map of India.
Kashmir, along with the region of Jammu, Ladakh and Gilgit forms the State of
Jammu and Kashmir. From the numerous valleys situated in the state, Kashmir
Valley is the biggest one, spread over an area of 105 sq km. Located
approximately 1730 m above the sea level; it has Tibet in its east and Pakistan
China and CIS in its west. The south of Kashmir is bordered by Punjab, while on
the southwest is Himachal Pradesh.
Jammu and Kashmir location is between 32.17" and 36.58" North altitude and East to West, the State lies between 73.26" and 80.30" longitude. In case of latitude, Jammu and Kashmir matches up with South Carolina (North America), Fez (Morracco), Damascus, Baghdad and Peshawar (Pakistan). The standard time in Kashmir is 5.30 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and has a difference of half an hour with the local time.
The geographical location of Kashmir is such that it is surrounded by a number of foreign countries. This makes the Kashmir valley very important from strategic angle. As far as the geography of Kashmir is concerned, the valley has River Jhelum flowing through it, along with its tributaries.
For anyone interested in visiting the valley, the first question is "when to visit Kashmir, India" or the ideal time to visit the Kashmir valley. Well Kashmir is all-season destination but still the best time to visit Kashmir is during the months of March to October. During this period the weather conditions in Kashmir are at their best. This period covers three seasons in Kashmir i.e., spring (March-early May), summers (early May-late August) and autumn (September-November). The blossoms of spring, the cool weather of summer and the gold and red hues of autumn all provide the peak season for Kashmir travel. From December to early March is the winter season for Kashmir, when the entire valley wears a white blanket of snow. For those, who enjoy chilling weather and are interested in skiing, winter is the time to be in Kashmir.
Hiring tourist guides, while visiting a new place is a good idea. Otherwise, you are likely to miss excellent, but little known, attractions of the place. You if you are planning to visit the Kashmir valley, it will prove to be beneficial to hire a tourist guide for local sightseeing etc.
Tourist guides in Kashmir are easily available and most of them speak fluently in English. Some of them even know French, German, Japanese, etc. However, one needs to exercise a little caution while hiring as well as while dealing with the tourist guides in Kashmir, as well as any other city in India. Given below are some tips for handling Kashmir guides:
- Try to avoid hiring tourist guides that are not registered with the government or the tourism department. However, you can always hire the ones recommended by your hotel authorities.
- Don't get too friendly with the guides. Be polite and give them due respect, but maintain a little distance.
- Do not talk about money matters or take out too much cash in front of them.
- Just like everywhere else, you can always bargain with the tourist guides in Kashmir also.
- If you want, you may give some money in advance. However, reserve the major
portion of the tip till the end of their service.
Kashmir weather is
quite erratic. However, the climate of Kashmir can be divided into four seasons,
namely spring, summer, autumn and winter. Read on to further explore the weather
and climate of Kashmir, India:
The spring season starts in March and lasts up to early May. The average temperature during spring season ranges from 23° C to 6° C. Brief showers, light winds and blossoming flowers characterize this season. Along with that, the whole of Kashmir stands blanketed in the hues of green.
Starting from May, the summer season extends up to the end of August. The climatic conditions of Kashmir in summers are not quite hot. In Srinagar, you may even require to put on light woolens in summers. The average temperature in the daytime falls in the range of 25° C to 35° C. Kashmir is the most sought after hill station during summers.
With the onset of September, comes the time for the autumn season. The whole region gets covered in the hues of first gold, then russet and then red. The average temperature during autumn hovers around 23° C (max) to 10° C (min). The season lasts till late November, by which time the need for heavy woolens starts mounting.
Stretching from December to early March is the winter season in Kashmir. Covered with snow throughout, Kashmir looks like a picture straight out of a fairytale.
As Kashmir valley is a
popular destination on the tourist map of India there are various types of
eating outs and restaurants in all the tourist destinations. There are numerous
restaurants in the valley ranging from garden cafes to the ones serving Chinese
cuisine. They are mainly located on the Boulevard, Shervani (Residency) Road,
Lambert Lane and Lal Chowk. Also, almost all the major hotels in Kashmir have
restaurants that serve cuisines ranging from Indian to Continental to Kashmiri.
In the following lines, we solve the problem of "where to eat in Kashmir". Read
on to know about restaurants and eateries in Srinagar city of Kashmir.
J&KTDC Nun-Kun Restaurant (near Nehru Park)
Alka Salka (Shervani Road)
Mughal Durbar (Shervani Road)
Ahdoos (Shervani Road)
Ruby (Lambert Lane)
Juniper (Lal Chowk)
Solace (Shervani Road)
Tao Cafe (Shervani Road)