A small peaceful town that offers a calm vacation away from the hustle and bustle of cities, Kishtwar is a travel destination less spoken about. The place boasts fascinating mountains, panoramic vistas of pristine rivers and flowering grasslands, and charming spots make it one of the best travel destinations in Jammu and Kashmir. No less than a nature lover’s paradise, this beaut place is also called the Land of Sapphire and Saffron, is a great pick for a holiday in Jammu Region.
The picturesque hill station of Kishtwar is nestled in the lap of the beautiful and majestic Himalayas. Its snow-capped mountains, tranquil rivers, green valleys and virgin beauty make it one of the best travel destinations in Jammu & Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 1700 m to 4800 m, this hill destination is surrounded by many waterfalls and offers numerous trekking routes that give way to some spectacular views. Kishtwar is famous for its rare blue sapphire and high quality saffron and hence, it is also known as 'The Land of Sapphire and Saffron.'
In the northeastern side of Jammu Region, Kishtwar is an upland valley which boasts the majestic view of the Naginshiru Peak. Chenab River and the Himalayan mountains adorn this valley in Jammu and make it an ideal travel destination for those seeking some adventure along with the blend of spirituality and history.
The district is home to one of the biggest mosques of Jammu & Kashmir, Jamia Masjid that sits in the heart of Kishtwar city. This 110 years old mosque was built by Shah Akhyar-ud-Din and it has the capacity to accommodate around 5000 people at a time. Climb to the top of its minarets to have a bird's eye view of the city and you won't be disappointed! Another religious site in Kishtwar is famous shrine of Shah Asrar-ud-Din that takes one on a journey of spiritual enlightenment. Located on the South eastern corner of Chowgan, this shrine was built by a saint Shah Asrar-ud-Din who was famous for performing miracles. The shrine of Shah Farid-ud-Din Bagdadi, situated at a distance of 1.5 km away from the main bus stand, is another famous tourist attraction near Kishtwar. The nearby Sarthal Devi Temple is a Hindu religious site. The temple is dedicated to an incarnation of Goddess Durga and has a shrine of the 18 armed goddess. Amongst the major attractions of Kishtwar is the high altitude Kishtwar National Park boasting a rich variety of flora and fauna.
This place is a wildlife lover's haven to witness some of the most exquisite animals of the Great Himalayas like the Snow Leopard, Ibex, Musk Deer and Himalayan Bear. The district's top attraction for history buffs include the old fort of Bhandarkoot, located at a distance of 12 km from Kishtwar. It is one of the best places to visit near the city if you take a keen interest in Hindu mythology. According to local legend, this was the place where Lord Rama performed the last rites of Jatayu. It is also the confluence place of two rivers, the Chenab and the Mariv Soder.
Chowgan is a major tourist attraction near Kishtwar. This captivating and lush green natural ground is ideal to relax amongst the majestic Chinar and Pine trees. A trip to Kishtwar is incomplete without visiting the Pochall Village, if you want to see saffron cultivation. Treat your eyes to the spectacular and captivating beauty of the purple saffron flowers spread like carpets over the fields. Visit during the months of October and November and be awestruck by the gloriousness of the fully bloomed saffron flowers.
With its famous Bakerwals Silver Jewelry and local handmade Kishtwari craft like woolen blankets, shawls and Gaba, and spices like saffron, cloves, and cardamom, Kishtwar is a dream destination for shoppers. The destination also offers a peek inside the local cuisines and taste. At Kishtwar, you can relish Kashmiri vegetarian dishes like Aloo in yoghurt, Lotus root curry, fried paneer in red sauce. Non-vegetarians can savour the taste of authentic Rogan Josha, Rista, Yakhni, Tabak Maz and Chicken preparations. Kishtwar is also popular for local Rajma and rice, Anar danay ki Chutney, Gucchi Pulaow, Sticky white Meetha Bhaat and Kasrod. There are few traditional dishes like Makki ki Roti and Saag, Bhothray (Khamera) & Sabzi, and Namkeen Chai with local Kulcha are the must-try here.
From the beautiful Chenab River and the rich wildlife of the Kishtwar National Park to the serenity of the many shrines and temples and the charming mountain passes and glaciers, the beautiful hill station of Kishtwar offers you a plethora of tourist attractions and things to do to satiate all your travel desires.
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