A Kashmiri fisherman rows his Shikara at the Dal Lake

A Kashmiri fisherman rows his Shikara, or traditional boat, during sunset at the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir.
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Khardung La

Khardung La… (Khardung Pass, la means pass in Tibetan) is a mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The local pronunciation is “Khardong La” or “Khardzong La,” but, as with most names in Ladakh, the romanised spelling varies.

The pass on the Ladakh Range lies north of Leh and is the gateway to the Shyok and Nubra valleys. The Siachen Glacier lies part way up the latter valley. Built in 1976, it was opened to public motor vehicles in 1988 and has since seen many automobile, motorbike and mountain biking expeditions. Maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, the pass is strategically important to India as it is used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier.
The elevation of Khardung La is 5,359 m (17,582 ft) Local summit signs and dozens of stores selling shirts in Leh incorrectly claim that its elevation is in the vicinity of 5,602 m (18,379 ft) metres and that it is the world’s highest motorable pass. Khardong La is historically important as it lies on the major caravan route from Leh to Kashgar in Central Asia. About 10,000 horses and camels used to take the route annually, and a small population of Bactrian camels can still be seen at Hunder, in the area north of the pass. During World War II there was an attempt to transfer war material to China through this route.

Khardung La office and shop

Khardung La is situated 39 km by road from Leh. The first 24 km, as far as the South Pullu check point, are paved. From there to the North Pullu check point about 15 km beyond the pass the roadway is primarily loose rock, dirt, and occasional rivulets of snow melt. However, this pass is in better repair than many of the surrounding passes (Tanglang La, for example). From North Pullu into the Nubra Valley, the road is very well maintained (except in a very few places where washouts or falling rock occur). Hired vehicles (2 and 4-wheel-drive), heavy trucks, and motorcycles regularly travel into the Nubra Valley, though special permits may need to be arranged for travellers to make the journey.
Elevation 
The claimed 18380 feet signboard on top. The actual elevation is about 800 feet lower. The 5,359 m (17,582 ft) elevation measure from hundreds of GPS surveys accurately matches SRTM data, ASTER GDEM data, and Russian topographic mapping, and it is broadly consistent with numerous GPS reports.
The world’s highest motorable claim 
Khardung La is widely but incorrectly believed to be the highest vehicle-accessible pass in the world. A well-graded Indian military road (visible on 2011 imagery on visual globe systems such as Google Earth) reaches 5,610 metres (18,406 ft) 250 meters west of the 5,545 metres (18,192 ft) Mana Pass on the India – Tibet border. It connects with an equally well-constructed, slightly lower Chinese military road based on SRTM data at posting intervals of 30 meters. There are also higher motorable passes at Suge La, west of Lhasa, 5,430 m (17,815 feet), and Semo La 5,565 m (18,258 feet), between Raka and Coqen in Central Tibet. Modern GPS and SRTM data confirms these elevations; the latter was also measured by an expedition supported by the Cartographic Institute of Catalonia, Spain. Vehicles have been driven over the 5,582 metres (18,314 ft) Marsimik La, in the Indian Karakoram to the north-east of Khardung La, but it is debatable whether this pass should be considered to be motorable.
Access 
The nearest sizable town is Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Leh is connected by road from Manali and Srinagar, and daily flights are operated from Delhi. From Leh, a daily bus service to Nubra Valley passes over Khardungla which may also be reached by a hired car with an experienced driver or by bike. The two bases on either side of Khardong La are North Pullu and South Pullu. An Inner Line Permit (ILP) which can be acquired at the DC’s office in Leh is required for foreign, not domestic[2] tourists. Travelers are required to check in en route and must provide photocopies of the permits to be deposited at each checkpoint. Altitude sickness is a serious health concern for travellers not previously acclimatized to high altitudes. Prophylactic altitude-sickness medication like acetazolamide may be necessary for some travellers as there are no emergency medical facilities to treat altitude sickness along the route. The road is closed annually from approximately October to May due to snow and is often subject to long travel delays due to traffic congestion on narrow one-lane sections, washouts, landslides and road accidents.

Sheshnag Lake

Sheshnag Lake is an alpine high altitude oligotrophic lake situated at the track leading to Amarnath cave 23 kilometers from Pahalgam in Anantnag district of Kashmir valley in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir at an elevation of 3590 meters. It has a maximum length of 1.1 kilometers and maximum width of 0.7 kilometers.

Etymology, geography 
According to the Hindu mythology Sheshnag means the king of snakes and the lake was dug by Sheshnag himself. It is believed by the Hindus that Sheshnag stays in this Lake even today.[4] It is one of the most ancient places of pilgrimage for the Hindus, as it lies on the track of Amarnath cave.

Sheshnag Lake is home to many types of fishes among of which is the brown trout. It freezes during winter, and is inaccessible during this season due to heavy snowfall. It is surrounded by green lush meadows and mountains covered by snow. Sheshnag Lake is one of the famous tourist destination in Kashmir Valley. It is mostly fed by melting of snow and streams coming down from mountain tops. It drains out through a stream which joins Lidder River at Pahalgam.

Access 

Sheshnag Lake is situated 120 kilometers east from Srinagar and 23 km from Pahalgam. It can be accessed 113 km by road up to Chandanwari from which ponies can be hired to cover a trek of 7 km upslope to reach the Sheshnag Lake. Amarnath cave is situated 20 kilometers north of this lake. The best time to visit the lake is from the month of June to September.

Chashme Shahi

Chashme Shahi or Chashma i Shahi (translation: the royal spring), also called Chashma Shahi, is one of the Mughal gardens built in 1632 AD around a spring by Ali Mardan Khan, a governor of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as per the orders of the Emperor, as a gift for his elder son Prince Dara Shikoh,. The garden is located in the Zabarwan Range, near Raj Bhawan (Governor‘s house) overlooking Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir.

History 
Chashme Shahi originally derives its name from the spring which was discovered by the great female saint of Kashmir, Rupa Bhawani, who was from the Sahib clan of Kashmiri Pandits. The family name of Rupa Bhawani was ‘Sahib’ and the spring was originally called ‘Chashme Sahibi’. Over the years the name got corrupted and today the place is known as Chashme Shahi (the Royal Spring). 
Establishment 
The garden was constructed around the spring by the Mughal Governor Ali Mardan Khan in 1632. It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his eldest son, Dara Sikoh. In the east of Chashma Shahi the Pari Mahal (Fairy Palace) lies where Dara Sikoh used to learn astrology and where he was later killed by his brother Aurengzeb. The garden is 108 m long and 38 m wide and is spread over one acre of land. It is the smallest garden among the three Mughal gardens of Srinagar; the Shalimar garden is the largest and the Nishat garden is the second largest. All the three gardens were built at the left bank of the Dal Lake, with Zabarwan mountains at the backdrop. 

Architecture and the spring 

The garden presents Mughal architecture as used in different Mughal gardens. The artistically build garden has Iranian influence in its art and architecture and the design is based on the Persian gardens. It is built around a fresh water spring, discovered by Rupa Bhawani, which flows through its centre in terraces. The topography and the steepness of the land has led the formation of the garden. The main focus of the garden is the spring which flows down in terraces and is divided into three sections: an aqueduct, waterfall, and fountains. A two-storey Kashmiri hut stands at the first terrace which is the origin of the spring. The water then flows down through a water ramp (chadar) into the second terrace. The second terrace serves as a water pool and a large fountain stands at its centre.

The water again flows down through a water ramp into the third terrace, which is a square five-fountain pool. It is the lowest pool at the entrance of the garden. The visitors are received through a flight of stairs on both sides of the terraces which leads up to the origin of the spring. The English writer and traveler Amit Kumar wrote about the garden that “the little Chashma Shahi is architecturally the most charming of the gardens near Srinagar”. The water of the spring is believed to have some medicinal properties. The former Premier of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, used to get the water of the spring to Delhi. 

Access 
The Chashme Shahi is located within the jurisdiction of Srinagar city, 14 kilometres (9 mi) in the northeast from the Srinagar Airport. It is adjacent to Rajbhawan (Governor’s house). The garden is connected by the Boulevard Road which passes along the banks of the Dal lake. There are many hotels and restaurants available for boarding and lodging near the garden. The garden remains open for tourists from March to November. The best time to visit the garden is from April to October. The garden is at full bloom during May and June. 

Kashmir Timeline

Key dates in Kashmir’s history:

1846 – Creation of the princely state of Kashmir.
1947-8 – Kashmir’s Maharaja hesitates over whether to join India or Pakistan, prompting the two countries to go to war over the territory.
1949 – Kashmir is partitioned between India and Pakistan, with a ceasefire line agreed.
1962 – China defeats India in a brief war in a dispute over the Aksai Chin border area.
1965 – Second Indo-Pakistan war over Kashmir ends in a ceasefire.
Rise of Kashmiri nationalism: Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front is founded with the aim of forming an independent state through the reunification of Indian-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
1972 – Simla Agreement: India and Pakistan formalise the ceasefire line as the Line of Control as part of new resolve to negotiate differences after their war which ended in Bangladesh splitting from Pakistan.

1980-90s – Kashmir insurgency: Discontent over Indian rule leads to armed resistance, mass protests and a rise in Pakistan-backed militant groups. Ten of thousands of people are killed.

1999 – India and Pakistan engage in a brief conflict after militants cross the Line of Control into the Indian-administered district of Kargil.
2008 – India and Pakistan open trade route across the Line of Control for the first time in six decades.
2010 – Anti-India protests in Indian-administered Kashmir in which over 100 youths are killed.
2015 – Political watershed: Elections in Jammu and Kashmir see India’s ruling Hindu nationalist BJP party emerge as a major political player in the region for the first time when it forms part of a coalition government with the regional Muslim People’s Democratic Party.