The northern Indian region of Kashmir, a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is a land of pristine natural beauty which beckons tourists from around the world. Rich biogeography, history and location amidst the cool environs of Himalayas make it a top tourist destination. The economy of the state is oriented towards tourism and export of agriculture products.
Extravagant natural beauty is one of its main attractions. It is also home to the Hindu pilgrimage centre of Amarnath and the Kheer Bhawani temple. Shrines of Muslim saints, such as at Hazartbal, are visited by Muslims from all over the country. Kashmir also has rich cultural elements which are evident in its typical style of folklore music, dances (Dumhal), cuisines (Dum Aloo), handicrafts including pottery, wooden articles and the items of clothing and home furnishings for which it is famous.
Tourists rejoice at its wonderfully laid out gardens (Nishat and Shalimar), water bodies (Dal Lake), fruit orchards, riding on shikaras, staying at the houseboats and relishing its unique spices and plantation products. A number of hill stations such as Sonmarg, Gulmarg and Pahalgam provide the opportunity to tourists to engage in a number of winter sporting activities such as skiing.