Mahmood A Shah, Director of Tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, was in Bangalore recently to received an award for India’s northernmost state. Jammu and Kashmir won the award for the best adventure tourism destination in the Indian International Travel Mart (IITM), a major travel show that ran from July 21 to 23 in Bangalore. The award recognizes a side of Jammu and Kashmir that has been gaining prominence in recent years. Nearly four centuries after the Mughal emperor Jehangir called Kashmir ‘heaven on earth’, the state is now being seen as a destination for adventure sports. And these photos will show you why. ALSO READ: Jammu and Kashmir Valley to get glass-roofed Vistadome train coaches for Europe-like experience
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Paragliding at Sanasar in Jammu

Zorbing at Baisaran Valley in Pahalgam, Kashmir

Photograph Courtesy: Ankur P/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Ankur P/Creative Commons

A cable car going up to the top of a ski slope in Gulmarg, Kashmir

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock



A hot air balloon rising up from Gulmarg

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Kashmiri mountain guide Irshad Taj in a backcountry trip in Gulmarg

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

A cyclist couple stop to take in the view of the Himalayas in J&K

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Rafting on the Zanskar River in Leh, Ladakh

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Bikers making the pilgrimage to Leh, Ladakh

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Camping along the mighty Indus River flowing through Ladakh

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

A woman makes her way along the Markha valley trek route in Ladakh

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

A cyclist takes in the fresh mountain air of Jammu and Kashmir

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

Photograph Courtesy: Shutterstock

The state’s tourism department has worked pretty hard to promote Kashmir as an adventure tourism destination, and for good reason. The state has some of the best ski slopes in India, rivaling that of the pristine European Alps. The rugged terrain of Ladakh has woken up the adventure in thousands of travelers in the past years. The loud and angry waters of the Indus River have lured in plenty of white water rafters and kayakers, while the lush green slopes and pine-covered mountain forests of Kashmir have plenty of trekking trails to explore. Also Read - Jammu and Kashmir: 3 Jaish Terrorists, Including Bomb Expert, Killed in Pulwama Encounter

Interestingly, the state is now focusing on bringing more tourists from south India as the number of arrivals from Maharashtra and Gujarat declines. The two states have traditionally drawn the most tourists to Kashmir. This marks the third year that the state won the IITM award for best adventure tourism destination. NOW READ: 8 photos that prove Jammu & Kashmir is paradise on Earth
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