Baramulla is a small city in Jammu and Kashmir that is blessed with uninhibited natural beauty. Enveloped by the magnanimous Himalayas on all sides and resting on the banks of the mighty River Jhelum, this city has been endowed with a mesmerisingly scenic landscape like nowhere else. This city has many scenic attractions like Gulmarg, Khilanmarg, Wular Lake, etc. which are endowed with a beguiling and riveting natural beauty. The city also houses historical monuments like Buddhist stupas and religious establishments like monasteries, temples and mosques that draw the attention of the tourists from far and wide.
The name Baramulla is derived from a Sanskrit where Bara means boar and Mulla means molar. According to ancient texts, the Kashmir Valley was actually a lake named 'Satiasaras' which means Parvati's lake in Sanskrit. The lake had been taken over by a demon called Jalodbhava rendering the waters of the lake unusable to the locals. Lord Vishnu destroyed this demon by assuming the form of a boar and striking the adjacent mountain so hard that all the water of the lake flew out, which led to the uncovering of the enthralling city of Baramulla.
Owing to its unprecedented scenic beauty, Gulmarg is by far the most popular attraction in Baramulla. Described as heaven on earth by locals and tourists, it is renowned for its habitation of exotic flora and hence is named Gulmarg which literally means valley of flowers. Since it is blessed with such a beautiful landscape, Gulmarg is famous for its trekking routes too.
The Eco Park in Khadniyar rests on an island in the Jhelum River and is enveloped in a mesmerizing scenery- the mighty Himalayas crowning the island with a thousand dense green trees flanked on all sides. It is the favourite relaxation getaway for the locals.
Lalityaditya Muktapid, the king of Kashmir in the 8th century founded the town of Parihaspora. This town is famous for its unique archaeological monuments. The town houses a Buddhist stupa, and a monastery and excavations here found a few Vishnu temples, Raj Bhawan and a Chaitya. They were all built with large stones like in the ancient times.
Ziarat of Baba Reshi
The Ziarat of Baba Reshi is the most popular Muslim shrine and is dedicated to a well-known Muslim saint, Baba Payam-Din. Baba Payam-Din spent the last few days praying and meditating where the shrine is built now. The grave of the Muslim saint lies here and is covered with a cloth decorated with the traditional and unique workmanship. They say that visiting this shrine grants your innermost wishes and devotees who got their wishes fulfilled come back to make grateful offerings to the lord and the saint.
The Wular lake is the second largest freshwater lake in the entire Asian continent with a length of a whopping 24 kms and a breadth of 10 kms. The River Jhelum is the main source of water for this lake. There is a small island that rests in the centre of the lake named Zaina Lank. The lake is popular as a boating destination and a sunset point.
Khilanmarg is one of the most scenically gifted spots of Baramulla and hence is a popular picnic spot for the locals as well as the tourists. It has a meadow of a vibrantly coloured carpet of flowers that will lift your spirits like nothing else. Khilanmarg provides a panoramic and picturesque view of the valleys of Kashmir and the Himalayan mountain ranges.
There are other attractions that attract the attention of the tourists like Bandipore, Sopur, Alpathar Lake, Shiva Temple, etc.
Raja Bhimsina founded the city of Baramulla in 2306 BC. The geographical location of the city made it the gateway to the Kashmir Valley as it is situated between Muzaffarabad in POK, and Rawalpindi in Pakistan.
Since the 15th century, Baramulla has become an important religious destination for Muslims. The renowned Muslim saint, Syed Janbaz Wali, visited Baramulla along with his companions and disciples in 1421 AD and chose it to be the centre of his mission. He was even buried here after his death. His shrine attracts pilgrims from all over the country and beyond national borders too. In 1894 AD, the sixth Sikh Guru Shri Hargobind visited the city. Baramulla thus became an abode of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Sikhs living in harmony and contributing to a rich composite culture.
Many other prominent personalities have visited Baramulla too- The famous Chinese visitor Heiun T'Sang and the British historian, Moorcraft. The Mughal Emperors also had a special interest in Baramulla. Since it was the gateway to the valley, it was the emperors' favourite halting station during their visits to the Valley.
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Winters in Baramulla experience a temperature drop of up to -10 degrees Celsius, but the blanket of snow that covers the city makes it hypnotically beautiful. The summers are mild with the temperature reaching a high of 32 degrees Celsius. This is the best time to be able to walk around the city and fully explore every nook and corner. All in all, the city is a feast for the eyes and a treat for the soul any time of the year.
The cheapest way to reach Baramulla from Jammu takes you 8hours 34 minutes, which is to take State Transport Bus from Jammu to Baramulla.
Air: The closest airport to Baramulla is the Srinagar Airport (SXR) which is 46 kms away. Since the air traffic to Srinagar Airport is not very frequent and regular, you can also opt to land at Satwari Airport (IXJ) which is 175 kms away. Prepaid taxis are available at the airport that will take you to Baramulla speedily and affordably.
Rail: Baramulla does not have its own rail head. The closest railway station is the Jammu Railway station at a distance of 174 kms and is well connected to all the important cities in and around the state. You can hail a cab that will take you to Baramulla in no time and at affordable rates.
Road: Baramulla Bus Station has buses plying in and out frequently and the buses will connect you to all the important spots of the city at very cheap rates.
Make sure that you find out about the political condition in Kashmir before going there.
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