Kashmir, also known as Cashmere, is the northerwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Today Kashmir refers to a much larger area that includes the regions of Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh. The main "Valley of Kashmir" is a low-lying fertile region surrounded by magnificent mountains and fed by many rivers. It is renowned for its natural beauty and quaint lifestyle.
Kashmir is derived from the Sanskrit "Kashyapa" + "Mira", which means the mountain range of sage Kashyapa. Srinagar, the ancient capital, lies alongside Dal Lake and is famous for its canals and houseboats. Srinagar (alt. 1,600 m. or 5,200 ft.) served as a favoured summer capital for many foreign conquerors who found the heat of the Northern Indian plains in the summer season to be oppressive. Just outside the city are the beautiful Shalimar, Nishat and Chashmashahi gardens created by Mughal emperors.
Kashmir was one of the most important centres of Buddhism in India. Kashmir retained a strong influence of Buddhism despite the influence of Kashmir Saivism and the various Sufi Orders of Islam. Following are some gorgeous pictures of Kashmir in Winter.