The paradise on earth, Jammu and Kashmir, is known for the best of panoramic landscape that leaves its guests spellbound. Moreover, it is also a home to a rich cultural heritage, which is best reflected in its fairs and festivals. The festivities of the state that are widely celebrated across the state with much zeal and gaiety showcase the true culture and tradition of the state and the real sense of ‘Unity in Diversity’.
Apart from the National festivals like Republic Day, Independence Day and the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Jammu and Kashmir has some numerous other local festivals. These local festivals are considered the best to shop for the rural artifacts and to enjoy the colourful cultural programmes. People can be seen dancing and sharing sweets after completing the religious obligations associated to these festivals.
The tourism department of J&K organizes a number of fairs and festivals to promote the tourism in the state. A few major festivals of Jammu and Kashmir are:
* Lohri or Makar Sankranti (characterized by colorful processions and the Chhajja dance)
* Bahu Mela (organized twice a year at the Kali temple in Bahu Fort of Jammu)
* Jhiri Mela (held in the memory of a poor farmer who committed suicide to protest against the unfair demands of his landlord)
* Mansar Food And Craft Mela (a three-day fair organized during Baisakhi season on the banks of the Mansar Lake)
* Chaitre Chaudash Mela (during March-April at Uttar Behni, 25 km from Jammu)
* Purmandal Mela (held at Purmandal, 39 km from Jammu, on the occasion of Maha Shivratri)
* Navratras (characterized by nine days of fasting)
* Hemis Festival (a religious fair at Hemis Gompa in Leh that is marked by masked dances and other festivities by the Lamas)
* Sindhu Darshan Festival (celebrated in honor of the River Indus or the Sindhu River)
* Eid-ul-Azha (to commemorate Prophet Abraham, who agreed to sacrifice his son to God)
* Eid-ul-Fitr (marks the end of the fasting month of Ramzan)
Men and women can be seen wearing colorful cummerbunds and bright headdresses & lots of jewelery respectively along with with traditional attires. Kashmiris are addicted to celebrations, which are the best tourist attractions of Jammu and Kashmir. They fill the heart and soul of every traveller with countless colors.