About Jammu & Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India, often denoted by the acronym J&K. It is located mostly in the Himalayan Mountains, and shares borders with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, and the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir consists of three regions: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is the summer capital, and Jammu is the winter capital. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in India with a Muslim-majority population. The Kashmir valley is famous for its beautiful mountainous landscape, and Jammu’s numerous shrines attract tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims every year. Ladakh, also known as “Little Tibet”, is renowned for its remote mountain beauty and Buddhist culture.
Jammu and Kashmir’s economy is predominantly dependent on agriculture and allied activities. The Kashmir valley is known for its sericulture and cold-water fisheries. Wood from Kashmir is used to make high-quality cricket bats, popularly known as Kashmir Willow. Kashmiri saffron is very famous and brings the state a handsome amount of foreign exchange. Agricultural exports from Jammu and Kashmir include apples, barley, cherries, corn, millet, oranges, rice, peaches, pears, saffron, sorghum, vegetables, and wheat, while manufactured exports include handicrafts, rugs, and shawls.
The Doda district has deposits of high-grade sapphire. Though small, the manufacturing and services sector is growing rapidly, especially in the Jammu division. In recent years, several consumer goods companies have opened manufacturing units in the region.
The Government of India has been keen to economically integrate Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of India. The state is one of the largest recipients of grants from New Delhi, totaling US$812 million per year. It has a mere 4% incidence of poverty, one of the lowest in the country.
In an attempt to improve the infrastructure in the state, Indian Railways is constructing the ambitious Kashmir Railway project at a cost of more than US$2.5 billion. Trains run on the 130 km Baramula-Banihal section. The 17.5 km Qazigund-Banihal section through the 11 km long Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel was commissioned. Udhampur-Katra section of the track was commissioned early in July 2014. The Katra-Banihal section is under construction.
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