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Northern India is dotted with picturesque mountain resorts and exotic valleys , but outshining them all is the Valley of Kashmir. Centuries ago the Mogul emperors converted this magnificent land into their abode of pleasure and relaxation. For many today, it remains the nearest thing to a "paradise on earth"!

Bordered by Pakistan and China and nestled among the slopes of the giant snowcapped Himalayas, it is abundantly filled with lakes and streams and cool breezes. Srinaga, its capital, is 5,200 feet above sea level and is not far from Nanga Parbat peak, which reaches 26,660 feet into the sky.

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At this time of year the snows have sufficiently melted so that the fields become ablaze with wildflowers. The mystical houseboats that line the shores of Dal Lake have been spruced up with new paint and are ready for summer visitors from around the world.

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