Anantnag District is one of the six districts of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir forms the Kashmir valley. Anantnag is the southern-most district of the Kashmir valley. It shares its borders with district Pulwama, Rajouri, Udhampur Doba. Amongst all the districts of the state, Anantnag is blessed with the largest number of streams (Nallas) like Sandran, Brengi, Arpath and Lidder. The most important among these is Lidder which takes off from Sheshnag lake and provide water to maximum area of the district. As per the report of Revenue authorities, the district consists of twelve Tehsils and 395 Villages. For Law & Order purposes there are 09 Police Stations and 06 Police Posts in the district.
Because of the proximity of Peer Panchal Range, in the South and South-East, the district has a moderate climate in summer than other districts of the Valley. In winter, however, snowfall is heavier and temperature is relatively low. Being surrounded by mountains on two sides, the monsoon seldom reach the district. The rainfall is often excessive in spring season, moderate in summer, very less in autumn and moderate in winter. The name of Anantnag District came from the great spring Ananta Naga flowing at the southern part of the District. Anantnag is also known as Islamabad among the common people. It is believed that the name was given by a Mughal governor Islam Khan who built a garden in the area.
Anantnag is famous among the tourists for its various shrines which are of religious importance to both Muslims and Hindus. Shri Amarnath ji cave, Hazrat Zain-ud-Din wali, Goswami Gund Ashram, Shilagram Temple and Nila Nag are some of the prominent shrines in the district of Anantnag. Apart from these it is a key place from where many tourist spots can be accessed in Kashmir valley. Anantnag is perfect blend of scenic beauty and pleasant climate for people looking for photography and sightseeing. Some of the famous tourist attractions of Anantnag is as follows.
Verinag headed straight toward Jammu is one more spring of incredible significance and excellence with dark blue water which additionally issues from the lower part of high scarp of a mountain prod and here Mugal Emperor Jehangir assembled a delight garden and a mid-year house. An octagonal asphalt has been raised around the spring by the Emperor Jehangir. The Emperor was captivated by the excellence of Verignag to the degree that while dying at Chengas town close to Rajouri he wished to be covered at Verinag. Also, after the culmination of the development plan of the spring and the close by garden he has composed that the explorer who has gone through the earth can scarcely give any illustration of somewhere else of such a stunner. This traveler resort is in Tehsil Shahabad Bala and is around 26 Kms from Anantnag Town. A traveler cabin, a rest house and a few cottages have been built at this spot.
Achabal, Maybe the most gorgeous of the relative multitude of springs is Achabal which spouts out of the Sonsanwar Hill and was on the double enrolled by the Emperor Jehangir in the assistance of magnificence and joy. It is said that the Brengi Nallah which vanishes at Dewalgam in the gaps of limestone is the genuine wellspring of the Achabal Spring. The water of this spring which courses through this nursery in three channels, is enhancing and ornamenting this terraced garden past creative mind. The wellsprings that have been laid through the water channels add to the appeal of this Mughal garden. The wellbeing resort of Achabal lies in the south east of the District a good ways off of 09 Kms from the area settle.
Kokernag, this health resort lies in the South East of the District at a distance of 25 Kms. A famous spring called “Kokernag” gushes out from the foot of the nearby hill covered with evergreen pine trees. A terraced garden and a Botanical garden with delicately maintained flower beds of different varieties and hues covered and protected with beautifully pruned evergreen shrubs and the existence of lofty and majestic chinars is an enchanting sight to be imbibed. The music of the health giving, refreshing and appetizing running waters of the stream have left little chances of not to be enchanted and mesmerized by this heavenly touch. This beautiful garden has been developed during the rule of Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad. Keeping this attraction and irresistible appeal of this tourist spot in view, Tourism infrastructure is also being developed through Tourist Development Corporation by way of construction of rest houses, tourist huts and expansion of other facilities. While enjoying the rejuvenating and invigorating feast of this destination one cannot miss to notice the Asia’s biggest trout rearing farm situated on the western side of this garden.
Pahalgam is one of the famous health resorts of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the north east of the district Anantnag. Pahalgam is enclosed by beautiful mountain ranges covered with evergreen forest. The cool and pleasant climate and beauty of Lidder Nallah attract tourists from all over the world. It is also a main camp site for the pilgrims to holy Amarnath Cave, which is around 70 Kms away from Anantnag. Pahalgam is well connected to Srinagar and Jammu via roads. State bus services, private bus services and taxis are available from Anantnag, Jammu and Srinagar to reach Pahalgam.
Anantnag is famous for the holy Amarnathji cave situated at an altitude of about 13000ft at Mount Amarnath. But the Amarnath peak which is mountain peak of height 17014 ft from sea level, is situated in Ganderbal district of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Amarnath Temple or the Amarnath cave is a Hindu shrine surrounded by snowy mountains attracts pilgrims from all over the country. Hindu devotees visit this place in large numbers especially from June to August to seek blessings and also to enjoy the scenic beauty.
Village Aishmuqam is very well known in every part of Kashmir on account of the historical Shrine of Sheikh Zain-ud-din who lived in the fifteenth century AD and was one of the principal disciples of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din, the leading Rishi of Kashmir. The Shrine is situated on a hillock, about 20 Kms short of the famous hill resort of Pahalgam overlooking the Lidder Valley. The Shrine is a lovely master piece of medieval shrine architecture. The road to the Shrine branches off to the right from main Anantnag-Pahalgam road. The mausoleum is located inside a deep cave atop the hill, about 100 metres higher than the main road.
For promoting tourism in Anantnag government has started building new infrastructure including cafeterias, huts and resorts under Prime Minister Development Project. Anantnag is a very beautiful district with many potential tourist spots. Alongwith development in infrastructure government should make an effort to give wide publicity to the potential tourist spots and unique food culture of Anantnag on social media and on other digital platforms. Adventurous sports can also be introduced to attract tourists. Increase in tourism will help the local populace to improve their standard of living and which will eventually reduce radicalization.