Jammu and Kashmir, (often abbreviated as Kashmir), is the northern-most state of Republic of India, lying mostly in the Himalayan mountains. Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with Himachal Pradesh to the south, Pakistan to the west and People’s Republic of China to the north and the east. Srinagar is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir consists of three divisions: Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. Srinagar is its summer capital, and Jammu its winter capital. Kashmir is known for its pristine natural beauty and rich cuisine. The state is India’s only Muslim majority state. Minority religions in the state include Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism.
Jammu and Kashmir lies at the heart of a bitter territorial dispute between India, Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China. India considers the entire state as its sovereign territory, but has control of only half the area.
The territory under its control is administered as the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and it enjoys special provisions under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. India’s claim to the entire state is disputed by Pakistan, which controls a third of Kashmir. Aksai Chin, an arid region in the east is claimed by India but administered by China.
Since the 1990s, the state has long been hit by terrorism and violence, which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people. In the recent past however, due to increased vigilance by the Indian Armed Forces the violence has decreased, leading to a level of normalcy in the state and the return of domestic and foreign tourists. The Indian army maintains a significant deployment of troops to maintain the law and order in the state.