Kashmir valley is described as a paradise on earth. Chashma Shahi springs Shalimar Bagh, Dal Lake, etc., in Srinagar; Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, etc., in the valley; Vaishno Devi temple and Patnitop near Jammu, etc., are important tourist centres. Jammu & Kashmir, commonly known as Kashmir, the territory is bounded on the north by Afghanistan and China, on the east by China, on the south by the state of Himachal Pradesh and the state of Punjab in India, and on the west by the North-West Frontier Province and the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Kashmir covers an area of 222,236 sq km (85,805 sq mi). Jammu and Kashmir are really three regions: the foothill plains of Jammu; the lakes and blue valleys of Kashmir rising to alpine passes, the high altitude plains and starkly beautiful mountains of Ladakh which lies beyond those passes. The Indus River flows through Kashmir, and the Jhelum River rises in the northeastern portion of the territory. Kashmir possesses a more equable climate than that of southern and central India, and the beautiful Vale of Kashmir is a noted resort region. Srinagar is Kashmir's summer capital and Jammu, the winter capital.
Situated between 32.17 degree and 36.58 degree north latitude and 37.26 degree and 80.30 degree east longitude, the total area of the State is 22,22,236 sq. kms including 78114 sq kms under the illegal occupation of Pakistan and 42,685 sq kms under that of China, of which Pakistan illegally handed over 5130 sq kms to China. The State is bounded by Pakistan, Afghanistan and China from the West to the East.