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The valley of Kashmir is as rich with history and political controversy as it is with culture and natural phenomena. Sample exquisitely spiced native cuisines and festive teas, then walk off your meal along the rugged trekking routes to the north. Marvel at the famous houseboats of Srinagar and take a spiritual moment to reflect at one of the many pilgrimage sites and religious shrines that dot the region. Of course, native craftsmanship makes for excellent souvenirs—carpets and textiles are an especial shopping must.