Jammu and Kashmir, formerly one of the largest princely states of India, is bounded to the northeast by the Uygur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang (China), to the east by the Tibet Autonomous Region (China) and the Chinese-administered portions of Kashmir, to the south by the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, to the southwest by Pakistan, and to the northwest by the Pakistani-administered portion of Kashmir. The administrative capitals are Srinagar in summer and Jammu in winter. Area 39,146 square miles (101,387 square km). Pop. (2011) 12,541,302.
The vast majority of the state’s territory is mountainous, and the physiography is divided into seven zones that are closely associated with the structural components of the western Himalayas. From southwest to northeast those zones consist of the plains, the foothills, the Pir Panjal Range, the Vale of Kashmir, the Great Himalayas zone, the upper Indus River valley, and the Karakoram Range. The climate varies from alpine in the northeast to subtropical in the southwest. In the alpine area, average annual precipitation is about 3 inches (75 mm), but in the subtropical zone (around Jammu) rainfall amounts to about 45 inches (1,150 mm) per year. The entire region is prone to violent seismic activity, and light to moderate tremors are common. A strong earthquake centred in neighbouring Pakistani-administered Kashmir killed hundreds in Jammu and Kashmir state in 2005.