But India is now promoting tourism in the region – home to spectacular mountain scenery – and more than 1 million Indian citizens visited last year.
Miss World Organization chair Julia Morley said that India will host a month-long series of events for the annual international beauty pageant from November to December, with part of the schedule to be held in Kashmir.
“This is a blessed place for tourism,” Morley told reporters while on a visit to Srinagar on Monday, the region’s main city.
Competitors will take part in “talent showcases, sports challenges, and charitable initiatives” to shortlist participants before the grand finale in December, the organisation said.
Miss World organisers say the contest “celebrates the beauty, intellect, and humanitarian efforts of women”.
The pageant has in the past sparked protests from critics who say it perpetuates the objectification of women and contributes to a beauty industry that pressures women to appear a certain way.
Miss World 2022 Karolina Bielawska said she was stunned by Kashmir’s scenery.
“I cannot wait to welcome 140 nations, and all my friends and family, to bring them here to India and to show them places like Kashmir, like Delhi, Mumbai … you have so many beautiful places”, the Polish model said on Monday.