Twin districts of Kishtwar and Doda in Jammu region were the hardest hit where nearly 400 structures, including shools, hospitals and houses, developed cracks.
Two persons were killed and some 69, including 32 students, were injured in the two districts, officials quoting initial reports said in Jammu.
The quake, measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale, struck Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of North India including the national capital and its satellite towns at around 12:27 pm.
The tremors were felt in Punjab and Haryana but there were no immediate reports of any casualty or damage from the two states.
In Himachal Pradesh, the quake lasted nearly 30 seconds and was felt from tribal Lahaul and Spiti valley to foothills of Una.
A few houses were damaged in Chamba as frightened people scampered out of their houses on to the streets in the hill state.
The quake rocked Kangra, Palampur, Solan, Hamirpur and other places in the state but no one was injured.