Srinagar Kashmir

Houseboats in Kashmir Srinagar Kashmir is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir in India  that is popularly known as “Venice of the East”. Srinagar city is located in Kashmir valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus that is 876 km away from north of Delhi. It is famous for its lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts, dry fruits and lakes. There are two well known lakes in the city named Dal Lake and Nagin Lake. It is a gateway to some of the most scenic and beautiful places in India. There are celebrated Mughal Gardens in Srinagar that includes Chashma Shahi, Pari Mahal, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh and Naseem Bagh. The Tulip Gardens have been recently opened to public. It has rows of Tulips of different colors and shades. The hill station and skiing resort Gulmarg is 50 km from the city.

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Kashmir Valley where Srinagar is situated is also referred to as paradise on earth. The Mughal Emperor Jahangir was so captivated by the beauty of this valley that he exclaimed with utter joy “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here”.

SRINAGAR SIGHT SEEING PLACES

Mughal Gardens: The landscaped Mughal Gardens, developed by the rulers of the Mughal dynasty are one of the most famous tourist spots in Srinagar.  They consist of mainly the following three gardens named Chashmashahi Garden, Nishat Garden and Shalimar Garden. These were Mughal Emperors’ concept of paradise and are today very popular tourist places in Kashmir. The brief description of these gardens are as follows

Chashmashahi (royal fountains): This beautiful garden was constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 AD. It is the smallest of the three Mughal gardens of Kashmir. It literally means Royal Spring. It offers spectacular view of Dal Lake and surrounding mountains. It has a number of terraces and fountains. There are fruit trees, flowers and chinar trees in the garden also. There is a small shrine located in the garden named Chasma Sahibi with a fresh water spring. Recently, a number of extensions were made in this garden.

Nishat Garden (garden of spring): The brother of Nur Jahan, Asaf Khan, designed the Nishat Bagh in Srinagar in 1633 AD. It is the largest garden among Mughal gardens in Kashmir. It offers a spectacular view of the Dal Lake and snow capped Pir Panjal mountain range. It is also known as “the garden of bliss”; that have Zabarwan Mountains in its backdrop. There are ruins of some of the buildings dating back to the Mughal period. You may also see a small spring behind the garden, known as Gopi Tirth. It is a source of supply of water to the garden. The garden has terraces, each representing a different Zodiac sign. There is also a beautiful water channel flowing right in the middle of the garden. Other attractions of the Nishat garden include blooming flowerbeds, trees, fountains etc. You can also take a shikara ride at the Nehru Park from the garden. A famous picnic spot that also offers shopping facilities to its visitors. There are a number of shopping stalls situated opposite the garden.

Shalimar Garden: Emperor Jehangir built the Shalimar Garden for his wife Nur Jahan in 1619. A second garden Faiz Baksh, (The Bountiful) was added to it later during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658). It offers an amazing view over the other gardens, lakes and shallow terraces. It is also known as “garden of love”, the Shalimar Mughal Gardens has four terraces, rising one above the other. The top fourth terrace was the most wonderful of all the terraces that was reserved for the Mughal Emperor and the royal ladies. Other attractions of the Shalimar Bagh of Kashmir include fountains, trees and varieties of flowers that blossom in spring and autumn. The light and sound show is organized in the garden every evening from May to October.

Dal Lake: It is an important tourist attraction of Srinagar. It is located on the eastern end of the city. It comprises of a series of lakes, including the Nagin Lake located 8 km from the city center. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the mountains surrounding Srinagar from this lake. You may also enjoy traditional Kashmiri boat ride or the Shikaras to explore the intricate maze of waterways of this lake. One of the major attractions of the Dal Lake is the houseboats that stand lining its edges.

Shikaras in Dal Lake: A must see is the “village” in the lake. You may ask for a ride to the side where locals live and see the floating vegetable market. The market is usually operational only at sunrise and can be easily organized through an agent or your hotel/houseboat.

Nigeen Lake: It is a popular tourist attraction of Srinagar. Nigeen Lake is the placid water lake surrounded with manicured flowerbeds and groves of chinar, poplar and willow that you may remember its beauty throughout your life.

Wular Lake: It is the largest freshwater lake in India. It lies about 32 km to the northwest of Srinagar city. This lake is surrounded by high mountains on the north and north-east of the valley, which augment the scenic charm of the region.

Shankaracharya Mandir ‘Takht-e-Suleiman’: It is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located on ‘Takht-e-Suleiman’ hill top. It stands at an altitude of 1100 feet above the surface level of Srinagar city. It is another important place to visit in Srinagar. Jaluka, the son of emperor Ashoka, built it in the 3rd century BC. It is supposed to be the oldest shrine of the Kashmir valley.

Hazratbal Shrine: It is located opposite the Nishat Bagh on the banks of Dal Lake. It is a sacred Muslim pilgrimage destination revered by Hindus as well as Muslims. It reflects the devotion and respect of Muslims for Prophet Mohammad and his relics stored here. This famous Shrine houses the Moi-e-Muqqadus (preserved sacred hair) of Prophet Mohammad. This white mosque is breathtakingly beautiful; women visitors can enter only the first part of the mosque. You may also take a walk through the adjacent market area to enjoy local delicacies.

Khanqah-e-Molla: Also called Shah-e-Hamdan, this shrine is believed to contain “the secret of Allah”. One of the oldest Muslim shrines located on the banks of the river Jhelum in Srinagar city, the Khanqah-e-Molla exhibits exemplary specimen of wood architecture.

Jama Masjid: A revered mosque located at Nowhatta, Jama Masjid is one of the main tourist attractions in Srinagar for Muslims.

Pari Mahal (palace of the fairies): Don’t miss the breathtaking views of the city from here.

PLACES AROUND SRINAGAR

There are number of interesting places to visit near Srinagar. Most of these places are located amongst picturesque settings of the mighty Himalayas. Apart from natural beauty, they offer a number of adventure activities to the traveler.

Gulmarg: It is located 52 km away from southeast of Srinagar at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level. In summers, the meadows of Gulmarg are laden with flowers. In winters, the snow-covered slopes of Gulmarg turn into a skiing resort, which attracts the traveler seeking adventure and thrill. It is a popular trekking destination and consists highest golf course in the world.

Parihaspora, Dewar (On way to Gulmarg): You may visit the ruins located on the outskirts of Srinagar on way to Gulmarg. See the palaces of Kahmir’s Buddhist and Hindu rulers and Buddhist places of worship.

Sonamarg: It is situated 80 km northeast of Srinagar at an altitude of 2740 meter. This destination is surrounded by glaciers and placid lakes. There are flower laden meadows, awesome snow covered Himalayan peaks and a number of trekking and hiking trails that makes it an enchanting popular tourist destination.

Pahalgam: It is located 95 km east of Srinagar in Liddar valley, at an altitude of 2130 meter. It is an ideal destination for hiking, trekking and fishing. It is also the starting point of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath.

WEATHER IN SRINAGAR

The weather in Srinagar is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters are cold (November-February). It experiences heavy snowfall in December-February. The best time to visit Srinagar is during summers between April and June. You will need to carry heavy woolens while traveling to this beautiful destination in India.

HOW TO REACH?

Air: Srinagar is well connected by air. Regular flights operate from Delhi.

Train: Jammu is the nearest train station that is located 293 km from Srinagar.

Road : It is well connected by road to important places like Chandigarh (630 km), Delhi (876 km), Jammu (298 km), Leh, Kargil, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. We would provide you all India tourist permit vehicles for the local and intercity transportations.