Srinagar – paradise on earth, is also the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir is perfectly placed in the center of the Kashmir valley. Srinagar has a special place in the history of ancient India. Srinagar was founded in 150 AD by king Pravarasen II. Name Srinagar literally means “the city of wealth & abundance” in Sanskrit. Srinagar is situated on the banks of river Jhelum and is surrounded by beautiful lakes like Dal, Nagin and Anchar. The Lakes surrounding Srinagar have helped it become a modern water world.
The tourists can enjoy & experience the local culture by renting one of the wooden boats called shikaras for a daytime or twilight cruise, stroll through the terraced hillsides of the 400-year-old Mughal Gardens, created by Emperor Jehangir for his wife, and shop for indigenous crafts like hand-woven silks and embroidered shawls.
Dal Lake, the largest lake, spread across 26 sq.km is home to the maximum number of houseboats & Shikara. Trip to Kashmir is incomplete without a stay on one of the luxurious house boats & a boat ride on a ‘Shikara’ along the pristine lake. The vibrant & beautiful houseboats sailing along the scenic Dal Lake against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayan snow clad mountains makes Srinagar a dream destination for every traveler. Srinagar attracts tourists throughout the year to enjoy its snow clad mountains, mystique snowfall & greenery of the summers.
Mughal Garden houses the Chesmashahi, Shalimar Bagh & Nishat Bagh are the Mughal Emperors’ concept of paradise and are very popular places for picnics and excursions. The beauty of these gardens is at their best during spring but the Mughal architecture of these gardens lends them a unique sense of beauty during rest of the year. Stroll through the terraced hillsides of the 400-year-old Mughal Gardens, created by Emperor Jehangir for his wife, and shop for indigenous crafts like hand-woven silks and embroidered shawls.
Situated on the banks of the Dal Lake, with the Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop, this ‘garden of bliss’ gives a magnificent view of the lake and the snowcapped Pir Panjal mountain range to the west of the valley. Nishat bagh was designed in 1633 AD by Asaf Khan, brother of Nur Jehan.
This garden was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619 for his beloved wife Nurjahan, the sprawling garden with four terraces is famous for imposing fountains, well laid out manicured gardens, tall trees & fresh air thus making it one of the must visit places in Srinagar.
Also known as Dargah Sharif, Assar-e-Sharif and Madinat-Us-Sani,is considered to be one of the most important shrines for Muslims. The Mosque is a combination of Kashmiri and Mughal styles of architecture, with historical significance dating back to the 17th century. The white mosque is breathtakingly beautiful. The distinctiveness of the Hazratbal Mosque is that it enshrines the ‘Moi-e-Muqaddas’ (the sacred hair) of the prophet Mohammed, which is shown to public only on special occasions. Take a walk through the adjacent market area with a range of great fresh food and a thousand things deep fried.
TRAVEL ADVISORY: WHEN VISITING THE MOSQUE, NOTE THAT WOMEN CAN ENTER ONLY THE FIRST PART OF THE MOSQUE
Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the Shankaracharya Hill (Takht-e-Suleiman) in Srinagar. The Temple is known to be built by Jaluka, the son of Emperor Ashoka around 200 BC.
The garden, in the lawn of Pari Mahal with a small spring in the middle, with blooming flowers and fruits overlooks the picturesque Dal Lake. Don’t miss the breathtaking views of the city from here.
A well maintained park with lake by Dept of Floriculture. The park occupies a large area and has a beverage shop run by the J&K Tourism department serving hot and flavoured “Kahva”, a traditional drink of Kashmir.
Srinagar serves as a base for many trekking expeditions which lead to himalayan alpine high altitude lakes of Kashmir valley which has a great scope for adventure tourism. These high altitude alpine lakes have no access by any transport, they include Vishansar Lake, Nundkol Lake, Tarsar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake and so on.
- Air: International airport at Srinagar provides it air connectivity from various countries in the world. International, domestic and seasonal Hajj pilgrimage flights to Jeddah are operated from Sheikh ul Alam airport. Srinagar is connected by flights operated by Jet Airways, Jet Konnect, Indigo, SpiceJet, Go Air, Jet Lite and Air India from Delhi and Mumbai to Srinagar, with or without a stopover at Jammu. The frequency is once or twice a day by each airline. The cost is approx Rs 2,500 from Jammu, Rs 2,500-5,000 from Delhi one way and higher from Mumbai, depending on the season. Approximate cost of a trip to airport can be around Rs. 500-550 and time to reach airport from Srinagar city is nearly 1 hour.
- Train: Nearest railway station is Jammu & Banihal.
- Road: Srinagar is also well connected with roads where the J&K road transport corporation runs buses to Srinagar. Bus travel from Jammu takes around 12 hours whereas buses plying from Delhi may take upto 24 hours.
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- State: Jammu and Kashmir
- District: Srinagar
- Famous for/as: Hill Station
- Languages: Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi, English
- Best time to visit: Apr – Oct
- Weather: Summer 14 to 30°C, Winter -2 to14°C
- Pincode: 190001
- STD code: 0194
- State Govt. tourism website: http://www.jktourism.org/