Srinagar - The Lake City
A travel and tourism experience to this joyous state is an unmatchable experience that will leave you feeling cleansed and pure.
Srinagar is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level, and is rightly called 'Paradise on Earth'. It is spread on both sides of the river Jhelum. The Dal and Nagin lakes Enhance its picturesque setting, while the changing play of the seasons and the salubrious climate ensures that the city is equally attractive to visitors around the year.
Srinagar is a romantic Kashmiri city situated around glistening lakes and snowy tree forested mountain slopes with one of the most pleasant climates in all of India. It is a lively, vibrant, and an organic canal city. Its waterways with their own quaint style, the unique Houseboat, the blossoming gardens, water sports activities, shopping for lovingly hand-crafted souvenirs and the nearby resorts make it a cherished spot among those looking for a memorable holiday.
Today Srinagar is a resort for the tourist who can experience, at first hand, the peculiar beauty of the valley that has attracted the Chinese , the Mughals and the British to it.
Srinagri was founded by Emperor Ashoka in the 3 rd Century BC. Akbar captured Kashmir valley for the Mughals, who endowed Srinagar with beautiful mosques and gardens. The Sikhs overthrew the last Muslim ruler in the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1819. In 1846 the Dogras secured the sovereignty of Kashmir from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, and in 1947 the state of Jammu and Kashmir with Srinagar as its capital, became part of the Indian Union.
||105 sq kms
||29.5 C 10.6 C
||7.3 C -1.9 C
||930136 (2001 Censu)
||Throughout the year, though the winter months can be quite cold.
|Clothing Spring & autumn:
||Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi, English
Srinagar 's distinctive feature is the great body of water, the Dal Lake, which forms its focal point. The Dal has, within its area, two enormous sheet-like expanses of water- Lokut-dal and Bod-dal, the rest of its surface being broken up alternatively by man-made strips of land inhabited by whole colonies of people and vegetation. Thus the lake is not a flat, unbroken mass of water, but a labyrinth of waterways, awash with a lifestyle not found elsewhere in the world.
Leading from the Dal is the smaller Nagin Lake. Here too, the waters are edged by trees of willow and poplar whose reflection is mirrored in the lake. 'Bathing boats' here, as well as on the Dal, hire out water-skis and motor launches. The waters of the lakes are pleasantly cool from mid-May to mid-September. Shikaras can be hired from any of the steps called 'ghats' (jetties) leading to the lake. Some rides are fixed and their rates are posted at each ghat as well as opposite the Tourist Reception Centre. Shikaras are a refreshingly novel way of seeing Srinagar by day and at twilight, the gentle soothing motion of the boat, as it glides along the water, is unbelievably romantic.
Nagin Lake lies to the east of the city at the foot of the Zabarwan Mountain . The Shankaracharya hill (Takht-i-Sulaiman) is to the south and Hari Parbat on its west. The lake is 6x3 km and is divided by causeways into four parts, Gagribal, Lakut-dal, Bod-dal and Nagin. Lokut-dal and Bod-dal each have an island in the centre, called Rup Lank or Char Chinari and Sona Lank, respectively.
The Mughal Gardens
Kashmir, befittingly famed as the paradise on land is famous for its praiseworthy Mughal Gardens - with vast picturesque hillsides, excellent waterbodies and packed flowering shrubs and trees, laid in decorous quadrangles by the Mughal emperors, whose love fro the land was illustrious.
Formally laid out lawns, vibrant flower beds, earthward fountains, surrounded by the vista of Dal lake in front of them, the gardens in Kashmir are captivating and delightful. The harmonious amalgam of designs, creative use of the landscapes & plantings and the miscellaneous mixture of colours, textures and plants presents a sense of bliss to the beholders. The Mughal gardens of Shalimar, Nishat, Chashmeshahi and others like Pari Mahal and Harwan are like exquistely carved lawns with stepped terraces and rich waterbodies.
Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Chashma Shahi, Pari Mahal, Harwan
Located in Srinagar , Shalimar Gardens or Shalimar Bagh was laid out by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan in 1616. Shalimar Gardens are the magnum opus of Srinagar 's many gardens and parks.
This beautiful garden was originally named the Farah Bakhsh or 'delightful garden', but today it is known as the 'garden of love'. The garden features a canal, lined with polished stones and is supplied with water from Harwan runs through the middle of the garden. The fourth terrace was once reserved for royal ladies. It represents a pavilion built of black stone in the centre of the tank, which was used as a banquet hall. Shalimar Bagh has an air of solitude and quietude, and its rows of amazing fountains and shaded lined trees seem to retire towards the snow dressed mountains. A sound and light show is held here every evening between May to October in the tourist season.
Situated on the banks of the Dal Lake, with the Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop, (11 km. from TRC), this 'garden of bliss' commands a magnificent view of the lake and the snow capped Pir Panjal mountain range which stands far away to the west of the valley. Nishat Bagh is smaller than Shalimar Garden , but is more movingly beautiful. Nishat Bagh was built by Asaf Khan, Empress Nur Jahan's brother. Nishat is celebrated for its stately chinar (plane) trees, imported to Kashmir from Persia by the Mughals. Among these, many of the giant chinar trees have been planted by the Mughal Emperors.
Nishat has 12 terraces representing the 12 signs of the zodiac, which seems to gradually descend and merge in the Dal Lake 's periphery. The terraces viewed along with the bed of flower, a mosaic of bright and beautiful colours, creates an unforgettable sight. Also found within its surroundings are some remnants of Mughal era buildings including a double storey pavilion enclosed on two sides latticed windows.
Laid out by Shah Jehan, the gardens of Chashma Shahi, so named because of a mountain spring that waters it. The gardens include three terraces, an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains. At Chashmashai, is a tastefully laid garden in terraces, which commands a magnificent view of the Dal Lake below and surrounding mountain ranges.
Cheshmashahi is the Ist Mughal Garden you will come across after Nehru Park . Smallest of the Srinagar Mughal gardens, the Chasma Shahi, or 'Royal Spring', is well set up the hillside, above the Nehru Memorial Park . The fresh water spring in these pleasant, calm gardens is renowned to have medicinal values. There is also a small shrine, the Chasma Sahibi, close to the gardens, which also has a fresh water spring.
TRC Srinagar free of cost to visit the permits can be had from the infromation Counter Chashma Shahi Garden. Permits can be had from the infromation counter.
Situated on the spur of a mountain overlooking the Dal, the ancient monument, with a well-laid spacious garden in front, is connected to Cheshmashahi by road. Pari Mahal was initially a garden founded by Dara Shiko, Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan's eldest son for his Sufi teacher, Mulla Shah. Once dotted with numerous springs, which have dried up now, the Pari Mahal gardens are now the treasure possession of the state. Pari Mahal is bedazzling with radiant lights at night, and though located on the spur of a hill, can he seen from most places in Srinagar.
Pari Mahal, once a Buddhist monastery, was converted into a school of astrology by Dara Shikoh. Pari Mahal gardens are now fully maintained by the state government.
On the hillside, south of the village of Harwan (19 kms from the TRC)), remarkable remains of ancient ornamented tile pavements of the Buddhist period have come to light. The tiles depict the dresses of the people, such as loose trousers, Turkoman caps or close fitting turbans and large ear-rings which reveal Central Asian influence.
Siraj bagh ' tulip Garden ' is one of the oldest garden used for floriculture and botanical purposes in the valley. It is situated in the foothills of zabarwan range near royal spring golf course jus 8 km from TRC. Imported tulip bulbs from Holland are cultivated over the acres of siraj Bagh in the month of October & November. These acres of land turn green in the month of March when the leafy stems produce a single bud. Early april sees the other colors of the rainbow being added to the field. If a bunch of flowers can show your emotions to the ones you care about just imagine what millions of tulips spread over 200 acres of land do. It was in april 2007 when the government of J&K let open the tulip garden for the visitors.
Situated a little ahead of the Nehru park on the sides of the bolulevard, zabarwan park is a marvelous picnic spot for nature lovers throughout the year. What zabarwan parks offers you is to relish the kashmiri cusine at the picturesque surroundings of the dal lake. Traditional Kashmiri music and talented folk dancers entertain you till late in the evenings during the weekends. Get pampered in a beautiful place in a beautiful way.
Museums in Srinagar
Sri Pratap Singh Museum is the oldest museum in Kashmir. It is a real treasure trove where stone sculptures and various artifacts depict the religion, culture and history of Jammu & Kashmir. One can appreciate stone sculptures as early as 6 th century AD, terracotta tiles dating back the 2 nd century AD, miniature painting of early times from different regions, dominating portraits of the Dogra Maharajas, Papier-mâché articles, Jewelry, Copper brass utensils and straw wear of 18th & 19th century oldest weaponries, canons and armors used by the royal militia magnificent Shah Pasand Kani Shawls of 17th century are aptly placed in various halls.
Silk brocades, silk cocoon samples, Amli shawl embroidered in the form of the map of Srinagar are 17th to 18th century old. Shanama and holy Quran, Sikandar nama of 17th century, the coins as old as 20 BC and Sharda manuscript of 8th century AD can be noticed in the other halls. One of the halls has a variety of stuffed carcasses of birds, wild animal's snakes of different sizes and aquatic birds hunted from time to time in the region.