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Srinagar

April 22
01:45 2014

SrinagarDream destination of lakes & mountains

Srinagar, a city that embodies romance and beauty, is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir; perfectly placed in the center of the Kashmir Valley. Srinagar literally meaning ‘the city of wealth & abundance’ in Sanskrit, was founded around 150 AD by King Pravarasen II.

Situated on the banks of the river Jhelum, Srinagar is surrounded by beautiful lakes like Dal, Nagin and Anchar, whose glittering waters reflecting the rays of the sun is a sight to behold. Its vividly 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 also has a special place in the history of ancient India. Excavations carried out here have identified many valued evidences of ancient settlements dating back to 5,000 years. The artifacts collected from the excavation are displayed in Srinagar museum, which include arrowheads, animal skeletons, implements, tools and pots from the Neolithic age.

Irrespective of the season, Srinagar attracts tourists throughout the year to enjoy its snow clad mountains, colors of fall and greenery of the summers. Dal Lake, spread across 26 sq. km, is home to the maximum number of houseboats and Shikaras. No trip to Kashmir is complete without a stay on one of its luxurious house boats and a boat ride on a ‘Shikara’ along the pristine lake.

While the winters offers visitors the beauty of snow clad mountains and crisp, chilly winter breeze; summers showcases the abundance of colors on the canvas of nature from deep greens, to autumn browns and deep oranges.

Some of Srinagar’s best kept natural beauties is at the sprawling Mughal Gardens – which houses the Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh. Lakeside views, magnificent sunsets, floating markets, verdant greens, authentic Kashmiri cuisine and hospitable locals are just some of the reasons why tourists from all over the globe flock to this ‘Paradise on Earth’.Srinagar2

Some of the must see places in this splendid lake side city include the well laid out Mughal Gardens, the pristine Dal Lake, enjoy a relaxing Shikara ride, bow down at the Shankaracharya temple, indulge in shopping for the famous Pashmina shawls and Kashmiri handicrafts and last but not the least, enjoy some adrenaline rushing activities like skiing, trekking, white water rafting, paragliding, camping and Kayaking.

Attractions

Pari Mahal (Quntilon): Pari Mahal (House of Fairies) also known as Quntilon, is a historic monument placed above the beautiful Chashma Shahi Gardens near Srinagar. The ancient monument brings out the architectural brilliance of the bygone age.

Sri Pratap Singh Museum: Pratap Singh Museum, erstwhile summer palace of Kashmir Kings, is a historically important museum in Srinagar established in 1898. Located in Lal Mandi, on the left bank of the river Jhelum, the museum has valuable ancient terracotta heads of the 3rd century found at the Buddhist site at Ushkur and molded terracotta plaques of 4th & 5th century from Harwan.

Dal Lake: Popularly known as ‘Srinagar’s jewel’ the Dal Lake is the most popular tourist attraction in Srinagar. Renowned for its house boats and Shikara boat rides, set against the snow clad glorious Himalayas, the Dal Lake continues to be on the canvas and subject of several poets and artists.
Houseboats: No trip to Srinagar is complete without staying on one of the several luxurious houseboats. Anchored along one of the largest lakes in India, the Dal Lake, these houseboats are complete with vibrantly furnished bedrooms, a drawing room, kitchen & bathroom.

Mughal Gardens: Mughal Gardens, as the name suggests, built in the Mughal period is a marvel located around 13 km from Srinagar. These gardens are the major attractions for tourists coming to Jammu and Kashmir. These gardens are a fine example of the Mughal style of architecture and design.

Shalimar Bagh: Constructed by the great Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619 for his beloved wife Nurjahan, the sprawling garden with four terraces, imposing fountains, well laid out manicured gardens, tall trees and fresh mountain air is one of the must visit places while in Srinagar.

Nishat Bagh: Nishat Bagh, meaning the ‘The garden of joy’ located on the eastern side of the Dal Lake is a marvelous garden designed by Asaf Khan, Nur Jahan’s brother. Laid out in 1633 it is among the largest of the Mughal Gardens.

Chashme Shahi Garden: Founded in 1632 with a length of 108 meters and breadth of 38 meters, is a small beautiful place, the smallest among the famous Mughal gardens. It is also known as Royal Spring and is located near the Nehru Memorial Park in Srinagar and is easily reachable by road.

Nagin Lake: Nagin Lake got its name from the trees surrounding the lake. Popularly known as the ‘Jewel in the Ring’, it is one of the impressive lakes in east Srinagar. The lake with its deep blue waters is separated from the Dal Lake by a thin causeway and is an exciting tourist spot with number of houseboats dawdling in the calm waters.

Saffron Fields: Saffron fields, located in Pampore, around 12 km from Srinagar draw a huge number of visitors during late October to early November. From earlier times, saffron from these fields has graced feasts of Emperors and commoner alike.

Shikara Ride: The quintessential reasons why people come to Srinagar are the houseboats and the Shikara ride. Taking the ride across the scenic Dal Lake at the backdrop of the majestic snow clad Himalayas is indeed an experience in itself, both enjoyable and unforgettable.

Wular Lake: The largest fresh-water lake in India, it serves as a natural reservoir by drawing excess water from River Jhelum. Remains of a wonderful island built by King Zain-ul-abidin can be seen in the midst of the lake.

Best time to visit: Srinagar has only two climates, pleasant summers and a very chilly, freezing winter. Rainfalls are scanty. The best time to visit is from April to October

How to reach
By Train: Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.

By Air: Srinagar domestic airport is connected with many airports of the major cities in India. Regular flights operate between Srinagar and Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh. International travelers get the connecting flights from Delhi International airport, which is at a distance of 876 km from Srinagar.

By Bus: Many tourist bus service providers arrange deluxe luxurious bus package tours from many neighboring cities to Srinagar. Srinagar is well connected to Chandigarh (630 km), Jammu (290 km), Delhi (876 km), Leh (434 km) and Phalgam (96 km) by tourist bus services.

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