Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It stands on the beautiful Dal lake and the picturesque Jhelum River.
While the place is breath-taking, it is difficult to forget that it is the epitome of the Kashmiri troubles. Being a politically sensitive area there is a huge presence of army and a lot of military checks on the road.
You can either fly into Srinagar or fly into Jammu and take the train. The three Mughal Gardens of Chesmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar dating back to the Mughal era are extremely beautiful.
The Dal lake is another attraction not to be missed. In almost any season the lake is a magical place with soft lights bouncing off the water.
The smaller Nagin lake separated from Dal Lake by a causeway is probably the most peaceful stretch of water.
Hastatbal Mosque is a modern, shiny white mosque on the shore of Dal Lake. Enshrined is a hair of the Prophet Mohammed. It also has a commanding lakeside setting and a great view.
Shankaracharya Hill also has fantastic panoramic views of the Dal lake and surroundings.
The Kashmiri Houseboat or a Shikara is a flat bottomed pine boat. Typically they are about 20m long.You should also go for a Shikara ride in Dal Lake for the beautiful views. You can also choose to live in a Shikara.And go shopping in it.
Kashmir is famous for its handicrafts, so be sure to pick up some.
Srinagar has a long and rich history dating back to the 3rd century BCE. The 2000 years old city was founded by King Pravarasena II. The city was once part of the mighty Maurya Empire, during which time Kashmir valley became a center of Buddhism. The region was rules by the Kushans in the 1st century before eventually falling to the Huns in the 6th century. In 960 CE, Srinagar became the capital of Kashmir. The Hindu and Buddhist rule of Srinagar lasted until the 14th century when Kashmir valley was conquered by several Muslim rulers, which included the Mughals. After the Mughal Empireâ€™s decline, the Durrani Empire ruled the region for decades before a major part of the Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar was annexed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab province in 1814 to his kingdom. In 1846, the British received de-facto suzerainty over the Kashmir Valley and Gulab Singh was installed as a sovereign ruler of the region, till its accession to India in 1947.
Srinagar Airport has regular flights to neighboring Indian cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. Srinagar rail station connects Srinagar to Baramulla and Anantnag. National Highway 1A and 1D serves the city.
Srinagar is a popular tourist destination with its beautiful gardens, majestic lakes, temples and mosques and is also a gateway to several other scenic places in the region. Dal Lake, Manasbal Lake, Gulmarg, Wullar Lake and Shalimar Bagh are among the most popular tourist attractions in the region. Dal Lake is almost synonymous with Srinagar and a major tourist draw. The lake is spread over an area of 26 sq. km and a popular site for water surfing, swimming, angling and Shikara riding, The Lake is also famous for its houseboats.
Rainawari, another popular tourist spot houses the Hari Parbat Fort and the Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara. Srinagar is also famous for its Mughal gardens. Some of the most well-known gardens are the Pari Mahal, Nishat Bagh, Chashma Shahi and Shalimar Bagh.
Apart from natural beauty and historical gardens, Srinagar also boosts of various famous places of worship such as the Jama Masjid, Pathar Masjid, Hazratbal Mosque, Shankaracharya Temple, and Jyeshtheshvara Temple etc. Gulmarg, located 50 km away from Srinagar is a famous tourist destination in the vicinity. Srinagar is a gateway to Gulmarg which is a popular skiing resort.
Do not insult the mother alligator until after you have crossed the river.