Sightseeing in Srinagar -
Dal Lake is situated in the center of all attractions in Srinagar stretching
around 18 sq. km that makes it the second largest lake in the state. The
lake is surrounded by gigantic Himalayan ranges and exquisite gardens that
make it the most hangout zone for the locals and the tourist from all over
the world. The shores of the lake are also as charming as the lake itself.
The moment you enter the premises, the first thing that you will notice will
be the grand houseboat that are scattered through out the lake. Stay in one
of the many houseboats amidst of the lake. The lake offers many more
exciting activities that you can indulge in like kayaking, canoeing and
water surfing. An excellent location for fishing, you can indulge into after
getting a valid license from the tourism department. The most enchanting
activity here is a boat ride, explore the magic of Dal Lake in a
breathtaking ride on decorated Shikaras.
Nagin lake is located just a small distance away from Dal Lake. In fact both
the water bodies are interconnected by a small water channel. Just like Dal
Lake, this lake also freezes in the winter. But in summer time the water is
pleasantly cool. The lake is one of the best ions, which you can enjoy a
captivating round of boating. Even in the middle of the lake you can
experience the thrill of shopping. There are boats that are full-fledged
shops on the move. You can buy eateries, exquisite handicrafts, even the
famous Pashmina shawls, and if you wish, you can even make a call from the
mobile phone booths.
The Mughal Gardens
The Mughal Gardens with their terraced gardens, numerous maple trees,
refreshing fountains and blooming flowers, have become the outstanding
attributes of Srinagar. Situated in the far eastern side of panoramic Dal
Lake, The Shalimar Bagh(garden) and the Nishant Bagh are the most beautiful
of all that are there in the city. Even Chashmashahi, though small, has made
its mark as a successful tourist spot due to its spring of sweet and
refreshing water which was once used for drinking by the Mughals.
The Temple of Shankaracharya
The Temple of Shankaracharya is balanced on a high octagonal plinth, on a
hill called as Takht-i-Suleiman in Srinagar district. The temple dates back
to 250 BC and over the time has become an important landmark on the face of
Srinagar. It is said that the legendary philosopher Sri Shankaracharya
stayed in this temple when he came to Kashmir to spread Sanatan Dharma. The
temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and holds a lot of importance in religious
as well as architectural context. The temple is built up of specially
smoothened rocks which have been set at the peak of the hill with
unimaginable precision. From the height at which this temple is located, you
can have a scintillating bird's eye view of entire Srinagar
The Shalimar were built by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan, 'light
of the world' in 1616. Although it is known today as the 'garden of love' it
was originally named the Farah Bakhsh or 'delightful garden'. The garden is
built in four terraces with traditional water channel running down the
middle. The gardens measure 540 by 183 metres. During the Mughal period the
top terraces used be reserved for the emperor and the ladies of the court
and was the most magnificent. It included a pavilion made of black stone in
the middle of the tank. Black Marble fluted pillars supported the pavilion,
which was used as a banquet hall. Shalimar Bagh has an air of seclusion and
repose, and its rows of fountains and shaded trees seem to recede towards
the snowcapped mountains. A Son Et Lumeiere or sound and light show is put
on here every evening during the May to October tourist season.
The Nishat Bagh is another lovely garden with its 12 terraces representing
the 12 signs of the zodiac, which descend gradually and seem to almost merge
into the lake. It is situated on the banks of world famous Dal Lake in the
backdrop of Zabarwan hills. With its flowerbeds, trees, fountains, the
Nishat presents a dramatic sight. The gardens were designed in 1633 by Asaf
Khan, brother of Nur Jahan, and follow the same pattern as the Shalimar
gardens with a polished stone channel running down the centre and a series
of terraces. It's the largest of the Mughal gardens measuring 548 metres by
338 metres, and often the most crowed. The walks beside the channel are
bordered with lines of cypresses and Chinars. Also found within its vicinity
are some remains of Mughal period buildings including a double storey
pavilion enclosed on two sides latticed windows.
The old Sufi college of Pari Mahal, the 'palace of the fairies', is only a
short distance above the Chasma Shahi gardens. One can easily walk from the
gardens up to the Pari Mahal then follow a footpath directly down the hill
to the road that runs by the Oberoi Palace Hotel. The Pari Mahal consists of
a series of arched terraces. Recently it has been turned into a very
pleasant and well-kept garden with fine views over Dal Lake. It's
attractively sited on a spur of the Zabarwan Mountains. The gardens are
beautifully kept even today and a Son Et Lumiere show is put on here every
evening during the May to October tourist season.
Cheshma Shahi is the first Mughal garden one will pass after Nehru Park.
Built at a height above the city, its views are as stupendous as its layout.
The smallest of Srinagar's Mughal gardens, Cheshma Shahi has only three
terraces in addition to a natural spring of water enclosed in a stone
pavilion. Smallest of the Srinagar Mughal gardens, measuring just 108 metres
by 38 metres, the Chasma Shahi, or 'Royal Spring', are well up the hillside,
above the Nehru Memorial Park. The fresh water spring in these pleasant,
quieter gardens is reputed to have medicinal properties. The gardens were
laid out in 1632 by Ali Mardan Khan and include three terraces, an aqueduct,
waterfalls and fountains. The water from the spring supplies the fountains
and then goes through the floor of the pavilion and falls to the lower
terrace in a fine cascade of five metres, over a polished black stone chute
Best Season to Visit : The best time to visit Srinagar is during summers
between April and June. Heavy woolens are required in Srinagar.
Reaching Srinagar -
Air : Srinagar is well connected by air with Delhi. There is a daily flight
to Delhi via Jammu by Indian airlines. There are weekly flights operated by
Indian Airlines for Leh from Srinagar.
Rail : Srinagar does not have a railway station and the nearest railhead is
Jammu Tawi, which is 305 km from Srinagar.
Road : Srinagar is well connected by road to important places like
Chandigarh (630 km), Delhi (876 km), Jammu (298 km), Leh, Kargil, Gulmarg,
Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. touristplacesinindia can arrange for you all types
of land transport for your comfortable journey in Srinagar and throughout
the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Shopping in Srinagar -
Srinagar in Kashmir is a handicraft lover's delight with a rich and distinct
variety of crafts. There is great beauty in Kashmiri artifacts -which
include - papier mache, lacquered and painted in floral designs; wood
carvings and screens; fine carpets in typical oriental designs; silks and
woollen shawls embroidered in traditional paisley and crewel work. The
bazaars of Srinagar are packed with handicraft stores, street vendors there
add their own charm. The J&K Handicrafts Corporation has a large display of
handicraft items, carpets, etc. at the Government Arts Emporium.