About Srinagar

Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits.

Etymologically Srinagar is composed of two Sanskrit words, śrī (venerable) and nagar, which means “city”. One theory of the origin of the name is that a Pandava King Ashoka (not to be confused with the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka) built the city of Srinagari (Srinagar). Another theory is that Mauryan Emperor Ashoka founded the original city of Srinagar, then situated on the site of the present village of Pandrethan, 5 km to the north of the existing capital.

Geography:

The city is located on both the sides of the Jhelum River which is called Vyath in Kashmir. The river passes through the city and meanders through the valley, moving onward and deepening in the Dal Lake. The city is famous for its nine old bridges, connecting the two parts of the city.

Tourism

Srinagar is one of several places that has been called the “Venice of the East” or the “Kashmiri Venice”. It is known for its lakes, which include Dal Lake – noted for its houseboats – and Nagin Lake.

Srinagar has some Mughal gardens, forming a part of those laid by the Mughal emperors across the Indian subcontinent. Those of Srinagar and its close vicinity include Chashma Shahi (the royal fountains); Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies); Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring); Shalimar Bagh; and the Naseem Bagh. The Tulip Gardens have been recently opened to public by Sonia Gandhi.

The Sher Garhi Palace houses administrative buildings from the state government. Another palace of the Maharajas, the Gulab Bhavan, has now become the Lalit Grand Palace hotel. The hotel is located at a distance of 17 kms. From the Srinagar International Airport. The nearest railway station is Jammu at a distance of 300 Kms. The city center ( Lal Chowk ) is just  4 kms from the hotel.

The Sheri Kashmir International Auditorium is at a distance of 2 kms from the hotel. The world famous hill resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam are located at a distance of 52 kms and 96 kms with travel time of 1.5 hours and 2.30 hours respectively.

The famous shrine of Baba Reshi ,a highly revered  kashmiri Sufi saint ,is another attraction of Gulmarg and is thronged  by thousand of devotees all year around.
The Gondola Cable car offers rides to the upland meadow of Kongdori  and beyond to the  top of Apharwat range to a height of 14000 ft for viewing the Himalays peaks in summer and for downhill skiing in winter.

GulmargGulmarg

Gulmarg is one of Indiaa’s premier hill resorts. Historically  a favourite haunt of emperor Jahangir, Gulmarg Today is not merely a mountain resort of exceptional beauty – it also turns into India’s premier ski resort in winter.


PahalgamPahalgam

Pahalgam is situated at the confluence of the Sheshnag and the lidder streams. Once a humble shepherd’s village, it is now  Kashmir’s premier summer resort, cool even during the  height of summer.

The resort is surrounded  by many places of  interest, the best being the upland meadow of Baisaran.hagan, on the way to chandanwari, is an idyllic spot for picnic. And Mamal, one of the eight tiny villages of Pahagam, has a 5th century shiva temple.

Chandanwari 16 Kms from Pahalgam is the starting point for the annual Amarnathji Yatra  held in Summer.the Amarnath  cave, houses and ice stalagmite in the shape od a natural Shivling, which waxes and wanes with the Moon.


SonamargSonamarg

Sonamarg lies at the head of the Sindh Valley. The Drive through this valley presents a spectacular fact of the Kashmir  countryside.

Sonamarg  is surrounded  by colourful mountains and thick pine forest. There are many attractive walks, the best  being a trek or pony ride to the Thajiwas glacier. Sonamarg also serves as a base for the amaranth yatra from the baltal route.


Verinag
Verinag

 

Verinag is the source of jhelum, with deep blue water spring and wonderful resort at the foothills.


Dal Lake
Dal Lake

The Dal Lake is Srinagar’s most distinctive landmark. It is divided by causeways into four parts, the Nagin lake being one of them. Not merely a lifeless body of water, the Dal is unique for the communities that have made it their home, from fisherman to Houseboat owners.

There are fields of Lotus blossoms in parts of the Lake, Vegetable patches, shops and even villagers. The best way of exploring the lake and the sites on its shores by Shikara boat


Hari ParbatHari Parbat

The hill of Hari Parbat is considered sacred to the Hindus, Muslim and Sikhs alike. For the Hindus it is sacred due to the presence of the Temple of Sharika Mata, a form of goddess Durga or Shakti. On its southern side is the historic shrine of Makhdoom Sahib, a sufi saint of Kashmir revered by people of all faiths.

Further down the Hill is the historic Gurudwara Chhatti Padshahi near the Kathi Darwaza (gate) of the Fort. It is associated with the visit of the sixth Sikh Guru to Kashmir. There is also Mughal Fort on this Hill called Hari Parbat. The Afghan Governor, Ata Mohammad Khan, developed it to its full size in the 18th century.


Shankaracharya TempleShankaracharya Temple

The Shankaracharya Temple, another prominent landmark of Srinagar, is built on a high octagonal plinth, on the hill known as Takht-i-Sulaiman .The site dates back to 250 BC and is associated with the Hindu Philospher Shankarachayya who visited Kashmir ten centuries ago.


Mughal Gardens
Mughal Gardens

Another distinctive feature of Srinagar is the Mughal Gardens with their terraced lawns, cascading fountains and bright flowerbeds, overlooking the panorama of the Dal Lake.


Pari MahalPari Mahal

On a nearby spur of the mountain is the ancient monument Pari Mahal, planned out by Dara Shikon as a sufi school, surrounded by Outside Srinagar, Pampore (18 km), located on the National Highway, is famous for the saffron that grows here from September to October.