Srinagar is located on the banks of the Jhelum River. This summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir is known for its elegant shikaras (water-taxis) that ply back and forth on the Jhelum River. Srinagar city is also the headquarters of the Srinagar district.
Located at an elevation of about 1700m, Srinagar is a splash of temples, mosques and beautiful people, in colourful costumes. Srinagar can be used as a base to trek into the mountains in the Ladakh region. An early morning ride on the shikara can be a beautiful experience, as the beauty of the city, amidst the morning mist is truly a sight to behold.
Places of Interest Srinagar
There are several beautiful gardens in Srinagar, and the most beuatful among these are attributed to the Mughal rulers. The Chashma Shahi (meaning, the royal spring), is a 17th century garden created during Shah Jahan’s reign. Laid out high on the slope of a hill, Chashma Shahi offers a beautiful view of the Dal Lake nestling among the surrounding hills. It is the smallest among the Mughal gardens in Srinagar and the closest to the city.
Located in the eastern part of the city at the foot of Mt. Shridhara, the busy yet beautiful Dal Lake is 6km along and 3 km wide. You can spend the entire day cruising around the lake on the elegant shikaras, picnic on the islands that dot the lake or visit the mughal gardens or just relax on the balcony of the houseboats, amidst beautiful surroundings.
Hari Parbhat Fort
This 18th century fortress is located atop the hill of Sharika, and the walls were built much earlier by Akbar in 1598. The fort presents a beautiful sight in spring as the almond gardens surrounding it add a delicate touch to these ancient walls when in full bloom.
This reservoir supplies water to Srinagar. A trout hatchery and a pretty garden also located here.
Located ont eh western bank of the Dal Lake, this historic mosque is set against an amazingly beautiful background of snow capped peaks. Built by Shah Jahan, this mosque is a pleasing mix of Mughal and Kashmiri styles of architecture. A hair of the Prophet Mahammed is enshrined here and is displayed to the public on special occasions.
Thrice destroyed by fire, the present structure dates back to 1674. The root of this mosque is supported by 300 wooden pillars.
This once-beautiful building with its arched terraces and fine view was intended to be a school of Sufism and observatory by its builder Dara Shikoh. It has now been turned into a pleasant well-kept garden.
This unused yet fine stone mosque dating from 1623 was built by Nur jahan as a place of worship for the Shia Muslims.
Shah Hamdan Mosque
Destroyed by fire and re-built many times, the present structure dates back to 1731. The cubical wooden with a pyramidal roof narrowing to a spire has some fine papier-mache work on its walls and ceilings.
Named after Shankaracharya, the great Hindu saint philosopher who travelled to Kashmir in the early years of the present era to spread Hinduism there. He is said to have lived on this hill. The hill also has a large stone temple dating from Jehaingir’s time, though the original temple was built by Ashoka’s son Jaluka in 200 BC. The stroll up the hill is a pleasant experience and the view from the top of the snow-capped Pir panjal Mountains encircling the Dal Lake is truly exhilarating.
Shri Pratap Singh Museum
This museum is Lal Mandi has a good collection of kashmiri exhibits Timings 10 am to 5pm, Closed on Wednesdays.
Jhelum River and its Bridges
The beautiful Jhelum river which flow trhough Srinagar from Verinag (80 km south of Srinagar) to the Wulvar lake in the north, is known for its old bridges such as the Amira Kadal, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Zaina kadal, Ali Kadal, Nawa kadal and Saffa Kadal.
Tomb of Zain-ul-Abidin
King Zain-ul-Abidin was the son of Sultan Sikander, who built the Jami Masjid. His tome, built with glazed tiles, moulded bricks and dome is located between the Ali Kadal and the Zaina kadal.
Built around 900AD, this Siva temple attracts a steady flow of pilgrims.
These colourful floating landmarks of Srinagar can be found all along the Jhelum River and on the Dal and again lakes. It is interesting to note that houseboats were first built in 1888 by the British, when the Maharaja forbade them from buying land and constructing houses. Today, staying in a houseboat is surely a not-to be-missed experience for tourists.