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Srinagar Tourism

Srinagar India - Fast Facts
Population 725,000
Languages Hindi, Urdu, Kashmiri and English
Best time to visit April-June
STD Code 0194

Srinagar - Introduction

Destination Srinagar

Beat the heat in the hill resort of Srinagar. Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The scintillating hill resort is ideally located in the Kashmir valley. Srinagar offers the spectacular sights of the lovely lakes and the houseboats on them. The dry fruits and the traditional Kashmiri handicrafts are the other major attractions of the hill resort. The natural beauty of the hill resort of Srinagar will surely sweep you off your feet. Jahangir, the Mughal emperor was left spell bound by the beauty of Srinagar. He exclaimed "Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin asto" i.e. If there is a heaven on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here in Srinagar. Get ready to be captivated by the Chinar trees of Srinagar.

Srinagar - Location

Srinagar lies in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir in India. In Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar us located in the western part, in the Kashmir Valley. The Jhelum River flows through the hill resort of Srinagar.

Srinagar - Past

The history of the Kashmir valley has been turbulent. In the 3rd century bc, it was a part of the great Mauryan Empire. Later on, this region flourished under the rule of the Kushans in the 1st century ad. It was an important Buddhist center around this time. In the 6th century, it was a part of the kingdom of Vikramaditya, the ruler of Ujjain. Local Hindu rulers ruled it until the 14th century, after which Muslims invaded and ruled it. Srinagar was a part of the Mughal Empire in the medieval period. However, with the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rule of the Pathans, the fortunes of the area gradually dwindled. In 1814, it became a part of the Sikh empire, when Ranjit Singh defeated the Pathans. However, the British defeated Ranjit Singh and according to the treaty of Lahore in 1846, they installed Gulab Singh as the independent ruler of Kashmir. The descendents of Gulab Singh ruled Kashmir under the vigilance of the British till 1947. Hari Singh, the great grandson of Gulab Singh, merged this princely state into India in 1948, when Pathan marauders from Pakistan tried to overrun this state.

Srinagar - Tourist Places to Visit

There are several spectacular sites that must be visited in Srinagar. The hill resort has often been referred to as Paradise on earth. The hill resort is also referred to as the land of lakes and gardens owing to the abundance of both.

Chashme Shahi One of the major landmarks of Srinagar is the Dal Lake. There are several lakes that comprise the Dal Lake in the eastern side of Srinagar. The Nagin Lake is the most renowned of the lakes. The tourists at Dal Lake enjoy the wondrous vistas offered by the spectacular surrounding of Srinagar. You must take a ride in the traditional Kashmiri boats that is often referred to as "Shikaras" to explore the intricate maze of waterways of the Dal Lake. The shikara ride at the sunset on the Dal Lake is an unforgettable experience.

In the city of lakes and gardens there are the well laid out Mughal styled gardens of Chashme Shahi, Shalimar Bagh and the Nishat Bagh. Chashme Shahi means the royal spring, Shalimar Bagh implies the abode of love and the Nishat Bagh denotes the pleasure garden. These gardens lay far eastern side of the Dal Lake. Tourists are often seen strolling in the gorgeous green gardens. The waterworks in the gardens add to their beauty.

Hiring bicycles for local sight seeing is a popular and economical option with the tourists.

Srinagar - Srinagar Tourism Destinations Near By

There are several places of tourist interest that are worth visit near Srinagar. Most of these places are located amongst picturesque settings of the mighty Himalayas. Apart from natural beauty, they offer a number of adventure activities to the traveler.

52 km from Srinagar is the gorgeous destination of Gulmarg. Located at an altitude of 2730 m above sea level the hill resort of Gulmarg attracts several tourists. In summers, the meadows of Gulmarg are laden with flowers. In winters, the snow-covered slopes of Gulmarg turn into a skiing resort, which attracts the traveler seeking adventure and thrill. It is a popular trekking destination and boasts of the world's highest golf course.

Then there is another hill resort of Sonamarg, 80 km northeast of Srinagar. Sonamarg is located at an altitude of 2740 m. It is set in a valley amongst glaciers and placid lakes. The flower?laden meadows, panoramic view of the lofty snow?covered Himalayan peaks, and a number of trekking and hiking trails have made Sonamarg a popular tourist destination.

Srinagar - What to Buy

Srinagar is famous for its traditional Kashmiri handicrafts. The Handicraft items make excellent souvenirs from Srinagar. Besides the number of utilitarian items of daily use, Woolen and silk carpets from Srinagar are a specialty. The carpets are not only known for their highly intricate decorations and patterns, which show a strong Islamic/Persian influence, they are also renowned for their durability and subtle colors. Chain-stitch carpets from Srinagar are also popular craft items.

Exquisite papier-mâché items such as boxes, vases, replicas of samovar (metal container used for heating water for tea), houseboat models, etc., in all shapes and having bright colors and designs also attract the tourists.

The handicrafts repertoire of Kashmir is incomplete without woolen shawls and woodcarving. You may purchase richly embroidered woolen shawls in all colors and intricate designs in Srinagar. Apart from regular woolen shawls, you can also buy Pashmina shawls (made from the hair of ibex), which is a highly valued shawl made in Kashmir. As Kashmir is the only state in India where walnut trees grow, craftsmen here create intricate carvings on walnut wood to make items like tables, chairs, stools, fruit bowls, partitions, etc., that have rich floral and trellis patterns carved on them. All these handicraft items make options for gift items from Srinagar.

Leopard Dachigam National ParkSrinagar - Adventure Sports

The adventure seekers and the animal lovers may plan a safari to the Dachigam National Park. The wildlife reserve is just twenty-two km from Srinagar. You may check out the unique Himalayan flora and fauna at Dachigam. Dachigam is home to Leopards, cinnamon sparrows, black and yellow grosbeak, black bulbuls, pheasant and the Himalayan gray langur.

You may even travel to Pahalgam, 95 km east of Srinagar. Pahalgam is located in the quiet Liddar valley, at a height of 2130 m. It provides an ideal setting for activities like hiking, trekking and fishing. It is also the starting point of the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave of Amarnath

Srinagar - How to Reach

The hill resort of Srinagar is easily accessible. In terms of air transport Srinagar is linked with Delhi through Jammu. You may fly further to Leh from Srinagar. The Jammu Tawi railway station is the nearest to Srinagar at a distance of 305 km. Srinagar boasts of excellent road traffic owing to the well developed network. Srinagar is linked with other important places like Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu, Leh, Kargil, Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam, through road. The main bus station of Srinagar is at city center of Lal Chowk. For transportation in and around auto-rickshaws and mini-buses are easily available.

Srinagar - Best Time to Visit

Srinagar experiences alpine weather. There is heavy snowfall in the winter months from December to February. The hill resort enjoys mild climate in the summer months from April to June.

Srinagar - Where to Stay

There are several accommodation options available in Srinagar. You may even plan to stay in the houseboats of Srinagar that have been a part of the aquatic culture for centuries. While in Srinagar you can savor many delicious dishes. There is the traditional wazwan, an elaborate meal consisting of meat dishes, vegetables, rice, and dessert. Gushtaba (meatballs made of mutton), badam pasand (meat with almonds), and Kashmiri pulao with saffron are some of the main Kashmiri dishes. The Kashmiri people are fond of tea. In Srinagar you must sip kahwah, or green tea flavored with spices, to refresh yourself.

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