Srinagar, arguably a city that embodies romance and beauty is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir; perfectly placed in the center of the Kashmir Valley. Srinagar literally meaning 'the city of wealth & abundance' in Sanskrit, was founded around 150 AD by King Pravarasen II. Situated on the banks of the river Jhelum, Srinagar is surrounded by beautiful lakes like Dal, Nagin and Anchar, whose glittering waters reflecting the rays of the sun is a sight to behold. Its vividly vibrant & beautiful houseboats sailing along the scenic Dal Lake against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayan snow clad mountains makes Srinagar a dream destination for every traveler.
Not only known for its beauty, Srinagar also has a special place in the history of ancient India. Excavations carried out here have identified many valued evidences of ancient settlements dating back to 5,000 years. The artifacts collected from the excavation are displayed in Srinagar museum, which include arrowheads, animal skeletons, implements, tools and pots from the Neolithic age.
Irrespective of the season, Srinagar attracts tourists throughout the year to enjoy its snow clad mountains, colors of fall & greenery of the summers. Dal Lake, the largest lake, spread across 26 sq.km is home to the maximum number of houseboats & Shikara's. No trip to Kashmir is complete without a stay on one of its luxurious house boats & a boat ride on a 'Shikara' along the pristine lake.
While the winters offers visitors the beauty of snow clad mountains & crisp, chilly winter breeze; summers showcases the plethora of colors on the canvas of nature from deep greens, to autumn browns & deep oranges.
Some of Srinagar's best kept natural beauties is at the sprawling Mughal Gardens - which houses the Shalimar Bagh & Nishat Bagh. Lake side views, magnificent sunsets, floating markets, verdant greens, authentic Kashmiri cuisine & hospitable locals are just some of the reasons why tourists from all over the globe flock to this 'Paradise on Earth'.
Some of the must see places in this splendid lake side city include the well laid out Mughal Gardens, the pristine Dal Lake, enjoy a relaxing Shikara ride, bow down at the Shankaracharya temple, indulge in shopping for the famous Pashmina shawls and Kashmiri handicrafts & last but not the least, enjoy some adrenaline rushing activities like skiing, trekking, white water rafting, paragliding, camping and Kayaking.
To visit and experience Srinagar hassle-free, view Srinagar Tour Package
by Madhav Srinivasan on Oct 10, 2011
Kashmir is a place that’s bestowed with amazing natural beauty; however, many political and regional problems over the past decades have impacted the tourist influx to the state negatively. The situation is clearing up as more tourists visit Kashmir...
by Afia Ahmad on Feb 11, 2011
Houseboats of Kashmir is a popular travel attractions among the tourists of Kashmir. A stay in these houseboats on the bank of Dal Lake is an ethereal experience, Read to get all the info on the houseboats of Kashmir.
by Afia Ahmad on Feb 11, 2011
Find detailed information on Vaishnodevi Yatra in Kashmir. Plan a pilgrim tours to Kashmir and pay homage to the famous sanctum of Mata Vaishnodevi, by indulging in trekking or hiring various other means to reach the sanctum.
Jan 05, 2012 04:34 PM
Jammu Kashmir received an all time high influx of tourists in the year 2011. Read on to know more…
The history of Srinagar dates back to the 3rd century B.C, when it was part of the Mauryan Empire. King Asoka is known to have introduced Buddhism to this part of the country and thus, Srinagar became an important seat in Buddhism. The city came under the ruling of the Kushans in the 1st century and further fell into the hands of the Huns in the 6th century.
Before the city came under the rule of the Mughals in the 14th century, Buddhists and Hindu kings ruled there. Akbar tried to gain control of the city after tricking the then ruler King Yusuf Shah Chuk and was successful in establishing the Mughal Empire in Srinagar along with various parts of the Kashmir valley.
After the downfall of Aurangzeb in 1707, the city went under the control of the Pashtun tribes and the Durrani Empire, who ruled here for many decades. In the year 1814 Raja Ranjit Singh conquered the city marking the onset of the Sikh rule in Kashmir.
In 1846, the British signed a peace treaty with the Sikhs and established Gulab Singh as the independent ruler of Srinagar. It remained so till independence after which the government of India took Srinagar under its administration.
However, Kashmir valley has remained a subject of conflict between India and Pakistan. Various tribes like Pashtun, gained power and tried to capture the city. However, Indian Army was able to restore the city to its ground. A covenant was signed between Hari Singh (then ruler of Srinagar) and Government of India declaring Srinagar to be a part of Indian Republic.
Travel within city
There are several ways to travel around the scenic city of Srinagar. Since it has been a tourist destination for many years the local travel options in the city are numerous. Tourists can opt for the usual buses, cabs & government taxis, auto rickshaws and also hire cycles. The most scenic way to get around the city of Srinagar is to use its various inter connected waterways by boats.
Shikara boats which operate around the picturesque lakes are cheap and have access to most of the important places of interest in Srinagar.
There are frequent taxi and bus services from the airport and railway station. Government taxis ply from the airport which is 15 km from the city and charge around Rs 400 to reach the city. However taxis may charge a special night fare which might be considerably higher than the usual fare.
Buses are frequent and much cheaper. There are auto rickshaws that are available from the railway station, however they may run on meter and travelers are advised to negotiate the rates before hiring one.
Cycles are another option to travel around the city and tourists who wish to take in the scenic settings around the city can opt for cycles.
Other than its captivating natural beauty, the city of Srinagar is a shopaholics delight. Some of the must buys while in this city is the quintessential Pashmina Shawls & stoles (to warm up those chilly winter nights), intricately hand crafted Kashmiri carpets, exquisitely carved wood carving products made of Walnut wood & one of the most delicately crafted products made of Papier Machie which is unique to the region.
Other than items of home decor & fashionable garments, something to take back from Srinagar is definitely the fragrant flavors of the most delicate & royal spices - the Saffron. Along the Srinagar - Anantnag highway, is Pampur - 13 km from Srinagar, where tourists can visit the Saffron fields & buy it fresh off from the farmers there. At Rs 200/gram its fragrance & authenticity is worth the money!
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