Srinagar is located in the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir. It is also known to be the largest city and the summer capital of the Jammu & Kashmir. It lies on the banks of river Jhelum which is a tributary of the Indus, and Dal and Anchar lakes. Some other lakes and Swamps in Srinagar are Khushal Sar, Gil Sar and Hokersar. Hokersar is a wetland located near Srinagar. A large number of migratory birds come to Hokersar from Siberia and other countries in the winter season. Srinagar is also referred to as “Venice of the East”. This beautiful city is famous for its traditional handicrafts, Pashmina shawls and dry fruits.. Tourists can also enjoy the House Boats, lakes and picturesque gardens of Srinagar.
10 Best Places to Visit in Srinagar
Let us know about the Top 10 Places to Visit in Srinagar :
(1) Dal Lake
Dal Lake is a lake in Srinagar is the second largest in Jammu & Kashmir. This lake is of great importance to tourism in Kashmir and thus named as “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”. Dal Lake is also considered to be an important source for fishing and water plant harvesting in Srinagar.
The shore line of the this beautiful Lake is about 15.5 km and is lined with Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats and an array of hotels. You can get the best views of Dal Lake from Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh. You can also hire a houseboat or a shikara to cruise along this beautiful lake. During the winter season, Dal Lake gets freezed as the temperature falls well below the 0 Degrees.
(2) Shankaracharya Temple
Shankaracharya Temple is located in the Srinagar district on the hills of Takht-e-Suleiman. This temple is situated at an altitude of 1100 ft. above sea level. Raja Gopadatya built this temple in 371 BC, giving it the name of Gopadri. The great philosopher Shankaracharya is believed to have stayed there when he visited Kashmir to revive Sanatan Dharma.
This temple is of great importance, not only due to religion but also for its unique architecture. A high octagonal platform supports the temple which can be reached by approximately hundred steps. The sidewalls of the steps of the temple once said to have bored some valuable inscriptions. You can also find a Persian inscription inside the temple, which dates back to the rule of popular Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The main shrine that survives till date consists of a circular cell and provides a spectacular view of the valley. The inner chamber of the temple after the repair work, is now covered with a modern type of ceiling.
(3) Wular Lake
Popularly known as one of the largest freshwater lakes in India, Wular Lake is located at a distance of about 60 kms from Srinagar. The flooded water that comes out of Jhelum River gets accumulated in Wular Lake. A reservoir named Tulbul Project is present at the mouth of the Wular Lake, which completes the need of water in Srinagar in winter season. Wular Lake is surrounded by beautiful mountains and dense forests which different variety of trees such as coniferous pine, apple and walnut which adds extra beauty to the surroundings.
Terrestrial birds those come to the Wular lake adds up to the serene atmosphere making the surrounding area look amazing. The lake also has a large variety of fishes, serving as a food for many. You will also find a number of people practicing fishing at this lake, which is the main occupation of many. Adventure seekers can enjoy water sports like water skiing and rafting on this spectacular Lake. Wular Lake attracts a huge number of tourists every year for water sports, fishing, shikara ride or to relax and enjoy a little picnic.
(4) Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal is a popular historical monument known as House of Fairies. It is located above the lovely Chashma Shahi Gardens near Srinagar. This palace surrounded by a well-laid spacious garden, which was once known to be a Buddhist monastery and later became a school of astrology. This palace was promoted by Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan. Pari Mahal is quite different from other gardens of Kashmir.
The garden has a total of six terraces with an overall length of about 400 feets. The breadth of the terraces varies from 179 feets to 205 feets. In the uppermost terrace, you will find the ruins of two structures, a barahdari which faces the Dal lake, and a water reservoir constructed against the mountainside. The reservoir was fed from the top by a spring, which has gone dry since then. Pari Mahal is literally means a Fairies Abode and is now a ruined garden palace and a historic monument.
(5) Tulip Garden
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, also known as Tulip Garden, is the biggest tulip garden in Asia. It spreads over an area of 29.6 acres. The Tulip garden in Srinagar was conceived, conceptualized and created in the 2006- 2007. It is locared in Sirajbagh, Chashmashahi on the foothills of the well known Zabarwan Mountain ranges with a beautiful view of the spectacular Dal Lake. Thi Garden has over 20 lakh flowers with hundreds of varieties of tulip. The beauty of colorful tulip flowers will surely win your heart. It attracts huge number of tourists when the perennial flower blooms specially in the month of March, April and May.
The floriculture department of Jammu and Kashmir organizes Tulip festival every year in the months of March and April when tulips are in full bloom. This festival is believed to be one of the biggest events in the Srinagar City. Tourists from across the globe, throng the city to witness hundreds of thousands varieties of tulip. This Tulip festival also arranges some cultural programs on traditional Kashmiri folk songs, exhibition, sale of locally made handicrafts and traditional Kashmiri food. The Ticket Price of tulip garden is Rs.50 for adults and Rs.25 for children.
(6) Shalimar Bagh
Shalimar Bagh is a Mughal garden situated on the right bank of the popular Dal Lake in Srinagar. Earlier named as ‘Farah Baksh’ (The Delightful), Shalimar Bagh was built by the popular Mughal Emperor Jahangir in the year 1619 for his beloved wife Nur Jahan. However, today it is popular by the name of Shalimar Bagh which means ‘The Garden of Love’. Shalimar Bagh is the biggest garden in size among the 3 Mughal Gardens in Srinagar, the other being Nishat Bagh and Chashmeshahi. Shalimar Bagh covers an overall area of approximately 539 m by 182 m. It offers a fantastic view of lakes and shallow terraces and a large variety of flowers that blossom in spring and autumn season.
This popular garden also has a canal, lined with polished stones. The water to Shalimar Bagh is supplied with water from Dal Lake. The canal runs through the center of the Shalimar Garden and looks extremely beautiful. Shalimar Garden also conducts a light and sound show every evening, in the months from May to October, when tourists visit Srinagar in huge numbers.
(7) Hari Parbat
This Mughal fort located on the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar is situated on top of the Sharika Hill. It was Built during the reign of ‘Akbar the Great’ with its present structure built according to the Afghan governor of Kashmir in the 18th century. It also has a Parvati temple on the western slope with Muslim shrines of Khwaja Makhdoom Sahib and Akhund Mullah Shah on the southern slope.
On the southern side of the outer wall of Hari Parbat there is a Gurudwara, that commemorates the visit of Guru Hargobind Singh. At present the Hari Parbat fort is occupied by army. As per local legend, this hill was once known to be a lake as big as a sea and was inhabited by the abominable demon known as Jalobhava. The inhabitants called on Goddess Sati(spouse of Lord Shiva) to help them. She took the form of a bird and dropped a stone on the demon’s head, which increased in size until the demon was completely crushed by it. Hari Parbat is reffered to as a pebble and it is believed to have become the home 33 crore Gods of the Hindu pantheon.
(8) Shri Pratap Singh Museum
Sri Pratap Singh Museum, also known as SPS Museum is a historical museum in Srinagar that incorporates rich heritage of the areas of Jammu, Kashmir, Gilgit and Baltistan. The museum is located in Lal Mandi locality on the left bank of the Jhelum River. Constructed in the year 1889 by Maharaja Pratap Singh, this museum takes the pride to has valuable terracotta articles of 3rd century from Buddhist site Ushkar. It also has some molded terracotta of 4th-5th century from Harwan.
A very old copper image of Lord Buddha of 5th century, Lokeshvara’s brass statue and green stone structures of Lord Vishnu sitting on Garuda are some popular spots of the museum. Other items on display in the Museum are miniature paintings, numismatics, manuscripts, musical instruments, weapons, utensils, furniture and decorative artifacts, textiles, carpets, leather-ware and grass & willow work.
(9) Hazratbal Shrine
The Hazratbal mosque is located in Srinagar district on the western banks of the beautiful Dal Lake. It faces the picturesque Nishat Bagh. This popular mosque offers a wonderful view of the Dal lake and the surrounding mountains. This revered shrine also popular to have the Moi-e-Muqqadus (preserved sacred hair) of Prophet Mohammad. Public display of the hair takes place only on religious occasions. Hazrat Bal mosque is also popular by the name of Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani and Dargah Sharif. One of the most revered Muslim shrines in India, Hazratbal is depicts the love and respect of Muslims for the Prophet.
The Hazratbal Mosque of Kashmir is known as a popular structure of beautiful white marbles. The Muslim Auqaf Trust headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah began to build the construction work on this structure in the year 1968. The construction took almost 11 long years and the mosque was completed in the year 1979. The Friday prayers offered at Hazratbal Mosque attracts the local Muslim residents in large numbers. As a matter of fact, Hazratbal is the only domed mosque in Srinagar.
(10) Nagin Lake
A tributary of the popular Dal Lake is the smaller Nagin Lake. Nagin Lake is usually thought of as a different lake, is also divided from Dal Lake just by a causeway. The causeways from Nagin Lake are mostly suitable for walkers and bicyclers, thus making a very pleasant way of watching the lake without worrying about the traffic or the Shikaras. The main causeway along with the lake carries the water pipeline for the mains water supply of Srinagar City.
‘Bathing boats’ at Nagin Lake hire out water-skis and motor launches. The waters of the lakes are pleasantly cool from the months of May mid to September mid. Shikaras can be hired from any of the steps known as ‘ghats’ (jetties) heading towards the lake. The lake is 6 X 3 km and is divided by causeways into 4 parts i.e., Gagribal, Lakut-dal, Bod-dal and Nagin. Lokut-dal and Bod-dal have an island in the centre, known as Rup Lank or Char Chinari and Sona Lank, respectively.
Other important tourist attractions in Srinagar include Nishat Bagh, Chashme Shahi, Awantipora, Jamia Mosque and Roza Bal.
Srinagar Weather :
Summer Season: 14 to 30 degree Celcius (April to September)
Winter Season : -2 to 14 degree Celcius (October to March)
How to reach :
By Road : Srinagar can be reached from bus services originating from all major Bus Stations across North India. Normal as well as air conditioned luxury Mercedes and Volvo Buses are available. Private tour operators also operate periodical bus services which cater to the tourists. Usually buses ply from New Delhi to Srinagar/ Chandigarh to Srinagar/ Jammu to Srinagar . Buses are also available from most of the major cities of Punjab and other surrounding States.
By Train : Srinagar is well connected with the rail route from Jammu Tawi and Udhampur. The nearest Railway Stations with distance from Srinagar are:
Jammu Tawi (JAT) — 294 kms
Udhampur (UHP) – 130 kms
Ram Nagar JK (RMJK) – 138 kms
These stations have excellent connectivity with other parts of the country. One can reach any part of the country using this rail link.
By Air: Besides Jammu, a number of domestic and some international flights operate from Srinagar Airport (SXR) and vice versa. The flights offer excellent and quick air link from almost every major city of India.
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