Srinagar Information

Scenic Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu And Kashmir State sprawls elegantly on both sides of the river Jhelum. According to Kalahana, the author of ‘Rajatarangini’, this city of lakes and gardens was originally named as Srinagar and was founded by emperor Ashoka (3rd century B.C.).  The present town was established by Pravarasena II and finds mention in the travelogues of Hiuen tsang. Persian influence over city’s art and culture was introduced by the Afghan Badshah, Zain-ul-Abidin (1420-70).  But, most of the city’s formal beauty and its fine mosques are a result of the patronage provided by the Mughal rulers.  Srinagar was the summer resort of the Mughals, who built gorgeous gardens with fountains, waterways, pavilions and terraces placed between groves of chinar and willow.

Location

Srinagar is located at 34.09° N latitude and 74.79° E longitude.  It is in the western part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in the northern region of India.  River Jhelum passes through Srinagar city. The city is 876km north of Delhi.

Climate

The weather in Srinagar is alpine.  Sumer (April-June) are mild and winters are cold (November-February).  It experiences heavy snowfall in December-February. The best time to visit Srinagar is during summers between April and June.

History

In the 3rd 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.  In the 6th century, it was a part of the kingdom of Vikaramaditya, the ruler of Ujjain.  Local Hindu rulers ruled in until the 14th century, after which Muslims invaded and ruled it.  Srinagar was a part of the Mughal Empire in the medieval period.  In 1814, it became a part of the Mughal Empire in the medieval period.  In 1814, it beame a part of the Sikh empire, when Ranji Singh defeated the Pathans.  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 Indian in 1948, when the Pathan the marauders from Pakistan tried to overrun this state.

Srinagar Tourism Information

Srinagar is the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir.  Srinagar bears the hallmarks of the Mughals.  It's a city full of intriguing alleyways and curious buildings.  It 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.  From times immemorial, Srinagar was called the 'Paradise on Earth'.

Dal Lake

Delightful Dal, the largest lake of the city is indeed the icon and focal point of Srinagar.  The lovely lake is divided by causeways into four parts – Gagribal, Lokutdal, Boddal and Nagin.  Both Lokutdal and Boodal have an island in the centre – called as Rup Lank or Char Chinari and Sona lank respectively.  Nagin Lake at the foot of Shridhara (Zabarwan) mountain is the smallest and the most beautiful part of the Dal.  One can also enjoy shikara rides, staying at houseboats, swimming and water skiing etc., at the Dal. Dal is a Himalayan urban lake which is mainly used for tourism.  Fishery is of secondary importance.  The lake comprises five basins and a myriad of inter connecting channels.  It is one of the most beautiful lakes of India and the second largest lake in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.  The lake is surrounded by mountains on its three sides.  A large number of gardens and orchards have been laid along the shores.

Hazratbal Mosque

The white marble mosque on the north-west shore of the Dal Lake, enshrines a holy hair (bal) of Prophet Mohammed and is regarded as one of the holiest mosques of Kashmir.

Shalimar Bagh

Built by Emperor Jahangir for his wife, Nur Jahan, Shalimar, is a beautiful garden with sweeping vistas over gardens and lakes, and shallow terraces.  The garden is 539m by 182m, and has four terraces, rising one above the other.  a canal lined with polished stones and supplied with water from Harwan runs through the middle of the garden.  The fourth terrace, by far the best, was once reserved for royal ladies.  It has fountains in between and a canal runs through the middle of the garden which is supplied with water from Harwan.  The fourth terrace of the garden is by far the best and was once reserved for the royal ladies.  Panoramic view of the garden and lake can be enjoyed from here. Nishat Bagh or the ‘garden of bliss’: The beautiful garden with several terraces and a central water course, was built in 1633, by Asaf Khan, the brother of empress Nur Jahan on the banks of the Dal.

Pari Mahal

The grand palace perched atop a hill near the Cheshma Shahi garden was originally a Buddhist monastery and was later converted to a palace by Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan.  It became a royal observatory and a school of astrology was established here by Dara Shikoh. Once the royal observatory, Pari Mahal has a charmingly laid out garden and is a five-minute drive from Cheshmashahi.  A Buddhist monastery at one time, it was converted into a school of astrology by Dara Shikoh, Mughal Emperor Shahjahan's eldest son.  Situated on the spur of a mountain overlooking the Dal, the ancient monument, with a well-laid spacious garden in front, is connected to Cheshmashahi by road.

Jami Masjid

This important mosque of Srinagar was first built by Sikandar Butshikan in 1402 and further additions to the structure were made by his son Zain-ul-Abidin.  The present structure was built by Aurangzeb and is noted for its 300-plus wooden pillar.

Cheshma Shahi

The magnificent garden overlooking the city and lovely lake was built by Shah Jahan in 1632.  It is the smallest of Srinagar’s Mughal gardens with three artistically designed terraces and a natural spring of water enclosed in a stone pavilion.  The water of the spring is said to posses some curative properties. At Chashmashahi, is a tastefully laid garden in terraces, which commands a magnificent view of the Dal Lake below and the surrounding mountain ranges.  The cool water of the spring is highly refreshing and digestive. 

Shah Hamadan Mosque

It is located on the banks of river Jhelum and is one of the most beautiful and oldest mosques of Srinagar.  The mosque with pagoda-like spire commemorates Mir Sayyad Ali Hamdani, a holy sage from Iran.

Sri Prabat Fort

It has a shrine of goddess Sharika, (Durga).  The hill was first fortified by Emperor Akbar in 1592-98 and was further developed in the 18th century by an afghan governor Atta Mohammed Khan. Presently the fort is in the state of ruins and the historic shrine of Shah Makhdum Sahib on the slopes of Hari Parbat hill is visited by people of all faiths.

Chhatti Padshahi Gurudwara

The sacred Sikh shrine near Kathi Darwaza, in Rainawari, commemorates the visit of sixth Sikh Guru Hargobindji.

Shankaracharya Temple

This ancient temple on the Takht-i-Sulaiman hill is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is said to be built on the site where the Advaita philosopher saint, Adi Shankracharya stayed during his visit to Kashimir.   Historians believe that the first edifice on this site was built b emperor Ashoka’s son Jaluka around 200 B.C., and was later rebuilt in the 6th century by king Gopaditya. The teple affords an awe-inspiring view of the Dal Lake and the snow peaks of the Pir Panjal range.

Srinagar Tour Information

Achabal (58kms)

Alluring Achabal near Anantnag was the pleasure retreat of Nur Jehan. Jehangir laid out a fine Mughal style garden over here for his beloved wife.

Aharbal (51kms)

The spectacular waterfall is formed by river Veshav, which plunges down from a height of 24.4meteres into a narrow gorge.

Charar-i-Sharif (30km)

It lies on the road to Yusmarg and is famous for the ‘ziarat’ or shrine of Sheikh Noor-ud-Din, the patron saint of Kashmir.  The architecture of the shrine is noteworthy.

Dachigam National Park

It covers an area of 141 Sq.km with altitudes varying between 1700 and 4300 metres.  The most famous inhabitants of the park are hangul or the Kashmir stag, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Himalayan marmot, leopard, species of wild goats etc.  Exotic birds like crimson tragopan, the iridescent monal pheasant etc., can also be seen here.

Gulmarg (57km)

Gorgeous Gulmarg, literally the ‘Meadow of Flowers’ is one the most unique hill resorts of the world.  This huge grassy, cup-shaped meadow at an altitude of 2653 metres is surrounded by fir trees and majestic snow-clad peaks.  The region of Gulmarg becomes all the more beautiful as one season changes, into another.  Gulmarg is also famous for various outdoor sports activities like golf, horse riding, skiing, trekking etc.  Golfing at Gulmarg’s 19-hole course is a unique experience.  It is also the premier skiing resort during the winters.  There is a facility of Gondola Cable car at Kongdor, which carries you to the top of a ski run.

Kheer Bhawani Temple (27km)

It is dedicated to goddess Raginia Devi (Durga) at Tula Mula village and is considered to be the most important Hindu pilgrim centre in Kashmir, after Amarnath cave.  A marble temple with golden dome stands in the middle of the pool created by the spring water.

Pahalgam (96km)

Picturesque Pahalgam, an idyllic resort set on the confluence of Lidder and shesnag streams in endowed with enormous natural beauty and scenic vistas.  It is a perfect place for leisure, pleasure and relaxation and is also an important trekking base, the most famous being the holy pilgrimage to the sacred Amarnath cave.

Sonmarg (84km)

Sonmarg, the ‘Meadow of God’ nestles at an attitude of 2730 metres in the valley carved out by the waters of the mighty Indus meandering through it and snow clad peaks in the backdrop, leaves a lasting impression on the minds of the visitor.     

Nishat Bagh

Situated on the banks f the Dal Lake, with the Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop, this 'garden of bliss' commands a magnificent view of the lake and the snow-cpped Pir Panjal mountain range which stands far away to the west of the valley.  Asaf Khan, brother of Nur Jahan, designed Nishat in 1633AD.

Martand

Martand, located atop a plateau, close to the township of Anantnag, has a temple dedicated to Surya, the "Sun God".  Built by King Laitaditya Muktapida (7th to 8th century AD), it is a medieval temple with a colonnaded courtyard, and the shrine in its centre.  The temple complex has 84 columns, and offers a commanding view of the valley of Kashmir.

Festivals

Durga Ashtami

During the month of April, people celebrate Durga Ashtami, followed by Ramnavami.  It is the birthday of Lord Rama.  For the Kashmiri pundits, the day is also connected with Goddess Durga, and they celebrate it with a feast of rice and meat, after the prayers.

Srinagar Distance Guide

Srinagar Anantnag 56 Km
Srinagar Baramula 61 Km
Srinagar Kathua 389 Km
Srinagar Leh (Ladakh) 434 Km
Srinagar Muzaffarabad 195 Km
Srinagar Punch 151 Km
Srinagar Riasi 316 Km
Srinagar Jammu 305 Km
Srinagar Udhampur 77 Km