Srinagar, Jammu Kashmir

Srinagar, the state's winter capital, is the first stop for all travellers to Kashmir; and with its great lake and meandering river, its exquisite pleasure gardens and romantic shikara rides, the old-world charm of its houseboats and the ageless grace of its architecture, the city is a fitting introduction to the many enchantments of the valley. The vast Dal lake is, of course, Srinagar's emblematic feature, and its deep waters carry the most popular of Srinagar's attractions: houseboats and shikaras.

Many visitors are content to spend a great part of their holiday aboard these waterborne hotels, watching the lake's traffic float by from cushioned balconies, venturing into the houseboat's walnut-wood interiors for delicious, fragrant Kashmiri cuisine.

Srinagar is much more than multi-coloured houseboats moving through the Dal Lake and the snow clad Himalayas that seem to peek wherever you look. It is turbulent, no doubt, but you'd regret not visiting this city once. It bears scars of the tragedies that befell it, but it is too large to overshadow its beauty. It is spectacular no doubt, full of natural beauty, religious faith and brimming with historical events. Traces of the Mughal era are everywhere - in the well-manicured gardens, the typically octagonal water-bodies and the bakeries that lend out the typically Mughlai fares. Walk the mountain trails or sit back as the shikara oarsman fills you with stories that make Srinagar as special as it is.

Horse-riding though the meadows of Gulmarg, angling in the cold waters of the Lidder river at Pahalgam, the spellbinding beauty of Sonamarg and the architectural

treasures of Pandrethan and Parihaspura, these can all be experienced as day-trips from Srinagar.

Major Placest oVisit in Srinagar:

Nishat Garden, Srinagar:Nishat Bagh, though smaller than Shalimar, is more intensely beautiful.sitiuated on the banks of Dal Lake, the garden was built by

Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan in 1633 and is one of the largest Mughal Gardens
Chashma Shahi: Shah Jehan is reputed, also, to have laid out the gardens of Chashma Shahi, so named because of a mountain spring that waters it.
Pari Mahal: Pari Mahal is as much a monument as garden. This was initially a garden built by Dara Shiko for his Sufi teacher, Mulla Shah.
Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary: Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions.
Dal LakeThe Dal Lake which has the length of 8 Km long and a width of 4 Km, spreads over a total of 26 Sq. Km
Floating Vegetable Market:It's a maze of intricate waterways and channels, floating islands of vegetation, houseboats.
Jama Masjid: Jamia Masjid is known as one of the sacred shrines of Islamic followers. Be it the holiness or the constructional elegance
Hazratbal Shrine: Hazratbal's special significance is derived from the fact that it houses a hair of the prophet Muhammad.
The winters on the other hand is extremely cold and freezing and not suitable for holidaying. Heavy snowfall occurs during the winters but results in road blockages and disrupting road and air connectivity with rest of the country.
Srinagar has only two climates, pleasant summers and a very chilly, freezing winters. Rainfalls are very scanty here.

The best time to visit Srinagar is from April to October
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