Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
The largest city and the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar is popularly known as the “Paradise on Earth”. It comprises of two Sanskrit words- ‘Sri’ which means ‘Prosperity’ and is one of the ‘Names of Goddess Laxmi’, and ‘Nagar’ which means ‘City’. So, ‘Srinagar’ means the ‘City of Prosperity’ or the ‘City of Lakshmi’. It is situated in the Kashmir valley and is an intriguing place to visit.
Popularly called the ‘Venice of East’ or the ‘Kasmiri Venice’, Srinagar is most famous for its divine natural beauty, magnificent lakes, splendid houseboats, superb dry fruits and pleasing Kashmiri handicrafts. It is the most prominent holiday destination for honeymoon and family trips. Jhelum River is passing on both sides of the city, which makes it enchanting. The ‘Dal Lake’ of Srinagar is most visited by tourists because of its magnificent houseboats.
Location: It is located at the banks of Jhelum river, a tributary of the Indus, Dal and Anchar lakes
Climate: Summer season is hot and muggy. But the winter season is very cold.
Light cottons and light woollens can be worn in summers, but very heavy woollens will protect you from the shivering cold of winters.
Best time to visit: April-October
How to reach:
By Air: Srinagar International Airport (12 kms)
By Train: Srinagar Railway Station (16.7 kms), Budgam Railway Station (6.6 kms)
By Road: Can be reached easily by public and private transport
Places of interest
Location: 49.5 kms from the city
Best month to visit: October to Feburary and July to August
Gulmarg is the most popular tourist spot near Srinagar. The “Meadow of Flowers” is the second name of Gulmarg. Historically, it was the favourite hunting station of Emperor Jahangir. Gondola Ride (Ropeway) in Gulmarg is very popular for its spectacular views. It is one of the most prominent spots for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Adventure enthusiasts can enjoy trekking, skiing, mountain biking and lots of winter sports at this place. It is also very famous for its outstanding snow-capped mountains and breathtaking scenic beauty.
Location: About 80 kms North-East of Srinagar
Best month to visit: May to October, November-April
The astounding hill station Sonamarg is also popularly known as the “Meadow of Gold” because of the snow-capped mountains, which turn golden by the mellow rays of the Sun.. Situated at the top of the Sindh valley, Sonamarg offers angelic views of the flower-carpeted fields and the divine and quiet meadows. You will love the place if you go for trekking and hiking here. Tajiwas Glacier, Baltal valley, Gangabal Lake, Walnut Orchants are main tourist attractions of Sonamarg. All these places have their own charm and adventures. Sonamarg also serves as a base for the people who want to go to Amaranth. Sonamarg is also at the foot of Zoji La Pass and serves as the Gateway to Ladakh.
Location: 14.4 kms from the city
Best month to visit: May to November
Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes of India. It is 8 km long and 4 km wide and covers the total area of 26 sq.kms People also called it the “Jewel of Srinagar”. The vast sheet of the lake water reflects the astounding houseboats and the mighty peaks of Pir Panjal Mountains. The Lake is divided into four parts - Nagin Lake, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Garlibal. Don’t miss the ride of the mind blowing Shikara boats, while visiting this place.
Location: 17 kms from the City
Timings: Open all days of the week except Friday from 9.00 a.m.- 7.00 p.m.
The term “Shalimar” is a Sanskrit word which means the “Abode of Love”. This Mughal garden was originally called ‘Farah Baksh’ which means ‘The Delightful’ and was made by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his wife Nur Jahan to impress her, in 1619 A.D. This exotic garden is situated on the right bank of the astounding Dal Lake in Srinagar. Among the other two gardens- Nishat Bagh and Chashmeshahi, Shalimar Bagh is the largest in size, among the three Mughal Gardens of Srinagar.
There are 410 marvellous fountains in the garden. The large varieties of flowers in the garden make it a heavenly place to visit in the spring and autumn seasons. You will be intrigued to see the amazing light and sound show, which is held every evening from May to October.
Location: 13.2 kms from the City
Timings: Open all days except Friday from 9.30 a.m.- 5.30 p.m.
Also known as ‘Quntilon’ and ;Fairies’ Abode’, this marvellous terraced garden was constructed in mid 1600s, by Shah Jahan’s son, the Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh, in the memory of his tutor Mullah Shah Badakhshi. The ravishing garden has six terraces with separate water tanks, which are filled by underground pipes.
The garden was built in Mughal architectural style. Its well maintained lawns with a large variety of wonderful flowers and admirable fruit trees and the water spring make this garden a memorable place.