Srinagar

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.

Attractions:

Pari Mahal (House of Fairies) also known as Quntilon: is a historic monument placed above the beautiful Chashma Shahi Gardens near Srinagar. The ancient monument brings out the architectural brilliance of the fore gone age. A well-laid spacious garden surrounds this structure, which was once a Buddhist monastery and later served as a school of astrology promoted by the eldest son of Shah Jahan, Dara Shikoh.The garden, in the lawn of Pari Mahal with a small spring in the middle, with blooming flowers and fruits overlooks the picturesque Dal Lake. Rickshaws can be taken to reach Pari Mahal. It is a five minutes’ drive from Chashme Shahi Garden. Char Chinar is also a good place to visit.

Mughal Gardens: as the name suggests, built in the Mughal period is a marvel located around 13 km from Srinagar. These gardens are the major attractions for tourists coming to Jammu and Kashmir. These gardens are a fine example of the Mughal style of architecture & design. The Mughal Gardens is combination of three renowned gardens namely the Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens and Chashm-e-shahi. These gardens are every travelers delight with beautifully laid out manicured gardens, with vibrant flowerbeds, terraced lawns and well long stretches of cascading fountains.

Dal Lake: Popularly known as 'Srinagar's jewel' the Dal Lake, spread over a straggling 26 sq.km, is the most popular tourist attraction in Srinagar. Renowned for its house boats and Shikara boat rides, set against the slow clad glorious Himalayas, the Dal Lake continues to be on the canvas & subject of several poets & artists. Its unparalleled beauty & scenic environs makes it ideal to stay aboard the luxury houseboats & enjoy the gleaming evening sun shimmering on the lake as it goes down. The lake is partitioned in to four areas by four causeways, with the Western part of the lake dotted with many Islands attracting tourists with its serenity and solitude. It is first in the world to have secured Wi-Fi connection.

Saffron fields:  located in Pampore, around 12 km from Srinagar draw a huge number of visitors during late October to early November. From earlier times, saffron from these fields has graced feasts of Emperors and commoner alike. It is believed that Mughals used to celebrate Diwali at Saffron fields.
Watching these magnificent saffron fields in moonlight has been a local tradition. Travel Srinagar during Saffron festival, which is held every year in October and witness the intricate harvesting of saffron in the vibrant fields offering captivating view during the moonlit nights.

Shalimar Bagh : Constructed by the great Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619 for his beloved wife Nurjahan, the sprawling garden with four terraces, imposing fountains, well laid out manicured gardens, tall trees & fresh mountain air is one of the must visit places while in Srinagar. Located 15 km from the city the easiest way to reach the gardens is by taking a Shikara ride from Dal Lake. The Mughal Gardens layout taken from the Persian gardens has three terraces with fountains & lined with Chinar trees. Each of the 3 terraces carried distinct importance, the first one being the public terrace; called the Diwan-e-Aam. The second terrace called the Diwan-e-Khas was accessible only to nobles or guests of the court. And the third & the highest terrace called as “Abode of Love" was reserved for the king and the royal ladies.

House Boats: No trip to Srinagar is complete without staying on one of the several luxurious houseboats. Anchored along one of the largest lakes in India, the Dal Lake, these houseboats are complete with vibrantly furnished bedrooms, a drawing room, kitchen & bathroom. Your stay on the houseboat is as luxurious as it can get with cedar paneled elegant rooms, fine wooden furniture, wall to wall carpeting & modern bathroom fittings. As elegant as the houseboats themselves are the unique & whimsical names given to each of the houseboats. The houseboats come in different categories of luxury just like their on shore hotel counterparts. From deluxe to super deluxe categories, varying in their location as well. Some houseboats overlook the main road, others overlook the lotus gardens & yet others face tiny local markets & villages.

Wullar Lake:  the largest fresh-water lake in India, serves as a natural reservoir by drawing the excess water from the River Jhelum. Remains of a wonderful island built by King Zain-ul-abidin can be seen in the midst of the lake. Situated between the towns of Bandipore and Sopore, this unexplored and untouched lake is home to several species of birds. Many streams namely - Pohru, Harbuji, Erin and the Aarah, flow into the vast Wullar Lake. Reachable by buses or taxis, one can also visit the nearby Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary for a bird watching tour.

Shikara Ride: The quintessential reasons why people come to Srinagar are the houseboats & the Shikara ride. Taking the ride across the scenic Dal Lake at the backdrop of the majestic slow clad Himalaya's is indeed an experience in itself both enjoyable and unforgettable.Shikara rides can be taken in one of the circuits from Nehru Park past Hazratbal, Nagin, Rainawari and back. The interesting part of Shikara rides in Srinagar is the floating gardens, during the rides; you will get to see the most wonderful sights of the floating gardens, which are either vegetables or flowers.

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