Srinagar : The Opulence of Nature
When a place has been dubbed as the Kashmiri Venice, you will be expecting a lot from it. Srinagar fulfills those expectations and gives you more. The houseboats languidly traversing the waters of the Dal Lake will remind you of Venice. However, you just need to look at the majestic mountains in the distance to remind yourself that you really are in the heavenly land of Kashmir. Apart from the lazy houseboats, Srinagar offers you a true glimpse into the fascinating Kashmiri culture. The gardens of Srinagar are mired in history. The wooden mosques here are examples of the unique Kashmiri style. In the northwest, you will find the old city of Srinagar which is fantastically chaotic and singularly fascinating in its chaos. The placid Dal Lake will enchant you with its colorful splashes of houseboats.
How to Get There
By Air :
Srinagar airport is 14 km from the city. Named Sheikh Ul Alam Airport. This airport is well connected and airlines offer regular flights from Srinagar to Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh.
By Rail :
The nearest railhead for Srinagar is Jammu Tawi: 295 km where trains arrive from Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, New Delhi.
By Road :
Srinagar is connected by a network of well-maintained roads National Highway 1-A, connecting Srinagar with Jammu. The famous Jawahar Tunnel that connects Jammu with the Kashmir Valley across the Pir Panjal range falls en route. Distance from other places; Jammu: 290 km, Pahalgam: 87 km, Sonmarg: 80 km, Katra: 264 km, Gulmarg: 50 km Ladakh: 434 km
The thick and lush forests on Shankaracharya Hill are topped by a temple located at the very peak. This magnificent structure was built from bulky blocks of grey stones. What is awe-inspiring is the fact that the present structure of the temple was possibly built in the 9th century A.D. It is considered that the original temple was built in 200 B.C. It is a testament to the extraordinary skills of the craftsmen of that era who could manage to create a structure this beautiful. The architectural style may be simple but the skills of the craftsmen are apparent. The temple itself is currently dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Chashme Shahi Garden
Srinagar is dotted with some amazing gardens built under the supervision of the Mughal emperors. The Chashme Shahi Garden is one of them. This beautiful garden was built around a spring. Artistic in its serene appeal, the Chashme Shahi Garden was built with a lot of Persian influences. The unique topography of the area affected the design of the garden and helped improve its beauty. The clear spring forms the focus of the garden and its waters falls down through terraces built into the land. The waters are divided into three sections and each of them is equally stunning in its implementation. A waterfall, an aqueduct and fountains are the three sections.
Garden of Char Minar
IGM Tulip Garden
The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the largest of its kind in Asia. The sight of 20 lakh tulips blooming with the waters of the Dal Lake in the distance can enthrall you completely. On the other side of the garden, the Zurbaran Hills rise like a protector watching over the picturesque tulip blooms. The garden is home to more than 70 varieties of these beautiful flowers.
Kashmir Houseboat and Shikara
Shikaras are a type of boats that are peculiar to Kashmir. Often compared to the Venetian gondolas, these quirky boats are a cultural symbol. A trip to the Dal Lake is incomplete without a leisurely ride on a colorful shikara. These boats are painted in bright colors that perfectly capture and showcase the very essence of the Kashmiri valley. The beauty of the shikara is immortalized and encapsulated in the many artistic works through the centuries. Another boat commonly that has become ingrained in the culture and history of Kashmir is the houseboat. Bigger than a shikara, these boats serve as houses. Each houseboat will have delicate carvings on their wooden panels which serve to enhance their beauty. Living in a stunning house that floats on the incredible Dal Lake with mesmerizing views all around is the stuff that romantic dreams are made of.
Kheer Bhawani Temple