Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir stands on Dal Lake and the river Jhelum. This ancient city was founded by Emperor Asoka when his daughter Charumati took a fancy to Dal Lake during a pilgrimage to the area. The present city was established by the King Raja Pravarsen II in the 6th century. Its name was derived from the old name ‘Suryanagar’ (The city of Surya or the Sun God).
It had a strategic as well as economic importance as it stands on the ancient trade route to Central Asia Srinagar is the most populous city, covering an area of about 28.5 sq km. The river Jhelum, flanked by the Dal lake and intersected by canals, runs through the city and lends an idyllic charm to it.
Snow capped mountains, romantic houseboats, sunny gardens, simmering lakes aesthetic beauty, rich culture, historical monuments and refreshing Kawah is what Srinagar overview is all about. The weather in Srinagar is alpine. Summers (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.
Â HOW TO REACH
Cities likeÂ Delhi,Â Mumbai, Jammu,Â Bengaluru, Indore andÂ LehÂ are connected to Srinagar by air. About 876 km fromÂ Srinagar, Delhi is the closest international airport. Most major cities across the world are well connected to Delhi by flight.
About 305 km from Srinagar, Jammu is the closest railhead. Most of the major cities in the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Kanyakumari, Indore,Â Pune,Â Chennai,Â Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Jabalpur andÂ RishikeshÂ are well connected to Jammu by rail. Additional trains operate on this route during the holiday season.
Various public and private buses connect SrinagarÂ to neighbouring towns and cities. Buses are available from Delhi,Â Chandigarh, Jammu, Leh,Â Pahalgam, etc. Apart from that taxis toÂ SrinagarÂ are easily available from Jammu which is at a distance of 290 km.
WHAT TO SEE
Shalimar Garden or Shalimar Bagh, second in size among the Mughal Gardens at Srinagar also has the name of Nur Jehan attached to it. This is because this garden was built by Jahangir for his wife Nur Jehan. This garden is also marked by the presence of terraces that are separated by water channels. There are four terraces in this garden having an area of 539×182 meters and the water to this garden is supplied from Harwan through a canal which is lined with fountains. The topmost terraces were reserved for the royalty especially the 4th terrace which was meant for the royal ladies. There is a pavilion, in the 4th terrace, which served as a banquet hall. The pavilion gets its support from the marble pillars, black in color and having beautiful engravings in them. The garden is designed in such a fashion that the fountains and the trees create the illusion of slowly moving towards the horizon.
The landscaped Mughal Gardens, developed by the rulers of the Mughal dynasty, make you fall in love with their beauty. The garden, which has an area of 548mx338m, is house to beautiful flowering trees and the tall chinars add a majestic touch to the garden. The garden has terraces and water canals flowing through the middle.Â The name Mughal Gardens is given for the combination of three renowned gardens namely the Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens and Chashmashahi. These gardens are touristsâ€™ paradise and are beautifully decorated with bright flowerbeds, terraced lawns and well maintained cascading fountains. No tourist can miss these three nice marvelous gardens.
Â The world-renowned Dal Lake is one of the major tourist attractions in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir State. One of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes in India, it gives the visitor a 360Âº view of the mighty himalayas.Â Srinagar was the summer resort of the Mughal rulers of India and they made this lake beautiful with Mughul-type gardens and pavilions near the banks.
Dachigam National Park:-
Dachigam National Park, a place with abundant natural beauty is located 22km north east from Srinagar in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 141 square kilometers with altitude ranging from 5500 ft to 14000 ft above mean sea level. Due to this variation, the park is differentiated as upper and lower Dachigam. The park has been a protected area since 1910, first under the care of the Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir and later under the observation of the concerned government authorities. It was upgraded and declared a National Park in the year 1951.
Cool and bracing in the height of summer, Patnitop, is a popular hill resort of Jammu and Kashmir. Counted among the best developed tourist spots in Jammu Kasmir, it is located at a height of 2,024 metres above sea level and about 112 kilometers from Jammu. Also known as Patni Top, it is situated in Udhampur district on the National Highway 1A, on the way from Udhampur to Srinagar.The original name of the hill station was Patan Da Talab” meaning ‘Pond of the Princess’ (In olden times a pond existed here and the princess used to bath here) but with the advent of the British, the name was changed to Patnitop. The natural beauty, dense pine forests and flourishing green landscape makes it a popular destination among the students, honeymooners and families visiting the Jammu and Kashmir state. It is said that tourists who visiting this hills station for the first time, are bound to fall in love with the place.
The Naag Temple:-
Situated at Krimchi near Mantalai (the place where mythological marriage of the God Shiva and Goddess Parvati held), the Naag temple is one of the most ancient shrine in Patnitop. More than 600 years old, it is situated on the top of a hill. During the Naag Panchami Festival, thousands of devotees visit this temple.
Just outside Patnitop is Shudh Mahadev Ka Pahad which attracts pilgrims at full moon in July – August to the ancient holy trishul (trident) associated with the epic Mahabharata.
During Winter months (January – February), Patnitop attracts lots of tourists because Patnitop offers unique skiing possibilities. In winter months, special skiing classes are usually conducted for beginners. Since the snow covered slopes of Patnitop are not much steep, they turn out to be perfect for beginners. Madhatop, just 5 km away from here on the Sansar Road offers good possibilities for expert skiers as well as beginners. The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development provides ski instructors for the beginners.
Like Winter sports, Aero sports have become quite prominent in Patnitop. Even though, Parasailing and hot air ballooning are increasingly popular in Patnitop, tourists widely indulge in Para gliding. May, June, September and October are best for paragliding.
Srinagar is well know for handicraft items like pashmina shawls, silk carpets, embroidrey suits and stoles. Also, you can buy very good walnut wood furniture, paper meshi items and saffron.
The best Kashmiri dish in Srinagar was only the Kashmiri Wazwan, Srinagar has lot more to offer. The culture and tradition of Kashmir is evident everywhere in its summer capital.