Srinagar – Truly a Paradise on Earth
Situated in the Kashmir valley, on the banks of Jhelum River, Srinagar is a jewel adorned by enchanting lakes, tempting houseboats, striking architecture, luxuriant greenery & natural beauty. There are few things which are experienced & felt; you cannot capture it all in your camera, Srinagar is one of those places. It’s a treat for eyes and soul. The place has a vibrant culture coming from amalgamation of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.
The traditional performing arts include Bhand Pather, Chakri and Sufiana music.
Marred in the controversies, communal & border tensions and lately floods the city, most recently Haider movie!!! Kashmir always stays in the limelight for one reason or the other.
Battling all odds, this ‘Paradise on Earth’ still carries the charm & magic that will mesmerize you…..
Attractions you can’t afford to miss!!!
Dal Lake & Stay at the Houseboats & the fascinating Shikara Ride: This jewel is the biggest attraction of the valley with fascinating houseboats (floating palaces), floating market, gardens & vegetation and the classic Shikaras. You must certainly spend atleast a day at the houseboats. The silent mornings at the houseboats are out of the world – with the backdrop of beautiful surrounding mountains, just enjoy the peaceful view from your window – children going to school on boats, people just fishing, vendors who will come up to your window to sell stuff (flowers, milk, bread !!!)
Wandering at Pari Mahal: The seven terraced garden (and monument) is located at the top of Zabarwan mountain range. The view offered by this Fairies Abode is incomparable.
Trek to Shankaracharya Hill: This beautiful hill is actually adorned with Shiva temple situated on the top. Enjoy the panoramic views of Srinagar & Dal Lake. You will not be able to capture this beauty in the camera as one is not allowed to carry any gadget beyond a point due to security reasons.
Nishat Bagh: One of the four Mughal Gardens in Srinagar, gives magnificent view of Dal Lake & Pir Panjal range. You shall be able to get amazing clicks here.
Shalimar Bagh: Considered as the largest of all Mughal Gardens, has four terraces rising one above the other and nearly of equal dimensions.
Chashma Shahi: This is one really small as compared to other gardens but its uniqueness lies in the fact that it houses a mountain spring. The natural and fresh water surfacing out from the mountain is revered by many. Mr. Nehru used to take the spring water on his visits. We also observed army people carrying huge empty bottles to be filled from the spring. Infact, we also carried a bottle with us 🙂
Hazratbal Shrine: A Muslim shrine situated on the banks of Dal Lake constitutes an important pilgrimage site.
Nigeen Lake: Separated from Dal Lake by a causeway, Nigeen Lake offers solitude, visit this place in the morning hours to enjoy
Morning Walk at Badam Wadi: You won’t find this place listed as a tourist attraction anywhere else!!! This is garden located in the interiors of the city, we went for a morning walk there – the place has badam trees & other fruits also, people walk & jog & then enjoy eating fresh almonds!!! We also did 🙂
Hari Parbat: The Hari Parbat Fort over Koh-e-Maran hillock overlooking Srinagar city is now open to tourists after 24 years (since June 2014). The fort is one of the symbols of the tyranny of what local people went through during the past 500 years of subjugation under different invaders.
When to Visit
Srinagar is appealing across the year as every season has a peculiar beauty though there is heavy rush during May-July.
How to Reach
Srinagar is well connected by airport; there are regular flights available from major cities. Moreover, if you observe the tickets offers from Delhi, one-side tickets are offered for as low as Rs.1,300!!!
If you choose to travel by rail the train will drop you to Udampur, there are share cabs & buses going to Srinagar from here. The road is beautiful though but takes around 7-8 hours to reach the city. This could be pretty exhausting, preferably book a flight. 🙂
To move around the city, you can book a full day cab (I mean Innova types) for INR 2,000 – 2,500.