Srinagar: The Heart of Kashmir Valley
The largest and capital city of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, is a metropolitan city with a population of 1.6 million and has an elevation of 1500 metres above sea level. This city is known for its waterfronts, freshwater lakes, floating hotels, beautiful hills, heritage places, and rich arts and crafts. The lifeline of this city is the Jhelum River, which flows through the middle of the city, separating it into the north and the south parts. It is also known as the city of shrines, because of its large number of spiritual sites which are located in every corner.
The history of Srinagar is very vast and rich, that has mentions in various history books like the Rajtarangini and the chronicles of Huein Tsang, the famous Chinese traveller. Many dynasties have made this city their capital during their rule over Kashmir. According to historical records, this city was built by the ruler Ashoka, who belonged to the Gonanda dynasty. This Kashmir capital has passed through the phases of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam in chronological order, Islam being the most practised religion in the valley, in the present.
This place is the business hub and largest shopping market in the Kashmir Valley. It is known for the sale of handicrafts, tasty food, branded clothes, wholesale markets, departmental stores and shopping malls. It also hosts beautiful parks for relaxing and resting. The famous Sunday market is also a colourful scene to watch, which is a weekly market for every kind of affordable and cheap item to fill your bag with. The Jhelum River flows on one side of the Lal Chowk, on the banks of which are cafes and restaurants which give a soothing view of the River. It is a place to explore and enjoy, in the Kashmir capital.
This renowned and majestic freshwater lake in Srinagar city is known as the jewel in the crown of Kashmir Dal Lake rests in the foothills of Zabarwan hills and is the most famous place among tourists. This lake is mainly fed by the Telbal stream which sources from Marsar, an Alpine lake. It has many islands with some having inns for night stays.
A large number of local and foreign tourists throng this beauty to relish the activities of Shikara riding, sightseeing, houseboat stays, and more. This lake also supports the community of fishermen, who fish out and sell the numerous varieties of fishes, found in the lake. The lake has a boulevard running close to the Zabarwan Hills which hosts many shops of interesting items and food. If you are visiting the Kashmir capital, you can not afford to skip this place.
Heritage and History
These are the famous Mughal structures of unique architecture which were built by the Mughal Emperors. These structures have multi-level terraces with gardens and water canals. The gardens have flowers and trees which beautify it. These gardens are built on the foothills of Zabarwan hills and overlook the Dal Lake, creating an amazing view.
The gardens include Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Cheshma Shahi and Pari Mahal. Srinagar boasts these gardens with pride.
Hari Parbat Fort
Srinagar has a fort as well. Standing on the Kohi Maran hill, this fort has a large area with tall walls, many rooms and ponds and hosts a small mosque as well. It was built by the Afghan governor Atta Mohammad, of the Durrani empire. This place gives a 360-degree view of Srinagar and is among the best places to visit.
The Shri Pratap Singh Museum is a place of awe for the history buffs. It was built at the behest of Pratap Singh, the then Maharaja of Kashmir in 1898 abd hosts 80,000 objects, collected from different regions of North India. It is an amazing place to spend time in the Srinagar city.
The Kashmir capital hosts the resting place of the great ruler, Zain-ul-Abideen, also known as Budshah. This is the tomb that presents the unique architecture of the three tall structures that it hosts. The tomb is located on the banks of Jhelum, in the old city. The ruler Budshah, built it as a tribute to his mother and was himself buried here with his beloved mother.
Much revered and the largest mosque in the Kashmir capital is the Hazratbal shrine. This shrine was initially established by Inayat Begum, daughter of Khwaja-Nur-ud-Din-Eshai, a businessman of Kashmir who inherited the holy relic of the hair of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which the shrine hosts to date. This shrine has one dome and a minaret. It is among the most important places of spirituality for the people of Kashmir.
Located on the Shankaracharya hill in Srinagar, which falls on the banks of Dal Lake, this temple stands on the hilltop and is a famous place for Hindu pilgrimage. It was built by the saint Shankaracharya when he visited Kashmir. He made it his abode and spread his teachings at this location.
Holy family catholic church
This historical and religious place was established by Msgr. Winkley in the year 1896. This place is of utmost importance to the Christian minority in the Kashmir capital. It is located in the near the famous Lal Chowk, on the MA road.
Wildlife and Nature
Dachigam National Park
This place is one of the most important and famous national parks in the Kashmir valley, located 22 kilometres from Lal Chowk. The Dachigam National Park is a place of beauty and raw nature that hosts wonderful species of the endangered Red Dear, called Hangul in the local language. The source of Dal Lake, Telbal Nallah flows through it.
This is a high point on the Zabarwan hills, located in the Harwan area of Srinagar. It gives panoramic views of the city and is a famous place for paragliding. People enjoy sightseeing in the place. It is also a famous trekking location.
Our Srinagar tour packages
If you want to experience all this with zeal and zest, our affordable and best-curated packages will make your vacation, a memorable one. Visit www.kashmir.com to check the packages.
Author is a student who loves to explore new corners of learning. He likes writing and travelling while taking challenges that question his abilities and skills. His hobbies are helping people and spending time in nature.