The uniqueness of Srinagar is that apart from being the capital to the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the summer months, the place is a glorious representation of nature. With the River Jhelum flowing from its sides of Srinagar is protected by five districts. Lying in the Kashmir valley, Srinagar is at an altitude of 1585 meters. Srinagar is dotted with lakes and beautiful gardens. With the sun kissed peaks of the mountains in the backdrop and the peaceful waters of the lakes, Srinagar is a paradise on the planet. While in Srinagar, one needs to visit following places that will magnify your experience.
1. Dal Lake
On a trip to Srinagar, Dal Lake finds the first place on the itinerary. The alluring Shikara or the wooden boats that float on the beautiful waters impart a view of the circumference of the lake that promenades the Mughal gardens. The colourful hues of the nature and the sunrise and sunsets from the lake are impeccable. The lofty mountains, the blues both of the sky above and water below and the fragrances of the fresh flowers from the edging gardens makes the entire lake serene and tranquil.
2. Shalimar Bagh
Laid out with the Persian style of architecture, the Shalimar Bagh garden is sprawled in 31 acres of land. Built on the periphery of the Dal Lake the garden was built to please Queen Noor Jahan by Shehenshah Jahangir. Laden with trees on the sides and a canal flowing through the middle of the garden paved with polished stones the garden is a mesmerising beauty. With three terraces each portraying different views of the garden, Shalimar Bagh is drenched in its own beauty.
3. Shankaracharya Temple
Dating back to 200 BC the temple is built on the top of Shankaracharya Hill. Being devoted to Lord Shiva the temple holds a prime significance to the Buddhists as well. The temple involves a little trekking for the devotees and is said to stand on an octagonal pavement. The temple has been renovated a several times and the premises of the temple impart a breath-taking view of the valley below.
4. Nigeen Lake
In contrast with the Dal Lake, Nageen Lake is quieter and calmer and separated through a causeway from the Dal Lake. While the centre of the lake has clean blue placid waters the edges reflect the trees that are rowed along the shore line. With clear skies over head and wrapped between the mountains and cruising on the shikara is one of the best experiences of Srinagar.
5. Jamia Masjid
With the hushed interiors that are an irony to the surrounding busyness of the bustling markets outside the premises of the mosque, Jamia Masjid is one of the holiest Islamic shrines of the country. Intricately carved wooden pillars count to 370, the mosque reflects Indo-Saracenic architecture. Elegantly standing tall amid the accurate square garden the mosque is of unmatchable in all forms.
6. Hazratbal Shrine
The white marbled dome structure reflecting its charm in the waters of Dal Lake on its western shore is the Hazratbal Mosque. Being a prime place of worship for the followers of Islam the mosque holds the relics of the prophet Muhammad. The shrine is a beautiful architectural edifice that outshines perfectly.
7. Pari Mahal
The multi-terraced garden, literally translates to the ‘palace of the fairies’ is built at an elevation and offers splendid views of the Dal Lake. The Pari Mahal garden has velvety green gardens and has an historic importance that is much older than the Mughal Era. The place was initially a monastery for the Buddhists and then was the learning institute for Emperor Shah Jahan’s son, Dara. The view just gets majestic from each terrace and surpasses the other.
8. Tulip Garden
A recent addition to Srinagar is the Tulip Garden. The largest of its kind in Asia, Tulip garden houses about 60 variants of tulips. When in the full bloom the tulips sprawl in about 12 hectares of area and provide a mesmerising view. The tulip garden was built with the mission to enhance the tourism of Srinagar.
9. Apple Orchards
Famous for its Kashmiri Apples, one cannot skip visiting an apple orchard. Strolling through the red and green pathways that are laden by the trees and coloured by the apples is an amazing experience. Apple orchards are common sight in Srinagar but the experience of plucking an apple and having it is beyond words. The entire area imparts the sweetest flavours to your taste buds.
10. Kheer Bhawani Temple
Dedicated to Goddess Bhawani the temple is a sacred temple for the Kashmiri Pandits. It is said that the rice pudding, kheer is offered to the deity and hence the temple gets its name Kheer Bhawani. Enveloped by the chinar trees on the perimeter the temple is covered by smooth and gorgeous stones. There is also a sacred water spring that is said to be auspicious.
Srinagar encompasses the beauty of heavens in one place and is a majestic and mesmerising place. This popular tourist destination it has all the components to take you to another place in time.
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