Tourist places in Srinagar; Venice of the East or Kashmiri Venice
The lakes crisscrossing the city, Mughal gardens with its own architecture in an enchanting artwork and a pleasant climate is what titles Srinagar Venice of the East. In Sanskrit language, ‘Sri’ means Goddess Lakshmi and ‘nagar’ means city. Srinagar is the place where Lakshmi resides and this fact is quite evident from its opulent beauty.
This hub is a subpart of the earlier hub Kashmir Valley; the Paradise on Earth. Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the Kashmir Valley flanked by the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. Apart from its stately gardens, lakes and houseboats, Srinagar is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits. Major tourist attractions of the city are:
1. Dal and Nagin Lakes
These lakes have often been chosen as the scenic backdrop for many Bollywood movie songs. Dal Lake is titled as “the jewel in the crown of Kashmir” that is the prime attraction frequented with tourists for recreation. The urban lakeshore is encompassed by Mughal era gardens, houseboats, parks and hotels. Floating gardens called as ‘Rad’ in Kashmiri is also a part of this lake that blossom with lotus flowers during July and August.
The scenic beauty of the lake can be enjoyed from the nearby Mughal gardens in its salubrious climate. Houseboats moored to an end of the lake provide accommodation to the tourists for a short stay from where Dal Lake’s geography and charisma can be experienced directly. Finally, Kashmir’s cultural symbol ‘Shikara’ may cruise you through its glorious green waters consisting of floating gardens and markets to lure the jazzy facet of nature. Shikara provides a warm stay to its guests with all the settings in the Mughal style.
Char Chinar is an island located in Dal Lake where four Chinar trees amidst cool waters behold our sights while cruising in a Shikara. Nagin Lake, though known as an independent lake is actually a part of Dal Lake connected through a causeway. Nagin is said to have a calm and quiet ambience when compared to Dal Lake. Also the picturesque sights of lotus blooms are seen plenty in this divine lake of Srinagar during season.
2. Mughal gardens
Mughal gardens pervade an atmosphere of secret romance with its own unique style of architecture. The gardens in the vicinity of Dal Lake, Shalimar, Nishat and Chashme Shahi are typical epitomes of this. Shalimar garden was built by Emperor Jehangir to please his sweet queen Nur Jehan. Water terraces built with water flowing through channels are the main attractions of Shalimar. Chinar trees and different species of flowers line up the garden spreading their colors all around.
The majestic Nishat Mughal garden was laid out by Asif Khan, the brother of Noor Jehan in the shoreline of Dal Lake. Nishat, sprawling under Zabarwan mountain range overlooks Dal Lake with the snow-capped Pir Panjal range in the backdrop. Nishat garden has twelve water terraces with the towering green foliage of Chinar and cypress trees. The design and layout of the garden is adorable because of its fine craftsmanship.
Chashme Shahi meaning ‘the royal spring’ is built around a fresh water spring near Dal Lake. Ali Mardan, the governor of Emperor Shah Jehan built this garden that was commissioned by the Emperor. Water terrace, aqueduct and waterfalls encompassed by manicured green plants, flowers, trees and Zabarwan mountain range, the little garden Chashme Shahi is another artwork of the Mughals in Persian style.
3.Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
Previously named as Model Floriculture Center, Siraj Bagh is now known to the world as Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden. It is the largest tulip garden in Asia spread over 12 hectares with a cool, natural color mixed vista of more than 20 lakh tulip flowers blooming in long lines thick-packed. Under the Zabarwan hills, tulip garden forms a flower bed overlooking Dal Lake in its sheer grandeur.
4. Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal or Abode of the Fairies was founded by Dara Shikoh, Mughal Emperor Shahjehan’s eldest son, atop Zabarwan mountain range just above Chashme Shahi gardens for his Sufi teacher, Mulla Shah. Mughal garden surrounding the mansion was once filled with several springs, but only a few are left now. Pari Mahal dazzles in the night with its lights put on radiantly.
5. Shankaracharya temple
This temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva that stands in a summit above the plains of the city of Srinagar. It was originally a Buddhist temple and they call it Pas-Pahar. Later sacred Adi Shankara visited it when he came to Kashmir and installed a Shiv Linga. Then it became a Hindu temple. It is said that he stayed there with the aim of spreading the philosophy of Vedanta. Thus the temple came to be known as Shankaracharya temple.
6. Hazratbal Shrine
This is a popular Muslim shrine in Srinagar housing the relic Moi-e-Muqqadas, the hair of Islamic Prophet Mohammed. Situated on the shore of Dal Lake, it’s marble architecture is pristine with a domed roof. This religious place gets thronged for religious prayers on Fridays and the relic is displayed to the public during special occasions.
7. Hari Parbat
It is a hill overlooking Srinagar bearing a fort named Durrani, a Shakthi temple, a Muslim shrine of Hamza Makhdum and a Sikh Gurdwara of Guru Hargobind. The fort fortifications were started by Akbar, but got completed by the King Shuja Shah Durrani. Shakthi temple is dedicated to Goddess Jagadamba Sharika Bhagavathi. She has 18 arms and is considered to be the presiding deity of Srinagar city. Below the fort, the Muslim shrine of Hamza Makhdum Sahib nestles with a remarkable architectural style. Gurdwara Chatti Patshahi, Kathi Darwaja, Rainawari is a prime Sikh temple in Kashmir. It is believed that this temple in Hari Parbat is visited occasionally by the sixth guru of Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Singh to preach. The hill is holy owing to the presence of these many divine architectures.
8. Kheer Bhawani temple
This temple is constructed over a sacred spring in the village of Tula Mula in Ganderbal district dedicated to Goddess Bhawani worshipped by all Hindus universally. As kheer (a sweet pudding) is offered to the goddess to propitiate her during spring, the name kheer also became a part of the name of the temple. Most of the Kashmir Hindus offer prayers to this Mata to get her blessings in their studies and works.
9. Manasbal Lake
Do you like Srinagar?
Located in Ganderbal district, Manasbal Lake got its name from Manasarovar Lake. The periphery of this deepest lake in India gets teemed with largely growing lotus flowers scenting the crystal clear waters. Several aquatic birds stamp here and the lake is the fondly place of birdwatchers that awards Manasbal Lake the sobriquet, “supreme gem of all Kashmir lakes”. Important vegetation in the catchment of the lake comprises of Orchards such as apple and mulberry and the Platanus, Chinar and Salix trees.
Hovering over Srinagar, the abode of Goddess Lakshmi would empower you with cognizance, beauty and art. Sometimes, it can be your ultimate destination of travel ventures that may clasp your soul to its rich, splendor semblance with much affinity.
- Kashmir Valley Attractions; the Paradise on Earth
The Kashmir Valley or Vale of Kashmir is a valley located between the Karakoram and the Pir Panjal Range in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It has an area of about 135 km length and 32 km width, flanked by the Jhelum River. Sparkling lakes, co
- Hill station Jammu; the city of temples
Jammu City is the “City of Temples” that anchors a big set of Hindu temples and shrines in the higher altitudes. With hills and valleys, Jammu’s panorama is beautiful with the incessant blessings of Gods residing here.
So many of us see the traditional vacation spots like Hawaii or Mexico. Well maybe its time to have a look at someplace like Srinagar, India
© 2013 Radhika Sreekanth