Srinagar is situated in the Kashmir Valley and is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Srinagar is sprawled along both the banks of the Jhelum River and this lends a unique charm to its landscape.
[caption id="attachment_925" align="alignright" width="294" caption="Kashmir. Temple of Jyeshteswara Shankaracharya, on the Takht-i-Suliman Hill, near Srinagar. Probable date 220 B.C. 2"][/caption]
Srinagar was founded by King Pravarasena II as far back as 2,000 years ago. History reveals that the great Chinese traveler had visited Srinagar as far back as 631 A.D. Till 1339, Kashmir was ruled by the Hindu Kings. Later on it came under the Muslim rule and even Mughal Emperor Akbar had conquered Srinagar to include it within his empire. It also saw its glory being a part of Mauryan Empire. During the reign of the Kushan dynasty, Srinagar was important as a place of Buddhist pilgrimage.
How to reach
Srinagar has well-maintained roads connected to nearly all the cities of North India and also to other major cities of India. Daily buses run from Jammu to Srinagar and the journey time is around 12 hours. Buses directly from Delhi to Srinagar take around 24 hours to reach.
Jammu is the closest railhead to Srinagar and has all major incoming and outgoing trains from all other major cities of India to suit all tourist needs.
Srinagar, being the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, has a dedicated airport of its own.
Places to see
The Mughal Gardens with fountains and manicured lawns is an excellent place to spend the day and are beautiful even when the flowers are not in bloom. Nishat Bagh on the banks of the beautiful placid Dal Lake offers exquisite views of the lake and the snow-capped Pir Panjal mountain ranges. Shalimar Bagh, another beautiful garden built by Emperor Jahangir on the banks of Dal Lake and Chashmashahi also a Mughal Garden are other beautiful attractions for the tourists. Hazratbal Mosque, exquisitely built in pure white is a primary religious destination. Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph is a famous tomb is believed to be the tomb of Jesus and is famous on that account. Shankaracharya Mandir is a Hindu Shiva Temple built on a hilltop. Pari Mahal presents spectacular views of the city of Srinagar.
Leather products, jewellery, pashmina shawls, mats made from felt and all decorated and embroidered, rugs with chain stitch, varied items made from paper mache, and saffron are all very unique buys specific to Srinagar and tourists just love to shop for winter collection made of the expensive wool and silk pashmina.
Places to stay
Centaur Lake View Hotel, The Lalit Grand Palace, Blooming Dale Hotel, Hotel Sadaf, Hotel Dar-Es-Salam, Hotel Broadway, City Plaza Hotel, Jamal Resort, Welcome Hotel, Hotel Holy Night, Grand Mumtaz, Silver star, De-Laila Group of Houseboats, Zamrud Hotel, Parimahal Hotel, York Hotel, Hotel Center Point, Hotel New Mamta, Hotel Dawer Heaven, Hotel Shaneel Residency, Gurkha Houseboats, Hotel Sunshine, Hotel Paradise, Pinegrove Hotel, Metro Hotel, Hotel Madhuban are some choices of accommodations in Srinagar to suit all budgets.
Best time to visit
Srinagar can be visited all through the year but the summer months of April and June are the best time to enjoy its exquisite scenic beauty.
Srinagar being located at a height of 1730 meters above sea level has cool summers and freezing cold winters. Winter temperature can drop as low as -2 degrees Celsius and Srinagar sees a lot of snowfall. Heavy woolens are a must if tourists decide to visit Srinagar during the peak winters to enjoy snowfall and winter sports.