Srinagar Travel Guide

By: Vinay Choubey

The summer paradise for many of the great rulers of antiquity, Srinagar lays claim to many wonderful opportunities for exploration and relaxation, such as hiking in the unique destinations scattered around the fabled valley, or reading a lovely novel while resting in an ornate floating palace.

Tourist Attraction in Srinagar

• Chatti Padshahi GurudwaraThe sixth guru of Sikhism travelled through Kashmir, stopping to preach occasionally and a gurudwara has been built at the exact site of each of these halts. The most important one being Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara near the Kathi Darwaza in Rainawari.

• Shalimar Garden The Garden, 15 Kms from the city centre, was built by Emperor Jahangir for his beloved wife, Nurjahan. The gardens with four terraces are 539 by 182 meters and gets water from Harwan through a canal lined with fountains. The fourth terrace was once reserved for royal ladies.

• Kheer BhavaniThe Goddess Ragnya Devi symbolised as a sacred spring at Tula Mula village, 27 kms from Srinagar. It is believed that the goddess changes the color of the waters. The temple-spring complex is affectionately known as Kheer Bhavani. Devotees offer milk and kheer at this Durga mata temple, to the sacred spring that is said to change colour when warning of disaster.

• Dal Lake The world famous water body described by Sir Walter Lawerence as the "Lake par-excellence", half a kilometers from the city, is the jewel in the crown of kashmir eulogised by the poets and abudantly praised by the travellers and tourists.

The lake of late has unfortunately, considerably shrunk in size causing concern to environmentalists. The Governments have chalked out an ambitious project to save the lake from extinction.

• Sharika Devi TempleTo the west of the city is the hill of Hari Parbat, on which is the temple of Sharika Devi, believed to be a form of Durga Mata or Shakti. The hill is considered sacred to the Hindus.

• Nishat Garden Queen Nur Jahan's brother, Asif Khan, laid the Garden in 1633 A.D. It is situated on the banks of the Dal Lake in the backdrop of the Zabarwan hills, 11 Km.from the district headquarter of Srinagar. The Garden commands a magnificent view of the lake.

Area 4,588 Sq. Kms.

Weather: Baramulla district has severe cold climate in winter and a pleasant weather in summer. Each part of the district experiences snowfall during winter. Road to Gurez remains closed during winter due to snowfall. Snowfall in Gulmarg is known for winter sports. Average annual rainfall in District Baramulla has been recorded as 1270 mm. The district is worth visiting in the winters for enjoying the Snowfall and for winter sports, and also in the summers for enjoying the pleasant climate.

People and Culture:Baramulla is no different from other parts of Kashmir Valley. The food habits, dress pattern, customs and traditions are the same as followed in other parts of the valley. Kashmiri is the main language of the people in the District, Pahari and Gojari are also spoken in Uri and areas near foothills of Gulmarg and Bandipora. Sheena (Dard) is the local language in Gurez and Tulail areas. The people also speak Urdu.

How to get There:

By airFlights are operated by Jet Airways, Air Deccan, Spice Jet, Kingfisher Airlines and Indian Airlines from Delhi to Srinagar, or with a stopover at Jammu. The frequency is once or twice a day by each airline. The cost is approx Rs. 2,500 from Jammu and approx Rs. 2,500-5,000 from Delhi one way. The airport is still quite small and all flights originate in Dehli, pick up passengers and then return. It is also still heavily fortified and expect to see many soldiers with guns.

By taxiHiring a TATA Sumo SUV from Jammu costs approximately Rs.1, 900-2,700 depending on time of year or even time of day. To reduce costs many people choose not to take an exclusive taxi, and share the Sumo taxi with other travellers. This costs about Rs. 150-400 per person.

By busJ&K SRTC operates fairly comfortable buses from Jammu costing around Rs 150 and do the journey in around 12 hours.

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