India’s summer capital Srinagar is located in the Jammu and Kashmir state of the country. Situated on the banks of river Jhelum is a tributary to river Indus across the Kashmir valley. It is also popular for its unique landscape, gardens, lakes, boat houses, traditional art and architecture and not to forget the high breeds of dry fruits.

Srinagar, known for its romantic weather and beautiful outdoors is situated in the centre of Kashmir valley making it a perfect summer spot for all tourists. Srinagar, as the name explains in Sanskrit, is a place where wealth and peace are found in abundance. This was coined so by King Pravarasen II during 150 AD. Beautiful lakes like Nagin, Dal, and Anchar make a beautiful surrounding for Srinagar, situated on the banks of Jhelum River.

Vivid and vibrant boat houses, the glimpses of shimmering on the surface of clear waters, with a background of the famed Himalayan mountains, crystal white peaks which are snow capped, and the noiseless sailing experience on the tranquil lakes makes it an ever cherishing experience of a lifetime for all tourists who visit Srinagar.

Srinagar is located at a height of 1530 feet or 1,730 meters above the sea level intersected by the Jhelum River. The Nagin and Dal Lake upholds Srinagar’s scenic beauty during all seasons and occasions. Its pleasant climatic condition welcomes tourist from around the world, almost throughout the year.

There are historic evidences of extravagant excavations that were carried out at least 5,000 years ago. These evidences and artifacts like the tools, pots, arrowhead, jewels which may belong to the Neolithic age are still being preserved and often displayed in Srinagar Museum.

Every season is beautifully expressed here attracting millions world over. Rich vegetation, changing colors of the snowy mountains and beautiful scenes of the fall ensures that visitors enjoy a delightful experience during the summer and winter seasons. A package stay on one of the Shikara and boathouse, on the largest lake, The Dal (spread over a region of 26 sq km) should never be missed.

As a District

Srinagar occupies the central part of Kashmir and is bounded by 5 districts:Ganderbal and Kargil in North, Pulwama and Budgam in the South, and the Barahmula in the north-west region. Apart from the 136 odd revenue villages, the district has two towns (or tehsils) called Srinagar North and Srinagar South and a Srinagar block. As per 2001 census, Srinagar covers 294 sq km of the area with a dense population of about 10.94 Lakh people. Its capital city is at an altitude of 1585 meters above the sea level.


Srinagar lies between hills of Hari Parbat and Takht-e-Suleiman. The city is placed on either sides of river Jhelum, also called as Vyath by the local people of Kashmir. There are nine old yet famous bridges which connects cities on both sides of Jhelum River. Jhelum flows amidst the city, continuing through the valley and meets the Dal Lake eventually.

During winters, many birds migrate from regions like Siberia and Central Asia to Hokersar. September and October are the peak time when Hokersar and nearby wetland (which account to over 13.75 sq km or marshland and lakes) becomes a place of transitory camps for many migratory birds, every year. As a result, this region has the largest population on breeding, staging and wintering birds. Mirgund, Hygam, and Shalibug are the other famous wetlands in Kashmir

Brahminy Duck, Goose, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Garganey, Mallard, Greylag Northern Pintail, Common Merganser, Common Pochard, Red crested Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck, Shoveler, Northern Common Teal, Tufted Duck, and Eurasian Wigeon are some of the migratory birds seen in Hokersar and other wetland and marshy regions of Kashmir.


There are many taxis that take tourists for sight seeing. Apart from that, rowing boat on Dal lake by a Shikara gives the best sightseeing experience in Srinagar. The joy is multiplied as you float on Dal Lake witnessing the Mughal Garden, Hazaratbal mosque and other places on these lake sides. Apart from this famous Shankaracharya temple at Takht-e-Suleiman hill top which is 5 km away from Nehru Park and the Hari Parbat Fort built by a Mughal Governor during 18th century are two other famous sightseeing spots in Kashmir. Emperor Akbar had constructed these low walls that are enclosing the top portion of the hill. There are many holy places on these hills like the famous goddess Sharika’s temple, Sikh Gurudwara Chatti Padshahi, the divine shrine of a Muslim saint-Makhdoorn Sahib.

Major attractions

Hazratbal Mosque

In a village called Hazaratbal situated along the banks of Dal lake, the crystal while the monument of Hazratbal Mosque is seen. The sight of this mosque and its reflection on the calm surface of Dal Lake is breathtaking indeed.

It is said that the hair of Prophet Muhammad is preserved and displayed to the visitors during religious gathering and fairs. Friday prayers attract thousands of Muslim brothers around this region. Hazaratbal being the only mosque that is domed in Srinagar, other mosques have the pagoda style roof and the mosque-shrine complex along the western shores of Dal Lake. The view from Nishat Bagh opposite to Dal Lake boasts of the beautiful mountain ranges in the backdrop.

Jama Masjid

The Jama Masjid in the heart of Srinagar located at Nowhatta, is one of the prominent mosque where thousands flock for the auspicious Friday Namaz. This mosque is supported by 370 wooden pillars and is constructed around the courtyard. The calm ambience of the mosque is replaced by the flurry of old bazaars in the surroundings.

In 1400 AD, Sultan Sikandar built this mosque which was later expanded by his son Zain-ul- Abidin. Thought this mosque was destroyed by fire and demolished several times, it was repaired each time to make it more resistant towards destructive perils. It was last revamped during Maharaja Pratap Singh’s rule and now stands strong as a classic example of a typical Indo-Saracenic architecture.

Shankaracharya Temple

Roughly about 10 centuries back, saint Shankaracharya climbed the hills of Takht-I-Sulaiman, on the south east region of Srinagar when he travelled to Kashmir for the revival of Sanatan Dharma. Post this the Shankaracharya temple was built on this hilltop which is backdated to 250 BC.

Before Shakaracharya’s time, this temple was a called Gopadri which was built in 6th century AD by king Lalitaditya. It has an octagonal base, elevated by stone steps with inscriptions, overlooking the valley. The walls bare inscription in Persian language, with an inner cabin and the central shrines survives with a circular cell. The ceiling is a modern domed structure made of bricks and concrete which is not more than a century old. This temple has evidences of Emperor Shah Jehan’s rule in Kashmir. The road below this hill is well connected to other places and many government officials of the state reside in this place which is called the Gupkar road, referring the ancient Gopadri temple.

Khanqah of Shah Hamadan

Of the nine famous bridges, the Khanaqab is located between third and fourth overpass along the Jhelum River. Built in 1395, it is the first mosque that was ever erected in Srinagar. During 13th century Mir Sayed Ali Hamadni (also called as Shah Hamadan) came to India from a city called Hamadan in Persia and became the main messenger of Islam religion in Kashmir. He offered prayers at Khanqah-i-Mualla, on the shores of Jhelum River. After living in Kashmir for many years, he continued his journey to Central Asia through Ladakh. In Shey, a place near Leh Shah Hamadan also built a mosque which even today attracts many devotees from distant places.

The Khanqah, another monumental, wooden structure is known for its aesthetically carved roof space and lynching bells. The royal chandeliers, artistic interiors, intricately carved, and brightly painted structures with antique artifacts placed inside this wooden enclosure are a specimen of ancient art, prosperity and luxurious lifestyle.

Hari Parbat Fort & Temple of Sharika Devi

Hari Parbat hill covered with orchid and almond plantation makes a beautiful sight seeing spot during April’s summer and later spring seasons in Kashmir. The Hari Parbat fort and the wall surrounding the hill was constructed during Akbar’s reign between 1592 and 1598 AD which was later improved by Ata Mohammad Khan, an Afghan governor during 18th century. The fort built by the Mughals forms a crown on the hill enclosing ruined apartments once known for glory and prosperity. Thought old, the remnant of these masterpiece buildings narrate the life and grandeur of those people who lived here. This hill also houses a Hindu temple of goddess Sharika, who is an incarnation of Goddess Durga Devi.

Makhdoom Sahib

Makhdoom Sahib Shrine is located to the south of Hari Parbat hill and welcomes people of all faiths.

Shalimar Bagh

Shalimar Bagh is a botanical landscape 15 kms away from TRC developed by emperor Jehangir for his beloved wife Nur Jehan. This bagh (garden) is spread across an area of 539m by 182 m, with a view of beautiful flora, eye feasting orchid and almond plantation, lakes, natural terraces, artificial canals lined using polished and marble stones allowing the Harwan for peacefully running amidst the garden. Of the four prominent terraces, the fourth terrace being the best of all was set aside for the royal ladies of those times.

Pari Mahal

Pari Mahal is just five minutes away from Cheshmashahi with beautiful gardens meant for the royal family. Before Shah Jehan’s son Dara Shikoh converted this place into an astrology school it was used as a Buddhist monastery. It is situated on the mountain range which overlooks the Dal lake. It has a big garden in the front and is well connected with Cheshmashahi by roads. The illumination of Pari Mahal gives a spectacular view during the night.


Well furnished living rooms, romantic personal spaces, spacious kitchen, hygienic bathrooms are every boat house’s specialty in Kashmir. Dal Lake being the biggest lake is known to own many fleets of beautiful and luxurious boathouses of Srinagar. A personal touch of the local art, culture and family system in the form of wood furnishes, hand woven carpets, paintings of the scenery and traditional music adds to the charm and elegance of these boat houses. Each of these houseboats are given beautiful local names by their owners and categorized as super deluxe and deluxe. These are available depending upon the budget of the visitor, no of days and location where they wish to stay. As you board these boat houses, the natural beauty of the lotus garden, beautiful mosque, shines and monumental buildings on the banks of rivers and lakes and the sight of typical markets of Kashmir makes visitors forget themselves for a brief moment.

All houseboats come with luxury and comforts besides the personal services you wish to experience. The cost of the boathouse stay included breakfast, lunch, dinner along with free rides to and fro the nearest jetties. The balcony space in every houseboat also has water supplies from the municipal corporation.

The local cooks dedicated to every houseboat take pleasure cooking authentic meals for their guests. Simple, yet delicious varieties of Indian bread (chapatti, rotis), Dhal, vegetable side dishes, Kashmiri Pulav, steamed and flavored rice makes a wholesome lunch menu. Freshly made omelets, puffed rice, coffee, tea and flavored milk makes a perfect start of the day on the calm waters.

The cost of each such houseboat varies from Rs 4500 to Rs 5500 per night for a deluxe and super deluxe boathouse respectively. The package includes breakfast and dinner apart from other amenities that are sure to pamper your heart and soul.

Cultural Background

Jammu And Kashmir State has diverse, multicolored and a distinctly unique culture with a spice of foreign cultures making it outstanding from the other cultures of India. Apart from this the state demography, geographical features, social, ethical and cultural factors gives it a cutting edge over other tourist destinations of the country. Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, each of their religion, culture, languages being different in all sense come together as a combination that does not exist in any other part of the world. As a mark of unity in diversity, the many traditions, art, architecture, languages, geographical differences protrude to symbolize one country - India

Kashmir has witnessed the renowned Indo Aryanic civilization because of which people from all over the world flock to in to learn the historic languages like Sanskrit and Persian. This place is also origin for the boom of Islam in India preserving some of its ancient Persian fine art and traditions. All diversities converge at the ‘paradise on earth’ making it a specimen of global unity, besides upholding India’s rich values, cultures and ethnicity.

The cultural dance, music, art, handicrafts, the Kashmiri cuisine, traditional attire, diverse religions, festivals, rituals, saints, historic events, epic stories, beautiful mountain ranges, rich natural surroundings, kindness and hospitality benchmarks the India value system for the rest of the world to admire and imbibe the same in their cultures and lives.

Below are the famous traditional art forms of Srinagar

a) Bhand Pather

Bhand Pather is a combination of dance and play performed in mocking style as a traditional theatre art. Plays depicting various social evils, local tradition and cultures form the theme and is performed by a team on 12 to 15 artists. These plays involve light music, as well.

b) Chakri

Chakri is the most famousKashmiri folk music, resembling Uttar Pradesh’s chakra of the mountain regions. Garaha, Rabab, and Sarangi were traditionally used, however, the harmonium has become an additional melody maker in this musical forms.

c) Sufiana Music

Sufiana music was introduced in Kashmir from Iran during 15th century. Finding wide acceptance in Kashmir, it has taken a different form by incorporating Indian ragas, thereby evolving itself in a unique style. Instruments like Santoor, Tabla, Sitar, Wasool and Kashmiri Saz are used in this musical form. Hafiz Nagam is part of this music where the female dancers move their feet to the rhythmic music played by their male counterparts.

The tallest Ustad Ghulam Mohammed Qaleenbaft is followed by his disciples Ustad Abdul Ghani Namathali and Ustad Ghulam Mohd. Saznawaz. They teach Sufiana music to many artists and local Kashmiri families. Only a few families are, however, seen practicing this music while Ustad Ghulam Mohd. Qaleenbaft suffers health issues.

Best Time to Visit Srinagar

April to October is the best time to visit Srinagar as the temperature ranges between 14ºC to a 30ºC during this period. Also during this time the local festivals like Khir Bhawani and Baisakhi are celebrated with grandeur.
Weather during winters is freezing and harsh as the temperature falls below zero degrees, with little rain and snowfall throughout the day blocking roads and making life difficult. Therefore, a winter holiday is not recommended here.

How to Reach

By Air

Srinagar has a domestic airport that is serviced by private jets, public and private airlines with major cities and metros of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata etc.

By Road

Srinagar is well connected by roads leading to Delhi (876 kilometers), Chandigarh (630 kilometers), Jammu (290kilometers), Gulmarg (48 kilometers), Leh (434 kilometers), Pahalga, (96 kilometers) and Sonamarg (88 kilometers)

By Rail

Jammu station is the key junction for this region, and this is the neatest railway station to Srinagar. Trains going to and fro Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and other major cities are connected to the Jammu railway station.

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