World Famous Dal Lake
Over 15km around, The Dal Lake is the most celebrated and important lake amongst all in Srinagar. Dal Lake is Srinagar’s jewel, a vast sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. It is home to carved wooden houseboats, vibrant shikaras, and floating gardens. The backdrop to this eight kilometers long lake is the Pir Panjal mountain range don’t forget to travel here early morning to see Srinagar’s famous floating market, Flotillas of gaily painted shikaras (gondola-like taxi boats) skiff around the lake, transporting goods to market, children to school and travelers to delightful houseboats and famous char chinar
The city of Srinagar is famous for a number of things, among which the Mughal Gardens deserve a special mention. Established during the Mughal era, these royal gardens of fine landscaping and intricate architecture blended with the ethereal beauty of nature. There are three such beautiful gardens in the city, which depict the inclination of erstwhile Mughal emperors towards nature and greenery. Inspired by the lavishly laid gardens of Persia, these Mughal Gardens mesmerize visitors with their scenic charm.
The largest and perhaps the most popular Mughal Garden in Srinagar is the Shalimar Bagh, which is situated along Dal Lake. It was laid in 1619 by Mughal emperor Jahangir for his beautiful wife Nur Jahan. Divided into three parts, this garden is lined with trails of chinar and carpeted with colorful flower beds. Shalimar Bagh is the largest Mughal garden in India located in the northeast of Dal Lake near Srinagar city along with another famous lake garden Nishat Bagh Exquisite arched niches called chini khanas to form the highlight of this garden.
Nishat Bagh, which was built in 1633 by Nur Jahan’s brother Asif Khan. It is known for the 12 terraced formations, which represent different zodiac signs of astrology. The rectangular pool in the middle of this garden was formed by changing the course of a mountain stream. it had to be remodeled to fit the topographic and water source conditions at the site chosen in the Kashmir valley. Today the Nishat garden is one of the historic and popular destinations of Srinagar Valley. The Garden of Gladness or Nishat Bagh is the second largest Mughal garden in the Kashmir Valley located on the bank of the Dal Lake with the Zabarwan Mountains at the back and offers a magnificent view of Pir Panjal mountain range.
Chashme Shahi Garden is the smallest Mughal Garden but is equally picturesque and impressive as its counterparts. A fresh water spring, freshwater terraces, water pool and a large fountain makes it the most charming of the gardens near Srinagar along the banks of the Dal Lake, This garden earns fame for its natural fresh water, which was discovered by Rupa Bhawani a female saint from Srinagar. Emperor Shah Jahan laid this garden in 1632 and since then, it has never failed to impress visitors with its exceptional beauty. The gardens are the property of the Srinagar government and also known as the Worlds Beautiful High Altitude Paramilitary Camp.
The Hazratbal mosque is situated in Srinagar district, on the western banks of Dal Lake Situated near the Dal Lake, the only domed mosque in Srinagar is a place of serenity, a must-visit. Women are allowed only till the first part of the mosque. The Hazratbal Mosque lends a historical and divine appeal to Srinagar. As you walk down the corridors of this famous religious sanctum, you marvel at the intricate Persian and Iranian architectural influences. the mosque offers a spectacular view of the lake and the mountains, This revered shrine houses the Moi-e-Muqqadus (preserved sacred hair) of Prophet Mohammad. Public display of the hair takes place only on religious occasions. Some of the other names of the Hazrat Bal mosque are Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani, and Dargah Sharif. One of the most revered Muslim shrines, Hazratbal is an epitome of the love and respect of Muslims for the Prophet. The Subedar of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, Sadiq Khan, constructed Ishrat Mahal (Pleasure House), along with a garden at the site of the mosque in 1623. However, when Shahjahan visited the place in 1634, he ordered the conversion of the palace into a prayer house. But, it was only during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb that Moi-e-Muqqadus arrived in Kashmir in 1699. Initially, it was kept in the shrine of Naqashbad Sahib situated in the center of the city. However, the unparalleled huge rush of people that inundated the shrine to look at the Moi-e-Muqqades made the place seem quite small. Then, it was decided to shift the Moi-e-Muqqades to Hazratbal, The Hazratbal Mosque of Kashmir is a beautiful structure of immaculate white marble. The Muslim Auqaf Trust headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah started the construction work on this marble structure in 1968. The construction took about eleven years and the mosque was completed in 1979. The Friday prayers offered at Hazratbal attract the resident Muslim in huge numbers
The Shankaracharya Temple is also known as the Jyesteshwara temple or Pas-Pahar by Buddhists. Shankaracharya Temple was renamed as Takht-e-Suleiman (Throne of Solomon). The meandering road of the wooded Shankaracharya Hill has the 11th century Shiva temple on top. It is on top of the Shankaracharya Hill on the Zabarwan Mountain in Srinagar, Kashmir. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple boasts breathtaking views of the valley. The temple is at a height of 1,000 feet (300 m) above the plain and overlooks the city of Srinagar, No cell phones or cameras are allowed inside the temple premises for security reasons. It is regarded as the oldest site in Srinagar and dates back to 250 BC.
The numerous lakes and gardens of the city lend it its famous charm. Nestled at the foothills of Zabarwan ranges in Srinagar, A small distance away from Dal Lake is the Nagin Lake where you can boat, swim and attempt water skiing, Nagin Lake is one of the prime tourist attractions in the city that must not be missed. Basically, it is an offshoot of the parent Dal Lake. Known as the ‘Jewel In The Ring’, Nagin is generally held to be the most beautiful of the Dal lakes. Its name comes from the many trees, which encircle the small, deep blue lake. Being surrounded by mountains-Hari Parbat on the west and Shankaracharya hill on the east, the location of the Nagin Lake proves to be an adoring sight. Just like the other popular lakes in Srinagar, popular houseboats like shikhara are a common sight here. Nagin is only separated from the Larger Dal lakes by a narrow causeway and it also has a number of houseboats moored around its perimeter
Jamia Masjid in Srinagar
Located in Nowhatta, Srinagar, Jama Masjid is the biggest mosque in Kashmir Valley. Many devout followers visit the shrines, mosques, and temples of Srinagar every year Jama Masjid is the main mosque built in the 14th century by Sikander Butshikan Architecturally unique, this monument has spires instead of domes and minarets. Interestingly, each of the 350 pillars of Jama Masjid is made from a single deodar trunk. A magnificent courtyard with 370 wooden pillars, the Biggest Mosque in Kashmir, is known as one of the sacred shrines of Islamic followers. The Mihrab of the Mosque is built of Kashmir glazed black stones with a picturesque Arch on which 99 inscribed Attributes of Allah surrounded by the inscription of sura Juma, The mosque was designed to hold 33,333 persons besides the imam at a single prayer congregation
Pari Mahal is a terraced garden situated to the southwest of Dal Lake, meters part Mahal, also known as the name of ‘The Abode of Fairies’, is a seven terraced garden located at the top of Zabarwan Mountain in Srinagar. It is as much a monument as a garden and is just a five minutes drive from Chashmasahi. This beautifully landscaped garden covers a sprawling area that is 122 meters in length and meters in width. It comprises six terraces, which have separate water tanks that are filled through underground pipes. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s son Dara Shikoh built this garden in the memory of Mullah Shah Badakhshi – his tutor, who preached the Qadiri order of Sufi Islam. It was established in the mid 17th century on the remnants of an old Buddhist monastery. The monumental garden was used as an astronomical observatory and an important learning center for astrological science. An ancient Buddhist monastery located inside the garden has been converted into a school of astrology. Now, the garden has become a property of the government of Srinagar. The verdant and well-manicured lawn with colorful flowers and fruit trees adds to the overall appeal of this green space. A water spring also forms a part of this beautiful garden.
Dachigam National Park
Dachigam National Park is a wildlife and environment conservation area that lies about 22 km away from Srinagar. It covers an area of 141 sq km, which has been divided into Lower Dachigam and Upper Dachigam. This national park has a rich flora that includes about 500 herb species, 50 types of trees, and 20 varieties of the shrub. From dense forests to sprawling grasslands, it has a variety of ecosystems that are inhabited by various animals. This place earns widespread recognition for being the habitat of the last surviving population of Hangul (Kashmir Stag). Himalayan Black Bear can be seen here during springs and autumns while summers are ideal to spot Long-tailed Marmots. Leopard, Jackal, Red Fox, and Common Palm Civet are other animal species that are found in this national park. Translating to ’10 villages’, the name of this national park hints towards the ten hamlets that together formed Dachigam National Park. The park became a protected area in 1910 when the Maharaja of Kashmir made it a game preserve and used the Harwan reservoir within its premises as a source of potable water for his kingdom. After independence, it came under the administrative control of the state government. In 1951, it was notified as a wildlife sanctuary by the government of Kashmir. It was in 1981 that this place got the status of a national park. The reservoir is fed by the numerous streams in the Dachigam forests, making the park a crucial catchment area. It also attracts ornithologists and birdwatchers as around 145 bird species can be spotted in India’s northernmost and most elevated reserve, Dachigam is a national treasure nestled in the beautiful and troubled state of Kashmir. Spread over 140 sq. km., Dachigam is split into the Upper and Lower Dachigam sectors.