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Srinagar

City: Srinagar
Location :Kashmir Region, J&K
Significance: Capital Of J&K.
Language : Kashmiri and Urdu.
Best Time To Visit: June To Early November, December To February



About Srinagar


Srinagar is the largest city of Kashmir which is also the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and due to its qualities its also a center of attraction for tourists. Srinagar is spread over an area of 103.93 sq kms. and its height above sea level is 1730 meters. This is a beautiful tourist place with mixture of various castes, cultures and languages. The main specialty about this city are its waterfalls and gardens made by Mughal emperors which represent the beauty of 4th and 5th century.

Various historians have different views about the establishment of Srinagar but to days truth is that Srinagar is surrounded on both the sides of Jhelum river. Mountains covered with snow, beautiful trees of Chinar, beautiful valleys ,world famous lakes like Nagina and Dull represents the view of this city. Due to its nice climate Srinagar attracts tourist throughout the year.

HIstory

Srinagar city and its vicinity in 1959After, India’s independence, certain tribes, mostly Pashtun, actively supported by elements of the Pakistani forces, invaded the valley to wrest control, by armed force, of the city of Srinagar and the Valley. This was done in spite of the then ruler Maharaja Hari Singh having a solemn and sovereign assurance (of the British government) backed by the international law that all rulers of such states were free to remain as independent entities, or to choose to annex either to India or to Pakistan.

In view of infiltration by armed forces and the possibility of his kingdom, including the city of Srinagar falling into the hands of the forces inimical to him, his kingdom and to the people of the valley, Hari Singh signed a covenant in late 1947 with the Government of India, which ensured integration of his kingdom into the newly formed Republic of India, conditioned on the requirement of having a plebiscite after any conflict had ended. Various historians, notably British historian Alaister Lamb, dispute the claim that the Maharaja signed any agreement at all.

The Government of India, in view of its obligation enjoined upon it subsequent to this covenant, immediately air-lifted Indian troops to Srinagar, and the city was flushed clean of the invading forces. In the meanwhile, the matter had been escalated to the United Nations, and a cease fire was imposed under its authority, resulting into certain parts of Hari Singh’s kingdom going out of his hands, which is now called Pakistan Occupied Kashmir by India and Azad Kashmir by Pakistan. The British Historian Alaister Lamb in his book claims that the troops were flown into Srinagar even before the alleged covenant was signed.



Geography

A closer map of KashmirLocation: 34°5'23?N, 74°47'24?E
Highest temperature: 37 °C; lowest -14 °C [1]
The city is located on both the sides of the Jhelum River, which is called Vyath in Kashmir. The river passes through the city and meanders through the valley, moving onward and deepening in the Wular Lake. The city is famous for its nine old bridges, connecting the two parts of the city.




Climate

The climate of Srinagar may be generally described as warm temperate[citation needed]. The city has warm summers from June through August, and winters from December-February. The city generally gets some snowfall from December to February but seldom accumulates for longer periods. The average temperatures are 24°C in July (ranging between +18 - +29) and +4°C in January (between -2/+7 (night/day), -2/0 and +7/+11 some of local extremes).



Places of Interest in Srinagar

Dal Lake:
The Dal is famous not only for its beauty, but for its vibrance, because it sustains within its periphery, a life that is unique anywhere in the world. The houseboat and Shikara communities have lived for centuries on the Dal, and so complete is their infrastructure on the lake, that they never have to step on land! Doctors, tailors, bakers- one can see them all in tiny wooden shops on the lake, near picturesque vegetable gardens and acres of lotus gardens.

Nagin Lake:
Nagin Lake, which is usually thought of as a separate lake, is also divided from Dal Lake only by a causeway. The causeways are mostly suitable for walkers and bicycles only so they make a very pleasant way of seeing the lake without having to worry about traffic or Shikaras. The main causeway across the lake carries the water pipeline for Srinagar's mains water supply.

Mughal Gardens:
Kashmir was a favourite of the Mughal emperors who visited it as often as they could. Cool and refreshing after the plains of North India where the business of governance kept them, they planted gardens with stepped terraces and flowing watercourses. Cheshma Shahi is the first Mughal garden one will pass after Nehru Park. Built at a height above the city, its views are as stupendous as its layout.

Hazaratbal Mosque:
Hazaratbal MosqueAcross the Dal from Shalimar is the mosque of Hazratbal, the only one of its kind architecturally in Kashmir. Made of white marble with a dome and a minaret, Hazratbal is the repository of a single hair of the Prophet Mohammed, exhibited to the public on certain days of the year.

Shankaracharya Hill:
Within Srinagar, on its highest hill is the Shankaracharya temple, nearly one thousand feet above the city. It is devoted to Lord Shiva. The site dates back to 2,500 BC. The philosopher Shankaracharya stayed at this site when he visited Kashmir ten centuries ago to revive "Sanatan Dharma".

Hari Parbat Fort:
The 18th century fort tops the Sharika Hill, which is clearly visible, rising to the west of Dal Lake. The fort was constructed by Atta Mohammed Khan from 1776 but the surrounding wall is much older, it was built between 1592 and 1598 during the rule of Akbar.

Nearby Attractions from Srinagar

Charar-e-Sharief:
Situated on the road to Yusmarg, this is the site of the shrine or Ziarat of Sheik Noor-ud-Din, the patron saint of Kashmir. The valley also has the Ziarats of a number of his followers.

Yusmarg:
Standing in the Pir Panjal hills, out beyond the airport, at an altitude of 2,700 metres, the meadow of Yusmarg is reputed to have the best spring flowers in Kashmir. The beautiful valley is at the foot of the Sangisafaid valley on the northern slopes of the Pir Panjal range.

Dachigam National Park Dachigam National Park:
This wildlife reserve was, at one time, the royal game reserve but animals within its boundaries are now completely protected. There are said to be Panther, Bear and Deer, besides other smaller animals, in the reserve. There is a good chance of seeing the endangered Hangul, Langur Monkeys and perhaps other species.

Gandarbal:
Just beyond the Wular and Manasbal lakes turn off from the Leh road, this pleasant little town marks the point where the icy Sindh River leaves the mountains and enters the plains. Gandarbal is the official headquarters of the Sindh valley and was originally called "Doderhom".

Wular Lake:
Wullar Lake is the largest fresh-water lake in India is 60-km from Srinagar. Spreading over a 125-km area, the lake, by drawing off excess water from the Jhelum, acts as a natural flood reservoir. Interesting ruins in the centre of the lake are the remains of an island created by King Zain-ul-Abidin.

Adventure Sports in Srinagar

Canoeing & Water Skiing:
Kashmir has many lakes - Dal, Nagin, Mansbal and Wular. These are excellent spots for canoeing - whether it is a Shikara or a racing skull. No OIIC has tried canoe-ing in these lakes so far. These lakes are inter-connected as also the river Jhelum which flows through the entire length of the valley and connects with all the lakes. An interesting sport is what is locally called 'Water Trekking'. One can have a three to four day trip along the river to various lakes in a Shikara with all the camping gear. There are lovely spots to camp for the night. The lakes are also famous for water skiing.

How To Get There

Air :
Various airlines fly to Srinagar from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jammu and there are flights operating from Srinagar to Leh and back. Flights are more frequent during the summer Tourist Season; at that time there will probably be several flights a day between Delhi and Srinagar.

Rail:
Srinagar's railhead is Jammu, which in turn is connected to all parts of the country, including Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Mumbai and Kanyakumari. The distance is about 876-km from Delhi to Srinagar although almost everybody coming up from Delhi, or other Indian cities, by land will come through Jammu from where the buses run daily to Srinagar.

Road:
Srinagar is connected by an all weather road to Jammu, which in turn is connected to many parts of North India. One can catch buses from Delhi but people making the trip by road should take up the route via Chandigarh, Amritsar or from the Himachal Pradesh hill stations.