Srinagar, the state's winter capital, is the first stop for most travellers to Kashmir; and with its great lake and meandering river, its exquisite pleasure gardens and romantic shikara rides, the old-world charm of its houseboats and the ageless grace of its architecture, the city is a fitting introduction to the many enchantments of the valley. The vast Dal Lake is, of course, Srinagar's emblematic feature, and its deep waters carry the most popular of Srinagar's attractions: houseboats and shikaras.
The Dal Lake which has the length of 8 Km long and a width of 4 Km, spreads over a total of 26 Sq. Km. The fascinating Dal Lake is divided into two smaller ones the Lokut (small) and Bod (big) Dal. The south western part of the lake has a maximum depth of approximately 12M.
Nagin Lake, though sometimes referred to as a separate lake, is actually part of Dal Lake, being linked through a causeway which permits only bikers and walkers to enter the lake precincts. The causeway carries the water supply pipeline to the Srinagar city in the east. The lake is bounded by the Shankaracharya hill (Takht-e-Suleiman) on the south and Hari Parbat on the west and is located at the foot of the Zabarwan hills.
Pari Mahal ) or The Fairies' Abode is a seven terraced garden located at the top of Zabarwan mountain rangeover-looking city of Srinagar and south-west of Dal Lake. The architecture depicts an example of Islamic architecture and patronage of art during the reign of the then Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It is five-minute drive from Cheshmashahi, Srinagar.
The Mughal (also spelt as Moghul) emperors built gardens from Tehran to Agra but it is in Kashmir, complemented by the lake and the mountains, that they reach their perfection. Indeed after houseboats and the mountains it is these gardens for which Kashmir is most famous.
Hari Parbat (SHARIKA PEETH) is situated at the periphery of Srinagar city is an ancient and on of the holiest place of Kashmir. It is the abode of Maha Shakti. The Divine mother of Shri Jagat Amaba Sharika Bagwati also known as Maha TRIPURSUNDHARI OR RAJESHWARI locally called HARIE. The EIGHTEEN ARMED goddess SHARIKA is regarded as the presiding deity (ISHT-DEVI) of Srinagar city.
There were several saints who had come to the Kashmir valley to propagate and preach Islam, of which Syed Jalal Uddin Bukhari, Bulbul Shah, Syed Taj Uddin, Yousuf and Syed Hussain Samnani were highly regarded. It is believed Shah-e-Hamdan was one of the only prominent names who preached monotheism. This great man was named Ali and his surnames were Amir-e-Kabir, Ali Sa’ani, Shah-e-Hamadan and Mir. He was a Persian Islamic Scholar who belonged to Hamadan, Iran. He came to Kashmir three times in between 1365 and 1383 AC.
Thickly forested Shankaracharya Hill is topped by a small Shiva temple, Shankaracharya Mandir , built from hefty blocks of visibly ancient grey stone. Previously known as Takht-i-Sulaiman (Throne of Solomon), it’s now named for a sage who reached enlightenment here in AD 750, but signs date the octagonal structure as 5th century and the site is even older.
Located in Nowhatta, Srinagar, Jama Masjid is the biggest mosque in Kashmir Valley. Built in 1402, Jamia Masjid as it is popularly called reflects the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. A magnificent courtyard with 370 wooden pillars, the architecture here exemplifies the charm of Jama Masjid. Thronged by Muslims every Friday, it is one of the prime Srinagar tourist place to visit. A glittering gem in the treasure chest of Jammu & Kashmir tourism, Jama Masjid is unparalleled in every aspect.
The silvery white Hazratbal Mosque is revered for housing a relic, the Prophet’s hair. 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 historic 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.
Srinagar, is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and is located in the valley of Kashmir at an altitude of 1,730 m above sea level. The city lies on both banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus River.
The early bloom of flowers on Almond trees in the sprawling historic Badamwari garden in Shahr-e-Khaas has become a source of attraction for nature lovers and tourists, alike. Situated on foothills of Koh-e-Maran, the 300 kanals garden was dotted with trees.
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