Srinagar

Dal Lake

Nicknameddal lake Jewel in the crown of Kashmir, the Dal Lake is Kashmirs pride. The lake, which covers an area of 18 sq km and is part of a natural wetland, is fringed by illuminated houseboats and colourful shikaras. The houseboat and shikara communities have survived on the Dal for centuries. Do not miss out on a shikara ride, a boat ride like no other, and do stay in a quaint houseboat with its carved walnut wood furniture.

The shoreline of the lake, about 15.5-km long,is encompassed by a boulevard lined with Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats and hotels.

The Char Chinar, four ancient trees on an island in the glittering water, is a mega attraction here. The floating gardens of Dal, known as rad in Kashmiri, blossom with lotus flowers in July and August.

Dal Lake is Srinagars jewel, a vast, mirror-flat sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats and the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains.

Nigeen Lake

Foreign touristsNigeenLake mesmerized by the beauty of the Nigeen Lake, in Srinagar, Kashmir India Such is the beauty of the lake they decided to move the Shikara themselves to go into the interiors of the Lake.The Nigeen lake is second most beautiful lake after world famous Dal lake in Srinagar, kashmir, india. Surrounded by snow clad mountains, the Nigeen lake attracts scores of foreign tourists, across the world.

Being placed on the Nagin Lake in Srinagar, the houseboats provide a panoramic view of the lake. Each houseboat has 2/3/4 bedrooms which have a common sitting room with satellite television and dining and the individual bedrooms are fitted fans, room heater and attached bathrooms with provision for bathtub and hot/cold water. A verandah with cushioned chairs is provided in each houseboat where tea is served every evening. Guests can sit and enjoy the last rays of a setting sun melting into the distant waters of the lake. Similarly, the rays of the rising sun bring to life the enchanting vision of the land popularly known as Paradiseon Earth. Small Shikaras glide by the houseboats and local people sell their stuff to the guests. Breakfast served is western, while meals comprise a selection of Mughlai, Indian, Kashmiri or western choices of food. Packed lunches are also made available to the guests. Tea is complimentary and can be served at any time of the day.

Shalimar Bagh

One of the Mughal Shalimar BaghGardens of Kashmir, ,%Located on the right of Dal Lake, Shalimar Bagh is linked through a channel to the northeast of the lake. Shalimar Bagh has four terraces and a number of fountains, shaded trees and innumerable varieties of flowers. The best views of the gardens beauty are afforded during autumn and spring, when leaves change colours and flowers blossom, respectively. One can also enjoy a sound-and-light show (son et lumeiere) in the evening, organized daily during the tourist season, May to October.

The Mughal Gardens layout,% taken from the Persian gardens has three terraces with fountains & lined with Chinar trees. Each of the 3 terraces carried distinct importance, the first one being the public terrace; called the Diwan-e-Aam. The second terrace called the Diwan-e-Khas was accessible only to nobles or guests of the court. And the third & the highest terrace called as Abode of Love was reserved for the king and the royal ladies. Nishat Bagh and Dal Lake are some adjoining attractions to Shalimar Bagh.

Nishat Bagh

Nishat Garden is theNishat Bagh wonderfully decorated park situated on the banks of the beautiful and picturesqueDalLake. This garden was laid by Asif Khan, brother of the Mughal queen Nur Jahan in the year of 1633 A.D.

The presence of the Zabarwan hills in the backdrop adds grandeur to the gorgeous setting of the Nishant Garden of Jammu and Kashmir. The garden provides a wonderful view of the famousDalLaketo the visitors. To add to the picturesque scenario of theNishantGarden, a magnificent water channel flows right in the middle of the garden.

The NishantGardenin Kashmiris a very popular picnic spot. It receives a large number of picnickers during the summer months. Visitors enjoy the calm and peace that nature offers by taking long walks in the garden. The picnickers can also enjoy shikara rides from here. There are also many shopping hubs near by so you can also enjoy shopping while visiting this garden.

Chashma Shahi

The smallest of the Srinagarscheshma shahi Mughal gardens, the Chashma Shahi or Royal Spring was laid out by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632. Chashma in Urdu means waterfall. The garden was so named because of a mountain spring/waterfall that feeds it. The famous fresh water spring inside the garden is believed to have medicinal values.

As legend goes, when Mumtaz Mahal (Shah Jahans wife) fell ill and could not be cured even by the worlds best doctors, somebody suggested she be taken to some health resort. Shah Jahan preferred to stay at Pari Mahal in Kashmir along with his queen. She enjoyed the fresh air and flora and drank the sweet water of Chashma Shahi, resulting in dramatic improvement in her health. Since then, the water here is thought to have medicinal properties. The garden abounds in fruits, flowers and chinar trees.

Terraced lawns, fascinating fountains and floral beds on the banks of Dal Lake constitute the Mughal Gardens one of which is the Chashma Shahi. Beautifully terraced garden and a colorful flowers make Chashma Shahi beautiful than any other parks and gardens of Kashmir.

Pari Mahal

Situated near the Chashma Shahi Mughal garden, Pari Mahal has beautiful terraced gardens and the ruins of a five-storied Mughal building that is illuminated in the evening. It offers a fantastic view of theDalLakeand the city ofSrinagarand is the ideal place for some soul searching.

Pari Mahal is valued more as a historical monument than a park or a garden. The Mahal was initially a Buddhist Monastery, which was later converted into an observatory and a school of astrology by Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Emperor Shah Jahan. He dedicated the place to his Sufi teacher, Mulla Shah.

Pari Mahal is set amid palace ruins high above the lakeshore. Viewed from afar the ensemble looks especially intriguing when floodlit at night. By day its worth the long, steep autorickshaw ride for the fabulous lake views more than for the gardens themselves. Bring ID for serious police checks on your way.

Tulip Garden

Tulip Garden in Chashma Shahi,Srinagar, is spread over an area of about 30 hectares and is situated at the foothills of Zabarwan Hills with an overview of the Dal Lake. This garden was created in the year 2006-07 with the aim of boosting floriculture and advancing tourism in Kashmir Valley. Lakhs of tulips in about 68 varieties bloom here during November December, making the entire garden look like a bright, colourful carpet of flowers.

The garden looks like a silken carpet of bright coloured sprawling tulips; the naked brown earth between the rows looks like intricate designs on the carpet. The scene is simply charismatic with floral charm. The view remains in the memory of a visitor forever.

Many varieties of Tulips are grown in the garden spreading over 5 hectares of land at the foothills of Zabarwan overlooking the beauty of world famous Dal Lake. Nearly 60 varieties of beautiful and vibrant tulipsgrow in this garden.

Both local and foreign tourists horde in at the time of Tulip festival and thus contribute a lot in promoting Kashmir as a tourist attraction. The festival continues for 7 days.

Tulip, a member of Liliaceae is native to Persia. Holland is the largest producer of tulips. Now no need to go Holland for having a view of enchanting beauty; the sight is now available in the crown of our country.

Harwan Garden

Harwan Garden is Located about 18 km from Srinagar, Behind the garden, there is the small but beautiful Harwan lake, which feeds the garden and provides an astounding view of the majestic mountains. Harwan Garden, an impressive and large, is an admired picnic spot in Srinagar. A canal, beautifully bordered with chinar trees and blossoming flower beds, starting from a lake just behind the garden, flows through the middle of the garden. A perfect place for picnics and excursions, Harwan is the ideal place for those who want to enjoy a quiet walk in close proximity with nature. It is the gateway to DachiGam Wildlife sanctuary and a point of origin for the Mahadev Mountain trek. Srinagar is best visited during summers between the months of April and June.

Behind the garden, there is the small but beautiful Harwan lake, which feeds the garden and provides an astounding view of the majestic mountains.

Shankaracharya Temple

is an ancient templeshankar located on Gopadari Hill dedicated to Lord Shiva. A climb to the hill, located in south-east Srinagar, will take about 40 minutes. Said to be the oldest shrine in the Kashmir valley, this temple stands on a solid rock and consists of an octagonal basement of 13 layers.

Be it the chanting of shlokas or the offering of prayers to the presiding deity, Shankaracharya represents the traditional beliefs and customs of Hinduism. The temple offers panoramic view of the Valley. Early April, when the snow lies thick on the mountains, or after rains on a summer day offer the best views from the hill.

In the ancient times this temple was known as the Gopadri. In fact, the road below the hill, with residences of high- ranking State Government officials, is still known as Gupkar road.

The main shrine has a circular cell inside. An inscription in Persian inside the shrine indicates that the origin of this sacred place dates back to the reign of emperor Shah Jahan.

It overlooks the Valley and can be approached by a motorable road. A modern ceiling covers the inner sanctum and an inscription in Persian traces its origin to the reign of Emperor Shah Jehan. The original ceiling was dome- shaped and the brick roof, it appears, is not more than a century old.