The Jammu and Kashmir’s Summer capital more than 2000 years old in the heart of Kashmir valley spreads out on both side of river Jehlum. Srinagar has been called the Venice of the Orient
The quaint charm of Houseboats of Dal Lake, Nageen Lake and Naseem Lake in Srinagar to stay is a MUST .The Houseboats are having two Bed rooms, three bed rooms and four bed rooms with attached bath, with dining and Sitting room also with Sun-deck. Each houseboat is having the attendant who can also serve the food. Explore lapping journeys on a Shikara in the lakes, past floating gardens.
It is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India, and is situated in the valley of Kashmir. The city lies on both banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus River. The city is famous for its lakes and houseboats floating over them. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits. Srinagar is 876 km north of Delhi. The headquarters of the Srinagar District are situated in the city.
Srinagar district is situated in the centre of Kashmir Valley, is surrounded by five districts.In the north it is flanked by Kargil and Ganderbal in the South by Pulwama,in the north-west by Budgam. The capital city of Srinagar,is located 1585 metres above sea level.The district with a population of around 10.94 Lakh souls(2001- census), is sperad over an area of 294 Sq.Kms.It comprises two tehsils/ towns viz Srinagar North and Srinagar South, one block (Srinagar), besides 136 Revenue villages.
According to a popular legend which is mentioned in Kalhana’s Rajtaringini Kashmir valley was a vast lake. Kashyap Rishi drained out the water and made it habitable. It is said that originally Yakshas, and Pisacas tribes inhabited the valley at the higher reaches and did not allow the inhabitants of the valley to live in peace. King Ashok brought Budhism to Kashmir which was strenthened by Kanishka. In 6th century Huns came to rule the valley and Mihirkul was one of the infamous Hun ruler. The area attained freedom in 530 AD which was shortlived.
According to Sir Aurel Stein the famous interpretor of Kalhana the chronicler of Kashmir the city of Srinagar had big market and mansions made of wood touching the clouds. Hieun-tsang the famous Chinese traveller visited Srinagar and has described it his memoirs.
Various capitals were established by the latter kings but ultimately the city of Srinagar was destined to be the capital of the State. These capitals are now found only in ruins or history. Some of the famous capitals are Prvaerpora of Praversen, Prihaspora of Lalitaditya, Jayapida’s Jayapora, Avantivarman’s Avantipur and cities of Kanishkapura and Juskapura.
During muslim rule Sultan Sadar-ud-din founded Rinchenpur and Ala-ud-din founded Alauddinpura near Hariparbat Hill. ZainulAbideen founded Nowshera as the capital while Akbar founded Naagar Nagar and raised 28ft tall wall around it.
Tourism is the most significant segment of the city’s economy. The city of Srinagar has been serving as a gateway to some of the most scenic and beautiful places of the Indian subcontinent. For decades, tourism has been contributing massively to the economy of the city for last several decades, but it has been adversely affected on account of insurgent activities by certain elements.
Srinagar is well known for its lakes. Dal Lake with its houseboats is famous all over the world. Srinagar is a small and beautiful city with a wonderful climate in the summer. Just outside the city are found the beautiful Shalimar Gardens created by Jehangir, the Mughal emperor, in 1619.
Houseboats were introduced accidentally to Kashmir: members of the Indian Civil Service serving in the plains who vacationed in Kashmir were not permitted to build permanent homes because of the then Maharaja’s suspicion of a British presence in Srinagar. They thus chose to live in houseboats. The first such, named Victory, was designed by Mr. M.T. Kenhard in 1888. There are now about five hundred on the Lake.
Srinagar has several gardens which are part of the several such gardens laid by the Mughal Emperors across the Indian subcontinent, and which are known as Mughal Gardens. The Mughal Gardens located in Srinagar and its close vicinity include Chasma Shahi (the Royal Fountains); Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies); Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring); Shalimar Bagh; and the Nasim Bagh.