Srinagar, popularly known as ‘Paradise on Earth’ and 'Venice of the East’, is situated in the beautiful valley of Kashmir. Located on the banks of the River Jhelum, the city is renowned for its beautiful lakes, houseboats and numerous Mughal gardens. The word Srinagar is a combination of two Sanskrit words, ‘Sri’ meaning wealth and ‘Nagar’ meaning place. Therefore, the literal meaning of the term 'Srinagar' is 'the city of wealth'.
The Mughal Gardens such as Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Achabal Bagh, Chashma Shahi, and Pari Mahal are the most popular of the Mughal Gardens attracting tourists in a large number from all across the world. These gardens add to the natural beauty of this city.The lakes of Srinagar such as the Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Anchar Lake, and Manasbal Lake are some of the other popular tourist spots.
The unmatched natural beauty and beatific surroundings make these lakes an ideal place for tourists. The Dal Lake is the second largest lake in the valley of Kashmir and is popularly known as the ‘Jewel in the crown of Kashmir’. It is located in the backdrop of the beautiful Himalayas. Srinagar is also known for its house boats and 'shikara' or wooden boat rides, which are available on the edges of the lakes. Tourists can enjoy the beautiful environment while riding on the 'shikaras'.
The Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary is another popular tourist attraction in Srinagar. Covering an extensive area of about 141 sq. km, the sanctuary was declared as a National Park in 1951. It is home to the endangered species of red deer known as the Hangul. Travellers can also sight leopards, the black and brown bear, musk deer, and numerous migratory birds here.
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The Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden is also one of the major tourist attractions of Srinagar situated on the banks of the beautiful Dal Lake. The garden covers an area of 90 acres and contains around 70 varieties of tulip. A yearly 'Tulip Festival' is organised here from April 5 to 15 which is quite popular among people. The festival not only attracts national tourists but travellers from all across the globe who wish to be a part of this famous event. Travellers also get an opportunity to enjoy the local cuisine and folk dance here.
Visitors can purchase handicrafts and textiles that are uniquely native to the state and globally known such as Kashmiri carpets, Pashmina shawls, stoles, and wooden crafts.
Religious and historical significance
The city, apart from being beautiful holds great historical, religious and archaeological importance. Several historical buildings and ancient religious sites present here are the physical proof of the rich and glorious past of the city. Burzahom is an important historical site that was a Neolithic settlement occupied between 3000 and 1500 BC. The artefacts, which were gathered from the excavation, are kept in the Sri Pratap Singh (SPS) Museum at Srinagar.
The museum contains animal skeletons, arrowheads, tools, and pots belonging to the Neolithic-Megalithic and Neolithic eras.Some of the mosques and temples that are found in the region are around 1000 years old. The Shankaracharya Temple and Jyeshtheswara Temple are two of the popular temples situated in the city. The Jama Masjid, Hazratbal Mosque, and Masjid of Akhund Mullah are some of the well known mosques and major tourist attractions of the region.
Some other facts
The festival is open to the general public from 9 am to 7 pm.The city is known for adventurous activities such as trekking and hiking. The trekking route that begins at Srinagar and leads to the caves of Amarnath is quite popular among travellers. The Dachigam National Park and Pahalgam are the destinations where travellers can go on for an excursion.
Rice is a major part of most meals served in here and the dishes of Srinagar are normally quite spicy. The city is also popular for the production of saffron which is a popular and costly spice. Saffron is also considered to be a royal spice and travellers can purchase it fresh from the farmers.
Srinagar is well connected to major Indian cities and countries by flights. The Srinagar airport also known as Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport is directly connected to important Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Shimla and Chandigarh.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi connects international travellers with Srinagar. The railhead closest to Srinagar is at Jammu, which is about 290 km away. The city is well connected with important nearby places like Jammu, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Leh via buses.
The climate of the destination remains pleasant all through the year with summer and winter as the main seasons. Srinagar experiences very less rainfall. The weather during the summer season is quite comfortable and enjoyable whereas, the winters are freezing with heavy snowfall.