Srinagar used to entice the great Mughal Kings, they built beautiful gardens in this hill city built on the banks of a marvelous lake- Srinagar the city beautiful is surrounded by the towering peaks of mighty Himalayas. Srinagar offers an amazing fall season a phenomenon you can’t experience at any other destination of India, the trees change colour as the winters approach during the months of September- October this colour change is so phenomenal and an occasion that you will never forget. The trees bear a myriad of colours infact it can be aptly described as a riot of colours.
The Dal lake is an entire episode. The life lead on shikaras, the shops and the markets on the Shikaras are again something you won’t see anywhere else. The lake beautiful has many kinds of flowers blossoming and growing naturally on and around it, the lotus is sure the best of them all.
An early morning shikara ride when you will come across a unique concept of vegetables market held on the boats, you might even see a grocery store being operated on a small boat. A flower seller selling various kinds of flowers and seeds will approach you. A ride on the Shikara and the sight of the setting sun will be never forgotten by you.
The house boats lined up on Dal lake is another experience you should never miss, these house boats are decked up with costly carpets and the oak wood intricate carved panels make the interiors of these floating homes. The chandelier and the bathrooms offer a lavish life style to you on your Srinagar tour.
The cuisine of Srinagar is another attraction, here you will be welcomed by a cup of kahwa a kashmiri welcome drink, dishes whether its Wazwan or the Yakhini Pulao these are prepared using the choicest of spices and herbs. Saffron is another ingredient which grows exclusively on the kashmiri soil. The vegetarian delicacies of the ethnic Kashmiri Pandits or the non vegetarian dishes of the muslim masses all have their own distinct appeal, a taste you sure will remember for long time the taste of Kashmir.
During winters Srinagar gets enveloped in a deep blanket of snow and it appears real different from the summer. The snow falls continuously during the winter season and the city at times can experience very heavy snow fall which may disrupt the normal life but this again is a different experience which you can enjoy.
The saga of the Mughal gardens in Srinagar
The mughals specially Jahangir and Shahjahan loved Kashmir and Srinagar, they built beautiful gardens on the basis of char bagh pattern, these gardens replicate the concept of the gardens of Jannat and mughal kings regarded Srinagar equivalent to Jannat. These mughal gardens are constructed on the axis of flowing water which flows in the form of cascade from one terrace to another.
Nishat bagh has 12 terraces representing the 12 zodiac signs, from the high hills these gardens gently slope down to the dal lake. The Mughal gardens like nishat bagh, Shalimar gardens are premium tourist attractions in Srinagar. In fact even Taj Mahal the edifice built by Shahjahan reflects these mughal gardens, Iris the blooming flower has been depicted primarily in the Taj Mahal. Shahjahan loved the Iris flower which grows in abundance at the mughal gardens of Srinagar.
Shopping at Srinagar - Apart from these famous tourists attractions Srinagar is also very famous for shopping, these are some authentic buy you can only find in Srinagar.
1. Pashmina- The Kashmiri pashmina wool is world famous and what better than Srinagar to buy the authentic pashmina shawls, stoles, jackets, sweater etc. Pashmina is a special wool extracted from the undercoat of Changthangi goat, these goats survive only in the high altitude region of Kashmir this fabric naturally is meant to keep the goats warm in the freezing cold of Kashmir.
2. Kashmiri Tea - You can buy the famous kashmiri tea/ Kahwa from Srinagar this tea is a secret blend of various herbs and spices.
3. Saffron- Kashmir is known for the saffron grown in abundance you can buy pure kashmiri saffron on your Srinagar tour.
4. Carpets- Since the mughal times the Kashmiri people expertise in making of best carpets, Kashmir carpets are known for their original designs.
5. Papier mache products- Srinagar is best place to buy papier mache products, this item is made from simple paper pulp, these paper pulp items are coated with lacquer which makes it water resistant. There are varieties of articles made from papier mache like vases, trays, bangles candle stand etc.
6. Spices- No Indian dish is complete without the kashmiri lal mirch, it gives the special colour to your favorite chicken tikka masala. So on your Srinagar tour don’t forget to buy the authentic kashmiri red chilli, you can also buy other spices like, saffron, cardamom, star anrise etc.
7. Dry Fruits- The valley produces walnuts, almonds, figs, pistachio etc so you can buy them authentic and at great prices on your Srinagar tour.
Temples and mosques of Srinagar
Srinagar is the ancient city of Hindu’s, there are many ancient temples in the city which proove that Srinagar once was the domain of Hindu people. The ancient Shankracharya temple with its out standing age old architecture entices the visitors other temples include, kheer bhawani, Pandrethan temple, Sharika devi temple. Ganesh Temple, Bhuteshwara Temple, martand sen temple, etc. Srinagar today is a Muslim majority area but some mosque have a special reference.
1. Hazrat bal Mosque- This 17th century mosque is known for the holy relic of prophet Muhammad, this mosque has been in news many times. This mosque is the centre for congregation on special occasion like Eid and the Friday prayer.
2. Roza Bal- This is another Islamic building which is quite special, it is believed this is the place where jesus christ was buried, its is said jesus survived the crucifixation and moved to Kashmir where he lived his rest of life. He is regarded as a prophet by the Islamic followers, his cemetery has a rock which bears the crucifixion marks.