Gar firdaus ruhe zamin ast, Hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast. “If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.” This is how the Sufi mystic Amir Khusrow has described the Kashmir Valley, and Srinagar is at the heart of the valley. Smack in the middle of the city is the mighty Dal Lake, its placid water reflecting the vivid kaleidoscope of innumerous houseboats, shikaras (taxi-boats), and the snow-capped Pir Panjal range: a sight that will make your heart skip a beat. The city is home to the state-of-the-art Mughal Gardens, Shalimar Bagh and Nishant Bagh being the most famous of them. The gardens exhibit the Mughal taste of nature and the philosophy of disciplining nature rather than imitating it: fountain pools and canals, meticulously manicured hedges, and motley flowerbeds. Also known as the Kashmiri Venice, Srinagar is a place not to be missed by those seeking a tranquil refuge in the lap of the Himalayas.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Srinagar is from April to October
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
Dal Lake is 11 km from Dharamshala and surrounded by deodar trees. The lake fills a mountain bowl. The words don't do half the justice to the real beauty of the lake. Dal lake is an enchanting and serene picnic spot where an annual fair is held in September. Apart from being thronged by photography enthusiasts, it really provided the elders with a lot of calm and peace.
After a few more days and short trips to Shankaracharya hill, Moghul gardens and some shopping we were ready to leave the paradise. You can buy the world famous Kashmir willow, saffron,handicrafts, Pashmina shawls, Hand embroidered fabric ,so on and so forth. We spent our last day in Srinagar at Dachigam National Park and were fortunately introduced to two leopard cubs and a Himalayan Black bear, all the three so kindly posed for our cameras,making it a memorable day! ''AGAR FIRDAUS BAR ROO-E ZAMEEN AST, HAMEEN AST-O HAMEEN AST '' (If there is a paradise on earth,it is this, it is this ) -Amir KhusroThis post was originally published on Didicoilens.
In the afternoon, visit the Mughal Gardens - Shalimar Garden, Chashmeshahi and Nishant Gardens. Later, visit the Shankracharya Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is situated at a height of about 1,100 ft. on a hilltop on the southeast of the city, offers splendid views of the valley and the snow-capped mountains of the Pir Panjal range.Request A Call BackThe rest of the evening is at leisure. One can enjoy shopping at the local market for papier-mache items ranging from jewellery boxes to mirror frames, a range of intricately carved walnut wood furniture and accessories, stone jewellery boxes, beautiful woolen shawls etc. Overnight in Srinagar (B, L, D)
Unlike its more popular counterpart Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake is a quieter, more peaceful & far less commercialized lake to stay on. Lined by some beautifully carved wooden houseboats, you could spot the occasional egret in the water & the many shikaras floating by, trying to sell their wares.Bashir ji, our very entertaining shikara guy, as instructed by Mr. Wangnu, decided to row us down all the way from Nigeen Lake to Dal Lake so that we could not only rest on the shikara post a very welcome ‘dal-chawal’ lunch at the houseboat, but also enjoy the serene beauty of the Kashmiri water bodies.We aimlessly floated for more than 2 hours through still waters, thick layers of algae & endless lengths of lilly gardens – to quickly realize that poor Bashir ji wasn’t being able to steer us through the floating vegetable garden because the wind was against us & refused to let us move ahead. Much to our amazement, totally undeterred Bashir ji broke into some popular Kashmiri songs & kept rowing, ably supported for sometime by one of us, who decided to row along & make the shikara move faster.
Nishat Mughal Gardens
If you have time and a car then travel to kashmir.Himachal pardesh lies in lower range of Himalayas (highest elevation point is above 6000m, but road after manali is risky) where as kashmir lies in zanskar range and greater himalayan range. Following are the points that makes it reasonable to travel to kashmir1) if you are going by road. You love driving ? This is the road for you. From jammu to srinagar it will take straight 9 to 10 hrs. The road is in excellent condition NH1 (GT road) road becomes narrow after Banihal. Might get a little traffic jam in patni topStill the road is not broken till batote village Where it gets little bumpy for 500 m .view will be mesmerizing might fall in love with it. Srinagar is valley surrounded by peaks ( from a point you can even see patni top) If you ask somebody "where should a tourist go"Answer will be - Pahalgam,gulmarg, sonemarg,Dal lake, these are some common tourist destinations.A) So if you are going to Pahalgam the road again is in very well condition ( a stream will be following the road !B) If you are going to gulmarg it is also very nice road ! Dont be in shock if you see some autorikshaw going there. C) if you are going to sonemarg ! The road is nice but will face traffic jam consuming 2-3 hours (only if you travel in amarnath yatra's time). The road then becomes dangourous when you travel a bit more higher to zojila pass the road is quiet scary actually there is no road just pebbles you are driving on with heavy traffic and army convoys makes it terrible.Nevertheless when you reach zojila pass you'll forget everything ! 2) places to hide away from stubborn crowd ! If you love peace and want to alone These are some places and advice A) Pahalgam- As soon as you enter Pahalgam pony wala's will be following you offering the most crowded destination. Advice- ignore them, book a hotel online (if travelling in peak season) for convince. Roam in the markets the day you reach. Dont just start trekking the same day. Wake up early in morning like 7 am. Go to any pony wala ! Ask them to take you to #tulian valley. If they try to manipulate your decision for tulian and say they'll take to baisaran dont ever say "ohky" ( baisaran or mini Switzerland are most crowded place in Pahalgam). Go to tulian no where else. (15km trek)( see my next blog to find more about pahlgam and place where peace prevails)B) if you are going to gulmarg -Gulmarg is place where every tourist will Definetly go. There is no hide away from crowd actually ! But if you are high on budget you can go to hotel Khyber ! From where you can have a pleasant view of gulmarg's peaks ( a blog will be published about gulmarg soon ) C) if you are going to sonamarg - sonamarg can give you instant chills but its  crowded there too ! Sonemarg is place where tourists prefer to go less than pahalgam and gulmarg as it is far from srinagar and is the only highway that connects srinagar to leh ! The traffic is main problem there. If you dont want to stuck there. Go even higher to zojila pass ! Where crowd is little less ! The main thing about sonamarg is change in  terrains one hand you can see green mountains with vegetation and on the other hand the peaks straight up, sky touching greyish peaks that represent the ladakhi mountains ! ( a blog about region between srinagar and kargil will be published soon)3) dont go with MMT or others If you really want to enjoy this trip go solo Go with friends or family not in packages These packages will bound you in time and the trip will become miserable ! - travelling to kashmir is far better than travelling to himachal pardesh as long as you are not planing it to leh ! Stay away from crowded places and overrated places in himchal pardesh !
Chashme Shahi Gardens
Chashme Shahi, an ancient garden established in 1632 by Emperor Shah Jahan, is considered to be one of the smallest Mughal gardens in Srinagar. Divided into three different sections with an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains, it provides magnificent views of the Himalayas and the Dal Lake.
4. ShoppingVisit the famous Lal Chowk for your winter shopping spree. Kashmiri Pashmina shawls and local dry fruits are the main items that you can buy for your family back at home. you can also buy other handicraft works like paper mache, wood carving work, etc. It is recommended that you bargain for prices to get the best deals.5. Experience local culture.
Surrounded by Pir Panjal ranges, Dal Lake has been globally known for its natural beauty, serenity, houseboats, Shikaras, floating markets, floating gardens and many more things. After Wular Lake, it is the second largest lake of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Being an integral part of state’s tourism sector, it is often called as ‘The Jewel on the Crown of Kashmir’. The 15.5 km long shorelines of the lake is encompassed by commercial and tourists places like Boulevard Road, Dal Gate, Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Hazrat Bal and large numbers of houseboats and hotels. From the wooden balconies of the houseboats of Dal Lake, tourists can enjoy breathtaking views of snow capped mountain ranges of Himalaya, sunset, bird life, and cruising Shikaras and so on and so forth.
Tulip Garden Srinagar
You can spend a day visiting all the gardens in Srinagar - Tulip Gardens, Shalimar, Nishat and Chashmeshahi. The gardens are well maintained and beautifully landscaped. It is enthralling to be surrounded by such greenery and riot of colors. However, if you want to see the gardens in full bloom, the best time to visit is May-June. When we were there, the flowers had just started to bloom, so even though they did look beautiful, we couldn't see them in all their splendor.
National Highway 1D
Day 2 | 3rd August 2015 Enjoy the breathtaking vistas of Kashmir as we start early from Srinagar and head towards Sonamarg through NH 1D or more popularly known as the Srinagar-Leh Highway. Post Sonamarg, the ascend to Zozi La (11649 ft) begins. As we descend from Zozi La, we would finally enter the Ladakh valley. After a brief stop at the Dras War Memorial, we would head straight for Kargil. Overnight at Kargil. Drive Distance – 200 km Drive Time – 8 hours
Green meadows,greenery,greenery,greenery as far as the eyes can see.Water streams in between as you proceed inside the forest are the actual sight seeing points.Rare species of plants and flowers gives us a good retrospective of our Botany knowledge.Transportation within the forest area is only by horse so horse rides!!.
4th day started from pahalgam iceland hotel toSinthan top one of the less known place but peaceful if we want to avoid the croud the most exiting part is the journey to that place very adventurous nt that adventourous as leh ladakh..passing through kokernag famous garden we can stop and visit and it lies in midway of ananthnag kokernag we can distantly watch the beauty of daksum too every vilage is beautifull..pretty land scapes and sinthan top at height of 12000 feet above the sea level snow painted mountains and we can view the routes to jammu and kashmir divisions from 360 degree view.trekking wil be adventurous very cold breeze even snowfal on the top very few vistors breathtaking views in journey pit waterfalls. Relaxed view
day one arrival at srinagar airport travel agent took us to hotel nishat the hotel has amazing moutain view very distant from the town we got fresh up quickly and went to watch age old moghal gardens Walking and watching the nature and sky high moutains of chashmashahi and nishat mughal gardens.. and eating street food nearby nishat gardens is gr8 fun .many flowers totally different feel at dal lake sikhara ride and back to hotel.
Makhdoom Sahib Road
While walking towards Makhdoom Sahib, Tabassum and Summaiya shared with me the episodes of the tragic floods of 2014 when they took shelter in the Shrine of Makhdoom Sahib along with their entire family. Thousands of Kashmiris who lost their homes and businesses in the floods stayed in the shrine for months. A natural disaster that had till now sustained in my memory only as a headline on TV, now unfolded itself in it's full affect.
Some Information About Roza BalRoza Bal or Rauza Bal or Rauza Bol or Raza Bal, which means "Tomb of the Prophet".There are two tombs inside the Roza Bal (which is small wooden mausoleum) one tomb is of Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph or Yuz Asaph (or Asaf) and another grave is of Syed Nasir-u-Din (Islamic saint, a descendant of Imam Moosa Ali Raza, said to be a great devotee of Jesus, who buried here in 1451).As per some ancient records, that indicate that the grave of Youza Asouph or Yuz Asaph (or Asaf) is to be as far back as 112 CE.The Hebrew name of Jesus was Yuza, in Arabic or in the Koran his name was Hazrat Isa or Isa and Issa in Tibetan. Farhang-Asafia, which explains how Jesus healed some leper and then became Asaf (purified or healed) and the word Yuz mean "Leader". Yuz Asaph or Youza Asouph mean “Leader of the Healed" which pointed to Jesus Christ........................................To Read the Full Article and to See the Full AlbumPlease Visit www.BongBlogger.com
Srinagar - Leh Highway
To better acclimatize for the expedition, my trek mates and I deliberately flew to Srinagar and planned to travel by road to Leh. But, the minute we landed in Srinagar our cab driver told us about the cloud burst and landslides in the region due to which the Srinagar-Leh highway was blocked. Our trek was to start in 3 days and we were perturbed by the situation and gave up on the Ladakh plans after waiting 2 days. On the 3rd day at 4am our cab driver called up to tell us that the BRO (Border Road Organization) had cleared up the highway. We bundled into the cab and did a straight 26hrs journey on one of the world’s deadliest roads, crossing places like Zoji La (3528m), Dras (3280m) and Kargil(2676m) in the middle of the night. We reached Leh at 7am the next day and were grateful that we had made it to our expedition start camp just in time.
Vivanta by Taj - Dal View
Vivanta by taj - SrinagarAfter saying goodbye to Gulmarg we head towards Srinagar where we had our stay in Vivanta by Taj. It is a property located above and ahead of the Dal Lake and gives the best possible view of the Dal Lake and the entire Srinagar.We all know that the Taj group can not go wrong with their hospitality thus it does not need any special mention.They treat you like kings and serve you like one. The have a infinity pool but was not functional because of the snow.
Amarnath Ji Yatra
In the early morning we got up start preparation for ahead yatra. Some of us took bath on the snow that was an amazing experience and start our ahead yatra. There was only snow every where. We reached the cave at around 12 Pm and took the darshan of Ice Lingam which was 8-10 foot long on that time. That was a totally amazing. I don't have words for expressing that feeling. In all of us I'd took darshan 2 times and I was very happy. After that we take Charnamrit in bottles and get back to our tent took some food on the way. When we start our journey to Baltal at 3 Pm, so it was raining and landslides on the way and glacier burst. Soldiers told to everyone again and again please don't stop only continuing your journey. It was 10.30 Pm when we reached to the Baltal and go for a sleep in the tent. Next morning we saw Shrine board had cancelled the yatra because of poor weather conditions and we took our lugguage from the tent and get back to our taxi. On the previous night we were seperate with our friends of Meerut but we already took contact no. of one of them.