Srinagar Travel Guide
places of interest
places to visit
Srinagar is well known for its lakes. Dal Lake is known for its houseboats. Nagin Lake is another famous lake in the city.
Just outside the city are found the 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 Nashim Bagh. these gardens have lots of tulip flowers.
Srinagar is the capital of the northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir that is situated in India-administered Kashmir. It is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. It is the largest city in India without a Hindu majority. The city is famous for its lakes and houseboats.
The city was founded by the King Pravarasena II over 2,000 years ago, and the city of Srinagar has a long history, dating back at least to the 3rd century BC. The city was then a part of the Maurya Empire, one of the largest empires of the Indian subcontinent. Ashoka introduced Buddhism to the Kashmir valley, and the adjoining regions around the city became a centre of Buddhism. In the 1st century, the region was under the control of Kushans and several rulers of this dynasty strengthened the Buddhist tradition. Vikramaditya (of Ujjain) and his successors probably ruled the regions just before the city fell to the control of the Huns in the 6th century, and Mihirkula was the most dreaded ruler of the city and the valley.
The Hindu and the Buddhist rule of Srinagar lasted until the 14th century, when the Kashmir valley, including the city, came under the control of the several Muslim rulers, including the Mughals. It was also the capital during the reign of Yusuf Shah Chak, a ruler who was tricked by Akbar when he failed to conquer Kashmir by force. Yusuf Shah Chak remains buried in Bihar in India. Akbar established Mughal rule in Srinagar and Kashmir valley.
When the disintegration of the Mughal Empire set forth after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, infiltrations to the valley from the Pashtun tribes increased, and the Durrani Empire ruled the city for several decades. Raja Ranjit Singh in the year 1814 annexed a major part of the Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar, to his kingdom, and the city came under the influence of the Sikhs. In 1846, the Treaty of Lahore was signed between the Sikh rulers and the British in Lahore. The treaty, inter alia, provided British de-facto suzerainty over the Kashmir Valley, and installed Gulab Singh as an independent and sovereign ruler of the region. Srinagar became part of his kingdom, and remained until 1947 as one of the several princely states of undivided India.
After, India's independence, certain tribes, mostly Pashtun, actively supported by elements of the Pakistani forces, Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 intruded the valley to capture the Kashmir. While the Pakistan Army gained control of the majority of Srinagar it was not able to secure Srinagar Airport. This allowed India to air lift the Indian Army along with all the heavy weapons and they were able to capture the city and its surroundings and pushed the intruders by inflicting heavy casulities on them. In view of infiltration by armed forces and the possibility of his kingdom, including the city of Srinagar falling into the hand of Pakistan, Hari Singh signed a covenant in late 1947 with the Government of India, which ensured integration of his kingdom into the Republic of India