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Srinagar
श्रीनगर
Paradise on Earth
Panorama of city in green area near a river and lakes
View of Srinagar and Dal Lake
Located in the northwest part of the state
The northernmost state in India
Srinagar
Location of Srinagar
in Jammu and Kashmir and India
Coordinates 34°5′24″N 74°47′24″E / 34.09°N 74.79°E / 34.09; 74.79
Country  India
Region Kashmir
State Jammu and Kashmir
District(s) Srinagar
Settled 3rd century BCE
Mayor Salman Sagar[1]
Population
Density
Metro
894940[2] (2001)
8,523 /km2 (22,074 /sq mi)
971357[2]
Sex ratio 1.17 /
Literacy 59.18%
Official languages Kashmiri, Urdu[3]
Time zone IST (UTC+05:30)
Area
Elevation
238 km2 (92 sq mi)
1,585 m (5,200 ft)
Climate
Precipitation
Temperature
• Summer
• Winter
ETh (Köppen)
     658 mm (25.9 in)

     22 °C (72 °F)
     04 °C (39 °F)
Website www.srinagar.nic.in

Srinagar About this sound pronunciation (Dogri: श्रीनगर; Kashmiri: श्रीनगर), 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.[4] The city is famous for its lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits. It is also the headquarters of Srinagar district.

Contents

Origin of name

Etymologically Srinagar is composed of two Sanskrit words, namely, Sri (meaning abundance and wealth) and Nagar, which means a city. Thus, the word Srinagar signifies a place of wealth and abundance. Sri is also the name of a goddess Lakshmi of Hindus.

A legend, as incorporated in Nila’s Nilmatapurana, states that the Kashmir valley was a vast lake. A Hindu sage named Kashyapa drained out the water, and there emerged the beautiful valley of Kashmir.

History

Dargah Dastageer Sahab, one of the oldest Mosques in Kashmir

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.

Srinagar city and its vicinity in 1959

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.

The Government of India, in view of its obligation enjoined upon it subsequent to this covenant, immediately air-lifted Indian troops to Srinagar, and the city was prevented by the Indian Army. In the meanwhile, the matter had been escalated to the United Nations, and a cease fire was imposed under its authority, resulting into certain parts of Hari Singh's kingdom going out of his hands, which now constitutes the Azad Kashmir state under Pakistani administration. The city of Srinagar has thereafter remained administered by India

Geography

A closer map of Kashmir

The city is located on both the sides of the Jhelum River, which is called Vyath in Kashmir. The river passes through the city and meanders through the valley, moving onward and deepening in the Wular Lake. The city is famous for its nine old bridges, connecting the two parts of the city.

Hokersar is a wetland situated near Srinagar—the capital of Indian Kashmir. Thousands of migratory birds come to Hokersar from Siberia and other regions in the winter season. Migratory birds from Siberia and Central Asia use wetlands in Kashmir as their transitory camps between September and October and again around spring. These wetlands play a vital role in sustaining a large population of wintering, staging and breeding birds.

Hokersar is 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) north of Srinagar, and is a world class wetland spread over 13.75 square kilometres (5.31 sq mi) including lake and marshy area. It is the most accessible and well-known of Kashmir's wetlands which include Hygam and hygam is the best place of situation, Shalibug and Mirgund. A record number of migratory birds have visited Hokersar in recent years. An estimated quarter of a million birds have already been spotted at Hokersar in the current season.

Birds found in Hokersar—Migratory ducks and geese which include Brahminy Duck, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Garganey, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, Northern Pintail, Common Pochard, Ferruginous Pochard, Red-Crested Pochard, Ruddy Shelduck, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal, and Eurasian Wigeon.

Climate

Srinagar
Climate chart (explanation)
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
57
 
5
-2
 
 
65
 
8
-1
 
 
99
 
14
4
 
 
88
 
19
8
 
 
72
 
24
11
 
 
37
 
29
15
 
 
49
 
30
18
 
 
70
 
30
18
 
 
33
 
28
13
 
 
36
 
22
6
 
 
27
 
15
0
 
 
43
 
8
-2
average max. and min. temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: IMD

The climate of Srinagar may be described as a humid subtropical climate with very warm summers. The city has warm summers from June through August, and winters from December-February. The city generally gets some snowfall from December to February but seldom accumulates for longer periods. The average temperatures are 24 °C (75 °F) in July (ranging between 18 to 29°C or 65 to 84°F) and 4 °C (39 °F) in January (between -2/7°C or 28/45°F (night/day), -2/0°C or 28/32°F and 7/11°C or 45/52°F some of local extremes). The average annual rainfall is around 675 mm (26.5 inches).

Economy

Market boats on Mal Canal in Srinagar.

Srinagar is the most pivotal centre of the economy of the Kashmir Valley, and it has remained a tourist destination for centuries. The valley has attracted rulers from the plains of India for a long time, and they traveled to the valley and the city to avoid the hot summers of the Indo-Gangetic plains. The city remained on the itinerary of the Mughal ruling elite, and several Mughal emperors and their consorts had visited the city, and several Mughal gardens in and around the city indicate their close association with Srinagar.

With the colonization of India by the Europeans, particularly the British, the ruling elite as well as the rich Indians used to visit the city and the nearby locations during summers to avoid heat of the plains; and during winters to enjoy the snowfall.

The hinterland of Srinagar is the most populous part of the Kashmir valley, and crops like wheat and rice are cultivated for local consumption. Orchards produce a number of fruits, particularly apples. Another significant segment of the economy include handicrafts, weaving of woolen shawls and dress materials, and woodcarving. Srinagar and the surrounding areas serve as collecting points from where fruits and handicraft products are taken to several parts of the Indian subcontinent.

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Tourism

Panoramic view of Dal Lake and the city of Srinagar.
Srinagar, Sunset on Dal Lake.
Dal Lake, going from the Mughal Gardens side back to Srinagar.

Tourism is the most significant segment of the city's economy. The city of Srinagar is a gateway to some of the most scenic and beautiful places of the Indian subcontinent. The hill station and skiing resort Gulmarg is 50 km from the city. For decades, tourism has been contributing massively to the economy of the city, but it has been adversely affected on account of insurgent activities by certain elements.

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. The Tulip Gardens have been recently opened to public by Smt Sonia Gandhi. The gardens has rows of Tulips of different colurs and shades.

It has been called the "Venice of the East" or the "Kasmiri Venice"[5][6][7]

Government and politics

The city is run by the Srinagar Municipal Committee (SMC). The Srinagar district along with the adjoining Budgam district forms the Srinagar Parliamentary seat. Current leaders of the city include:

Stray Dog Controversy

Srinagar's city government attracted brief international attention in March 2008 when it announced a mass poisoning program aimed at eliminating the city's population of stray dogs.[8] Officials estimate that 100,000 stray dogs roam the streets of the city, which has a human population of just under 900,000. In a survey conducted by an NGO, it was found that some residents welcomed this program, saying the city was overrun by dogs, while critics contended that more humane methods could have been used to deal with the animals.

Demographics

As of 2001, Srinagar city had a population of 894,940.[9] The population density in the city is 556 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,440 /sq mi) while the overall population density is 99 /km2 (260 /sq mi). The languages spoken are mainly Kashmiri, Urdu, Hindi and English. According to the 2001 Indian Census, Muslims made up 95% of the population, Hindus 4% and Sikhs and others 1%.

Culture

Like the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar too has a distinctive blend of cultural heritage. Holy places in and around the city depict the historical cultural and religious diversity of the city as well as the Kashmir valley.

Places of worship

Hazratbal Shrine built in around 1700 A.D.
The Shankaracharya temple built in around 200 B.C

There are many religious holy places in Srinagar. They include:

  • Hazratbal Shrine
  • Jama Masjid, Srinagar, one of the oldest mosques in Kashmir
  • Khanqah Moulla The mosque founded by the sufi saint Hazrat Shah-i-Hamadan
  • Kheer bhawani in Ganderbal
  • Dasgeer Sahib Khanyar,Shrine of Saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani(R.A)
  • BulBul Saheb Shrine Of Saint Sheikh Abdul Rahman (R.A)
  • Hari Parbat(Kohi-Maran) hill hosts shrine of Sufi Saint Sheikh Hamza Makdoom(R.A)
  • Zestha
  • Shankaracharya temple on Sulaiman Hill
  • Chari Sharief
  • Rozabal Mosque
  • Jenab Saheb Anchar in Soura Srinagar.
  • Bulbul Saheb at Aali-Kadal Srinagar.
  • Pather Masjid at Fateh-Kadal Srinagar, built by NoorJahan.

Performing arts

Performing arts of the city include:

  • Bhand Pather, a form of traditional folk theatre art form of play and dance, is performed by a group of about ten to fifteen artists. They depict in a satirical style social evils. Performance is accompanied by light music.
  • Chakri is a major and popular form of Kashmiri folk music.
  • Another form of Kashmiri genre of music called Sufiana music is also practiced in the city. It was introduced in the valley in the 15th century from Iran. Over centuries, it has assimilated a number of Indian Ragas, and has established itself as a classical music of the region. The instruments used in the music include Santoor, Sitar, Kashmiri Saz, Tabla, and Wasool.
  • Hafiz Nagma, a form of dance, is performed to the accompaniment of Sufiana music. The dancer is a female while males play different instruments used in Sufiana music.
  • Rouf is also an important foulk dance kashmiri women do in marriages or on the eve of IDD/EID. All women's hands on another women's shoulders moving to and fro.

Education

Media

Four FM frequencies are available in the city. However, only two bids were received by the government. Adlabs is the only FM radio operator in Srinagar (its bid was Rs. 61 lakh). The second bidder South Asia FM did not qualify because its bid was less than 25 per cent of the highest bidder, the minimum amount to be eligible for bidding.[10] Okk Hill School, Barzalla

Sports

Adventure sports are popular among tourists. Dal Lake has potential for canoeing and water skiing. Water trekking is local name for three to four day trip along the Jhelum River to various lakes in a shikara with camping gear. Dachigam National Park (22 km/14 mi) and Pahalgam (95 km/59 mi) are popular destinations for hikers, trekkers and fishers. The city is home to the Sher-i-Kashmir Stadium, a stadium where international cricket matches have been played.

Sports like football and cricket are popular among school children.

Srinagar is having a outdoor stadium namely Bakshi Stadium for football named after the name of Bakshi ghulam Mohammed the that time PM jammu and kashmir and the biggest indoor stadium in the state.

References

  1. ^ "Bhat re-elected Mayor". The Tribune (The Tribune Trust). 30 March 2006. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060331/j&k.htm#4. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Population in the age group 0-6 and literates by sex—urban agglomeration/town". Census of India 2001. Government of India. 27 May 2002. http://www.censusindia.gov.in/. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  3. ^ "Kashmiri: A language of India". Ethnologue. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kas. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  4. ^ http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gcis&lng=en&dat=32&geo=-104&srt=npan&col=aohdq&pt=c&va=&srt=pnan
  5. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=VloVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=B-YDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6789,6379670&dq=srinagar+venice+of+the+east&hl=en
  6. ^ http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/585827282.html?dids=585827282:585827282&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Jun+13%2C+1965&author=&pub=Chicago+Tribune&desc=Fabled+Kashmir%3A+An+Emerald+Set+Among+Pearls&pqatl=google
  7. ^ http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/112701.html
  8. ^ MSNBC: Indian authorities to poison 100,000 stray dogs
  9. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20040616075334/http://www.censusindia.net/results/town.php?stad=A&state5=999. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  10. ^ FM radio: Govt to garner Rs 84 cr

External links



Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Dal Lake, Srinagar
Dal Lake, Srinagar

Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and the largest city in the disputed Kashmir region.

Understand

The city has become safer to travel since 2003, however the streets are still lined with armed soldiers. Any building of value will also have a sandbag bunker and razor wire for protection. If arriving from the airport, you will also notice hundreds of large, Western style vacation homes. These were built before the current conflict when domestic travel to Kashmir was booming. Currently most of these homes are empty, being squatted in or have been usurped for military use. Most people visit the city in the summer months. The temperature at this time is cool to pleasant. Light sweaters may be needed for occasional cool nights in the summertime. In winter, you will need full winter gear and expect snow and few places to have hot water.

Get in

Many people take the train to Jammu followed by a taxi or bus ride to Srinagar. The journey from Jammu to Srinagar is costlier in the summers because the capital is being shifted from Jammu to Srinagar on both the state buses and Sumos. State buses are safer but take more time and are a bit uncomfortable.

Foreign travelers on visas are required to register upon arrival at the airport or to their hotel or houseboat.

By plane

Flights are operated by Jet Airways, Air Deccan, SpiceJet, Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, Jet Lite and Indian Airlines [1] from Delhi and Mumbai to Srinagar, with or without a stopover at Jammu. The frequency is once or twice a day by each airline. The cost is approx Rs. 2,500 from Jammu, Rs. 2,500-5,000 from Delhi one way and higher from Mumbai, depending on the season. The airport is still quite small but the expanded terminal is expected to open soon. It is also still heavily fortified and expect to see many soldiers with guns. Winter flights can easily be canceled due to weather conditions. Tickets are easy to purchase in town, but the airport requires a ticket for entrance. A taxi into town should be Rs. 350 and direct to Gulmarg is 1,200-1,500.

By taxi

Hiring a TATA Sumo SUV (fits up to 9 people, or 5 comfortably plus luggage) from Jammu costs approximately Rs.1,900-2,700 depending on time of year or even time of day. To reduce costs many people choose not to take an exclusive taxi, and share the Sumo taxi with other travelers. This costs about Rs.150-400 per person. For a comfortable trip, try for a seat in the middle row - the front bucket seat is (sometimes uncomfortably) shared by 2 people, and the far back could be quite bumpy as the highway is full of mountainous roads. The journey takes around 8 hours.

By bus

J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&KSRTC) operates fairly comfortable buses from Jammu costing around Rs 150 and do the journey in around 12 hours. 2 day buses run between Srinagar and Leh staying overnight in Kargil.

There are also direct buses from Delhi taking almost 24 hours to reach Srinagar.

Get around

Auto-rickshaws can be found everywhere. Taxis and buses area also available. Motorcycles can also be rented for enthusiasts.

Negotiate a price with a rickshaw driver before getting in, or just act like you know and pay the driver upon arrival. Drivers usually don't speak English but there will always be a passer-by to help translate for you.

At time of writing (4/10/09) a rickshaw from Nigeen Lake to Boulevard is approx. 70Rs depending on negotiation skills.

Nishat Bagh
Nishat Bagh

The Mughal Gardens: With terraced lawns, cascading fountains, paint-box-bright flowerbeds with the panorama of the Dal in front of them - the three Mughal Gardens of Chesmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar are the Mughal Emperors' concept of paradise and are today very popular places for picnics and excursions. The beauty of these gardens is at their best during spring but the Mughal structure of these gardens lends them a unique sense of beauty even when the flowers are not blossoming.

  • Nishat Bagh. Situated on the banks of the Dal Lake, with the Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop, (11 km. from TRC), this 'garden of bliss' commands a magnificent view of the lake and the snow capped Pir Panjal mountain range which stands far away to the west of the valley. Nishat was designed in 1633 AD by Asaf Khan, brother of Nur Jehan.  edit
  • Shalimar Bagh. the Mughal garden in front of the Dal lake built by Emperor Jahangir.  edit
  • Chashmashahi. is another beautiful Mughal garden.  edit
  • Hazratbal Mosque. the white mosque is breathtakingly beautiful but be careful, as women can enter only the first part of the mosque. Also take a walk through the adjacent market area with a range of great fresh food and a thousand things deep fried.  edit
Shalimar Bagh
Shalimar Bagh
  • Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph. in the Khanyar area, about 150 meters NW of Dastgir Saheb mosque & shrine. This tomb, also known as Roza Bal, is believed by some to be the tomb of Jesus (part of the larger theory that he survived the crucifixion and made his way to Kashmir where he lived until at least the age of 100). It has been made popular by recent books such as Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten among others. It's down a little side road - ask around, pretty much anyone in the area can point you in the right direction.  edit
  • Shankaracharya Mandir. is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on a hilltop. It can be reached by a car or taxi. For security reasons, no cameras or cellphones are allowed within the temple and you are supposed to leave them in the vehicle before entering the temple premises. Cigarrates, liquor are to be deposited with the police personnel before the ascent of the hill as these items are against Hindu religion.  edit
  • Pari Mahal. Dont miss the breathtaking views of the city from here  edit

Do

All the hotels organize excursions (1, 2, 4 days) to see the Himalayan mountains. Beside that package tours by JKTDC can be a good option.

Shikaras in Dal Lake
Shikaras in Dal Lake

Go for a Shikara ride in the Dal lake which costs around Rs. 150 (off season) - Rs. 500 (peak season) for the whole Shikara. For better views and a more peaceful ride in an area devoid of other tourists, walk up a fair bit of distance till you can see the fountain and ask the Shikara rider to take you for a ride to the fountain. It costs Rs. 300 (off season) - Rs. 600 (peak season). Make sure you bargain a little, especially in off season. If you are staying longer, you could go on shikara rides more than once... each time to a different part of the lake. A must see is the "village" in the lake. Ask for a ride to the side where locals live and see the floating vegetable market. The market is usually operational only at sunrise and is easiest organised through an agent or your hotel/houseboat.

  • You can buy nice leather products, or jewellery.
  • Cashmere (Pashmina) shawls have been manufactured in Kashmir for thousands of years. Pashmina Shawls are very popular items for sale in the Valley, but make sure to test the quality before purchasing. The test for a 100% pashmina has been warmth, feel and the passing of the shawl through a wedding ring. Costs on a true pashmina can vary wildly, but usually start around 8000Rs. Secondly, the weave pattern on a good Pashmina is fainter than on a "silk Pashmina" or other wool Pashmina. There is also lower grades of pashmina known as Semi-Pashmina (10-50% Pashmina wool) and Half-Pashmina (50% pashmina wool) which are still of an exceptional quality but much lower price (1000-3000Rs). Also check if they are machine woven or hand woven (look for irregularities in the wool to spot a hand woven), hand woven are stronger due to the density of the weave and cost more.
  • Recommended pashmina store is Kashmir Shawl Museum which is a labour cooperative in association with the J&K government. The guys there will take you through in detail the types of pashminas you can buy (and how to test them) and are fantastic in that they don't negotiate but offer a set price that is the best in town. They are on the 1st floor (look for a tiny staircase heading up and a big 1st floor sign) of the Auquaf Building at Dalgate at the end of The Boulevard in the centre of town, near Dhar Medicate. Ph 0194 - 242 4891.
  • You can also buy embroidered felt mats called Namdahs but the colours of the wool may be a bit too bright in most shops. The Government Emporia supplies might be better than the other private shops.
  • There are also chainstitch rugs in two styles - English design or Kilim design - it will be evident what is meant when you see them.
  • Carpets.
  • Paper Machie products are also quite unique to Kashmir with colourful motifs and design on them. They are seen everywhere and resemble pottery in shape and design.
  • John International, 172 Old Gagribal Road (Near Nehru Park), 2477640. Manufacturers and exporters of famous Kashmiri hand made Pashmina shawls and exporters of saffron  edit

Eat

There are a number of restaurants and cafes in Srinagar. Most of the good ones are located in Lal chowk or on Boulevard along the banks of the Dal Lake. Most of the restaurants will serve Kashmiri, Indian, Mughlai and 'Indianized' Chinese dishes. Some pure veg restaurants are also located along Boulevard. Make sure you try dishes like Rogan-gosht (meat cooked in red gravy), Gushtaba(soft meat balls cooked in natural yoghurt), Tabakmaaz(deep fried ribs of a lamb) and Kanti(small chunks of meat cooked with a lot of onions).

In addition to these, one can find numerous bakeries in the city. Kashmiris are very fond of bakery products especially pasteries and cakes and you can find these bakeries very crowded especially around the times of major festivals. The more famous bakeries include Mughal Darbar, Jee Enn Sons and Hattrick.

Another popular local delicacy is called seekh-tuji. It consists of marinated meat pieces which are freshly barbecued and eaten with chutney. Most of these vendors are located in the Khayaam region of the city. This place is usually teeming with the youth especially in the evenings.

Enjoy the grilled mutton available in Srinagar. This is reffered to as a "tilli" or "tekh" and mostly eaten by locals. You can find this at one spot facing dal lake too.

Drink

Kahwah is a traditional green tea recipe from Kashmir. The tea is made from green tea leaves with saffron strands, cinnamon bark and cardamom pods.Some varieties are made as a herbal infusion only, without the green tea leaves. Generally, it is served with sugar or honey, and crushed nuts, usually almonds or walnuts. There is another form of tea that is quite famous amongst the locals, its called 'Namkeen Chai' or 'Nun Chai'. It is pink in color and is also called Pink Tea. It is made from black tea, cardamom, various spices, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Also people like nune toath and dum toath which are very famous among sufis. Nunetoath is nunechai without milk and Dumtoath is strong form of Kahwa.

If searching for a beer or other drink there is a small bottle shop on the Boulevard. It's at the base of a hotel about halfway up the street and looks like a mini-fort knox. Ask people on the street and they'll point you in the right direction.

Houseboats in Dal Lake at night
Houseboats in Dal Lake at night

Srinagar is popular for its houseboats, which DO NOT float around the lake, but are anchored off-shore. It is a great and unique way to enjoy your stay in the city. Houseboats are accessible either by road,or by a short "Shikara" boat ride. Each houseboat usually has 2-5 bedrooms plus bath, dining room, living room, upper deck (good for sunbathing).

Many travelers tell stories of bad experiences while staying on a houseboat, others enjoy their stay greatly. To avoid bad experiences do not pre-book a houseboat before arriving. With the security situation, the majority are empty and you should be able to get a better price in person, and to get a better feeling of if you'll like the place and the owners. Boats with land access have the advantage of allowing you to leave if you feel uncomfortable, or just like going for a walk, although they tend to be noisier.

There are houseboats on Dal Lake and Nagin Lake. These can cost anything from Rs. 1000 (March 2008) - Rs. 5000 depending upon the time of the year. Houseboats on Nagin lake are upscale and more expensive but are much more beautiful, and the Nagin lake location is serene. Price on Nageen Lake per person in September 2005 was 500 rupees per night including 2 meals. Expect to pay up to 3,000 for a couple on the deluxe boats. Boats on the Jhelum river are cheaper yet, but still comfortable, and close to the bus station, good if you are just transiting Srinagar to or from Ladakh.

Be sure to take a 1 hour boat tour of the lake inlets to get a nice glimpse of life and wildlife along the lake. Its averaged at about Rupees 300 to 500. A few areas are geared up for attracting tourists, but most much of the area is still untouched.

There are a wide range of hotels around Dal Lake. Prices vary from Rupees 500 to 5,000.

  • Hotel Ishfan, Kohnkhan, Dalgate, Srinagar. Mid-range hotel with double room starting at Rs. 2500. In off-season, rooms can even be bargained upto Rs. 400. The in-house restaurant serves delicious North Indian food as well as chicken delicacies.
  • Blooming Dale:Another place at Dalgate(centre of Srinagar) near Dal Lake is neat small place with a lush green lawn suitable for families and individuals.This is the place you can experience the typical kashmir hospitality.
  • Young Bombay, A houseboat in the middle of the Dal Lake, in the Golden Lake part (close to the Boulevard). Actually a complex of several boats of various classes, from deluxe to C, in attractive price classes. Spacious rooms with bathrooms, lake views, cable TV, Internet, original Kashmiri cuisine and European food prepared by the owner's family. You could sometimes encounter the owner, Mohammed Gossani, on the lakeshore, or contact him at youngbombay@yahoo.com or myspace.com/houseboat_srinagar for advance reservations and airport or bus station pickups. Particularly many French tourists, with the charismatic long-term French resident Victoria taking care of good conversation.
  • New Shaheen, A house boat at Raj Bagh Ghat is a luxury and economical and as well as serene for those who wish to stay in house boat yet far from noisy area.In off season you can bargain upto Rs.600 for a double room with breakfast and dinner inclusive.So for those of you who wish to stay economically be sure to visit this place,a family with beautiful and smiling faces will serve you.Ph no
  • Butt's Clermont Houseboat, One of the best addresses in the valley: the secluded northwest edge of Dal Lake. Butt’s houseboats have had some very famous guests, including Ravi Shankar, Galbraith, Rockefeller, and Yehudi Menuhin!
  • House Boat Taj Mahal: A very beautiful House Boat located offshore in the open area of Dal Lake gives a perfect view of mountains and the life around in the lake. Owner Mohd. Yaseen Dangola is very helpful and can be reached at 0091-9419061672/0091 (0) 194-2480271
  • Swiss Hotel Kashmir. In the foot hills of Shankrachraya Temple and stones throw distance from world famous Dal Lake is this beautifully located hotel. It is a commission free hotel. Tel:0194 2472766 & 2477640. swisshotelkashmir@yahoo.co.in. swisshotelkashmir@gmail.com

Behind the boulevard on old gagribal road is this very well run hotel with friendly management and spotless bathroom.(www.swisshotelkashmir.com)

  • Hotel Sadaf-The Pearl, 45,Exchange Road,Regal Chowk,Srinagar, [2]. checkin: 12noon; checkout: 12 noon. Situated in the picturesque Valley of Kashmir – ‘The Paradise on Earth’ amid shades of the legendary Chinar Tree, ‘Hotel Sadaf’ – The Pearl, despite being a centrally located hotel , provides a sanctuary to all those seeking a secluded getaway, away from hustle & bustle of the City. Breathtaking panoramic views of mountain ranges surround the guests as they are welcomed with an uncompromising quality service and hospitality. At a 3 minutes drive from the world famous ‘DAL LAKE’, 3 minutes drive from the Local Bus Stand(TRC – Tourist Reception Centre) & at a short distance of 7 kms, Hotel Sadaf is one of the closest Hotels to the Srinagar Airport(SXR). Hotel Sadaf exudes comfort, tranquility, and comforts guests with its cozy warm interiors in the freezing temperatures of Kashmere Winter & a COOL ambience in the moderately hot Summers of the Valley. email:sadafhotel@gmail.com email: sadafbookings@gmail.com 1800.  edit
  • Leh/Ladakh Jeeps leave daily except Sunday taking 2days with an overnight stop in Kargil.
  • Jammu Jeeps leave daily as well as buses, be aware that J&K bus company quite often go on strike. Jeep costs 350-450Rs and takes approx 8hrs
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

SRINAGAR, capital of the state of Kashmir, in Northern India, 5250 ft. above sea-level, on both banks of the river Jhelum, which winds through the city with an average width of 80 yds. and is crossed by seven wooden bridges. The houses occupy a length of about 3 m. and a breadth of about i 2 m. on either side of the river; but the greater part of the city lies on the right bank. No two buildings are alike. The curious grouping of the houses, the frail tenements of the poor, the substantial mansions of the wealthier, the curious carving of some, the balconies of others, the irregular embankment and the mountains in the background, form a quaint and picturesque spectacle. Area, 3795 acres. Pop. (1901), 122,618. The city is exposed to both fire and flood. In 1893 six of the seven bridges were swept away, and great damage was again caused in 1903. A regular water-supply has been provided. The artisans of Srinagar enjoy a high reputation. Unfortunately, the historic industry of shawl-weaving is now practically extinct. The loss of the French market after the war of 1870 was followed by the famine of 1877-1879, which drove many of the weavers into the Punjab, and the survivors have taken, to the manufacture of carpets. Other industries are paper, leather, papier mache, silver and copper ware, wood-carving and boat-making. The three chief routes of communication with India are: (I) along the Jhelum valley to Murree and Rawalpindi, which has been opened throughout for wheeled traffic (195 m.); (2) over the Banihal pass (9200 ft. above the sea) to Jammu (163 m.); (3) over the Pir Panjal pass (11,400 ft.) to Gujrat (180 m.).

See Sir Walter R. Lawrence, The Valley of Kashmir (1895); M. A. Stein, Chronicle of the Kings of Kashmir (1900).


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

Singular
Srinagar

Plural
-

Srinagar

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  1. State capital of Jammu and Kashmir (India).

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Simple English

Srinagar (Urdu:شرینگر, Hindi: श्रीनगर ) is a city in Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is situated on the banks of the Jhelum River, in Northern India Kashmir region. [[File:|thumb|570px|View of the capital city and Dal Lake.]]


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