(Last Updated on : 10/04/2013)
Srinagar is defined as the city of elegance and great antiquity. It is the summer capital city of Jammu and Kashmir and is located at the Kashmir Valley. It stands at a height of (5,227 ft) on the Dal Lake
and Jhelum River
is popular for its picturesque scenic beauty, simmering lakes and beautiful houseboats and also for its dry fruits and traditional handicrafts. Weather of this city is pleasant as here the summer months are mild and the winter months are cold. In between the months of December and February, Srinagar experiences heavy snowfall. This city offers ample scopes for the adventurous people like water surfing, kayaking, canoeing and more. It is a popular tourist place in itself and is also used as a stepping-stone to Leh and Ladakh. Roughly equidistant from Jammu and Leh, it stands at the head of the passes leading to the Indian plains from Central Asia. It is a huge commercial and strategic centre.
is one of the major monuments of Srinagar. It is located on the hill called 'Takht-e-Suleiman' at a height of almost 1100 ft. above the surface level. This temple was constructed by Raja Gopadatya in 371 BC, and he gave it the name of 'Gopadri'. It is believed that great philosopher 'Shankaracharya' stayed here during his visit to Kashmir for reviving 'Sanatan Dharma'. This incident eventually led to the renaming of this temple as its present one. This temple is dedicated to God Shiva and it is actually the oldest place of worship in the valley of Kashmir.
'Hazratbal Shrine', a Muslim shrine of this city is one of its most renowned monuments. This important Islamic shrine is situated on the banks of Dal Lake. The origin of its name comes from 'Hazrat', an Arabic word that means majestic and pure and from the Kashmiri term 'bal', which means place. It is also considered as the holiest shrines of the Muslims. Another popular monument of Srinagar is 'Jama Masjid'. This mosque is situated at the centre of the old city. It is considered as an important mosque and it was founded by Sultan Sikandar in 1400 AD. This mosque reflects wonderful Indo-Saracenic architecture. It has four arched openings in the centre of each side covered with pyramidal roofs. There are three pagoda-shaped minarets and over 370 pillars support the roof, each made of deodar tree trunk. 'Mosque of Akhund Mulla Shah' was built in the year 1649 by Shah Jahan's son. It is really unique and unusual as it was built in stone rather than wood and externally it has rectangular panels enclosing cusped arches. There is another fine mosque called the 'Shah Hamadan'. It reflects the typical wooden style of architecture of Kashmir. The stonework plinth is composed of old temple fragments while the body of the mosque is a simple cube covered by a pagoda-like roof.
Another popular monument of this magnificent city is 'Kheer Bhawani'. This temple is devoted to goddess "Kheer Bhawani". This temple is located near the village of Tula Mula at a distance of 14 miles east of Srinagar. Opposite, across the river, is the old Pattar Masjid built in the year 1623 and it reflects provincial Mughal style. It was actually dedicated to Empress Nur Jahan and was built under the supervision of the architect Malik Haidar Chaudara. It is now used as a granary. 'Roza Bal' is another popular shrine situated in Srinagar's Khanyar district. The tomb comprises a low rectangular building on a slightly raised platform that is surrounded by railings at its front. Moreover, it has three arches at the front and at the side respectively. There is a rock carving inside that is believed to show feet, which bears crucifixion injuries.
Sri Pratap Singh Museum has an interesting collection of Kashmiri exhibits and it attracts the people from various parts of the world. In the year 1635, Dara Shukoh, eldest son of Shah Jahan
, built the Pari Mahal or the Palace of Fairies. It was reputed to have been a school of astrology but is now in ruins. Five terraces of this palace can still be seen along with the remains of fountains and tanks behind the ruined facade which lie on an inaccessible spur of rock.
Srinagar attracts the tourists from across the globe not only because of its endless charm and splendour but also for its ancient monuments.