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SrinagarThe northern most state of the Indian mainland is rightly called "Paradise on Earth" . The sparkling rivers, placid lakes, gorgeous gardens and indescribable beauty of nature in the state of Jammu and Kashmir leave you completely speechless. Home to the unparalleled virgin landscapes of Kashmir, Leh and Ladakh, a travel and tourism experience to this joyous state is an unmatchable experience that will leave you feeling cleansed and pure. The capital of Jammu and Kashmir and the largest city in the state, Srinagar is famous for its canals, houseboats and Mughal gardens. Situated in the valley of Kashmir, Srinagar is one of the most beautiful summer resorts of Asia. Seven wooden bridges cross the Jhelum and connect the sections of the city. There are many canals, and transportation is chiefly by boat. Houseboats on the canals and nearby lakes serve as vacation hotels.

Hari Parbat, Srinagar's 'Takht-i- Sulaiman' hill forms the backdrop to the city. The placid Jhelum flows through the heart of Srinagar and the houseboat-filled Dal and Nagin Lakes dominate the scene. From a tourist's point of view, a recommended initial exploration of Srinagar begins on board a shikara that follows its course through the heart of the city, past willow-shaded channels and canals, under bridges. Deep green rice fields and bridges across rivers, splendid Mughal gardens, water lilies and lotus. Lines of doongas are moored along the banks, homes of the boat people. Women sit at the prows, pounding grain or calling to each other. As a major artery, the river is punctuated at regular intervals by landing stages leading up to narrow labyrinth-like lanes which connect the streets beyond, so that there is a constant flow of activity between water and land. Homes, shops and schools, places of work and worship cluster around the waterfront. Roof gardens and orchards tumble over the river wall, and carved or latticed windows add a touch of timelessness.

Innumerable gardens like Mughal Garden, Nishath, Shallimar, are feast for the eye with the variety of flora.I couldnt believe 200 to 300 roses in one single small plant, with its mild fragrance and colour. One has to force himself to some out of these garden. You dont want to leave the flowers or the greenery, which proves that we are made to live with nature and unfortunately withdraw ourselfs from nature and live in a technical world which is neither healthy nor pleasant to the mind, soul or body.

Kashmir is a handicraft lover's delight with a rich variety of available crafts. There is great beauty in Kashmiri artefacts: papier mache, lacquered and painted in floral designs; wood carvings and screens; fine carpets in typical oriental designs; silks and woollen shawls embroidered in traditional paisley and crewel work. The bazaars of Srinagar are filled with handicraft stores, street vendors add their own colour. The J&K Handicrafts Corporation has a large display of handicraft items, carpets, etc. at the Government Arts Emporium, housed in what was once the British Resident's mansion.The rates of all articles here are fixed and the quality guaranteed.

  • Dal Lake
    The jewel in the crown of Kashmir is eulogised by poets and praised by tourists. Dal Lake changes its moods through the day. The lake can be viewed in its full grandeur by walking or cycling down Boulevard Road. It is divided in four parts by causeways known as Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin. The fascination for houseboats led to the creation of a large number of luxurious floating hotels. Shikaras and houseboats vie for attention with their imaginative names. The increase in tourism has also had its downside. The Dal Lake shrunk to half its size, from 22 sq. km. to about 11 sq. km in 50 years, and is a reminder of the degradation in the Himalayan lake eco-system.
  • Nagin Lake
    A paradise for an aquatic holiday, its waters are otherwise calm and peaceful. On the banks are a club, a bar and a tea pavilion.
  • Hari Parbat
    According to legend, the hill grew out of a pebble dropped by the goddess Parvati when she wanted to crush a demon. The ruins of a fort, an imposing evidence of a historic past, crown it.
  • Shankaracharya Hill
    A historic temple atop the hill on the site of the Takht-I-Suleiman, or throne of Solomon, provides a panoramic view of Srinagar's busy thoroughfares and shimmering blue lakes.
  • Hazratbal
    This mosque on the shores of the Dal Lake, houses one of the most sacred Muslim relics, a hair of Prophet Muhammad, brought here in 1700 AD by Khawaja Noor-ud-Din from Bijapur. On specific days in the year, it is shown to the faithful who gather in the courtyard.
  • Manasbal Lake
    This small clear blue water lake is a bird watcher's paradise. Chirping birds amidst blooming lotuses. There is a small rest house, two huts and a cafeteria.
  • Wular Lake
    The jade green waters swirl around a curious bubbling spring in the centre of the lake. Zaina Lank, a small picturesque island covered by the ruins of a mosque, adds to the beautiful setting of the largest fresh water lake in Asia.
How to Reach Srinagar
  • Air
    The nearest airport is about 25 km away in Badgam district. There are daily direct flights from Delhi. One can also fly in from Jammu.
  • Rail
    The nearest rail head is at Jammu, which is 300 kms away. Road Srinagar can be reached by road from Jammu. The hill resorts of Kud, Patnitop and Batote fall en route. The 2.5 km long Jawahar Tunnel allows road access to Srinagar even in the winter. This 293 km long journey passes through very picturesque landscape.

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--> Golden Triangle Tours with Kashmir
Duration : 15 Days / 14 Nights
Destination Covered : Delhi - Srinagar - Gulmarg - Kargil - Lamayuru - Leh - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur

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Duration : 13 Nights / 14 Days
Destination Covered : Delhi - Jaipur - Agra - Khajuraho - Varanasi - Kathmandu - Delhi

--> Golden Triangle Tours India
Duration : 7 Days / 6 Nights
Destination Covered : Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Delhi

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