Srinagar district General information
Situated at the center of the Kashmir valley, Srinagar is the most populous district in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India and is home to the summer capital (Srinagar) of Jammu and Kashmir (The capital moves to Jammu city in the winter). The largest city is Srinagar. It is also home to the scenic Dal Lake, a popular tourist destination. Srinagar district is situated in the centre of Kashmir Valley, is surrounded by five districts.In the north it is flanked by Kargil,in the South by Pulwama,in the north-west by Budgam.
According to a popular legend which is mentioned in Kalhana's Rajtaringini Kashmir valley was a vast lake. Kashyap Rishi drained out the water and made it habitable. It is said that originally Yakshas, and Pisacas tribes inhabited the valley at the higher reaches and did not allow the inhabitants of the valley to live in peace. King Ashok brought Budhism to Kashmir which was strenthened by Kanishka. In 6th century Huns came to rule the valley and Mihirkul was one of the infamous Hun ruler. The area attained freedom in 530 AD which was shortlived.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Hazratbal Shirne: The Hazrathalbal Shirne, which is situated on the left bank of the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. This unmatched reverence is anchored in the love and respect for the Prophet Mohammad(peace be upon him), whose Moi-e-Muqqadas, (the sacred hair) is preserved here. The shirne is known by many names including Hazrathbal , Assar-e-Sharief, madinat-us-Sani,Dargah Sharief and Dargah.Sadiq Khan,laid out a garden here and constructed a palacial building,Ishrat mahal or Pleasure House, in 1623. The construction of the present marble structure was started by the Muslim Aquaf Trust headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1968 and completed in 1979.The Moi-e-Muqqadas is displayed on various occasions related with the life of the Prophet and his four holy companions.
Shankaracharya Temple: It is located at 1100ft.above surface level of the main city on the Shankaracharya hill, also known as Takht-e-Suleiman. The shiva temple, as Kalhana belives, was constructed by Raja Gopadatya in 371 B.C.and as such is the oldest shirne in Kashmir. Dogra ruler,Maharaja Gulab Singh, constructed stone stairs upto the temple. In 1925,the temple was electrifed. The temple, besides a prominent religious place of Hindus, is of great archaeological importance. The temple commands a magnificient panoramic view of the Srinagar city.
Khanqah-e-Molla: The shrine of Shah-e-Hamdan or Khanqah-e-Moulla is one of the oldest muslim shrines in kashmir situated on the bank of the river Jhelum in the old city
Jama Masjid: It is one of the oldest and the most spacious of all the mosques in Kashmir, situated in the heart of the city.The foundation of the mosque, an architectural wonder was laid by Sultan Sikander in 1398 A.D.The area of the mosque is 384ftX381ft. spacious enough for over thirty thousand people to offer prayers at a time
Khir Bhawani Temple: Situated at Tullamula in the Srinagar district,is an important hindu shrine.The temple is associated with the hindu goddess,Ragnya Devi.An annual festival is held here on Jesht Ashtami(May-June) when hindus visit the place in large numbers to offer prayers and seek the blessings of the diety. In addition ,there are umpteen places of religious importance in Srinagar.
Chatti Padshahi: Chatti Padshahi, one of the most important Sikh Gurudwaras in Kashmir.The sixth guru of Sikhism traveled through Kashmir, stopping to preach occasionally. It is situated just outside the southern gate of Hari Parbat fort.
Cheshma Shahi and Pari Mahal: Cheshma Shahi or the Royal Spring was laid by Shah Jahan in 1632 A.D. It is 9 Km. from the city centre and is famous for a spring of refreshment digestive water.Two kilometers uphill from Cheshma Shahi is situated the Pari Mahal,a school of astrology founded by Prince Dara Shikoh,Emperor Shah Jahan's eldest son who was killed in the war of succession.The Cheshma Shahi-Pari Mahal area has been developed into a Tourist Village.
Nishat Garden: Queen Nur Jahan's brother,Asif Khan,laid the Garden in 1633 A.D. It is situated on the banks of the Dal Lake in the backdrop of the Zabarwan hills,11 Km.from the district headquarter of Srinagar. The Garden commands a magnificent view of the lake.
Shalimar Garden: The Garden,15 Kms from the city centre, was built by Emperor Jahangir for his beloved wife, Nurjahan. The gardens with four terraces is 539 by 182 meters and gets water from Harwan through a canal lined with fountains.The fourth terrace was once reserved for royal ladies.
Dal Lake: The world famous water body described by Sir Walter Lawerence as the "Lake par-excellence",half a kilometers from the city, is the jewel in the crown of kashmir eulogised by the poets and abudantly praised by the travellers and tourists.The lake of late has unfortunately, consideably shrunk in size causing concern to environmentalists.The Governments have chalked out an ambitious project to save the lake from extinction.The lake is 6X3 km divided by causeways into four parts,Gagribal,Lokut Dal,Bod Dal and Nagin.Two islands,Sona Lank and Ropa Lank,within the lake add to its beauty. Nagin is the most lovely part of the Dal Lake separted by a causeway.
Sonmarg: Sonamarg, at an altitude of 3,000 metres above sea level, 87 km north-east of Srinagar. The drive to Sonamargh is though yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, this time in Sindh Valley. The Sindh Valley is the largest tributary of the valley of Kashmir. It is upwards of sixty miles long, and valley and deep rock-girt gorge to open grassy meadow land and village-dotted slopes. Sonamarg, which means ' meadow of gold ' has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. the Sindth meanders along here and abounds with trout and mahseer, snow trout can be caught in the main river.Ponies can be hired for the trip up to Thajiwas glacier a major attraction during the summer months. The climate of Sonamarg is very bracing; but the rainfall is frequent though not heavy, except for two or three days at a time in July and August with fine spell in between. From Sonamarg, trekking routes lead to the Himalayan lakes of Vishansar (4084 msl), Krishnasar (3810 msl) and Gangabal (3658 msl). Other lakes in the region are Gadsar, stocked with snowtrout and Satsar, glacier-fed and surrounded by banks of alpine flowers. A close by excursion is to Baltal, 15 km north of Sonamarg. This little valley lies at the foot of the Zojila, only a day's journey away from the sacred cave of Amarnath. Trekkers can also reach the starkly splendid roof-top of the world - Leh, by crossing over the Zijila Pass