Srinagar is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is the
pride of the beautiful valley of Kashmir. Srinagar is famous for its lakes and
the charming rows of houseboats floating on them. It is also known for traditional
Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits.
Srinagar is located in the western part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in
the northern region of India. It is located in the Kashmir valley. River Jhelum
passes through Srinagar city. Srinagar is 876 km north of Delhi. The weather
in Srinagar is alpine. Summers (April-June) are mild and winters are cold (November-February).
It experiences heavy snowfall in December-February.
The history of the Kashmir valley has been turbulent. In the 3rd century bc,
it was a part of the great Mauryan Empire. Later on, this region flourished
under the rule of the Kushans in the 1st century ad.
It was an important Buddhist center around this time. In the 6th century, it
was a part of the kingdom of Vikramaditya, the ruler of Ujjain. Local Hindu
rulers ruled it until the 14th century, after which Muslims invaded and ruled
it. Srinagar was a part of the Mughal Empire in the medieval period.
However, with the decline of the Mughal Empire and the rule of the Pathans,
the fortunes of the area gradually dwindled. In 1814, it became a part of the
Sikh empire, when Ranjit Singh defeated the Pathans.
However, the British defeated Ranjit Singh and according to the treaty of Lahore
in 1846, they installed Gulab Singh as the independent ruler of Kashmir.
The descendents of Gulab Singh ruled Kashmir under the vigilance of the British
till 1947. Hari Singh, the great grandson of Gulab Singh, merged this princely
state into India in 1948, when Pathan marauders from Pakistan tried to overrun
The valley of Kashmir, in which Srinagar is located, is also referred to as
being a heaven on earth. The Mughal emperor Jahangir was so captivated by the
beauty of this valley that he exclaimed, Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin
asto, hamin asto, hamin asto. (If there is a heaven on earth, it' s here, it'
s here, it' s here). There are a number of tourist places in and around Srinagar.
The Dal Lake is an important tourist attraction of Srinagar. It is located on
the eastern end of the city. The Dal Lake comprises of a series of lakes, including
the Nagin Lake some 8 km from the city center. One can enjoy the panoramic view
of the mountains surrounding Srinagar from this lake. Travelers can enjoy taking
a ride on traditional Kashmiri boats or the Shikaras to explore the intricate
maze of waterways of this lake.