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About Srinagar

The largest city in the Kashmir region of India, Srinagar sits on both sides of the Jhelum River, with nine bridges connecting the two areas of the city. Srinagar is known for its gardens, waterfront and houseboats, as well as being pegged as the ‘Venice of the East’. It is a beautiful city with lots to offer and plenty of accommodation, some of which sit around Dal Lake.

Don’t Miss

The Mughal Gardens are a group of gardens that were designed in Persian style by the Mughals. There are five such gardens in Srinagar: Nishat Bagh, Chashma Shahi, Pari Mahal, Shalimar Bagh and Naseem Bagh. Of these, Shalimar Bagh is the largest and most impressive, followed by the terraced Nishat Bagh.

On the left bank of the Jhelum River is the Sher Garhi Palace complex, which was built in 1772. Today it houses the state’s administrative offices. Another magnificent palace in Srinagar is Gulab Bhavan that was built in 1910 and has since been converted into The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar.

The 18-square-kilometre Dal Lake is noted for its houseboats, some of which offer accommodation, like the Royal Dandoo Palace of Houseboat. The lake also features floating gardens, islands, stunning lotus flowers and fresh springs as well as being a major spot for fishing.

Overlooking the city is the Shankaracharya Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple dates back to 200 BC and is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists. Visitors must climb 243 steps to get to the temple that rests on a solid rock. The Muslim Hazratbal Shrine is the only domed mosque in Srinigar and the holiest shrine in Kashmir.

Restaurants and Bars

There are numerous places to eat in Srinagar, many of which serve Kashmiri food. Some must try dishes include rogan-gosht (meat cooked in red gravy), tabakmaaz (deep fried lamb ribs) and gushtaba (meat balls cooked in yoghurt). Some of the better places to eat can be found on streets along Dal Lake and in Lal Chowk, as well as in upmarket hotels like Vivanta by Taj - Dal View, Srinagar. There are not a lot of bars in Srinagar, though there are quite a few tea shops that offer kahwah (green tea) and namkeen chai (pink tea).

Shopping

Srinagar is known for its leather products, papiermaché, chainstitch carpets and cashmere shawls. The best place to shop for these products is Lal Chowk Ghantaghar, as it is substantially cheaper than other places. The Sunday Market is another great option.