8 Jan 2013

Srinagar: Romance Personified

Capital of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar has always been the Venice of the East. It has not only been a popular location for Bollywood movies but also a preferred honeymoon destination. With it’s picturesque views of lakes and gardens against the backdrop of snow capped mountains of the Himalayas, this has been one of the all time favourite getaways. Srinagar, in short, is romance personified.
Srinagar, Draped in Snow (Photo Courtesy: indianruminations)
Srinagar is also rich in history; it was founded over 2,000 years ago by King Pravarasena ll and throughout it’s history, it has been known by different names. At the time Srinagar was founded, it was known as Parvasenpur and was part of the Maurya Empire.  Around 960 C.E., it became the capital of Kashmir. Situated on the banks of the Jhelum, it has been host to many emperors of India in the past. Srinagar has imbibed many of the religions from these rulers and kings as well, such as Buddhism from Ashoka and Islam from the Mughals. 

Srinagar is known for many things which are now tourist attractions. There’s of course the Dal lake which covers about 18 kilometres, and is known as “Srinagar’s Jewel”. 
The Beauty of Dal Lake (Photo Courtesy: kashmirtraveller)
On the Dal Lake is another very popular tourist attraction - the house boats. Surrounding the lake are lush gardens from the Mughal era. Some of the must-see gardens and parks include:

- The Mughal Gardens
- Shalimar Bagh
- Nishat Bagh
- Nehru Garden

 Besides these, Pari Mahal, Hazratbal Mosque, Shankaracharya Mandir and Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph are some of the must-see sights. There are also many places of worship that are worth a visit, such as the Jama Masjid, the Kheer bhawani, Humza Makhdum and Hari Parbathill. 
Houseboats add to the charm of Srinagar (Photo Courtesy: himalayanexpeditions)
If you tire of strolling through these beautiful gardens and past these beautiful sights, you can take a break to shop. Kashmir is famous for its handicrafts and dry fruits. So while you pop a pista into your mouth, pick up the beautiful Kashmiri shawls, rugs, carpets, papier-mâché products and other handicrafts. 

When in Kashmir, also try the traditional green tea recipe from Kashmir - kahwah. The food is also great, and if you want to do what the locals do, try some “tekh” which is a type of grilled mutton available here. 
Breathtaking locales of  Srinagar(Photo Courtesy; gandharatrails)
If you haven’t already been to Srinagar, this is the place to visit for some breathtaking sights, great photography opportunities and best of all, it’s a fabulous romantic getaway. Fresh food, fresh mountain air and some of the best sights India has to offer. What more could one want? All you need to do to experience this beautiful place is hop on one of the Srinagar flights and lose yourself in the beauty of the city.