At Pandrethan, nearly 8 kilometers from Srinagar, Ashoka the Emperor founded the Srinagar city in 3rd Century BC as recorded in the Rajtarangni of Kalhana. Until 630 AD Srinagar remained the capital city of Kashmir when Parvarasana II established the new city called Parvarapura near Kohi-i-Maran (Hariparbat Hill) – the present city which later came to be called as Srinagri. The present city of Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir State situated at an altitude of 1590 meters (5209 ft) having latitude 23-04′ North and longitude 74-48′ East.
With its almost medieval charm, the city of Srinagar has sights, smells and sounds to enchant the most jaded traveler. It’s typical roads and bustling bazaars are a photographer’s delight. A Mughal fort, developed to its full size in the late 18th century by an Afghan governor named Atta Mohammed Khan around and atop Kohi-i-Maran dominates the city. The low wall enclosing the upper part of the hill was constructed by Emperor Akbar. Sprawling from the southward from the base of the Hill, the old city is the nerve center of Srinagar. In Persian chronicles, it is called “Shehr-e-Khas” or the Main City of Kashmir. Srinagar has long been Kashmir’s most important commercial town. Boats have been a primary means of conveyance in the past.
Shalimar garden was built by Mughal Emperor Jehangir in the year 1619 AD and called it “Farah Baksh” (the delightful). Eleven years later Zaffer Khan the Governor of Kashmir during Emperor Shah Jahan’s reign extended the garden and called it “Faiz Baksh” (the Bountiful). The garden was graded in three sections. The outer garden known as the Diwan-i-Aam, the central portion the Emperor’s garden called as the “Diwan-iKhas” and the uppermost by far the best garden was means for the Empress and her ladies. The romantic effect of numerous fountains in large tanks and central water channel, cascades, and monumental pavilions, mighty chinars, lush lawns laden with colour and fragrance speak volumes for the taste of Great Mughal. The garden covers an area of 12.40 ha.15 kms from the TRC
Nishat garden, the garden of Delight, the largest Mughal Garden on Dal-Lake was laid out by Asaf Khan, brother of Nur Jahan, wife of Jahangir, in the year 1632 A.D. It is located on Dal-Lake about 2.5 Kilometers to the south of Shalimar and commands a magnificent view in the west and has a panoramic back drop of mountains in the East. The garden had originally 12 terraces. Enchanting central water channel, rippling fountains in large tanks and channels and sparkling cascades amidst bountiful colours, lush lawns and mighty chinars are principal features of this pleasure garden. The garden is spread over an area of about 20 ha.
This garden of the royal spring was built in 1642 A.D. by Ali Mardan Khan, the Governor of Kashmir during the reign of Emperor Shah ]ahan. It is a terraced garden situated 9 Km away from Srinagar and about 2 Km up from the main road in a mOllntain side over-looking Dal-Lake. Fountains play in the central water channel starting from the famed spring located in the upper most terrace. It is famous for its pure, sparkling and cool mineral water.
Chashma Shahi has tastefully laid garden in terraces, which commands a magnificent view of the Dal Lake below and surrounding mountain ranges. The cool water of the spring is highly refreshing and digestive. The original garden was laid out by Shah Jehan in 1632 AD. By the side of Chashma Shahi Garden are huts where some of the state government officials have their official residences to enjoy the luxurious stay while serving the Jammu & Kashmir.
On the hillside, south of the village of Harwan (19 kms from the TRC)), remarkable remains of ancient ornamented tile pavements of the Buddhist period have come to light. The tiles depict the dresses of the people, such as loose trousers, Turkoman caps or close fitting turbans and large ear-rings which reveal Central Asian influence. It is ASI site.This beautiful landscape garden took birth in the year 1969 on the enchanting Zabarwan mountain slopes near famous Mughal Garden Cheshmashahi, overlooking the panorama of Dal-Lake. This pleasure garden complex extends over an area of about 80 hectares and consists of several styles of gardens with unending joy for seekers of solace on informal and undulated landscape.
Tulip garden previously named as Model Floriculture Centre, Sirajbagh, Cheshmashahi Srinagar, is spread over an area of about 30 ha situated On the foothills of Zabarwan Hills with an overview of picturesque world famous Dal Lake. This garden was conceived, conceptualized and created by Mr. Gh. Nabi Azad, the then Chief Minister, J&K in the year 2006-07. Main aim of this garden is to boost floriculture and advance tourism in Kashmir Valley. Over 12 Lakh tulip bulbs of 68 varieties of different colours sown during Nov-Dec, 2007 presented a breathtaking view.
Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes of India and the second largest in the J&K state. Its three sides are surrounded by majestic mountains and a large number of gardens and orchards have been laid along the shores. The campus of University of Kashmir is also located along the shores of the lake. Dal Lake is unique in having hundreds of houseboats, which afford an opportunity for tourists to reside on the lake in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
Nigeen Lake is located just a small distance away from Dal Lake. In fact, both the water bodies are interconnected by a small water channel. In summer time the water is pleasantly cool. The lake is one of the best ions, which you can enjoy a captivating round of boating. Even in the middle of the lake, you can experience the thrill of shopping. There are boats that are full-fledged shops on the move. You can buy eateries exquisite handicrafts, even the famous Pashmina shawls, and if you wish, you can even make a call from the mobile phone booths, Sirnagar has a wide variety of accomodation, including deluxe hotels, guest houses and houseboats.