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Visit Srinagar

Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and the largest city in the Kashmir region.The city has become safer to travel since 2003, however the streets are still lined with armed soldiers. Any building of value will also have a sandbag bunker and razor wire for protection. If arriving from the airport, you will also notice hundreds of large, Western style vacation homes. These were built before the current conflict when domestic travel to Kashmir was booming. Currently most of these homes are empty, being squatted in or have been usurped for military use. Most people visit the city in the summer months. The temperature at this time is cool to pleasant. Light sweaters may be needed for occasional cool nights in the summertime. In winter, you will need full winter gear and expect snow and few places to have hot water.

How to go Srinagar? Mode of Transportation to Srinagar.

By plane

A new terminal for arrivals and departures with air bridges and other up to date operational facilities was inaugurated on 14 February 2009. International, domestic and seasonal Hajj pilgrimage charters to Jeddah are operated from Sheikh ul Alam airport.

Flights are operated by Jet Airways, Air Deccan, SpiceJet, Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, Jet Lite and Indian Airlines from Delhi and Mumbai to Srinagar, with or without a stopover at Jammu. The frequency is once or twice a day by each airline. The cost is approx Rs 2,500 from Jammu, Rs 2,500-5,000 from Delhi one way and higher from Mumbai, depending on the season.

The airport is still heavily patrolled and you may see many soldiers or other armed security detachments. Winter flights can easily be canceled due to weather conditions. Tickets are easy to purchase in the city. The airport requires a ticket for entrance. A taxi into town should be Rs 550 and direct to Gulmarg is Rs 1,500-2,000

When departing Srinagar by air, make sure you have a printed copy of your ticket at hand, otherwise you will not be able to enter the airport. Additionally, allow approximately 1 hr to get from Srinagar to the airport. Security checks can cause traffic to bank up if there are a few flights leaving at around the same time.

By taxi

Hiring a TATA Sumo SUV (fits up to 9 people, or 5 comfortably plus luggage) from Jammu costs approximately Rs 1,900-2,700 depending on time of year or even time of day. To reduce costs many people choose not to take an exclusive taxi, and share the Sumo taxi with other travelers. This costs about Rs 150-400 per person. For a comfortable trip, try for a seat in the middle row - the front bucket seat is (sometimes uncomfortably) shared by 2 people, and the far back could be quite bumpy as the highway is full of mountainous roads. The journey takes around 8 hr.

By bus

J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&KSRTC) operates fairly comfortable buses from Jammu costing around Rs 150 and do the journey in around 12 hr. 2 day buses run between Srinagar and Leh staying overnight in Kargil.

Place to Visit / Sightseeing places / Place to see in Srinagar.

The Mughal Gardens With terraced lawns, cascading fountains, paint-box-bright flowerbeds with the panorama of the Dal in front of them - the three Mughal Gardens of Chesmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar are the Mughal Emperors' concept of paradise and are today very popular places for picnics and excursions. The beauty of these gardens is at their best during spring but the Mughal structure of these gardens lends them a unique sense of beauty even when the flowers are not blossoming.

Nishat Bagh - Situated on the banks of the Dal Lake, with the Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop, (11 km. from TRC), this 'garden of bliss' commands a magnificent view of the lake and the snow capped Pir Panjal mountain range which stands far away to the west of the valley. Nishat was designed in 1633 AD by Asaf Khan, brother of Nur Jehan.

Shalimar Bagh - the Mughal garden in front of the Dal lake built by Emperor Jahangir.

Chashmashahi - is another beautiful Mughal garden.

Hazratbal Mosque - the white mosque is breathtakingly beautiful but be careful, as women can enter only the first part of the mosque. Also take a walk through the adjacent market area with a range of great fresh food and a thousand things deep fried.

Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph -  in the Khanyar area, about 150 m NW of Dastgir Saheb mosque & shrine. This tomb, also known as Roza Bal, is believed by some to be the tomb of Jesus (part of the larger theory that he survived the crucifixion and made his way to Kashmir where he lived until at least the age of 100). It has been made popular by recent books such as Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten among others. It's down a little side road - ask around, pretty much anyone in the area can point you in the right direction.

Shankaracharya Mandir - Is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on a hilltop. It can be reached by a car or taxi. No cameras or cellphones are allowed within the temple and you are supposed to leave them in the vehicle before entering the temple premises. Cigarattes, liquor are to be deposited with the police personnel before the ascent of the hill as these items are against Hindu religion.

Pari Mahal - Don't miss the breathtaking views of the city from here

Hotels accommodation in Srinagar city. You can book from hotels booking engine for instant confirmation.

Hotel Ishfan - Kohnkhan, Dalgate, Srinagar. Mid-range hotel with double room starting at Rs 2,500. In off-season, rooms can even be bargained upto Rs 400. The in-house restaurant serves North Indian food as well as chicken delicacies.

Blooming Dale Dalgate - near Dal Lake. A small place with a lush green lawn suitable for families and individuals. Typical kashmir hospitality.

Hotel Sadaf - The Pearl, 45, Exchange Road,Regal Chowk,Srinagar. checkin: 12 noon; checkout: 12 noon. Centrally located hotel. Quiet with mountain views, 3 min drive from the Dal Lake and the local bus stand and 7 km from the airport.
 * Swiss Hotel Kashmir. +91 0194 2472766, +91 0194 2477640.(In the foot hills of Shankrachraya Temple and stones throw distance from world famous Dal Lake is this beautifully located hotel. It is a commission free hotel.

* United Continents Group, Bishember Nagar, RIEC, Near Ikhwan Hotel, Srinagar 190001 Kashmir, India, +91 194 2474814. Rs 3,500.00. edit

* Butt's Clermont Houseboats. Moored on northwest edge of Dal Lake nearby to an old Mughal Garden believed to have been built by Emperor Akbar and called Garden Of Breeze. Butt’s houseboats have had some very famous guests, including Ravi Shankar, Galbraith, Rockefeller, and Yehudi Menuhin.

* New Shaheen, A house boat at Raj Bagh Ghat is a luxury and economical and as well as serene for those who wish to stay in house boat yet far from noisy area. In off season you can bargain to ~Rs 600 for a double room with breakfast and dinner included.

* House Boat Taj Mahal: Houseboat located offshore in the open area of Dal Lake gives a view of mountains and the life around the lake. +91-941 9061672, +91-941 9060091, +91-941 9062480271

* Young Bombay, 00 91 99 06 38 03 27. A houseboat in the middle of the Dal Lake, in the Golden Lake part (close to the Boulevard). Actually a complex of several boats of various classes, from deluxe to C, with varying classes. Spacious rooms with bathrooms, lake views, cable TV, internet, original Kashmiri cuisine and European food prepared by the owner's family. Advance reservations and airport or bus station pickups are available. Land line: 00 91 19 42 47 70 94 edit

There are also some houseboats on quieter Nagin Lake.

* Peacock Houseboats - These houseboats are on Nagin Lake across from the Nagin Club. Made of cedar and furnished with antique wooden furniture. Carpeted sitting room and dining room. Bedrooms have western bathrooms attached. Cushioned veranda looks out over lake. Western breakfast and choice of Kashmiri, Indian or Western lunches/dinners are served by the houseboy. Can arrange tours.

Other houseboats can be found on Jahlul river near Information center and Bus station.

* New LaLa Prince 00 99 06 47 51 33. Houseboat owner Yousuf is a friendly and wise man who respects your freedom. Trekking and camping in Kashmir can be arranged. Prices are around 700 - 800 rupees including breakfast and dinner
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