Srinagar (The city of the Sun), the 'Venice of the Himalayas
' is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir
. The present city was founded by King Pravarasen II around 150 AD. Srinagar, largest city in the state, is situated on the banks of Jhelum
and stretches eastwards up to the Dal
lakes. Nine bridges, partly wooden even today, cross the Jhelum within the city borders. Because of the lakes like Dal, Nagin and Anchar
, Srinagar is known as a unique city. The Dal, Srinagar's largest lake, has the most number of houseboats, followed by the Nagin and the Jhelum. Dal Lake has houseboats of all categories ranging from deluxe through to D class.
Sightseeing in Srinagar is usually done by bus or taxi. The lake area can be explored by means of 'shikara's.
Mughal Gardens and other lakeside sites, including the famous Hazratbal Mosque are interesting places to visit. Other tourist highlights in the city are Shankaracharya Temple atop the hill called Takht-e-Suleiman, a 5 km climb from Nehru Park on a metalled road. Another lower hill crowned by the Hari Parbat Fort, built by an Afghan governor of Kashmir in the 18th century, is also a point of interest. The low wall enclosing the upper part of the hill was constructed by Emperor Akbar. Places of worship on the hill are the Sharika Devi Temple, the shrine of Muslim saint Makhdoorn Sahib, and the historic Sikh Gurdwara Chhatti Padshahi.
Srinagar can be approached by road from Jammu (300 km) which passes through the Jawahar Tunnel. It is also well connected by road to important places like Chandigarh (630 km), Delhi (876 km), Leh,
Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and
Pahalgam. The nearest railhead for the city is Jammu Tawi (305 km). Srinagar Airport, 14 km from the city, is well connected with Delhi.