Srinagar is the heart of the Kashmir Valley, still preserves the imprints of the Mughals and the British. The valley takes great pride in its lakes, gardens and the charming rows of houseboats floating on them. Popular for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts, kashmiri clothes and dry fruits, Srinagar is bordered by five districts. To its northern side is Kargil, in the south is Pulwama and in the north-west lies Budgam. "If there is a heaven on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here", exclaimed the Mughal emperor Jahangir on his first visit to this place.
Srinagar has the privilege of having a multifaceted and unique cultural blend, making it different from the rest of the country, not only from the cultural front, but in point of geography, demography, ethics and social entities. as well. With its beautiful picturesque Himalayan backdrop, the crowning glory of hill stations Srinagar is enticed by the colourful houseboats , shikaras and the grandeur of Mughal sense of style.Sri means Lakshmi or wealth and nagar a city. The summer capital of J&K State, Srinagar city has a vital role in the history of Kashmir. For this reason, Persian chronicles call it Shehr-e-Kashmir or 'City of Kashmir'.
According to Kalhana's 'Rajtarangini',Srinagri was founded by King Ashoka in 3rd century BC near Panderethan about 8 km from the present city Srinagri remained capital until the new city of Pravarapura was founded by Parvarasana II in AD 630 near Hari Parbat, which is the present city. Years after the new city also assumed the name of Srinagri since both cities were near to each other. Hiuen Tsang the Chinese traveler mentions Paravapura as the capital when he traveled to Kashmir in 631 AD. The choice of Parvarasana Il is considered impeccable as the present Srinagar city is supposed to be almost equidistant from Jammu, Rawalpindi, Leh and Gilgit through the old routes.
Every ruler chiseled a new shape of Srinagar and emphasized on better connectivity with surrounding areas. Srinagar has both medieval charm and a touch of modernity. The city is surrounded by awesome mountains and river Jehlum meanders through it. The old city bazaars,malls and shopping centers around Lal chowk reflect her importance as a commercial hub.Here, months could pass sightseeing at different locations, be it historical or religious places, gardens or lakes, craft bazaars or stone carving centres, places of poets or saints, wildlife sanctuaries or trout hatcheries - its a destination that always remains a discovery for visitors.
Lal Chowk and Residency Road, one finds selling stylish clothes and fast food specialities, located in some of the best shopping malls and lively streets open throughout the day and late evenings.Connected by more than a dozen bridges over river Jehlum flowing across the city, a major portion of the old city is named after these bridges such as Amira Kadal, Budshah Kadal, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Zaina Kadal, Nawa Kadal, Aali Kadal and Safa Kadal and more. Zaina Hal, the first wooden bridge, was Kadal and more.Zaina Kadal,the first wooden bridge,was constructed by Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin.
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