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Dal Lake, Mughal era gardens, majestic mosques nestled in the mountains, summer festivals and winter sports: this and more make up the region of Srinagar. Its proximity to Jammu and Leh make it the perfect place to venture for a few days and it's unique position as a melting pot between Hindu and Islamic cultures make it historically rich and ethnically diverse.
You can't visit Srinagar without spending a day paddling around Dal Lake. Take a shikara (gondolas) and jet around with the mountains as your backdrop.
Don't miss the colorful and sacred mosque that was built entirely without nails. It truly is an architectural wonder.
Don't miss the unique opportunity to spend a few nights living in a houseboat on Dal Lake. When in Srinagar...do as the locals do!
Dal Lake is densely populated by more than just floating shrubbery. Its unique surface is where floating villages and markets open daily. Take a boat and spend the day exploring.
The famous Shalimar Bagh is a collection of beautiful gardens that have survived from the Mughal era to today. It was initially built for Nur Jahan, an Empress consort of the emperor Jahangir.
Though each season in Srinagar comes with its own charm, the most popular time for travelers' sojourns is from April to June. Temperatures at this point range from 50°F to 86°F.
Land at the Sheikh ul Alam Airport International airport in Srinagar and take a taxi for 8.45 miles into the city center, which costs around ₹550.
The Rail network of India is currently working on building a Srinagar Railway Station, scheduled to open in 2017. Until then, to reach the city by train, stop at Jammu Jammu Tawi or Udhampur railway station and take a taxi.
Depending on where you're coming from, there are a variety of routes. From Leh or Kargil, for example, use the NH1. From Jammu, use the NH44.
Getting in from nearby cities like Jammu or Leh, you can use J&KSRTC buses. Fares start at ₹350.
If you want to stay in style while in Srinagar, rest up at The LaLit Grand Palace Srinagar, which is a heritage hotel. Or, for real novelty, try a houseboat like the House Boat Taj Mahal. Budget travelers will love Noor Guesthouse.
Rainawari - This district is one of the main hubs in Srinagar and encompasses half of the beautiful Dal Lake, small shops and plenty of modest but delicious eateries.
Shalimar - When you're here, check out the Shalimar Bagh, a well-curated garden built in the Mughal Period.
Muja Gund Ghat - This picturesque neighborhood is home to incredible sloping mountains, misty sunrises and the ever-blooming famous Tulip Garden.
There are buses around Srinagar but these are hop-on-hop-off. Fares depend on how far you're going and tickets are sold on the bus.
You can grab a taxi from the streets or you can pre-book. Pre-booked taxis costs between ₹100-₹250. The per mile rate for taxis is ₹13.
Car rentals in Srinagar usually come as a package deal from companies like Kashmir Car Rental. A 4-day package, for example, start at ₹7,000 for non-AC and ₹8,200 for an AC car.
Those who love shopping will find plenty of smaller shops selling jewelry and clothing at Lal Chowk Ghantaghar.
A quart of milk costs ₹34 and dozen eggs costs around ₹57.
You don't want to miss sampling authentic Kashmiri cuisine at Mughal Darbar. Enjoy vegetarian and non-vegetarian mains for ₹105-₹340 or order wazwan, a multi-course Kashmiri dining experience, for 4 for ₹640-₹2875.