Location: Srinagar, Rajasthan
Importance: One of the most beautiful and serene lakes of Srinagar
Best Time to visit: June to August
Dal Lake is one of the most picturesque and beautiful lake of Srinagar. The lake has a beautiful location and one can enjoy the view of sunset from the lake which makes for a panormic view. The attractive part of the lake is certainly its gracious setting along with its impressive surroundings which make every visit to the lake a rewarding experience.
Dal Lake is surrounded by gardens of Mughal era, parks and hotels and resorts offering warm hospitality. Some of the most well known gardens along the lake are Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh which were built way back during the ancient Mughal era.
During winter season there is snowfall in Srinagar and the whole of Dal Lake is covered with snow. But during summer months one can enjoy a Shikara ride. Shikara is the local boat of Srinagar. The lake has floating gardens in it which are known as Rad in local Kashmiri language. These floating gardens make for a beautiful scenary especially in the months of July and August with lively blooming lotus all around. an interesting fact about Dal Lake is that people even have their homes on it. They live on the local houseboats, Shikara and cultivate floating gardens in the lake.
During the ancient Mughal era Srinagar was made the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Mughal rulers made many royal gardens near the banks of the Dal Lake which enhanced the overall beauty of the lake. Dal Lake is probably the only lake where people have their homes. They set up their accommodation facilities in the Shikara and cultivate floating gardens in the lake. This is strange but unique way of leading life which is a much prevalent among Kashmiri people.
Dal Lake is located on the foothills of the majestic Himalayas which encircle it from three sides. Dal Lake an important part of Srinagar city is on the eatern and northern part of the city. Dal Lake has well maintained roads all along its banks and has total shore length of 15.5 Km. Due to development of urban infrastructure the lake has suffered a lot but the Government is doing its bit to ensure the lake's past glory is restored. Dal Lake has a total length of 7.44 Km and width of 3.5 Km.
Attractions near the Lake
The banks of the lake have several attractions which tourists can enjoy. The various attractions along the lake are Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Hari Parbat, Shankaracharya temple, Chashme Shahi, Hazratbal Shrine, just to name a few.
Nagin Lake is a causeway of the Dal Lake and is considered a separate lake. Nagin Lake is a major source of water supply to Srinagar city. Hill ranges of Shankaracharya, Zabarwan and Hari Parbat overlook the lake from three different directions. Willow and poplar trees at the banks give the lake a charming and exotic look.
Chashme Shahi is the smallest of all the Mughal Gardens in the city of Srinagar. Located above the famous Nehru memorial park Chashme Shahi literally means Royal Spring and is famous for its fresh water having medicinal properties. Chasma Sahibi is a small shrine located near Chashme Shahi gardens.
Shakaracharya Temple is a wonderful work of ancient architecture and overlooks the Dal Lake. The temple is located at the top of the Takht-I-Sulaiman hill ranges. The temple has a Shiva Linga with a serpant and has easy accessibility by road. Shankaracharya Temple was named after Shankaracharya who had stayed at this place on a trip to Kashmir valley few centuries back.
Hari Parbat provides a charismatic view of Srinagar valley and Dal Lake. It is a fort of the royal Mughal era and its construction was initiated by Akbar in 1590. The fort was completed more than 200 years in 1808 in the reign of Shuja Shah Durrani. The fort has Gurudwara, temples and mosques within it. Many legendary folk tales are told about Hill Parbat from centuries.
Hazratbal Shrine is a mosque of much repute in Srinagar. Situated on the left bank of Dal Lake Hazratbal Shrine literally means a majesic place. It is believed that the sacred hair of Prophet Mohammad is preserved in the Shrine. Other popular names of the Hazratbal Shrine are Dargah Sharif, Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani etc.
How to Reach Dal Lake
Dal Lake a prime attraction of Srinagar is located close to airport, railway staion and can be easily reached.
Srinagar has an airport with flights from all major Indian cities everyday. Srinagar airport is about 14 km from the main city.
Most of the roads connecting Srinagar to other parts of the country are closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. National Highway, 1-A, is the only road which is accessible to Srinagar all round the year including winter months. The road connects Jammu to Srinagar with the total distance being about 300 km. Buses and rental cars are available from Jammu to Srinagar.
Jammu Tawi and Udhampur are nearest railway junctions from Srinagar with the distance being about 200 km. Trains from all parts of the country come daily to these stations. So one can easily reach Srinagar by road after reaching these stations from various parts of India.
For Further information
Director Tourism (Kashmir)
Tourist Reception Centre
Srinagar Tel. 0194-2452690-91,
Director Tourism (Jammu)
Tourist Reception Centre
Vir Marg, Jammu.
Tel/Fax: 0191-2548358, 2520409
Location: Srinagar, Rajasthan
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