Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is situated in the Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. The city is famous for its gardens, lakes and houseboats. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits. Etymologically Srinagar is composed of two Sanskrit words, śrī (venerable) and nagar, which means "city". One theory of the origin of the name is that a Pandava King Ashoka (not to be confused with the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka) built the city of Srinagari (Srinagar). Another theory is that Mauryan Emperor Ashoka founded the original city of Srinagar, then situated on the site of the present village of Pandrathan, 5 km to the north of the existing capital.
Srinagar is one of several places that has been called the "Venice of the East" or the "Kashmiri Venice". It is known for its lakes, which include Dal Lake – noted for its houseboats – and Nagin Lake. Srinagar has some Mughal Gardens, forming a part of those laid by the Mughal emperors across the Indian subcontinent. Those of Srinagar and its close vicinity include Chashma Shahi (the royal fountains); Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies); Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring); Shalimar Bagh; and the Naseem Bagh. The Tulip Gardens have been recently opened to public by Sonia Gandhi. The Sher Garhi Palace houses administrative buildings from the state government. Another palace of the Maharajas, the Gulab Bhavan, has now become the Lalit Grand Palace hotel.
Srinagar has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with a climate much cooler than what is found in much of the rest of India, due to its moderately high elevation and northerly position. The valley is surrounded by Himalayas on all sides. Winters are cool, with a January daily mean of 2.5°C (36.5°F), and temperature remains below freezing at night. Moderate to heavy snowfall is expected in winters and the only road that connects Srinagar with the rest of India may get blocked a few days due to avalanche. Summers are warm with a July daily maximum of 30.1°C (86.2°F). The average annual rainfall is around 710 millimetres (28 in). Spring is the wettest season while autumn is the driest. Highest temperature: 38.3°C (100.9°F); lowest −19.9°C (−3.8°F).
Like the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar too has a distinctive blend of cultural heritage. Holy places in and around the city depict the historical cultural and religious diversity of the city as well as the Kashmir valley.
Places Of Worship:
There are many religious holy places in Srinagar. They include:
- Road: The city is served by many highways, including National Highway 1A and National Highway 1D.
- Air: Srinagar Airport (IATA code SXR) has regular domesitc flights to Leh, Jammu, Chandigarh and Delhi and occasional international flights. The International flights terminal was inaugurated on 14 February 2009 with an Air India flight from Dubai.
- Rail: Srinagar is a station on the 119 km (74 mt) long Kashmir railway that started in October 2009 and connects Baramulla to Srinagar, Anantnag and Qazigund. The railway track will connect to Banihal across the Pir Panjal mountains through the newly constructed 11 km long Banihal tunnel in 2012 and finally to the Indian railway network after a few years.
- Boat: Boats are often used for transport, as the city is situated on the Jhelum River and Dal Lake.