01 Day walking Tour;- our Benchmark is the walking Heritage and cultural tour of the old town Srinagar,the town which is historic and cultural landscape of Kashmir valley,and is photographers delight,during this full day heritage walking tour we take you in the Labyrinths Alleyways Back Streets and hidden corners of the heritage Cultural old town of Srinagar which was founded by Ashoka the great in 200 BC on the either banks of the Himalayan River Jehlum and it is sprawling and is spread over the area of 144 square kilometres with the population of around 1.5 million. With its almost medieval charm, the old city of Srinagar has various sights to enchant the most jaded traveller. Its roads and bustling bazaars are a photographer's delight. Traditionally dressed men and women on their way to the city's many mosques and shrines, buildings with their rich warm colour - these are some of the old city's moods which linger in the corners of a traveller's mind, long after one leaves Kashmir. Lending the area its vitality is the presence of the river Jhelum that flows through it.
Srinagar has for long been Kashmir's most important commercial town. Boats have always been a primary means of conveyance in Kashmir, it is not difficult to see why. In time, the city has formed around the banks of the river. Today, the presence of the river Jhelum has become an integral part of the old city, despite the fact that boats are no longer so extensively used as a means of conveyance.
The view from any of the old city's bridges is wholly and unmistakably Kashmiri. Old brick buildings line the banks. The distinctive pagoda-like roof of a mosque or a shrine enlivens the horizon, and in the muddy water of the River Jhelum, a straggling row of doongas flanks the edges. These boats, with their shingled roofs, are the forerunners of Srinagar's houseboat. A particular community lives in them. Formerly this community was associated with ferrying people, livestock and food grains along the river. The past still lingers in their lifestyles even if their occupation has changed. Occasionally one may catch sight of a doonga making its stately progress down the river as the owner shifts residence. Doongas are sparsely furnished - virtually no furniture is seen except for the kitchen, which gleams with copper utensils of every description that line the shelves from floor to ceiling. Roads in the old city tend to be narrow, winding and chaotic. Some are too narrow to admit vehicular traffic. Each road connects to lanes and they in turn to bye-lanes, all appearing to the uninitiated and terribly confusing. There are arterial roads, however, and major market squares where it is difficult to get lost. In a lane off Nowhatta Chowk, there are several copper shops, overflowing with an amazing profusion of copper ware. As a matter of fact, such shops are situated all over the old city because every Kashmiri uses copper for tableware - even huqqa bases are made from copper. Some articles are un-patterned, others worked in bas-relief, engraving or pierced open-work. Exotic as they are, they make attractive ornaments about the house, or can be used as serving dishes.
Nine bridges span the River Jhelum, and many tiny ones intersect the network of waterways that flow through the old city. These nine bridges are Zero Bridge, Amira Kadal, Budshah Kadal, Habba Kadal, Fateh Kadal, Zaina Kadal, Aali Kadal, Nawa Kadal and Safa Kadal, 'Kadal' being the Kashmiri word for bridge. Of these Budshah Bridge and Zero Bridge are the newest; the former having been constructed by the British in this century. Presently, the oldest bridge is Fateh Kadal, too dilapidated for actual use. However, many of the old bridges have been replaced with new concrete bridges and a few new ones have also been added in view of the increasing traffic. The most prominent among these is the Abdullah Bridge,
The old city also boasts of Kashmir's many ancient Shrines Temples and Mosques among which the shrine of Shah-i-Hamdan, situated between Fateh Kadal and Zaina Kadal is probably the most important. Shah-i-Hamdan, who came from Persia in the 13th century, was responsible for the spread of Islam in Kashmir. Khanqah-i-Mualla, on the banks of the Jhelum, was the very spot where Shah-i-Hamdan used to offer prayers. Upon his death, a shrine, ornately decorated with papier-mache on the walls and ceiling, was built in his memory. Makhdoom Sahib, Patthar Masjid, Jama Masjid and Pir Dastagir are the major mosques and shrines in the old city. Tourists are welcome to visit the mosques temples and shrines in the old city There are a few points to be kept in mind in accordance with the sanctity of these places. . Shoes must be taken off at the entrance. Visitors are expected to conform to certain regulations in the matter of dress - no skimpy tops, shorts or short skirts are allowed.
One of the many moods of the old city is the constant reminder about its tradition of handicrafts. the humble families of craftsmen who create tapestries and shawls. From top floor windows one catches sight of gaily embroidered fabric hanging out to dry. Occasionally a wizened old man cycles down the road, bearing a carpet, its lustrous colours glowing in the sunlight. Kashmiri colours are not the fiery colours of the desert that sear the eyelids. They are subdued, almost purposely it would seem, to counterpoint nature's magnificence. Earthy tones of brick, the rich hue of copper, even the vermilion of Kashmiri chillies drying on window sills in autumn appear monochromatic when set off against the splendour of the Valley's backdrop. The only craft where Kashmiris revel in colour is in their carpets. Here too, the colours are never loud, never disharmonious, but always subtle and soft. At Habba Kadal, shop sells skeins of wool,mainly to carpet weavers.
Half Day Walking Tour,Hari Parbat Fort
Coordinates: 34°6′19″N 74°48′58″EHari Parbat, Arabised into Koh-e-Maran by Muslims, is a hill overlooking Srinagar,the largest city and summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the site of the Durrani Fort and has a notable religious dimension for the Hindus, Muslim and Sikhs alike, hosting a famous Hindu temple, two shrines of locally venerated Muslim saints and a Sikh gurudwara
The first fortifications on the site were constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1590 who built an outer wall for the fort as part of his plans for a new capital called Nager Nagor.The project, however,was never completed.The present fort was built in 1808 under the reign of Shuja Shah Durrani.
The first fortifications on the site were constructed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1590 who built an outer wall for the fort as part of his plans for a new capital called Nager Nagor.The project, however, was never completed. The present fort was built in 1808 under the reign of Shuja Shah Durrani.
The hill is considered sacred by the Kashmiri Pandits and hosts a temple of Shakti, or Goddess, which is located in the middle part of the western slope of the hill. Shakti is worshipped there under the name Jagadamba Sharika Bhagawati (or simply Sharika) and depicted as having 18 arms and sitting in Shri Chakra, an emblem of cosmic energy pervading the universe.
The hill is also called Pradyumna Peeth On the day celebrated as Sharika's birthday, devotees make a sacrificial offering of taher-charvan to the goddess (taher - rice boiled with turmeric powder and mixed with oil and salt; charvan - cooked goat liver). This day is also called Har Navum.
The southern side of Hari Parbat features Makhdoom Sahib, the shrine of Hamza Makhdoom, a 16th-century Kashmiri Sufi saint locally known as Hazrat Sultan and Sultan ul-Arifeen
Another shrine on the hill's southern slope is dedicated to Shah Badakhshi, a 17th-century Sufi saint.
Gurudwara Chatti Patshahi at Kathi Darwaja, Rainwari, Srinagar is one of the most important Sikh gurudwaras in Kashmir. It is believed that Guru Har Gobind, the sixth Sikh guru, travelled through Kashmir, stopping to preach occasionally and stayed there for few days.
Legend has it that Kashmir was a big lake called "Satisar" inhabited by a cannibalistic demon called Jalodbhava ("Water Demon") who tortured and devoured Nagas (The local inhabitants) The inhabitants approached Nilaga for help who approached his father ,Kashyap ,a great sage and grandson of Brahma He did a long penance to rescue people from tyranny of cannibal . He was blessed and was able to cut the mountain Near Baramulla.The lake was drained and the demon was killed by divinely cast pebble which today stands as "HARI PARBAT"
Another version of the myth says that two demons, Chand and Mund, lived in the Kashmir Valley. Chand hid in the water near the present location of Hari Parbat and Mund somewhere above the present Dal Gate, and both terrorized the people of the Valley. The gods invoked Shakti who assumed the form of a hari (myna) and flew to Sumer, picked up a pebble in her beak and threw it on Chand. The pebble grew into a mountain, crushed the demon and was later named Hari Parbat ("the Myna Mountain")
01 Day Waking Tour; Srinagar-The City Of Seven Bridges
|Zein kadal - one of the few surviving wooden bridges in the city|
Jhelum passes through Srinagar and there are a total of eight bridges which connect the two banks of the river. So why is the Srinagar known as the city of seven bridges? Well...the last (or the first) bridge is called as Zero bridge and hence is not counted. There is an interesting story around the Zero bridge and I will come to that in a while...
History of Srinagar bridges
In the past only side of Jhelum was populated but as the city prospered there was need for more space and hence both the sides were populated and bridges were built to connect the two sides. The bridges were all built with wood, which was not a common material for bridges in most parts of the world. The huge wood logs were transported by the river itself and then used to build these beautiful structures. Unfortunately now these original structures do not survive, except some bits here and there. Zaina kadal (image above) has some surviving heritage still.
Another peculiarity was in the manner in which the houses were built along the banks. This was a time when Srinagar was already well known for its crafts and it was also the main source of income and revenue. The houses on the banks were all three storied. The lowermost section was the showroom where products were displayed and transaction made. The merchants used to come in their boats on the Jhelum and get off on a ghat, visit a showroom and make purchases. The middle section was the living space and the top section was the workshop for making these products.
Coming back to the bridges, the seven bridges in the city are:
- Amira Kadal
- Haba Kadal
- Fateh Kadal
- Zein Kadal
- Ail Kadal
- Nawa Kadal
Safa Kadal (the oldest in the list
- And finally the last bridge is called Zero bridge. The legend goes like this - the bridge was built by a deaf contractor so was called Zorr Kadal. With time the name changed and it became Zero bridge..
Be respectful of the culture of the city though I would suggest do not walk in shorts, or clothes which make you stand out too much from the people there.You do not have to wear what everyone else wears there, just be respectful of their traditions.So make sure that if you travel to Srinagar,plan to spend a few hours ( a few days would be even better) in the old city and explore these lovely bridges and the life around them. Its an experience you will not regret! My promise.
Half Day Tour, To SPS Museum Srinagar which was established in 1898 AD in the Maharajah's Summer guest house largely based on collections transferred from State Toshkhana. Approximately 79,595 artefacts and objects covering various subjects like Archaeology, Numismatics, Decorative Art, Arms and Armory, Paintings, Textiles etc are housed in the Museum.
|No. of Sculptures||1992|
|No. of Paintings||680|
|No. of Manuscripts||2399|
|No. of Weapons||356|
|No. of Textile items||333|
|Natural History items||620|
|No. of Decorative Art items||1096|
|No. of Numismatic items||71131|
|No. of Geology & Mineral items||900|
|No. of Jewellery items||28|
01 Day Tour; 63 km from Srinagar in south kashmir, 8TH CENTURY MARTAND SUN TEMPLE BUILT BY LALITADITYA MUKTAPIDA.......The Martand Sun Temple was built by King of Karkota Dynasty - Lalitaditya Muktapida in 8th Centry AD. It is said to have been built during 725-756 AD. The temple was built on top of a plateau from where one can view whole of Kashmir Valley. From the ruins and archaeological findings, one can say it was an excellent specimen of Kashmir style of architecture, which had blended the Gandharan, Gupta, Chinese, Roman, Syrian-Byzantine and Greek forms of architecture.This beautiful Martand temple has a colonnaded courtyard, with the shrine in its centre, which is 220 feet long and 142 feet broad. It was surrounded by 84 small shrines.
Half Day Tour, Kheer Bhawani is a temple dedicated to the Goddess Kheer Bhawani(originally just Bhawani) constructed over a sacred spring. The worship of Kheer Bhawani is universal among the Hindus of Kashmir. The temple is situated at a distance of 14 miles east of Srinagar near the village of Tul Mul. The term kheer refers to rice pudding that is offered in the spring to propitiate the Goddess, which became part of the name of the temple. As is the custom with Hindu deities, she has many names: Maharagya Devi, Ragnya Devi, Rajni, Ragnya Bhagwati, and so on,.It is the most important temple for the followers of Historical Vedic Religion in Kashmir, known as the Kashmiri Pandits. Around the temple is an area covered with smooth and beautiful stones. In it are large, old-growth chinar trees beneath which the pilgrims sit or sleep on mats of grass. While most of the colours do not have any particular significance, the colour of the spring water changes occasionally. When black or darkish, it is believed to be an indication of inauspicious times for Kashmir. In 1886, Walter Lawrence, the-then British settlement commissioner for land, during his visit to the spring, reported the water of the spring to have a violet tinge.
Babareshi, 01 Day Tour, about 52 km fron sringar Situated at an altitude of about 7,000 feet (2,133 meters),near Tangamarg the Ziyarat Baba Reshi shrine is a three-storey monument. It is located near Ramboh village in Baramulla District. Built in 1480, in Mughal and Persian style, the tomb is named after Baba Payam Uddin.The shrine and its surrounding garden is a tourist attraction as well as a destination for pilgrims visiting the shrine. Roza Sharief Baba Payam Uddin Baba Payam Uddin was a courtier of 15th century Kashmir King Zain-ul-Abidin, and he is said to have given up all his belongings in order to serve the common people. He lived and meditated at this location, which became the site of his tomb and a shrine for his disciples
This shrine has a big minaret and inside the shrine is the Noor Khwan where the Grave of the Sofi Shrine Lies. It is covered with cloth with Quran embroideries. The Noor Khwan is made of glass and wood carvings.
Heritage Tour, over Kehwa/Brunch at Gulab Bhavan Maharaja palace Srinagar,
Gulab bhavan maharaja palace is situated on Gupkar road and houses the treasure of artefacts from the period of dogra Raj from AD 1846 Through AD 1947 ,in the heritage garden of this palace there is the grand old historic Chinar tree under it's cool shade Gandhi ji had met Mahraja Hiri Singh In June 1947 .
Half Day Tour;- Mughal Gardens in Srinagar
Half Day Tour;-29 km from Srinagar in south Kashmir,Trip to Awantipora,Awantipora has a number of ancient Hindu temples built by King Awanti Varman (AD 855- 883) when he chose the site as his capital Avantishwarman temple located at Jawbrarin, Awantipora the centre of a courtyard surrounded by a colonnaded peristyle is dedicated to Siva on the banks of the River Jhelum (Vitasta). Less than a kilometre away is Avantiswamin temple dedicated to Vishnu. The Vaikunta Vishnu illustrated as frontispiece is said to be found in this temple.The two temples are quite similar structurally. The walls of the entrance are ornamented with sculptured reliefs both internally and externally..
3 NIGHTS / 4 DAYS