Srinagar Local Sights
This was a day of our date with Srinagar. The itinerary was to visit Shankarachrya Hill and temple, followed by Pari Mahal, Chashm E Shahi, Shalimar Bagh, Nishant Bagh and Hazrat bal. we could visit all places except Hazrat Bal and unfortunately we could not visit the place due to situation in Kashmir throughout our stay.
let me start with Shankarachrya Hill and temple. We left for this place at about 10 am and were ready to climb the stairs by about 1040 .This temple is situated on a peak of local Zabarwan hills. Supposedly a 200 BC temple, however, present structure of temple is supposedly of 900 AD. This place is to have been visited by Adi Sankara and he seem to have done meditation here. The car would take one very close to temple but last few meters followed by about 240 stone cut stairs are to be done on 11 no Bus (own two feet) walking. that means any one having severe difficulty climbing stairs should stay at the base of the climb as no 'doli' or any other help is available. The temple is beautiful and the view that one gets from the hill of Srinagar city is even more beautiful, alas, I could have put some photos but this place is under strict security and neither camera nor mobile phone is allowed to be taken on climb. So guys and girl, no Photos to share from Shankarachrya. The climb is slightly difficult but doable. My 80 years old Mother also could do it (god bless her with better health for years to come). A must visit place.
I would not fully disappoint the readers. Here are few photos of Dal lake from a view point just below Shankarachrya hills.
After finishing Shankarachrya, we went to Pari Mahal. A seven terraced garden cum residence of Dara Shikoh, eldest son of Shahjahan. It is said that he stayed here for some time. Presently the garden does not have best of maintenance like Shalimar or Nishant but its terraced structure offers fabulous view of a golf course and also of Dal Lake. Here are some photos.
|View in the Garden|
|Dal Lake from Pari Mahal|
|The First Pavilion|
|Another view. My presence in the frame is incidental|
|Enjoying on Stepping Stones|
|The Brilliance of the Bloom|
|The awesome central water channel|
|One more of the Pavilion|
|Our ace photographer captured in the frame|
|Fountains, though not on at the moment|
|And here the fountains are working|
|Hum Dus (we ten)|
A mughal garden not built by the king but by his noble. This graden , for obvious reasons does not have grand pavilions like Shalimar. It is also not Square like other gardens but rectangular. But what it lacks in is made up by its sheer beauty of starting from Zabarwan mountain foothills and through its terraces reaching up to Dal lake shore (almost, originally it did land right on Dal lake but two of its terraces had to be removed to built the road that runs around shores of Dal lake). Absence of pavilions is actually a boon as it gives unrestricted view of the whole garden unlike Shalimar. In fact among all four Mughal gardens we liked the Nishant the maximum. It was also fun to watch sunset across the Dal lake behind the Pir Panjal range far away.
|Sun setting behind Zabarwan mountains over Dal Lake|
|Seamless merging of Nishant and Dal, though it is a illusion|
|Remains of old Mughal road bridge in Dal lake|
|Zabarwan above the Nishant|