City Overview

Srinagar is one of the largest cities in India. It is also the capital of the northern region, Jammu and Kashmir. It is known for its natural beauty, landscape, and greenery. It is well known for the various lakes and water bodies it has – Anchar, Dal and Indus lakes. These lakes are one of the top spots popular amongst travelers and tourists. Due to its natural and marvelous beauty, Srinagar is also known as “Venice of the East’. Some of the well-known features of the city are houseboats, Mughal gardens, royal fountains and palaces. These landmarks and buildings are iconic and an inspiration for architects and designers. 

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Houseboats of Dal Lake in Srinagar_©en.wikipedia.org
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Dal Lake_©en.wikipedia.org
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Small Lake near Botanical Garden_©en.wikipedia.org

Below is a glimpse into 15 places to visit in Srinagar for a traveling architect 

Shalimar Bagh 

Shalimar Bagh is a Mughal Garden which is connected to the northeast side of Dal Lake in Srinagar. The Bagh was built in 1619, by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan. The garden is considered one of the important gardens to produce food for the local people. It is now functioning as a public park and is known as “Crown of Srinagar”. The layout of the garden is that of Persian and Islamic gardens. The garden follows a square plan with the water feature acting as a central focal point with four arms radiating from it towards the periphery. The garden comprises three terraces. The first terrace is the public outdoor garden where a stone throne is placed. The second terrace has shallow terraces and comprises Diwan-e-Khas (the Hall of Private Audience), which can be accessed by the  noblemen. The third terrace consists of two pavilions and guard rooms. One of the pavilions, the Black Pavilion, is also located on this terrace.  This is led by fountains and water canals. Shalimar Bagh is known for its stone doors, arched niched or Chini khanas, and garden waterfalls. 

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Shalimar Bagh_©en.wikipedia.org
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Shalimar Bagh_©en.wikipedia.org
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Marble Pavilion in Shalimar Bagh_©en.wikipedia.org

Wular Lake 

Wular Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. It is located in the Bandipora District near Bandipora Town in Jammu and Kashmir. It is considered as a Ramsar site or a wetland site that holds international importance. The lakes are home to a variety of fish such as common carp, and rosy barb and birds like golden eagle. To promote tourism, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism has organized several activities such as boating, water skiing and water sports for tourists. 

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Wular Bagh_©en.wikipedia.org
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Boating in Wular Lake_©en.wikipedia.org
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Wular Lake_©en.wikipedia.org

Nishat Bagh 

Nishal Bagh is a terraced Mughal Garden built on the east side of Dal Lake. It is the second largest Mughal Garden in the Kashmir Valley. It is also known as “Garden of Joy” and “Garden of Delight”. The garden originally had a square layout which was changed to a rectangular layout. The Bagh comprises 12 terraces that represent 12 astrological signs and has avenues of cypress and chinar trees. It also has a private and public garden. Interestingly, the Bagh can be accessed through Dal Lake by water taxi. 

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Nishat Bagh_©destimap.com
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Nishat Bagh_©en.wikipedia.org
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Nishat Bagh_©en.wikipedia.org

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden

This botanical garden was built in 1987, in the memory of India’s first prime minister. It hosts a collection of around 150,000 plants and trees and an impressive collection of oak varieties. The garden is located in a hilly region. Moreover, the garden is divided into four sections – the Plant Introduction Centre, the Research Section, the Recreational Garden and the Botanical Garden. 

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Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden_©en.wikipedia.org
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Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden_©en.wikipedia.org
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Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden_©en.wikipedia.org

Zeashta Devi Shrine

Zeashta Devi Shrine also known as Zeathyar is Hindu shrine located in Srinagar. 

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Zeashta Devi Shrine_©en.wikipedia.org
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Zeashta Devi Shrine_©en.wikipedia.org
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Zeashta Devi Shrine_©en.wikipedia.org

Hazratbal Shrine

The building is also known as Dargah Sharif which translates to “the Holy Shrine”, located in the Hazratbal locality of Srinagar. The shrine is one of the famous monuments amongst tourists in Srinagar. It took around 11 years to complete this iconic building and it faces the Dal Lake and its surroundings. Some of the interesting features include the dome and minaret that are influenced by Mughal architecture and the shrine which is inspired by Kashmiri heritage.

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Hazratbal Shrine_©en.wikipedia.org
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Hazratbal Shrine_©en.wikipedia.org

Khanqah-e-Moula

Khanqah-e-Moula is a mosque located on the banks of Jhelum River in Srinagar. The mosque is inspired by Kashmiri architecture and has a wooden façade decorated with papier mache, a mixture of paper and glue. The shrine was recently destroyed in 2017, after which some of the areas were restored. In 2018, the mosque was restored. 

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Mausoleum of Shah e Hamadan_©en.wikipedia.org

Hari Parbat 

Hari Parbat is a hill in Srinagar which also houses the Durrani empire, a Hindu temple, mosque and a gurdwara. The hill is also known as Koh-i-maran. The Durrani Empire was constructed by Mughal Emperor Akbar, who built an outer wall around the fort to mark it as a new capital for Srinagar. The fort can be accessed through two sides of the city, through Rajnawari and Hawal. The temple occupies the middle part of the western side of the hill, which has a temple of Lord Shakti. A mosque is also situated at the hill, Makhdoom Sahib. It is the shrine of Hamza Makhdoom , a Kashmiri Sufi saint. In addition to this, there is another mosque residing at the hill, which is dedicated to Shah Badakhshi, a Qadiri Sufi saint. Hari Parbat also consists of two gurdwaras, Gurdwara Chatti Patshah and Gurdwara Guru Nanak Dev.

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Hari Parbat_©en.wikipedia.org
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Hari Parbat_©en.wikipedia.org

Pathar Mosque

Pathar Mosque is a stone mosque in Srinagar. The mosque’s roots are from the Mughal era and was built by Mughal Empress Noor Jehan, wife of Emperor Jehangir. It is located on the banks of Jhelum River. The mosque has nine arches or Mehrabs with the central one being larger as the focal one. The mosque is quite iconic as it does not follow the traditional design of mosques. For instance, it has a flat roof instead of the traditional pyramid roof. 

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Pathar Mosque_©en.wikipedia.org

All Saints Church

The church is also known as All Hallows Church and is one of the two Christian churches in Srinagar. The design of the church has drastically changed over a span of 120 years. The only element that still remains and has not changed is the base. The church was also destroyed twice due to protests, it was rebuilt using Russian design. The church was restored with more durable materials and less wood to prevent it from being prone to fire and other hazards. 

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All Saints Church_©en.wikipedia.org

University of Kashmir

The University of Kashmir is located on the western side of Dal Lake in Srinagar. There are three parts into which the university is divided into: Hazratbal Campus, Naseem Bagh Campus, and Mirza Bagh Campus. One of the interesting features of the campus is the library. Allama Iqbal Library of the university has a collection of 600,000 books that cater to the needs of researchers, students and scholars. 

Royal Springs Golf Course

The Royal Springs Golf Course is located in the Chashme Shahi area of Srinagar. It over great views of the scenic Dal Lake. It is one of the utmost golf courses of India. The course is a home of cork oaks which adds to its greenery and beauty. 

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Royal Springs Golf Course_©en.wikipedia.org

Amar Singh College 

Amar Singh College in Srinagar is located in the Kashmir Valley in Wazir Bagh. It occupies around 35 hectares of land comprising gardens, parks, playgrounds and infrastructure buildings. Currently, the campus is a home of several buildings and is spread over 30000m2. 

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Amar Singh College_©en.wikipedia.org

Shankaracharya Temple

Shankaracharya Temple, also known as Jyeshteshwara Temple is located on the Shankaracharya Hill in Srinagar. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is at a height of 1,000 feet. The temple and its surrounding land are of national importance and is one of the protected sites in India. The temple sits on an octagonal base which supports the square form of the temple by octangular columns. The building can be accessed through a stone stairway which regulates people flow in the space supported. 

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Shankaracharya Temple_©en.wikipedia.org

Sher Garhi Palace

The Garhi Palace in Srinagar is located on the bankside of Jhelum River. It was the home of renowned Afghan rulers in the past. Some of the features of the royal palace were Corinthian columns. Quadrangular plan, stone doors and roofs to mention a few. The building is a great example that celebrates the blend between English and Kashmiri architecture. 

Sher Garhi Palace_©en.wikipedia.org

Images / Visual Mediums

Image Name : Houseboats of Dal Lake in Srinagar

Image Number : 1

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinagar#Economy

Image Name : Dal Lake

Image Number : 2

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinagar#Economy

Image Name : Small Lake near Botanical Garden

Image Number : 3

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinagar#Economy

Image Name : Shalimar Bagh

Image Number : 4

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinagar#Economy

Image Name : Shalimar Bagh

Image Number : 5

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalimar_Bagh,_Srinagar

Image Name : Marble Pavilion in Shalimar Bagh

Image Number : 6

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalimar_Bagh,_Srinagar

Image Name : Wular Bagh

Image Number : 7

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wular_Lake

Image Name : Boating in Wular Lake 

Image Number : 8

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wular_Lake

Image Name : Wular Bagh

Image Number : 9

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wular_Lake

Image Name : Nishat Bagh

Image Number : 10

URL:https://www.destimap.com/index.php?act=attraction&a=Nishat-Garden%2C-Srinagar%2C-India

Image Name :  Nishat Bagh

Image Number : 11

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nishat_Bagh

Image Name : Nishat Bagh

Image Number : 12

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nishat_Bagh

Image Name : Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden

Image Number : 13

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru_Memorial_Botanical_Garden

Image Name :  Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden

Image Number : 14

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru_Memorial_Botanical_Garden

Image Name : Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden

Image Number : 15

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru_Memorial_Botanical_Garden

Image Name : Zeashta Devi Shrine

Image Number : 16

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeashta_Devi_Shrine

Image Name :  Zeashta Devi Shrine

Image Number : 17

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeashta_Devi_Shrine

Image Name : Zeashta Devi Shrine

Image Number : 18

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeashta_Devi_Shrine

Image Name :  Hazratbal Shrine

Image Number : 19

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazratbal_Shrine

Image Name : Hazratbal Shrine

Image Number : 20

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazratbal_Shrine

Image Name : Khanqah-e-Moula

Image Number : 21

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khanqah-e-Moula

Image Name : Hari Parbat 

Image Number : 22

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hari_Parbat

Image Name : Hari Parbat

Image Number : 23

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hari_Parbat

Image Name : Pathar Mosque

Image Number : 24

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathar_Mosque

Image Name : All Saints Church 

Image Number : 25

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints_Church,_Srinagar

Image Name : Royal Springs Golf Course 

Image Number : 26

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Springs_Golf_Course,_Srinagar

Image Name : Amar Singh College 

Image Number : 27

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amar_Singh_College

Image Name : Shankaracharya Temple

Image Number : 28

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shankaracharya_Temple

Image Name : Sher Garhi Palace

Image Number : 29

URL : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sher_Garhi_Palace

Citations

Srinagar (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinagar#Economy (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Shalimar Bagh, Srinagar (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalimar_Bagh,_Srinagar (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Wular Lake (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wular_Lake (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Nishat Bagh (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nishat_Bagh (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial botanical garden (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru_Memorial_Botanical_Garden (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Zeashta Devi Shrine (2020) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeashta_Devi_Shrine (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Hazratbal Shrine (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazratbal_Shrine (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Khanqah-e-Moula (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khanqah-e-Moula (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Hari Parbat (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hari_Parbat (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Pathar Mosque (2021) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathar_Mosque (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

All Saints Church, Srinagar (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints_Church,_Srinagar (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

University of Kashmir (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Kashmir (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Springs_Golf_Course,_Srinagar (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Amar Singh College (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amar_Singh_College (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Shankaracharya Temple (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shankaracharya_Temple (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Sher Garhi Palace (2022) Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Available at:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sher_Garhi_Palace (Accessed: October 31, 2022).

Author

Mahima Aswani is an architect and designer, who has worked on ambitious projects such as the Iraq Pavilion for Expo 2020 and high-end residential and commercial projects. Mahima’s thesis project, Goodbye Slumbai won the Community Design Award in the Senior Thesis Showcase at AUD, Dubai and was published in Dezeen magazine in 2021.

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