Saturday, May 7, 2016

Kashmir 9 days Trip - Enjoyment report day 4

Day 4

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

View of Golf Course and Dal

After the visit to Pari mahal next was Chashm E Shahi or Royal Spring. A very compact garden having a hill spring bringing water to its channels, etc. The spring water is said to have medicinal properties which improve digestion. With this reputation of the water of this spring, people carry empty water bottles to fill them with spring water. This garden,, like all Mughal gardens (the one we visited prior to this and the ones we are going to visit later), is also terraced but not too many of them like Pari Mahal. If I remember correctly may be three terraces in all.  Also it is better maintained than Pari Mahal. See for yourself in photos.

A Fountain at full strength

Bloom Time at Chashm E Shahi

Me too (Collected the Spring Water)

Adding to the Beauty of the Garden!!!!!!

Majestic Chinar Tree out side the Garden

The water from magical Chashm E Shahi seem to have fuelled our hunger and we straight way headed for lunch after this visit. After lunch it was turn of Shalimar Bagh, by and far he best known among Mughal gardens. 

Shalimar bagh is considered to be the grander and the best among the four mughal gardens, however, it is supposed to be a location of a royal hut of the king of kashmir in 100 AD. it has three terraces and a symmetrical layout around centre line with a water channel on the centre line. It is beautiful and soothing. Has two (or three) pavilions for entertainment of royals / guests. it is also full of grand Chinar trees which provide good shade. locals also flock the garedn and one can see children enjoying and playing in the water channel.

here are some photographs for you to share the fun.

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

Last Pavilion 

Hum Dus (we ten)

wow capture

The Chinars


The final destination for the day was Nishant Bagh(actually Hazrat Bal was to be the ast one but it was getting late and our youngsters wanted to do time lapse photography of sun set from Nishant).

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

Serene Evening
Zabarwan above the Nishant
After this visit we returned back to hotel but youngistan of our group decided to explore a bit.Post return of Yungistan it was dinner time followed by sleep.

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