Shrinagar (Sri- rich /abundance Nagar- a Town) is the capital of Kashmir and it has clearly been a favourite destination for Moghuls, Britishers and anyone who has a love of nature and beauty. The Moghuls thought of it as a place for rest and relaxation and somewhere to take the Begums - so they planned and planted the most beautiful gardens for them to enjoy.Modern day husbands can take a leaf out of that book.
There are several gardens worth visiting - 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 attention to order and linear form is strangely comforting and the variety, colour and fragrance is wonderfuly enticing. Unlike in a lot of places in India where the Moghuls designed their char baghs the waterworks here are kept in good order and the soothing sound of water flowing is the only audible noise.
The Shalimar Gardens
The Nishat Gardens
The Pari Mahal on the hillside overlooking the town
The town is an interesting mix of very old and beautiful wooden buildings and lots of bakeries selling kashmiri breads and sweets. The bazaar is buzzing and the people, oh the people, they are so very handsome and welcoming it is hard to leave.