Kashmir-(Srinagar – Gulmarg – Pahelgam – Sonemarg)
Srinagar is located in the heart of the Kashmir valley at an altitude of 1,730 m(1530 feet) above sea level, spread on both sides of the river Jhelum. The Dal and Nagin lakes enhance its picturesque setting, while the changing play of the seasons and the salubrious climate ensures that the city is equally attractive to visitors around the year.
The present city of Srinagar was founded by Pravarasena-II, and Hiuen Tsang, who visited Kashmir in 631 AD, found it at the same site as it is today. Laltaditya Muktapida was the most illustrious ruler of Kashmir in the Hindu period, which ended in 1339 AD. King Zain-ul-Abidin (1420-70 AD), popularly known as ‘Budshah’, was a great patron of Sanskrit. Akbar captured Kashmir valley for the Mughals, who endowed onSrinagar with beautiful mosques and gardens. The Sikhs overthrew the last Muslim ruler in the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1819. In 1846 the Dogras secured the sovereignty of Kashmir from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar.
Gulmarg reinforces its position as a PrimeWinter Destination(2,730 m/56 km) from srinagar. Gulmarg was discovered in the 16th century by Sultan Yusuf Shah, who was inspired by the sight of its grassy slopes emblazoned with wild flowers. It was also a favourite resort of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir.
“Valley of Shepherds” Situated at the confluence of the streams flowing from Sheshnag Lake and the Lidder river, Pahalgam (2,130 m) was once a humble shepherd’s village with breathtaking views.
Around Pahalgam are many places of interest, and because the resort is set between fairly steep hills, it is worth hiring a pony rather than walking.
Sonmarg is situated at a distance of 84 kms from Srinagar, on the Srinagar-Ladakh Road. The drive to Sonamarg is through the SindhValley which presents yet another spectacular facet of countryside in Kashmir. Situated at an altitude of 2730 m, Sonamarg (‘The meadow of gold’) has, as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a cerulean sky. The SindhRiver that meanders through the valley abounds with trout.
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