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Srinagar
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Srinagar - India
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Srinagar is the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in India, and is situated in the valley of Kashmir. The city lies on both banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus River. The city is famous for its lakes and houseboats floating on them. It is also known for traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and dry fruits. Srinagar is 876 kilometres (544 mi) north of Delhi. The headquarters of the Srinagar District are situated in the city. The city was founded by the King Pravarasena II over 2,000 years ago, and the city of Srinagar has a long history, dating back at least to the 3rd century BC. The city was then a part of the Maurya Empire, one of the largest empires of the Indian subcontinent. Ashoka introduced Buddhism to the Kashmir valley, and the adjoining regions around the city became a centre of Buddhism. In the 1st century, the region was under the control of Kushans and several rulers of this dynasty strengthened the Buddhist tradition. Vikramaditya (of Ujjain) and his successors probably ruled the regions just before the city fell to the control of the Huns in the 6th century, and Mihirkula was the most dreaded ruler of the city and the valley. The Hindu and the Buddhist rule of Srinagar lasted until the 14th century, when the Kashmir valley, including the city, came under the control of the several Muslim rulers, including the Mughals. It was also the capital during the reign of Yusuf Shah Chak, a ruler who was tricked by Akbar when he failed to conquer Kashmir by force. Yusuf Shah Chak remains buried in Bihar in India. Akbar established Mughal rule in Srinagar and Kashmir valley.

Tourism is the most significant segment of the city's economy. The city of Srinagar is a gateway to some of the most scenic and beautiful places of the Indian subcontinent. The beautiful and world famous hill station and skiing resort Gulmarg is just 50 km from the city. For decades, tourism has been contributing massively to the economy of the city, but it has been adversely affected on account of insurgent activities by certain elements. Srinagar is well known for its lakes. Dal Lake with its houseboats is famous all over the world. Srinagar is a small and beautiful city with a wonderful climate in the summer. Nagin Lake is another famous lake in the city.

Just outside the city are found the beautiful Shalimar Gardens created by Jehangir, the Mughal emperor, in 1619. Houseboats were introduced accidentally to Kashmir: members of the Indian Civil Service serving in the plains who vacationed in Kashmir were not permitted to build permanent homes because of the then Maharaja's suspicion of a British presence in Srinagar. They thus chose to live in houseboats. The first such, named Victory, was designed by Mr. M.T. Kenhard in 1888. There are now about five hundred on the Lake. Srinagar has several gardens which are part of the several such gardens laid by the Mughal emperors across the Indian subcontinent, and which are known as Mughal gardens. The Mughal Gardens located in Srinagar and its close vicinity include Chasma Shahi (the royal fountains); Pari Mahal (the palace of the fairies); Nishat Bagh (the garden of spring); Shalimar Bagh; and the Nashim Bagh. The Tulip Gardens have been recently opened to public by Smt Sonia Gandhi. The gardens has rows of Tulips of different colurs and shades.
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