Speaking of Srinagar’s Shahr-i-Khaas, commonly known as the Old City of Srinagar. I suppose discussing some of the topics would be simple as a local of this city. But, before writing this blog, I decided to return to this location to document every aspect.
I rushed to get ready in the morning because I was already late. After walking to Fateh Kadal and taking a few more steps, my gaze was drawn to the lovely and majestic Khankha-i-Moula, a historic shrine devoted to a holy soul named Sheikh Abdul Qadir Geelani. Khankah-i-Moula is the popular name for the shrine.
You must cover your head when entering the shrine. On important occasions, people give namaz on the shrine’s lawn, which is tiled with large furnished stones. There is another universe of Sufism inside the shrine. After watching the craftsmen’s work, the mind shook. The entire shrine is lavishly embellished with all of Kashmir’s magnificent handicrafts, such as Paper-Mache, Khatambandh, Kashmiri woodwork, Kashmiri Qaleen, and much more.
I went a short distance after exiting the shrine and arrived in the Zaina Kadal region. Dry fruits, copper objects, shawls and clothing threads, and many more items may be found in the Zaina Kadal market. The majority of the narrow alleyways are in Zaina Kadal, yet travelling through them gives you a different feeling.
Several stores are lined up in a row. Everything is here, from colourful threads for shawl knitting to businesses selling copper things. The businesses in this area are extremely friendly and hospitable to all of their customers. This location is ideal for vlogging; however, I recommend that you first obtain their permission. Another draw to this location is the dried fruits and veggies.
Walking through these alleyways has a unique quality in that it allows you to sense the soul of bygone times. Even though it is one of the city’s oldest streets, it nevertheless manages to elicit awe. The Shahr-i-Khaas lanes have remnants of Kashmir’s historic architecture.
I arrived at Aali Kadal after leaving Zaina Kadal. The Kashmiri Harissa is famous in Aali Kadal. During the winter, though, it is only available in the morning. I intended to try Harrisa, but I arrived late, and the shops had already sold out of Harissa. This made me feel like I’d suffered a big loss. However, I arrived in Nowhatta after passing through the streets of Shahr-i-Khaas.
The centre of the former Shahr-i-Khaas is today known as Nowhatta. The Jamia Masjid, the valley’s oldest but most exquisite and massive mosque, is the place’s main attraction. There are two entrances to this mosque. There are four sections or prayer halls, each of which is quite cool. The gigantic prayer halls are standing still on the large logs of the chinar trees. There are 370 pillars in all, all of which are fashioned of chinar logs.
There is an ablution pool in the middle of the mosque where people make wuzu. There is also a fountain in the middle of the pool, which adds to the mosque’s grandeur. It includes a well-kept lawn surrounding the pool. In the mosque, there were a lot of people. Some were performing namaz, some were lounging in the garden, while yet others were photographing the breathtaking scenery. People frequently come here in quest of tranquilly, as this location is extremely tranquil on the inside.
I took a left after leaving the Jamia and arrived in Khaniyar, where the famed Dastageer Sahib shrine is located. Despite its location in Khaniyar’s major market, this shrine is worth visiting. But, without a doubt, the elegance in style for which the valley is known across the world can be found here.
On the inside, the temple has a pure blend of Iranian and Kashmiri architecture. The shrine is lavishly embellished with Kashmiri art in every nook and cranny. The market outside the shrine is brimming with a variety of things that are sold daily. All of the shrines in Shahr-i-Khaas are recognised historical sites in Srinagar.
I checked the time after exiting the shrine and saw that it was already dusk, so I decided to conclude my Shahr-i-Khaas tour here and crossed the road to get some snacks, as I was exhausted and hungry. To get home, I caught the bus from Khaniyar. While walking back, my eyes were still searching for something more peaceful, so I closed my eyes and went through the old city’s small lanes once more. The sensation I had after mentally envisioning the old city was quite soothing. I had a great time with the folks I met throughout the day. Even though my eyelids were heavy and I was exhausted, the old city tour was worthwhile.
One of the things on my bucket list for a long time was to visit the Tulip Garden in Srinagar on the night of the Tulip Garden festival. Finally, this year, I had the opportunity, and I was ecstatic to be able to see so many different hues in one area.
The Tulip Garden is Asia’s largest tulip garden, with 1.2 million different varieties of tulips. It was first open to the public in 2007. Since then, during the Tulip Garden event, this location has seen a massive influx of people. Tulip Garden is best visited between the end of March and the end of April. The opening dates of Tulip Garden for the Tulip Garden festival, on the other hand, are not set in stone and may change from year to year.
I went to the Tulip Garden with a group of pals who were just as enthusiastic as I was. At approximately 11:30 a.m., we entered the garden. Because it was still early in the spring, the sun was shining brightly. We were required to pay a ticket for 50 rupees as soon as we entered the area. Inside the garden, there were only a few guests. Some were preoccupied with resting their heads, while others were preoccupied with taking photographs, and still, others were attempting to recover their minds from the awe they had had after viewing the picturesque.
My jaw dropped as we began to move on because I was surrounded by several flower beds. This was the start of the Tulip Garden Festival, and I wasn’t sure if I was in heaven or still on Earth at the time. The garden’s beauty was breathtaking. I could see the amazing view of Parimahal on the upper left side, and the massive garden of Chashmashahi on the opposite side. Dal Lake may be seen from the half garden. The Nishat Garden is located on the opposite side of the road. The location is ideal, and I had the impression that I was wandering among the gardens of heaven. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a very popular trek in Kashmir.
We were still walking around the garden at 2:00 p.m. when we realised it was 2:00 p.m. The Black Tulip, often known as the “Queen of the Night” tulip, was one of the few things I saw in the mesmerising garden of tulips. That flower insisted on being given its attention. Tulips came in a variety of hues, including purple, pink, yellow, red, white, green, orange, blue, and mild shades of various colours, as well as a variety of flower kinds.
There are also several rows of Pansies and Roses in the garden, which serve as the icing on the cake. Our eyes were flooded with hues. The garden was coated with green grass, and the setting was vibrant with colour.
After the midday hour had passed, I was exhausted, but my gaze was still fixed on the view of the garden. Visitors came from all over the world to view the garden. I’m sure everyone was having the time of their lives with their loved ones. The views from the garden were breathtaking. There, we had a fantastic photoshoot. It was the most incredible experience one could ever have.
By the time we started packing up in the evening, the fresh breeze sweeping over the hills had relaxed my thoughts and taken away all of my tiredness. We couldn’t stop ourselves from shooting some more amazing moments because the sunrise was so lovely.
My mind and heart were still there as we drove back to our house. For the first time in my life, I felt completely satisfied after seeing the actual face of nature.
Everyone should come here at least once in their lives, in my opinion. A trip to Tulip Garden with your family will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. For every guest, this may be the ideal experience. This location has a heavenly vibe to it.
I love to travel.