GETTING THERE

Know your location
» North India
» Jammu & Kashmir
Location: Srinagar, Kashmir Region, J&K
Main Means Of Transport: Air, Rail, Road
Local Transport:Shikaras, Bicycles, Taxis & Auto Rickshaws


Air
Various airlines fly to Srinagar from New Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jammu and there are flights operating from Srinagar to Leh and back. Flights are more frequent during the summer Tourist Season; at that time there will probably be several flights a day between Delhi and Srinagar. Some services are direct, while others operate via Chandigarh, Amritsar or Jammu. Flight time duration from Delhi on the direct flights is about an hour and ten minutes.

Rail
Srinagar's railhead is Jammu, which in turn is connects all parts of the country, including Delhi, Kolkata (Calcutta), Pune, Mumbai and Kanyakumari. The distance is about 876-km from Delhi to Srinagar although almost everybody coming up from Delhi, or other Indian cities, by land will come through Jammu from where the buses run daily to Srinagar.

By train there are about four services a day from Delhi or New Delhi to Jammu Tawi, across the river from Jammu. The trip takes nine to 13 hours, usually overnight. For information about booking trains from Jammu while in Srinagar enquire at the railways office in the tourist reception centre.

Road
Srinagar is connected by an all weather road to Jammu, which in turn is connected to many parts of North India. One can catch buses from Delhi but people making the trip by road should take up the route via Chandigarh, Amritsar or from the Himachal Pradesh hill stations.

Buses leave Jammu early in the morning for the 10 to 12 hour trip to Srinagar in the Kashmir valley. Although there are many buses, still one should book a seat as soon as one arrives in Jammu. The same applies from Srinagar as the day before departure all seats may be sold out. Buses also go from here to Leh and Kargil.

The buses all arrive and depart in Srinagar from the Tourist Reception Centre bus compound. From here's it's about a 10 to 15 minute walk to Dal Lake and the houseboat ghats. If one wants to go straight to the houseboat area or to one of the upmarket hotels by the lake ask for the boulevard. Bus bookings are made at the tourist reception centre.

Taxis & Jeeps
Taxis can be hired for long distance trips as well as within the vale.

GETTING AROUND

Srinagar lends itself to human power transport - either by feet, bicycles or Shikaras. Many of the interesting parts of town are within walking distance wherever one stay. If one is on a houseboat, walking along the boulevard into the area of Residency Road, the Tourist Reception Centre, the Polo Ground and the Bund, will provide one with the opportunity for plenty of sightseeing and shopping.

Shikaras in Srinagar - Jammu & KashmirShikaras
The best-known Kashmiri transport is, of course, the Shikara. These are the graceful, long boats, which crowd the Srinagar lakes. They're used for getting back and forth from the houseboats or for longer tours. Officially there is a standard fare for every trip around the lake and these are prominently posted at the main landings.

Try paddling a Shikara yourself sometime - it's nowhere near as easy as it looks. You'll spend lots of time going round in circles trying to master that single, heart shaped paddle. Even if you do start to travel in a straight line you'll find it requires a good amount of stamina to maintain the pace. If your houseboat hasn't got one to spare some children passing by will find you a boat although you may have to pay them. One can rent rowboats on Nagin Lake.

Taxis & Auto Rickshaws
There are stands for these at the Tourist Reception Centre and other strategic locations in town.

Buses
The Jammu & Kashmir road transport corporation buses go from the Tourist Reception Centre while private buses operate from a variety of stands in Srinagar. Certain major long distance routes are reserved for the J&K buses but others are open for competition and there will be a great number of buses operating. Fares are set for all routes and the drivers or conductors are usually very helpful.

Cycling in Srinagar - Jammu & Kashmir Bicycles
Bicycles seeing Srinagar by bicycle is a surprisingly pleasant way of getting around. Although the mountains soar up all around the valley, Srinagar itself is surprisingly flat. Bicycles are economical too. One can hire bikes for sightseeing purpose from bicycle shops. There are several along the boulevard close to Dal gate. Pleasant trips to be made include:

Round Dal Lake - an all day trip going by the Mughal gardens. It's particularly pleasant around the north of the lake where the villages are still relatively untouched.

Across The Lake - One can ride right across the lake on the causeway, a nice trip since there are no problems with vehicle traffic and there is plenty of opportunity to observe the lake life without being in a boat.

Nagin Lake - One can ride out to the Hazratbal Mosque via Nagin Lake and then make a complete loop around the lake on the way back. This trip can easily be combined with a trip along the Jhelum, taking in the various mosques close to the river. The streets here are very narrow so vehicles keep away and bike riding is pleasant.

Distances To Important From Srinagar:
Jammu Tawi: 293-km
Delhi: 876-km
Leh: 434-km
Sonamarg : 87-km
Gulmarg : 56-km
Pahalgam : 86-km
Amarnath: 143-km
Aharbal: 51-km
Yushmarg: 47-km
Katra: 285-km



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