Srinagar

Kashmir �Paradise on Earth� is set like a jewelled crown on the map of India. Kashmir is a multi-faceted diamond, changing its hues with the seasons - always extravagantly beautiful. Two major Himalayan ranges, the Great Himalayan Range and the Pir Panjal, surround the landscape from the north and south respectively. They are the source of great rivers, which flow down into the valleys, forested with orchards and decorated by lily-laden lakes. Kashmir is a land where myriad holiday ideas are realised. In winter, when snow carpets the mountains, there is skiing, tobogganing, sledge-riding, etc. along the gentle slopes. In spring and summer, the honey-dewed orchards, rippling lakes and blue skies beckon every soul to sample the many delights the mountains and valleys have to offer. Golfing at 2,700 m above the sea, water-skiing in the lakes and angling for prized rainbow trout, or simply drifting down the willow fringed alleys of lakes in shikaras and living in gorgeous houseboats are some of the most favoured ones. Sightseeing in Srinagar � the capital of the state in summer � includes Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens and other lakeside sites, including the famous Hazratbal mosque. The well-known sights in the city are Shankaracharya Temple, 18th Century Hari Parbat Fort, the temple of goddess Sharika, the shrine of Muslim saint Makhdoorn Sahib, and the historic Sikh Gurudwara Chatti Padshahi. All the better hotels in Srinagar have attached restaurants, generally serving Indian, Continental and Kashmiri cuisine. Other restaurants are mainly located on the Boulevard, Shervani (Residency) Road, Lambert Lane and Lal Chowk. Kashmir also attracts a number of pilgrim tourists in summer for Shri Amarnath Ji yatra. Some of the favourite foods of Kashmir are Kahva,