Srinagar Heritage Walk
Srinagar Heritage walk is the rich historical and traditional past of Kashmir. The walk is fully within the old city of Srinagar. It takes tourists to the culturally and traditionally rich parts of Srinagar. This is a unique experience of ancient buildings, relics of history, by lanes of downtown, busy local markets, ancient shrines, temples, and mosques. It exhibits the fantastic craft and artistry of the locals. The walk goes through the old habitation of Srinagar called Downtown or locally called Shehr e Khaas.
Cliffhangers India’s heritage guides are abreast with the history, anthropology, and geography of Srinagar. They have decades of experience in Srinagar Heritage Walks. They make you relive the past while taking you through the by lanes of Srinagar’s Downtown area.
The downtown area of Srinagar is the oldest habitation in Kashmir. The structures and artifacts represent the golden era of Kashmir’s artistry. And it is here where the essence of Kashmir thrives in buildings, markets, cuisines, and people.
Srinagar Heritage Zone
Srinagar Heritage Zone is the area around which most of the cultural and architectural activities are concentrated. The place falls in the congested hustle and bustle of Srinagar’s Shehr e Khaas area. This area stretches between the Jhelum River and Dal Lake and concentrates mostly around the traditional and old seven bridges of Shahr e Khas.
The Kashmir Heritage Walk has many branches from which one can choose. Here is how we have divided each walk
Srinagar Heritage Walk is the walk through the thickness of Srinagar’s Downtown area. This walk will take you through the busy traditional market of Kashmir. The fantastic and colorful markets exhibit the long-cherished way of local people.
Zainakadal: This is the first attraction of this walk. Zainakadal is the oldest market in Kashmir. It was developed in the 16th century along the banks of River Jhelum. This was the epitome of trade and cultural exchange during the era of king Zain ul Abidin. Zainakadal has the first wooden bridge created in Kashmir over the Jhelum River. You will see the market abreast with a traditional aura. The walk takes you through this busy and congested market full of colors and cultural hustle-bustle.
In the busy yet soothing market of Zainakadal, you will see the Byzantine-styled dome built by king Zain ul Abidin in the 16th century. Towards the bend of the river, you will see an ancient mosque constructed by the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir called Rinchen Shah. This mosque he built-in memory of his teacher Bulbul Shah.
Just in the close vicinity of Zaina Kadal see the beautiful stone structure called Pathar Masjid. It was built by Mughal empress Nur Jahan. It’s a relic from the 17th century.
Khanqah-e-Moula: Just after the Zainakadal market you will the best relic of Kashmir’s artistry and history. Khanqah-e-Moula is the first mosque in Kashmir and the shrine of Sayyed Ali Hamdani. The mosque is 600 years old and of king Sultan Sikander’s reign. This mosque/shrine is the best exhibition of the architecture and woodwork of Kashmir. It has intricate designs of woodwork and papier mache. Resting calmly at the bank of river Jhelum, Khanqah-e-Moula is the architectural symbol of Kashmir’s past.
Just below the river, Jhelum is the temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali. This mosque and temple are co-existing and thriving together for centuries now. They attract hordes of devotees yearning for peace, tranquillity, and blessings.
The walk winds through the old shops of coppersmiths, dry fruit stalls, copperware, spice shops, jewellery shops, and embroidery shops along the river Jhelum. The walk makes you see the fantastic architecture of local houses. The houses have wood carving designs. Cliffhangers India’s heritage guide will make you relive the history. Giving you the details about every nook and corner and architecture of this place. The walk ends at Shri Ranbir Gunj. This is the best attractive place on Srinagar Heritage Walk.
The main attractions of Srinagar Heritage Walk are Pathar Masjid, Jamia Masjid, Budshah Tomb, Mazar e Salateen, Naqashband Sahab Shrine, Khanqah e Mola, Zaina Kadal, Ali Kadal, Vakil House etc.
Another branch of Srinagar Heritage Walk is the Mughal glory here in Kashmir. Srinagar has many reminiscences of the Mughal Era. Mughal architecture is spread across Kashmir in the form of parks, forts, buildings, etc. On this walk, we will see the fantastic relic of the Mughal Era – the Hari Parbat Fort and the surrounding architecture and attractions.
Hari Parbat Fort: This fort is locally called Koh-I-Maran. Originally built in 1808 by Atta Mohammed Khan – the governor of Kashmir during Durrani Rule. This fort is much known for its Mughal Glory. Emperor Akbar was so fascinated with this fort that he fortified and created the wall around the hill of Hari Parbat. The city he wanted to accommodate in and around this fort was called Nagar Nagar. This fort overlooks an entire Srinagar city,
The walk/drive to this fort from its hem is through a soothing jungle with almond bloom and trees surrounding you. While at the top, you get the best panoramic view of the entire Srinagar city. Marvel at the construction of the fort at the top of this hill.
Another fantastic feature of this fort and its surroundings is that you will see the best pluralistic history and past of Kashmir. On the lap of this fort hill is the famous shrine of Kashmir – Makhdoom Sahab. Marvel at the shrine of this Sufi and the design and tranquility you will experience here. Walk through the long corridors of this shrine.
Down to this fort is Gurdwara Chatti Patshahi. This is the most sacred shrine of Kashmir’s Sikhs. Believed to be the place where Guru Har Gobind Ji (the sixth guru in Sikhism) rested for a few days while he was in Kashmir.
Hari Parbat was also known as Sarika Parvata. This fort holds great religious significance for Kashmiri Hindus as well. As per the legend, this fort was held by a demon called Asura Jalobhava. Parvati Ji upon local populations’ prayers to her, dropped a pebble on the demon’s head. The head grew larger and larger until it decimated the demon. Hari Parbat fort is respected and considered as that pebble of Parvati. There is a temple also dedicated to Shakti.