Steeped in tradition and set in one of the most dramatic locations in India, with majestic mountains pressing in on three sides, Srinagar is the summer administrative capital of J&K. All too often associated with strife in recent times, this city of almost a million inhabitants is most famous with tourists for the houseboats that line the fringes of Dal and Nageen lakes, as well as the central section of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus. Dal lake is usually as flat as a mirror and incredibly photogenic, with the surrounding peaks reflected in the greenish-blue waters. There are some other splendid attractions, which in recent years have once again been opened to visitors after long periods of being off-limits. Chief among these are two of the most venerated mosques, Jama Masjid, deep in the heart of the atmospheric Old City, and the lakeside Hazratbal. Another important Islamic place of worship is the Sufi shrine of Makhdoom Sahib, halfway up to the Hari Parbat Fort.


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