Srinagar Journals

Three Days in Srinagar

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A May 2012 trip to Srinagar by phileasfogg

Gurkha Houseboats Photo, Srinagar, India More Photos
Quote: I spent 3 years of my childhood in Srinagar, the state capital of Kashmir. This May, after nearly 27 years, I finally figured it was safe to go back and see if Kashmir was as beautiful as I’d remembered it. And yes. I am satisfied. It’s every bit as lovely.

Gurkha Houseboats

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Hotel | "A Touch of Traditional Kashmiri Hospitality"

Gurkha Houseboats Photo, Srinagar, India
Quote:
The broad-shouldered white-haired caretaker of our houseboat was called Maqbool Chacha ("chacha, in Hindustani, is the word for an uncle—specifically, one’s father’s younger brother; a word used affectionately for any elderly man). Maqbool Chacha was an interesting mix of dignity and friendliness; he came to chat with us now and then (on everything from Kashmiri food to history), he got us large quantities of fragrant Kashmiri kehwa tea whenever we wanted it—he even attended to a minor plumbing problem in our bathroom. He was, for us, the perfect embodiment of a traditional Kashmiri houseboat owner: warm, hospitable, yet never intrusive.Not that Maqbool Chacha owns this housebo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2012

Gurkha Houseboats
Nagin Lake
Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Ahdoo's Hotel Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Excellent Kashmiri Food"

Ahdoo's Hotel Restaurant Photo, Srinagar, India
Quote:
Unfortunately for people who like to try out the local food when they’re travelling, Srinagar seems to cater primarily to those who want to stick to the familiar. There’s plenty of paneer makhani, daal makhani, tandoori chicken and the like here, too little good Kashmiri food. So we were very relieved when various people—including local residents—suggested we try Ahdoo’s.Maqbool Chacha, the caretaker at our houseboat, told us that Ahdoo’s Hotel had been established by someone named Ahad—and that the name ‘Ahad Waza’ (a waza being a traditional Kashmiri chef) had become synonymous with excellent culinary skills. "They didn’t have a restaurant till some years back," Maqbool Chacha told ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2012

Ahdoo's Hotel Restaurant
Residency Road
Srinagar, India
0194-27253

Ahdoo's Bakery and Confectionery

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Restaurant | "The Best Bakery in Srinagar"

Ahdoo's Bakery and Confectionery Photo, Srinagar, India
Quote:
Ahdoo’s Restaurant may be somewhat of a newbie, but the Ahdoo’s Bakery has ruled Srinagar for years. One of my uncles, living in Kashmir back in the 1960s, had his wedding cake ordered from Ahdoo’s. And when I was a child, living in Srinagar 27 years ago, Ahdoo’s was our family’s favourite place to get cakes and biscuits and pastries from. True, the pastries were mostly not what the West knows as ‘pastry’—instead of shortcrust, puff and flaky pastry, Indian ‘pastries’ were, and still often are, strips of sponge cake layered with whipped cream or buttercream icing, along with flakes of chocolate, or bits of canned fruit (pineapple and cherry have reigned for decades now).While doing research for our...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 12, 2012

Ahdoo's Bakery and Confectionery
Residency Road
Srinagar, India

A meal at our houseboat Photo, Srinagar, India
Quote:
While we were eating at the Ahdoo’s Restaurant in Srinagar, we happened to overhear a conversation at a neighbouring table. A family of tourists—almost certainly from somewhere in North India—were trying to make guesses about what a wazwaan was. Someone suggested it was a Kashmiri thali (a fixed meal, everything served together in one large platter, per individual). Someone else said no, it was the name given to Kashmiri cuisine per se.Not really. A wazwaan is the name given to a Kashmiri feast—and not just any feast, but the feast, the trotting out of all of Kashmir’s best foods. The occasions for a wazwaan can be varied: a wedding, an engagement, any oth...Read More

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Gardens

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Attraction | "A Landscape to Relax In"

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Gardens Photo, Srinagar, India
Quote:
Besides the fact that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first Prime Minister, he was also a Kashmiri Pandit (for the uninitiated, a term used to denote a Kashmiri Hindu, rather than a Muslim). It is fitting, therefore, that one of Srinagar’s most pleasant modern gardens—as opposed to historic gardens—should have been named after Nehru. The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Gardens are situated at the base of the Zabarwan hill, along the road that leads up to the extremely popular Chashm-e-Shahi. While Chashm-e-Shahi is clogged with tourists, the Botanical Gardens are relatively quiet, and are a great place to have a picnic or a snooze, or to just unwind a little.The Botanical Gardens have been ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 12, 2012

Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Gardens
Dal Lake
Cheshmashahi, Srinagar