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Monday, July 31, 2017
Kashmiri cuisine, handicrafts, and shikaras on the iconic Dal Lake are what come to everyone’s mind at the mention of the beautiful city of Srinagar. Apart from these, Srinagar is also known for a number of significant things, like its rich heritage, diverse culture and unique history.
The best way to understand and appreciate the fascinating culture of Kashmir is through its festivals and fairs. These colourful festivals of Srinagar highlight the historical significance of the city and create the perfect scenario for some fun. Here are a few of the major festivals in the city that are worth checking out:
Held in the months of July and August, the Shikara Festival celebrates the iconic shikaras of Srinagar. Beautifully adorned with flowers, lights, and decorations, it is truly a vibrant sight to see the colourful shikaras gliding on the Dal Lake.
Srinagar is one of the largest producers of saffron in the world. Kashmiri saffron is famous for its texture, colour and aroma. Locals and tourists rejoice in the abundant saffron fields when the flowers are in bloom in the Kashmir Valley. The festival is held every year during the saffron harvest in the last week of November/first week of October.
The Kheer Bhawani festival calls people of all religions and beliefs to savour the highlight of the occasion – kheer. The festival marks the birth of Goddess Kheer Bhawani and lasts through eight days of intense prayers and fasting in June. On the final day of the fast, devotees offer flowers and diyas to the Goddess.
The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden in Srinagar, Asia’s largest tulip garden, hosts one of the best annual flower festivals in the country. With a display of over 1.5 million tulips of different colours and types, it lasts for only 15 days when the flowers are in full bloom. While there, catch music and dance shows and stalls showcasing traditional Kashmiri handicrafts.
Kashmir is home to a huge population of Shia Muslims who celebrate the Navroz festival with great joy and merriment. The festival lasts for nine days of praying, greeting friends and family with sweets and savouries, and preparing traditional milk and rose faluda. This festival marks the birth anniversary of Prince Ali Muhammad and is celebrated with much fun and frolic throughout Srinagar.
The Urs Festival is one of the major celebrations for the Muslims of Kashmir, and is a commemoration of the death anniversaries of holy saints. Interestingly, the festival is also celebrated in certain parts of the capital by Hindus and Sikhs as a sign of respect to their respective saints.