Things to do - general

Verinag /ˈveɪriːnɑːɡ/(Hindi: वेरीनाग ) is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India. It is about 26 kilometers away from Anantnag and approximately 78 kilometeres south-east from Srinagar which is the summer capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Verinag is also the first tourist spot of Kashmir Valley when travelling by road from Jammu, the winter capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir towards Srinagar, the summer capital of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It lies at the entry point of Kashmir Valley right after crossingJawahar Tunnel.

A major tourist attraction of this place is Verinag Spring, for which this place is named. There is an octagonal stone basin at Verinag Spring and an arcade surrounding it which were built by Mughal emperor Jahangir in 1620 A.D. Later, a beautiful garden next to this spring, was laid out by his son Shah Jahan. This spring is known to never dry up or overflow. Verinag Spring is also the major source of river Jhelum. Verinag Spring and Mughal Arcade surrounding it is officially recognized by Archaeological Survey of India as a Monument of National Importance.

Country India
Languages spoken Kashmiri, urdu, Hindi, English
Currency INR

Sports and nature

Verinag is located at 33.55°N 75.25°E.[11] It has an average elevation of 1,851 metres (6,076 feet). This town is located in the vicinity of Banihal pass of Pir Panjal mountain range. Major towns located near this place are Anantnag, Kokernag, Achabal and Qazigund.


The design of the Verinag garden is an adaptation of the traditional Persian Charbagh(four gardens). The Charbagh takes its inspiration from the Quranic description of heaven as having four rivers, of wine, honey, milk, and water. The traditional Charbagh is uniformly shaped, with a water source in its center and four (char) radiating streams which divide the garden (bagh) into four parts. As with other Kashmiri gardens, Vernag is located on a steep hillside, with its water source at the top. The traditional Charbagh design had to be altered to fit the site's topography, as the source of water shifted from the traditional center of the square garden to the highest point of the garden. Given the limited options for flowing water (which could only run in one direction, from top to bottom), the double symmetry of the Persian garden was reduced to a central water axis, and the other traditional streams were minimized, appearing only in the form of the east-west canal. The garden is rectangular in shape, measuring 460 meters by 110 meters. It runs a few degrees off a south-north axis, moving down the side of a hill. The garden is bisected on its long axis by a water canal that transfers water from the water source at the southern (upper) end into the Jhelum river on its northern end. Another canal running east-west intersects the main water canal at its southern end. The entrances to the garden lie at both ends of this east-west canal. From the entrances, a walkway takes the visitor towards the octagonal pool, which is approached through a colonnade. This colonnade, composed of twenty-four arches, surrounds the pool, whose water comes from the spring deep below. The pool's water is clear and filled with carp. The water exits from the pool into the main axial water canal, which measures 305 meters long by 3.65 meters wide.

Culture and history

Ain-i-Akbari: Ain-i-Akbari, is a 16th-century, detailed document recording the administration of emperor Akbar's empire, written by his vizier, Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak. The account of Verinag Spring in this text is as follows: "In the Vér tract of country is the source of the Bihat. It is a pool measuring a jarib which tosses in foam with an astonishing roar, and its depth is unfathomable. It goes by the name of Vernág and is surrounded by a stone embankment and to its east are temples of stone."[4] Bihat, as metioned in the above quoted text, is the name of a river in Verinag. Tuzk-e-Jahangiri: Tuzuk-e-Jahangiri or Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri is the autobiography of Mughal Emperor Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir (1569-1609). It is also referred to as Jahangirnama. The account of Verinag Spring in this text is as follows: "The source of the Bihaṭ is a spring in Kashmir called the Vīr-nāg; in the language of India a snake is vīr-nāg. Clearly there had been a large snake at that place. I went twice to the spring in my father's lifetime; it is 20 kos from the city of Kashmir. It is an octagonal reservoir about 20 yards by 20. Near it are the remains of a place of worship for recluses; cells cut out of the rock and numerous caves. The water is exceedingly pure. Although I could not guess its depth, a grain of poppy-seed is visible until it touches the bottom. There were many fish to be seen in it. As I had heard that it was unfathomable, I ordered them to throw in a cord with a stone attached, and when this cord was measured in gaz it became evident that the depth was not more than once and a half the height of a man. After my accession I ordered them to build the sides of the spring round with stone, and they made a garden round it with a canal; and built halls and houses about it, and made a place such that travellers over the world can point out few like it."[9] Rajatarangini: Rājatarangiṇī is a metrical historical chronicle of north-western Indian subcontinent, particularly the kings of Kashmir, written in Sanskrit by Kashmiri Brahman Kalhaṇa in 12th century CE. Verinag Spring in this text is known by the name of Nilakunda.The account of Verinag Spring in this text is as follows: "That (land) is protected by Nīla, the lord of all Nāgas, whose regal parasol is formed by the circular pond (of the Nīlakunda) with the Vitastā's newly rising stream as its stick. There Gauri, though she has assumed the form of the Vitastā, still keeps her wonted inclination."

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