Located 80 kms from Srinagar at an altitude of 1,876 m, the spring of Verinag is believed to be the chief source of the river Jhelum. It lies at the entry point of Kashmir Valley right after crossing Jawahar Tunnel. The Verinag Spring, named after Nila Nag, the son of the famous Hindu sage Kashyap Rishi, to whom goes the credit of establishing the territory of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the principle tourist attractions of a tour to Verinag.
The spring, which was originally shaped in a circular form was given a change of shape during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1620, he got the spring renovated in the Mughal traditional shape of an octagon. Verinag Lake waters have a limpid clarity in which the verdant surroundings of pine trees are mirrored. Fish swim in the cool depths and this picturesque setting that so captivated the Mughal emperors has lost none of its pastoral charm over the centuries. The lawns around the spring are a beautifully manicured green, and banks of massed flowers add splashes of colour to this symphony of greens and browns. The circumference of the spring is 80 m and is over 15 m deep. Besides a glimpse of Verinag, a tour to Verinag is made even more special by the sight of several varieties of colorful flowers, gently swaying to the rhythm of the cool, mountain air.
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.
As per one such theory Koker means 'Fowl' and nag means 'serpent'. The spring gushes out of the base of a thickly wooded hill from where it divides into channels, which resembles to the claw-foot of a hen, hence its name. Kokernag is at the height of approx 2000 mts from sea level. Place is famous for gardens, largest fresh water springs in Kashmir and for its largest rainbow trout hatchery of north India. Kokernag has been mentioned in Ain Akbari, where in it has been mentioned that the water of Kokernag satisfies both hunger and thirst and it is also a remedy for indigestion.
Sightseeing's in Kokernag:
• Botanical garden
• Kokernag Rose Garden
• Papashudan Nad
• Kokernag Botanical Garden
Camping Spots: The place is known for plenty of camping spots and from Daksum the trail rises fairly steeply to the Sinthan Pass, located at the height of 3,748m.
Nearby other tourist places: Wangam, Hangalkund, Sagam, Zalergam and Dacksum are few villages that surround Kukernag.
Best Season to visit: Summer (April to October)
How to Reach:
Kokernag is well connected to a number of other regions of Jammu and Kashmir. It is nearby to Jawahar Tunnel. It lies at distance of 85 KM from Srinagar and ia about 3 hours Drive, it can be visited in a day from Srinagar.