The Mughal gardens in this small town were begun by Nur Jahan and completed by Jahanara, daughter of Shah Jahan, in 1640. It's one of the most carefully designed of the Kashmir gardens and was said to be a favourite retreat of Nur Jahan. Water from a copious spring flows from the garden in three stone lined canals, over three terraces and three cascades, with several fountains in the main canal. There are three pavilions on the upper terrace, shaded by Chinar Trees. There's a tourist bungalow, tourist huts and a camping ground at Achabal.
Home to a spring with magical, curative powers, a tour to Kokernag is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Anantnag. Located at an altitude of around 2012 meters above sea level, tour to Kokernag also reveals some of the other treasures of this important tourist destination of Jammu and Kashmir.
The moment you enter the green valley of Kokernag, you are welcomed by the cool and fragrant air of the mountains, an air that brings with it the perfume of the blossoming flowers which you see all around this picturesque vale.
Perhaps the most important tourist attraction of a tour to Kokernag is the Papashudan Nad, the magical and curative spring which draws thousands of tourists to the valley each year. Home to the largest fresh water spring in Kashmir, Kokernag is known for its collection of springs, which in totality produce an image of the claws of a Koker or a cock, a trait to which the vale owes its name. Blessed with rich a soil which promotes the growth of several varieties of plants and flowers, a tour to Kokernag is made even more perfect by the presence of a number of accommodation options in the region.
Only a few km beyond Anantnag, on the Pahalgam road, Mattan is an important Hindu pilgrimage point due to its fish filled springs. A complicated legend relates that the springs were created when Lord Shiva broke open an
egg, which had been thrown there, the egg being the reincarnated form of a forgetful boy, who had been cursed by a wandering sage and that's only half the story!
On a plateau above Mattan and 3-km to the south, stands the huge ruined temple of Martand. Built by Lalitaditya Mukhtapida it is the most impressive ancient ruin in Kashmir and beautifully sited. The ruins are 67m by 43m and consist of a portico with a small-detached shrine on both side and a quadrangular courtyard. The courtyard was surrounded by 84 columns - the multiple of the number of days in the week by the number of signs in the zodiac.
From here to Pahalgam the road follows the course of the Lidder River, past some good trout fishing stretches.
Somewhat above Kokarnag, along the bring river valley, there's the small hill resort of Daksum at 2,438m. It's on the trekking route to Kishtwar and has a Rest house, Tourist Bungalow and plenty of camping spots. From Daksum the trail rises fairly steeply to the Sinthan Pass at 3,748m. The pass is open from April to September for trekkers.
Close to the foot of the Pir Panjal range, the spring at Verinag is said to be the source of the Jhelum river, which flows north through Srinagar, Jehangir built an octagonal stone basin at the spring in 1612 and in 1620 his son, Shah Jahan, laid out a garden around it. The spring is said to be over 15m deep and is reputed never to dry up or overflow. There is also a tourist bungalow at Verinag. .