Islamabad, the second town in Kashmir, stands a few miles higher up the Jhelum from Bijbehara, just where the river narrows. It is the starting-point for the Verinag-Jummu route. At the foot of the hill, overlooking the town, there are numerous springs, and consequently remains of Mughal gardens. But only some Kashmiri pavilions, and the stone tanks which swarm with sacred carp are left.
The direct road from Islamabad to Verinag Bagh, Nur-Jahans favourite Kashmir garden, runs for nineteen miles across the rivers and the rice-fields-and a very bad road it is. For the traffic of the country goes down the new Jhelum valley road by Baramulla and Domel, up over the Murree hill, and out to join the railway at Rawal Pindi. Now, if a river washes away a bridge or two between Islamabad and Verinag, no one hurries to replace it; and the old road is left to the pilgrims from the plains or to stray travellers, such as the little company who gathered in the gardens at the northern foot of the Banihal Pass to spend, after the old fashion, the last hot weeks of June by the ice-cold holy spring.