Verinag is a tourist place and a notified area committee with tehsil status (Shahabad Bala Verinag) in Anantnag district in the state of Jammu and 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 crossing Jawahar Tunnel and is also known as Gateway of Kashmir.
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.
This place is so called after the name of a spring there called Verinág. The spring itself is named after the earlier name of a nearby town called Shahabad. Shahabad was earlier known by the name of Vér and also nag is local name for a spring. From this earlier name, this spring came to be known as Vernág which now has transformed to Verinag. Both the names, Verinag and Vernag, are used interchangeably.
There are two stone slabs built into the western and southern walls of Verinag spring, on which prose in Persian language, in praise of the spring, and the dates of construction of the tank and aqueduct, are inscribed. The translation of prose in Persian language written on stone slab built into the southern wall of spring is as follows:-
The king of seven kingdoms, the administrator
of justice, the father of victory, Nur-ud-din, Jahangir
son of Akbar, the martyr king, halted at this spring
of God's grace in the 15th year of his reign. This
construction was made by order of His Majesty.
By Jahangir, son of King Akbar,
This construction was raised to the skies.
The architect of intelligence got its date---
'May the mansion last for ever together with the spring Vernag!' (1029 Hijri)
Stone slab on western wall
The translation of prose in Persian language written on stone slab built into the western wall of spring is as follows:-
Haidar, by order of Shah Jahan, the paramount
lord of his age----
God be praised---made the cascade and aqueduct
This aqueduct reminds one of the aqueduct of
By this cascade Kashmir attained glory
The unseen Angel declared the date of
'The aqueduct has issued from the heavenly
spring' (1037 Hijri).