Urbanisation is at its peak in the last few decades, due to rapidly growing population and economic activities. This has resulted in unplanned and unorganized growth in most of the towns and cities. The major fallouts of this rapid urbanization are the emergence and growth of slums, environmental problems, unemployment, housing shortage and increasing traffic congestion etc. Slums are no longer considered merely as physical or economic categories, but have the complexities of social structure in which attitudes, ideas, ideals and beliefs play an important role. Srinagar city is the largest urban centre amongst all the Himalayan urban centres . The city has experienced a rapid growth in terms of population as well as areal expansion during the recent decades and is having a primate dominance over the other small sized towns and villages. The present study is an attempt to analyze the growth and characteristics of slums in Srinagar during recent census decades as a result of unplanned rapid expansion of the city. The study also includes the analysis of various economic and social characteristics of the slum areas. The results showed that over the recent census decades, not only the urban population but the slum population has shown an exponential growth. The population of the slums has increased from 2.8 lacs in 2001 to 3.4 lacs in 2011 showing a decadal growth rate of about 19 percent. Further analysis of the socio-economic data reveals that not only has the number of urban poor increased but their living conditions point out to the deprived and degraded conditions in these areas of blight. The study summarizes that the quality of life of the people living in slums has further deteriorated and the various initiatives taken by the government have not achieved much in improving their living conditions.