A travel Guide to Srinagar

Srinagar Tourism

The capital of Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar, India, is among the top hill stations. The name 'Srinagar' literally translates to "the city of wealth and abundance". Situated on the banks of the Jhelum River, this city is surrounded by dazzling mountains and lush green. The city also houses lakes like Achar, Nagin, and the most iconic Dal Lake. This place, also known as 'the land of lakes and gardens', is blessed with natural beauties. The picturesque surroundings of Srinagar perfectly hold the title of 'Heaven on Earth'. Srinagar tourism blends natural beauty and fun outdoor activities. 

The stationary houseboats and the colourful Shikaras in Dal Lake are a major part of Srinagar tours. The sighting of the Floating Vegetable Market and the community of people living on the lake called the Mir Bahris are among huge tourist attractions. Nishant Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashm-e-Shahi Garden are among the top Mughal-age gardens in Srinagar. Another from the list of major Srinagar tourist attractions is the delicious Kashmiri cuisine which is rich with unique fragrant spices. Srinagar is also widely known for the Kashmiri shawls, Kashmiri apples, and the dried fruits.

You can visit this hill station with your family and friends. The hotels in Srinagar are affordable and offer you amazing views.

This Srinagar travel guide is here to help you plan your trip to Srinagar.

Places to visit in Srinagar

1. Dal Lake

Dal Lake is an integral part of Srinagar tourism. This second largest lake in Jammu & Kashmir reflects the snow-covered peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. The shore of this lake is lined with Mughal gardens, houseboats, and parks, making it one of the most visited Srinagar tourist places. The lake has a floating market known as Raad, where vendors in their shikaras approach tourists with handicrafts, saffron, and even edible items. In winter, when the temperature drops, the lake freezes and attracts tourists for ice skating.

2. Shalimar Bagh

The largest Mughal garden in the Kashmir valley, Shalimar Bagh, is situated on the shores of Dal Lake. The Mughal emperor Jahangir built this garden for his beloved wife Nur Jahan and was the favourite summer destination of him and his court. It overlooks the glistening water of Dal Lake. This place is a mix of natural allure and Mughal style structures with well-trimmed gardens and exquisite architecture. A trip to Dal Lake must include the Shalimar Bagh. If you want, you can spend a day or two here because it's very easy to find hotels near Dal lake.

3. Wular Lake

Located in the Bandipora district of Srinagar, Wular Lake is the largest freshwater lake in India. This lake is spread over 200 sq km. The basin of this lake was formed as a result of tectonic activity, which makes this lake a unique phenomenon. The area covered by this lake varies throughout the year due to its formation. The calm appearance of this lake makes it a famous destination for picnics among tourists and locals. This place is a haven for bird watchers because there are several species of birds. You can indulge in various activities here, like boating, water sports, and water skiing. This lake is a famous sunset point among other Srinagar tourist places.

4. Hazratbal Shrine

Another destination located on the banks of the Dal Lake, Hazratbal Shrine is the holiest shrine and mosque in Kashmir. This silvery-white mosque has a beautiful structure. It offers a spiritual experience. It’s also the only domed mosque you'll find in Srinagar. Visiting this place will offer you a picturesque view of Dal Lake and the surrounding mountains.

5. Yusmarg

Out of all the Srinagar tourist places, Yusmarg is the quietest one. Some people describe it as the best destination in Srinagar due to its undisturbed landscape and the soothing experience it offers. Even though it’s not very well connected with the rest of the city yet, it's a perfect place for people who love long treks. This place has forests with maple trees in them. In a few years, this place will be well connected and become a tourist hub but as of now, it's a recommended place to enjoy greenery and peace.

Things to do in Srinagar

With so many places to visit, there are a plethora of things to do in Srinagar.

Shikara Ride

The stationary houseboats and Shikaras is one of the major Srinagar attractions. You can take shikara rides across the majestic Dal Lake to relax and have a memorable experience. There are only limited places in India where you can enjoy shikara rides and Srinagar is one of them. These rides are taken in circuits from Nehru park past Hazratbal, Nahin, Rainawari, and back.

Houseboat stay

The stationary houseboats on the pristine waters of Dal Lake are unique. You'll rarely find houseboats on lakes in other places. The houseboat stays are among major Srinagar attractions. Made out of wood in a typical Kashmir style decor, staying in these houseboats is the best way to experience local life luxuriously. You'll be mesmerised by the surrounding glistening water of Dal Lake and leave with a very calm experience.

Tarsar Marsar trek

Marsar Lake is among several lakes in the Aru valley of Kashmir. The Tarsar Marsar trek gives thrill alongside a glimpse of natural beauty. This trek leads right to the heart of Kashmir and is argued to be the prettiest trek in India. The colourful flowers, gushing streams falling, mountains standing tall all around, pristine blue lakes, and lovely valleys is a sight to behold during this trek.

Shopping in Srinagar

Srinagar is the place for you to buy everything Kashmir is famous for. There are many products including handicrafts with wooden carving, walnut wood products, handlooms flaunting Kashmiri embroidery, carpets, papier-mache artefacts, spices, and the iconic Kashmiri shawls. The best markets include Zaina Kadal Road, Lal Chowk, Badshah Chowk, Floating Vegetable market, Residency Road, and Kashmir Government Arts Emporium.

Best time to visit Srinagar

Srinagar is a city with pleasant and cool weather making it an accessible destination for tourists throughout the year. Any season will be the best season to visit Srinagar.

The appropriate time for you to visit depends on the experience you're looking for. If you're looking forward to seeing snow and enjoy skiing, then you can visit from December to February. The lakes and gardens of Srinagar are most enjoyable from April to October. If you wish to visit when the city is relatively less busy, September to October is a good time. Overall to explore, the best time to visit Srinagar is from April to October.

How to reach Srinagar

Srinagar is a well-connected state with the rest of the country. You can reach there via airways, roadways, and railways. Here's how to reach Srinagar:

By Airways: There are flights to Srinagar from various cities across the country via many airlines. You can board a flight to Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport which is a major airport in Srinagar owned by the Indian Air Force. 

By Roadways: There are networks of roads connecting Srinagar to Chandigarh, Jammu, Gulmarg, Delhi, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. The Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation operates buses to reach Srinagar. There are also other services available, like private buses, taxis, and app-based services.

By Railways: You can travel to Srinagar with Indian Railways. The closest railway station is Jammu Tawi and you can take a bus or taxi from there to reach Srinagar.

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