Probably the most common questions that arise when you are planning your trip like where to go, what to see and how to plan the entire length of the trip. As it happens, we are taking up Srinagar in this write up and we know that comet the summer, Srinagar becomes one of the best family destinations in last few decades as well as best places to go for honeymoon in Kashmir valley.
Srinagar city is renowned for some natural lakes, magnificent Mughal gardens and some ancient religious sites. In this write up, we’ll talk about some best places to visit in Srinagar during kashmir trip.
Famous Lake to visit in Srinagar
Dal Lake is the prime attraction of Srinagar that is why Dal lake deserve top position in the list of tourist places in Srinagar. The best view of Dal lake can be enjoyed from boulevard road. Surrounded by zabarban hills from three sides and further embraced by numerous gardens and orchids along its outer rings makes it one of the best and picturesque lake in Kashmir valley.
Dal Lake is justly called the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” and Srinagar’s Jewel, every tourist who has visited Kashmir has come to this lake. It is the second largest lake in the state of and is also a source for commercial functions in fishery and water plant harvesting.
The lake is about 18 sq km (9.6 mi) long encompassed by a line of Mughal era gardens, parks and the famous houseboats, it has an average 5 ft and a maximum of 20 ft. depth.
[Explore Kashmir Holiday Packages for Summer]
The Dal lake is a part of natural wetland that covers an area about 21sq km, it includes ‘Rad’ or floating gardens. During the middle of the year, lotus blossoms through the floating gardens which lights up the whole area. It is divided into four basins, Bod Dal, Nagin, Gagribal and Lakut Dal, some even have their island in the center. It is simply the splendor of the lake that has attracted not only the tourists but also the film-makers who think it to be the perfect place to shoot.Read More
Nagin Lake is Located on the East side of the city, at the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains, though thought of as a separate lake, the Nagin Lake is an offshoot of the Dal Lake. They are only divided by narrow causeways, which allow only bikers and the walkers; it also carries the water supply pipeline to the Srinagar city. The water of this lake is crystal clear that the reflection of the edging trees and hills of Shankaracharya (Takht-e-suleiman) on the south and Hari Parbat on the West can be mirrored.
The surrounding trees are mainly Willow and polar trees. The water in the Nagin Lake is deeper and less impure, so you can go for a swim. There are fiberglass boats available and water skiing facilities too. This lake gives the wholesome view of the ranges and the hills, and the pretty shikaras and houseboats flatter the sight even more. Read More
About 20 km North from Srinagar lies the deepest lake in the Kashmir Valley, Manasbal Lake. The name of the lake is in relation to the sacred lake of Mansarovar, it is enclosed by three villages of Kondabal, Jakorbal and Gratbal.
Manasbal is considered as the Gem of of all Kashmir lakes developing stable summer stratification. On the borders of the lake you can find the lotus fringe in abundance. It is distant and peaceful, suitable for patient bird watchers. From the lake towards the north you have the view of the ruins of an old Mughal fort, and towards the south is the view of Hillock-Ahtung. Read More
Famous Gardens to visit in Srinagar
Mughal gardens is the group of many gardens like Nishat garden, Shalimar Garden, Chasma Shahi and Pari Mahal etc. All these gardens made during the Mughal era in the style of Persian architecture. Thousand of visitors come to Srinagar just to visit Mughal gardens. Walking through the gardens brings out the essence of the natural beauty. The group of Mughal gardens included canals and fountains inside the garden. Their style is based on the koranic concepts of paradise, significant in use of layouts.
There are three main gardens:
It is the garden made by the father of Empress Nur Jahan. This garden gives you the clear view of the Lake and the snow capped range of Pir Panjal, East side. Originally this garden had 12 terraces, at present only 9 of them exists. Each terrace rises higher up towards the mountain side (East) and lowers towards the lake. Furthermore there are two main pavilions, one at the lower and another at the upper end of the garden. In the middle is a reservoir of about 14 sq ft and 3 ft deep with few fountains. Read More
This part is said to have been a village, and is the abode of love. There are four terraces rising symmetrically one above the other. The fourth terrace was the private part of the garden, the females stayed there. Read More
Known also as Royal spring was commenced by Shah jahan. It is 9 km from the city and is known for the water of the spring, which is pure cool and sparking. Palaces of fairies (pari Mahal) are situated 2 km about the spring. This area now is made into a tourist village.
[Get More Details About Mughal Gardens of Kashmir ]
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden:
Built in the memory of the well known Jawaharlal Nehru, set up in the year 1969. The garden is strikingly covered with a large variety of trees and shrubs, the colorful and exotic flowers add up to its beauty. It is placed at the foothills of the Zabarwan mountain range; near the ancient Mughal gardens this one too surrounds the great Dal Lake contributes to enhance the location. The forest department has kept in mind to keep the garden maintained. On reaching the Botanical garden you can see four more sections within it; sporting garden, research section garden, botanical garden and the centre of plant introduction. You can go for boating and enjoy the garden for the variety of flora it offers.
Top Religious Sites to Visit in and Around Srinagar
Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar dedicated to lord Shiva.It stands at a height of about 1100 ft above the land on the top of Shankaracharya hill. Shankaracharya Temple is also famous from other names like Jyesteshwara temple or Pas-Pahar etc. As the name suggests it is lord shiva’s temple. The name comes after a saint Shankaracharya, who visited the valley around 10th centuries ago to spread his philosophy of Vedanta. He was well known for popularizing the worship of Lord Shiva in Jammu and Kashmir.
The architectural beauty of this abode is noteworthy; the support of this temple is an octagonal platform. You have to climb a flight of around 100 stairs in order to enter the temple.
Shankaracharya Temple is also famous sight in Srinagar to add in the list of top places of Srinagar to visit during kashmir trip, the Shankaracharya temple has undergone several changes and renewal, the main remaining shrine is believed to be a circular cell which gives the view of the valley below. The tranquil atmosphere of the temple fills you with great peace of mind. Read More
Kheer Bhawani Temple
Kheer Bhawani temple is one of the most famous Hindu temple in kashmir Valley. This temple is situated just 14 miles away from Srinagar near the village of Tula Mula. This temple is dedicated to goddess Kheer Bhawani. The term kheer refers to rice pudding that is offered in the spring by the devotees.Interesting thing about kheer Bhawani Temple it is believed that the color of the spring turns black which indicates disaster.
The associated legend says that Lord Rama during his 14 years exile was a devotee of Ragnya Devi, later when his exile got over her asked Lord Hanuman to shift the seat of the goddess and hence brought to this place.
It was her wish to be placed here in the temple covered with smooth and beautiful stones, with old grown chinar trees (under this the pilgrims reside). The temple was constructed by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1912.
The eighth day of the full moon in May is considered significant, so the devotees fast on this particular day and gather at the temple as it is believed that the goddess changes the color of the spring water. The Kheer Bhawani temple hosts an annual festival bringing forth countless followers and tourists. This temple is very important to the Kashmiri pundits. Read More
On the left bank of the famous Dal Lake is the Hazratbal Shrine, one of the best places to visit in Srinagar. It is home to a relic which the Muslims of Kashmir believes to be a hair of Prophet Muhammad. Public display of the relic takes place on certain occasions.
Hazrat means respected in Urdu and Bal in Kashmiri means place, gives the place the reverence it deserves. Considered one of the most sacred Muslim pilgrimage sites in India, the mosque offers a spectacular view of the lake and the mountains, the white marble structure of the shrine reflects on the lake displaying a view of beauty.
Initially Hazratbal Shrine was constructed as a pleasure house, when Shahjahan visited the place in 1634; he turned it into a prayer house. Till date the place offers the Friday prayers which attract the Muslim residents in large numbers. It is the only domed mosque in Srinagar. Other names of this shrine are Assar-e-Sharief, Madunat-us-Sani, and Darga Sharif; it is one of the most respected Muslim shrines in India. Read More
It is yet another example of the old Islamic architecture, located at Nowhatta, in the middle of the old city. The place is not only a religious site for the Muslims, but also a spot for the lovers of architecture.
It is believed that the mosque had to be renovated thrice; even in the case the magnificence of the mosque remains untouched. The serene air of the mosque is opposed by the busy and noisy market right outside, however, each Friday the followers assemble here to offer their prayers.
Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara
Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara In The Memory of 6th Guru Hargobind Sahib ji. The city of Srinagar offers a pilgrimage for almost all the religions of India, Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara marks an important center for the Sikh religion. This Gurudwara is situated quite in the middle of the city , outside the Hari Parbat Fort ( South Gate).
The legend of this shrine dates back to the 6th Sikh guru who came to Kashmir and preached ardently in this spot. This Gurudwara emits spiritual vibes bringing about tranquility and a line of history for all the Sikhs. Though not an elaborate place, it still has its own appeal and simplicity about it.
Best Place For Wildlife in Srinagar
Dachigam National park
Situated amongst Himalayan Mountains, 22 km from Srinagar and spread over an area of 141 sq km is the Dachigam National Park. It home the endangered Hangul or Kashmiri stag, the area was previously a game preserve of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir.
Since 1910 the Park became a protected area, it has the catchment area for Harwan reservoir that supplies clean drinking water to the city. “Ten villages” is the literal meaning of Dachigam.
In order to create the game preserve and the catchment area about 10 villages had to be repositioned. In particular the park possesses over 500 species of herbs, 20 shrubs and 50 different trees. The park varies in altitude and because of this it is distinguish into upper and lower regions and so has the vegetation.
This National Park is home to Leopards, Himalayan black bear, musk deer, Himalayan Grey Langue and many more. There is variety of birds too like Pygmy owlet, Himalayan Monal, koklas pheasant, Oriole, etc. The Park, because of it extreme height can be seen covered in snow during the winter season and during the summer is filled with flowers, especially blue poppy and grasslands. This significant reserve has so much to hold and to give at the same time.
Best Places to Explore in and Around Srinagar
Yousmarg is beautiful places In Budgam district, about 47 km from Srinagar lays a hill station of Yousmarg or yusmarg. The pleasure of the place starts right from the time you are starting your journey up the hills. The view on the way seems like a photo shopped posters, the long stretching grassland and the hills covered with dense forests.
Also to heighten the beauty is the mountains with snow. Though it is less crowded, this place offers you to come across the nature more closely. It is a great spot for picnics and long hikes, you will fall in love with this place on you step on it.
Sinthan top (Kokernag)
This is another hill-station at an elevation of 12000 ft above the sea level. Sinthal top is gaining its popularity for the view it offers of the lowlands and for its peaceful, scenic nature. The top lies on the midway of the recently opened Anantnag-Kokernag-Sinthal-Kishtwar road.
Sinthan top is very elevated, most of the time the area is covered with a thick blanket of snow, so the recommended time to visit would be April- September. Sinthan Top offers the adventure lovers and the hikers a perfect spot to explore and feel the nature up close.
Recently known spot, Doodhpatri has been an unbelievable spot which extends endlessly with the green meadows and the exotic flowers. About 50 km from Srinagar, this bowl shaped valley will surely bring a smile on your face and make your heart full. It is believed that shepherds from far places used to come to this land to graze their cattle because the cattle grazed in Doodhpatri produced high quality and quantity milk.
The name itself means “The Valley of Milk”. It is connected to another great valley, Gurez in its North. The unending carpet of grassland is a great spot for family picnics and functions.
Overlooking the city of Srinagar stands this hill of Hari Parbat. The hill is imposingly visible from all parts of the city too; especially from the Dal Lake the view is spectacular. Hari Parbat is an abode to three main religions of India: bearing the famous Shakti Temple on the Western slope, on the southern slope is the Muslim Shrines.
Further on the outer wall of the south is a Gurudwars. On top of the hill is a fort built during the Mughal reign, it looks like a crown, even in a dilapidated state, and the fortification is still impressive. Hari Parbat is an important center in this area.
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