Srinagar is tucked in the heart of Kashmir Valley and is the largest city. It is a beautiful hill station in India that lies on the banks of the Jhelum River. The travel highlights of this city is its natural environment, lush green gardens, and traditional houseboats that sail on the pristine lakes. The color of Srinagar is such that whoever sees it sees something fabulous. Due to its strategic location in Kashmir Valley, Srinagar is often replicated with India’s Own Switzerland. Srinagar is a heart-winning place because it is surrounded by the Himalayan mountains. Here, winters and summers have their own distinct charm. A sheet of thick ice wraps the valleys in winters. While summer is the time when valleys get drenched in lush greenery, giving shutterbugs enough moments to fantasize about their photography passion.
Srinagar is a paradise for adventure seekers, history lovers, romantic souls, and culture vultures. Moreover, it is named the royal crown of India because here royalty enchanted by the Mughals during their reign could be experienced at its top tourist attractions like Shalimar Bagh and Pari Mahal.
Discover the highlights of sizzling Srinagar with our meticulously crafted Srinagar Travel Guide 2021.
Why Visit Srinagar?
Kashmir’s largest city is well-known for its lagoons, lakes, and navigational canals, with everything from floating fruit and veg markets to overnight houseboat accommodation, offering travelers the chance to view the heritage sites and ancient alleyways from a whole new perspective. Mughal gardens, wooden mosques, and Hindu temples make the moniker ‘Venice of the East’ almost entirely plausible.
Nestled in the lap of the Himalayas, Srinagar is surrounded by icy Himalayan mountains. And the peculiarity of Srinagar is that it is seen in every season, be it summer or rainy or shivering winters. So if you go to this famous tourist place in Kashmir, greenery will be seen all around during the summer season. You will be able to enjoy the rafting in glass-shining Lidder and Jhelum. And if you go in the rain, the magical smell of dense pine forests will make you crazy.
The clouds bowed here, and there will bring you to the magical world of fairies. The green fields of geese will fascinate you. This tourist attraction in Kashmir features lofty snow-clad mountains, lush pastures, charming gardens, and a plethora of spiritual and romantic destinations.
How to Reach Srinagar
Whether you are visiting from long distance or nearby towns, reaching Srinagar is pretty easy with air, road, or train. Srinagar has its own international airport - Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport. Airlines Jet Airways, Indian Airlines flock to and from Srinagar connecting with metro towns like Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad. The airport is located 15 kilometers (approx.) from the City Center. The nearest railway station to Srinagar is Jammu Tawi, 271 kilometers (approx.), and Udhampur Railway Station, 200 kilometers (approx.). You could get the trains to and from all the major metro towns or cities. Road travel to Srinagar is time consuming but scenic from the towns like Delhi, Chandigarh, Leh, Pahalgam, and Gulmarg. Outside the airport and railway station, the option to board private/shared taxis are available to reach your hotel.
How to Get Around Srinagar
Tourists could explore Srinagar on a private taxi or shared taxis according to their budget and travel preferences. On the other hand, Buses are a public mode of transportation and operate on a dedicated time slot. Therefore, people who want to have full control of their sightseeing must hire a private cab. Those who are short on a budget can take bus services within Srinagar.
Best Time to Visit Srinagar
The best time to visit Srinagar depends on the preferences of the tourists. Although, throughout the year, Srinagar remains pleasant to visit. Talking of specific seasons, summers in Srinagar starts from March to June, and the festival of Baisakhi is widely celebrated. The maximum high goes upto 30 degrees (approx.) celsius, which gives respite from the blistering heat due to its strategic positioning of 1585 m (approx.) above sea leave.
Monsoon starts from July to September and is yet another best time to visit Srinagar to come across the valleys drenched in lush greenery. Shikara rides are quite pleasing in monsoon as chilly winds hit your face. Bird-watching adventure is best enjoyed during monsoon. According to the couples, winters commence from October - February and is the most suitable time to visit Srinagar. Snowfall tends to take place from November till February. Winter is considered the ideal time to enjoy winter outdoor sports like skiing. Book your accommodation in advance in winters as the price skyrockets.
Places to Visit in Srinagar
Pari Mahal: There are many beautiful places to visit in Srinagar, making this hill station in Kashmir worth a visit. Pari Mahal in Srinagar is a top tourist attraction and also called Fairy Palace. Pari Mahal was built in the 17th century by Dara Shikoh, son of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Here, Dara Shikoh built a Buddhist monastery in honor of his Sufi teacher Mullah Shah Badakhshi, which has become a ruin. This fairy palace is very beautiful, situated amidst mountains and greenery. There are many colorful flowers in the garden here which are worth seeing. Pari Mahal is 122 meters long and 62.5 wide. If you go to Srinagar, do not forget to spend some beautiful moments in this wonderful fairy palace.
Dal Lake: Dal Lake is considered to be the jewel of Srinagar. Spread over 26 square kilometers, this lake is like a paradise on earth. Dal Lake gives Kashmir a distinct identity. This lake is made up of three lakes, consisting of Lokut and Baudedh lakes. Dal Lake is spread over 26 square kilometers. You can enjoy boating in Dal Lake. There are also many hotels and gardens on the banks of Dal Lake. Where you can go There is also a musical fountain and laser show, which takes place every evening. Srinagar has always been a pleasant place to visit in summer. Hence it is one of the favorite places of the Mughals and the British. Tourists can enjoy the HouseBoat on Dal Lake. Whenever you plan to travel to Srinagar, make Dal Lake the first priority on your list. Because here is the most beautiful and mind-pleasing lake, then it is Dal Lake.
Chashme Shahi Bagh: Chashma Shahi of Srinagar is a beautiful Gordon of the Mughal era, also known as Chashma Shahi. Chashme Shahi was built in 1632 by Ali Mardan, the court of Shah Jahan. This garden was built by Shah Jahan as a gift to his elder son Dara Shikoh. This Gordon, built among the litigants, provides peace and tranquility some distance away from the city. Chashme Shahi is 108 meters long and 38 meters wide. Chashme Shahi is located very close to the Raj Bhavan and Pari Mahal in Srinagar. Thus, Gordon is associated with the history of Srinagar.
Shankaracharya Temple: Those who think that mosques are the only place of worship in Kashmir are completely wrong. If there are mosques in Kashmir, there are temples too. For example, there is a Shankaracharya temple on the Shankaracharya mountain in Kashmir. This temple of Bhavagan Shiva is also known as Jyeshteshwar and Paas-Pahar. The Shankaracharya temple, made only of stones, is very unique in Kashmir. This temple is said to have been built by King Gopadatya in 371 BCE. Previously the name of this temple was the Godavari. It was later renamed Shankaracharya Mandir.
Shalimar Garden: Shalimar Gorden is one of the most beautiful Gordon in Srinagar. 15 km from Srinagar. It is also known as Gordon Faiz Bakhsh and Gordon of Char Minar. This Gordon was built in 1619 by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his Begum Noor. This Gorden is very beautiful, this is the reason why people here keep walking. Apart from this, there are also Tulip Gordon and Nishat Bagh in Srinagar, which you can see.
Nigeen Lake: Everyone knows about the Dal Lake in Srinagar, but few people know about the Nigeen Lake, located just a few kilometers from it. Here, people can stare at peace in peace and peace for hours. Apart from this, shikara and houseboats can also be done in the lake. The beauty of the Himalayan peaks seen from here captivates everyone. So if you go for a good tour of Srinagar, then definitely see Nigeen Lake.
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden: The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is located just eight kilometers from Srinagar. This garden is situated atop the Jabbarbal hills on the banks of Dal Lake. Its area is spread over 75 acres. Tulip Fest will run here for seven days in the month of April every year. Every year, all the people who reach Srinagar to roam definitely go here. In such a situation, if you are going to Srinagar too, then you can go to roam here.
Wular Lake: Wular Lake is a picturesque and attractive lake in Srinagar situated at the foothills of the Harmuk Mountains. Surrounded by picturesque mountains, pleasant surroundings, and the natural beauty of the mountains, the Wular Lake is one of the favorite tourist attractions of Srinagar, which manages to attract thousands of tourists every year. Wular Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in Asia, spanning a total area of about 200 sq km, with a length of about 24 km (approx.)The lake is also popular for its pleasant and peaceful atmosphere and boating, water skiing, such as water sports and sunset points, and picnic spots. Every year, all the people who reach Srinagar to roam definitely go here. In such a situation, if you too are going to Srinagar, then you can go to roam here.
Things to Do in Srinagar
Surrounded by two famous lakes, the area of Srinagar hides a lot of beauty within itself. Be ready to move just by packing the bag. The color of Kashmir is such that whoever sees it sees something different. It is also called Switzerland of India, but in front of India’s Own Switzerland - Kashmir, the beauty of the original one holds striking resemblance. The gardens that smell of love peep from the tombs Kashmiri heritage, and the lakes become white in the cold season, such that Kashmir is seen less on TV. Generosity in practice is reflected in the people here. Taste the taste of Vajwan, or enjoy Noon Chai or Kahwa. You can prepare a plan to visit the entire Kashmir in a week. Check out a few of the best things to do in Srinagar:
- Take Shikara Ride: Shikara on Dal Lake has very beautiful and new views. Probably, the most beautiful pictures on the Kashmir trip originate from here only. Romance seekers can rent a boathouse and enjoy the calmness of the lake.
- Explore the Lush Green Shalimar Bagh: Shalimar Bagh is the most famous garden of Srinagar. The fairy palace attached to it is also no less attractive.
- Marvel the Architecture of Jama Masjid: The Jama Masjid of Kashmir has a lot of beauty inside it. The architecture here is quite popular among the visitors.
How many days are enough to visit Srinagar?
4-6 days (approx.) are sufficient to visit Srinagar and enjoy relaxing sightseeing of the best tourist attractions in Srinagar. However, this is just the suggested time. It entirely depends on the travel taste you have.
Accommodation in Srinagar
The highlight of the accommodation in Srinagar is Kashmiri heritage with the touch of royalty. The summer capital of Kashmir, Srinagar, is encircled with snow-capped peaks and lush green valleys and has beautiful Dal Lake. The best selling accommodation Srinagar provides great views of the snowy mountains and Dal Lake. Moreover, the houseboats stay in Dal Lake are very famous amongst couples. If you want to rave an authentic Kashmir vacay, stay in a resort that is drenched with lush greenery and all the modern facilities.
The luxury accommodation in Srinagar comes with an in-house restaurant, parking facility, and Kashmiri architecture. A few of the lavish staycation options in Srinagar include Fortune Resort Heevan, Kashmir Mahal Resorts, and Mirani Resorts. A few of the handful budget-friendly accommodation in Srinagar includes Impex Hill Resort, Dal View Resort, and Triden Kashmir Resort.
Where to Eat in Srinagar
You can treat your tastebuds with authentic Kashmiri cuisine at several restaurants in Srinagar. The chicest and lavish ones are situated inside the top-notch resorts in Srinagar. However, you can relish some scrumptious meals at Mughal Durbar. This place is a paradise for cock and mutton eaters in Srinagar makes a delicious dish for vegetarians. You can nosh on authentic Kashmiri dishes at Ahduz if you are wondering where to eat in Kashmir. This place is famous for its Mughal and Chinese food. Bakery items are also very popular here.
Shopping in Srinagar
There are a range of options for shopping in Srinagar. There is a complete market for Kashmiri handcrafted garments on Boulevard Road. You can shop from there. If you want to save a little, go a little further from DalGate towards Krishna Dhaba. There are many shops where you can buy Kashmiri goods from Kashmiri Shawl Bhandar for a reasonable amount of money. Nuts and saffron can be purchased from Kashmir. If you are going to Pahalgam, then there is Pampore in the middle where the saffron is cultivated. There are many big shops on the way from where you can buy pure saffron. A little further, a cricket bat made of walnut wood is also found here. Which are far and wide famous. You can also buy handmade carpets from Kashmir. Very good types of caricatures are made here.
Useful Tips for Srinagar Travel
- Pack warm clothes during December-January as the temperature drops down to minus
- Spring filled with blossoms, so shutterbugs must-visit Srinagar during springs
- Mughal attractions in Srinagar have an an opening hour confirm before you visit
- Jammu Tawi Railway Station is the nearest railway station to reach Srinagar
- Srinagar is absolutely safe to visit, so book your trip with confidence
- Srinagar has its own airport, which is well connected with domestic flights