Located at an altitude of 1,730 m right in the heart of Kashmir valley, Srinagar is one of the most gorgeous places on earth where beauty lies in every corner. Popular as the summer capital of the state, this breathtaking destination is a highlight of Kashmir Tourism as travelers visit here in large numbers to experience the unadulterated landscapes and virgin beauty of nature. Its iconic Dal Lake, sprawling gardens studded with beds of colourful flowers, pristine waterfronts, amazing Shikara rides and traditional dishes of Kashmir are some of the key features that makes Srinagar a dream destination for travelers across the globe. A true reflection of the culture and traditions of the state, Srinagar must be on the top of your wishlist.
Best Time To Visit Srinagar
If you are planning a trip to Srinagar then the best time would be in the months of April to October as the entire Srinagar valley is drenched in the beauty of colourful blossoms. However, Srinagar is an all year round destination as the weather remains pleasant during summers and winters brings along snowfall adding extra charm to its beautiful landscape.
History Of Srinagar
Coming into existence about 2000 years ago, Srinagar was founded by King Pravarasena II. Later, it was taken over by the greatest Mauryan Emperor Ashoka who introduced Buddhism in the region. In the 1st and 2nd century, Srinagar was ruled by the Kushan dynasty and by the 6th century it became a part of Vikramaditya’s kingdom. Buddhism remained the prominent religion of the region until the 14th century when Mughals invaded and enforced their rule and religion in the valley. After Mughals, the valley came under the rule of Sikhs which was headed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Britishers emerged glorious in capturing all the princely states including Kashmir making India their colony. In 1947, Britishers left Kashmir under the administration of Maharaja Hari Singh. For some time Kashmir continued being an independent princely state but later became a part of the Union of India through the Treaty of Accession signed between Maharaja Hari Singh and the Government of India.
Best Places to Visit in Srinagar
The capital city of Kashmir, Srinagar boasts some of the most stunning places that are worth witnessing at least once in a lifetime. Take a look at the list of 10 best places to visit in Srinagar that are totally unmissable.
1. Dal Lake
Dal Lake is considered as the jewel of Srinagar. It won’t be wrong to say that Dal Lake is more or less an amazing visual depiction of the town itself. The surroundings of the lake are one of the most photogenic stretches situated in Srinagar; thus if you ever plan a trip here then Dal Lake must be on your travel bucket list without a doubt.
2. Mughal Gardens
As the name suggests these gardens were particularly built in the era of Mughals. We can say that this garden is a combination of Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens and Chashm-e-shahi. Moreover, the most prominent feature of these gardens is the cascading fountains which are definitely a feast for eyes.
3. Nishat Bagh
Nishat Bagh was built in 1633. It is very interesting to know that this tourist spot is also known as the Garden of Joy particularly owing to its phenomenal beauty. The picturesque landscapes along with the long avenues of Chinar make the whole place immensely beautiful.
4. Shankaracharya Temple
The Shankaracharya Temple also goes by the name, Jyesteshwara temple. Situated on the Shankaracharya hill, this temple has a unique spiritual charm and aura which will make you fall in love with it. Now, it is needless to say that the divine vibes of this temple will certainly make you stay for a longer period of time.
5. Tulip Garden
One of the most popular tourist attractions of Srinagar, visiting Tulip Garden is a visual treat. With its impressive range of colourful and bright tulips, the garden also boasts the rare Tulips such as Queen of the Night. The garden comes in full glory during the months of March till May when the annual Tulip festival is hosted.
6. Nigeen Lake
Separated by a narrow causeway, Nigeen Lake in Srinagar is very much a part of the most popular Dal Lake. Reckoned as the Jewel in the Ring, the lake got its name due to its surreal surroundings that is fringed by tall deodar trees with this mesmerizing waterbody in the center. There is also a Nigeen club along the lake where travelers can indulge in some recreational activities as well.
7. Hari Parbat
Reckoned as one of the religious places in Srinagar that displays secularism in the region, Hari Parbat is home to many famous temples, gurudwara and also a mosque. There is also a fort which was built in the 19th century and is considered as a gem of Durrani Empire. This magnificent mountain overlooking the valley is a must visit if you wish a spiritual sojourn.
8. Char Chinar
An incredibly beautiful island of Dal Lake, Char Chinar is another beautiful place in Srinagar that can be discovered while touring on Shikara rides. It is also famous as Rupa Lank and is considered as the most scenic spot in the valley owing to its beauty.
9. Wular Lake
One of the biggest freshwater lakes in Asia, Wular Lake is where tourists can indulge in many exciting activities such as boating, water skiing, bird watching, photography etc. A wonderful spot for picnic, the lake offers serenity and calmness that is required when you are planning for some quality time with loved ones.
10. Anchar Lake
Also known as Amir Khan Nallah, Anchar lake is yet another beautiful lake that emerges from iconic Dal Lake of Srinagar. It is one of the best places where you can sit back and relax and gaze at the enchanting beauty of the valley for hours. People visit here especially during the winter season to catch a sight of some exotic species of birds that migrate here from distant lands.
Things To Do In Srinagar
Apart from hopping to breathtaking locales, there are plenty of things that travelers can do on their trip to this beautiful land. Check out the list of some popular things to do in Srinagar that will add more memories to your travel book.
1. Shikara Rides
The beautiful houseboats in the middle of the lakes are a sheer delight to watch and being in one of them is no less than experiencing something divine.
2. Temple Tour
Home to many significant temples and shrines, travelers can consider paying homage to these places that are blessed by the divinity of Gods and Goddesses.
Srinagar is the kind of city that offers tourists with a great scope of things to get themselves indulged into, such as skiing, eating out at modern and traditional restaurants, and even trekking to the beautiful hilltops.
Nestled in the lap of mountains and blessed with many lakes, Srinagar certainly attracts many species of birds who have nested here for long. Also, there are many migratory birds that travel during winters making it a heaven for birdwatchers.
5. Culinary Experience
Kashmiri food is considered to be one of the most experiential delights for travelers who love to discover exotic aromas and spices. Take on to food walks at local joints to experience the tantalizing tastes of these cuisines that will linger much longer not only on your palette but mind.
Don’t forget to buy shawls and woollens from Kashmir because there is nothing better than what you find in the land of Pashmina and Zardozi itself. Also, you will find beautiful paper mache goodies, some exclusive handicrafts, silks and scarves that are worth buying.
How To Reach Srinagar
One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, Srinagar is easily accessible through all means of transport. From a well connected domestic airport to well maintained highways, there are all options for travelers to opt from.
Sheikh-ul-Alam Airport is a domestic airport in Srinagar which is well connected to the airports of all major cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Kolkata etc. Once you deboard at Srinagar airport, you can take a cab to your hotel or wherever you have booked your accommodation.
Here is a list of Indian cities from where flights are available to Srinagar
At present Srinagar does not have its own railway station, however, neighbouring cities like Jammu offer a nearest railway station to the valley which is about 290 km away. Jammu Tawi railway station is well connected to the Indian railways network and that will be the best choice of station if you wish to travel to Srinagar by train. From the station, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach this heaven on earth.
Distance from Jammu Tawi Railway Station. 290 km
Srinagar is a city which is very well connected with other towns and cities like Jammu, Delhi and Chandigarh etc by road network. So, if you are planning to visit Srinagar by road then taking JKSRTC buses, private cabs or driving on your own are the options worth considering.
Please note the accessibility to Srinagar via following routes:
From Srinagar-Leh Highway. Early May to mid-November
From Manali-Leh Highway. April to June
FAQs Related To Srinagar
Q. Why is Srinagar famous?
Srinagar is famous for its paradisiacal beauty that is next to heaven. It has some famous gems like Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Tulip Garden etc that are famous among the tourists who visit here in large numbers from across the globe.
Q. Is Srinagar a safe city?
Protected under 24*7 Army and CRPF surveillance, Srinagar is a safe place where tourists flock in large numbers to enjoy the beauty of nature.
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