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Dal Lake - Top-Rated Place to Visit and Things to do in Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar Travel Guide: 10 Top-Rated Places to Visit and Things to do in Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir (2024)

Srinagar is also known as the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a beautiful destination situated at a height of 1730 meters above sea level. It is a unique and amazing holiday destination for all age groups. The tourist places in Srinagar offer breathtaking views and mesmerizing locations to die for. Srinagar is also famously known as “Heaven on Earth” and is as stunning as living in a beautiful painting.

Srinagar is situated in the Kashmir Valley on the banks of the Jhelum River. Jhelum River is a tributary of the Indus, and Dal and Anchar lakes. The city is known for its natural environment, gardens, waterfronts, and houseboats. One of the major attractions is the stationary houseboats and shikaras on Dal Lake which add to the beauty of the place. Shikaras are gondola type rowboats that are used by locals in their day-to-day life and by the tourists equally. Tourists enjoy Shikaras to see attractions like the Floating vegetable market on the lake and to see Mir Bahris which a local community is living on the lake.

When talking about Kashmir, the most important aspect cannot be missed. Kashmiri cuisine is famous all over the globe. It is therefore vital to try out the local dishes when in Srinagar. The local Kashmiri food is rich in unique fragrant spices that smell and tastes decadent. Srinagar is also famous for the Kashmiri shawls, Kashmiri apples, and the dried fruits mainly almonds and walnut which can be bought easily from the market.

Srinagar is affected by heavy snowfall, especially during winters. This affects the connectivity of Srinagar from December to February. Communal tensions and regional violence also lead to frequent curfews in some parts of the city. You must make sure that you check the situation before visiting. This place will steal your heart for life if you are lucky enough to visit this heaven on earth.

Places to Visit and Things to do in Srinagar

  1. Dal Lake: Dal Lake is situated in Srinagar and is a beautiful sight for tourists. Dal Lake is widely known as the jewel in the crown of Kashmir. Specifically, in the area, it is also referred to as the jewel of Srinagar. People who are unfamiliar with the location of this lake may be surprised to know that this lake is not isolated in the mountains but is located in Srinagar city. It is considered as an urban lake by people with mesmerizing views. Dal lake is one of the most famous attractions in Srinagar. Tourists enjoy walks around the lake and enjoy boating in the lake. The dal also has some commercial importance in the area for things like fishing and weed harvesting for compost making. The shoreline of the lake is about 15.5 kilometers. It is surrounded by a mesmerizing boulevard lined with Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats, and hotels. Tourists can enjoy scenic views of the lake from the shore line Mughal gardens, such as Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh built during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir. You can also enjoy a ride and beautiful views on the houseboats along the lake in the colorful shikaras. During the winter season, the temperature sometimes reaches −11 °C and the water in the lake is frozen. This is another landscape that can be enjoyed in the city as every season has its charm and specialty in Srinagar. Dal Lake - Top-Rated Place to Visit and Things to do in Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir Image Source
  2. Mughal Gardens: Mughal Gardens in Srinagar is a major spot in Srinagar for tourists to enjoy the beauty of the city. Three major gardens constitute Mughal Gardens. Shalimar Bagh is the major and biggest garden. The term ‘Shalimar’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘Abode of Love’ and is known by several other names such as Faiz Baksh and Farah Baksh. It is a public space and open to all and known as the crown of Srinagar. The other two gardens famous in the city are Nishant Bagh and Chashme Shahi. The main highlights in these beautifully maintained parks are the chinar trees and the beautiful waterfalls. These gardens are visited by several tourists every year. These parks are a beautiful blend of man-made and natural structures and greenery.
    Place to Visit and Things to do in Srinagar-Mughal GardensImage Source

    1. Wular Lake: Wular Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in India which is spread across an area of around 200 square kilometers. It is located in the Bandipora district in Srinagar. Wular Lake was formed by tectonic activity. This makes it an interesting lake which makes the area covered by the lake varies throughout the year. Wular lake is also a very famous picnic and sunset among locals and tourists both. Wular Lake gets its water from the mighty Jhelum river and is one of the 26 wetlands of India. Being around the lake and walking around it will make you feel calm and peaceful. Fierce blowing winds are blowing sometimes that sometimes blow heavy currents all through its way. There is also a tiny island located in the center of Wular Lake known as ‘Zaina Lank’.
      Place to Visit in Srinagar-Wular LakeImage Source
  3. Shikara Ride: Shikara Ride is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city. Everyone who comes to Srinagar has a dream of getting their photo clicked on sitting on a shikara on the Dal lake. You must not miss this activity when you are in the city as this ride with the backdrop of the majestic slow clad mountains is once in a lifetime experience in itself. The hoy and fun of this Shikara ride will surely be both enjoyable and unparallel.
    Best Place to Visit in Srinagar-Shikara RideImage Source
  4. Baramulla: Baramulla is a famous tourist destination located close to Srinagar and it is a beautiful place to be and spend your day with your loved ones. Baramulla is enveloped by the Himalayas on all sides and resting on the banks of the River Jhelum, this city has been endowed with a quietly scenic landscape. Do not visit this place when you are in Srinagar.
    Amazing Place to Visit in Srinagar-BaramullaImage Source
  5. Hazratbal Shrine: The Hazratbal Shrine is the holiest Muslim shrine and mosque in Kashmir. It houses a relic known as Moi-e-Muqqadas which is considered to be the sacred hair of Prophet Muhammad’s beard. This particular hair is shown to the general public on some special occasions. The shrine takes its name from the Kashmiri language, where Hazrat means ‘holy’, and the word bal stands for ‘place’. The place is known by multiple names like Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani, and Dargah Shari. The Hazratbal Shrine has beautiful and fascinating made of white marble and is the only domed mosque in Srinagar. It is situated on the banks of Dal Lake and should not be missed.
    Popular Place to Visit in Srinagar-Hazratbal ShrineImage Source
  6. Yusmarg: Yusmarg is a famous tourist spot in Jammu and Kashmir. It is located 47km from Srinagar and is one of the most beautiful places in the entire state. It is also a good spot for trekking and hiking. It is currently not a very famous place in the area since the connectivity to this place is not very good. However, if you are an adventure junkie and enjoy trekking, you can enjoy walking to this place. The place has recently been connected to a motorable road as well. Yusmarg has forests with maple trees which add to the beauty of this place. This place feels like heaven on earth and is worth to be visited.
    Sight-seeing Place to Visit in Srinagar-YusmargImage Source
  7. Badamwari Garden: In addition to the Mughal Gardens, this is also a very famous garden in Srinagar. This garden was believed to be built during the 14th century. You can see the ancient structure in the garden which gives you an idea about the seasons it has survived and thrived. Badamwari Garden is a slice of heaven tucked away in Srinagar. The Garden is sprawling over the hills of Koh-e-Maran, the enchanting garden is replete with vibrantly blooming bushes and shrubbery. It has a magnificent dome at the center and has trails carved for tourists to walk on. This is a nice destination to enjoy long walks with your friends and family.
    Beautiful Place to Visit in Srinagar-Badamwari GardenImage Source
  8. Burzhama Ruins: Burzhama Ruins is situated in Burzahom in Srinagar. It is located at a distance of around 11 km from the main Srinagar city. It is an archaeological excavation site where numerous relics and remnants have been discovered suggesting the existence of an ancient settlement some ages back. So far many things have been identified that include the skeletons, pottery, dwelling pits, mud-brick houses, and bone and stone tools. If you are a bit of a historian, you can enjoy the best time here.
  9. Call Point: Challi Point is a very famous destination, and you will find both locals and tourists enjoying here with a beautiful backdrop of Dal lake. There are many small stalls located in the area selling seekh kababs and corn that you can gobble upon in the most beautiful scenery and spend a pleasurable and relaxing evening.

Best Time to Visit Srinagar

With a cool and chilly climate almost all-round the year Srinagar is visited by tourists at all times of the year. While summer is the best time to visit the town. April to October are the best months to visit as during the summer when the snow starts to melt, you will start seeing the greenery and flowers all around which makes the place look like heaven. The weather is pleasant in summers and is considered the ideal time to spend in the beautiful valley. Srinagar is also a very famous honeymoon destination in India.

Winters in Srinagar are freezing summers are brazenly hot. Srinagar is best visited during the Autumn months from September to November however, monsoons are also a great time that transforms this beautiful place into a magnificent landscape. Every season presents a different landscape in the valley. All seasons are worth spending your time at in this beautiful valley and not to be missed.

Winters start in October and last up to February. However, October and November are not very cold months. It is in December that the temperature drops sparingly low and you start seeing the snow. At the end of February or at the beginning of March the snow starts melting. It depends on you when you want to get away from the hustle-bustle of the city and want to stay and rejuvenate your cluttered mind in this heaven on earth.

How to Reach Srinagar?

Srinagar is well connected to the plains and all the nearby major cities. There are several means of transport available to travel to Srinagar. You can choose from air travel, trains, buses, or taxis to reach this heavenly town in this beautiful valley.

  • Air travel to Srinagar: The Nearest railway station is Srinagar International airport which is connected to most of the major cities in India. The local airlines and carriers like Air India, Jet Airways, Indigo, Spice Jet, and others have direct flights from Delhi. You can take connecting flights from other local airports in India. You can hire a taxi from the airport to go to your destination in Srinagar or the nearby cities if you are planning to go anywhere else. You can easily find good accommodation to stay in Srinagar near the airport or the city for all budgets.
  • Rail travel to Srinagar: The Nearest railway station is Srinagar is the very famous Jammu Tawi. There is a train specially named after the station. The railhead is connected to most of the major cities in India. Despite being the nearest railway station from Srinagar, it is still around 290 km from Srinagar, and you need to hire a taxi or take a pool taxi running from here to reach Srinagar. Jammu Tawi or Udhampur railway station is directly connected to prime cities of the country, including Delhi, Bhatinda, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, and Jodhpur via several superfast, express, and mail trains. You can take a taxi or take a shared cab from outside the railway station to reach Srinagar.
  • Road travel to Srinagar: This is the best way to reach Srinagar as you will be able to enjoy the views on your way to the city while traveling by road. This might take a longer time than by air or train, but it is worth it. Srinagar is connected by a network of roads to Chandigarh, Gulmarg, Jammu, Sonamarg, Delhi, and Pahalgam. Bus service is also available from all the nearby major cities in the north that connect to Srinagar. You can also choose to hire a taxi if you want to travel at your own pace to this magnificent place.

Places to Stay in Srinagar

There are several places to stay in Srinagar for every budget. There are both luxurious and budget hotels you can choose based on your pocket size. Srinagar has some of the best hotels and resorts in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Best resorts in Srinagar are located amidst the scented forests of maple and apple orchards or the ones offering a view of the scenic and serene Dal Lake which increases the beauty and sophistication of the place. Vising Srinagar is the best way to unwind and relax in the lap of nature away from the city crowds. There are many warm and cozy places to stay in Srinagar for all budgets. There are luxurious 5-star hotels, mid-range hotels, homestays, bed and breakfast, and other budget hotels in Srinagar and nearby places. Make sure you book your accommodation before visiting the place as the possibility of finding a good or any accommodation gets difficult during the peak season if you just drop by. You can also find many homestays which are quite famous among families as well as young people and adventure seekers as you can have the entire area to yourself and enjoy there as per your comfort. And if you are staying with a landlord at your homestay, you get to enjoy the local and homecooked state food in addition to getting to know the local folk stories and hidden spots for you to see. Some of the famous places in the area are Fortune Resort Heaven Srinagar, The Orchard Retreat and Spa, Luxury Boathouse (If you want to enjoy living on a boat), Mountain view cottages, etc.

Things to Eat in Srinagar

Get ready to eat the best cuisine and the best dishes you could ask for. Visiting Srinagar is a physical and mental excursion, and it is also a gastronomic adventure. This place has many restaurants you can eat to satisfy your senses and the foodie in you. The most commonly served and preferred food in Srinagar in Kashmiri cuisine. However, you can enjoy other cuisines at some of the restaurants in Palampur. There are many restaurants, luxury properties serving local to multicuisine food for you to relish. Make sure you visit these places and enjoy your time eating the best food while you are here and discover more cafes and restaurants to enjoy good food and time.

The cuisine of Srinagar is greatly influenced by Mughals. The authentic Mughal dishes tempered and spiked with spices like fennel, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are quite common here. If you are a vegetarian, the cuisine does have a few unique varieties to try. However, meat and fish are the main ingredients in any signature dish, and you can enjoy them at many restaurants. The most famous dishes in the area are Rogan Josh, Modar Pulao, Matschgand, Shab Daig, Haakh, Yakhni, Nader ki Gaad, Kashmiri Nann are among the few. Get ready for your senses to be activated in all possible ways when in Srinagar.

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