Also known as the Venice of the East, the city of Srinagar is a big fascination among the tourists who like spending quality time in the midst of beautiful mountains and mesmerizing landscapes. The summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, this city enthralls its visitors with a plethora of scenic places. Apart from the incomparable beauty, Srinagar also boasts of a history worth exploring. The Pari Mahal and Sri Pratap Singh Museum are two places that history buffs will truly enjoy. The Dal Lake, houseboats, Mughal Gardens, Nagin Lake and Shikara Ride are sure to enchant a spell on the nature lovers. The pilgrims also enjoy a great deal of their time visiting temple and mosques that are situated here.
Places To seeThe Mughal Gardens
Three Mughal Gardens decorate the banks of Dal Lake: Chesmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar. Complete with cascading fountains, terraced lawns, and flower beds resplendent in a riot of colors, these gardens bring alive the Mughal emperors’ concept of paradise. The gardens command a magnificent view of the Dal Lake, Zabarwan Mountains and the snow-capped Pir Panjal mountain range. Tip
: You can also visit the nearby botanical garden where the famous Tulip Festival is held. There is a nominal entry fee for the gardens. Hazratbal Mosque
Crafted in white marble, the mosque is breathtakingly beautiful. Considered to be the holiest Muslim shrine in Kashmir, it is said to contain a relic, the Moi-e-Muqqadas, or a hair of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The mosque is located near the picturesque Dal Lake. Dal Lake
One of the most famous tourist attractions of Kashmir, the lake is synonymous with the city of Srinagar. In fact, most visitors prefer to stay in the houseboats on the lake. The Dal Lake is also very popular with couples and honeymooners who come here to enjoy a shikara ride. The Mughal Gardens and Hazratbal Mosque located on its bank add to the lake’s magical quality. Old City
The old city evokes a nostalgic charm with its distinctive wooden buildings. There are several mosques that add a sense of serenity to the area, including the Jama Masjid that was originally built in 1394. You can also see the Shah Hamdan Mosque adorned with intricate and colorful Kashmiri art work, and set on the banks of the Jhelum River. Tip
: You can round of your day of sightseeing with a cruise on the Jhelum River. Roza Bal Tomb
There are some who believe that Jesus Christ survived crucifixion and made his way to Kashmir, and the Roza Bal tomb is said to be his final resting place. Tip
: If you are visiting the tomb, note that photography and videography are not permitted here. Nehru Garden
Located off Dal Gate, just before Chasmashahi Garden, Nehru Park is another well-maintained beautiful garden. There is a beverage shop run by the state department that serves ‘Kahva’ the traditional tea of Kashmir.
Things To DoShankaracharya Mandir
The temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, enjoys a scenic location on top of a hill. You are not allowed to take cameras or cellphones to the temple complex and have to deposit with the police personnel before making your way up to hill. Tip
: There are some steep steps you need to climb to reach the temple. Sonamarg
Sonamarg, or the meadow of gold, is nestled against the backdrop of snow clad mountains. It is named the meadow of gold because in the spring season the valley comes alive with flowers with a golden hue. Like Gulmarg, Sonamarg also attracts the adventure enthusiasts. There are several outdoor activities to enjoy including trekking and hiking. There are several lakes and passes found in this area. Sonamarg is also the base camp for those heading to Amarnath. Gulmarg
Gulmarg is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and is a must visit on the itineraries of those who visit Kashmir. Surrounded by dense forests, it forms the base for a number of adventurous activities in both summers and winters. There is also a golf course and a ski resort with the world's highest gondola. Gulmarg is a magnet for the ski enthusiasts who like to have fun skiing from a height of 4050 m. From here you can also see the line of control between India and Pakistan. Parihaspora
If you are travelling to Gulmarg, you can make a brief stop at Dewar and see the interesting ruins of buildings and monuments of Kashmir’s Buddhist and Hindu rulers. You will also be able to see some Buddhist places of worship. Paragliding
If you are an adventure enthusiast, you can try out paragliding in Kashmir. The take off is from Astanmarg close to the Harwan Gardens. From a height of 7400 feet, you can fly down to 5300 feet. You can also enjoy a tandem ride with two options: a 15 minute ride or an hour long cross country ride. Needless to say, views from the top are simply magnificent. Trekking
Srinagar is also a base for several trekking expeditions that take you through the forests and lakes in the Himalayas. The Great Lake trek is very popular and takes you to high altitude alpine lakes that have no other form of access. Some of the lakes you will see are: Nundkol Lake, Vishansar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Tarsar Lake, and Satsar Lake.