They say if there is heaven on Earth, it is in Kashmir, and they are right. The valley, set amidst the mighty Himalayan mountains, holds the most stunning sights for visitors. Srinagar, being its capital and most important city through the ages, features a number of historical and architectural landmarks, besides places of natural beauty. However, there are a number of places to visit near Srinagar that visitors should see in addition to visiting this capital city.
The 10 Best Places To Visit Near Srinagar
Here is a list of the best Srinagar India points of interest that should top everyone’s list:
- Betab Valley – Amidst The Surreal Beauty
- Yousmarg – Away From The Hustle-Bustle
- Kokernag – Local Gem
- Sinthan Top – Surrounded By Snow-Covered Mountains
- Dachigam National Park – Home To Ten Villages
- Manasbal Lake – Witness The Surreal Beauty
- Sonamarg – Home To Beautiful Valleys
- Doodhpathri – Green Meadows And Deodar Trees
- Fotu La – Desolated Mountain Pass
- Gulmarg – Land Of Winter Sports
1. Betab Valley – Amidst The Surreal Beauty
Do not let the name fool you, this valley may well be the sea of tranquility. It is located on the road to Amarnath from Pahalgam. The lush green meadows and the crystal clear waters of the Lidder river evoke a sense of poetry. You can very well appreciate then why the poets and writers keep harping on Kashmir. The place gets its name from the Sunny Deol movie which was shot there, which is a real shame because the valley clearly outmatches what the movie offered its viewers. It truly deserves to be on top of the list of places to visit near Srinagar.
Distance from Srinagar: 98 km
Time taken: 3 hours
2. Yousmarg – Away From The Hustle-Bustle
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city lies the relatively obscure hill station of Yousmarg. The green meadows are a sight to behold. If you go a further 14 km, you will get to the Sang-e-Safed valley, a lake that is frozen even during summers. You can stay overnight at some of the JKTDC huts at Yousmarg. Because of its location, Yousmarg is also one of the best places to visit near the Srinagar airport.
Distance from Srinagar: 50 km
Time taken: 2 hours
Suggested Read: Here’s Why Kashmir Is Called Heaven On Earth
3. Kokernag – Local Gem
This Kashmir town is right in the heart of the beautiful Breng Valley. The serenity of the scenic Breng is at its height here, and the Botanical Gardens are popular with tourists and locals alike. Against the backdrop of the blue mountains, the small blue streams and the green meadows are picturesque. While the gardens look like they are out of a movie, it is also equally popular for trout breeding which is a novelty here.
Distance from Srinagar: 90 km
Time taken: 4-5 hours
4. Sinthan Top – Surrounded By Snow-Covered Mountains
This pass is further on NH 244, going from Srinagar to Kokernag, and is fast becoming a magnet for tourists coming to the valley. The pass separates the Kashmir valley from the Jammu region, and sports a “360 degrees point” from where you can spot Kashmir on one side and Jammu on the other. Also, there is always snow at the top (its elevation is about 12,300 feet).
Distance from Srinagar: 132 km
Time taken: 5 hours
5. Dachigam National Park – Home To Ten Villages
Literally meaning ten villages (for the ten villages that were relocated to make way for the park), it has been under protection for over a hundred years now. The Alpine pastures, conifers, meadows, and waterfalls are inhabited by the endangered Himalayan brown and black bears. You hope you don’t run into one but you do hope you see the very last of the Kashmiri stag that live here. Deep into the park is the Marsar Lake, and Dachigam is a stop for many trekkers hoping to get to this lonely lake in the mountains. It is also popular with tourists looking for sightseeing near Srinagar.
Distance from Srinagar: 23 km
Time taken: 1 hour
Suggested Read: Shopping In Srinagar: A Guide On What And Where To Buy
6. Manasbal Lake – Witness The Surreal Beauty
This lake inspired Nur Jahan to build a garden around it, and there aren’t many sights in the valley that match the beauty of the groves of lotus growing in the lake. The stems of the lotus are harvested and used to make the Kashmiri nadru, which you should try. The lake has found favor traditionally with Kashmir birds that live in and around water, and the site is popular with bird watchers. The ruins of the 17th century Mughal fort and the terraced garden, called the Daroga Bagh, can be found along the northern shore. Manasbal is one of the best places to see near Srinagar.
Distance from Srinagar: 27 km
Time taken: 1 hour
7. Sonamarg – Home To Beautiful Valleys
Another hill station and one of the best places to visit near Srinagar, Kashmir, Sonamarg is at 9,200 feet above sea level and stands out for the imposing mountains that mark its skyline – the Sirbal, Kolhoi, Machoi, and Amarnath peaks are all above 5000 metres. The overwhelming geography of the place will thrill nature lovers, and you will find yourself constantly gaping at the amazing mountains. From Sonamarg, you can easily reach Baltal, a beautiful valley at the foothills of the Zojila pass.
Distance from Srinagar: 80 km
Time taken: 2.5 hours
Suggested Read: 10 Best Places To Visit In Srinagar And Their Key Attractions
8. Doodhpathri – Green Meadows And Deodar Trees
One of the more spectacular places to visit near Srinagar, Doodhpathri is a small hill station at an elevation of 9,000 feet above sea level. Getting its name from the milky water of its many streams, Doodhpathri is an incredible expanse of green meadows against the backdrop of snow clad peaks. Pine and deodar cover the hills, and during summers, the valley is filled with flowers such as butter cups and forget-me-nots.
Distance from Srinagar: 42 km
Time taken: 2.5 hours
9. Fotu La – Desolated Mountain Pass
A desolate mountain pass between the valley of Kashmir and Ladakh, the Fotu La is even higher than the Zoji La. The highest point on the mountainous highway, the Fotu La is one of the two passes that connect Kashmir and Kargil. The point is worth a visit in itself as the forbidden beauty of the naked hills and the snowy mountains against the blue skies welcome you to Ladakh.
Distance from Srinagar: 300 km
Time taken: 8 hours
10. Gulmarg – Land Of Winter Sports
This is a popular getaway from Srinagar and one of the coldest places to visit near Srinagar, and is noted for its extensive ski sports. In fact, it has figured in several best of Asia rankings for winter sports. The British era St Mary’s Church is something that you must see here. Also, the French built gondola is one of the highest in the world, and can ferry about 600 hours in one hour. Another relic of the British fascination at this place is the Gulmarg Golf Course, which holds the distinction of being the highest green course in the world.
Places to Stay:
- Hotel Affrawat
- The Vintage Gulmarg
- Shaw Inn by Stay Pattern
- Hotel Highlands Park
- The Rosewood
Things To Do:
- Kungdoor: Take A Gondola Ride
- Alpather Lake: Bask In The Beauty
- Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve: Witness Wildlife
- Delicacies: Try The Local Cuisine
Distance from Srinagar: 51 km
Time taken: 2 hours
Although it is best to visit the valley and these places around Srinagar in the summers, it is also possible (and a wholly different experience) to do it in winters too. To explore this heaven on Earth the right way, while you’re on a trip to Kashmir.
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit Near Srinagar
A. Tulip Garden, Dal Lake, Shalimar Garden, Chashma Shai, Floating Vegetable and Pari Mahal are the top tourist attractions in Srinagar. The heart of Kashmir valley, Srinagar is also known for its scenic gardens, regional handicrafts and beautiful lakes which attracts tourists.
A. Shopping in Srinagar is one of the exciting activities to engage in. Some of the famous items you can pick are Pashminas, Kashmiri Tea, Carpets, Walnut wood products and spices. For buying these stuffs you can visit Zaina Kadal Road, Laal Chowk, Badshah Chowk and Floating vegetable market.
A. Betab Valley is situated 98km from Srinagar. It approximately takes 3 hours to reach the place.
A. Some of the most beautiful places in Kashmir are Srinagar, Leh, Sonamarg, Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley.
A. Sonamarg can be visited at any time during the year. However, the best time to visit is from April to October. This beautiful place is surrounded all over by glaciers and lakes.
A. Woollen clothes is a must as the weather in Gulmarg is extremely cold. Make sure to wear gloves, boots and overcoats to protect yourself from the below zero temperature which almost remains most time of the year.
A. During spring from the month of March to early-May is the best month to visit Kashmir. However, for perfect weather and flowers, fruits blossom beautifully from March to October.
A. It is absolutely safe to visit Gulmarg. It remains crowded with tourists all year round from all across India.
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