When we hear about Kashmir, our minds and souls instantly picture a serene valley surrounded by the Himalayan Ranges. Whether it’s a little river flowing through the meadows, meadows full of greenery, snow-capped mountain peaks, or a silent humungous lake that add to the beauty of Kashmir. Kashmir is truly known as the ‘Paradise on Earth’. And at the heart of Kashmir, the beautiful city of Srinagar lies. Let’s explore the best places to visit in Srinagar.
The mesmerizing valley of Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. A large part of Srinagar is covered by the great Dal Lake. Kashmir has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. And Srinagar is one the most sought place to visit in Kashmir.
Best time to visit Srinagar
Srinagar is a place that shows a different side of it in different seasons. And every season adds something else to please the eyes of travelers.
Summer Season(March-June ): From March to June is the best time to visit Srinagar. Flowers of different types bloom to the fullest. During this time the temperature remains very pleasant ranging from 15°C to 30°C.
The mesmerizing Tulip festival is also held during this time in the first week of April. If you are visiting Srinagar you would not be wanting to miss out on that experience.
By the end of May, the temperature during the daytime rises to 35°C. Though the weather remains cool during the night.
Monsoon Season(July- September): During monsoon, the weather remains pleasant as due to rain the summer heat cools down a bit. Temperature varies from 15°C to 30°C.
Though it does not rain as much as in other parts of India which makes it a good time to visit and enjoy local sightseeing. Though sporadic and intermittent rainfall can make your stay in Srinagar a little less enjoyable.
Winter Season( November- February): Winter in Kashmir is like a heavenly affair. During this time of the season, the temperature falls below 0°C and the Srinagar Valley experiences snowfall.
Tourists have mixed feelings about visiting Srinagar during Winter. Though the valley experiences fresh snowfall many tourist attractions in Srinagar become inaccessible.
In January and February Dal lake becomes frozen and Shikara rides are not possible then. Also, the beauty of the flower gardens in Srinagar become non-enjoyable.
Though winter is a great time to visit Gulmarg, and Sonmarg, and enjoy various types of winter sports along with fresh snowfall.
While every season has its beauty, the summer season is considered to be the peak season to visit Srinagar.
How to visit Srinagar
Nearest Airport- Nearest airport is Srinagar Airport(SXR), Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport. You can find flights from different parts of India to Srinagar Airport flying every day.
Most flights are from Delhi or connecting via Delhi. You can find your suitable flights accordingly. Flight fares are usually on the higher side so book a few months before your visit.
Nearest Railway Station- There are no direct trains to Srinagar. The nearest accessible railway station from other cities in India is Jammu Tawi Railway Station.
After you reach Jammu the mode of commute to reach Srinagar is either bus or taxi/cab. The distance between Srinagar from Jammu is 266 km and will take around 8-10 hours by road.
Travel time may increase in various places in Jammu and Kashmir as you may experience curfew or an army convoy passing by. This makes the option to travel by train less attractive.
By Road- Srinagar can be reached by bus or car from cities like Chandigarh, Delhi, and Amritsar. Travel time from Delhi to Srinagar by bus can take almost 24 hours which makes it difficult to travel by bus. From Jammu, it takes around 10 hours to reach Srinagar by bus without traffic jams or other difficulties.
Travel Tip: The best way to reach Srinagar is by air. You may feel it is not cost-effective. It’s true but the other mode of communication contains a lot of travel by road.
As Kashmir remains under a high-security zone and controlled by the Indian army, you may have to experience sudden halts or traffic jams due to curfew or passage of Army convoy with safety.
So reaching directly by air is the safest choice.
10 best places in Srinagar to visit
Srinagar city is the heartland of the Kashmir valley. Srinagar is known for its beauty, natural habitats around Dal Lake, and beautiful views of tall mountain ranges. The city of Srinagar is not only about beauty, it is full of the historical significance of the Mughal era.
1. Dal Lake
When we talk about the places to visit in Srinagar Dal lake would undoubtedly top the list of best places to visit. Dal lake is 7.6 km in length and spread across 21 sq km of area. The average depth of Dal lake is around 5 ft and the maximum depth is around 20 ft.
Dal lake is not just a place for tourist attractions but it is a part of the natural habitat of many Kashmiris. Dal lake gives them the opportunity for occupation, trade, tourism, and route of communication. Around the main Dal lake, there are other connected lakes. There are many houseboats on the banks of Dal lake. Tourists can stay and enjoy their stay on Dal lake.
Shikaras floating on the surface of Dal lake make it a majestic experience for tourists traveling to Srinagar. The silent mumbling of cutting water while floating through the lake is an experience to remember forever.
Over the years many Indian movies were shot on Dal lake. On the adjacent banks of Dal lake, the mesmerizing flower gardens of the Mughal era are situated.
By Shikara ride, you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset, floating vegetable market in the morning, Meena Bazar, floating flower gardens, and much more. So, if you are visiting Srinagar, a relaxing Shikara ride is a must-to-do thing.
2. Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden
Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden, previously known as Shiraj bagh is known for its unparalleled beauty of Tulip gardens. It is the largest tulip garden in Asia, spread across 30 hectares around the Mughal gardens in Srinagar.
Though it does not remain open throughout the year. The tulip garden opens in the last week of March for tourists and remains open for a month during April when almost 60 varieties of bloom are at their full potential.
During November around 15 lac, Tulips are planted which bloom during the spring season. The special tulip saplings are brought from Holland. And it is a sight to behold. It is the peak season to travel to Srinagar. And the tulip garden accounts for more than 2 lac of tourists every year.
3. Nishat Bagh
Nishat Bagh is the second largest of the Mughal gardens situated near the lining of Dal lake and has Zabarwan mountains on the back with a majestic view. Nishat Bagh means ‘Garden of Joy’. It was built by Asif Khan in 1633.
At the back of the garden, the Tulip garden is there. During the Tulip Festival, the backdrop of the Nishat Bagh looks mesmerizing.
Nishat Bagh is decorated with various flowers like roses and lilies. Through the middle of the garden water fountains are installed and a stream of water flows through the middle of the garden. The 12 terraces of Nishat Bagh are a pleasure to the eyes.
4. Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal is a seven-terraced garden on top of the Zawarban mountain range.
This beautiful garden was built by Dara Sikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan in th 1600s’. This Mughal garden is one of the most beautiful ones among all the ones in Srinagar.
From the top of the garden, you will get a beautiful view of Dal Lake and its nearby areas. There is an 18-pot royal golf course adjacent to the Pari Mahal.
The beautiful garden is decorated with beautiful flowering plants and almond blossom trees. During spring the almond blossoms add to its beauty.
This place has important significance in Mughal history. Earlier this place was used as an observatory from the hilltop.
This beautiful Mughal garden is certainly one of the best places to visit in Srinagar.
5. Chasme Shahi
Chasme Shahi or Chasma Shahi garden is one of the most unique Mughal gardens built across a continuous flow of spring water. It is situated at a 5 minutes drive from the Pari Mahal near the Raj Bhavan.
This beautiful garden was built according to Persian architecture. A natural source of spring water always flows through the middle of the garden and ends on a terrace.
The natural spring water is very clean and cold. You can even drink it. Around the source, a hut-like architecture was built.
On the backdrop of the garden, the Zabarwan mountain ranges stand tall. The garden with all the flowering trees looks beautiful.
Entry Fees: 24 Rs/adult, 12 Rs/Child
6. Shankaracharya Temple
Shankaracharya Temple is one of the notable places for Hindu pilgrims. On top of the Zabarwan hill ranges the temple of Lord Shiva is established. During the Amarnath yatra, many pilgrims pay a visit to this holy place.
To reach this place you would have to climb 243 steps. So, plan accordingly. Mobiles and cameras are not allowed inside the temple.
From the top of the hill, you can get a good view of Dal lake and the city of Srinagar.
7. Hazratbal Masjid
Hazratbal shrine is the holiest Dargah in Srinagar. It is situated on the left side of Dal lake.
It was built in the 1600s by Inayat Begum. In 1634 Mughal emperor Shah Jahan ordered to turn it into a prayer hall.
This is the only mosque in Srinagar which is dome-shaped. All other shrines in Srinagar are Pagoda-shaped. The outer marble structure was built later in
From Dargah, you can get a good view of Dal lake and Nigeen lake.
8. Shalimar Bagh
Shalimar Bagh is the largest of all Mughal gardens in Srinagar. It was built by Mughal emperor Jahangir in the year of 1619 for his wife Noor Jahan. This garden is a symbol of the art and love of the Mughal era.
Shalimar bag is connected to the Dal lake through a narrow channel. The garden is spread across 31 acres of land and is rectangular. The three terraced gardens are divided into three parts Dewan-e-aam, Dewan-e-Khas, and Zenana terrace.
The garden is surrounded by Chinar trees. There are a total of 410 fountains on the three terraces of the garden. The Persian style of architecture resembles other Mughal gardens.
9. Nigeen Lake
Nigeen Lake or Nageen Lake is a separate lake from Dal Lake. But it is often confused to be a part of Dal Lake. This lake is near the foothills of Hari Parbat and is spread in a shape of a snake.
This lake is deeper than Dal Lake. As it is less used by tourists this lake is cleaner than Dal lake where you can swim.
Shikaras and houseboats can be seen here as well. Many travelers choose to stay on a houseboat in Lake Nigeen as the place is silent and enjoyable.
10. Badamwari Park
Badamwari Park is a beautiful garden situated on the banks of Nigeen lake and at the foothills of Hari Parbat.
Badamwari Park is known for its early bloom almond flowers which attract tourists during the spring season for its beauty.
Many historians believe that the park was established during the 1400s. The beautiful garden is spread over 300 Kanals of land.
If you are a nature lover then it’s a go-to place for you in Srinagar.
There are many other beautiful places to visit but these are the ones best for local sightseeing in Srinagar. Depending on your travel schedule and time in hand enjoy yourself in the beautiful valley of Kashmir.