Srinagar is the place where romance is personified. Lying in the heart of the Kashmir Valley, Srinagar's landscape is infused with lakes, greenery and hillocks. Sprawled along the banks of the Jhelum river, Srinagar is known for its enveloping natural beauty and various tourist spots. The two parts of the city are linked by nine bridges. The Hari Parbat and the Shankar Acharya hill also position on either side of the city. Colourful houseboats moving through the Dal Lake and the snow-covered Himalayas make it look spectacular. Abounding is natural beauty, Srinagar fascinates travellers from all across the globe. The attractions of Srinagar are countless including placid Dal Lake with houseboats, well-manicured Mughal gardens and a noticeable richness of home-grown handicrafts.
The modern city of Srinagar was established upon the ruins of the capital cities of various kings, encompassing Pravarasen, Jayapida, Lalitaditya and Avantivarman. It served as the seat of government of the Dogras when Maharaja Gulab Singh reigned over Jammu & Kashmir. Over the years, the city saw upheavals and remained the hotbed of political activity.
Major Tourist Attractions in Srinagar
This gorgeous garden was built by Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1619 for his wife Nurjahan. With its terraces, fountains, gardens and fresh mountain air, it has become one of the most visited travel places in the world. Tourists can reach here by taking a Shikara ride from Dal Lake. The three terraces are named as, Diwan-e-Aam, Diwan-e-Khas and the Abode of Love.
It is the most preferred site for honeymooners. Reason being, the Victorian-style wooden houseboats and shikaras that take you on a tour through the waters. The lake includes lotus and water lilies, which add more charm to the site. Along the shoreline is the thoroughfare, dotted with shops, gardens and hotels.
Situated on the banks of Jhelum, it is a typical Mughal style construction, made of limestone. The mosque is not in use but tourists can enjoy a stroll through its gardens.
The garden means the 'Garden of Joy' that lies on the eastern side of the Dal Lake. It was laid out in 1633 and is among the largest gardens of the Mugal Gardens. With its rare species of flowering plants and boulevards of chinar and cypress trees, it attracts tourists from far and wide. Lying on the banks of Dal Lake in the backdrop of the stunning Zabarwan hills, it looks spectacular with flower beds, fountains and lawns.
Lying on the Shankaracharya Hill, the temple is an ancient shrine in Srinagar. It positions itself at a height of about 1100 feet on the south-east of the city, offering spectacular views of the valley and mountains. Legends say that the saint Shankaracharya spent some time of his life at this site during his visit to Kashmir to revive Sanatan Dharma.
Built in the Mughal period, it is a marvel situated around 13 km from the hill town. Exhibiting the craftsmanship of the Mughal style of architecture, the site is a blend of three famous gardens. These include Shalimar Gardens, Nishat Bagh and Chashm-e-shahi. With colourful flower beds, manicured gardens, cascading fountains and terraced lawns, the gardens charm visitors.
Counted among the oldest mosques in Srinagar, Jama Masjid is known to be a monument of Islamic architecture. Built in 1674, it houses 370 pillars, prayer halls and four spires tower. Two wide paths in the premise portray the ancient Mughal architectural style.
Other Places to See
Sri Pratap Singh Museum, Wular Lake, Khanqah-e-Molla, Hazratbal Shrine and Pari Mahal are the other famous attractions of the place.
Best Time to Visit
In August and from March to November.
Typical Kashmiri cuisine can be easily found in the city. Tourists can try Mughal Darbar, Juniper, Rubi and other authentic Kashmiri dishes.
Hand-woven silk fabric, shawls, carpets and artifacts are the popular shopping items in Srinagar. Tourists can also go for metal wares, silverware, baskets and carved jewellery boxes.
Besides houseboats, there are a number of accommodation options. These vary from luxury to budget hotels, lodges and guest houses.
How to Reach
Sheikh ul Alam airport is an international airport that serves for flights to and from all major locations.
The region is well-connected with all the nearby cities. An excellent network of roads makes it easy to reach Srinagar.