Srinagar is a city located in the northern Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is the largest city in Jammu and Kashmir and is situated in the Kashmir Valley, at an elevation of approximately 1,585 meters above sea level. Srinagar is known for its natural beauty, including the famous Dal Lake, which is surrounded by houseboats and floating markets. It is also home to several historic and religious sites, such as the Jama Masjid mosque and the Shankaracharya Temple. The city has a rich cultural heritage and is famous for its traditional crafts, including carpet weaving, embroidery, and papier-mache. Srinagar is a popular tourist destination and attracts visitors from all over the world.
How to reach
Srinagar can be reached by air, road, and rail. Here are the various options to reach Srinagar:
- By Air: Srinagar has its own airport, the Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport, which is located approximately 14 km from the city center. The airport is well-connected to major cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai, among others. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a pre-paid taxi to reach the city center.
- By Road: Srinagar is well-connected to several cities in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as other parts of North India, by road. The city is located on National Highway 1A, which connects it to Jammu and other major cities in the region. You can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Srinagar from these cities.
- By Train: The nearest railway station to Srinagar is the Jammu Tawi railway station, which is located approximately 290 km away. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Srinagar.
It’s important to note that due to the ongoing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, it’s advisable to check the latest travel advisories and seek expert advice before planning a trip to Srinagar or other parts of the region.
Attraction Around Srinagar
Dal Lake is a major attraction for tourists. It gives an insight into the unique form of life that sustains it. One can find doctors, tailors, florists, and vegetable sellers in tiny wood shops on the lake. The houseboats and Shikaras are available on hire.
Divided from the Dal Lake only by a causeway, the Nagin Lake is yet another attraction of the place. One can walk or cycle down the causeway to enjoy the beauty of the lake.
The Mughal emperors created some of the most beautiful gardens namely the Chashmashahi, Nishat, and Shalimar Gardens. These gardens are the priceless treasures of the region and are known all across the globe. To enter the Chashmashahi Gardens, you need a permit (for free) that can be had at the TRC office.
The Hazratbal Mosque houses a hair from the beard of Prophet Muhammad. It stands on the banks of the Dal Lake and is a high-security area. The sacred hair is on display a few times a year. Built-in white marble, the mosque is one of its kind in the area.
Devoted to Lord Shiva, the Sankaracharya Temple is perched on the highest part of the city. It’s a stiff climb up a steep hill. The history of the site dates back to 2,500 BC. The area is always bristling with security.
What are the adventures in store?
Kashmir has a number of lakes like the Dal, the Nagin, the Manual, and the Wular. There are good options for canoeing and water skiing. Water trekking, as it is locally called, is an interesting sport in the region. One can take a three to four-day trip along the river Jhelum to various lakes in a Shikara. Lovely spots can be found for camping at night. Water skiing is yet another fabulous option. Dal Lake makes an interesting site for canoeing and kayaking.
Where to Stay
Srinagar offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors, ranging from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. Here are some of the popular areas to stay in Srinagar and their respective accommodation options:
- Dal Lake: The Dal Lake is a popular area to stay in Srinagar, as it offers beautiful views of the lake and is in close proximity to many of the city’s top attractions. There are several houseboats and floating hotels on the lake, as well as hotels and guesthouses on the banks of the lake.
- Nishat Bagh: Nishat Bagh is a peaceful area located on the banks of the Dal Lake, and it offers a great opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. There are several hotels and guesthouses in this area, which offer beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.
- Lal Chowk: Lal Chowk is the city center of Srinagar and is a popular area to stay in if you want to be close to the markets and restaurants. There are several budget and mid-range hotels in this area, as well as some luxury hotels.
- Pahalgam: Pahalgam is a picturesque town located approximately 95 km from Srinagar, and it offers a great opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains and valleys. There are several hotels and guesthouses in this area, ranging from budget to luxury.
- Gulmarg: Gulmarg is a popular ski resort located approximately 52 km from Srinagar, and it offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and ski resorts.
When choosing accommodation in Srinagar, it’s important to consider factors such as location, budget, and amenities. It’s also advisable to check the latest travel advisories and seek expert advice before planning a trip to Srinagar or other parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
What is the best time?
If you are planning a trip during the summer season, then you should pay a visit between the months of June and November. However, during winter you can visit between December and February.
Things to do
Srinagar is a beautiful city that offers a variety of experiences and activities for visitors. Here are some of the top things to do in Srinagar:
- Visit the Dal Lake: The Dal Lake is one of the most iconic attractions of Srinagar, and it is a must-visit for anyone traveling to the city. You can take a Shikara ride on the lake, explore the floating markets, and visit the Mughal Gardens located on the banks of the lake.
- Explore the Old City: The old city of Srinagar is home to several historic and religious sites, such as the Jama Masjid mosque and the Shankaracharya Temple. You can take a walk through the narrow streets of the old city to explore its unique architecture and culture.
- Try local cuisine: Srinagar is famous for its delicious local cuisine, such as Rogan Josh, Dum Aloo, and Wazwan. You can try these dishes at local restaurants and street food stalls.
- Shop for traditional handicrafts: Srinagar is known for its traditional crafts, such as carpet weaving, embroidery, and papier-mache. You can shop for these handicrafts at local markets such as Lal Chowk and Badshah Chowk.
- Visit the Mughal Gardens: Srinagar is home to several beautiful Mughal Gardens, such as Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashme Shahi. These gardens are perfect for a relaxing stroll and offer beautiful views of the city.
- Trek to the Himalayas: Srinagar is located in the Himalayan region, and there are several trekking routes that offer breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. You can go on a trek to places such as Sonmarg, Pahalgam, and Gulmarg.
- Attend a cultural festival: Srinagar hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year, such as the Kashmir Valley Festival and the Shikara Festival. These festivals offer a great opportunity to experience the local culture and traditions.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Srinagar. The city offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, and culture, making it a perfect destination for travelers looking for an authentic and enriching experience.