Srinagar, fondly referred as the ‘Paradise on Earth’ is a popular holiday destination in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, in India. The beautiful city of Srinagar is located on the banks of Jhelum River, amidst the mesmerising Kashmir valley. The place is famous all over the world for its gorgeous houseboats, spectacular landscape and traditional handicrafts. Srinagar attracts both national and foreign tourists and is place that is worth visiting over and over again.
Location : State/District
Srinagar is the capital city of the Jammu and Kashmir, present in India. The latitude of the place is 34.0900⁰ N whereas the longitude of Srinagar is 74.7900⁰ E.
Srinagar is a famous hill station of the Northern India. The place is also an adventure destination and offers the best of snow sports to the visitors.
Family Holiday Destination
Srinagar is a perfect holiday destination when travelling with family or friends. Exploring the beauty of this place with your loved ones will give you an unforgettable experience. Honeymooners also love travelling to Srinagar, especially during the winter months. During this time spotting love birds in this place is a common sight.
Srinagar is an all-season destination as the climate here remains enjoyable all throughout the year. Summer season starts from April and continues till September. The temperature remains optimum and the climate is pleasant. The autumn season from July to October is enjoyed the most in Srinagar. During this time, the place becomes a visual delight for travellers. The winter months from November to February are quite cold in Srinagar. The best time to plan a trip to Srinagar is from the months of April – October. The Kashmir valley remains covered with blossom and the sight is very admirable.
Indian citizens can visit Srinagar at their free will. There are some rules applicable for foreign tourists. Firstly they must have the visa permission for visiting the place and they must fulfil all the requirements as mentioned in the travel documents. Moreover their passport must also remain valid for up to six months from the date of arrival.
Places to Visit
Srinagar is dotted with myriad sightseeing places, each of which is worthwhile in its own way.
Dal Lake is a very popular tourist spot in Srinagar. The place is known for its beautiful Shikaras and houseboats. Dal Lake is a favourite spot for enjoying water activities like swimming, kayaking, water surfing, canoeing and fishing. Shikara and houseboat riding is an enjoyable activity for travellers all year round. During the winter months when the temperature falls below 0⁰ C, the water in the lake freezes.
Nagin Lake is situated right behind the Dal Lake and is also called as the ‘Jewel in the Ring’. There is a tapered causeway that separates these two enchanting lakes. Activities like boating and water skiing are available at the Nagin Lake.
Hazratbal Mosque is an important pilgrim site for Muslims. The mosque is situated on the banks of Dal Lake and also called as Asar-e-Sharif, Dargah Sharif or Madinat-us-Sani. The Hazratbal mosque is built out of white marble and the architecture is the reflection of Mughal and Kashmiri styles. It is believed that the shrine in this mosque contains the sacred relics of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
Jama Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in Srinagar and is a perfect example of Islamic architecture. This mosque was built in the year 1674 and has been destroyed and reinstated several times. The Jama Masjid mosque is also called as Friday Mosque.
Shankaracharya Temple is a prominent religious destination for Hindus. The temple is located atop the Shankaracharya hill and was constructed around 200 BC by King Jaluka, son of King Ashoka. On reaching this temple you get to enjoy the panoramic view of the snow covered Pir Panjal mountain ranges.
Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden is situated at the base of Zabarwan Mountains, beside Dal Lake. The garden is well-known for its yearly Tulip Festival, spread over a period of 7 days. The garden is huge and has an incredible 70 varieties of Tulip flower. Some of the other gardens worth visiting and located in close proximity are the Achabal Bagh, Nishat Garden, Pari Mahal and Shalimar Garden.
Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary is a must visit place for nature and animal lovers. The sanctuary is home to rare brown and black bears and Hangul. Moreover the place also boasts of a wide selection of flora and fauna. You need to take a special permit to visit the Dachigam Wildlife Sanctuary.
Srinagar is world renowned for its local handicrafts and dried fruits. Visit the local markets to get some of the best handicrafts of the place and you can also buy embroidered Kashmiri shawls, carpets and rugs.
Gulmarg is a stunning mountain resort that is also referred as the ‘meadow of flowers’. The place is bestowed with picturesque landscapes, dazzling surroundings, enchanting lakes and colourful flowers. During the winter season, Gulmarg becomes the favourite skiing places in India.
Sonamarg is another popular destination located at close distance from Srinagar. The pristine town of Sonamarg is surrounded with breathtaking glaciers, mesmerising lakes and meadows filled with flower in the Kashmir Valley.
Pahalgam is a favourite destination for tourists in Srinagar. This is also a site that kick starts the holy Amarnath Yatra. The picturesque hill station of Pahalgam offers the majestic view of the Himalayan ranges. The place is also ideal for adventure activities.
Food & Accommodation
Visiting the restaurant in Srinagar is a delightful experience for your taste buds. The traditional Kashmiri delicacies like kahwa and wazwan are a must try and easily available in the several restaurants across Srinagar. Some of the famous eateries of the place include Mughal Darbaar, Shamyana Restaurant, Ahdoos, Cafe Robusta, Hat Trick Restaurant, Lhasa Restaurants, Stream and Shakti Sweets. Besides, the little shacks and dhabas offer mouth-watering foods at the best prices.
Srinagar has the best of accommodation options in each budget category for its travellers. The best thing about the hotels in Srinagar is the hospitality of the Kashmiri people that is unmatchable. Some of the luxurious properties of the place are The Lalit Grand Palace, Ajanta Palace Houseboat, Clermont Houseboat and Batra Hotel. For the budget conscious travellers there is a range of 3-star and 2-star hotels namely Ahdoos Hotel, Ahmed Homestay, Castle 21 Resort, The Capital Inn, Asif House Boat and Al Azrah Homestay. These hotels have room ranging from INR 1000 to 3500 per night.
Safety and Security
Before planning a holiday to Srinagar you must be aware of the political scenario of the place. Being informed is advisable. The state government ensures full safety of the tourists.