Things To Do In Srinagar

Srinagar is the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir and its largest city. Known for its gardens and lakes, Srinagar is a must-visit when you are traveling to Kashmir.

We visited Srinagar in the bleak dreary winter months. Spring was just about to start, so we really did miss out on all the greenery and liveliness in nature one can find during Spring and Summer. The leaves had already fallen and the barren trees, though lovely, did not photograph well. But even with this, I loved Srinagar for its Mughal Architecture and the silent beauty seen in its gardens and lakes. If you are visiting Srinagar, make sure your local sightseeing itinerary includes all of these activities.

Nearest Airport: Srinagar International Airport.

Travel within Srinagar: Uber and Ola do not operate in Kashmir, so you will need to hire a local taxi to get around in Srinagar. The cheapest option, however, is to flag an autorickshaw.

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Visit the Mughal Gardens

Srinagar is known for its many botanical gardens – Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, and Chashma Shahi being the most popular ones.

Built and loved by the Mughals themselves, these terraced gardens with water fountains, huge Chinar trees, and Mughal architecture, are the perfect place for a picnic or a leisurely walk.

Enjoy the serenity of Dal Lake

A visit to Srinagar is not complete without visiting the famous Dal Lake. You can take a leisurely ride on a Shikara, or stay in a houseboat; explore the floating markets where vendors sell a variety of wares ranging from fresh produce to handicrafts and clothing or just take a stroll along the shore of the lake. You will also get some stunning visuals around the lake, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Visit the Pari Mahal

Located near Chashma Shahi, Pari Mahal is one of my most favourite places I visited in Srinagar. Experience the beauty of Mughal architecture here and make sure you do not miss this in your Srinagar itinerary.
You will need to get down and go through security at the foot hills, so make sure you are not carrying a lot of luggage while visiting this place. 

Take a walk under the tall Chinar trees

Chinar trees are some of the tallest trees you will see around Kashmir. The leaves of the Chinar tree are the quintessential symbol of Kashmir – the one you will see on shawls, bags, and all kinds of embroidery. Much like the maple trees, these turn a beautiful hue of orange, yellow and reds during Autumn and are a must-see irrespective of the season (though they are the prettiest in Autumn).

Drink a cup of hot Kehwa

Kahwa – the traditional tea of Kashmir, is a green tea infused with a lot of warm spices. You will be served Kahwa everywhere in Kashmir: when you check in to a hotel, when you finish a meal, or when you visit a shop. This warm, cinnamon-y, honey-sweetened drink was our favourite drink to have in Kashmir along with a soft sheermal (a local flatbread). In fact, I loved it so much that I brought back two cans of this tea with me.

A cute cafe recommendation: Chai Jaai is a cosy little tearoom in Srinagar where you can relax and have a cup of Kahwa sweetened with gulkand along with a variety of Kashmiri cookies.

Take in the beauty of Srinagar from the Shankaracharya Temple 

This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is located on top of the Shankaracharya hill, overlooking Srinagar. It’s the oldest temple in Kashmir and is a must-visit just for the history associated with it. After you take in the blessings, be sure to get a breathtaking view of Srinagar from the top. Keep your walking shoes ready since you need to climb around 240 steps in order to reach the temple.

Walk amidst the tulips in the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden

The largest tulip garden in Asia, the Tulip Garden is a must-visit if you are visiting Kashmir in the spring when the Tulip festival is held (typically between March and May). 

Pictured: NOT Tulips. 

Visit the Hari Parbat Fort

This is a hill overlooking Srinagar containing a fort, a Hindu temple, mosques, and a gurudwara. This was pretty high on our list but due to time constraints and road closures, we couldn’t make it. We did catch a glimpse of the fort and the Indian Flag waving high from Dal Lake though.

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