Srinagar

Why To Go

Located in the beautiful state of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar is the summer capital of the state. It is situated in the heart of the Kashmir Valley while the serene River Jhelum flows along the borders of the city. Srinagar is particularly famous for the Dal Lake, houseboats, Mughal gardens and Sufi shrines. The city offers a gorgeous collection of hand crafted goods and dry fruits.  Known for the quaint scenic beauty, the main attraction of the city are the shikaras, which are used by the tourists to see the Floating Vegetable Market. There is a lively community of people, the Mir Bahris, who dwell on the lake itself.

Being part of the Himalayan range, Srinagar has cold summers and even colder winters. The uniqueness of Srinagar lies in the fact that every season has its own charm.  The city is full of wonderful travel destinations and is a treat for all sorts of tourists. With mind blowing vistas and beautiful locales, a trip to Srinagar will always be memorable.

Travel Tips

With pleasant climate all round the year, Srinagar is a go-to destination throughout the year. However, April to October is the best time to make a trip to this beautiful city. But, September to November, i.e. the autumn season is also a good time to visit Srinagar. Monsoon has its own charm, but, winter being very freezing is not recommended. Do carry light jackets if you are visiting in any other season of the year, other than winter. It’s better not to travel alone late and preferably get a guide once you reach Jammu & Kashmir. Stay out of the banned locations.

Things To Do

One can never run out of things to do or see in Srinagar. If you are going to Srinagar, the first place on your Go-To list has to be Dal Lake. Dal Lake is the biggest attraction of Jammu and Kashmir and one of the biggest attractions of India as well. The lake is occupied by beautiful wooden houseboats and is surrounded by the gorgeous Pir Panjal mountain range. On an average day you will find a number of quaint little Shikaras (Taxi boats) rowing on the lake. The lake shines throughout the year and is the home ground of sellers, who row on boats and sell goods to travellers. Most of the people coming to Srinagar stay on the houseboats for days. In winters, Dal Lake freezes over and is like a glimmering slate of ice. When you are done enjoying the magnificent lake next up is Khanqah of Shah-i-Hamadan. Even though entry is restricted strictly to Muslims only, it is a beautiful sight nevertheless and should not be missed. With richly carved inlays and papier-mâché reliefs, this 18t century mosque is one of the most visited places in Srinagar. Do visit if you are fond of exquisite architecture and rich, colourful wood work. One of the many marvels left behind by the Mughals in India is the Mughal Gardens. As the name suggests these beautiful gardens were created during the Mughal era and include Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh and Chashma Shahi. These gardens are a major attraction of the city and pull a lot of travellers to it. Another beautiful site worth a visit is the Hazratbal Shrine. This ancient mosque is revered throughout the world since it claims to have preserved within its confines a strand of hair of the Prophet Muhammad. It is on display for the public on special occasions. It is the only domed mosque in the city. Made out of white marble and stones, it stands out like a glittering crown at night. Rich in unique fragrant spices, the Kashmiri cuisine is popular all across the globe. So you should try out the local Kashmiri delicacies. Kashmir is also famous for Kashmiri Shawls, Kashmiri apples, Handicraft items and dry fruits. As such, do not forget to collect these items as memoirs. You must stay at the houseboats and travel by shikaras, so do hire these to get the experience of a life time.

Getting Around

Getting around within Srinagar is relatively cheap. You can find taxis within the city to travel around in. You should also travel across the lake by shikaras.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The Srinagar International Airport, Sheikh ul-Alam is owned by the Indian Air Force is well connected to all major cities like Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow etc. From the airport bus service is available to reach the main town; you may also opt for hired cars.

TRAIN

If you wish to travel in a train to Srinagar then the nearest Railway Station to Srinagar is Jammu Tawai, which is at a distance of 272 km from Srinagar and takes around 7 hours by taxis to reach the town from the station. Trains from most of the cities in India travel to Jammu. It is connected to all the metropolitan cities of the country like, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Trivandrum etc.

ROAD

There are many tour and travel services in India who provide various buses of different range from the neighbouring cities of Srinagar. Regular buses ply from Chandigarh, Gulmarg, Jammu, Sonamarg, Delhi and Pahalgam.

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Surrounding Attractions

One of the best surrounding sttractions of Srinagar is Gulmarg. Gulmarg is one of the premier hill resorts of India, and was earlier said to be haunted by the spirit of Jehangir, the Mughal Emperor, who could not leave the place because of its marvellous beauty. Today Gulmarg stands as one of the best Ski Resorts in India. It attracts tourists from all around the country and the world. Next on the list comes Pahalgam. In the early days Pahalgam was once a shepherd’s village and has now become one of the most travelled spots in Kashmir. Even during the summer season you can feel the cool breeze here that lifts your spirits right up. After this if you have time in your hand then you shouldn’t miss visiting Sonmarg. Sonmarg is the head of the Sindh Valley. It provides the tourists with an extravagant view of the suburbs of Kashmir. Sonmarg is mostly covered with thick pine forests and wonderful mountains. In mark you can also enjoy a pony ride and trek preferably to the Thajiwas glacier.
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