Sitting gloriously on the bank of Jhelum River, Srinagar is the essence of Jammu & Kashmir. Call it the state capital or the heart of state but no tag name can compile the fascination of Srinagar together because it is exceptionally diverse. Srinagar literally means ‘The city of wealth’ and it truly is bestowed with the mystic landscapes and tourist spots. From the pristine lakes to the verdant gardens and from pious temples to the numerous historical places, Srinagar is a treasure trove of panoramic beauty. So, let’s wrap up this trove and explore the beauty and places to visit in Srinagar.
Reckoned to be the most precious jewel of Srinagar, Dal Lake is one of the largest and pristine lakes in India. Stretching in a vast area of 26 km2, it is dotted by the majestic mountains, stupendous greenery, and sweeping gardens from all around. Having been the most loved summer resort of Mughals, Dal Lake has always been a crowd puller when it comes to tourism. Being home to huge wooden houseboats and floating gardens, Dal Lake is known for ‘Shikara’ boat riding. It is a sheer delight for the adventurous beasts. Though Shikara and houseboat riding are the prime activities in Dal Lake, you can enjoy the other water activities too. Dal Lake is one of the best places to visit in Srinagar.
With the name itself, you can assume the exquisiteness of this palace. Literally translated as ‘the palace of fairies’, Pari Palace is indeed a surreal place. The jaw-breaking Mughal architecture, soothing atmospheres, the velvety green gardens, spellbinding fountains, and a far-fetched view of Dal Lake make Pari Mahal a place beyond the world. As it was constructed by Mughals, the palace is an epitome of stellar architectural styles and comprises of long ramparts, high pavilions, and several chambers. Chashma Shahi Garden that girdles the palace underlines the stateliness of this palace. Apart from its awe-inspiring ambience and architecture, Pari palace also holds a strong historical significance as it was the learning center of Dara Shikoh, the son of Emperor Shah Jahan.
No, we’re not talking about Jama Masjid of Delhi. We’re talking about Jama Masjid of Srinagar which was built during the 14th century and holds the pride of being the biggest mosque in Kashmir. The thing that puts Jama Masjid apart from the other mosques is its architecture. The contour of this mosque is constructed in an Indo-Saracenic architectural style which is the central attraction of this mosque. The courtyard where Muslims gather for their prayers contains nearly 370 wooden pillars. With the fact, you can assume the expansion of this grand mosque. From unparalleled architecture to the serenity around the mosque, Jama Masjid is indeed a worth visiting place.
Dachigam National Park
Yes, the snow-capped mountains, far-reaching valleys, and the impenetrable woodlands of Srinagar are an abode to many such wild animals that you can’t see elsewhere. If the wild animals and the thick forest fascinate you, Dachigam National Park will steal your heart. Stretching in an area of merely 140 km2, Dachigam National Park is home to rare Hangul species of deer, snow leopards, hill fox, jackal, Himalayan langur, Kashmiri stags, and many more. Abundant with extremely diverse flora & fauna, Dachigam National Park offers a spectacular view of nature.
Located on the rocky terrain of Gopadari Hills, Shankaracharya Temple is the oldest temple in Srinagar. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the shrine is believed to have built by Jaluka, son of ‘Ashoka- the Great’, around in 2000 BC. Perched high at the massive altitude of 1100 feet above the sea level, Shankaracharya Temple renders an appealing view of entire Srinagar. You would need to climb over the thousands of steps in order to reach the hill atop and get the blissful glimpse of the shrine. Always thronged by the Hindu devotees, Shankaracharya temple is also a spiritual spot for the Buddhists. Generally, you won’t find any such temples in Srinagar, so don’t skip a visit to this remarkable one.
This is no a secret that Mughals were profoundly passionate about the architecture and the gardening. From Agra to Delhi and Kashmir, they have built countless alluring gardens in their favorite cities. But the Mughal Gardens of Kashmir enthrall the visitors the most. After all, they are located in ‘the heaven on earth’. Mughal Gardens are actually a set of gardens in Srinagar that were built by the Mughal Emperors during their regime. Mughal Emperors used to spend their leisure time here. These gardens are designed completely in royal style and are still brimming with the verdant flowers, trees, and fountains. Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh are the heart of Mughal Gardens. Don’t miss a visit to this place. Mughal gardens are truly the most fascinating places to visit in Srinagar.
Yet another splendid lake from Srinagar that boasts the pride of being one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. The pristine water, sweeping stretches, and awe-inspiring surroundings of Wular Lake overwhelm the visitors. Known for the utmost serenity, Wular Lake is today one of the most popular places to visit in Srinagar. To get full pleasure in Wular Lake, don’t forget to go on an hours-long boat riding.
Best time to visit Srinagar
As Jammu & Kashmir is a snow-covered state, summers are the time to explore every tourist destinations in the state. Winters are rainy season are not recommended because, during these seasons, the routes get block due to heavy storm and snow. You might end up getting stuck at one place only. So, better visit Srinagar in summers and explore it to the fullest.
How to reach Srinagar
Srinagar is the state capital, so reaching here is comparatively easy to the other cities of the state. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Srinagar. Srinagar International Airport is the nearest airport and it is well connected to the major cities of India. Airway is also the most convenient way to reach Srinagar. The second most convenient way is road network. JKSRTC deluxe buses connect the city to other cities. If airways and roadways are not suitable for you, you can opt for railways. Jammu Tawi is the nearest railway station which is 290 km from Srinagar. This is why it is not a considerable idea for the most of the visitors.
Srinagar is the most diverse city in Jammu & Kashmir. Here, you’ll find historical splendor, natural wonder, and architectural marvel side by side. So, visit the city and capture it in your heart.
Apart from Places to visit in Srinagar, I have written one more blog post Places to Visit in Jammu & Kashmir.