Things to do in Srinagar

There are a number of points of interest in and around Srinagar, the major ones being Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens and Shankaracharya temple. Located centrally in the midst of Srinagar, Dal Lake is aptly called the ‘Jewel of Srinagar’ and is rated highly on the list of places to visit in Srinagar. A shikhara boat ride on Dal Lake is an essential part of your Kashmir tour package. Riding in a shikhara in the placid waters of the lake, you get to experience the picturesque views of similar boats and rows of houseboats on the lake with the snow-capped mountains of the lofty Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas in the background.  The lake paints a superbly beautiful and colourful picture with blooming lotus flowers alongside the floating flower and vegetable markets and is a visual delight. You can also choose to walk alongside the lake and experience the scenic beauty the place has to offer.

A visit to Mughal Gardens, which comprises Chashm-e-Shahi, Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh, is an essential part of your Kashmir tour package. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains playing hide and seek with the clouds and overlooking the famous Dal lake, the Mughal Gardens are a stunning reminder of exemplary Persian architecture. The entire landscape has been beautifully developed and maintained with fountains and cascading small waterfalls in the middle of the gardens. The water channels are dominated by rows of colourful flowers interspersed with Chinar trees on either side. They paint an exquisitely beautiful picture and offer numerous photo opportunities. The landscape looks different at different times of the year. It exhibits splendid colours and vigour with flowers blooming in Spring and Summer and looks like an expansive layer of the white sheet after snowfall in winters.  You can find vendors renting traditional Kashmiri attire to the tourists for clicking pictures and your Srinagar holidays cannot be considered complete if you don’t get yourself clicked wearing the traditional Kashmiri coat and hat.

While in Srinagar, one can’t afford to miss visiting the Shankaracharya temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Located on a hilltop, it offers a panoramic view of the entire valley and river Jhelum flowing through it. It is a climb of around 300 steps but is totally worth the effort. Once you reach there, you will be spellbound by the unparalleled beauty of Srinagar that is visible in its entirety from the top. It is easily one of the most soothing visual experiences and the landscapes from here are sure to be etched in your memory forever.

The list of scenic landscapes does not end here. You can visit the Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden for spectacular views of countless tulips spread over 20 acres. A variety of coloured tulips cultivated in straight rows from a riot of colours and one needs a few moments to absorb the magnificence in its entirety.

Other places of interest include Nagin Lake, Pari Mahal and Hazratbal Mosque and can be visited if you have the time and inclination. In addition to the local sightseeing, you can also choose to go for day trips to nearby places like Gulmarg, Sonmarg and Pahalgam.

People visiting Srinagar can begin their sightseeing early in the day followed by shopping at the local markets for Pashmina shawls, Kashmiri carpets, dry fruits and wooden carved handicraft items and souvenirs later during the day. Sampling the local cuisine and taking a sip of their local drink, Kawah, is one of the mandatory things to do in Srinagar.

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