15 Best Tourist Places in Srinagar
The largest city and the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, India, is called Srinagar. It is situated in the Kashmir Valley among the Dal and Anchar lakes and the Jhelum River, an Indus tributary. The natural surroundings, gardens, waterfronts, and houseboats of the city are well-known. Additionally, it is well-known for dried fruits and traditional Kashmiri handicrafts including Kashmir shawls.
The city is home to numerous tourist attractions. Here is a list of some famous tourist attractions in Srinagar.
1. Dal Lake
The most significant landmark in Srinagar is Dal Lake, also referred to as the Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir and Srinagar's Jewel. Every visitor to the Kashmir region makes a point of visiting the water body because it is prominent in tourist plans. Concepts exist on the origin of the lake; one presumes that it is a post-glacial lake that has undergone numerous size changes over time. According to a different explanation for the lake's formation, the Jhelum River's flood spillover caused the Dal Lake to form.
Dal Lake has a total depth of 20 feet and a minimum depth of about 5 feet. The Dal Lake, which has an extent of 18 sq km, is a part of a general wetland that has floating gardens and is around 21 sq km in size. In Kashmiri, the floating gardens are referred to as "Rad." The lotus blooms that bloom in July and August are what make the floating gardens famous. Bod Dal, Nagin (also a distinct lake), Gagribal, and Lokut Dal are the four basins that make up the Dal Lake. Sona Lank Island is located in the center of Bod Dal. Rup Lank and Char Chinari are further names for Lokut Dal.
Gardens were constructed during the Mughal Empire and other parks around Dal Lake. The Mughals, who were captivated by Kashmir's beauty, built enormous gardens to enhance it. The Shalimar Garden and Nishat Garden, which were constructed under the rule of Mughal Emperor Jehangir, offer the greatest views of the lake.
2. Shalimar Bagh
The Shalimar Bagh, one of Srinagar's most well-known tourist destinations, is located on the shores of the beautiful Dal Lake and is the grandest Mughal Garden in the Kashmir valley. This garden, which is 31 acres in size, used to be Emperor Jahangir and his court's go-to summer getaway. The original name of this stunning work of art, "Farah Baksh," which means "delightful" in Arabic, was the "home of love."
The Shalimar Bagh offers visitors a tranquil setting because it is surrounded by tall Chinar trees and numerous bright blooms. A wonderfully constructed canal also flows through the middle of the garden, adding to its appeal.
The "Chini Khanas" are the Shalimar Bagh's major attractions. These "Chini Khanas" had oil lights lit at night, which produced a stunning spectacle. These "khanas" are now, however, ornamented with flower pots, which are equally aesthetically pleasing.
Visit Shalimar Bagh between May and October, when the weather is at its best. Visitors can take in the thrilling light and sound show as well. Every day, the park is open to tourists from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
3. Shankaracharya Temple
One of Srinagar's biggest religious destinations is the Shankarcharya Temple, which is devoted to Lord Shiva. It bears the name of Shankarcharya, a famous philosopher who once traveled to Kashmir. Devotees and visitors to the Hindu temple can observe a spectacular panoramic view of Srinagar City from its advantageous location. During the Amarnath Yatra season, many Hindu worshippers travel to the temple, also known as Jyeshteshwara Temple, which is reached by a 243-step staircase.
The four Hindu schools of Advaita, or the philosophy of non-dualism, were founded by Adi Shankaracharya, who is thought to have reached spiritual enlightenment here. Following this enlightenment, he is said to have left this location. The Shankaracharya temple is built on a tall, octagonal platform that is accessible by a flight of roughly 243 steps, sits atop a solid rock, and is situated on this platform. An expansive sight of the valley may be had from the temple's summit.
It is preferable to visit Shankaracharya between May and September. In contrast to the chilly winters in Srinagar, where it snows, the weather is nice to visit. Inside the temple, phones and cameras are not permitted. So, before going, either keep them in your vehicle or your hotel. Although the temple is open until 8:00 p.m., cars are only permitted to enter the parking lot until 5:00 p.m.
In Srinagar's Dal Lake, there is an island called Char Chinar that is encircled on all four sides by Chinar trees. It was built by Murad Baksh, the brother of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, and is also known as Char Chinari (char chinari means "four sides") and Rupa Lank. The finest way to experience the Char Chinar is from a shikara on Dal Lake. Three islands can be found in the Dal Lake, and two of them are encircled by chinar trees. One island, known as Roph Lank or Silver Island, is situated on the Bod Dal in addition to the Char Chinar. Sone Lank, or Gold Island, is the name of the other island, which is situated on the Lokut Dal. Kashmir is known for its long-living, breathtakingly beautiful Char Chinar trees.
5. Pari Mahal
Near Srinagar, above the lovely Chashme Shahi Gardens, is a seven-terraced garden called Pari Mahal. The historical site, which sits at the top of the Zabarwan range and provides views of Srinagar and the Dal Lake, is also known as the home of angels or the habitat of fairies. The numerous vibrant flower plantations and exotic fruit orchards are the major draws. The eldest child of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Dara Shikoh, constructed the Palace of Fairies (Pari Mahal). The mahal was formerly thought to have been a Buddhist monastery. In the future, prince Dara Shikoh used it as a school for astrology. The Pari Mahal's structure is a classic example of Islamic design, and the surrounding gardens remain in excellent shape.
The Pari Mahal is thought to have been built in the 1600s. According to legend, Dara Shikoh resided here between 1640 and 1654. The best time to visit the Pari Mahal is from April to October because the weather is ideal for visiting. When visiting the Pari Mahal, keep your identity proof with you in case it is requested. It is advisable to exercise caution when approaching staircases and walls on different stories because the landmark is in ruins.
6. Hari Parbat
Hari Parbat, also known as Kooh-e-Maran, is located to the west of Dal Lake. A governor from Afghanistan named Atta Mohammed Khan constructed this Mughal building in the 18th century. Later, in 1590, Emperor Akbar built a lengthy wall. This fort is at its peak and provides a breathtaking view of Dal Lake while being surrounded by admirable buildings from all religions. Along with the well-known Hari Parbat Fort, the mountain is home to a number of Muslim and Hindu shrines as well as a Gurudwara.
In 2014, this park was exclusively accessible to the general public. Today, picnics can be put up here. Mountains and bodies of water protect the fort in turn. The Central Reserve Police Force currently makes use of the fort (CRPF). The Indian Archaeological Survey of India is currently responsible for maintaining it (IASI).
7. Badamwari Garden
Nature enthusiasts and tourists alike are drawn to the early bloom of blooms on Almond trees in Shahr-e-expansive, Khaas's historic Badamwari garden. The 300 kanal garden, which is filled with trees, flowers, and cascades and is located on the foothills of Koh-e-Maran, offers tourists a calming experience. Although historians claim there is no evidence to establish who created the garden, they assert that it predated Sultan Zain-ul-tenure Abidin's in the 14th century. A well-covered dome in the garden bears Warris Shah's name, a former Afghan king. The almond trees' bloom marked the arrival of spring. In 2008, the garden was restored and publicly opened to the public. It is a garden of almonds, as the name implies, and is best viewed in the early spring when the almond trees are in full bloom.
8. Shikara Ride
A Shikhara is a conventional Gondola-style light rowing boat that can be seen on Dal Lake and other lakes. If you want to fully appreciate the mystical beauty of this area, it should be on your agenda since it is among the most amazing and tranquil parts of a vacation in Kashmir. It is regarded as a cultural symbol just like the houseboats. The shikhara is used by the people for transportation, seaweed harvesting, and fishing in addition to leisure and tourism-related uses.
One of the most calming, entertaining, and pleasurable ways to explore while on vacation in Jammu and Kashmir is by taking a Shikara ride. Nishat and Shalimar gardens are a couple of the well-known tourist destinations in Jammu and Kashmir that you can visit while taking a shikara trip. Another well-known tourist destination in Kashmir Valley that may be reached by shikara is the Hazratbal Mosque. The cost for the ride is 700 INR per person.
9. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
In Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India, there is a tulip garden called the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden, formerly known as the Model Floriculture Center. It occupies an area of roughly 30 ha and is the largest tulip garden in Asia (74 acres). It is located at the foot of the Zabarwan mountain range and was constructed on a slope in a terraced style with seven terraces and views of the Dal Lake. The garden was established in 2007 with the intention of enhancing Kashmir Valley tourism and floriculture. Siraj Bagh was the previous name for it.
The Keukenhof tulip gardens in Amsterdam received about 1.5 million tulip bulbs in various colors. There are 46 different types of flowers in addition to tulips, including hyacinths, daffodils, and ranunculus that were also imported from Holland. Around 68 different types of tulips can be found in the tulip garden. The garden is best visited between the hours of 9:00 am and 7:00 pm. The adult entry charge is 50 INR, while the child entry charge is 25 INR.
10. Chashme Shahi Garden
As a gift for Shah Jahan's eldest son Prince Dara Shikoh, Ali Mardan Khan, a governor of the Mughal emperor, constructed one of the Mughal gardens in 1632 AD around a spring. The garden is known as Chashme Shahi or Chashma I Shahi or Cheshma Shahi. The garden is situated on Srinagar's Zabarwan Range, next to Raj Bhawan (the governor's residence), with a view of Dal Lake.
The Boulevard Road, which travels beside the Dal lake's shores, connects to the garden. For meals and accommodation close to the garden, there are numerous motels and eateries accessible. From March through November, the garden is still accessible to visitors. The garden remains accessible from 8:00 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. from March through November. The best time to visit the garden is from May through June when it is in full bloom.
11. Salim Ali National Park
Salim Ali National Park, also known as City Forest National Park, is a national park in Srinagar. It provides a lovely mangrove shrub habitat for a number of birds and endangered creatures. It encompassed 9.07 km2 in total. The park's name honours Indian naturalist Salim Ali and was announced in 1986. Farooq Abdullah, the then-Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, transformed the park into the Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar, between 1998 and 2001.
His love of golf is well known, which inspired him to work on the proposal for a course next to Dal Lake's delicate ecosystem. The park is home to 70 different bird species, including all the paradise flycatcher, Himalaya monal, and Himalaya snowcock, as well as fauna species including the hangul, deer and elk, Himalayan black bear, leopard, and Himalayan serow. The park remains open from April to November from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Entry fee for Indian tourist is 10 INR and for foreign tourists 100 INR.
12. Jamia Masjid
The 600-year-old Jamia Masjid mosque in Srinagar is situated among the busy local bazaars in the Nowhatta neighbourhood. The serene mosque is renowned for its distinctive construction, with the 378 wooden Deodar pillars serving as the centrepiece. On Fridays, the mosque is quite packed. Ablution or wadu is performed at the fountain located inside the mosque's grounds.
Sultan Sikandar Shah Kashmiri Shahmiri commissioned the construction of Jamia Masjid in 1394. Mir Mohammad Hamadani, the son of Said-ul-Auliya Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, gave the order. Zain-ul-Abidin, the son of Sultan Sikandar, later added a turret to the main building to extend the Jama Masjid. The Jamia Masjid's architectural design is influenced by Indo-Saracenic architecture, and it also resembles Buddhist pagodas. The masjid allows the visitors from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
13. Dastgeer Sahib
Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jelani is honoured in Dastgeer Sahib, a Sufi shrine in Khanyar, Srinagar. The old Quran penned by Ali Ibn Abi Talib AS and Abdul Qadir Gilani's hair strand is two famous items kept in the shrine. The shrine, an architectural marvel, is thought to contain five burials, including those of the famed Sufi saint.
It has a history of about 200 years and was first constructed in 1806 when an Afghan traveller gave the state's then-governor a relic that belonged to Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jelani. It was later enlarged in 1877. This shrine was constructed of wood and finished with typical Khatamband ceilings. Many people gather here to pray to Allah and for the ziyarat on both the Urs, the Sufi saint's death date, and the Urs, the day of his birth. Luckily, the relic, which was placed in a fireproof vault, was secure when the shrine experienced a significant fire in 2012. A lively market and a mosque are also accessible nearby. The Dastgeeer Sahib remains open from 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
14. Nigeen Lake
Due to its more clean waters than the Dal lake, the lake is a popular tourist destination in Srinagar. The lake is located to the west of Dal Lake, near the Hari Parbat Mountain. Baghwanpora and Lal Bazar are located to its north and west, while Hazratbal, which is recognised for its renowned shrine, is located to its north-east.
Shikaras and houseboats are common sights. Being deeper and less busy than the Dal Lake, it is also excellent for swimming. On the lake's eastern coast is where the colonial-era Nigeen Club is located. The lake, like other bodies of water in the Kashmir Valley, is plagued by encroachments, which worsen its water quality and raise the likelihood of flooding. As a result, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir is working to assist the lake get well and getting back to how it used to be.
15. Makhdoom Sahib
Hamza Makhdoom, often referred to as Makhdoom Sahib, was a Kashmir-based Sufi mystic. An Islamic shrine to the Sufi saint Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom, also known by the names Makhdoom Saheb, Hazrat Sultan, Mehboob-ul-Alam, and Sultan-ul-Arifeen, is situated in Srinagar to the south of Hari Parbat. The robust shrine, which was constructed in the Mughal style of architecture and is constantly crowded with pilgrims, is supported by numerous pillars.