Kashmir is the mighty king in the north encompasses the best of lush pastures, tall mountains, dancing rivers, and oozing energy in the air. Asia’s largest tulip garden is in Srinagar and this year, nearly 12 lakh flowers have been planted. The area around this garden is also known for its lake. There are heavenly places to visit in Kashmir, idyllic and concealed in the quietude of the valley, longing to hear your footsteps soon after the winter snow subsides and nature flourishes under the shining sun yet again.
Here are the best 12 tourist attractions to visit in Srinagar:
1. Shikara Ride
The paramount reason why people come to Srinagar is for the relaxing and memorable Shikara rides. Taking the ride across the scenic Dal Lake at the backdrop of the majestic slow clad Himalaya’s is indeed an experience in itself both enjoyable and unparallel.
2. Tulip Garden
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden, previously Model Floriculture Center, is the Asia’s largest tulip garden in Srinagar, India. It is spread over an area of about 30 hectares. It is situated on the foothills of Zabarwan Range. Beautiful Dal Lake is so visible from the garden. Along with Tulips, this garden also has many other species of flowers like hyacinths, daffodils, and ranunculus.
3. Wular Lake
The famed Wular lake is India’s largest freshwater lake and serves as a natural reservoir by drawing the excess water from the River Jhelum. An experience unparalleled, this unexplored and untouched lake is home to several species of birds and thus a haven for bird watchers.
4. Chashme Shahi Garden
It is an ancient Mughal garden built as per the orders of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 AD. The garden is located in the Zabarwan Range, near Raj Bhawan (Governor‘s house) overlooking Dal Lake.
5. Tarsar Marsar Trek
This place is one of the reasons why Kashmir has said heaven. A trek that not only gives you a thrill of adventure but also a glimpse of nature’s beauty so spell bounding is one of the most memorable trips of Tarsar Marsar Trek. Nestled in the lap of Aru Valley of Kashmir, the trail is of quite a magnificence adorned with a variety of landscapes.
6. Shalimar And Nishat Bagh
Known as the crown of Srinagar, Shalimar Bagh is a Mughal garden linked through a channel to the northeast of Dal Lake. Whereas Nishat Bagh is built on the eastern side of the Dal Lake.
7. Pari Mahal
It is known as Pari Mahal as it means the fairies adobe. Its structure looks like an enchanting fairytale castle. It is built as per the guidelines of Persian architecture. Pari Mahal’s garden is segmented into seven terraces and has no water fountains like the other Mughal gardens in Kashmir. It is close to Dal lake.
8. Sinthan Top
Sinthan Top is a mountain pass in the Pir Panjal Mountain Ranges enroute the National Highway of Kokernag-Sinthan Top-Kishtwar Road that connects Jammu and Kashmir. The snow-laden hilltop is lately emerging as a new tourist destination owing to the beautiful views and the idyllic setting.
9. Dal Lake
One of the most beautiful lake in the world. It is named the “Lake of Flowers”, “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”. Encompassed by a boulevard lined with Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats, and hotels.
10. Stay In Houseboats
Staying in a houseboat amidst pristine waters of Dal Lake is one of the most essential things to do in Srinagar. Made in wood and adorned in a typical Kashmir style decor, the houseboats are a perfect way to experience the quintessential local life in a luxurious way.
As its name says, it is a garden of almond trees. The 300 kanals garden in Shahr-e-Khaas has become a source of attraction for nature lovers. It is situated on foothills of Koh-e-Maran and is dotted with a number of beautiful trees and flowers.
Paragliding is one of the most exciting activities that you can experience in Srinagar. Most of the adventure clubs let you experience the thrills of paragliding. Besides giving you a major adrenaline rush, it also lets you have a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the valley below.
A visit to Srinagar wouldn’t be complete without taking a few side trips out into the glorious Kashmiri countryside (after all, Kashmir isn’t called the “Switzerland of India” for nothing!) The easiest way of getting around is to hire a car and driver. Your hotel or houseboat owner will be able to readily arrange tours. Otherwise, if you’re on a budget, the state bus company runs day trips. Tickets can be booked from the Tourist Reception Center in Srinagar.