Just the mention of Srinagar conjures up images of snow-clad mountains, pristine lakes, peaceful shikara rides, towering pine trees, and mesmerising sunsets. Calling it one of the most stunning places in India will not be an exaggeration. That’s just how gorgeous this city is! It is one of the best places in the country for honeymooners, creating the perfect setting for romance with its picturesque landscape, beguiling culture and refreshing weather. Whether you are planning a trip to behold nature, capture sunsets, gorge on delicious food, breathe in mountain air, or explore monuments, Srinagar is a great destination. The myriad places to visit in Srinagar make the trip all the more happening and fun. So, without any further ado, let us check out this list of the best Srinagar tourist attractions.
Top Places to Visit in Srinagar
|S.No.||Places to Visit in Srinagar|
|3.||Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden|
|11.||Dachigam National Park|
1. Dal Lake
Sitting at the top of almost every list of the best places to visit in Srinagar is the immensely famous and equally astonishing Dal Lake, the second largest in all of Jammu and Kashmir. The 26-sq-km water body, located at the heart of the city, is its primary attraction. Surrounding greenery and soaring mountains add to the already spell-binding beauty of the lake. On a good day, you can even witness a clear reflection of the mountains in the still water of the lake. Not to be missed is a peaceful shikara ride on the sparkling waters of the lake.
2. Shalimar Bagh
The largest of the three Mughal gardens in the city, Shalimar Bagh is one of the best places to visit in Srinagar for history, architecture and nature lovers. It dates back to the early 17th century, when it was built by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his beautiful wife, Noor Jahan. The garden is an insight into the brilliant craftsmanship of Mughal horticulturists. Its surreal beauty has also earned it the nickname, ‘Crown of Srinagar’. It is embellished with monuments that make the garden appear even more splendid.
3. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden was opened to the public in 2007 with the aim of boosting tourism in the area, and boy did it work! Counted as one of the best places to visit in Srinagar, it is also often ranked among the world’s best tulip gardens. Imagine rows and rows of colourful tulips with a sweet scent of the flower riding the air and soaring mountains of the Zabarwan Hills in the background – that’s Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden for you.
You can find some of the rarest tulip species at this garden. If you are heading on your first trip to the city, then this is a Srinagar sightseeing spot you do not want to miss. At the offset of the spring season, an annual Tulip Festival is held here to showcase the garden in its full bloom.
4. Nishat Bagh
The 12-terraced Nishat Bagh is the second largest Mughal garden in Srinagar after Shalimar Bagh. It was built by Noor Jahan’s elder brother, Asif Khan, in 1633. Nishat Bagh enjoys a marvellous setting, on the shores of Dal Lake with the awe-inspiring water body acting as the perfect backdrop for the lush estate. It is no surprise that the historical, architectural and horticultural significance of Mughal gardens in Srinagar have earned them a spot on UNESCO’s coveted list of World Heritage Sites. You can visit this Srinagar tourist attraction to spend a couple of relaxing hours with your family or friends.
5. Wular Lake
If you don’t mind taking a short excursion to behold another bewitching lake during your trip, then undertake a 64-km (one hour and 40 minutes’) drive to arrive at Wular Lake. Another prominent Srinagar sightseeing spot in the area, Wular Lake will sweep you off your feet with its mesmerising setting. Here’s a fun fact about Wular Lake; it is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. So, you can just imagine how big it would be! What makes a trip to Wular Lake even more enticing is the serenity you experience walking on its shores – away from the holidaying crowds.
6. Nigeen Lake
Nigeen Lake, also called Nageen Lake, is connected to Dal Lake via a narrow strait. Thus, it is often considered a part of the well-known water body. Nigeen Lake is also connected to the Gil Sar and Khushal Sar lakes via a channel named Nallah Amir Khan. The deep blue lake is surrounded by soaring trees that have earned it the nickname, Nageena, meaning the ‘Jewel in the Ring’. You can enjoy a Shikara ride during your visit to the lake. Since it is slightly less commercialised than Dal Lake, it gives you the opportunity to soak in the astounding beauty of Srinagar without bumping into too many tourists.
7. Chashme Shahi
Another popular place to visit in Srinagar, Chashme Shahi was commissioned by Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram, better known as Shah Jahan, for his son, Dara Shikoh. It is a well-maintained three-terraced garden that showcases the Persian style of architecture. The biggest highlight of this Mughal garden is its natural spring. A small hut is located in the top garden. It is believed to be the source of water of the natural spring. The Srinagar attraction is believed to be named after the clan of the Kashmiri saint who discovered the garden.
8. Pari Mahal
A stone’s throw from Chashme Shahi Garden and Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the spectacular Pari Mahal or The Angel’s Abode. Another popular Srinagar sightseeing spot, it is a seven-terraced garden that sits majestically atop the Zabarwan mountain range, overlooking the city of Srinagar. The monument depicts the Islamic style of architecture and is an ode to the art that thrived during the reign of the well-known Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. It was built by the Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh around the mid-1600s. You can come across exotic trees and vivid flora during your visit to Pari Mahal.
9. Char Chinar
Also called Rupa Lank, Char Chinar is a small island in the middle of the mesmerising Dal Lake. The island derives its name from the four chinar trees standing on its four corners. It was built by emperor Aurangzeb’s brother, Murad Baksh. It is believed to be one of the most scenic Srinagar sightseeing spots. A Shikara ride is the perfect way to admire the beauty from up-close.
10. Betaab Valley
A 100-km drive from your hotel in the city brings you to one of the most romantic landscapes in and around Srinagar. Wondering where this place got its name from? A few scenes of the famous Sunny Deol-movie ‘Betaab’ was shot here. Ever since, the place has been called the Betaab Valley. If you are a nature lover, on a romantic escapade in Srinagar, or simply want to click incredible pictures, you want to have this place in your itinerary. Apart from that, you can also partake in a range of other activities such as camping, birdwatching and horse riding at this point of interest.
11. Dachigam National Park
Located about 22 km from Srinagar, Dachigam National Park is a 141-sq-km area that has had the protected status since 1910. In the year 1981, it was elevated to the status of National Park. This is where you can come face to face with the endangered Hangul or the Kashmiri stag. It is the only red deer species found in the whole country. Although the national park remains open throughout the year, the best time to plan a visit is between April and August when you can conveniently explore the place.
12. Hazratbal Shrine
No list of the best places to visit in Srinagar is complete without the mention of Hazratbal Shrine on it. Such is the spiritual and religious significance of this place. It is one of the most sacred Islamic tourist places in Srinagar. Its name is made of two Kashmiri terms, “Hazrat” and “Bal” meaning “Sacred” and “Place”, respectively. The place started off as a unique pleasure house. However, later, people started offering prayers here and it was eventually turned into a shrine. The mosque is gorgeously nestled on the shores of the mesmerising Dal Lake.
13. Nehru Garden
Nehru Garden was established in the memory of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1969. It is perched on the slopes of the Zabarwan mountain range and offers awe-inspiring views of Dal Lake. The biggest draws of the lush space are its pristine environs and impressive collection of plants. Nehru Garden is home to more than 15000 ornamental plants and trees. You can visit the park in the morning, afternoon or evening.
Read more: Best Holiday Destinations in India
Frequently asked questions about Srinagar
What is the best time to visit Srinagar?
Srinagar is a year-round destination and you can plan your trip any time of the year. March to June, the summer season, is the peak travel time when the city remains swamped with tourists who come to escape the blistering Indian summers in most other parts of the country. The monsoon season, which lasts from July to September, sees the average temperature hovering around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius. Winter is when the temperature plummets to below zero degrees.
How to reach Srinagar?
The nearest major railway station to Srinagar is in Jammu, which is about 265 km away. You can cover this distance by taxi or cab. Srinagar is also well connected to the rest of the country by road, so you can easily go on a road trip to the city. The quickest and most convenient way to reach Srinagar.
Does Srinagar experience snowfall?
Srinagar remains enveloped in a thick blanket of snow during the winter months of December, January and February. If you want to witness snowfall, this is when you should plan your trip.
What are the best 5-star hotels in Srinagar?
The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar, Regenta Central Point Srinagar, Radisson Srinagar, and Fortune Resort Heevan are counted among the best 5-star hotels in Srinagar.