The wooden mosques, age-old gardens and cosy houseboats are what attract vacationers to Srinagar. Whether you’re travelling with family or a special someone, this summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir offers experiences that kick off on the picturesque Dal Lake.
Once you learn to ignore the constant offers of souvenir vendors, you get to witness the micro-village on a water body. The reflection of the majestic Pir Panjal Mountains on the water is an arresting sight and the best way to experience Dal Lake is aboard a shikara. A small boat that will take you around the vegetable patches, lotus blossoms, trinket shops and houseboats. If you’re up for an adventure, stay on the lake in one of these gondola-like houses.
The Mughal Gardens cannot be skipped and you should visit them during the day and when the sun goes down. In the evenings, Shalimar and Nishat Bagh are aesthetically lit up. Their perfectly-manicured flowerbeds, terraced lawns and pavilions will transport you to a different time and Pari Mahal is a sight to behold even from afar.
Situated deep in Old Town Srinagar is Badshah Tomb. It is a multi-domed tomb dating back to the 15th century and is an important historical and architectural monument of the city. If you’re interested in the old Srinagar, the vendors at Gadu Bazaar can direct you here.
The best place to pick up souvenirs in Srinagar is Polo View Market and Lal Chowk. Pashmina or Jamawar shawls, walnut wood boxes, trinkets, traditional Kashmiri art, papier-mâché items are all up for grabs at these destinations. The pulse of these markets is always racing and you can spend hours finding the right items to take home from Srinagar.
The beautifully restored orchard garden of Badamvaer (downtown Srinagar) with its almond trees is the perfect place to unwind after a day’s sightseeing. The Wariskhanshah Well is situated inside and the spring blossoms make for a picture-perfect location.
All in all, Srinagar has a lot to offer in terms of holiday activities. The only downer being fitting all of it into your trip itinerary.