Are you familiar with a place that evokes emotion, feeling, spirit, or soul? It is Srinagar.
Srinagar, which means “The City of Wealth”, is a symbol of beauty and love.
It would be best if you took a break after completing classic treks such as Tarsar Marsar or Kashmir Great Lakes, which both end in Srinagar.
Why should I spend time in Srinagar? You might ask. You should!
Srinagar, rightly called the City of Wealth, is a city of beauty. The famous Dal Lake, its floating market, the mouth-watering Kashmiri cuisine or the central Asian style Bazaars, the stunning mountains, the peach and walnut trees or juicy apple orchards as well as the Shikara rides, Shikara houseboats, or the Shikara Shikaras, the Hazratbal shrine, or the Shankaracharya Temple are just a few of the many reasons to fall in love with Srinagar and include it in your Srinagar Tour Packages. The best thing about Srinagar is its charming locals and their time learning their culture.
We all have heard of the magical stories about Srinagar that made us dream of a trip there. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get there.
How to get to Srinagar
Srinagar lies 810km from Delhi. It is easily accessible by road, rail, and air.
By Air: Flying from Delhi or Chandigarh is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Srinagar. Your journey will take approximately 1.5 hours.
By road: There is no direct bus between Delhi and Srinagar. Fly to Jammu, then take a shared taxi or state transport bus from Jammu to Srinagar. Although they are more expensive, you can also hire outstation taxis from Jammu and Srinagar.
By rail: There is no direct train from Delhi to Srinagar. Jammu railway station is the nearest railway station to Srinagar. Jammu has good connections to Delhi via trains.
Six of the best things to do at Srinagar
We will be highlighting the highlights of Srinagar by talking about its culture, history, and cuisines.
1. DAL LAKE
Srinagar’s jewel has been synonymous with Srinagar’s Dal Lake, also known as Srinagar Jewel. It covers an area of 18 sq kilometres. This romantic spot hosts Mughal-era gardens, houseboats, and the floating market. It is a popular tourist attraction. The floating gardens of Lotus, also known as “Rad”, in Kashmiri, bloom during July and August at Dal Lake.
It is romantic to spend a night or two on a houseboat at Dal Lake. These houseboats, made from wood from walnut trees, have a beautiful look and are stationary. As you sip Kahwa (Kashmiri Tea), it will feel like the world has stopped. You can also watch the boats and shikaras moving around Dal Lake, which is an essential source of income for both the local economy and commercial businesses.
2. SHIKARA RIDE
The Shikara is an iconic cultural symbol in Kashmir. It is a paddled wooden boat made of Kashmiri carpets and rugs. It is used to transport tourists, sell souvenirs, and sell fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Boatmen in traditional Pherans dress navigate these boats.
A Shikara ride in the evening is the best time to take it. The sky is clear enough to see the perfect reflection of the Shikara and the mountains surrounding it. You can take a long ride through the floating lotus garden to reach the “Char Chinar” four-story Chinar tree on a platform in the middle of Dal Lake. The best sunset you will ever see, one that you will treasure forever. You can also take a shikara tour at the beautiful but less touristy Nigeen Lake.
3. FLOATING MARKET
Srinagar’s unique floating market for vegetables and flowers is a highlight. It is the only one in India where vendors shop in boats while customers travel by boat. You won’t regret going there at sunrise.
4. HAZRATBAL SHRINE
Near the shores on Dal Lake is the pretty, white Hazratbal shrine, also known as Dargah Sharif. As many Kashmiri Muslims consider Kashmir’s most sacred Muslim shrine, the relic of Muhammad’s hair is believed to be there. To enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, visit it on a weekday.
5. SONMARG VALLEY
Srinagar offers a variety of day trips. You will be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of Kashmir as you drive along with it. You have the option of choosing from the scenic Sonmarg valley (Meadow of Gold) or the more exotic Yusmarg with its lush meadow of hundreds of pine trees. Or the famous Gulmarg, which offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas and is known for its ski slopes during winter. These places are worth a day trip.
6. KASHMIRI COOKIES
Kashmiri culture is dominated by Kashmiri cuisine. Many of the ingredients in Kashmiri cuisine are local and exclusive to the region. Wazwan is a delicious platter of Kashmiri cuisines. Rogan Josh is a Kashmiri lamb curry. TabakMaaz is a Kashmiri-style lamb rib dish that’s served with milk and native spices. Nadru, which is a lotus stem, can be enjoyed. You will be tempted to try more Kashmiri delicacies.
Kahwa is a Kashmiri delight that includes green tea, cardamom and saffron. It’s a delicious brew made with spices and grated almonds. This will keep you warm and energized during the winters in Kashmir.
Talking to Srinagar’s locals is a must. Everyone has something to say about their lives, whether it’s the guy on your houseboat or the one rowing your Shikara. Srinagar, Kashmir, and Kashmir are portrayed as dangerous places, making it difficult for Kashmiris to visit this vibrant city. Many people associate Srinagar with terror and curfews. Spending time in Srinagar will reveal how kind and caring people are and how magical the city is.
People who trek from Srinagar often fly home the day after their trek ends, rather than spending two days in this beautiful city. You are missing out on a timeless classic by doing this.
Srinagar will show you the beauty of this city; it will melt your heart and fill your memories. Spend some time in this city. This will be the best decision of your life that you will experience.
Srinagar is a city that is very Indian, but it’s still quite different from other cities in India.
This city is much more than a space-time drama.