John Ruskin once said, “Mountains are the beginning and the end of all the natural beauty”. The mountainous terrain of Srinagar truly justifies this quote. Srinagar is the largest city of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and is situated along the banks of Jhelum River in Kashmir Valley.
Srinagar, the summer capital of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, stays thronged with tourist for its vast meadows, colourful gardens, houseboats, lakes and rivers. The joy of local sightseeing in Srinagar multiplies when they dress in colourful Kashmiri attire and savour the local cuisine.
When it comes to sightseeing in Srinagar, tourists are not just attracted by its natural beauty; colourful Kashmiri dresses, handicrafts, Pashmina shawls, and dried fruits also capture their attention. So, while exploring Srinagar tourist places, do not forget to take along a bag to carry the souvenirs that will remind you of your visit to this city.
Some of the best places to see in Srinagar include lakes as the Srinagar is rightly known as ‘City of Lakes’. Shikara and houseboat rides on these lakes are amazing experiences. Apart from this, Srinagar is home to beautiful gardens and majestic mosques. If you want to explore the city to the core, take a Srinagar sightseeing tour that takes you to the best places to visit in Srinagar.
1. Dal Lake
This jewel of this city tops the list of places to see in Srinagar for it imparts breathtaking views of the natural beauty within this city. While riding on the colourful shikaras or handcrafted wooden houseboats, you get to capture sights of the majestic Pir Panjal mountain range and manicured lush gardens of the Mughal era. Not just this, on your shikara ride, the view of the orange coloured sky at the time of sunset, the reflection of which can be seen in the pristine waters of Dal Lake, is a view that will leave you spellbound.
2. Nigeen Lake
Nigeen Lake lies to the west of the Dal Lake and is separated from it through a thin causeway. Unlike Dal Lake, the environment of Nigeen Lake is peaceful and calm as it stays less crowded. Shikara ride amidst the tranquil nature and the sights of beautiful willow and poplar trees surrounding the lake makes your tour experience at this lake quite unique. With a peaceful setting, this lake is an ideal place for people who like activities swimming in the lake and water skiing. The fact that it is one of the most famous places in Srinagar makes it worth the visit.
3. Shalimar Bagh
Shalimar Bagh is a fine example of Persian Style architecture built on the edges of Dal Lake. This garden was built in 1619 by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir for his beloved wife Noor Jahan and is the largest among the three Mughal Gardens in Srinagar. It is one of the famous places to visit in Srinagar for its beautiful gardens, exquisite architecture and canals flowing through the middle of the garden. Walking on the path built with polished stones with colourful flowers and lush green trees like almond and walnut trees all around, the ambience of this place is endearing.
4. Nishant Bagh
Laid out in Mughal style, this is the second-largest Mughal garden of the Kashmir valley and among the famous tourist places in Srinagar. It was built in 1633 by Asif Khan, the elder brother of Noor Jahan. For the admirers of scenic beauty, Nishant Bagh is a must-visit place. With a backdrop of Zabarwan Mountains and lush green grass spread throughout the garden, Nishant Bagh is photogenic no matter what the angle. What makes this place even more beautiful are the colourful flowers and lush green trees amid the grasslands of the garden.
The scenic beauty covering each and every corner of the Mughal Gardens and the charm of Persian style architecture is unsurpassed. Next to Shalimar Bagh and Nishant Bagh comes the Chashme-E-Shahi. Chashme-E-Shahi is the smallest of the three Mughal Gardens situated on the foothill of Zabarwan Mountain. Like the other two gardens, this garden is also blessed with lush greenery and colourful flowers, a sight that is always pleasing to the eyes. However, the major attractions of this tourist spot in Srinagar are the natural spring of freshwater and the attention-grabbing fountains.
Baramulla is nestled in the Himalayas and on the banks of Jhelum. It is perhaps the best place to visit near Srinagar. Scenic beauty adorns reach and every corner of Baramulla. The other aspects that draw tourist attention here are the Buddhist Stupas, monasteries, temples and the mosques built here. Baramulla can be visited if you want to have a tranquil time in the lap of nature while exploring some historical monuments.
Landscapes that offer picture-perfect vistas, the admirable view of lush greenery and alpine flowers, snowy peaks of Mount Harmukh and sparkling water of lakes like Gangabal and Vishansar makes Sonmarg a place worth touring. In addition to these, the sight of Thajiwas Glacier and the confluence of rivers at Nilagrad will keep you hooked to this place to visit near Srinagar. As Sonmarg is surrounded by mountains and glaciers, it very is popular among trekkers.
Chatpal is an off-beat town situated around 90 km away from the city of Srinagar. Like any other place in and around Srinagar, Chatpal is blessed with mind-blowing natural beauty. Like Baramulla, this place too has a composed and tranquil environment. Hence, this is another tourist spot near Srinagar which is characterized by lush greenery, yellow and white wildflowers, and aromatic pine trees.
9. Dachigam National Park
There are several famous places in and around Srinagar that give you an insight into the splendid natural beauty of Kashmir. However, there is only one place that walks you through the wildlife of Kashmir valley. That place is Dachigam National park. Dachigam stands for 10 villages and this name was kept when ten village communities were relocated to create this park. Situated 22 km away from the town of Srinagar, this national park is home to Himalayan Grey Langur, Himalayan Brown Bear, and Owlets. This place is also the habitat of the endangered Kashmiri Stag.
The natural beauty that dwells is Srinagar sets it apart from other hill stations of India. It will grow on you the more you explore it. To do it right, prefer taking a Srinagar tour package that includes all the famous tourist spots in Srinagar.