Srinagar is a legendary city in Kashmir. Its rich cultural heritage and beauty draw tourists from far and wide. Srinagar attractions comprise houseboats, lakes, Mughal gardens, and Shikaras. One of the most photogenic cities in India is also famous for its apple and walnut orchards. Let us indulge in exploring the top 15 must-visit places in Srinagar and relish the natural beauty of Srinagar;
1. Dal Lake
Located in the heart of Srinagar, Dal lake is one of the most popular Srinagar tourist spots. It has four basins; Pari Mahal in the north, Lotus Lake in the south, Nehru Park on the northeastern side, and Bisaran on the northwestern side. Shikhara’s are a great way to explore its serene beauty. One can also stay in houseboats that offer beautiful views of Shikara’s adorned with colourful fabric, the reflection of Dasghar mountains in water, and snow-clad peaks in the background. The Lake offers its tourists a range of activities like bird watching, fishing, and taking bike rides around it. A beautiful place for a relaxing holiday.
2. Shalimar Bagh
Shalimar Garden is one of the famous Mughal gardens in Srinagar. Mughal Emperor Jahangir built this beautiful garden for his beloved Empress Nur Jahan. It is spread over 12 hectares and divided into four terraces, each terrace consisting of flowerbeds, fountains, and canals. This beautiful garden consists of varieties of flowers and trees like Cottage roses and Chinar trees. Lush green lawns and tiny Mughal architecture buildings add to its beauty. Shalimar garden is also considered one of the best places for couples in Srinagar and attracts honeymoon visitors often.
3. Hazratbal Mosque
It is considered one of the holiest Muslim sites and holds significant heritage value. The mosque is also one of the tourist places in Srinagar, standing proudly on the northern banks of Dal Lake and overlooking its waters. It houses a relic – a hair of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – which is why it’s visited by millions of people from all over India annually. The building has undergone multiple architectural changes over its lifetime but retains its traditional Mughal-style exterior with intricate stonework, calligraphic inscription, and patterned texture in white marble. The courtyard also contains a vast garden, fountains, and monuments that add to its grandeur.
4. Shankaracharya Temple
The Shankaracharya Temple is a Hindu temple located at the top of the hill Gopadari in the city of Srinagar in Kashmir. The temple houses lord shiva, also known as Shankara Nath or Adi-Shankara. Hindu believe that Shankara Nath has meditated here for long periods. This ancient temple dates back to 200 BC, with beautiful architecture and four ornate doors leading into an inner sanctum that contains Shiva’s idol with images of other Hindu gods such as Ganesha, Parvati, and Hanuman. Visitors can see spectacular views from various parts of the temple complex, especially from its rooftop terrace. The Shankar Acharya temple is one of the must-visit places in Srinagar for those travelling to Kashmir.
5. Nishat Bagh
Nishat Bagh is Considered one of the most beautiful Mughal gardens in Asia. It was built by Asif Khan, brother-in-law of Emperor Jahangir, in 1633–1635 AD. The garden has 12 terraces that rise from the banks of Dal Lake, with impressive views of the lake, surrounding mountains, and forest. This garden draws visitors for its lovely fountains, flowerbeds, and pathways lined by tall poplar trees. In addition to its aesthetic beauty, Nishat Bagh serves as a popular Srinagar attraction for locals and tourists all year round.
6. Pathar Masjid
It is one of the unexplored places in the heart of old Srinagar. Pathar Masjid is named so because it was, built with stones that had to be, brought from far-off places. The Masjid was first known as Mir Mohammed Masjid after Mir Mohammed, an Afghan general who constructed it in the early 1700s to commemorate his victory over the Mughal forces. Pathar Masjid overlooks a beautiful lake and many small lanes in the city, making it an attractive destination for sightseeing and photography. Despite its antiquity, this mosque has remained intact throughout history and still stands proud today.
7. Nigeen Lake
Nigeen Lake is one of the beautiful Srinagar attractions, situated at the foothills of the majestic Zabarwan Mountains. It is also known as the ‘Jewel in the crown of Kashmir’ for its breathtaking beauty and exquisiteness. This pristine natural lake is spread over 27 sq km and is connected to Dal Lake by a narrow straight. A unique feature of this lake is that there are two other lakes on either side – Anchar and Bodh Khul – connected by canals. Due to its alluring locale and picturesque beauty, people come here from around India to enjoy different activities such as boating, fishing, bird-watching, etc. The magnificent beauty of this glacial lake will mesmerize you. One can experience the colourful culture amidst gorgeous landscapes.
8. Chinar Bagh
The Bagh is a well-known park inside Dal lake in Srinagar. The park provides a charming ambience with its four majestic Chinar trees at its four corners. The spectacular view of the Dal Lake and surrounding terrains add an extra sparkle to the place, taking it up several notches. Within its premises, Char Chinar Bagh sports evergreen lawns, an array of beautiful flowers, and plantations that make it quite picturesque and eye-catching. People often come over here to spend quality time with their friends and family or take a leisure stroll around the park. The park radiates chinar beauty, thus becoming the major tourist Srinagar attraction and one of the best places for couples in Srinagar.
9. Pari Mahal
It is one of the must-visit places in Srinagar. The said Mughal garden is on top of a hill. It was built in 1655 by Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The Mahal stands tall and offers magnificent views of the city and its picturesque landscape. The palace has six terraces with sandstone pavement, lawns, fountains, and pavilions with arched niches. You can find many trees of Cyprus and apples, making the ambience serene. It offers a popular tourist destination for those willing to experience some history and beautiful sceneries.
10. Tulip Garden
The garden of tulips in Kashmir is the biggest in Asia, making it a great tourist attraction in Srinagar. It is spread over 30 hectares and contains more than 70 species. The captivating views, lush gardens, and a mesmerizing array of colourful tulips spread across this astounding marvel make it a truly breathtaking experience. The tulips planted in rows later bloom to create quite an inviting sight. It’s a popular spot for photography, as the perfect backdrop of tulips in full bloom gives breathtaking pictures that capture the beauty of nature. The Srinagar tulip garden is a haven for all nature lovers.
11. Jamia Masjid
It is a majestic mosque in the city of Srinagar. The Masjid is a Major tourist place near Srinagar. Made during the reign of Sultan Sikandar Butshikan in 1385. It is one of the oldest surviving mosques in India. The grand Masjid is a built-in red stone, limestone, elaborate plasterwork, and marble balconies. The Idgah offers an impressive view of the city centre and Dal Lake. The main prayer hall inside houses about 3300 worshippers at once. To this day, people from different religious backgrounds keep visiting the grand Masjid to offer prayers and seek blessings from Allah. The Masjid is a Major tourist place near Srinagar.
12. Royal Spring Golf Course
It is one of the unexplored places near Srinagar. The beautiful golf course near Dal Lake Srinagar. This 18-hole golf course provides tremendous experience for amateurs or professional players. The main attractions of the golf course are the lush green fairways, which are bordered by tall trees, offering a panoramic view of Dal Lake. Players can choose from different categories of tee boxes to suit their skill level and preference. The Royal Spring Golf Course also offers luxurious cottages on rent that enable visitors to stay close to nature. Other facilities include multiple restaurants, cafes, and lounges where one can dine with friends or family after playing golf.
13. Botanical Garden Nehru Park
It is a must-visit place in Srinagar for nature lovers and plant enthusiasts. Located in the Kashmir Valley at the banks of Dal Lake, the garden was first established in 1969 by the Jammu & Kashmir Forest Department. It contains over 500 species of plants from all around India, including medicinal and aromatic herbs, ornamental trees and shrubs, ferns, and aquatic plants. A peculiar feature of the gardens is their beautiful displays of tulips during the spring season. Nature trails and a special children’s corner at this botanical garden provide an immersive experience for visitors. It offers a perfect spot to spend quality time in nature.
14. Kashmir Valley Art Gallery
It displays the culture and art of Kashmir, showcasing traditional crafts and paintings from Kashmir. The Gallery is a must-visit place in Srinagar. It is a visual feast for all art lovers. Artwork of contemporary, modern, historical, or folk is all on display from the valley. Visitors can purchase unique pieces ranging from shawls to sculptures. Including traditional Persian rugs and pashmina shawls embroidered with intricate motifs, it is a great place to buy souvenirs while appreciating the artwork.
15. Alama Iqbal Park
It is a beautiful park in Srinagar and one of the most popular, Srinagar tourist attractions. Its picturesque locations and stunning views of the Himalayas, Dal Lake, and other local scenic spots. Visitors can enjoy lush gardens, green lawns, art galleries, and fine eateries. Boating facilities and sensory gardens are also available here. The park also features libraries and playgrounds for children to savour this amazingly natural destination. Alama Iqbal Park is famous for picnics, relaxation, and fun excursions with family or friends.
Mujtaba Hussain is a poet, writer and analyst. He loves to research different things. Travelling is his passion, and he is in quest of learning something about everything.