Jammu & Kashmir is a beautiful Himalayan valley state bestowed with scenic, breath-taking sites in abundance. ‘Srinagar' is situated in the core of Kashmir valley and is popularly known as the Summer Capital of Kashmir. This Lake City’s picturesque views have always attracted both indigenous as well as international tourists. It has always been a favourite getaway destination, usually during the scorching summer season. The valley’s cost-effectiveness, as compared to other popular international destinations, has many people calling it the ‘The Affordable Switzerland’. Here are a few well-known and unmatched sites in Srinagar, which definitely deserve a visit :
THE DAL LAKE
The Dal Lake to Srinagar is what Eiffel is to Paris. It is considered as one of the most important landmarks of Srinagar. This natural wetland can be seen flooded with tourists, all year round. It is surrounded by lush-green gardens built by the Mughals. The Nishat Garden and Shalimar Bagh are simply astonishing. The icing on the cake are the beautifully carved Shikaras which provide a mesmerizing ride. The Dal Lake has catered to several Bollywood films like, Junglee, Kashmir ki kali, Rockstar etc.
Another highly popular tourist attraction in Srinagar are the Mughal Gardens. Situated on the banks of Dal Lake, this natural marvel comprises of the Nishat Garden, The Shalimar Bagh and the Chashme Shahi Garden. All built during the Mughal Reigion, the gardens depict the Mughal's irrevocable love and fondness for nature and beauty. The most widely known among these is the Shalimar Bagh, which has always managed to stun tourists with its awe-inspiring and delicate blooms.
A holy shrine and an immensely popular pilgrimage destination, the Shankaracharya Temple attracts, particularly Hindu devotees from around the globe. The temple derived its name from the Shankaracharya Hill, atop which, it is situated. The temple is devoted to Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the Supreme Power controlling the entire Universe, according to Hindu mythology. The temple has a magnificent architecture, which has stood the tests of time. Given its height, the Temple offers a majestic and a grand view of Srinagar.
Another holy shrine, the Jamia Masjid is a renowned mosque, depicting architectural excellence. The Mosque exhibits a marvelous courtyard, lined by 370 wooden pillars, which speak volumes about the peerless beauty and unrivalled architectural perfection. The Mosque hosts a huge footfall on Friday, with devotees pouring in from all parts of the world, due to enormous importance of this day in Islam.
Standing witness to a magnificent past of Kashmir, the Gulab Bhavan appears as a Palace adorned in snow. The Palace was once the home to the Maharajas of Jammu & Kashmir. The Bharat Hotels Group later undertook the Palace and relaunched it as The Lalit Grand Palace, in 2008, giving a major thrust to the Hospitality sector. The Palace boasts of a pristine architecture, which has attracted tourists to this luxurious hotel, equipped with world-class facilities.
ADVENTURE TOURISM IN SRINAGAR
Srinagar is a hub of adventure sports, and offers a wide range of adrenaline pumping sports facilities, bound to leave you craving for more. Be it trekking, skiing, water-rafting, hiking or camping, you name it and you have it. Gulmarg is a widely publicized and highly acknowledged skiing destination in Srinagar and as well as in India. The Dachingam National Park offers a safari that can leave you with unforgettable views of Himalayan flora, leopards, black bulbul etc. Other sought after adventure destinations include Pehelgam, Sonmarg etc.
FAMOUS DELICACIES TO ENJOY
Apart from some eye-appetizing sites. Srinagar also has to offer some finger-licking good food, with the flavors dancing on your taste buds. The availability of fresh spices, imparts a unique character to the food. Tsot, a distinct kind of a bread, or kulcha, can be really appetizing when gulped down witb ‘noon chai' during the morning hours. A distinguished variety of rice called Kosher Tamoul, served with veggies like nadir haaq or goggi razmah make for a perfect brunch. Other famous cuisines include Haaq Saag, Gushtaba etc.
WEATHER AND CONNECTIVITY
Sringar is one of the few destinations which attracts tourists year round. During summers, starting from April, it can be visited for its scenic beauty and dancing tulips. During winters, the temperatures drop below zero, and winter sports lovers in huge numbers flock towards Srinagar for skiing and various other activities. Srinagar is well-connected with all major National and International airports, and a well-developed train and road transportation.