Places of visit in Srinagar in one day

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Yeh jagah utni bhi buri nahi jitna aap News par dekhte ho (This place is not so bad as they show it in the News); sitting on the deck of our Houseboat, soaking in early morning sun over Dal Lake; Bilal, our house boat owner spoke.

 

And that moment we realised what Kashmir has been through in the subtext of political turmoil. When I was little, my grandfather used to tell me stories from Kashmir. Kashmir that is “Heaven on Earth”, Kashmir that is breathtakingly scenic, Kashmir that is addictive. And here we are standing at the deck glancing at the beautiful Dal lake that mirrors the adjacent mountain and the first thing our houseboat owner worries about is our perception of Kashmir being “Unsafe”. Irony!

However, we can guarantee you one thing, even if you spend only a day in Srinagar and talk to locals like Bilal bhai; your views about Kashmir would change for ever. Let us tell you about places of visit in Srinagar in a day– What to see, where to eat, what to do and everything!!

Places of visit in Srinagar
Houseboats are truly special

|| Spend early morning appreciating…

We highly recommend staying in a houseboat over Dal or Nigeen Lake. We stayed at New Bombay Heritage group of Houseboats which is owned by Bilal Bhai, an amazing host to make you feel at home.

Spend couple of hours early in the morning just watching sun rise over Dal lake, sipping a cup of authentic Kashmiri Kawah (an aromatic herbal tea with saffron spices, shredded almonds, and walnuts) and soak the panoramic beauty of the place. The calmness and silence of early morning Dal lake will make you fall for Kashmir even before you step out. The Dal lake in itself is one of the most beautiful places of visit in Srinagar in a day and to club it up with the golden hour is mesmerising.

Sunrise over Dal Lake
Sunrise over Dal Lake
Places of visit in Srinagar
Slowly the place comes to life

|| A Kashmiri style Breakfast to follow….

Finish your breakfast in any of the bakeries opposite to Dal Lake or in Lal Chowk. You should try the local breads like Bakarkhani (tossed in ghee, a soft crunchy loaf of bread), Tsot (bread loaf with poppy and sesame seeds), Khambir ( a thick crust pan shaped bread) , Sheermal (a seet saffron flavored flatbread that will melt in your mouth)

Kashmir Bakery - be the best
Kashmir Bakery - be the best
Kawah - the signature of Kashmir
Kawah - the signature of Kashmir

|| Places of visit in Srinagar...

Spend the morning hours by seeing Mughal Gardens (Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, Chashme Shahi) and Pari Mahal. You can also visit Shankaracharya temple.

Places of visit in Srinagar
Ready to go...

Shalimar Bagh:

On the banks of Dal Lake, Shalimar Bagh is the largest Mughal Garden in Srinagar. This serene place is also popularly known as the ‘house of love’ and was originally called ‘Farah Baksh’, means ‘delightful’. Surrounded by mesmerizing Chinar trees and their perfectly manicured leaves, Shalimar Bagh gives you a feel of heritage, comfort, and piece. A canal running centrally to the garden also adds to the charming beauty of this masterpiece.

Shalimar Bagh: Places of visit in Srinagar
Shalimar Bagh

Nishat Bagh:

With Dal Lake on one side and mountains as the backdrop, Nishat Bagh is another terraced Mughal garden with lavish fountains. Known as “Garden of Bliss”, Nishat Bagh is as beautiful as Shalimar Bagh though less touristy.

Nishat Bagh
Nishat Bagh
Nishat Bagh
Fountains at Nishat Bagh

Chashme Sahi:

Smallest of the Mughal Gardens, Chashme Sahi, is situated at the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains in Srinagar. Emperor Shah Jahan situated this beautiful garden with colourful flowers and carpet of greenery in 1632.

If you are travelling during March and April, do not miss the Tulip Garden in Srinagar.  It is one of the most spectacular sight as Srinagar homes Asia’s largest tulip garden.

Chashme Sahi: Places of visit in Srinagar
Chashme Sahi

Pari Mahal (Abode of faries):

One of the must places of visit in Srinagar in a day is Pari Mahal. The extravagance of this Mughal architecture wrapped in relaxed air will move you for sure. The six terraced gardens sitting on top of the Zabarwan mountain range and overlooking Dal lake, offers breathtaking view of meadows and the entire valley, has all good reasons to justify its title.

Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal
Pari Mahal
The valley view from Pari Mahal
The valley view from Pari Mahal

|| Time for an authentic Kashmiri lunch...

And our vote for a lunch place in Srinagar, goes to Mughal Darbar which welcomes you with its royal décor, amazing people and equally tasty food.

You can try below items:

  • Wazwan: The top-most delicacy of Kashmiri cuisine, Wazwan traditionally refers to a feast of meal with 36 dishes (mainly meat products and few vegetable items) prepared in events like Kashmiri marriage. In restaurant a chef can customize a platter for you to taste this true Kashmir delicacy.
  • Rogan Josh: If you don’t want to try a full plate of Wazwan, you should must try Rogan Josh which is a flavored lamb curry and tastes very different in this part of India

Few other things you can try, Modur Pulao, Yakhni Lamb curry, Tuji, Nadru Palak etc.

Mughal Darbar
Mughal Darbar
Wazwan
Wazwan - a no brainer when in Kashmir

|| A visit to Hazratbal Shrine..

At the heart of Srinagar University area beside Dal lake, this dainty white-domed mosque is the holiest Muslim shrine in Srinagar. Enjoy the silence of this place specially if you are visiting in the afternoon. Just make sure to wear clothes that cover yourself to pay respect to this location.

Hazratbal Shrine
Hazratbal Shrine

|| Shikara ride in the Dal lake to end your day ..

As they say, “Keep the best till the end”. An evening Shikara ride over Dal lake is going to be the most memorable experience to end your day in this paradise.

With colorful carpets and rugs in the cozy set up of Shikara, you will throw away all the day’s tiredness and glide through the still waters at the slowest pace possible experiencing the blue sky, reflection of mountains, the life on the lakes as another day is nearing to an end.

Enjoy the sound of oars lashing against the calm waters, the green moss cover of the water and thick cluster of lilies along with pink lotuses.  You will also pass by a floating market with numerous boats selling flowers, cookies and Kawah, saffron, spices and what not.

Dal lake
Dal lake
Dal lake
Dal lake
Dal lake
Dal lake
Dal lake

After coming back when you sit on the houseboat deck reflecting the day spent, you would belief in the true image of Kashmir restored. The Kashmir of your dreams. The Kashmir that is “Heaven on Earth”, Kashmir that is beyond gunshots and violence, Kashmiris who are undoubtedly the best hosts and simplest souls who would happily take your around what the world calls “Jannat” for a day !!

Places of visit in Srinagar
Heaven on Earth !!

Planning a roadtrip to Ladakh from Kashmir ? Read our detailed Leh Ladakh- all-inclusive 9 days Itinerary by road

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The Exploring Eyes

To him it is his oxygen, to her it is the way of living. Travelling has helped us evolve so much as a person, giving us an entirely different perspective to see the world!

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