Rediscovering Paradise: Untold Stories of Srinagar

Sep 17, 2023 By Sean William

Planning a trip can often be overwhelming. Dotted with tranquil lakes, the majestic beauty of Mughal gardens, and the aura of age-old temples, Srinagar offers a blend of nature and history that is hard to match. There's no shortage of places to see in Srinagar. This city, nestled amidst breathtaking landscapes, is a haven for adventurers, nature lovers, and those passionate about delving into culture and history. From the natural splendors to architectural marvels, Srinagar promises an experience that will linger in your memories. In essence, for those pondering over the best places to visit in Srinagar, the city offers a bouquet of choices that cater to every whim and fancy.

Dal Lake

Since Dal Lake is the city's main draw, it should naturally be at the top of each visitor's Srinagar itinerary. The scenery of Dal Lake is most impressive from the boulevard. One of the most beautiful lakes in the Kashmir valley, it is encircled on three sides by the zabarban hills and surrounded by gardens and orchids.

Known to everyone who have visited Kashmir as both the "Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir" and Srinagar's Jewel, this placid lake is a must-see for any traveler to the valley. It is the state's second-largest lake and is used for commercial fisheries and the collection of water plants.

The lake covers a total area of around 18 square kilometers (9.6 miles), is surrounded by a string of gardens, parks, and the aforementioned famous houseboats, and ranges in depth from 5 feet on average to 20 feet at its deepest point.

The Dal lake is located in a 21 square kilometer marsh, which is home to the unique 'Rad' or floating gardens. In the middle of the year, the floating gardens are illuminated by the blooming of thousands of lotus flowers. Families often bring their children here when they visit Srinagar. A great journey can be had by taking a Shikara ride and sleeping in a houseboat. Specifically, you'll find this on Boulevard Road in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

Srinagar International Airport is the closest major airport, located at 21 kilometers from Dal Lake. Taxis and cabs are readily available near the terminal and the bus terminal. The trip to the lake from Lal Chowk is quick and easy, taking at most 20 minutes.

Mughal Gardens

Thousands of tourists go to Srinagar each year to experience the tranquility of the Mughal Gardens. Within the Mughal Gardens were canals and fountains. The koranic ideas of paradise serve as inspiration for their aesthetic, especially in terms of the layouts they employ.

The Mughal Gardens are easy to get to because of its central location in Srinagar and their proximity to Srinagar International Airport. The roads between these are excellent. From the downtown area, the airport, and the bus terminal, you may easily hail a cab, take the bus, or hail a taxi.

Shankaracharya Temple

Lord Shiva is worshiped at the Shankaracharya Temple in Srinagar. Located on top of Shankaracharya Hill, it has an elevation of around 1852 m above sea level. This holy site is also known as the Pas-Pahar temple or the Jyesteshwara temple.

The saint Shankaracharya, who came to the valley in the year 1000 to spread his Vedanta philosophy, is the inspiration for the temple's name. He gained notoriety for spreading Shivaism throughout Kashmir.

It's a great spot for a family vacation in Srinagar. Numerous alterations and refurbishments have been made to the Shankaracharya Temple. The tranquility and quiet of the temple, however, will help you forget all your worries.

The Shankracharya Temple may be reached by traveling 18 kilometers from Srinagar International Airport.

Jama Masjid

Located in Nowhatta in the heart of the old city, it is another fine example of Islamic architecture. In addition to its significance as a sacred destination for Muslims, the area also attracts historians and others interested in architecture.

It has been said that this mosque has undergone three separate renovations, each of which has failed to diminish its enduring grandeur. The peaceful surroundings of the mosque stand in stark contrast to the chaotic and raucous market just outside. On the other hand, the faithful gather here every Friday to pray. It’s located at Nowhatta, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir.

Dachigam National Park

Dachigam National Park has an area of 141 square kilometers in the Himalayas, just 22 kilometers from Srinagar. Formerly the game preserve of the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, the region is now home to the critically endangered Hangul or Kashmiri stag.

With the catchment area for the Harwan reservoir, which provides the city's clean drinking water, the Park has been a protected area since 1910. Dachigam literally means "ten villages," which is a very accurate description of the area.

This park is a treasure trove of biodiversity with over 500 distinct herbs, 20 varieties of shrubs, and 50 types of trees. The unique altitude variations within the reserve mean that the flora flourishes distinctly in its higher and lower terrains.

For wildlife enthusiasts, this sanctuary is nothing short of a paradise. From elusive leopards and the robust Himalayan black bears to the fragrant musk deer and the rare Himalayan Grey Langur, the park houses a rich tapestry of fauna. Bird watchers too have a reason to rejoice, with species like the diminutive pygmy owl, the vibrant Himalayan monal, the koala pheasant, and the melodious oriole gracing the park. The altitude of the park also gifts it with a visual spectacle; pristine snow blankets in winter and a riot of colors in summer with flowers like the ethereal blue poppy. So, when considering the best places to visit in Srinagar, this reserve offers memories that can be cherished and shared for a lifetime.

Dachigam National Park may be reached by traveling 20 kilometers outside of the city. It is a 27-kilometer (or 14-mile) taxi ride or short bus ride from the airport.

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