Srinagar is most correctly called as the "Paradise on Earth" with its beautiful backdrop of mountains, the gorgeous Dal Lake and its ever so pleasant environment. There are also a number of places to visit and things to do in Srinagar that attract a whole lot of tourists all through the year. From staying in a houseboat, to riding the shikhara, trekking to the mountains and wandering the woods, there is no dearth of exciting things to do in Srinagar. There are also a number of gardens that you can visit, in addition to several shrines, monuments, temples and museums. Have a look at the elaborate list of things to do in Srinagar given below!
Here is the list of 33 Things to do in Srinagar for a Perfect Vacation
The jewel of Srinagar, the Dal lake is synonymous to a visit to Srinagar and almost a visual definition of the town. One of the prime things to do in Srinagar is visiting this pristine lake. Spread over 26 square kilometres, it is the most photogenic stretch of paradise on earth and undoubtedly also the most sought after attraction. It is situated in the midst of beautiful lush green mountains and is the most pristine view of nature in all its glory. Facilities such as shikara boat rides, house boats and lake markets make this place a favourite among tourists.
The paramount reason why people come to Srinagar is for the relaxing and memorable Shikara rides. Experiencing one is one of the topmost things to do in Srinagar. Taking the ride across the scenic Dal Lake at the backdrop of the majestic slow clad Himalaya's is indeed an experience in itself both enjoyable and unparalleled. Shikara rides can be taken in one of the circuits from Nehru Park past Hazratbal, Nagin, Rainawari and back.
Staying in a houseboat amidst pristine waters of the Dal Lake, is one of the most essential things to do in Srinagar. Made in wood and adorned in a typical Kashmir style decor, the houseboats are a perfect way to experience the quintessential local life in the luxurious way. You will also be mesmerised by the surrounding atmosphere and the interior decor. Plus, it is a very calming and soothing activity to experience and you will leave fully rejuvenated.
Mughal Gardens which have truly changed the face of the Mughal Empire is one of the most popular and the most visited tourist attractions of Srinagar. During their rule, the Mughals began to build several types of gardens in Persian architecture, and the combination of these gardens is referred to as the Mughal Gardens. The natural beauty of the place filled with lush green grass and the scented flowers is a stress-buster and pleasing to the eyes. Visiting the gardens is one of the top things to do in Srinagar; the tourists who come here take long strolls in the garden or sit and admire the beauty of the place.
Srinagar is colorful and beautiful in all its sides. Cuisine follows the same idea, with dishes that are rich, unique and significant enough to create a food culture around themselves. Kashmiri kebabs found are famous worldwide and you just cannot step out of Srinagar without trying these. Also this is the place for the authentic green tea and Kawah. While here, one can also indulge in popular local breads available here with a sip of 'Pink tea'. Tsot is a local bread with sesame and poppy seeds and is quite popular in menus for breakfast.
Spread over a whopping 30 hectares of land area, Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden (previously known as Model Floriculture Centre) is the largest tulip garden in all of Asia. Lines of tulip cultivation in every possible colour with a backdrop of the majestic Zabarwan Hills and with an view of the Dal Lake at a distance, visiting the garden is one of the prime things to do in Srinagar. It is built on a seven terraced sloping ground and attracts a large tourist influx especially during the blooming season.
Srinagar is also popular for its floating vegetable markets where vegetable and fruits are sold around in the waters on the Shikara. More than a sell-purchase transaction, it is an interesting place to visit for sightseeing. One of the most unique things to do in Srinagar, these markets are run at the corner of the Dal Lake and besides the regular traders and buyers, they attract a whole lot of tourists.
Srinagar is counted among the most beautiful places of India owing to its lush green orchards, free flowing rivers and paradisal locales. Also, 80% of the country's apple supplies are managed from here. So visit the emerald carpeted meadows full of green trees sprinkled with shiny red apples and let the picture perfect scene be etched in your memory forever. Walking through these beauteous apple orchards is one of the best things to do in Srinagar.
Located in Nowhatta in the heart of the city of Srinagar, the Jamia Masjid is a famous mosque that is more than 600 years old. The quaint mosque is located in a historic area which has witnessed numerous historical events of great importance. In fact, it can be stated with confidence that the history of the Jamia Masjid is a reflection of the history of the political uprisings of Kashmir. The Jamia Masjid is also the largest mosque in Kashmir that is known for its peaceful atmosphere, and visiting here is one of the top things to do in Srinagar, both by the tourists and the pilgrims.
Challi Point is one of the most trendy and popular places in Srinagar. There are small stalls dotted in the area selling seekh kababs and corn that you can relish on to while you spend a pleasurable and balmy evening. You can try out the local refreshments amidst pleasant surroundings. With the Dal lake in the backdrop, this place bustles with both tourists and locals spending some enjoyable time amidst breathtaking sceneries. Be sure to include visiting here in your top list of things to do in Srinagar.
The Nishat Bagh in near Kashmir's Dal lake is a 12 terraced garden filled with endearing flowers and beautiful trees. It is the second largest Mughal garden in the Kashmir Valley after Shalimar Bagh. It has a splendid Mughal central water channel with several fountains, which is surrounded by tall Chinar trees. With the Zabarwan Mountains as its backdrop, Nishat Bagh is a garden of bliss that overlooks the lake beneath the snow-covered Pir Panjal mountain range to the west of the valley. The garden is very photogenic and attracts a lot of young couples and families. Visiting here is one of the touristy things to do in Srinagar.
The Shankaracharya Temple is a beautiful and mesmerising temple that is situated on the Gopadari Hills on the south-east of Srinagar at the height of 1,100 feet above the sea level. Built in the dedication of Lord Shiva, the temple is also known as the Jyesteshwara Temple or the Pas-Pahar by Buddhists and overlooks the entire magnificent city of Srinagar. The temple is visited by thousands of devotees every year, especially for worship and during the Amarnath Yatra. Be sure to include visiting here in your travel list of things to do in Srinagar.
Srinagar is the place to shop for all that the state is famous for. Essentials include Cashmere Shawls, leather products, carpets, rugs, mats, dry fruits and more. Paper mache products that include jewellery boxes, wall hangings etc of a special style and design particular to the Kashmir, are a specialty here, and one cannot leave the state without getting their hands on some.
Located in the sublime beauty of Kashmir, Shalimar Bagh is a beautifully laid out garden which is the largest of its kind in the valley. This pristine attraction lies overlooking the scintillating waters of the Dal Lake. The term 'Shalimar' is a Sanskrit word meaning 'Abode of Love' and is known by several other names such as Faiz Baksh and Farah Baksh. Exhibiting the exemplary craftsmanship of Mughals in horticulture, the place is quite popular with tourists from all over the world and making a visit here is one of the top things to do in Srinagar.
Considered to be the holiest Muslim shrine in the Kashmir Valley, the Hazratbal Shrine is a Muslim shrine that is located on the left bank of the spectacular Dal Lake. Situated in Hazratbal in Srinagar, India, the shrine takes its name from the Kashmiri language, where Hazrat means 'holy', and the word bal stands for 'place'. Hazratbal thus literally means the 'Majestic Place' and is particularly famous since it houses a relic known as the Moi-e-Muqqadas, which is believed by many Muslims of Kashmir to be a hair of Muhammad, the Prophet. The hair has been preserved safely in the shrine and is brought before the general public only on specific occasions.
Paragliding is one of the most exciting activities that you can experience in Srinagar. Most of the adventure clubs let you experience the thrills of paragliding. Besides giving you a major adrenaline rush, it also let's you have a gorgeous bird's eye view of the valley below. If you are an adventure junkee, you should especially try this one out.
Dal Lake is marked by an island which houses ancient and beautiful Chinar trees. The entire island is dotted with pretty chinar trees in abundance and is a visual delight. Don't forget to ask your Shikara to be steered in this direction to catch a view of this island. This is surely going to be one of the most memorable experiences of your life and visiting here is one of the best things to do in Srinagar.
One of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia, the pristine beauty of Wular Lake is in Bandipora district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The majestic lake has a breathtaking view and attracts a huge number of visitors around the year. A favourite picnic spot among locals and tourists alike, Wular Lake is replenished by the water of the mighty Jhelum river and is one of the 26 wetlands of India. This attraction is the perfect place to sit back and revel in the beauty of nature away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Kathi Darwaza is the main entrance gate of the famous monument Hari Parbat Fort in Srinagar. A rare specimen of Mughal architecture, the high domed gate is flanked by bays and has tiny Mughal and Persian inscriptions etched on the interior walls and ceilings. The gate, no doubt, accentuates the grandeur and splendour of the fort. Be sure to include visiting the fort in your top things to do in Srinagar.
A trek that not only gives you a thrill of adventure but also a glimpse of nature’s beauty so spell bounding is one of the most memorable trips of Tarsar Marsar Trek. Nestled in the lap of Aru Valley of Kashmir, the trail is of quite a magnificence adorned with variety of landscapes. A riot of colours of flowers dotting the vast valleys is a sight to behold while the gushing streams falling to create small swimming pools bounded by grassy mounds accounts for a sheer sight of beauty. If you are an adventure enthusiast, taking this trek should be in your bucket list of things to do in Srinagar.
Providing you the best view of the Dal lake is Nehru garden. Built in 1969, dedicated to the first Prime Minister of India, the garden boasts of a variety of plants and lush green vegetation. With its well maintained landscapes, you can head out to this garden on a lazy Sunday morning for a picnic or simply relaxing.
Pari Mahal is a mesmerizing historical monument located above the beautiful Chashme Shahi Gardens near Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. It is also called the abode of fairies or the home of angels with its six terraced gardens constructed on top of the Zabarwan Mountain Range. The gardens that surround the magnificent structure of Pari Mahal are exceptionally well maintained and are a treat for sore eyes. Nature lovers are sure to find this attraction fascinating. The architecture of the Mahal is traditional Islamic type of architecture and is considered to be a significant historical monument in India. Make sure to include visiting here in your top things to do in Srinagar.
With spellbinding beauty and aesthetic fountains, The Chashmeshahi Garden is a famous tourist destination. The garden consists of a pavilion and three terraces and is famous for the natural spring that flows from it. Its location, being at an elevated plane above the city, provides a panoramic view of the city. Visiting here is one of the top touristy things to do in Srinagar.
Engulfing you in its blue serene waters is the Nagin lake located on the eastern side of Srinagar city (6 km reachable within 11 mins by taxi). Also known as the "Jewel in the Ring", it is separated from the Dal Lake by a thin causeway. Being less crowded, the lake is ideal for swimming. Water Skiing & sailing on fiberglass boats can also be enjoyed here. However, boat ride still remains the most popular activity here. Best time to visit here is from May to September. Hazratbal Mosque is a close by attraction to visit.
Chinar park is a recent addition to the tourism scene in Srinagar. Housing three island, old Chinar trees, flowers, musical fountains, kiosks, an open air theater for cultural programs and swings, the park is quickly making its way to the list of favorites of the town. One can also enjoy swimming, camping and more here.
The Pratap Singh Museum is home to ancient terracotta heads dating back to the 3rd century, found at the Buddhist site at Ushkur & molded terracotta plaques of the 4th & 5th century from Harwan. Accessible by taxis, auto rickshaws and buses, it is praise worthy museum to visit. Tourists need to present their passport before entering this museum.
Sinthan Top is a mountain pass in the Pir Panjal Mountain Ranges enroute the National Highway of Kokernag-Sinthan Top-Kishtwar Road that connects Jammu and Kashmir. The snow laden hilltop is lately emerging as a new tourist destination owing to the beautiful views and the idyllic setting. It is also popular for mountaineering, trekking and skiing.
Situated right out the Hari Parbatês southern gate in Srinagar, Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara is the most important and probably the largest Sikh gurudwara in all of Kashmir valley. The shrine has a sanctum sanctorum in middle of a large rectangular hall. It also has accomodation facilities and langar food is offered to all visitors every day of the year.
Located towards the south of Hari Parbat in Srinagar, Makhdoom Sahib Shrine is an Islamic shrine dedicated to Sufi saint Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom aka Makhdoom Saheb aka Hazrat Sultan aka Mehboob-ul-Alam aka Sultan-ul-Arifeen. Built in Mughal style architecture, the sturdy shrine rests on innumerous pillars and is thronged by pilgrims all through the year.
The majestic mountain overlooking the city of Srinagar is called Hari Parbat. Besides the famous Hari Parbat fort, the mountain also has various shrines dedicated to several deities, the most prominent of which is Sharika Devi Temple enshrined by Goddess Jagadamba Sharika Bhagwati. You can either trek or choose to climb up the stairs to get to the top. It offers gorgeous views of the valley below.
Literally translating into the 'ten villages', a possible reference to the ten settlements that were relocated to have the National Park here, what was initially constructed to take care of the drinking water supply of the town, is today a habitat to a number of species of wildlife. One can spot in its landscapes Leopards, Musk Deers, Hill fox, Jackals, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Grey Langur, Otter and many more. Visiting here is one of the top things to do in Srinagar.
Salim Ali National Park is a beautiful mangrove shrubbery habitat for several endangered animals and birds alike. Named in commemoration of ornithologist Salim Ali, it is located in Srinagar with an area of 9 km. Tourists can sight animals such as leopard, flying fox, the Kashmiri stag and birds such as the kingfisher, ringdove, swamp francolin among others.
Burzhama Ruins is situated in Burzahom in Srinagar. It is archaeological excavation site where numerous relics and remnants have been discovered suggesting the existence of an ancient settlement hundreds of years before. The excavations include skeletons, pottery, dwelling pits, mud brick houses and bone and stone tools.