Srinagar is a beautiful city from the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The city lies in Kashmir valley adjacent to the banks of the River Jhelum. Apart from the unique natural setting, Srinagar is famous for its stationary houseboats and fancy Shikaras in Dal Lake. The floating vegetable market of Srinagar as well as the Mir Bahris, a community living on the lake itself, are great attractions of Srinagar.
The summer capital of J&K also houses some of the magnificent Mughal-age gardens of India, like Chashm-E-Shahi Garden, Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh to name a few. A unique fragrance in the spices of local dishes is another reason to visit Srinagar. With this article, we will get to know about the top 5 tourist destinations in Srinagar to be visited in 2021.
Badamwari: This 14th century garden is very close to the human imagination of what heaven looks like. If you are planning to visit Srinagar then make this particular garden should be included in your Srinagar tour package. Badamwari garden is sprawled over the Hari Parbat hill and creates a grandeur appearance.
Blooming bushes and shrubbery embellish its ambiance to attract every tourist. The garden features a dome which is named after Warris Khan, an Afghan ruler. At the time of the New Year, the Almond trees in the garden are in their blooming phase. The garden was revived before it was open to the public in 2008.
However, this garden can be visited throughout the year but in the spring season, it has a unique natural vibe. Beautiful white flowers spread their aura in the garden and the pleasant smell of the garden is a reward for nature lovers and visitors. In the evening the scenic beauty of the garden is even more admirable.
Preferred timing of the garden: 10:00 AM – 05:00 PM
Chashma Shahi: It is one of the famous Mughal gardens in the Zabarwan range in front of Dal Lake. This was built by Ali Marda Khan in 1632 AD in the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The emperor built this lovely garden for his eldest son Dara Shikoh. The prime attraction of this garden is Rupa Bhawani, a natural freshwater spring.
The name Rupa Bhawani is given on behalf of a famous Kashmiri saint. Chashma Shahi has a terraced garden that also has walkways. Colourful plants & water pools give a royal touch to this beautiful garden. Inspired by Persian gardens, the Chashma Shahi garden is built with exquisite Mughal architecture.
The garden is located at a 12 km distance from the Srinagar city centre. Public transport options of Matador & Mazda are also available to reach the garden. Chashma Shahi garden is open for tourists from March to November every year.
Timings: 8:00 AM – 7:15 PM
Dachigam National Park: Spread in an area of 141 square kilometres, the Dachigam National Park is located at the Zabarwan Range, a part of the western Himalayas. The distance from Srinagar city centre to Dachigam National Park is about 22 kilometres.
The park has a broad range of altitude from 5500 ft. to 14000 ft. and features sloppy grasslands and rocky cliffs. When seen from the Rocky Mountains the view of the Dachigam National Park is mesmerizing. The diversity of flora and fauna is highly appreciated by nature and wildlife lovers.
The initial purpose of establishing this area was to build a huge lake to provide a clean drinking water supply to the Srinagar region. By seeing a varied range of flora and fauna, this area was designated as a National Park in 1981. A high volume of trout fishes in the water bodies of the park and around 500 species of herbs makes this park distinct from others. Dachigam National Park is a great choice for trekking in Kashmir region.
Timing: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Hari Parbat Fort: One of the best historic and adventurous places in Srinagar is Hari Parbat Fort. The fort is also known by the name Kooh-e-Maran and lies on the west side of Dal Lake. This 18th-century Mughal structure was built by Atta Mohammed Khan, an Afghan Governor.
Emperor Akbar in the year 1590 AD constructed a long wall. The surrounding structure of the fort reflects all religions. As the fort is situated on top of the hill, the view of Dal Lake from the fort is spectacular. Hari Parbat Fort also gives a perfect top view of Makhdoom Sahib Shrine.
Tall pillars and old apartment-like design make it very impressive even today. The fort is located at a distance of 17 kilometers from Srinagar Railway Station. As of now, the fort is used by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The maintenance work of the Hari Parbat Fort is currently under the purview of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Timing: 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM
Pari Mahal: The Palace of Fairies (Pari Mahal) is a 7 terraced garden located at the Zabarwan mountain range, overlooking Srinagar city and Dal Lake. This Mahal was erected in the mid-1600s by the order of the eldest son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Dara Shikoh.
Pari Mahal is a great depiction of Islamic architecture. Initially, it was built for the purpose of the library and a residence. Later, Pari Mahal was converted into a space observatory to teach astrology and astronomy. It is also believed that for some time the fort was used as a Buddhist monastery.
The outer wall of the fort is built with a series of 21 arches arranged in descending order. The entrance starts with the 3rd terrace that has two spacious rooms on both sides of the hall. Most of the terraces feature a reservoir but with time these have been turned into ruins. Pari Mahal should not be missed if you have a special connection with historical monuments or you are a history buff.
Timing: 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM