City Guide: All About Srinagar, The Land Of Lakes And Gardens

Embark on a journey to the heart of the Kashmir Valley, Srinagar, where enchanting houseboats, Mughal gardens, and Himalayan vistas create an unparalleled tapestry of beauty and culture
A view of Srinagar
A view of SrinagarShutterstock

Nestled in the breathtaking Kashmir Valley, Srinagar stands as the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, captivating visitors with its timeless charm. Famous for its iconic Dal Lake, Mughal gardens, and vibrant markets, Srinagar is a testament to the region's rich cultural heritage. From houseboat experiences to exploring ancient mosques, the city offers a blend of natural beauty and historical elegance.


Srinagar's history is woven into the fabric of Kashmir's rich past, marked by Mughal rule and later becoming a part of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The city witnessed the flourishing of Mughal gardens like Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh during the 16th and 17th centuries. Post-independence, Srinagar has been at the centre of political developments in the region. Despite challenges, its historical sites and cultural significance continue to draw visitors from around the world.


Shankaracharya Temple

Shankaracharya Temple
Shankaracharya TempleShutterstock

Perched on a hilltop, this ancient temple offers panoramic views of Srinagar and the Dal Lake. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it stands as a symbol of Kashmir's spiritual heritage. The temple, also known as the Jyeshteshwara temple, dates back to the 9th century and is a revered pilgrimage site.

Address: Durgjan, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Timings: 7:30 am to 5 pm

Jamia Masjid

Jamia Masjid
Jamia MasjidShutterstock

A masterpiece of Kashmiri architecture, the Jamia Masjid showcases exquisite wooden craftsmanship. Built in the 14th century by Sultan Sikandar, it is a revered religious site and an architectural marvel. The mosque's courtyard can accommodate thousands of worshippers, and its Indo-Saracenic style reflects the cultural syncretism of Kashmir.

Address: Nowhatta Kathi Darwaza Road, Nowhatta, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190003

Hazratbal Shrine

Hazratbal Shrine
Hazratbal ShrineShutterstock

Situated on the northern shores of Dal Lake, this revered Muslim shrine holds a relic believed to be the hair of the Prophet Muhammad. Its pristine white marble structure, topped with a gold-plated dome, reflects serenity and devotion. The annual festival of Eid-e-Milad-un Nabi sees thousands of devotees gathering at the shrine.

Address: Dargah Hazratbal Mosque, University Main Road, Hazaratbal, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190006

Timings: 9 am to 5 pm


Popular Restaurants

Shamyana Restaurant

Overlooking Dal Lake, Shamyana offers a delightful fusion of Kashmiri, Mughlai, and international cuisines. The ambiance is enhanced by live traditional music performances. Signature dishes include Rogan Josh, Yakhni, and Wazwan specialties.

Address: Ghat No.2, boulevard, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Cost: INR 800 for two

Contact: 0194 250 1629

Mughal Darbar

A culinary institution in Srinagar, Mughal Darbar is renowned for its Wazwan, a traditional multi-course Kashmiri feast. The restaurant exudes a regal charm with its intricate Kashmiri decor. Must-try dishes include Rista, Tabak Maaz, and Dum Aloo.

Address: Upstairs, Residency Road, Srinagar J&K (IN)

Cost: INR 1000 for two

Contact: +91-6006074803;

Ahdoos Restaurant

Established in 1918, Ahdoos is a culinary heritage in itself. Famous for its Kashmiri specialties, it provides an authentic taste of local flavours. Try the Kashmiri Kebabs, Haak Saag, and the traditional Wazwan dishes.

Address: Ahdoos Hotel, Residency Road, Regal Chowk, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Cost: INR 1,500 for two

Contact: 0194 247 1984

Stream Restaurant

Nestled by the Jhelum River, this restaurant offers a serene dining experience. The menu includes Kashmiri, Indian, and continental dishes, and the outdoor seating provides a picturesque view. Recommended dishes are Dum Pukht Biryani, Nadru Yakhni, and Gushtaba.

Address: Boulevard Road, Opp.Ghat No. 2, Dalgate Bridge, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Cost: INR 1,000 for two

Contact: 0194 250 0244

Cafe Tulip

Located on the Maulana Azad Road in Srinagar, the Cafe Tulip is renowned for its ambience, service and food quality. The hotel staff are greatly lauded for their work and promptness. You can try their Shahi Tukda, Apple Pie or Rajbhog.

Address: 11, MA Road, Kashmir Golf Course, Nohata, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Cost: INR 1,500 for two

Popular Street Food Joints

Gulshan Bakers & Snacks

Famous for its bakery delights, this spot is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. From Kashmiri bread to snacks, it's a go-to for a quick and tasty bite. Try the Sheermal, Kulcha, and bakery cookies.

Address: Green Avenue Alamdar Colony, Sector B, Gulshan Nagar, Nowgam, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190015

Cost: INR 500 for two

Contact: 097970 94400

Sher Barbeque Cafeteria

About 80 years old now, the Sher Barbeque Cafeteria is a go-to place for barbeque snacks. The place is famous for its mutton skewers prepared with a heavy infusion of spices.

Address: khayam, chowk, Chinar Bagh, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Cost: INR 800 for two

Contact: 099068 01233

Imran Barbeque Cafeteria

Located in Khayam Chowk, Imran Barbeque Cafeteria is highly renowned for its grilled grubs, especially their Tujji and Mutton Kebabs. People flock up to the joint to savour the meaty delights served with soft breads and many chutneys.

Address: BBQ Street, Khayam Chowk, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190003

Cost: INR 800 for two

Contact: 095964 44443

Lhasa Restaurant

Known for its momos and other Tibetan delights, Lhasa Restaurant provides a unique culinary experience in the heart of Srinagar. Don't miss out on Thukpa, Momos, and Butter Tea.

Address: Lane No 3, Boulevard Road, Near Shah Abbas Hotel, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Cost: INR 700 for two

Contact: 099065 46181

Hazratbal Street Food Stalls

Hazratbal Street
Hazratbal StreetShuhtterstock

Explore the street food stalls near Hazratbal for local Kashmiri snacks like phirni, kebabs, and more. The bustling atmosphere adds to the charm of the culinary adventure. Try the Nader Monje, Sheermal, and Tandoori Roti.

Address: 4R3H+QR4, Hazratbal Rd, Karapura, Rainawari, Srinagar, 190003


Dastkar Craft Centre

A haven for handicraft enthusiasts, this centre promotes traditional Kashmiri crafts. Visitors can explore and purchase handwoven carpets, Pashmina shawls, and intricately crafted paper-mâché items. The centre also conducts workshops, allowing visitors to witness the craft-making process.

Address: Munawara Abad, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Timings: 9 am to 9 pm

Aesthetics Art Gallery

Kashmir's first commercial art gallery, Aesthetics Art Gallery, is located in Srinagar's Regal Chowk and was established in March 2022. Iajaz Ahmed Naqshbandi, a civil engineer, urban planner, and telecom expert is the owner of the place that has beautiful Kashmiri landscapes.

Address: Regal Building, Floor 3, Shop #35, Residency Road, 190001 Srinagar

Timings: 11 am to 6 pm

Budshah Tomb

Budshah Tomb
Budshah TombShutterstock

A mausoleum dedicated to Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin, also known as Budshah, it combines Persian and Kashmiri architectural styles. The intricate wooden work and calligraphy on the tomb showcase the region's artistic brilliance. The tomb's surroundings, adorned with Chinar trees, create a serene ambiance for those appreciating art and history.

Address: 3RV2+4X8, Maharajganj, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190002

Timings: 9 am to 6 pm


Shikara Ride on Dal Lake

A shikara on Dal Lake
A shikara on Dal LakeShutterstock

A serene yet adventurous experience, a Shikara ride on Dal Lake provides a unique perspective of the city. Explore floating markets and gardens while basking in the tranquillity of the lake. Shikara rides can be customised, offering a leisurely ride or a more adventurous exploration of the lake.

Gulmarg Ski Resort

Gulmarg ski
Gulmarg ski Shutterstock

Just a short drive from Srinagar, Gulmarg transforms into a winter wonderland during the snow season. Adventure seekers can indulge in skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports against the backdrop of the Pir Panjal range. The Gulmarg Gondola, one of the highest cable cars in the world, offers breathtaking views of the snow-covered peaks.

Aru Valley Trek

Aru Valley
Aru ValleyShutterstock

For trekking enthusiasts, the Aru Valley trek offers stunning landscapes and a glimpse into the local way of life. Surrounded by meadows and mountains, this trek is a perfect escape into nature. Adventure seekers can camp in the Aru Valley, surrounded by the tranquillity of nature.


Lal Chowk

Lal Chowk
Lal ChowkShutterstock

The central market of Srinagar, Lal Chowk, is a bustling hub for shopping. From traditional Kashmiri handicrafts to spices and clothing, the market offers a plethora of options. Visitors can explore Kashmiri carpets, Pashmina shawls, and intricately designed handicrafts.

Polo View Market

Known for its traditional Kashmiri garments, Polo View Market is the go-to place for those seeking Pashmina shawls, embroidered suits, and handcrafted jewellery. The market's narrow lanes are filled with shops offering a range of Kashmiri specialties, making it a treasure trove for shoppers.

Zaina Kadal

This historic bridge also hosts a vibrant market where you can find antique items, traditional Kashmiri spices, and exquisite handicrafts. Zaina Kadal is known for its unique shopping experience, allowing visitors to explore the rich cultural heritage of Srinagar through its markets.


Dal Lake

The jewel of Srinagar, Dal Lake is adorned with houseboats and Shikaras. Take a leisurely Shikara ride or stay in a houseboat to truly experience the charm of this iconic lake. The lake is surrounded by Mughal gardens, adding to its picturesque beauty.

Shalimar Bagh

Shalimar Bagh
Shalimar BaghShutterstock

One of the Mughal gardens, Shalimar Bagh is a visual delight with its terraced lawns, flowing fountains, and vibrant flower beds. Built by Emperor Jahangir for his wife Noor Jahan, the garden's design symbolises paradise on Earth. Visitors can stroll through the well-manicured lawns and experience the grandeur of Mughal architecture.

Nigeen Lake

Nigeen Lake
Nigeen LakeShuttertock

Often considered the quieter cousin of Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake offers tranquillity away from the bustling crowds. Surrounded by the majestic Zabarwan Range, the lake is ideal for a peaceful Shikara ride. Nigeen Lake is also known for its pristine waters, making it a favourite among nature lovers.


Chashme Shahi Royal Spring

Nestled in the Zabarwan Range, Chashme Shahi is known for its natural spring believed to have medicinal properties. Visitors can partake in the refreshing spring water and enjoy the serene surroundings. The garden's terraced layout adds to the peaceful ambiance, making it a perfect spot for wellness and relaxation.

Address: 7, Boulevard Road, Chashma Shahi, Rainawari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Timings: 10 am to 6 pm

Entry Fees: INR 40 per person

Shankaracharya Temple Yoga Platform

The Shankaracharya Temple, perched on a hill, provides a serene setting for yoga and meditation. The elevated platform offers panoramic views of Srinagar and the surrounding mountains, creating an ideal space for wellness activities. Yoga enthusiasts can engage in spiritual practices while connecting with the tranquil atmosphere.

Address: Durgjan, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Timings: 7:30 am to 5 pm

Nishat Bagh Mughal Garden

The terraced design of Nishat Bagh, one of the Mughal gardens, offers a tranquil environment for wellness activities. Visitors can find secluded spots within the garden to practise yoga or meditation. The sound of flowing water and the fragrance of blooming flowers add to the overall wellness experience.

Address: 4VFH+RGC, Boulevard Rd, Nishat, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 191121

Timings: 9 am to 7 pm

Entry Fees: INR 10


Hazratbal Dargah Qawwali

The Hazratbal Dargah, with its spiritual significance, hosts Qawwali performances during religious festivals. Visitors can witness the soulful renditions of Qawwali, creating a spiritual and entertaining atmosphere.

Shikara Rides with Cultural Performances

Shikara rides on Dal Lake often include cultural performances by local artists. From traditional Kashmiri music to dance performances, visitors can enjoy the vibrant cultural heritage of the region while gliding on the serene waters.

Kashmiri Folk Music at Mughal Gardens

During special events and festivals, Mughal gardens like Shalimar Bagh host Kashmiri folk music performances. The rhythmic tunes and traditional instruments create a lively atmosphere, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir.



The Lalit Grand Palace: Housed in a former royal residence, The Lalit Grand Palace offers a luxurious stay with its regal architecture and modern amenities. Overlooking Dal Lake, the hotel provides a grandeur experience.

Address: Gupkar Rd, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Price: Begins at INR 27,140 per night

Contact: 0194 250 1001

Vivanta Dal View: Perched on Kralsangri Hill, Vivanta Dal View offers breathtaking views of the Zabarwan Range. The luxurious rooms and personalised services make it an ideal choice for a lavish stay.

Address: Kralsangri, Brein, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 191121

Price: Begins at INR 35,000 per night

Contact: 0194 246 1111


Hotel Shefaf: Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Shefaf provides budget-friendly accommodation with comfortable rooms and easy access to Srinagar's attractions.

Address: Hazratbal Rd, near Jawahar Lal Nehru Hospital, Karapura, Rainawari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190003

Price: Begins at INR 2,780 per night

Contact: 097965 22240

Hotel City Plaza: A budget hotel with a central location, Hotel City Plaza offers affordable rooms and convenient access to Lal Chowk and other markets.

Address: Durghanag Road, Dalgate Bridge, Munshi Bagh, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Price: Starts at INR 2,800 per night

Contact: 070067 99936


New Jacquline Heritage Houseboats: Experience the unique stay in a houseboat on Dal Lake with New Jacquline Heritage Houseboats. The traditional wooden interiors and personalised service create a homely atmosphere.

Address: Opposite Nagin Club, Nagin Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Price: Begins at INR 15,900 per night

Contact: +91 9906593333

The Cottage Nigeen: The cottage is a highly recommended homestay in Srinagar and has Deluxe Rooms and Premium Garden View Rooms along with lush green , quaint neighbourhood with pine, kel, rose bushes, tulips etc.

Address: Mirza Bagh Nigeen Hazratbal Srinagar, Kashmir Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir, near Nigeen Lake, 190006

Price: Starts at INR 5,900 per night

Contact: 096224 12789


Sukoon Houseboat: Combining wellness with a unique stay, Sukoon Houseboat offers yoga and meditation sessions on the houseboat deck. The serene waters of Dal Lake provide an ideal backdrop for wellness activities.

Address: Kabootar Khana Near Rani Mahal, Dal Lake, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190001

Price: Begins at INR 18,140 per night

Contact: 0194 250 0450

The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa: Nestled in the Himalayas, this resort offers a wellness retreat with spa treatments, yoga sessions, and holistic wellness programs.

Address: 29RP+R2, Hotel Khyber Rd, Forest Block, Jammu and Kashmir 193403

Price: Begins at INR 40,000 per night

Contact: 01954 350 666


The Orchard Retreat & Spa: Committed to eco-friendly practices, The Orchard Retreat & Spa provides sustainable accommodation surrounded by apple orchards. The resort focuses on minimising its environmental impact while offering a comfortable stay.

Address: Zakura, Hazratbal Rd, Pathan Colony, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 190006

Price: Begins at INR 12,700 per night

Contact: 096223 33330

Eco-Friendly Houseboats: Explore environmentally conscious houseboat options on Dal Lake, providing a sustainable and unique stay experience. You can choose from Wangnoo Worth Houseboats, Luxury Inn Badyari Palace Houseboats and Rajas Palace Houseboats.

Getting There

If travelling by air, the Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport connects Srinagar to major Indian cities. Alternatively, for a scenic journey, one can opt for a train ride to Jammu Tawi Railway Station, followed by a road trip through the breathtaking landscapes of the Kashmir Valley. National Highway 44 connects Srinagar to Jammu, making it accessible by road. Travellers can also explore the option of buses or private taxis for a comfortable and convenient journey.

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