Top 28 Attractions You Just Can’t Miss On a Kashmir Trip

The crown of India welcomes you to explore its breath-taking beauties which make it the Paradise on Earth. The snow-capped Himalayan range full of adventure and the silent lakes will leave you asking for more.

If there is paradise anywhere on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here.” – Emperor Jehangir

1. Srinagar
Distance from Srinagar: 0km

The summer capital of the state also known as “Venice of the East” ensures a lot of exploration. Srinagar is located on the banks of Jhelum River; you can enjoy a boat ride near the Mughal gardens which is a must to do in Srinagar and apart from that a lot of religious places like Jama Masjid, Kheer Bhawani Temple, Gurdwara Chatti Patshahi etc. In fact, there is a cable car project that will take you to the shrine of Makhdoom Sahib on the Hari Parbat. Wildlife lovers can visit the Wular Lake and Salim Ali National Park for bird watching.

2. Shikara Ride
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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A Srinagar trip will be incomplete without a romantic Shikara ride which is the cultural symbol of Kashmir, basically a wooden boat like gondolas of Venice. It’s recommendable to have a boathouse dinner on Dal Lake. Don’t forget to check out the floating vegetable market and floating gardens cruising around the place of interest.

3. Nishat Bagh
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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A shikara ride will take you to Nishat Bagh, a twelve terraced Mughal garden representing the 12 Zodiac signs, having a Persian touch. You can have a glimpse of the snow-capped Pir Panjal mountain range and a walk through the cascade of Chinar and Cypress trees whereas children can enjoy a swim at the Gopi Thirst spring located in the garden.

4. Shalimar Bagh
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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Catch a glimpse of Persian architecture at Shalimar Bagh, the biggest of the Mughal Gardens, made by the Emperor Jehangir for his beloved wife Noor Jehan. The garden has a variety of flowers and trees including very old Chinar trees. This epitome of Mughal Horticulture is spread over 31 acres of land facing the Dal Lake and Nishat Bagh, the kids can play around and learn about the flora of the mountain region.

5. Chashm-e-Shahi
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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One of the three Mughal Gardens facing the Dal Lake, Chashm-e Shahi, built by Ali Mardan in 1632 is well known for the pure water running from its spring which gets divided into three sections. You can drink the pure running water which is also believed to have medicinal properties; Kashmiri goods can also be purchased here and a photogenic view can be enjoyed of the Zabarwan Range.

6. Tulip Garden
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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A short visit to the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip garden surrounded by the Mughal Gardens from three sides, overlooking the Dal Lake will give you an excellent experience. Know the history of the garden by talking to a guide and if possible attend the Tulip festival and witness the beautiful flower beds covering 20 acres of land on the foothills of Zabarwan Range.

7. Botanical Gardens
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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Next to Chashm-e-Shahi, the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden made in 1969, is situated where you can spend time boating and lazing around. The garden has four divisions, for introduction, for recreation, for research and for botanical study covering 80 hectares of land including a lake which covers 17 hectares. More than 1.5 lakhs ornamental plants and some tropical plants of Kashmir are found here. The best time to visit is during summers.

8. Dal Lake
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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The jewel of Srinagar, Dal Lake is considered to be the 2nd largest lake in Srinagar covering 15.5 km, the Shikara ride on the mirror-flat water will give you a mind-blowing view of the Mughal Gardens and the Pir Panjal mountains. You can have an idea about the culture of Srinagar by checking out the on-going activities on the boats, although the water freezes in winters (−11 °C). The floating gardens and the Four Chinar Trees on an island in Dal Lake is probably something you’ve never seen before. Fishing, paddle-boating and bird watching are few recreational activities the lake has to offer along with sightseeing.

9. Nehru Park
Distance from Srinagar: 0km
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An exciting Shikara ride will take you to the boulevard of Nehru Park, located just below the Zabarwan mountain range; the beautiful garden will give you a splendid view of the Shiva Temple located on the Shankaracharya Hills as well as the Hari Parbat. Best time you can visit the park is during summers and late autumn.

10. Gulmarg
Distance from Srinagar: 50km approx.
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Gulmarg (Gaurimarg), is the “heartland of winter sports in India”, where one can simply try his luck on snow-skiing, which is the 16th best in the world. Other adventure activities you can experience here are trekking, mountain biking, horse riding, water skiing, and fishing. Golf lovers can check out the highest green golf course in the world here whereas for the religious souls Baba Reshi, Haji Murad at Kreeri and Tangmarg are few destinations to stop by. If lucky, you might have a glimpse of a movie shoot. Bobby, Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Highway are the few that have shot here. The peak season to visit Gulmarg is between December and March.

11. Gondola Ride to Khilanmarg
Distance from Srinagar: 52 km approx.
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A Gondola ride along with the children is something you must look for in Gulmarg, being Asia’s longest and highest cable-car project at about 13,780 ft., the ride portrays astonishing views of the neighbouring mountain range. The thrilling ride will drop you at the other corner of Khilanmarg to explore more of Kashmir.

12. Shankaracharya Temple
Distance from Srinagar: 11km approx.
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Pay a visit to the ancient Shankaracharya Temple which is also known to be Jyesteshwara Temple, a holy place for both Hindus and Buddhists that dates back to the 9th Century. A number of pilgrims visit the temple to worship the Shivling which is placed inside this unique architectural gem. Also check out the breath-taking view of the valley below and the ancient Persian inscription which still exists there.

13. Shiv Temple
Distance from Srinagar: 52 km approx.
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Pay a visit to the very famous place where the Rajesh Khanna starring song “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” was shot, known as Maharani Temple which was made by the last Queen of Kashmir. The temple is visible from every corner of Gulmarg which makes it a centre of attraction. Don’t forget to meet Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, a Kashmiri Muslim who is the caretaker of the temple.

14. Pahalgam
Distance from Srinagar: 87 km approx.
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Visit the valley of shepherds for adventurous activities like fishing and horse riding, the road heading towards Ladakh goes via Pahalgam giving picturesque sight of the Valley. Take a pony ride to Lampara Village, Tarsar Lake, Hajan, Mamleshwar Temple, Gaurishankar Temple and Poshwan Park. The Deer park, Amusement park and Shikargah Wildlife Reserve are some places to go along with children.

15. Sonamarg
Distance from Srinagar: 80km approx.
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Known as the “The meadow of Gold, Sonamarg is considered to be one of the most beautiful places to see in Kashmir, which makes it a must add to your bucket list. Once a gateway on the Silk Route, now a major gateway for the famous trek to Thajiwas glacier and many Himalayan lakes such as Vishansar Lake, Krishansar Lake, Gangabal Lake and Gadsar Lake. The snow carpeted valleys surrounded by Alpine Flowers, Sycamore leaves, Silver Birch, fir and Pine, will take you directly into the Mother Nature’s Lap.

16. Martand Sun Temple
Distance from Srinagar: 64 km approx.
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A visit to the historic Hindu temple in Anantnag, Martand Sun Temple commonly known as Pandu-Koru will show you relic of antiquity, perhaps being located at one of the finest scenic-spots. Few must do things here are: feeding thousands of fishes in the crystal clear water of the temple reservoir and to check out the holy book written in gold.

17. Aru Valley
Distance from Srinagar: 100km approx.
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The small village in Aru Valley is a perfect destination for camping and the grassland shadowed by the snow-capped mountains delivers a magnificent view. You may plan a trek to Sonamarg and Kolahoi Glacier which goes via Lidderwat which is an alpine meadow. Moreover a road trip to Aru valley and a short visit to Lavender Park are alluring which will add fun along with some sightseeing.

18. Chandanwari
Distance from Srinagar: 87km approx.
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A bumpy yet heavenly drive from Pahalgam will take you to Chandanwari which is a small yet an important place being the starting point of Amarnath Yatra. The herds of sheep in the valley near the flowing river will show you the country side spirit of Kashmir. Those looking for adventure can try their hands on snow-sledging.

19. Betaab Valley
Distance from Srinagar: 94 km approx.
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Named after the movie “Betaab”, the valley is a travel hub and also provides a base camp for the adventurers. The massive Himalayas and the lush-green range display a picturesque sight. You may also drink the crystal-clear water flowing from the hills, just like the locals do. A 7 km walk in fresh air will take you to Pahalgam.

20. River Lidder
Distance from Srinagar: 89km approx.
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A picnic or gathering near the snow-fed transparent blue water of the Lidder River is probably something unseen for a metropolitan. The astonishing views from Lidder bridge and photography from various locations is a must-do whereas fishing, angling and white water rafting in the river are few add-ons in the bucket list to make the trip worthwhile.

21. Pony Ride to Baisaran
Distance from Srinagar: 89km approx.
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A pony ride to Bairsaran is perhaps one of the most thrilling experiences in Kashmir, the ponies walk on the edge of the roads making their own way between the Deodars and the mountains facing each other. Have an unforgettable time lazing around in the meadows of Baisaran celebrating picnic in the midst of snow-clad mountains. Other adventure activity to enjoy in Baisaran is a giant balloon ride inside which you roll down the slope.

22. Saffron Fields
Distance from Srinagar: 12km approx.
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On your way to Pahalgam from Srinagar, visit one of the few places in the world where the saffron is grown, Pampur a small town where there is an annual saffron festival scheduled in the first week of November every year; the ideal time to visit the town is between late October and early November. Watch the saffron fields in the moonlight for an unforgettable experience.

23. Awantipora Ruins
Distance from Srinagar: 31km approx.
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Witness the tales of a bygone era at Awantipora Ruins, the 9th Century construction by Emperor Awantivarman at the banks of Jhelum River, dedicated to Lord Shiva and a smaller temple of Lord Vishnu. Within the temple complex are many other shrines too that you can’t afford to miss.

24. Awantipora Cricket Bat Factories
Distance from Srinagar: 30km approx.
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Visit the world famous cricket bat factories in Awantipora and witness the manufacturing and production of the Kashmir willow bats. Also know the types, and cricket lovers may shop or order a few as well. 2011 Cricket World Cup saw a great increase in sales of these bats, approximately by 15%-18%. This makes the bat factories a must-visit place in Kashmir, apart for leisure and adventure.

25. Sulphur Springs
Distance from Srinagar: 32km approx.
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Visit the highly-coveted sulphur springs in Awantipora which are believed to have remedial qualities. If you have arthritis, the sulphurous water may help relieve your pain whereas you may also find a natural cure for the skin conditions such as eczema, diaper rash and dry scalp. Salag Nag, Nag Bal, and Malik Nag are few of the springs, where you may take a dip.

26. Lidder Valley
Distance from Srinagar: 88 km approx.
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A Lidder Valley trek from Aru Valley is probably a dream come true for the tourists, the mountains widening into grasslands with pine trees neighbouring the picturesque view of the Lidder River will mesmerise you. Camping and horse riding in the valley will keep you excited throughout the trek.

27. Baltal
Distance from Srinagar: 95 km approx.
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A scenic spot at the exciting Zo-jila pass provides a basecamp for the Amarnath Pilgrims near the Sind River. A pony or helicopter ride will take you to the holy Amarnath cave nearby. Best time for Amarnath Yatra is between June-end to August first week. Photographers can capture some astonishing views of the Himalayan range. Make sure not to litter around and help keep the place clean.

28. Aharbal
Distance from Srinagar: 62km approx.
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The hill-station in Kulgam district offers activities like nature photography, horse riding, skiing (in winters) and a trek to the origin of Veshu River, Konsernag Lake covering the alpine meadow on the way. A permit from the local authority will ensure that you’ll get your hands on some fishing rods. While you are in Aharbal, don’t forget to visit the Aharbal Falls aka Niagara Falls of Kashmir. Celebrate picnic near the falls, but avoid swimming or wandering in or around slippery areas.

 

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AUTHOR - Deepak Garg

Travel Agent by profession and travel freaks by passion. Its my sweet ,mad travel and fashioned life to inspire people that its not that hard to travel with a full time job. I believe in enjoying life as if there is no tomorrow and to treasure my travel memories until i am old and grey. Travel + Photography + Food + Madness = The Tales of a Traveler

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