Srinagar Travel Guide
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Srinagar, the city of sun, is the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir. Lying in Kashmir valley, on the banks of river Jhelum, Srinagar is the largest city and the most prized possession of the vale of Kashmir. Cuddled in the exquisiteness of the stunning Kashmir Valley, Srinagar is one of the best places to spend some peaceful moments with your loved ones. Covered by beautiful meadows of Zabarwan, Shankaracharya hills, the beauty is worth longing for. The city is famous for its nine old bridges which connect all the parts of the beautiful vale. The canopied Shikara boats, magnificent houseboats, and the sparkling water of Dal and Nigeen Lake come together to bring the picture of authentic Srinagar. The blessing from Prophet Mohamad (SAW) on Hazratbal shrine and shrines of Sultan-ul-Aarifeen and Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani make this a city of Sufi Saints. The congested lanes of Downtown render with a beautiful opportunity to gaze at the oneness and brotherhood of Kashmiri people. Overall, Srinagar becomes the best place to make your trip to Kashmir a successful expedition.
How to reach Srinagar?
Srinagar can be reached by two ways either by flight or road.
You can reach Srinagar by taking a flight from Delhi to Srinagar Airport. The direct flight takes around 70- 90 minutes to reach to Srinagar, some flights are also via Jammu which takes more than 90 minutes to reach Srinagar.
By road, you can reach Srinagar from Jammu. The journey takes around 8 hours. You can drive your own car, take a Tata Sumo or board a bus. Night travelling on the highways in not recommended.
What is the best time to go to Srinagar?
If you are not a fan of cold weather than best time for you is Mar-Oct. If you want to experience cold chilly weather with snow the best time would be Nov- Feb. Seasons in Kashmir
March-May = Spring
June-August = Summer
Is Srinagar safe to visit?
What you see in media is an exaggerated picture. It’s very safe to travel Srinagar. No tourist has been hurt in Srinagar and no women traveler has been harassed ever unlike what happens in other parts of India. Only avoid going there if you know there is massive lock down which has lasted more than a week.
Which is the best area to stay in Srinagar?
The best area for a tourist to stay in Srinagar is definitely around Dal and Nageen Lake because it gives a beautiful view of the lake and mountains around and it is also like very safe area. Avoid staying in Lal Chowk or in any hotel in downtown.
What are the budget areas to stay in Srinagar?
Budget hotels can be found in Dal Gate area, Old Gagribal Road near Dal Lake, Bishambar Nagar and Raj Bagh.
How to travel in and around Srinagar?
There is no Uber and Ola in Kashmir but only local taxis. For local sightseeing and day trips, you can hire taxis from various taxi stands in the city, no need to prebook. AC car will be comfortable in July. The approximate pricing has been given below:
Airport Pickup/ Airport Drop: Rs 700
A small car (Indigo/Indica) will cost you 1800 to 2000 per day while as Innova or Scorpio will cost 2000 -2500 /day
Srinagar – Gulmarg return – Indica Vista – 2100
Srinagar – Pahalgam only drop – Indica Vista – 2300 plus toll
Srinagar – Pahalgam return – Etios – 2300 (Inside Pahalgam you have to take a local Pahalgam cab and they charge around Rs.1500-2100 for Betab valley and Aru Valley round trip)
Srinagar – Sonmarg return – Chevrolet Enjoy – 1900
Which are the top 10 hotels in Srinagar?
You can find the top 10 list by Gyawun here
Which cellular phone networks work in Kashmir?
Prepaid numbers from other states do not work in Kashmir only postpaid numbers will work on roaming. For connectivity Airtel and Bsnl are good, for data Jio is better.
What and where to shop in Srinagar?
You can buy locally produced almonds, walnuts, dried blackberry & saffron. You can also buy Dried Fig (Anjeer), Dried Kishmish and Elaichi which are imported from Kabul or Iran.
Most recommended sellers of dry fruits are
Amin Bin Khaliq Polo View, Srinagar,
Jasbir Dry Fruit, Kokker Bazar Lal Chowk
Noor Mohd Bhat Lethpora Pampore.
Although you will find paper mache products everywhere in Srinagar try buying from small street side sellers near Dal gate just outside CCD. They sell products which start from 10 Rs.
A must buy is Walnut Fudges from Moonlight Bakery which is 120-year-old shop located near Hazaratbal Dargah.Buy
Buy saffron only from Pampore, recommended shops in Pampore are Zamindaar’s or Noor Mohd Bhatt
For buying purchasing shawls, Carpets, Walnut Wood carvings visit J&K Government Emporium on First Floor – Next to JKTDC Hotel Heemal, Opp Dal Lake on Boulevard Road (open till 6 Pm) or J & K Government Art Emporium at TRC Srinagar.
Tips for Srinagar
If you are looking for help or guidance ask for help from any local Kashmiri and they will guide you like your own family.
Bargain is the key in Kashmir, start with half of the price quoted by the seller.
Do not tell your taxi driver that you want to buy these items as each taxi driver will tell you that they will take you to their brothers or cousins shop who will give a huge discount. Don’t fall for this it’s a tourist trap.
Avoid buying Saffron during Shikara rides in Dal lake it’s mostly fake.
Don’t get involved in unnecessary arguments about Kashmir issue, Kashmiris are emotional about this.
If you want some peaceful time and want to be alone in the evenings and morning then book a houseboat in Nigeen instead of Dal Lake