Chashme Shahi features a well-manicured triple-terraced garden, showcasing the Persian style architecture. A two-story hut has been positioned atop the garden’s top terrace and this structure is considered as the source of origin of the natural spring.
Popular all over the world for its mesmerizing natural spring, Chashme Shahi happens to be a section of the famous Mughal Gardens of Srinagar. Commissioned by Shah Jahan as a dedication to his son, Dara Sikh, this stunning garden was constructed back in 1632 by the emperor’s governor, Ali Mardan. According to popular beliefs, this place was first discovered by Rupa Bhawani, Kashmir’s renowned female saint. The name of the site is thus inspired by the clan to which the saint belonged, that is the Sahib clan of Kashmiri Pandits.
Known to be “The Jewel of Srinagar”, Dal Lake spreads across an area of around 26 square kilometers. Popular as one of the most spellbinding places to see in Srinagar, this hillside lake flaunts colorful Shikaras, traditional wooden houseboats, and floating markets. Tourists visiting Dal Lake love to take a ride in the beautiful Shikaras, which are basically wooden boats decorated beautifully with canopies overhead.
They also enjoy shopping for authentic Kashmiri items from the floating market or lake market. These markets lay amidst the lake and sell a number of items like saffron and handicrafts. The houseboats on Dal Lake feature floral motifs and intricate carvings and offer breathtaking sights of the majestic lake. These boats are equipped with single rooms and luxury suites and offer comfortable accommodation to the visitors. During the winter season, the visitors also enjoy ice skating on the frozen lake.
Opened for the public in the year 2007, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden was built with the aim of improving floriculture as well as tourism in the area. The initiative proved to be a huge success and in the year 2017, this beautiful garden had its name among the world’s 5 best tulip gardens.
This garden is blessed to have even the rarest of rare tulip varieties, including the “Queen of the Night”. The main highlight of the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is the enchanting annual festival, which is held in Spring, between the months of March and May.
Making for a rejuvenating getaway from the chaotic and monotonous life, this popular lake is considered to be one of the most amusing tourist places in Srinagar. Propelling thrill and fun-seekers of all age groups, this enticing destination is suitable for various water activities including swimming, sailing, water skiing. Right on the lake’s bank, you can find the Nigeen club, which has a tea pavilion and a bar for visitors.
Lying on the eastern part of Srinagar, Nigeen Lake is considered to be a part of the beautiful Dal Lake but is separated from it by a narrow causeway. Also referred to as “The Jewel in the Ring, the name of this lake is inspired by the plethora of tall trees that surround the deep blue water body.
Located near the Dal Lake, Nishant Bagh happens to be an enchanting twelve terraced garden, packed with green trees, scented flowers, and beautiful fountains. Known to be the 2nd biggest Mughal garden, this garden was constructed by Noor Jahan’s elder brother, Asif Khan, in the year 1633.
With the majestic Zabarwan Mountains forming its backdrop, Nishant Bagh makes for one of the most scenic places to visit in Srinagar and attracts a huge number of photographers and couples. Strolling in the garden, the visitors can also catch a panoramic view of the beautiful Dal Lake.
Forming the largest garden of the 3 breathtaking Mughal Gardens, the amazingly laid out Shalimar Bagh makes for one of the most sublime places to see in Srinagar. According to history, this stunning garden was constructed by Jahangir back in the year 1619 for his beautiful wife Noor Jahan.
Shalimar Bagh presents an exquisite amalgamation of artificial structures and natural marvels. The whole premise of the garden has been beautifully carpeted with green grass. The garden has umpteen varieties of colorful flowers as well as tall trees of walnuts and almonds.
Several stories are associated with this hill, which holds immense religious significance. According to legends, the revered philosopher Adi Shankara visited this valley about a thousand years ago and resided here for some time. In honor of the saint, the hill and the ancient Shiva temple on the crest were named after him.
One of the popular sacred sites in Srinagar, the Shankaracharya Hill is a part of the Zabarwan Mountain that occupies the central part of Kashmir. The Aita Gaj Gap separates this igneous rock formation from the Shilamar Range. This hill was known as Jetha Larak in olden times and was later changed to Gopadari Hill.
The lofty Apharwat Peak in Gulmarg is the longest ski slope in Asia and the major tourist attraction. With an altitude of 4390 m, Apharwat is the most eye-catching peak in Gulmarg and the second phase of Gulmarg Gondola (cable car) connects it with Kongdori Valley.
It takes 12 minutes by ropeway to reach this majestic peak which not only offers great skiing, sleighing, and snowboarding opportunities to adventure lovers but also excellent views to savor. The famous Ningle Nallah also originates from this popular place in Gulmarg and is a delight to see.
In Gulmarg taking a Gondola ride is a must. Reckoned to be the world’s second-highest cable car project, Gulmarg Gondola is a two-tiered ride. In the first phase, the visitors are taken to Kongdori, which is situated at a height of 2600m; and in the second phase, the visitors are taken to an elevation of 3747m at Aparwath Peak.
The view from Gulmarg Gondola is truly commendable as on a clear sky day one can even witness the magnificent Nanga Parbat as well.
Situated in the heart of the city and surrounded by a group of other temples, this temple dedicated to Lord Rama is outstanding and unique in Northern India. Work on the temple was started by Maharaja Gulab Singh, founder of the Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir in 1835 AD and was completed by his son Maharaja Ranbir Singh in 1860 AD.
The inner walls of the main temple are covered with gold sheet on three sides. There are many galleries with lakhs of 'Saligrams'. The surrounding Temples are dedicated to various Gods and Goddesses connected with the epic Ramayana.
The second-most visited Hindu pilgrimage destination in India, Mata Vaishno Devi Cave Temple is situated in the Trikuta Hills in Katra, Jammu & Kashmir. Hindu devotees from all over the world visit this famed religious site where the Mother Goddess or Mata Vaishno Devi is said to fulfill their wishes. This religious place is considered the most important Shaktipeeth as it is believed, here the skull of the Goddess Sati fell.
At Mata Vaishno Devi Cave, the goddess is in the form of a five and a half feet tall rock which has three heads or the Pines. On Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrimage, devotees make traditional offerings to Mata of chunri (a red colored drape), sarees, dry fruits, silver or gold ornaments, Cholas, flowers, etc.
The holy shrine of Amarnath Ji, or Amarnath Temple, is located at an elevation of 3,888 meters approx, about 29 kilometers from Pahalgam. Inside the cave is a Shiva Lingam (a phallus shaped formation made of ice),
considered to be the most holy symbol by Hindus all across the globe. Devotees visit it in large numbers from June to August, with the pilgrimage tour famously known as Amarnath Yatra, which begins from Chandanwari. It is considered to be one of the 18 Maha Shakti Peethas, or the holiest shrines in Hinduism. Besides seeking blessings at the Amarnath Temple, the views surrounding it are extraordinary.
Aru Valley may seem like just another snow-covered meadow but the bonus points of visiting Aru is getting to see local culture and traditional way of living first hand.
Tourists can shop for souvenirs that are a lot more indigenous and admire the way local houses are made. The drive from Pahalgam to Aru Valley is an even better treat with pine trees and waterfalls along the way.
Betaab Valley was originally known as Hagan Valley or Hagoon, but came to be known by its present name & became extremely famous after the movie Betaab, which was shot here. It is located almost 15 kilometers from Pahalgam in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. What makes the valley a top tourist attraction in Jammu & Kashmir is its lush meadows, mountains and dense vegetation, which offers lovely opportunities for sightseeing & is a photographer’s delight.
Surrounded by snow-dressed mountain peaks, its landscape is dotted with trees like chinar, deodar, pine, willows & poplars, while the Lidder River with its bluish/green waters complements its beauty greatly. It is especially great for enjoying a picnic and sightseeing and should be visited during your holidays in Kashmir for its exceptional beauty.
Chandanwari fills up with snow during the winters and is known for its snow bridges. It is also the starting point of the Amarnath Yatra. One can reach the place by hiring a car.
If you are visiting during the winters, don’t forget to hire some boots and coats and enjoy the beautiful sight around and play in the snow a little!
Lidder Valley gets its name from the Lidder river which flows through it in Jammu and Kashmir. This picturesque valley is one of the offbeat destinations in the state.
Lidder river which cascades across the valley makes it even more scenic. Tourists will be welcomed to vast green landscapes and blue water slithering in the heart of this place. The postcard beauty of this region is indescribable.
Marsar Lake is located in Aru in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir and is famous for its exceptional beauty. It is separated by another famous lake, Tarsar Lake, by an enormous mountain of 4000 meters.
When viewed from above, Marsar Lake looks heavenly with the clouds covering it and moving away within seconds. The blue colors of the waters of the lake along with the rocky terrain surrounding it, makes it look extraordinary and a delight for photographers & nature lovers.
Sheshnag Lake is located almost 17 kilometers from Pahalgam at an altitude of 3,590 meters approx. Its greenish waters are home to a variety of fish including the brown trout, while mountains and snowcapped mountains encircle it from all sides.
The lake’s water is also considered to be of high quality, since it’s low in algal production. The trekking route towards it is extremely scenic and offers you breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain terrain & huge grassland terrain. The lake is associated with many mythological legends, one of which states that it belongs to Sheshnag, Lord of the Snakes himself.
Gadisar Lake is a picturesque alpine lake situated about 13,750 feet, about 8 kilometers from Sonmarg in the Ganderbal district of Jammu & Kashmir. The bluish-green waters of the lakes are so crystal clear that the clouds, mountains & surroundings are perfectly reflected in them. In the local language, Gadisar means, “the lake of fishes”, and it is aptly called so since it abounds in brown trout.
For anglers & fishing enthusiasts, this is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy fishing. Gadsar Lake is also a part of the famous Great Lakes Trek, which is arrived at after crossing the Gadsar Pass. If you love photography, this is a beautiful sight to capture in your camera.
Adventure-seekers behold! Thajiwas Glacier is the kind of heaven that adrenaline junkies feast one.
The snow is beautiful and the place has options to go ice skiing or hire an ice scooter to enjoy the majestic snow cover and scenic beauty. Just remember to bargain while hiring the rides and you’ll have an experience of a lifetime!
Amidst the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, Yusmarg or the ‘Meadows of Jesus’ is believed to be the place where Jesus once lived. Sitting by the scintillating River Doodhganga overlooking the mighty Sunset and Tatakooti Peaks, Yusmarg offers itself as a perfect tourist destination for all those looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation amidst nature.
The Ahmadiya Muslim Community believes, Jesus once walked on the lush meadows of Yusmarg, and thus the name. Yus stands for Jesus and marg means meadow. The locals go on to say, Jesus died at this very place, and his tomb is also situated here, but then it is a much-debated topic. Whatever may be the truth, the fact remains, Yusmarg is a picturesque place and makes an unparalleled travel destination for nature lovers in Kashmir.
Zoji La Pass has located about 9 km from Sonmarg and is a very important link between Kashmir and Ladakh. It is known for its thick snow-covered layers along the road.
Historically, the pass was captured by Pakistan in a war and was later re-captured by the Indian forces for which this place becomes a must-visit as it was is the highest land where tanks were used. It is an out-of-the-world experience to be here at Zoji La!