Posted 14 December 2022

Travel to Srinagar this season to experience a winter wonderland

Winter is that season of the year that we look forward to because nothing beats the thrill and excitement of a vacation during the cold weather. It is a joyous festive season that promises delectable desserts and savouries. If you are planning a winter getaway to soak in the spirit of the season and tuck into good food, then mull over making Srinagar your destination. The once favourite shooting location for Bollywood films, Srinagar never ceases to leave tourists spell-bound with its beauty and you can buckle up for the vacation of your life!

Why is Srinagar the perfect destination for your next winter vacation?

Srinagar is one of the most beautiful places in India and is bewitchingly stunning during winters.

Read more about - Five reasons why you should visit Srinagar - A loved destination for all travellers

Here are a few reasons that make Srinagar and its neighbourhood a perfect winter vacay destination:

  1. Mesmerisingsnowfall: Kashmir experiences one of the most beautiful snowfalls in India. The soft snow flakes getting collected on the massive leafless chinar (maple) trees and the snow-covered mountains in the distance are a sight for weary hearts. It is a winter wonderland for people who can brave the sub zero temperatures.
  2. Autumns straight out of a fairytale: Autumns in Kashmir are a vibrant combination of the hues of yellow, golden, red and amber. With the roads covered by leaves and the occasional smoke arising out of the chimneys of local residents, it is an indication of the arrival of winter.
  3. Extreme sports in Kashmir: Skiing on the slopes of mountains offers some of the adventure sports opportunities in Kashmir. This is a great way of exploring the valley for adventure lovers.
  4. Tranquil lakes: The valley of Kashmir has many serene and tranquil lakes. One of the most famous lakes of Kashmir is Dal Lake. The crystal clear waters of the lakes surrounded by untamed greenery flecked with snow look like a scene from picture postcards and are certain to attract whoever comes across them.
  5. Warm hospitality of the local people: It is very common to hear that local guides or cab/taxi drivers took tourists home to give them an authentic taste of the Kashmiri culture. Their warm hospitality is very comforting for tourists away from their homes.
  6. Gondola ride: Kashmir offers the second highest Gondola ride in the world in Gulmarg. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations as it offers breathtaking views of the Himalayas.
  7. Picturesque landscapes: The valley of Kashmir is home to meandering rivers and snow-covered meadows, bordered by massive mountain ranges. Srinagar is picture perfect during winters and must be visited at least once in a lifetime to witness God’s exquisite creation.
  8. Kashmiri delicacies: What can be better than a bowl of piping hot food to accompany you on a freezing cold winter night? Kashmiri delicacies are not heartwarming but also soul satisfying. The rich spicy meat curries are the most famous dishes of this region.

Places to visit in Srinagar

Srinagar and its periphery have several jewels hidden in the idyllic Kashmir valley. Let us explore some of them.

  1. Nigeen Lake: One can visit this beautiful and picturesque lake in Srinagar for shikara rides or to enjoy a stay at one of the houseboats. There are several types of houseboats available here ranging from luxurious to budget ones.
  2. Betaab Valley: About 94 km from Srinagar is Betaab Valley, one of the most beautiful valleys of Kashmir. Lose yourself in the splendour of nature and invigorate yourself with a long hike along the valley. Lending its name to the Sunny Deol:starrer Bollywood movie ‘Betaab’, this valley is ideal for romantic escapades. Tourists can choose to spend a day here and return back to their respective accommodations or stay at one of the resorts in Betaab Valley.
  3. Aru Valle: While you are on a vacation in Srinagar, you can make a side:trip to Aru Valley. The journey would take you about 2 hours and 42 minutes, but it is worthwhile. Aru Valley is the place where Kolahoi Glacier begins. It is also the place people start their Sonamarg trek from. Situated around hundred kilometres from the city centre, Aru Valley is an ideal tourist spot for the people seeking thrill.
  4. Mughal gardens: Mughal gardens in Srinagar were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Home to a number of exquisite floral species, Mughal gardens showcase a marvellous style of Persian architecture. With Dal Lake as the backdrop, Mughal gardens are one of the must:visit places in Srinagar. Built by Mughal emperor Jahangir for his wife : Nur Jahan, Shalimar Bagh is a symbol of love. It was made in 1619 and is one of the finest examples of Mughal planning and architecture during that era.
  5. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden : Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is a popular picnic location. This garden is home to rows of tulip flowers in a wide variety of colours. It is a spectacular sight perfect for a day outing.
  6. Shankaracharya Temple: Shankaracharya Temple is among the oldest shrines in the valley of Srinagar. It has a unique style of architecture and hosts Persian scriptures which can be traced back to when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had ascended the throne.
  7. Awantipora :Awantipora is a site of historical importance in the valley 32 km to the south of Srinagar. You can reach Awantipora in about 43 minutes. It has ruins of the ancient temple constructed by the then king Lalitaditya.
  8. Hazratbal Mosque: The Hazratbal mosque is located on the left bank of Dal Lake. It is carved entirely out of snow white marble and is a sight that definitely cannot be missed when visiting Srinagar.
  9. Pari Mahal: Pari Mahal was built during the Mughal era and offers a glimpse of how the royal lifestyle used to be. It is famed to be the house of fairies as the name literally translates to, due to its six well:preserved terrace gardens.
  10. Dal Lake: Dal Lake is hands down, the most famous tourist destination in not just Srinagar but the entire of Kashmir. The word ‘beauty’ and Dal Lake can be used interchangeably; it is so mesmerising. Shikara rides can be enjoyed in this pristine lake.
  11. Jama Masjid: Jama Masjid was constructed by Sikander Shah Kashmiri Shahmiri more than 500 years ago. It is a popular destination for both tourists and the followers of Islam.
  12. Kheer Bhawani Temple : Revered by the Kashmiri Pandits, the temple is popular among tourists visiting the valley too. Resting near Srinagar, it is situated in the middle of a natural spring.
  13. Shrine of Makhdoom Sahib : The shrine of Makhdoom Sahib is a site of religious importance. This shrine was built in memory of Sufi saint Sheikh Hamza Makhdoom.

Read more about - Must Visit Places & Places to Visit in Srinagar

Travel tips

Some travel tips can be kept in mind to ensure a smooth journey:

  • Rain is very unpredictable in Srinagar, so umbrellas should be carried all the time.
  • It is advisable to wear fleece-lined, thick-soled shoes with a good grip as it is difficult to walk in the snow wearing any other kind of shoes.
  • Proper winter garments should be carried, keeping the forecast in mind.
  • Always hire a local guide to explore a place completely.
  • Activities that hurt the sentiments of the people of the valley are best avoided to ensure a seamless journey.
  • Permits for sensitive areas should be obtained beforehand.

Srinagar is a perfect vacation destination for families as well as friends. It offers picturesque landscapes and mouth-watering delicacies that must be tried at least once in a lifetime. Each season of Srinagar is exquisitely beautiful and cannot be compared with any other.

How to reach Srinagar?

One can travel to Srinagar by various modes of transportation. Let us take a look at the different ways one can reach Srinagar.

  • By air: Srinagar has an international airport named Sheikh ul Alam Airport. It is the closest IndiGo flight route. Srinagar is well connected to the cities of Delhi, Chandigarh and Jammu through frequent flights to Srinagar.
  • By train: In order to reach Srinagar by train, one has to reach Jammu Tawi Railway Station and hire a car to cover the rest of the distance. A cheaper alternative is to take private or state government buses to reach Srinagar from the railway station.
  • By road: Srinagar is also connected to other major cities by well-maintained roads. Srinagar can be reached by car as well.

Climate of Srinagar

Srinagar is nestled in the Himalayas, so it is no wonder that the mercury really plummets during winter months, from October to March. At the peak of winter season, in the months of December and January, you may expect the minimum temperature to hit -2°C. This will also be accompanied by sudden snowfall. So, brace yourself to wake up and behold outside your window a landscape buried under pristine white snow. With the right kind of winter gear, you are sure to have the time of your life.

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