Srinagar is the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and the largest
city in the Kashmir region.
The city has become safer to travel since 2003, however the streets are still lined with
armed soldiers. Any building of value will also have a sandbag bunker and razor wire for protection. If arriving from the airport, you will also notice hundreds of large, Western
style vacation homes. These were built before the current conflict when domestic travel
to Kashmir was booming. Currently most of these homes are empty, being squatted in or
have been usurped for military use. Most people visit the city in the summer months. The temperature at this time is cool to pleasant. Light sweaters may be needed for occasional
cool nights in the summertime. In winter, you will need full winter gear and expect snow
and few places to have hot water.
Many people take the train to Jammu followed by a taxi or bus ride to Srinagar. The
journey from Jammu to Srinagar is costlier in the summers because the capital is being shifted from Jammu to Srinagar on both the state buses and Sumos. State buses are safer
but take more time and are a bit uncomfortable.
Foreign travelers on visas are required to register upon arrival at the airport or to their
hotel or houseboat.
Sheikh ul Alam Airport (Urdu: ) (Hindi: ) is commonly known as Srinagar Airport (Urdu: ) (Hindi: ) It is an international airport (IATA: SXR) (ICAO: VISR).
A new terminal for arrivals and departures with air bridges and other up to date operational
facilities was inaugurated on 14 February 2009. International, domestic and seasonal Hajj
pilgrimage charters to Jeddah are operated from Sheikh ul Alam airport.
Flights are operated by Jet Airways, Air Deccan, SpiceJet, Kingfisher Airlines, Go Air, Jet
Lite and Indian Airlines  from Delhi and Mumbai to Srinagar, with or without a stopover
at Jammu. The frequency is once or twice a day by each airline. The cost is approx Rs
2,500 from Jammu, Rs 2,500-5,000 from Delhi one way and higher from Mumbai, depending on the season.
The airport is still heavily patrolled and you may see many soldiers or other armed security
detachments. Winter flights can easily be canceled due to weather conditions. Tickets are
easy to purchase in the city. The airport requires a ticket for entrance. A taxi into town should be Rs 550 and direct to Gulmarg is Rs 1,500-2,000
When departing Srinagar by air, make sure you have a printed copy of your ticket at hand,
otherwise you will not be able to enter the airport. Additionally, allow approximately 1 hr
to get from Srinagar to the airport. Security checks can cause traffic to bank up if there are a few flights leaving at around the same time.
Hiring a TATA Sumo SUV (fits up to 9 people, or 5 comfortably plus luggage)
from Jammu costs approximately Rs 3,900-4,700 depending on time of year or even time
of day. To reduce costs many people choose not to take an exclusive taxi, and share the
Sumo taxi with other travelers. This costs about Rs 700-1000 per person. For a
comfortable trip, try for a seat in the middle row - the front bucket seat is (sometimes uncomfortably) shared by 2 people, and the far back could be quite bumpy as the highway
is full of mountainous roads. The journey takes around 8-9 hrs.
J&K State Road Transport Corporation (J&KSRTC) operates fairly comfortable buses from Jammu costing around Rs 350 and do the journey in around 12 hr. 2 day buses run
between Srinagar and Lehstaying overnight in Kargil.
There are also direct buses from Delhi taking almost 24 hr to reach Srinagar.
Auto-rickshaws can be found everywhere. Taxis and buses area also available. Motorcycles
can also be rented for enthusiasts.
Negotiate a price with a rickshaw driver before getting in, or just act like you know and
pay the driver upon arrival. Drivers usually don't speak English but there will always be a
passer-by to help translate for you.
A rickshaw from Nigeen Lake to Boulevard is approx. Rs 70 depending on negotiation skills (August 2009 prices).
Usually private service buses run throughout the city and are well networked with major
The Mughal Gardens With terraced lawns, cascading fountains, paint-box-bright
flowerbeds with the panorama of the Dal in front of them - the three Mughal Gardens of Chesmashahi, Nishat and Shalimar are the Mughal Emperors' concept of paradise and are
today very popular places for picnics and excursions. The beauty of these gardens is at
their best during spring but the Mughal structure of these gardens lends them a unique
sense of beauty even when the flowers are not blossoming.
Nishat Bagh. Situated on the banks of the Dal Lake, with the Zabarwan Mountains as
its backdrop, (11 km. from TRC), this 'garden of bliss' commands a magnificent view of the lake and the snow capped Pir Panjal mountain range which stands far away to
the west of the valley. Nishat was designed in 1633 AD by Asaf Khan, brother of Nur
Shalimar Bagh. the Mughal garden in front of the Dal lake built by Emperor Jahangir. edit
Chashmashahi. is another beautiful Mughal garden. edit
Hazratbal Mosque. the white mosque is breathtakingly beautiful but be careful, as
women can enter only the first part of the mosque. Also take a walk through the adjacent market area with a range of great fresh food and a thousand things deep
Ziarati Hazrati Youza Asouph. in the Khanyar area, about 150 m NW of Dastgir Saheb mosque & shrine. This tomb, also known as Roza Bal, is believed by some to
be the tomb of Jesus (part of the larger theory that he survived the crucifixion and
made his way to Kashmir where he lived until at least the age of 100). It has been
made popular by recent books such as Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten among
others. It's down a little side road - ask around, pretty much anyone in the area can point you in the right direction. It was closed in September 2011 and sealed,
photography and videography are not permitted. edit
Shankaracharya Mandir. Is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on a hilltop. It can be reached by a car or taxi. No cameras or cellphones are allowed within the temple
and you are supposed to leave them in the vehicle before entering the temple premises. Cigarattes, liquor are to be deposited with the police personnel before the ascent of the
hill as these items are against Hindu religion. Locals from Dal Gate say there are 250
steps to reach the temple but it is yet to be confirmed. The temple is visible from Dal
Lake Area. edit
Pari Mahal. Don't miss the breathtaking views of the city from here. edit
Nehru Garden, off Dal Gate (before Chasmashahi Garden). A well maintained park with lake by Dept of Floriculture with organised parking lot next to Park. The park
occupies a large area and has a beverage shop run by the J&K Tourism department. They serve hot and flavoured "Kahva", a traditional drink of Kashmir. A cup costs Rs
25. The nearby Tulip Park only has seasonal access. There is adequate parking adjacent
to the park.AdultRs 10. edit
About Trekking In Kashmir Valley. Trek Kashmir is a family run business that can show you the best that beautiful Kashmir has to offer.Whether youre after trekking adventure, hiking in Kashmir, hiking from Srinagar, skiing, fishing, a pilgrimage, a family holiday or
just a relaxing break.http://www.facebook.com/TrekInKashmir. Email
Old City, . Abdul is a friendly polite lifetime resident who is happy to meet and guide people to little known places including interiors in the old city. He speaks good
english and will not not try sell or act as an agent for sales. He does not charge a set
fee- he will accept whatever you feel his services are worth. He can be contacted at
[email protected] or through his
website http://riversongskashmir.webs.com/contactus.htm edit
Shikaras in Dal Lake
All the hotels organize excursions (1, 2, 4 days) to see the Himalayan mountains. Beside
that package tours by JKTDC can be a good option. Using an honest guide or fixer can
potentially save you money on goods and accomodation.
Go for a Shikara ride in the Dal lake which costs around Rs 150 (off season) - Rs 500 (peak season) for the whole Shikara. For better views and a more peaceful ride in an area
devoid of other tourists, walk up a fair bit of distance till you can see the fountain and ask
the Shikara rider to take you for a ride to the fountain. It costs Rs 300 (off season) - Rs
600 (peak season). Make sure you bargain a little, especially in off season. If you are staying longer, you could go on shikara rides more than once... each time to a different
part of the lake. A must see is the "village" in the lake. Ask for a ride to the side where
locals live and see the floating vegetable market. The market is usually operational only
at sunrise and is easiest organised through an agent or your hotel/houseboat.
Parihaspora, Dewar (On way to Gulmarg). Visit the ruins located on the outskirts of Srinagar on way t