There is a reason Kashmir is often referred to as Heaven on Earth. The stunning natural beauty of the region and its splendor draws few parallels in the world. The capital, Srinagar, though a city is verdant and full of open green spaces and water bodies. If you plan a vacation to Jammu and Kashmir this summer, apart from enjoying the hospitality of one of the Kashmir resorts you must visit some of these natural attractions in Srinagar.
Most of the popular 5 Star Hotel in Srinagar are located around the Dal lake. The beauty of this lake is an inspiration for poets, romantics, and visitors from across the world. Referred to as the Jewel of Srinagar, Dal Lake is the biggest attraction of the city. The floating houseboats or Shikaras are used by vendors to sell flowers, fruits, and fresh produce. The experience of sailing on the Dal Lake and enjoying the sights of the Himalayan mountains and the clear blue sky is a delightful one.
Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden
The largest tulip garden in Asia and home to the annual tulip festival that draws thousands of visitors from across the globe, the Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden is one of the natural attractions in Srinagar that cannot be missed. Over 1.5 million tulip plants grow over an area of 30 hectares. The rows of tulips of various colours and shades stretch as far as the eye can reach in this beautiful garden.
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Botanical Gardens
Located in the foothills of the Zabarwan range, the Jawaharlal Nehru Botanical Gardens is spread over an area of 80 hectares and is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. The oaks, willows, and cedars that stand up tall, the well-manicured lawns, the blooming flowers, and the large lake make this a delightful place to be.
The Mughal Gardens of Kashmir, most of which are located in Srinagar and surrounding areas, are together ranked among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Mughal Gardens of Kashmir are some of the most stunning pleasure gardens built by the Mughal Emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan. These gardens take advantage of the natural beauty of Srinagar and the rest of Kashmir and augment this beauty with architectural beauty. A natural spring in the vicinity, for example, would be used to construct a fountain. To this day, these Mughal Gardens are considered to be the epitome of natural bounty and aesthetic sophistication. The four Mughal Gardens in Srinagar city are:
- Shalimar Bagh
- Nishat Garden
- Chashma Shahi
- Pari Mahal
All of these gardens overlook the Dal Lake and their beauty makes them popular tourist attractions. Some of the other Mughal Gardens in Kashmir that are worth a visit are the Verinag Gardens and Achabal Bagh.
Around Srinagar – Sonmarg and Gulmarg
Moving some 80 kilometers north of Srinagar, Sonmarg is one of the most beautiful places in the state. This is the perfect place for Nature enthusiasts to trek through valleys and view snow-capped peaks. The lakes and glaciers of Sonmarg are stunningly beautiful. Gulmarg is at a distance of about 52 kilometers from Srinagar. The snow-covered slopes of Gulmarg are ideal for skiing and other winter sports. The natural beauty of Gulmarg and the rest of Kashmir is indeed breath-taking.