Gulmarg and Srinagar are picturesque hill stations in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Located on the highest tip of the country, these two places are extraordinarily beautiful. Located in the bank of the Jhelum River, Srinagar is almost like Paradise on Earth with Himalayas bordering the valley and is popularly known for its Houseboats that add to the beauty. The snowcapped mountains and the large green meadows in Gulmarg are yet another great location. It certainly is a great place to go for a weekend getaway.
How to reach?
By Road – NH 1A and NH 1D are the only two functioning roadways that connect the city to the other parts of the nation. Located on the highest tip of the country, there are certainly not many roads that cut though the mountains but the only two that do connect the city to the rest of the country are well built. The scenery that one can view while on a journey through these roads is surely a breath taking one.
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By Air –Srinagar Airport is the closest airport to the city and has regular lights from Leh, Chandigarh, Mumbai and the capital Delhi. However, there are sometimes some international flights that fly in as well. However, tourists need to rent a car from the station to reach the city centre of Srinagar or the city of Gulmarg.
By Train – Srinagar is the closest railhead to the city and is a station among the 119 km long Banihal-Baramulla route. The rail track cuts through many numerous tunnels and many step turns but is surely a great journey for the exceptionally stunning view that it provides as it cuts though the mountains. However, tourists need to rent a car from the station to reach the city centre of Srinagar or the city of Gulmarg.
Places to visit in Gulmarg & Srinagar
Historical Monuments and Places
1) Nishat Bagh –
Built in the year 1633 A.D. by Asif Khan, elder brother of Nur Jehan it is the second largest Mughal Garden in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The garden is essentially a roof garden located just opposite to the Dal Lake (eastern side) and is also popularly known as the “Garden of Delight”. It is surely one of the best Gulmarg and Srinagar package destinations as the garden is surrounded by huge mountains at the back which is covered by cloud and has a mesmerizing view of the Dal Lake in front. Nothing could have been better than this. Best Gulmarg and Srinagar trips are incomplete without a visit to this magnificent roof garden.
Location – Nishat Bagh, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Timing – 9AM – 8PM
2) Shalimar Bagh –
The Garden is yet another magnificent mughal garden which is located in the outskirts of Srinagar. The garden is popular for its gorgeous scenery and beautifully bloomed flower garden. A stroll around this forest is definitely one such thing to do that will cheer up your soul.
Timing – 10AM – 6PM
3) Pari Mahal –
The Abode of Fairies is situated on top of Zabarwan mountain range. There are beautiful Stone arches and huge open spaces full of incredibly beautiful flowers and the iconic chinar trees. The view of Dal Lake and the golf course below is absolutely breathtaking.
Location – Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Timing – 7AM – 6PM
4) SPS Museum –
Established in the year 1898, the museum houses various articles like archeological materials, paintings, armory, artifacts and articles that uplift and showcase the heritage and culture of the region.
Location – Lal Mandi, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Timing – 10AM – 4PM (except Sunday and Monday)
5) Craft Museum – School of Designs –
Source – flickr.com/photos/rckr88/
It is an exquisite location which is responsible to keep the culture of the region alive. Kashmir is known for its mountain crafts and more like the culture, craft and tradition of a place defines the soul. So this Craft Museum tries to keep the craft and culture of this region alive as well gives tourists and visitors a greater view about the region. According to the city tour guide it is a great location for a visit while you’re on your weekend getaway trip.
Location – Central Market, Airport (IG) Road, Shergarhi, Srinagar
Timing – 11AM – 3PM (except Sunday)
1) Durga Nag Temple –
Temple complex is located at the foot of Shankarcharya Hill. It is a holly and divine place of worship which has a quiet, soulful and peaceful atmosphere. However, according to the city tour guide the temple is not very popular among tourists but is a popular temple among the locals thus a visit to this temple is recommended due to the spiritual significance, but it should be clubbed with other sightseeing ventures.
Location – Jammu and Kashmir, Dalgate Bridge, Srinagar
2) Shah E Hamdan Mosque –
It is a mosque named after Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, a poet and a Muslim scholar. He was born in Hamadan and played a major role in spreading Islam in Kashmir and has also shaped the culture of the Kashmir valley. Locals and tourists visit the place to recollect his role towards spreading Islam.
Location – Shamswari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
3) Pathar Masjid –
Source – flickr.com
This is a beautiful mosque which is a less visited mosque in the Zaina Kadal area of Srinagar. The mosque is situated on the banks of Jhelum, opposite Khankah of Shahi Hamdan. The architecture of this mosque is very different from what you generally see in Kashmir. It was built by Mughal Empress Nur Jahan in 1623.
Location – Nohata, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
4) Jamia Masjid –
It is the oldest mosque of Srinagar, built around 650 years ago. The mosque is designed with great architecture in a Persian design. However, it went a lot of renovations throughout years but the beauty is still intact. The place is huge and has a tranquil atmosphere and is very accommodating to visitors. Best Gulmarg and Srinagar packages include this spot in their places to visit.
Location – Nowhatta Kathi Darwaza Road, Nowhatta, Srinagar
5) Shankaracharya Temple
An ancient temple of Lord Shiva built somewhere around 800 A.D. But the temple was there even before it. It is a spiritual and magical place under army surveillance. The temple is located on a mountain top and according to the city tour guide it is located at a distance of about 25 minutes drive from the city and additionally you will have to climb more than 500 steps to reach the temple from where the car drops you. Among the many things to do, this short trip to this temple can be a thrilling experience for the visitors.
Location – Durgjan, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
6) Kheer Bhawani –
Dedicated to Goddess Bhawani which is a very important Goddess to the Hindus of this region. The name of the temple comes from the “Kheer” or rice pudding that is offered to the Goddess of the temple. The temple is housed on a sacred spring and is located on the way to Sonmarg from Srinagar and is surely a great place for all the spiritual heads.
Location – Tulmulla, Jammu and Kashmir
Natural Structures and Sightseeing
1) Dal Lake –
Source – flickr.com/photos/sandeepachetan/
Popularly called “Srinagar’s Jewel” the Dal Lake is the centre of tourist attraction in Srinagar. It is the second largest lake in the state and is surrounded by mountains on all sides and has houseboats and shopping market and souvenir shops all on water. It is an extraordinary place which is probably the most unique to Srinagar. Best Gulmarg and Srinagar packages include this spot in their places to visit to make it the Best Gulmarg and Srinagar trip while on your weekend getaway.
Location –Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
2) Tulip Garden –
Source – flickr.com/photos/gotovan/
Spread over an area of about 30 hectares, it is the largest tulip garden in the whole of Asia. The garden is one of the most stunning tourist attractions in Kashmir and is surely one of the main revenue earners for the state. However, the garden is shut during the off season (winters) since the tulips do not bloom during that period. Tourists from parts of the globe are stunned by the sheer beauty of the garden when the tulips are bloomed perfectly. The plethora of colorful tulips provides an array of color that stretches for vast lands and makes up for a spectacular experience. Best Gulmarg and Srinagar trip are not complete without a visit to the tulip garden.
Location –Cheshma Shahi Road, Rainawari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
3) Hazratbal Shrine –
Source – flickr.com/photos/naive_neev/33867939815/
This shrine in Srinagar is akin to Madina in Saudi Arabia as it houses a strand of Prophet Mohammad’s hair. Devotees visit this shrine to pay homage and request for their prayers to be granted. It a beautiful shrine with tranquility and peace blended into the atmosphere. However, what one thing to do here is be careful of touts here as there are many who ask for unnecessary donations.
Location – Hazratbal, Srinagar
4) Kathi Darwaza –
Built during the 16th century the Kathi Darwaza also known as Dharm Saal has an ancient historical significance to it. The high stone walls stood as a guard to the city of Srinagar during the yester years. Many temples and shrines like Makhdom sahib, Chati-patshi Gurwarda is situated near the place which makes it an interesting site to visit. Also there is cable car service that the tourists can enjoy and have a view of the city from a bird’s eye.
Location – Hazratbal Road, Rainawari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
5) Alpather Lake, Gulmarg –
Alpathar is a small meadow which is located at a distance of about 13 kms from Gulmarg at the base of the Apharwat peak. This is one of most beautiful and gorgeous lakes in India with clear blue water during summer. The best time to visit this lake is in the month of September when the summers have descended but is not yet winters.
Location – Baramula District, Foot of Apharwat Peaks, Gulmarg
6) Zabarwan Park –
It is a nice relaxing park which is located on the outskirts of the city. Tourists and locals visit the park during their leisure time to enjoy some fun time with family and friends, try a few rides available like the air balloon and enjoy some local delicacies from the available food stalls.
Location – Boulevard Road, Rainawari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Timing – 8AM – 8PM
Activities to do in Gulmarg and Srinagar
1) Gulmarg Gondola –
This is a thrill adventure and is one of the most tourist attractions at Gulmarg. The Gondola or the cable care at Gulmarg is the world’s second highest operating cable car. As your climb higher and higher from 8000 to 10500 and then eventually to a height of 13500 feet to the extreme peak of Apharwat mountain it surely is an enjoyable and adventurous experience. At such an elevation the clouds seem like your friend as your float along with the clouds as your reach the highest point. Best Gulmarg and Srinagar packages include this spot in their places to visit to make it the Best Gulmarg and Srinagar trip while on your weekend getaway
Location – District Baramulla, Alambal Road, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir
Timing – 10AM – 4:30PM
Price – INR 1600 (Phase 1 + Phase 2)
2) Shikara Ride –
Source – flickr.com
Popularly called “Srinagar’s Jewel” the Dal Lake is the centre of tourist attraction in Srinagar. Shikaras are small boats that are well decorated and have a comfortable seating space for 2 or 4 people. Tourists can enjoy a Shikara ride around the beautiful lake as well as enjoy the view and shopping in the houseboat shopping market that is a market on water, all of which is a great thrilling experience.
Location – Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Price – INR 400 per hour per boat (approx.)
3) Air balloon –
The balloon ride can be taken from the Zabharwan Park, which is a little away from the Boulevard stretch. The ride lasts for about 10 minutes and you get to go about 28-32 feet up from the ground. The scenery from above is awesome; however, visitors might need to wait for an hour or so as there is a rush here. Among the many things to do the air balloon ride is the best thing one can do to enjoy the thrill and the beauty of the place together.
Location – Boulevard Road, Rainawari, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir
Price – INR 300 (Kids) 500 (Adults)
4) Leh-Kargil-Jammu-Srinagar Road Trip –
Road trips are always great fun; especially when the road trip is among the Himalayan Mountains it just adds more to the whole beauty of the trip. Starting with Srinagar the route to Leh and Kargil has some out of the world view of the snowcapped mountains, lush greenery and streams that flow on. The road to Leh is also known as the world’s “Highest Mortorable Road” which surely ignites the souls of the thrill seekers. So get your bags packed and get going with your friends to one of the most fun filled as well as thrilling experience of your life.
Location – Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir