The beautiful and epic land of Kashmir is delight to visit and every year millions of tourist flock to this part of the world as they look to escape the daily hustle and bustle of life in the big cities. To the unseasoned traveler, finding places to visit can be quite daunting so we’ve put together our selected list of five places every visitor to beautiful Kashmir must go.
As you go through the list, keep two things in mind:
- The list is not exhaustive and you could very well find other places in Kashmir just as delightful to visit
- Pretty much all of Kashmir is beautiful so you can’t go far wrong by just visiting the place
So, with that out the way let’s dive right into our top 5 list of places to visit in Kashmir.
1 – Shalimar Garden
Top of the list is Shalimar Garden, built in 1616 by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan. The garden was enhanced significantly when during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, between 1628 and 1658 who commissioned a second garden called Faiz Baksh.
Shalimar Garden is truly a sight to behold. Spanning a delightful 539 x 182 metres, the garden is known for its four breath-taking terraces and its beautiful decorated canal which can be found inside. The garden is often called the Garden of Love due to its beauty and was once the playground of the royal ladies of the time. Today the garden is a harvest of beauty and simply a delightful place to go in order to see the rich artistic history of Kashmir.
2 – Dal Lake
After the garden of love, the Dal Lake is perhaps the most beautiful sight and experience any visitor to Kashmir can have. Nestled wonderfully between mountains on three sides, the banks of the Dal Lake provide a visual feast for the eyes with its beautiful blooming gardens and orchards which run alongside.
The Dal Lake has five basins and numerous channels; all linked together perfectly for exploring. The Dal Lake is the sight of commerce from farmers who grow sumptuous organic vegetable below and take them to market. Tourists get a chance to visit the numerous houseboats which form part of the landscape of the Dal Lake.
3 – Drass
There’s only one other inhabited place on earth that is colder than Drass and it is in Siberia, Russia. But despite this status as being the second coldest inhabited place in the world, Drass is a haven for tourists looking to explore the Kashmir to its fullest.
Drass is 3230 metres above sea level and situated around 60 kilometres west of Kargil. The Kashmiri inhabitants of Drass all live in a small township located in the heart of the Drass Valley. Visitors to Drass begin their adventure at the commencement pass of the Drass Valley known as Zojila Pass – otherwise known as the Himalayan Gateway to Ladakh
4 – Chashmashahi
Another garden but this time the smallest of the three Mughal gardens located in Kashmir. Built in 1632 AD, Chashmashahi is located above the Nehru Memorial Park and provides a picturesque view of the Dal Lake and its surrounding mountains. The garden has several terraces – all adorned with beautiful fountains.
Visitors can also explore and enjoy the gardens aqueduct as well any one of several water falls that help accentuate the beauty of the garden.
5 – Jama Masjid
No visit to Kashmir is complete without a trip to any one of the numerous mosques in the country. There are several mosques in Srinagar and one of the most important is Jama Masjid, located in Nowhatta. The mosque was built in 1400 AD by Sultan Sikandar and later extended by his son, Zain-ul-Abidin.
This magnificent structure has 370 wooden pillars and a beautiful courtyard – all characterized by Indo-Saracenic architecture.
As we said at the beginning, condensing a list of five places to visit is hard work because there are so many beautiful places one can visit.
Hopefully this list will inspire to make the journey and explore this beautiful and epic land.
And if you’ve visited Kashmir before and have a favorite spot not on the list, share it with other readers by leaving a comment below.