There are so many best places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir that you can never run of places to explore. Snow-clad mountains, mesmerising lake views and colourful gardens define the untouched paradise of Jammu and Kashmir. Earlier, majority of Srinagar tourist places were on the list of best places to visit in Kashmir. But now small towns like Anantnag, Pahalgam, Gulmarg, and Patnitop have made their place amongst the ‘top tourist places in Jammu and Kashmir’. The beauty of the valley of Kashmir has been appreciated by many famous rulers over hundreds of years. Even the great Mughal Emperor Jahangir visited Kashmir in the 17th century and said:
“If there is a heaven on earth, it’s here, it’s here, it’s here.”
This justifies that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is one of the best places to visit in India and should not be missed by any traveller. There are so many amazing places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir and I don’t want to miss the best ones.
Here is a list of famous places in Jammu and Kashmir:
SRINAGAR TOURIST PLACES
Without any doubt, Srinagar is one of the most beautiful Kashmir places. The largest city of Kashmir, Srinagar is home to all sorts of activities, places and experiences. Boating, trekking, ancient monuments, colourful gardens, bird watching, water skiing and a lot more amazing experiences. Name anything and I bet Srinagar owns the best of it!
What is the best time to visit Srinagar?
Between June and October. However, if you’d like to experience the snow, it is best to visit between December and January when temperatures usually drop below zero.
Srinagar City has so much to offer and that’s why each year Srinagar experiences a lot of footfall from travellers. There is a long list of Srinagar famous places, here are my top picks:
Dal Lake in Srinagar
If you are visiting Kashmir, you can’t leave without staying at one of the beautiful houseboats of Dal Lake Srinagar.
Yes, That’s right!
You will be staying in the middle of the most beautiful of Kashmir. Located in the heart of Srinagar, it takes about 55 mins to reach Dal Lake from the airport. I assure you it will be one of the most unique hotel experiences of your entire life. When you reach the Dal Lake, you will be escorted via a local boat taxi called ‘shikhara’ to your desired houseboat.
Quick Tip: Unless you are aiming for the premium ones, there is no need to book houseboats in advance. There are hundreds of houseboats to choose from and according to the law of demand, you are in a strong position to negotiate.
Top activities to do in and around Dal Lake:
- Go for a Sunset ride on the Shikaras
- Take part in the water sports at Dal Lake: rent Kayaks, jet skis or go water-boarding with snow-covered mountains in the background
- Sail across the Dal Lake local market and shop some local goodies (Tip: Buy saffron, Kashmiri saffron is famous all over the world)
- Wear the Kashmiri Dress and click the perfect ‘Kashmir ki kali’ photo at Dal Lake. Photos will be delivered by the evening to your houseboat.
Tulip Garden in Srinagar
Visit the largest tulip garden in Asia! Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden Srinagar is spread across 30 hectares and is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a hell of a sight to see thousands of tulips spread across vast fields of land. If you are planning to visit Kashmir, do visit the Tulip Gardens for an experience of a lifetime.
Mughal Gardens in Srinagar
- Shalimar Bagh is the largest Mughal garden in India and because of its majestic beauty is a must-visit place in Srinagar.
- Nishat Bagh is located between the Dal Lake and Zabarwan Mountains. This makes Nishat Bagh the perfect place to enjoy the sunset in Kashmir with magnificent views on both sides.
- Chashma Shahi is another beautiful Mughal garden in Kashmir. It’s famous for freshwater spring, terraces, water pool and large fountains.
SONAMARG: Best place for nature lovers in Jammu and Kashmir
‘Sonamarg’ translates to ‘meadow of gold’ and is a widespread area of exceptional beauty. It’s the best place to experience the natural beauty of Kashmir as it offers loads of opportunities for camping, trekking and nature walks. I am a nature lover and that’s why I count Sonamarg as one of the ‘most beautiful place in Kashmir’
GULMARG: Best place for snow in Kashmir
A trip to Jammu Kashmir is incomplete without a visit to Gulmarg. The name translates to ‘meadow of flowers’ and is a vast stretch of natural beauty. The Gulmarg town became one of the most famous tourist places in Jammu Kashmir after the opening of The Gulmarg Gondola. The world’s highest gondola takes you to a whopping height of 8694 ft. and in my opinion, it offers the best mountain views in Kashmir. Once you reach the top, you can take part in the adventure sports that Gulmarg is famous for. Gulmarg hosts the best skiing activities in the Kashmir region and is home to other sports like snow biking, sledge riding, treks and a lot more.
Moreover, there are several other tourist attractions in Gulmarg. Here are my top picks for the best places to visit in Gulmarg:
- Alpather Lake in Gulmarg: It is located 13 kms away from the main town and the picturesque views of the frozen lake made it one of the most popular tourist places in Gulmarg.
- Apharwat Peak in Gulmarg: The adobe for ski-lovers! Even if you are a first-timer and would like to try skiing in Kashmir, this place would suit all your needs.
PAHALGAM: Best places to visit in Jammu and Kashmir
If you are looking for a place to experience tranquillity and peace in Kashmir, Pahalgam is the right place for you. The village of Pahalgam has now ranked amongst the most beautiful places in Jammu and Kashmir and I can’t agree more. Pahalgam offers one of the best tourist experiences in Kashmir. Horse riding and zorbing experience with breath-taking forest views on both sides are my personal favourites.
There is a long-range of Pahalgam tourist places, here are my top picks:
- Overa Aru Wildlife Sanctuary
- Pahalgam’s Tullian Lake
- Sheshnag Lake
- Betab Valley
- Aru Valley
Most tourists visit Jammu for Mata Vaishno Devi Temple, a pilgrimage spot for Hindus. Each year thousands of tourists visit the temple for religious beliefs. But, Jammu has a lot more to offer!
Here is the list of top things to do in Jammu:
- Visit Bahu Fort
- Shop local handicrafts
- Helicopter Ride in Jammu
- Skiing in Patnitop
Go boating in Mansar Lake