Srinagar, the largest city and the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir is known to be ‘Heaven on Earth.’ Now, that name isn’t given for nothing, no amount of words or pictures can do justice to its regal beauty; one must visit the place to experience this wonder.

From beautiful Chinar trees everywhere, to apple orchard blooming in summer months, to skiing slopes in winter months, a peaceful boat ride at Nigeen lake, houseboats and the Shikhara ride on Dal Lake or talking to the locals, to give you a nice nudge, these are the reasons and more why you must head to this paradise:

Asia’s largest Tulip garden

Beautiful tulips

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Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is one of Asia’s biggest tulip gardens where the flowers bloomer a short while from March to May. With over 40 varieties in beautiful colours, this is India’s answer to the famous tulip garden of Amsterdam.

Early morning floating markets on Dal Lake

Early morning at Dal lake

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If you can rise at an unearthly hour; a little before sunrise, you’ll get to experience vegetable and flower shops being set up on boats. Whats more, the customers too arrive to shop in boats. It is quite an experience, and an expensive (INR 2,500) one too.

 

The famous Kashmiri Kahwa

A cup of this aromatic tea made with green tea and loads of saffron, spices and pieced almonds is tasty as it is healthy. It can get you the warmth in minutes in a cold place like Kashmir. But it’s not just Kahwa, one can experience around 60 varieties of tea in Srinagar. Some beautiful cafes where you can find a great cup are: Chai Jaai, the Game of Thrones themed Winterfell Cafe and Books & Bricks.

Things to do around Srinagar

Only 1.5 hours away from Srinagar, a gondola ride at Gulmarg offers impressive panoramic views of the snow-clad Himalayas; Dachigam National Park which is less than 25 kilometres away from Srinagar, is a wildlife park to spot the Kashmir Stag, black bear, and many colourful birds, or soaking in the beauty of the idyllic Aru Valley in Pahalgam – there’s no dearth of things you can do in and around Srinagar.

Kashmiri Wazwan

Kashmiri Wazwan

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Traditionally, a Kashmiri Wazwan was referred to an elaborate feast prepared for weddings and special occasions. But with travellers wanting to sample it, Wazwan now is available on most restaurant menus. The best dishes of this multi-course meal are: Rogan Josh (tender lamb cooked with Kashmiri spices), Yakhni (delicately spiced yogurt curry) and Dum Aloo and a sweet rice pudding called Phirni.