Kashmir is called as the heaven on Earth and Srinagar is the heart of this heavenly state. While reaching Srinagar via flight, one can witness the most surreal and amazing aerial views of snow clad mountains. Look out of the flight window and you'll feel like you're in Heaven, even before landing on the Srinagar Airport. That's the aura of Kashmir.
Srinagar is one of the most beautiful cities in India with properly constructed roads and that too clean road, which is a rare sight to witness in India at least. We reached Srinagar in the afternoon and did all the security and Covid-19 checks at the airport. On our way to the hotel (Radisson Srinagar), we passed by the city markets and also crossed Jhelum river.
Go on a Shikara ride in the evening to witness the most beautiful sunset amid the endless Dal Lake. The shikara ride can be availed at two points- first to witness the floating markets in the dal lake and second point is Char Chinar. We went to Char Chinar in the evening, at the perfect time to experience the sunset amid the serene waters of Dal Lake. Char Chinar is a small park like setting amid waters with four chinar planted at the four corners of the park. During the stoppage at Char Chinar, we had our first sip of the famous Kashmiri Kahwa and fall in love with it then and there only. This Shikara ride cost us 1000/- rs for six people (2 shikaras).
Being an avid fan of walking around the streets of any new city or place I visit, Kashmir was no different. Hence, I will recommend you to go on a morning walk around the streets of Kashmir and see its beauty at the peak. Also, you'll get to know Kashmir is far away from what is shown in the news. This place gives a feeling of peace amid the chaos. During our morning walk, my brother and I went to the zero bridge above Jhelum river with house boats placed in the river and households surrounding the banks of the river. This place somehow gave me the vibes of Venice.
Later in the afternoon, we went for the city tour. Did the Dal Lake tour of the floating markets and floating farms. The floating markets have all kind of products ranging from vegetable markets to clothes and accessories. After this, we went to the Chashme Shahi garden, which is famous for its spring water. It is being said that the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's drinking water used to be sent from this place. As we visited Kashmir at the start of the evening, the garden was blooming with different colors of flowers which makes a perfect sight for Insta-worthy photos and videos. The ticket price for entry in this garden is only Rs 20/-.
Srinagar has many other gardens and places which can be visited, if time permits. The famous ones are Mughal Garden, Pari Mahal, Shankaracharya Temple among others. We skipped these places because of lack of time as all these places closes at around 4-5 in the evening. The same day after returning from Chashme Shahi, we toured the main market of Srinagar- Lal Chawk, which is also considered to be a scary spot in the city because of past terrorist attacks and army posting. But it was no different than any normal market in any Indian city and the Kashmiri people were also quite welcoming and friendly. You can shop for Kashmir's specialty products at Lal chowk- kesar, dry fruits, kashmiri shawls, spices, handcrafted artefacts and any other thing you want to purchase.