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The capital of Kashmir seems to swim in the mists of a vanished summer from the fading days of the Raj. Once one of India’s most popular hill resorts, Srinagar was off-limits to travelers for most of the 1990s because of terrorist violence. With the improving political climate, travelers are slowly returning to the houseboats of Dal Lake and the medieval bazaars that wind along the banks of the Jhelum River, though some caution is still required during flare-ups of political tension. The rewards for visiting this wild frontier are manyfold - the atmospheric houseboats of Dal Lake, extravagant Mughal gardens, Raj-era relics, historic mosques ...

The capital of Kashmir seems to swim in the mists of a vanished summer from the fading days of the Raj. Once one of India’s most popular hill resorts, Srinagar was off-limits to travelers for most of the 1990s because of terrorist violence. With the improving political climate, travelers are slowly returning to the houseboats of Dal Lake and the medieval bazaars that wind along the banks of the Jhelum River, though some caution is still required during flare-ups of political tension. The rewards for visiting this wild frontier are manyfold - the atmospheric houseboats of Dal Lake, extravagant Mughal gardens, Raj-era relics, historic mosques built from chinar wood and ornately painted papier-mâché. Srinagar is also a popular base for trips to the hill resorts at Gulmarg and Pahalgam, as well as being the starting point for the back-route into Ladakh via Kargil and the 3529 meter (11,578 foot) Zoji La pass. However, be aware that travelers face a fair bit of hassle from touts, salesmen and houseboat-owners.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Capital of Kashmir it is situated in Kashmir Valley and lies on the banks of the Jhelum River, a tributary of the Indus.
  • Language: Kashmiri, Urdu
  • Currency: Indian Rupee
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May to August for warm weather; September to November for autumn colors. Snowfall can be heavy from December to February.