Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Srinagar. It is a famous travel destination and is known for its scenic excellence. There are many things to do near Dal Lake. You can walk around the lake, explore the nearby gardens, eat delicious Kashmiri food, travel in shikaras, and much more.
To make your work easy, I’ve made a list of my ultimate favorites. Whether you are someone who wants to relax, or someone who wishes to be active, there is something for all. Let’s check the things you can do around Dal Lake, Srinagar Kashmir.
1. Visit Mughal Gardens
Many gardens surround the Dal Lake, but Mughal Gardens deserve special mention. The construction of these gardens dates back to the Mughal Era. Streams of water and varieties of flowers make it a paradise for nature lovers.
Some of the popular gardens that you can visit while you are exploring Dal Lake are:
Popular among tourists in Srinagar as well, Nishat Bagh is on the banks of Dal Lake. Its origin dates back to 1633 AD, and it is also Kashmir’s second-largest Mughal Garden. The extensive view of the snow-clad Pir Panjal Range and Dal lake makes this park a visual delight. The twelve terraced gardens consist of fountains, plants, vibrant flowerbeds, and lawns. It is perfect for a picnic in the laps of nature.
Emperor Jahangir built this ‘Abode of Love’ in 1619 AD for his beloved Nur Jahan. The architecture of this garden reflects the rich culture of the Mughal Era, and is famous for its horticulture. The variety of colorful flowers that bloom here enhance the beauty of the garden.
Formerly known as the Chashme Sahibi, this Mughal garden is on the Zabarwan range. Ali Marda Khan built this garden in 1632 AD for Shah Jahan’s eldest son Dara Shikoh. The natural spring Rupa Bhawani makes this place a popular tourist destination. Tourists can enjoy this spring from March to November. The terraced garden has walkways and vibrant flowers.
Also known as the ‘House of Fairies’, Pari Mahal is an offbeat destination. Islamic style is predominant in the architecture of the place, as Dara Shikoh built it. The top of the structure has six terraced gardens with a gorgeous backdrop of the hills. The Archaeological Survey of India looks after this site, as it is one of the most prominent historical monuments of the country.
Note: If you visit in the spring reason, you should visit the Tulip garden as well.
2. Take a Shikara ride
Shikara rides are quite popular among tourists in Srinagar. Over the years, many movies have even shot romantic scenes in these colorful boats. Shikara rides on the Dal lake come with picturesque views of the surrounding hills and beautiful gardens. The ride is an experience in itself.
But if you prefer less crowd and a better view, walk for a while till you see the water fountain and ask your shikara wallah for a fountain ride. However, you may have to bargain over the prices. Shikara rides can be used for pre-wedding and post-wedding shoots in Kashmir as well.
Timings: 5:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Price Per Head: INR 150-700
3. Walk along Boulevard Road
The Boulevard Road is the life of Srinagar. You can walk on this beautiful road in the evening and enjoy the wonderful views that the stretch offers.
The road has something for everyone. If you are a foodie, you can have mouth-watering Kashmiri food here. There are also shops to cater to the shopaholic in you. If you like street shopping, you can enjoy the roadside vendors in the evening. A walk along the Boulevard Road should be on your list of things to do near Dal Lake when in Srinagar.
4. Watch the sunset
If you are in Srinagar, do not miss out on the stunning sunset view of the Dal Lake. It is the best place to watch the sunset. You can also opt for a shikara ride during these hours for a more vivid experience. The waters of the Lake look mesmerizing with the reflection of the falling sun. Watching the sunset here tops the list of things to do near Dal Lake. You can also visit restaurants that offer an amazing view of Srinagar to watch the sunset near Dal Lake.
5. Eat Barbeque at Makai Park
Do not forget to indulge in the delicious barbeque dishes that Makai Park has to offer. The non-veg options available are beef, chicken, mutton and fish. So, you need to specify the barbeque that you want, and they will cook the meat to perfection. Their chutneys are also flavorsome and add to the taste of the meat.
6. Visit Nearby Restaurants
There are many restaurants near Dal Lake that serve delicious food. You name the cuisine, and the restaurants have it. Be it veg or non-veg. The wide variety of options can also make it confusing at times! One of the best restaurants that you should visit is the Shamyana restaurant.
I will also like to give a special mention to the The Winterfell Cafe.
Winterfell is a Game of Thrones-themed cafe and is a paradise for all GOT fans. The main characters of GOT belong to Winterfell, and the stone decor of the cafe makes it even more appealing. There is also an iron throne, just like the one in the series.
Location: Hotel Paradise Complex Boulevard Road, opposite ghat no 5,
Timings: 10:30 AM – 8:30 PM
Price: INR 150 – 450
7. Visit the Hazratbal Mosque
If you have some more time handy, you should visit the Hazratbal Dargah. Located on the other side of Dal Lake, it is a place of worship for Muslims in Srinagar. It has many names such as, Asar-e-Sharif, Madinat-us-Sani, and Dargah Sharif. The mosque is an ideal blend of Kashmiri and Mughal architecture, and is of white marble.
It is of great importance to the Muslims as it consists of the relics of Prophet Muhammad. The exquisite view of the Dal Lake enhances the beauty of the Hazratbal Mosque. Visiting the Dargah is one of the things to do near Dal Lake.
Those are the things to do near Dal Lake that deserve a mention, and will leave you wanting for more. So the next time you are at Srinagar, experience these activities and fall more in love with the beauty of Kashmir.