Best Things That You Must Definitely Do Near Dal Lake

Srinagar’s Dal Lake stands as a breathtaking masterpiece, renowned for its unparalleled beauty and charm. As a prominent travel destination, it beckons visitors to immerse themselves in its scenic splendor. The vicinity of Dal Lake offers a myriad of activities to enhance your experience. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along its shores, exploration of nearby gardens, indulgence in delectable Kashmiri cuisine, or a serene shikara ride, there’s an array of options to suit every preference.

To simplify your choices, I’ve curated a list of personal favorites. Whether you seek relaxation or crave active adventures, there’s something for everyone. Let’s explore the diverse array of activities awaiting you around Dal Lake in the enchanting realm of Srinagar, Kashmir.

Dal Lake also known as ‘Srinagar’s Jewel’ is one of the most important landmarks of Srinagar. Words fall short to describe this exotic natural scenic beauty. Everything about the fascinating lake is grabbing the attention of national and international tourists. It’s not just the beauty of this place that’s grabbing the attention but the colorful houseboats and Shikaras are also significant attractions of the Lake. For sure, you will not get to experience anything like this anywhere else in the world! 

Many famous places to visit near Dal Lake have made a statement with their beauty and the biggest example of which is the Indira Gandhi Tulip Memorial, which happens to be the largest tulip garden sprawling nearly 74 acres. From the places of religious significance like the Hazrat Bal to the places of ancient architecture like the Shankaracharya temple, the places around this serene lake have made it  hotspot among the tourists. Whether you are planning to visit the Dal Lake or are spending a day living in its houseboats, you will easily find numerous touring options around which are worth a visit.

Top Things To Do Near Dal Lake

Top Things To Do Near Dal Lake (1) (1)

Dal Lake nestled in the heart of Srinagar is the second largest lake in the valley of Kashmir. The 26 sq km area has many touristy things to do and see. Let’s take a look at some of the top things that will help complete your experience in Srinagar.

Spend A Night On A Houseboat

Spend A Night On A Houseboat

Houseboats have always been a part of the heritage of Kashmir and staying in a boathouse in Dal Lake is the most unique experience you can have. Initially they were called ‘behaz’, later after the British modified and made them bigger it got to be known as houseboats. Spending a night on a houseboat has become very popular with tourists. Most of the elegant wooden houseboats are run by families living on Dal Lake.

From budget to mid-range, economy to luxury, the lake is lined with houseboats that vary in degree of luxury. These wooden boats with hotel-like facilities are designed in such a way that visitors can take in the stunning beauty of the place from anywhere on the boat. The breathtaking mountain views while dining with your loved one is something that will stay with you for a long time.

Go Shopping At The Floating Market

floating marketing in srinagar

Whether you’re in the mood for shopping or not, a visit to the floating market Dal Lake is a must. These markets are where vendors sell their goods from shikaras across the lake. Vegetables, handicrafts, clothing, flowers, saffron, groceries, Kashmiri products and all that you need are available here. Best time to visit the market is in the early morning when all the vendors gather in the middle of the lake in boats loaded with items to sell. The colorful market against the beautiful backdrop makes for a pretty picture, basically a photographer’s heaven. All this sums up to a totally unique experience which cannot be experienced anywhere else but here.

Experience A Shikara Ride

Shikara Ride in srinagar

Get real close to nature on the calm and tranquil waters of the lake with picturesque views of the snow-capped mountains on a Shikara ride. Shikara at Dal Lake are manually operated small boats that are designed uniquely with top roofs. Our Bollywood movies have made this ride quite famous by shooting many romantic scenes in these colorful boats. Best time to experience the boat ride is during dawn or dusk to experience some mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets. Nehru Park, Shalimar Gardens, and Hazratbal Mosque are added attractions on the go. Don’t forget to get yourself photographed with the traditional Kashmiri attire during your Shikara Dal Lake ride. This will add on to the experience and make the ride a more memorable one.

Visit The Mughal Gardens

_Mughal Gardens in srinagar

Srinagar is home to several picturesque Mughal Gardens that deserves a special mention. The construction that dates back to the Mughal Era not only shows the excellent engineering skills of the Mughals but also the perfect representation of Persian architecture. Most of these magnificent gardens surround the lake and other important landmarks. Some of the main elements of these gardens are running water in the canals and a pool to reflect the beauty of the sky and garden. The different trees, varieties of flowers and birds chirping all around make it a paradise for nature lovers. Some of the popular gardens that you can visit are Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Bagh, Chashme Shahi, Pari Mahal And Tulip Garden.

Walk Along Foreshore Road

Foreshore Road in srinagar

Foreshore road being the life of Srinagar, walking on this beautiful road is one of the best things to do in Dal Lake. The entire road lies on the banks of the lake, hence a walk on the road provides beautiful views of the lake. Foreshore road becomes very lively in the evening with the many roadside vendors and eateries that serve mouth-watering Kashmiri food. The 5.2km stretch of road from Hazratbal to Nishat also hosts the largest number of hotels for tourists. So you can be assured of a stay with wonderful views. Tasting some mouthwatering Kashmiri cuisine and catching the sunset with your partner along the lake are must do things while here.

Eat Barbeque at Makai Park

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.

Visit the Hazratbal Mosque

hazratbal srinagar

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.

Visit Char Chinar

Visit Char Chinar

Char Chinar is a beautiful Island on Dal Lake known for its famous Chinar trees surrounding the four corners of the lake. Murad Baksh, the brother of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb constructed this famous landmark of Srinagar. Basically Char Chinar (meaning four sides) got its name from the four Char Chinar trees which are long-living trees that depict the characteristics of Kashmir. The four Chinar trees right in the middle of the lake makes for a pretty sight but the reflection of the Island on the water of Dal Lake makes it even more stunning. This must-visit place when on your trip to Dal Lake is best explored during a shikara ride.


What is the speciality of Dal Lake Srinagar?

Dal Lake is the second largest lake in Jammu and Kashmir and it is fondly named as the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”. The house boat in Dal Lake, canopied Shikara rides, mesmerizing view of the majestic mountains and its exotic surroundings is something which you will never get to experience anywhere else in the world. 

What is the unique tourist attraction on the Dal Lake?

Dal Lake is renowned for its unique houseboats, locally known as “Shikaras.” These beautifully crafted wooden houseboats are a popular accommodation option for tourists. Visitors can take a relaxing Shikara ride, gliding through the calm waters while enjoying the panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

Which is the best time for Dal Lake?

The best time to visit is during the months of May to November when the climate is quite pleasant and ideal for exploring the place to its fullest. Either the mornings or evenings are the best time of the day to visit Dal Lake.

How deep is Dal Lake?

Dal Lake has an approximate depth of 5 ft and a maximum depth of 20 ft. Covering an area of 18 to 20 sq. km. Dal Lake is part of a natural wetland, which includes floating gardens known as ‘Raad’ in the local language of Kashmir.

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