Have you landed in Srinagar to do a high altitude trek in the captivating Kashmir Valley?
Nehru Memorial Botanical Garden: ₹40 per adult
Chashme Shahi: ₹20 per adult
Mughal Garden Pari Mahal: ₹20 per adult
First, go for an easy acclimatization walk in Srinagar because acclimatization averts ailments at the altitude.
Start from one of the Dal Ghats along the Boulevard. For example, we started our walk from The Nehru’s at the Ghat Number 14, the hotel where we stayed during October 2017 (Diwali Weekend). From here to Pari Mahal via Botanical Garden and Mughal Garden (Cheshmeshahi) is about six-seven kilometers. You should spend at least an hour at each of these intermediate stops. So you will not walk continuously. I said it is easy because it is within the city and the halt points are lovely that will force fatigue to evaporate quickly. You will have many opportunities for making pictures. If you take an auto/taxi, you will spend at least ₹500 and miss many things.
Start as sun rises to avoid traffic related issues when you take right turn and walk along the Cheshmeshahi Road. Before taking the right turn, you will walk on the wide vehicle free footpath along the Dal Lake. After that there is no footpath. It is a road featuring a security check post because Raj Bhawan is also located along this route. You have to get down from the vehicle and walk through the security channel near Raj Bhawan. This road section is a gentle climb.
On return you can take an auto if you want. But do walk one side.
Let’s have a look at the attractions along this route.
The lake at an altitude of 1,538 meters is located in the center of Srinagar city. The lake offers something more than shikaras introduced by British rulers. The Boulevard, wrapping around its circumference, is a good place for your first acclimatization walk because Dal never gives dull moments.
The Himalayan Lake, covering about 25 square kilometers, is abound in lotus stem (nadru), a popular vegetable. The lake plays multiple roles. It is a source of drinking water, cattle fodder (water lilies), recreation for locals and tourists, fish, and fresh vegetable.
The Telbal Nullah, a perennial stream from north, supplies water to the shallow temperate lake. The water drains into the Jhelum tributary in southwest. Since ages, the lake is home to aquatic vegetation that is sometimes considered as harmful. However, the vegetation is not a bane. It plays an important role in the ecosystem. The vegetation produces oxygen and create suitable environment for fish. However, when it crosses the required healthy limit, it is called weed.