Embraced eternally by the Himalayas from all sides, Srinagar comes into its own during winters. It is this season which gave it the moniker ‘Paradise on Earth’.
If your bags are packed for a Srinagar trip in February, and you haven’t made an online hotel booking yet, then let The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar be a springboard for your adventures in the snow. Here’s where to wander, what to eat, and how to fall in love with Srinagar in February:
Begin it right
Soak in the beauty of the Valley, with The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar, where nature, culture, heritage come together to deliver emphatically. Formerly a royal palace built by Maharaja Pratap Singh in 1910, The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar is as lavish as it sounds, with breath-taking Kashmiri hospitality on offer.
One can stay either in the uber luxurious Maharaja Suites or serene cottages surrounded by picturesque gardens and views of the Dal Lake, enjoy the all-weather pool, unwind at Rejuve –The Spa (much like at The LaLiT’s 5 star hotels in Delhi, Mumbai, and other cities), and venture out into the city from the hotel’s central location. And when you return from your chilly excursions, the warm rooms and the impeccable service will ensure that you are well taken care of.
Sights to behold
If the Dal Lake isn’t frozen, you’re in luck. The falling snow and a shikara ride make for a memorable experience. If you have devotional interests, then a visit to Jamia Masjid, the oldest mosque in Kashmir, should be on the cards. The Hazratbal Shrine is believed to house a strand of hair from the Prophet Muhammed, while the Shankaracharya Temple is said to have been built in 200 BC. The mystic aura these places have is a rarity!
Then comes the gardens, starting with the magnificent seven-terraced Pari Mahal overlooking Srinagar from a hill. Don’t forget to take a resplendent walk amidst the bright, snow-covered flowerbeds of the Mughal Gardens.
Tickle your taste buds
The Kashmiris prepare special dishes for winters which allow them to keep warm, and Harissa is often touted to be the best of them. For eight long hours, rice, lean mutton, cardamom, salt, clove, fennel, and other spices are slowly cooked till the right aroma is reached. The Kahwa tea is another delicacy to enjoy. For a complete and authentic Kashmiri cuisine, head for the authentic Wazwan experience at the The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar. The buffet and a-la-carte delicacies at The LaLiT Grand Palace Srinagar’s The Chinar restaurant are also a must try!
Fancy some shopping?
While the Floating Market (shikaras selling vegetables, jewellery, cutlery on the Dal Lake) might not be there due to the frozen lake, you can still check out the Polo View Market for some great souvenirs. From pashminas and Jamawars, to walnut wood-carved items, papier-mâché products and wooden jewellery boxes, you can always take your pick. Other great markets include Lal Chowk and Badshah Chowk.
Wander the valley
February means snow, and snow means winter sports – which is precisely what you should be doing on your Srinagar vacation. All you need to do is to head up north to Gulmarg which turns into a haven of snow adventure sports in the freezing months of winter. Further up lies Sonamarg, the perfect place to enjoy the Kashmiri countryside. For wildlife, you can also head over to the Dachigam National Park.