Come May the hill-stations of India start to receive an influx of visitors looking for cooler respite from the hot plains. Amongst the favourite is the beautiful Kashmir Valley. Its capital Srinagar has some of the most the most enthralling sites that are perfect to enjoy in the early months of summer, after the snow has melted and the weather is more appealing for travellers.
Srinagar in May
May is late spring in Srinagar so you will beat the main crowds who arrive during the summer months of June through to August. The weather is pleasant (an average of 25 C) although you might still want to pack a light jumper for the evenings.
Of course Srinagar can be enjoyed throughout the bustling summer months and into the autumn. If travelling during peak season it is important to book your accommodation and any transport well in advance.
What to see in Srinagar
Here are our top five picks of how to spend your time in Srinagar if you are visiting this May.
1. Dal Lake – The Dal Lake is always featured in lists of things to do in Srinagar beacuse of its unparalleled beauty. Stay on the lake so you can enjoy the activity at close quarters. Watch how the water body comes alive with action with houses, shops, fruit sellers and school children, all aboard on boats in the mornings. This may be a unique sight for you but its business as usual in Srinagar.
2. Apple Orchards – The weather is just right to visit the apple orchards of Srinagar at this time of the year. The season is just starting at this time and there is plenty of activity in the farms. It is recommended to stay in a farm house to get an intimate experience of the farm life.
3. Saffron Fields – It is a little known fact that apart from apples, Kashmir is also one of the largest producers of saffron. This much coveted ingredient is a favourite in Indian puddings. Saffron is not only grown in large volumes but also in households. Though May not be the appropriate month for saffron flowers to bloom, you can still see the plush fields at this time. Get a local guide to show you the large expanse of fields – another natural element of Kashmir that you are going to love.
4. Cricket Bats – For a cricket crazy country, the production of bats happens in very small and choicest areas. Kashmir is one such limited source from where the bats are procured. A trip to the factory is going to be very exciting for children
5. Verinag and communities around Jhelum – Just a short ride away from Srinagar, a small unassuming town called Verinag sits at the source of the river Jhelum. It is a great weekend getaway at a short distance from the city. The scenic vistas are awe inspiring.
Where to stay in Srinagar
A visit to Srinagar is incomplete without a couple of nights in a houseboat. Srinagar and the life in it, revolves around the Dal Lake. The walks on the Boulevard, the shikara rides and the beautiful sunsets are best viewed with the lake in the foreground (see the view from a houseboat below). The Green Paradise offers a fleet of family owned houseboats, all falling within the super deluxe category. Each houseboat has its own crew that takes care of your food and any activities that you want.
Combine a houseboat with a few days in the mountains. Hillscape Inn offers a beautiful view of Dal Lake and you can spend your days trekking in the mountains before heading back to your homestay for a bonfire dinner.
Find out about the homestay experience and don't forget to check out our ideas on things to do in India or browse our India homestays.