Have you eaten a traditional Kashmiri wazwan with its platter of meaty delicacies? At these homestays you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to food.
A stay in Srinagar — the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir — means waking up to sceneries that seem almost as if out of a postcard. While the rest of India beats the heat in their own creative ways, we suggest taking a trip to the North where the air is chilly and filled with adventure.
Whilst you get the details of your trip ironed out, don’t stress about the stay. These homestays in Srinagar are just what you need to make the most of your trip.
1. Mahatta Homestay
The iconic Dal Lake is only 4 km away from the homestay, making it a wonderful option if you plan to spend most of your time in the serenity of the lake. The homestay is also within walking distance from the main shopping hub of the city. It is run by the Mahatta family, who are aficionados of photography. The ambience, food and decor are inspired by generations of the family who have been living in Kashmir since the 19th century.
Address: C 26, Raj bagh, Srinagar, Kashmir – 190001
Price: Rs 4,000/night onwards
2. Ikraam Inn
If you are someone who loves spending your vacations exploring the town, visiting every tourist spot you’ve read about, and making memories, you’d love staying at the Ikraam Inn. As it turns out, the majority of the tourist spots — the historical Mughal Gardens, Tulip Garden, Botanical Garden, Hazratbal Shrine, Shankaracharya Temple and Dal Lake — are within half an hour’s drive from the inn. The delicious Kashmiri home-cooked meals served here are an added bonus.
Address: Rajbagh Extension, Hurriyat Road, Srinagar, Kashmir – 190008
Price: Rs 4,000/night onwards
3. SheenWynds Homestay
The 70-year-old homestay, owned by a Punjabi family, is what reviews call “a perfect way to spend a vacation”. Located in Pahalgam, the house is a beautiful getaway from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan cities. The owner Shaan ji is more than happy to spend time with guests, telling them stories of the wonderful Srinagar. What’s more is that breakfasts are served outdoors in the fruit orchards, making for a charming scenic view.
Address: Mehtab House, Magarmal bagh, Magarmal bagh chowk, Srinagar, Kashmir – 190001
Price: Rs 3,696/night onwards
4. Shangraff Mountain House
The Mahadev Peak in Srinagar is a popular one, also known to be one of the few that is snow-clad for most of the year. The peak is a part of the Zabarwan mountain range, acclaimed for its majestic appeal. What’s fascinating is that residents of the Shangraff Mountain House can wake up to this breathtaking view every day. The homestay is almost like a cosy lodge nestled in the foothills of the mountains with fruit orchards spread out for miles around. Don’t miss out on a trip to the Dachigam forest whilst here, home to the endangered Kashmir stag.
Address: 1, Syed Baba Rd, Rainawari, Srinagar, Kashmir – 191123
Price: Rs 12,000/night onwards
5. The Cottage Nigeen
Staying at The Cottage Nigeen is like having your story moment come true. The rooms are bright and done up in floral colours of pink, green and beige — almost a match with the garden outside that blooms with roses, apples, pears and more. The homestay is taken care of by a Kashmiri couple and borrows its name from its iconic location on the banks of Nigeen Lake.
“The Cottage is filled with memories of our yesteryears and our children who have moved on in life. It was thrown open to guests just to share the joys of having lived in a Kashmiri house,” says the host, Riyaz.
Address: Mirza Bagh Nigeen Hazratbal, near Nigeen Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir – 190006
Price: Rs 6,000/night onwards
6. My Kashmir Home
The story of this homestay traces right back to the 1960s when the Khanyari family settled down here. The homestay is now run by Aamir Khanyari, the grandson, who says it was born out of a simple idea to welcome people to see the beauty of a Kashmiri home in all its authenticity. Seekh kebabs (a meat delicacy), Kashmiri pickles, and Kashmiri harissa (a traditional mutton curry) are a few of the favourites on the menu.
Address: Gulshan Gousia, next to B.S.F. Camp, Ishber Nishat, Srinagar, Kashmir – 191121
Price: Rs 8,000/night onwards
7. Mountain View Villa
A boutique homestay located a kilometre away from the famous Nishat Garden, the Srinagar Homestay is taken care of by Yasmin Ali. You can count on her for her fare of authentic Kashmiri cuisine or even take your picnic to the neighbouring gardens. This is a nature lover’s paradise with activities like boating, bird watching, forest walks and more.
Address: Nishat Mountview Villa Uphill Lane, Srinagar, Kashmir – 191121
Price: Rs 10,000/night onwards
(Edited by Pranita Bhat)