Naranag Shiva temple ruins

Srinagar & the Kashmir Valley

Naranag has two enigmatic 8th-century Shiva temple ruins in a beautiful valley setting that gives one the impression of having stumbled across a great secret find. The design suggests that the temples might in fact have Buddhist origins, but the stones have been curiously eroded as though shaped by a flood. Water tanks, conduits and ritual platforms add to the mystery.

There's no entrance fee nor fence, so visitors are free to explore at will while Gajar kids play merrily in the ancient temple pool. The first temple site is immediately visible from the point where the paved lane into Naranag dead-ends. The second is a 100m further.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Srinagar & the Kashmir Valley attractions

1. Shalimar Bagh

15.16 MILES

Built for Nur Jahan by her husband, Jehangir, Shalimar Bagh is the most famous of Srinagar's Mughal gardens, but it can get very busy. It's 10km beyond…

2. Nishat Bagh

16.59 MILES

Of all Srinagar's Mughal gardens, Nishat Bagh is arguably the most appealing, with beautiful water features that frame a lovely lake panorama. It's on…

3. Hazratbal Mosque

17.13 MILES

Backing onto Dal Lake north of the Old City, this large, white-domed 20th-century mosque enshrines Kashmir’s holiest Islamic relic, the Moi-e-Muqqadas,…

4. Thajiwas Valley

17.82 MILES

Five fingers of glacier descend from a fine array of Alpine peaks in the parallel valley behind Sonamarg. The scene is best appreciated from a small…

5. Tulip Garden

18.51 MILES

Crowds throng Asia’s biggest Tulip Garden, just behind the Botanical Garden, during March and April. Its long, straight rows of blooming tulips (60…

6. Botanical Garden

18.65 MILES

Less formal and not quite as busy as many of the older Mughal gardens, the Botanical Gardens have some well-maintained lawns and a wide variety of tree…

7. Badamvaer Gardens

18.87 MILES

Created in the 16th century, then planted with almond (badam) trees in 1876, this quiet orchard garden fell apart during Kashmir's 1990s troubles but has…

8. Cheshmashahi Garden

19.01 MILES

En route to Pari Mahal you'll pass the small Cheshmashahi Garden, folded amid the wooded mountain foothills. Its central feature is a square fountain pool…