The primary concern when you want to know what to wear in Srinagar is the weather, but that should not be the sole consideration in your sartorial choices. This is because culture as well as socio-political circumstances need to be taken into account as well by the smart traveller, especially in areas like the Kashmir, which have historically been places of dispute as well as unrest. Srinagar itself was fairly recently a place of some terrorist acts that did not spare tourists, and has only calmed down in the past decade. Even if the statistics show that violence in the area has taken a sharp dip in the last ten years, it is best to be prepared for all eventualities, and this actually touches on what you are wearing.
Generally, it is best to avoid drawing too much attention to yourself, just to bring down the chances of being targeted by kidnappers (a fairly rare occurrence, but still a possibility) from unlawful factions. Stay away from flashy clothes and ones that display a lot of skin: this is generally the rule for travellers in India, anyway, due to the country’s conservative roots. Wearing jewellery is certainly not advised because you would just be advertising yourself as a target for pickpockets and ladies should keep their stilettos and high heels packed away unless attending a formal event in a closed or gated venue; the more sensible your footwear, the better, as it provides the ability to move fast in emergencies and the ability to negotiate less than pristine sidewalks easily. Note that it is best to have closed shoes, especially in the winter. [Read more…]