Dal lake in Srinagar
Waking up next morning in the abyss of Dal Lake was refreshing. Early morning is refreshing with a lot of Shikara’s floating around hotel. Sipping a cup of coffee with people around you, however is breath taking. I could see Shikara’s all around me in the lake.
Shikara is a characteristic boat from Kashmir used to transport people and goods across the lakes in Kashmir. In Dal lake, they vie for the tourist’s attention with bright colors, and bold multi colored tapestry. It can seat 4 people and the boatman rows from the upper bow.
Spread over 15km around, the Dal Lake is Srinagar’s jewel. Vast, mirror-flat sheet of water reflecting the carved wooden balconies of the houseboats with the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains. Scenic views of the lake can be witnessed from the shore line Mughal gardens, with Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh built during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir & from houseboats cruising along the lake in the colourful shikaras.
During the winter season, the temperature sometimes reaches −11 °C, freezing the lake.
Dal lake is mentioned as Mahasarit in ancient Sanskrit texts. Ancient history records mention that a village named Isabar to the east of Dal Lake was the residence of goddess Durga.This place was known as Sureshwari on the bank of the lake, which was sourced by a spring called the Satadhara.
A shikara ride in the Dal lake, though clichéd, is a must do activity in Srinagar. Must advise people do not let fall prey to their ride fare. Mostly it falls between 50 to 100 bucks, provided your hotel is at the lake side, the hotel has their own Shikara which takes you for a ride for free.
Tip for Srinagar:
A pre dawn vegetable sets up in the Dal Lake every day. A Shikara ride can be arranged for this. It is supposed to be the best time to take this ride.
Tip for Srinagar:
All of this was a bit too dramatic, but for the more costume adventurous, go give it a try!
The main street along the Dal Lake is the Boulevard street.
Here, the lake is lined with houseboats. Their heavily carved facades and names ranging from California to New Zealand, they are very much an invitation for some fantasy.
When staying in a houseboat, make sure it is approved by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department.
The Boulevard Road makes for a lovely evening walk especially at sunset time. Viewing the sunset over the lake is another must-do in Srinagar.
Post wandering at the lake, being too tired and was thinking of two amazing places near Srinagar. Pahalgam & Gulmarg!
Well dozing off in anticipation of my next phase of Srinagar.