The shallow Dal Lake adds to Srinagar being a jewel of Kashmir. Along its coast there are large boats that today serve as more or less luxurious lodgings. They were developed by the British in the time of the Raj as they were not allowed to buy property on land. Read more on CNN Travel.
Shikaras are used to transport everybody and anything on the lake. Staying on deck of your houseboat you will be visited by very persistend merchants that sell anything from trips around the lake to flowers, carpets, shawls, savoury snacks, handycrafts – you name it. Even the floating post office will drop by.
By evening the nightmarket bursts to life and the waterway gets clogged by shikaras with tourists. We get hit by another boat on an intersection – no harm done. On the way back even the rather shabby among the houseboats look magnificent with their illumination.
The cupola of the Hazratbal Shrine reflects in its brilliant white on the surface of Dal Lake. The site dates back to the 17th century and its most revered relic is a hair that is attributed the Prophet Mohammed. Todays structure was built 1968 – 1979. There is a lively market outside its gates.
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