Show And Tell: Life On The Dal

Show And Tell: Life On The Dal
Photo Credit: ImagesofIndia / Shutterstock.com
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As the Kashmir valley starts to experience sub zero nights, intense cold waves grips the Dal as well. The people of Kashmir await this 40-day period of 'chillai kalan' as the snowfall during this event replenishes perennial water resources in the valley.

OT Staff
September 06 , 2022
02 Min Read

Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, stunning valleys, and chinar trees that turn golden-red in autumn, the tranquil Dal lake has an unearthly beauty. Along the iconic lake, covering an area of 21sq km, a long and cheery boulevard lines the waters on one side, and a series of tourist interest spots on the other – the Shankaracharya Hill (with a 6th-century Jyeshtheshvara temple on top), an entertainment park, the Mughal Gardens, numerous shops, restaurants and hotels. The colourful shikaras and houseboats attract your attention with their bright yellow canopies and dark maroon carpets.

The best way to explore any destination is to opt for a local stay. These gorgeous houseboats give a glimpse of Kashmir’s traditional-style hotels. From the time the houseboats on Dal Lake served as floating homes for the British to today’s tourist hubs, they continue to be an important part of Srinagar’s heritage.

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The houseboats have quaint names - the early European boats were called HB Duke Wells, or New Buckingham Palace, in honour of the settler’s memories and sensibilities. How this led to our contemporary beauty bobbing on the Dal — New Soul Kiss —remains a matter of lively interest.

As the sun goes down, Dal Lake’s waterfront homes are bathed in golden hues.

Some say that houseboats have existed on Dal and Nagin lakes since the 1800s. In the late nineteenth century, Srinagar's boat-dwelling Hanji community began building floating homes or houseboats for English visitors and residents who were not permitted to own land in Kashmir.

One of the best ways to spend the sunset hours is by watching the sky glow in myriad hues on the Dal.

Amidst the wilderness of nature where the mountain meets the river, here’s a beautiful glimpse of sunset on the Dal.

The lake has several floating stores where you can pick up souvenirs.

The floating gardens, or ‘rad’, on the Dal hawk colourful produce, including local leafy greens, water chestnuts, fresh cucumbers and more.

A boat sways on the surface of Dal, with the Srinagar Fort silhouetted in the background.

Snow-capped mountain peaks and a starry night on the Dal.


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