All New Trends by Catagiri


     Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir has the second largest lake in the state – ‘Dal Lake’. This lake is the center of attraction to the tourist who come to Kashmir. It is therefore called as the “Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir” or simply “Srinagar’s Jewel”. It is also used commercially for fishing and water plant harvesting. The shore of the lake houses a variety of Mughal gardens, parks, houseboats and hotels. The Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh constructed during the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, gives a scenic view of the lake. The view of the Himalayan Mountains is so wonderful from the shikara boats. During winters the temperature falls down to -11°C (12 °F), completely freezing the whole lake.

     The shore of the lake is 15.5 km long ie. 9.6 miles, covering an area of 18 square kilometers, ie. 6.9 square miles. It is also a part of a natural wetland which covers 21.1 square kilometers. This includes all of its floating gardens, called “Rad” which has lotus, flowering in July and August. The wetlands are divided into four basins – Gagribal, LokutDal, Bod Dal, Nagin. Nagin is sometimes considered as an individual lake.  Lokut-dal and Bod-dal each have an island in the center, known as Rup Lank and Sona Lank respectively.

     The lakes in Kashmir gives the tourists a breathtaking boat ride called the “Shikara boat ride”. The ultimate joy of a smoothly gliding boat over the lake with the gentle sound of the paddle is indeed a not to be missed experience. While in the boat, the view of the Zabarwan hills is just so fascinating and the sync of the boat tossing in the waves is surely an unforgettable experience. The flower and boutique sellers on the shikara boats make the ride more joyful and colorful. Many boats are found along the Dal lake banks of Boulevard road.

     All the hotels in Kashmir arrange for a 1,2,4 days site-seeing to the Himalayan mountains. The best package tours are those arrange by the JKTDC. Try to book an honest guide or else it will be a waste of money. The Shikara boat ride in Dal Lake costs from Rs.150 – Rs.500 depending upon the season. If you want to have a peaceful ride, just walk down a little bit to the fountain. Book a boat from there to the fountain. It is Rs.300 (off season) – Rs.600 (peak season). If you are staying a little longer, try to go for a boat ride everyday but to a different part of the lake. Don’t miss the “Village” where the locals live and you can see the floating vegetable market, but it is open only during sunrise.