Jammu and Kashmir, India
Although it sounds like any other lake, Dal Lake is
in fact a maze of waterways in Srinagar, the capital
of Jammu and Kashmir, partly in Pakistan and India.
Dal Lake is famous not only for its beauty, but for
its vibrancy, and a style of life unique around the
The houseboat and Shikara communities have lived on
Dal Lake for centuries and their infrastructure is so
complete on the lake, that they never have to step on
Doctors, tailors, bakers, all have their tiny wooden
shops on the lake, near picturesque vegetable gardens
and acres of lotus gardens.
With some difficulty we managed to visit the Indian
ruled Jammu and Kashmir and the Capital, Srinagar.
In the maze of waterways of Dal Lake are a couple of
islands, very popular picnic spots.
One of the facinating and world famous thing about Lake
Dal is the many Houseboat, that are on the lake.
Many of this houseboats are used for living quarters,
there are also many that are used for tourist accommodation.
As things are this days and for the last few years Jammu
& Kashmir is more or less under emergency rules or laws
and there are not many tourist around.
We did have some trouble during our 1999 tour of the
Himalayan countries to get in, but in the end we were
lucky enough to visit that beautiful place.
As before, with most of the places we visited the country
and the people were a complete surprise.
We really enjoyed ourselves.
We stayed on a houseboat on Dal Lake, which was an experience
in itself and we did have a terrific time.
You can click on
these photos for an enlargement.
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