Dal is a lake in Srinagar (Dal Lake is a misnomer as Dal in Kashmiri means lake), the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. The urban lake, is integral to tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is named the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”.
The lake is also an important source for commercial operations in fishing and water plant harvesting.
The shore line of the lake, is about 15.5 kilometres (9.6 mi), is encompassed by a boulevard lined with Mughal era gardens, parks, houseboats and hotels. Scenic views of the lake can be witnessed from the shore line Mughal gardens, such as Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh built during the reign of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and from houseboats cruising along the lake in the colourful shikaras. During the winter season, the temperature sometimes reaches −11 °C (12 °F), freezing the lake.
The lake covers an area of 18 square kilometres (6.9 sq mi) and is part of a natural wetland which covers 21.1 square kilometres (8.1 sq mi), including its floating gardens.
The floating gardens, known as “Raad” in Kashmiri, blossom with lotus flowers during July and August. The wetland is divided by causeways into four basins; Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin (although Nagin is also considered as an independent lake). Lokut-dal and Bod-dal each have an island in the centre, known as Rup Lank (or Char Chinari) and Sona Lank respectively.The houseboats are closely associated with Dal Lake which provide accommodation to tourists in Srinagar.
Shikara Ride in Dal Lake
A Shikara ride on Dal Lake Kashmir is a thrilling experience and a fun adventure for anyone who seeking a mix of nature and adventure in Srinagar. Get wooed by the panoramic vistas of the Zabarwan range and the vastness of the lake, symphonized with the curling waves formed by the shikarawala’s rowing.
The prolific beauty of the surrounding mountains combined with the scintillating waters of the lake is an experience beyond words. The beauty of this place is especially mesmerizing during the sunrise and sunset. The wooden boats with pointed ends on both sides with beautiful canopies overhead are a cultural symbol and seen only in Srinagar.
This is a ride that will build memories of a lifetime for you and your family and friends. Hence it is worth every penny to take this mesmerizing ride on the Dal Lake of Srinagar in a Shikara.
A unique Shikara Ride on Dal Lake Kashmir is not complete without a shopping experience in that of the lively lake market. This market includes a number of shops located right in the middle of the lake. The shops sell all sorts of goods including Kashmir’s specialties such as wooden artifacts, handmade earrings, carpets, Kashmiri handicrafts, saffron, and even Kashmiri ponchos and shawls.
Dal Lake also enjoys a good location, and is easily accessible from the rest of the city and well connected by local transport, taxis, and autos. And once you are here by the lakeside, you can also go explore other tourist places of Srinagar.