The Floating City - Dal Lake : by Vibha Malhotra, TOI (29th Sept, 2012)

 Teeming with the activities that typically constitute the day-to-day activities of an average human being, Dal Lake is almost an entire city on the water, complete with accommodation, transport, gardens, shops, and even full-fledged markets. And there is no dearth of activities to do in and about the huge lake that sprawls across a vast area of about 18 square kilometres.A shikara meandering through the lake to the tunes of the rhythmic rowing by the expert, phiron-clad boatmen is an image that has been etched into our minds by the blue-eyed Shammi Kapoor romancing and the pretty, petite SharmiTagore. But beyond the romance, the shikaras are the best mode of transport to reach the Mughal gardens, to explore the floating markets and vegetable gardens, or to simply experience the unparalleled splendour of the lakeEach lavish, British-style houseboat moored on the side of the lake or near the tiny Islands is a time capsule to the colonial times. Some of these houseboats are almost a century old and are still being rented out today. The houseboats are complete with well-furnished rooms, terraces, and verandas. Each houseboat has a dedicated kitchen, mostly on a separate, smaller boatFloating shops and markets bring the legendary Kashmiri Pashminas, and artefacts and even fruits, vegetables, and flowers to you as you lay back in your shikaras and enjoy the comforting sound of the water lapping the sides of thboat. This unusual market becomes even more unusual once you realize that several of the vegetables being sold out of these shikaras have been grown in the gardens that float on the Dal LakeReflections of the majestic mountains, often shaken by the ripples from the oars of the shikaras, and the impeccably manicured Mughal gardens that surround the lake take one back to the medieval times when Dal Lake used to serve as the summer resort for the Mughal Rulers The grandiose appeal, the surreal beauty of this 'paradise' is incomparable even today when pollution, crowding, and eutrophication are increasingly becoming a challenge. Several initiatives are currently in place to revive the fading lustre of this shining 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. While the corrective actions are a must and need to be carried out, a lot of thought also needs to be given to the preventive actions that can help sustain the magnificence of the lake for the future.
 
 Teeming with the activities that typically constitute the day-to-day activities of an average human being, Dal Lake is almost an entire city on the water, complete with accommodation, transport, gardens, shops, and even full-fledged markets. And there is no dearth of activities to do in and about the huge lake that sprawls across a vast area of about 18 square kilometres.
  Teeming with the activities that typically constitute the day-to-day activities of an average human being, Dal Lake is almost an entire city on the water, complete with accommodation, transport, gardens, shops, and even full-fledged markets. And there is no dearth of activities to do in and about the huge lake that sprawls across a vast area of about 18 square kilometres.A shikara meandering through the lake to the tunes of the rhythmic rowing by the expert, phiron-clad boatmen is an image that has been etched into our minds by the blue-eyed Shammi Kapoor romancing and the pretty, petite SharmiTagore. But beyond the romance, the shikaras are the best mode of transport to reach the Mughal gardens, to explore the floating markets and vegetable gardens, or to simply experience the unparalleled splendour of the lakeEach lavish, British-style houseboat moored on the side of the lake or near the tiny Islands is a time capsule to the colonial times. Some of these houseboats are almost a century old and are still being rented out today. The houseboats are complete with well-furnished rooms, terraces, and verandas. Each houseboat has a dedicated kitchen, mostly on a separate, smaller boatFloating shops and markets bring the legendary Kashmiri Pashminas, and artefacts and even fruits, vegetables, and flowers to you as you lay back in your shikaras and enjoy the comforting sound of the water lapping the sides of thboat. This unusual market becomes even more unusual once you realize that several of the vegetables being sold out of these shikaras have been grown in the gardens that float on the Dal LakeReflections of the majestic mountains, often shaken by the ripples from the oars of the shikaras, and the impeccably manicured Mughal gardens that surround the lake take one back to the medieval times when Dal Lake used to serve as the summer resort for the Mughal Rulers The grandiose appeal, the surreal beauty of this 'paradise' is incomparable even today when pollution, crowding, and eutrophication are increasingly becoming a challenge. Several initiatives are currently in place to revive the fading lustre of this shining 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. While the corrective actions are a must and need to be carried out, a lot of thought also needs to be given to the preventive actions that can help sustain the magnificence of the lake for the future.

A shikara meandering through the lake to the tunes of the rhythmic rowing by the expert, phiron-clad boatmen is an image that has been etched into our minds by the blue-eyed Shammi Kapoor romancing and the pretty, petite Sharmila
Tagore. But beyond the romance, the shikaras are the best mode of transport to reach the Mughal gardens, to explore the floating markets and vegetable gardens, or to simply experience the unparalleled splendour of the lake.

 Teeming with the activities that typically constitute the day-to-day activities of an average human being, Dal Lake is almost an entire city on the water, complete with accommodation, transport, gardens, shops, and even full-fledged markets. And there is no dearth of activities to do in and about the huge lake that sprawls across a vast area of about 18 square kilometres.A shikara meandering through the lake to the tunes of the rhythmic rowing by the expert, phiron-clad boatmen is an image that has been etched into our minds by the blue-eyed Shammi Kapoor romancing and the pretty, petite SharmiTagore. But beyond the romance, the shikaras are the best mode of transport to reach the Mughal gardens, to explore the floating markets and vegetable gardens, or to simply experience the unparalleled splendour of the lakeEach lavish, British-style houseboat moored on the side of the lake or near the tiny Islands is a time capsule to the colonial times. Some of these houseboats are almost a century old and are still being rented out today. The houseboats are complete with well-furnished rooms, terraces, and verandas. Each houseboat has a dedicated kitchen, mostly on a separate, smaller boatFloating shops and markets bring the legendary Kashmiri Pashminas, and artefacts and even fruits, vegetables, and flowers to you as you lay back in your shikaras and enjoy the comforting sound of the water lapping the sides of thboat. This unusual market becomes even more unusual once you realize that several of the vegetables being sold out of these shikaras have been grown in the gardens that float on the Dal LakeReflections of the majestic mountains, often shaken by the ripples from the oars of the shikaras, and the impeccably manicured Mughal gardens that surround the lake take one back to the medieval times when Dal Lake used to serve as the summer resort for the Mughal Rulers The grandiose appeal, the surreal beauty of this 'paradise' is incomparable even today when pollution, crowding, and eutrophication are increasingly becoming a challenge. Several initiatives are currently in place to revive the fading lustre of this shining 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. While the corrective actions are a must and need to be carried out, a lot of thought also needs to be given to the preventive actions that can help sustain the magnificence of the lake for the future. 
Each lavish, British-style houseboat moored on the side of the lake or near the tiny Islands is a time capsule to the colonial times. Some of these houseboats are almost a century old and are still being rented out today. The houseboats are complete with well-furnished rooms, terraces, and verandas. Each houseboat has a dedicated kitchen, mostly on a separate, smaller boat.
 Teeming with the activities that typically constitute the day-to-day activities of an average human being, Dal Lake is almost an entire city on the water, complete with accommodation, transport, gardens, shops, and even full-fledged markets. And there is no dearth of activities to do in and about the huge lake that sprawls across a vast area of about 18 square kilometres.A shikara meandering through the lake to the tunes of the rhythmic rowing by the expert, phiron-clad boatmen is an image that has been etched into our minds by the blue-eyed Shammi Kapoor romancing and the pretty, petite SharmiTagore. But beyond the romance, the shikaras are the best mode of transport to reach the Mughal gardens, to explore the floating markets and vegetable gardens, or to simply experience the unparalleled splendour of the lakeEach lavish, British-style houseboat moored on the side of the lake or near the tiny Islands is a time capsule to the colonial times. Some of these houseboats are almost a century old and are still being rented out today. The houseboats are complete with well-furnished rooms, terraces, and verandas. Each houseboat has a dedicated kitchen, mostly on a separate, smaller boatFloating shops and markets bring the legendary Kashmiri Pashminas, and artefacts and even fruits, vegetables, and flowers to you as you lay back in your shikaras and enjoy the comforting sound of the water lapping the sides of thboat. This unusual market becomes even more unusual once you realize that several of the vegetables being sold out of these shikaras have been grown in the gardens that float on the Dal LakeReflections of the majestic mountains, often shaken by the ripples from the oars of the shikaras, and the impeccably manicured Mughal gardens that surround the lake take one back to the medieval times when Dal Lake used to serve as the summer resort for the Mughal Rulers The grandiose appeal, the surreal beauty of this 'paradise' is incomparable even today when pollution, crowding, and eutrophication are increasingly becoming a challenge. Several initiatives are currently in place to revive the fading lustre of this shining 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. While the corrective actions are a must and need to be carried out, a lot of thought also needs to be given to the preventive actions that can help sustain the magnificence of the lake for the future. 
Floating shops and markets bring the legendary Kashmiri Pashminas, and artefacts and even fruits, vegetables, and flowers to you as you lay back in your shikaras and enjoy the comforting sound of the water lapping the sides of the
boat. This unusual market becomes even more unusual once you realize that several of the vegetables being sold out of these shikaras have been grown in the gardens that float on the Dal Lake.

 Teeming with the activities that typically constitute the day-to-day activities of an average human being, Dal Lake is almost an entire city on the water, complete with accommodation, transport, gardens, shops, and even full-fledged markets. And there is no dearth of activities to do in and about the huge lake that sprawls across a vast area of about 18 square kilometres.A shikara meandering through the lake to the tunes of the rhythmic rowing by the expert, phiron-clad boatmen is an image that has been etched into our minds by the blue-eyed Shammi Kapoor romancing and the pretty, petite SharmiTagore. But beyond the romance, the shikaras are the best mode of transport to reach the Mughal gardens, to explore the floating markets and vegetable gardens, or to simply experience the unparalleled splendour of the lakeEach lavish, British-style houseboat moored on the side of the lake or near the tiny Islands is a time capsule to the colonial times. Some of these houseboats are almost a century old and are still being rented out today. The houseboats are complete with well-furnished rooms, terraces, and verandas. Each houseboat has a dedicated kitchen, mostly on a separate, smaller boatFloating shops and markets bring the legendary Kashmiri Pashminas, and artefacts and even fruits, vegetables, and flowers to you as you lay back in your shikaras and enjoy the comforting sound of the water lapping the sides of thboat. This unusual market becomes even more unusual once you realize that several of the vegetables being sold out of these shikaras have been grown in the gardens that float on the Dal LakeReflections of the majestic mountains, often shaken by the ripples from the oars of the shikaras, and the impeccably manicured Mughal gardens that surround the lake take one back to the medieval times when Dal Lake used to serve as the summer resort for the Mughal Rulers The grandiose appeal, the surreal beauty of this 'paradise' is incomparable even today when pollution, crowding, and eutrophication are increasingly becoming a challenge. Several initiatives are currently in place to revive the fading lustre of this shining 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. While the corrective actions are a must and need to be carried out, a lot of thought also needs to be given to the preventive actions that can help sustain the magnificence of the lake for the future. 
Reflections of the majestic mountains, often shaken by the ripples from the oars of the shikaras, and the impeccably manicured Mughal gardens that surround the lake take one back to the medieval times when Dal Lake used to serve as the summer resort for the Mughal Rulers.
 Teeming with the activities that typically constitute the day-to-day activities of an average human being, Dal Lake is almost an entire city on the water, complete with accommodation, transport, gardens, shops, and even full-fledged markets. And there is no dearth of activities to do in and about the huge lake that sprawls across a vast area of about 18 square kilometres.A shikara meandering through the lake to the tunes of the rhythmic rowing by the expert, phiron-clad boatmen is an image that has been etched into our minds by the blue-eyed Shammi Kapoor romancing and the pretty, petite SharmiTagore. But beyond the romance, the shikaras are the best mode of transport to reach the Mughal gardens, to explore the floating markets and vegetable gardens, or to simply experience the unparalleled splendour of the lakeEach lavish, British-style houseboat moored on the side of the lake or near the tiny Islands is a time capsule to the colonial times. Some of these houseboats are almost a century old and are still being rented out today. The houseboats are complete with well-furnished rooms, terraces, and verandas. Each houseboat has a dedicated kitchen, mostly on a separate, smaller boatFloating shops and markets bring the legendary Kashmiri Pashminas, and artefacts and even fruits, vegetables, and flowers to you as you lay back in your shikaras and enjoy the comforting sound of the water lapping the sides of thboat. This unusual market becomes even more unusual once you realize that several of the vegetables being sold out of these shikaras have been grown in the gardens that float on the Dal LakeReflections of the majestic mountains, often shaken by the ripples from the oars of the shikaras, and the impeccably manicured Mughal gardens that surround the lake take one back to the medieval times when Dal Lake used to serve as the summer resort for the Mughal Rulers The grandiose appeal, the surreal beauty of this 'paradise' is incomparable even today when pollution, crowding, and eutrophication are increasingly becoming a challenge. Several initiatives are currently in place to revive the fading lustre of this shining 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. While the corrective actions are a must and need to be carried out, a lot of thought also needs to be given to the preventive actions that can help sustain the magnificence of the lake for the future. 
 The grandiose appeal, the surreal beauty of this 'paradise' is incomparable even today when pollution, crowding, and eutrophication are increasingly becoming a challenge. Several initiatives are currently in place to revive the fading lustre of this shining 'Jewel in the crown of Kashmir'. While the corrective actions are a must and need to be carried out, a lot of thought also needs to be given to the preventive actions that can help sustain the magnificence of the lake for the future.

5 comments:

Rickie said...

Great photos, Vj!
At some point, I must visit Kashmir...

shooting star said...

wonderful shots!!!


http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

kashmir houseboats said...

Kashmir houseboats are associated closely with the valley's culture and traditions. A brilliant idea that started from constructing small boats was later revolutionized with transforming these boats into spacious modern styled floating hotels. houseboats are all made of the finest cedar wood that follows with intricate walnut wood carvings, paneled walls and tiled baths. Our boats are categorized in the super deluxe category and each boat has an assorted number of three to four bedrooms with a private bath and wash room.
Kashmir Houseboats

Nikhil Chandra said...

Awesome photos and great narrative. Hallmark of a great writer and photographer.

VJ Sharma said...

Thanks Rickie, Sushmita & Nikhil ! Kashmir is a great place to explore & I wish to visit it once in an year.

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