All of us have heard of Dal Lake in Srinagar, but I was not aware of Nagin Lake before I visited Kashmir Valley. During this visit, I stayed at Centaur Hotel which is close to Nagin lake and that's how I got a chance to explore this lake well in Srinagar. During my 3 days stay at Srinagar, I had various Shikara rides in Nagin lake and explored different parts of the lake. This PHOTO JOURNEY shares some of the photographs clicked around Nagin Lake and information about houseboats, markets, vegetation, Shikara rides, shopping and lot more. In fact, I found Nagin lake better than Dal lake. Less crowded, better maintained, cleaner and peaceful. The lake looks awesome during sunset time whenever most of the Shikaras move towards the shoreline and lake market closes down by handing over all the tourists & travellers to houseboats. Glittering lights of houseboats and their reflections in Nagin lake look amazing.
Evening is best time for Shikara ride in Nagin lake. There are multiple reasons for that. I prefer Nagin lake over Dal lake because of less commercialization and hence peace :).
Lot of families can be seen sitting around the lake during evening time. Some of them also enjoy fishing, although not sure if that's legal or not.
There are some houses around the lake and hence you can see lot of local folks riding their boats to commute to other side of the lake. In morning, mothers can be seen riding their boats to drop kids on other side for joining school.
Shikaras can be seen at various places around the shoreline. After every 300 meters you can find Shikaras waiting for tourists. There are different kinds of Shikaras and tariff varies accordingly.
The Shikara ride is usually 45 mins to 1 hr 15 mins. These Shikaras take you to lake market, which is in the middle of lake. All the shops are floating over the lake. On your way, you see some of the brilliant and popular houseboats in Srinagar. If not staying in these houseboats, you can plan to have lunch at one of those. Only few of them have restaurants. It can be a great experience to enjoy lunch on the lake, while listening to local folk songs.
We were fortunate to board the Shikara, who's owner was a singer. He sang few Kashmiri songs for us. Unfortunately we forgot to make videos, otherwise that could have been a great addition to this blog-post.
After visiting lake market in the middle of Nagin lake of Srinagar, the Shikara takes you little further and exposes you to clusters of houses in the lake. Like we own cars to commute in cities, these folks own a boat to go to other side of the lake. In above photograph you see a boat, which is being used by a local to go back home after day job.
Some of my friends had told that Nagin lake is little dirty, but when we were there it was much cleaner and cleaning project was under progress. The colorful lotuses were looking brilliant with millions of lotus-leaves all around.
If you are having a Shikara ride during day, you can relax and have a nap :) and we did that when coming back from Lake market.
There are lot of Shikaras in Nagin lake, which would come to you and sell snacks, bhutta & handicraft. You can enjoy fruit chats, bhutta, tea, local snacks when enjoying shikara ride. At the same time, if you don't have much time, you can do little shopping in lake only. One of my friends bought Kashmiri Jewelry for his friends & family.
I would rate Nagin lake experience much better in Srinagar and in my next trip, I intend to stay in one of the Houseboats in Nagin Lake.
If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -
- Manage your waste well and don’t litter
- Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
- Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
- Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
- Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite