Dal Lake – The crowning beauty of Srinagar!
As we moved from Shalimar Bagh, across the street, we found a restaurant serving different varieties of Dosa and we quickly checked- in to look around for a table. It was a full-house! After a wait for half an hour, I ordered a cheesy crispy dosa and a plate of Kashmiri Pulao. It was a delicious meal!
Some of them in the group headed to Shankaracharya Hill to take the blessings of Lord Shiva and some went on shopping spree until dusk. We skipped both and went to the room as it was so hot!
Dal Lake Shikara Ride:
After an hour of relaxation, we walked along the banks of Dal Lake admiring its majestic beauty and the scintillating sunset with the rays mirroring everything on the water surface. We walked and walked, mesmerized by its beauty and the floating Shikara’s in the Dal Lake, bringing in the most-dreamed beguiling romantic ride of Gondolas in Venice.
Shikara’s are the symbol of antiquity and the pride of Kashmir. Srinagar is often called ‘Venice of the East’. This quintessential ride has become the city’s pastime, attracts tourists and has become the lifeline for everyday transportation across the lakes besides sea weed harvesting and fishing.
Every shikara is ornately decorated and with comfortable seats. They remind you of Venetian Gondalas. And, the awnings will help you enjoy the ride on the lake even during hot sunny days.
As we walked, we saw a handsome young lad approaching us offering a ride at an optimal cost. We felt it was a good deal and discussed among us who all wanted to go for a ride. As I had never been on a boat ride, a moment of uneasiness began to grip me. The urge of not-to-miss the wonderful ride started to battle with the restlessness I had to face during the ride in the Great Lake. Finally, with your friends around, you’ll only have to lose and throw it in the lake. Without a second thought, I jumped on to the Shikara.
As he rode slowly with an oar at the rear end of the Shikara, the faint gurgling noise of water and the placid waves lapping against the boat made me jittery and gave butterflies in my stomach. Looking far at the mountains and other floating shikaras, I felt relaxed!
Floating Market Dal Lake:
Another Shikara-walla in the Dal Lake started steering towards us to sell jewels, and a young chap coaxed us to buy saffron, claiming it as the purest one. We politely declined as we weren’t interested in buying anything.
He also took us for a water-surfing ride where everyone went on, except me watching them from the boat. The journey concludes here as we reach the banks, thus bidding adieu to the unsurpassed beauty of Dal Lake.
Around 9 pm, we reached our hotel and quickly had our dinner. We slept early as we had to start early for our next day’s trip to Gulmarg Kashmir.
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