As we moved from Shalimar Bagh, across the street found a restaurant serving different varieties of Dosa and we quickly checked- in to look around for a table. It was 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!
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 in 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 Pride of Kashmir. Srinagar is often called as ‘Venice of the East’. This quintessential ride has become city’s pastime attracts tourists and has become the lifeline for everyday transportation across the lakes besides sea weed harvesting and fishing.
Every shikara’s are ornately decorated and with comfortable seats, they remind you of Venetian Gondalas. And, the awnings will help you enjoy the ride in the lake even during hot sunny days.
As we walked, we saw a handsome young lad approaching us offering the ride at an optimal cost. We felt it was a good deal and discussed among us who all wants to go for a ride. As I had never been on a boat ride, a moment of uneasiness begins to grip me. The urge of not-to-miss the wonderful ride starts 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 Shikara, the faint gurgling noise of waters 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!
Other 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 purest one. We politely declined as we weren’t interested to buy anything.
He also took us for water-surfing ride where everyone went on, except me watching them from the boat. The journey concludes here as we reached the banks, thus biding 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 trip to Gulmarg