offers the magnificent sights of the lovely
lakes and the houseboats on them. In fact a
houseboat holiday is a delightful experience.
Just stepping on board transports you to a different
world, away from the hustle and bustle and noise
of the city. While selecting one you need to
consider what kind of a trip you would like
to make. If you are with your family and young
children, it would be advantageous to take one
which is on the banks or overlooking the Boulevard,
so that you can get ashore in a few minutes.
If honeymooning, you may prefer to be in the
interior, all by yourselves.
Soothed by the
sound of water lapping against the hull, you
can relax in the cosy comfort of the living
room or curl up with a book in the bedroom.
Or better still, savour the peaceful ambience
sitting on the veranda as shikaras glide silently
by like floating supermarkets overflowing with
fruit, vegetables, flowers or the choicest of
When in Srinagar a relaxing
cruise on the lake in a shikara is a not-to-be-missed
experience. You could take a short hour-long
ride to see the sights of the Dal Lake, a shopping
trip to floating handicraft shops on the lake
or a daylong trip to visit the city's landmarks.
Down the ages many important places have been
built in the vicinity of the lake such as the
Hazratbal mosque and the beautiful
Mughal Gardens - Nishat
Bagh, the largest, with several terraces,
the four-storeyed Shalimar Bagh,
and Chashma Shahi, which is
at a height above the city and offers spectacular
views. You can also trek up to the Shankaracharya's
Temple a thousand feet above the city
or pay homage at the Chatti Padshahi
Gurudwara in Rainawari.
Since the last decade, though
violence has racked the Kashmir Valley, it has
not taken away in any form the beauty of the
valley. In fact, Srinagar is only a small fragment
of this magical land called Kashmir; feel the
magic and continue on your journey of exploration.