Life on the Dal lake

shikara on the Dal lake, Srinagar
shikara on the Dal lake, Srinagar

We spent a very interesting evening on the Dal lake in Srinagar. Couple of hours spent in a shikara from late afternoon till until it was dark were fascinating, to say the least. Dal lake is a civilization by itself.

houseboats and a shikara on the Dal lake, Srinagar
houseboats and a shikara
houseboats with exotic names on the Dal lake, Srinagar
houseboats with exotic names

Was it a mere coincidence or a divine design that the first seller who approached us happened to be a Kahwa tea seller. We fell in love with this tea from Kashmir with the first glass itself.

Kahwa tea seller on the Dal lake, Srinagar
Kahwa tea seller

We encountered so many sellers that one evening. It included handicrafts, jewellery, fabric, toys, food, ice cream and finally a full fledged bazaar no less than a modern shopping area. Everything on water.

shopping on the Dal lake, Srinagar
shopping on the Dal lake

The fascinating aspect was not just the experience of this civilization on water but the way the water body carried the reflection of the sky, the shikaras and all the colours of the objects above the surface of the lake.

shikaras parked on the Dal lake
shikaras parked on the lake
fishing on the Dal lake, Srinagar
fishing on the Dal lake

Apart from the tourists visiting this famous lake, it was such a wonderful site to see local people and families going about their chores in their family boats.

solo ride on the Dal lake
solo ride

It was so nice to see young college kids and women navigating their boats and carrying their families.

local family on an outing on the Dal lake, Srinagar
local family on an outing

After sundown, the life at Dal lake, Srinagar, changed again.

Dal lake after sundown
Dal lake after sundown

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Milind Sathe

Founder of indiaart.com, Art India Foundation, Khula Aasmaan (खुला आसमान). Interested in art, education, science, children, travel, photography, history.