Small boat ride on Dal lake or popularly known as Dal Lake Shikara ride is one of the most enjoying experience for tourists visiting Srinagar. You can get Shikara from various locations around Dal Lake and enjoy Dal Lake Shikara ride. By the side of the lake, the rate chart is displayed. A dreamland for everyone who has lusted for some relaxing moments amidst the breathtaking scenery of nature, Kashmir indisputably comes out on top. And Srinagar is the perfect place of your trip.
Shikara, the small wooden carved boat, usually seen at Dal Lake and Nagin Lake of Srinagar, is one of the compelling attractions of the city. Regaining the old world charm, the swift movement of a Dal Lake Shikara ride provides a unique way to experience the eternal beauty of Kashmir.
Considered as a cultural symbol of the region along with houseboats, Dal Lake Shikara ride in Kashmir is one of the most charming aspects. A relaxing ride while enjoying the surrounding views around Dal Lake is truly a watchful pleasure. Dal Lake Shikara rides also used for sightseeing attractions that located close to Dal Lake like Nishat Garden, Shalimar Garden, and the Hazratbal Mosque.
Shikara in Kashmir is also used for other purposes apart from leisure. Locals mainly use this low rowing boat for transportation, seaweed harvesting, and fishing. But the most unusual of the lot is its use as a floating market. Shikara used for selling varieties of flowers and handicrafts that are quite popular among tourists residing in houseboats. The glimpse of floating boats full of colorful blooms is definitely an eye-catcher. Along with these, the fun associated with Shikara also includes bird watching.
You can get Shikara from varied locations around Dal Lake. By the side of the lake, the rate chart displayed. Usually, it’ll be a two-hour ride that is enough and it’ll price you Rs 1000 (Rs 500 per hour). don’t board a Shikara at the very entrance of the Dal Lake, this is often a channel type so it’ll take longer to reach open water. the construction price of one Shikara is nearly one lakh and lifespan one Shikara is almost twenty years.
Dal Lake is a market itself, throughout your cruise on Shikara the boatman can provide you with numerous other services offered by different vendors. you’ll be able to take a photograph with a traditional Kashmiri dress. For this, totally different boatman with all accessories is available, between the lake they’ll take your photograph. Those photos delivered at your hotel or houseboat. Charges are the bit higher side wherever they’re going to be insisting you take at least three photos every cost accounting Rs 200/-. For a full day Dal Lake Shikara ride (8 am to 2 pm ) the boatman can charge Rs. 2500 approx.
Our ride began at around 8.30 am. The rower told us that he would be covering spots like the floating post office, kabutar khana, chaar chinar, etc. Meanwhile, we enjoyed some cookies. We then saw the Floating post office. It is India’s only floating post office cum museum (which was closed that particular day).
We then proceeded towards the Kabutar Khana. On the way, we found a Mobile Cafe. This cafe offered tea, coffee, juice, etc. We hardly found out any Shikaras on this stall (except 1 or 2). We then moved on and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
The boatman told us that we are on the point of Kabutar Khana. It’s a little island with a grand structure dating back to Maharaja’s period. This building used as Maharani’s Summer Palace. throughout summer, several lovely floating lotus plants and flowers surround the water of this area. Kabutar Khana is sort of close to Chaar Chinar and is sort of within the Center of Dal Lake. I used to be busy taking photos and my family was perpetually gazing out the sights.
Now, this ancient palace used as a home for Pigeons (Kabutars). We also saw the Taj Hotel on the opposite side, which built on a cliff. The most awaited sight was still to come.”Chaar Chinar” is an island in Dal Lake of Srinaga,. It called as Char-Chinar (Four Chinars) because of the presence of four beautiful Chinar trees in this region. Chinar trees characteristically grow in Eastern Himalayas.
They have been an important part of Kashmiri tradition, in that, a Chinar tree found in almost every village in Kashmir. These trees have survived for ages because Chinar is basically a long-living tree. It spreads wide across a region of cool climate with sufficient water. We clicked some family pictures and those of the trees. The island was completely deserted and I couldn’t see a person/Shikara on the lake. “Where did everyone disappear?” was what I spoke to myself.
The boatman told us that he would be dropping us to the restaurant for lunch via a route, which goes through the market. once around 20 minutes. we entered the market and my wife requested the boatman to park the Shikara on some wooden handicraft shop. we purchased many showpieces to keep some with us some as gifts for our relatives.
Most huge things and furniture can be folded. The shop owner was a really skillful person. within a few minutes, he became close to my son gifting a little memento free of cost. after a good bargain, we purchased a few things. He gave little mementos for us additionally and packed all staffs so fantastically that they continue to be intact once reaching our residence.
Anyways, we then proceeded towards the restaurant for lunch. We gave Rs. two hundred as a tip to our boatman for this tight seven hours tour.
Few tips before dal Lake Shikara ride
1) For those that request way-out experiences, you’ll be able to select the vegetable market tour in Shikara within the morning. It means too early around 5 A.M. However, do hold up well with the Shikara and take the mobile number of the boatman.
2) If you’re going to lodge in the houseboat, you’ll be picked and dropped to the houseboat by Shikara. The decide and drop service by Shikara is complementary by some boatman. Check your boatman before paying the Shikara guy.
3) You’ll be able to relish the dal Lake totally on an honest shikara and even set up your meals within the open terrace of houseboats on the lake. There’s no requirement of a separate dal Lake Shikara ride for a photo shoot if you’re staying at the houseboat.
4) Don’t provide an advance to any Shikara/houseboat owner. you will lose your cash and be cheated.
5) If you intend to travel throughout a day a dal Lake Shikara ride then discuss with the shikara boat owner directly. Do such a bargain that you simply can feel back shameful of yourself.
6) There are smart hotels on the road beside dal lake gate-2 wherever you get smart food. Pack the food and take it yourself or order on the phone to induce it. Perfect!
7) If you purchase kesar / saffron from dal Lake watch out for the standard and value. I got it for Rs.80/- per gram. Average quality.
8) The dal Lake Shikara ride ought to altogether mention well with the shikara owner.
9) You have to be a discount master if you intend for shikara ride. Don’t be back and speak your heart out totally.
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Updated on 06.11.19
Last updated on 22.02.20