Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Shikara in Srinagar

Like any respectable tourist who visits Srinagar, my visit was not complete without a shikara boat ride on Dal Lake. My Kashmir friends and I boarded one of these narrow pointed boats with a roof covering our cushioned seating. A young smiling man agreed to row us around the lake, including past the beautiful wooden houseboats serving as luxurious hotels. Most of the houseboats had intricately carved fa├žades - like an embellished Victorian home.  The interiors would be equally as fancy, decorated with Kashmir carpets and other ornate items. Considering the cost of some of the rooms in these houseboats, I found it a bit incongruous to find floating snack shops next to them, selling items including ramen noodles. Still early in the season, the lake was still rather quiet, with only a few other shikaras and no flower or produce sellers around. Likely though, it was their absence that made the ride more tranquil. 

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