Floating palaces and fulfilled dreams

Kashmir conjures images of snowclad mountains,pristine lakes,,heavenly gardens ,chinar trees,shikaras and houseboats.It had been my dream to stay in one  and that finally happened in August 2014.Enroute to Ladakh, our group had an overnight stay  in a houseboat named Sea Palace.Most of the houseboats  in the vicinity were occupied as it was the peak tourist season.

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HOUSEBOATS

These houseboats   are  categorised    into luxury,deluxe and standard and they  are anchored unlike their Kerala counterparts.Our houseboat  had 3 bedrooms,dining room and kitchen and was   tastefully furnished.The boats are made of cedarwood and the accessories are from walnut. The luxury ones have 5 star facilities with  plush interiors.

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LUXURY HOUSEBOATy-google images

LUXURY HOUSEBOAT google images

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MY BEDROOM

MY BEDROOM

Got up early to watch the sun rise.Guess who  came to keep me company?

CAN YOU SEE ?

CAN YOU SEE ?

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Though short it  was an unforgettable experience.  I wish to go back  and explore more of Dal lake .

Shikara not Shakira

A visit to Srinagar is incomplete without a stay in a houseboat and a   boat ride in the famous  Dal lake.Being a fan of movies I have seen  several   hit songs  with the hero wooing the heroine  picturised in these  popular water  boats known as “shikara”.They are the  lifeline of this huge lake and the two hour ride is a unique experience.

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Apart from the tourists  sporting the traditional kashmiri outfits one can see  vendors with flowers,vegetables and handicrafts.

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Dal lake is a  birds paradise and  during winter  migratory birds from Siberia and  central Asia flock to this place.  I spotted a few egrets.

GREAT EGRET

GREAT EGRET

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Floating gardens are another attraction.

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After witnessing a glorious sunset over the lake  we made our way to the  houseboat for an overnight stay.

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Have you been on a shikara? What was your experience?