Scenic Journey To Srinagar Dal Lake

Scenic Journey To Srinagar Dal Lake In Photos

The famous Dal Lake was one of the main reasons I always wanted to visit Kashmir in India. Finally, I was able to explore the natural beauty of Dal which is famous as Kashmir’s Jewel, but I’ll say Dal Lake in Srinagar is the life of the entire Jammu and Kashmir in North India. It’s just not possible to imagine Kashmir without Dal Lake. I had no idea, so many surprises were waiting for me, and I was delighted to do and see many things during my solo travel here in spring. Dal Lake is the most picturesque destination so why not share my first impressions and scenic journey to Srinagar Dal Lake in photos?

Dal Lake view from Boulevard road near Chinar GhatDal Lake view from Boulevard road near Chinar Ghat

I want to say Dal (Lake in Kashmiri) Lake is one of the best places to photograph. I’ve captured different moods of Dal Lake in a different hour, and water reflections are something you can’t avoid to love. The backdrop of the Zabarwan Mountains ranges created an extraordinary beauty of the entire Dal Lake. Many wooden luxury houseboats anchored to the bank of Dal Lake. Also, the rows of many colorful shikaras in every ghat are the typical scenarios on Dal Lake.

The stunning view of the Dal Lake houseboatsThe stunning view of the Dal Lake houseboats

The beautiful Boulevard Road became famous for this lake, and you’ll see most of the luxury hotels and resorts reside nearby this lake road. Many popular tourist attractions and heritage sites are near to the Dal Lake. Also, you can enjoy the remote beauty of the Dal Lake from many of the top places in Srinagar.

Best Time To Visit Dal Lake

Early spring (March-May) to summer (June – August) is the best time to visit Dal Lake. The reason is the Kashmiri shikaras in every ghat. They are the soul of Dal Lake. Dal Lake is lifeless without Shikara, the cultural symbol, and values of Kashmir. During this time, you can enjoy a relaxing and scenic shikara ride to explore the outstanding beauty of Dal Lake. In extreme winter, the weather is dull, and the lake water became frozen, so not possible to enjoy a shikara ride apart from snow skiing. You can also visit Kashmir during autumn (September – November), to see another colorful beauty of this lake.

Srinagar Dal Lake images - Dal Lake Shikara RideRelaxing shikara ride arranged by Shamus Maqbool Houseboat

How To Reach Dal Lake?

Dal Lake is 22 km away from Srinagar Sheikh ul-Alam Airport. Also, it took almost one hour to reach Dal Lake from Srinagar Railway Station. Either you can take a taxi or city bus service to visit Dal Lake. For me, it was a cool experience to drive on the Boulevard road during my first day in Srinagar. I loved the rows of the tall Poplar trees in one side, and the opposite is the scenic Dal Lake. After that, I’ve crossed this beautiful road many times during my 11 days solo travel in Jammu and Kashmir.

The famous Boulevard road of SrinagarThe famous Boulevard road of Srinagar

The best to stay in any hotel on Boulevard road from where you can enjoy the view of the lake every day. For a relaxing holiday don’t miss either to stay in a luxury floating hotel or houseboat on Dal Lake.

Scenic Journey To Srinagar Dal Lake – Photo Story

During my two nights stay at Dal Lake houseboat I was able to capture and record a lot of photos and videos. I’m showcasing here some of the best to inspire you to explore Dal Lake and also sharing some insights through travel photos. Have you visited Dal Lake yet? No, then join me this photo journey to visualize and explore.

Dal Lake Shikaras, The Gondolas of Kashmir

The entire Dal Lake length is approximately 6 – 7 km. How far you’ll look, you can see many many shikaras. Dal Lake shikaras are nothing but the Gondolas of Kashmir. Shikara or any regular boat is the only transport mode on Dal Lake. Every houseboat keeps one boat, or they hire to pick up guest from the ghat. You can also employ any shikara from the ghat to enjoy a cruise along the lake. However, shikaras are not only for recreation purposes. You’ll see many local merchants do use shikara for selling different Kashmiri products, souvenirs, Kashmiri Kawa. Locals even use small canoe/ boat and shikara for daily transport to fishing and selling vegetables, flowers, and fruits.

Dal Lake Shikaras the Gondolas of KashmirThe rows of many shikaras

Dal Lake Houseboats and ShikarasShikara ride and picturesque Dal Lake on Boulevard road

Left: Luxury househoats and shikaras Right: Shikara ride and picturesque Dal Lake on Boulevard road

Kashmir Srinagar Dal Lake and ShikarasShikaras, the cultural symbol of Kashmir

Dal Lake Houseboats, Traditional Floating Palaces

Many traditional Dal Lake houseboats are floating hotels and permanently anchored for guests. Here you can stay like a home which occupied with well-furnished rooms and all standard facilities. The wood carving of each houseboat is so eye-catching and first started to build during the rule of British in Kashmir. Houseboats in Kashmir are also locally famous as Floating Palaces.

Dal Lake Houseboat images - Traditional Floating Palaces of Dal LakeTraditional Floating Palaces of Dal Lake Luxury Boathouse in Srinagar Dal LakeLuxury Boathouse in Srinagar Dal Lake Dal Lake Houseboat pictures - Houseboats in Kashmir Dal LakeBudget houseboats anchored to the bank of Dal Lake The water reflections of the traditional wooden houseboatsThe water reflections of the traditional wooden houseboats

Flower Shikara or Boat on Dal Lake

Kashmir’s leading tourist attraction Dal Lake is a famous film location too. I can remember the Bollywood movie Mission Kashmir, released in 2000 first inspired me to visit Kashmir. Since then I decided if I ever visit I’ll enjoy shikara ride and capture many photos with flower shikara. I found Kashmiri peoples love flowers a lot. You can buy various flower plants and seeds from flower shikara. Now Kashmiri pink rose is my favorite.

Flower Shikara on Dal Lake in SrinagarFlower Shikara on Dal Lake in Srinagar Flower Boat of Dal Lake Floating MarketsFlower Boat at Vegetable Floating MarketsSrinagar Dal Lake photos - Boat of flowers ready to sell flower seedsI felt like all flowers are mine, super happy momentFlower Boat Srinagar Dal Lake Floating MarketsFlower plants, and seeds are ready to sell at Floating Markets

Spectacular Landscape of Dal Lake and Water Reflections

Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful destinations of Jammu and Kashmir. Framing different moods of Dal Lake without any filter was excellent. So dramatic landscape and the water reflections, there is no way to stop clicking. I’ve captured a lot mainly with my Nikon Coolpix P900 and also iPhone 6 Plus. It was tough to showcase just some here among numerous beautiful photos.

To Be Noted: Here I didn’t add any high-resolution photos so that it doesn’t take ages to load.

So green Dal Lake, the beauty of SrinagarSo green Dal Lake, the beauty of Srinagar Srinagar Dal Lake images - Early morning beauty of Srinagar Dal LakeEarly morning beauty of Srinagar Dal Lake The breathtaking water reflection of Char Chinar IslandThe breathtaking water reflection of Char Chinar Island Dal Lake with the backdrop of the Zabarwan Mountains rangesDal Lake with the backdrop of the Zabarwan Mountains ranges The foothills of Zabarwan Range with a view of Dal LakeZabarwan Range with a view of Dal Lake Srinagar Dal Lake images - Spectacular landscape of Srinagar Dal LakeSpectacular landscape of Srinagar Dal Lake

Floating Vegetable Markets on Dal Lake

Dal is also for many locals the primary source of income in various ways. I loved the idea of the floating markets on Dal Lake. It is so lovely to see so early morning locals sell on boats their own produced many organic vegetables. On the way to this market, you’ll see floating gardens of vegetables and fodder plants. Weeds from the Dal decomposed to use later as organic fertilizer for the floating gardens.

On the way to floating gardens of vegetables and Dal Lake floating markets On the way to Floating Gardens of vegetables and Dal Lake Floating Markets  Floating Vegetable Markets on Dal LakeFloating Vegetable Markets on Dal Lake Organic vegetables ready to sell at Floating Market Dal Lake SrinagarOrganic vegetables from Floating Gardens ready to sellSrinagar Dal Lake Foating MarketSrinagar Dal Lake Floating Market started just before sunrise and close within 8 am

Fishing on Dal Lake

Fishing is popular activities on Dal, some do it for fun, but for many the vital source of livelihood. It is one of the leading commercial operations on Dal Lake.

Fishing from the island of Char ChinariFishing from the island of Char Chinari Fishing the popular activities in Kashmir Srinagar Dal LakeFishing in the Floating Gardens of Water LilyKashmiri man trying to catch fishKashmiri man trying to catch fish

Sports Cruise on Dal Lake

Dal Lake is famous for boat cruising, fishing and also swimming in summer. In winter snow skiing is very popular on Dal. I found many sports cruises where you can also try water surfing.

Bulbul Sports Cruise on Dal LakeBulbul Sports Cruise on Dal LakeWater surfing on Dal Lake in SrinagarWater surfing, oh it was hard to hold 😀

Char Chinar, Picturesque Island of Dal Lake

The Island of Char Chinar (Four Chinar Trees) is one of the scenic attractions on Dal Lake. You can stop here to spend some time. This island-like a park lost its old beauty; now three chinars are there and also many other flowers. The distant views of this island are stunning from the boat. Many years old Chinar tree carries significance values and tradition and the living heritage of Kashmir.

The picturesque island Char Chinar of Dal LakeThe picturesque Island of Char Chinar Chinar Tree of the Dal Lake Island of Char Chinar in SrinagarChinar Tree of the Char Chinar Island

Dal Lake Water Lily Pads beside Kabutar Khana

On the way to Char Chinar or Char Chinari, you’ll see a quiet place named as locally Kabutar Khana. It is kind of small island under CRPF, the border security force. You’ll love the scenic view of many water lilies here. The floating gardens of four colored (red, white, yellow and pink) water lily on Dal Lake.

Dal Lake Water Lily Pads beside Kabutar KhanaDal Lake Water Lily Pads beside Kabutar Khana Yellow colored Water Lily of Dal Lake Kabutar KhanaYellow colored Water LilyDal Lake floating gardens of water lilyThe Floating Gardens of four colored Water Lily

Local Lifestyle on Dal Lake

Dal is also accommodation for many locals. They have their own floating houses where they stay permanently and boats for transportation. There is also mobile café, floating shops to sell daily commodities to Kashmiri traditional dresses, shawl, carpet, jewelry, souvenirs, wood crafts, dry fruits and many more. Those shops are locally known as Meena Bazar of Dal Lake.

Kashmiri House on Dal Lake SrinagarKashmiri House on Dal Lake Srinagar Floating shops on Srinagar Dal LakeFloating dry fruits and gourmet food shops on Srinagar Dal Lake Srinagar Dal Lake photos - Boat of fruits to prepare fruit salad Boat of fruits to prepare fruit salad
Kashmiri woman rowing a small boat on Dal Lake Boating on Dal Lake in Srinagar

Left: Kashmiri woman rowing a small boat Right: He looks different, not like a Kashmiri Floating food stalls on Dal LakeFloating food stalls, I found Kashmiri Maggi is tasty  Floating shops Meena Bazar of Dal LakeMeena Bazar of Dal Lake

Remote Views of Dal Lake from Top Places

Many top tourist attractions are nearby the Dal Lake. You can take a boat ride to visit many Mughal gardens, Nehru Park and even Gulshan Books Kashmir. A great place for book lovers where you can also drink coffee while enjoying the breathtaking view of Dal Lake.

You may also love to see the scenic and remote views of Dal not only from many hotels and houseboats but also from top attractions like Pari Mahal Garden, Shankaracharya Temple, and Hari Parbat.

The Dal view from Pari Mahal GardenThe top view of Dal from Pari Mahal Garden Shamus Maqbool Houseboat Dal Lake Srinagar KashmirScenic Dal view from Shamus Maqbool Houseboat Remote views of the Srinagar City and the Dal from Hari Parbat FortThe remote views of the Srinagar City and the Dal from Hari Parbat Fort Centaur Lake View Hotel in Srinagar Dal LakeThe remote view of Centaur Lake View Hotel from Dal The way to Shankaracharya Temple overlooks the scenic view of DalThe way to Shankaracharya Temple overlooks the scenic view of Dal

To Keep Dal Clean

Dal is the center of the Kashmiri people’s livelihood. By all means, they have to keep the lake clean. No doubt Dal is losing its old glory. The extra growth of weed is not a good sign for the extraordinary Dal Lake. It was sad to see chips packet and plastic water bottle on the Dal while enjoying the boat ride. However, I’ve liked to find the following small board banner by J & K Lakes & Waterways Development Authority on the roadside of Dal. It’s a good initiative.

SAY NO TO POLYTHENE
PLEASE COOPERATE
TO KEEP DAL CLEAN

The remote view of Dal from Nunkun Lake View Restaurant SrinagarDal roadside small board banners and the view from Nunkun Lake View Restaurant Plastic bottle on Dal Lake Water Lily padsI was following one yellow sparrow and found this plastic bottle on Dal Lake Water Lily pads Beautiful walkway of Srinagar Dal Lake Floating MarketsSuch a beautiful walkway of floating market but can you spot one plastic bottle?

We all have to say NO to polythene and litter. We travelers have to travel responsibly to save any mother nature. The authority should take care of the sewage discharge from houseboats and hotels on Dal Lake. Moreover, locals have to cooperate.

Click To Save Scenic Photos of Dal Lake on Your Pinterest Board!

A photo story to inspire & explore Dal Lake in Srinagar

A scenic journey to Dal Lake in Srinagar Jammu and Kashmir

Share your thoughts. How do you like Dal Lake in Srinagar? Would you make it there for a shikara ride?

Nafisa Habib loves nature and often got fascinated by old beautiful architecture. Here she is with My Own Way To Travel to share her adventures on the road. To her nothing is so interesting than exploring new destinations around. And knowing a new culture and meeting new peoples on the road? Oh, yeah she just loves that too.

15 replies
  1. Sara Essop
    Sara Essop says:

    After looking at your photos, Kashmir has moved up a few notches on my bucket list. I love visiting places that are unique and Dal Lake, and its house boats , certainly fit the bill.

    Reply
  2. Navita
    Navita says:

    Have not yet planned to visit Kashmir and have heard so much about Dal Lake but I have to say that these pictures are truly beautiful and unique. I am quite intrigued by the floating shops and would love to try Kashmiri maggie too.

    Reply
  3. Sakshi
    Sakshi says:

    Someday see the beauty of the dal lake when it freezes. It is one of the most beautiful sights to watch कश्मीर turn into a white wonderland 😍

    Reply
  4. knycx.journeying
    knycx.journeying says:

    Thanks a lot for the post. Quite a lot of things to see and do around the area, and although I am tempted to stay on a houseboat, I might get seasick sleeping on a boat, so let see 😛 @ knycx.journeying

    Reply

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