A Shikara Ride in Kashmir

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Cruising on Earth’s very own Dreamland

If you have been looking to relax during your holidays then Kashmir is the best destination that offers breathtaking picturesque of nature. The place is generously ornamented with innumerable beautiful sights, amazingly designed landscaped flower gardens, crystal clear lakes; the list in unending when it comes to exploring Kashmir’s bounties of treasure. Amidst this magnificent fairy tale world lies the colourful and sensuous Shikara that provides every Kashmir tourist a unique experience to enjoy the eternal beauty of the place.

Srinagar-1191860_1The traditional Shikara is considered a cultural symbol and is one of the most captivating attractions of Kashmir tourism. Shikaras are narrow boats that ferry tourists from the houseboats to the river banks. The boat ride offers a leisurely boat experience which makes every nature lover mesmerized in the scenic lake view. During such rides you can also see places like Shalimar garden, Hazratbal Mosque, Nishat Garden that come in close proximity to the Dal Lake. At the Nehru park near the Boulevard Road the lake widens up slowly into a vast expanse of water body. You can also see vendors selling jewellery, saffron, flowers all into their Shikara.

Although a Shikara may be an experience to cherish for the tourists visiting here, the locals use it for seaweed harvesting, transportation and fishing. Shikaras are also used for selling flowers and handicrafts that provide a source of livelihood for the local artisans. Shikaras that are loaded with such flower varieties prove to be a perfect feast for the eyes. During the boat rides one can also watch the king fisher, the Kite and the Grebe that are the common birds found here. While cruising on the Shikara we can note these birds trying to hunt their prey on the floating lake water. The rich aquatic vegetation, reeds and humus all put together make up for a rich natural source of food for frogs, mice, grasshoppers that overall balance out the food chain.

As you embark on this wonderful Shikara boat ride, you can see many houses beautifully built around the lake which gives us a feel as though the whole world is centered on this lovely place. The interesting part to watch out for is the Shikara boats that are neatly parked outside almost every house. Just like we see cars parked outside every home in the cities; every house owner over here owns the Shikara boat. Any very much like their counterparts in the cities, these local folks commute in these boats from one place to another.

While holidaying in Kashmir you would be enveloped with two extreme fantasies. The first being the dazzling lakes of Kashmir and next are the Mughal architectural wonders that remind us of the Historical connection. It is even more a delight to have a Shikara ride around the sunset time as the crimson rays of the setting sun fall along the boat that adds even more spark to the already bustling excitement. The closely connected Nagin Lake , the Shankaracharya Temple, Hari Parbat , Chasme Shahi are some of the other tourist attractions to watch out for during the trip.

Come, visit and explore this magical spell in Kashmir.