The heart of the Kashmir is known as Srinagar, the heart of the Srinagar is known as Dal Lake, because of its own frame. The Dal Lake is not famous only in India but is famous through out the World. Lying in the eastern side of Srinagar, at the foot of the Zabarwan Mountains, with Shankaracharya hill in its South, and Hazratbal on its West; is the lake Par-excellence- the Dal. The lotus flower cover it in autumn, the Dal is ideal site fro magnificent Houseboats, while "Shikaras" skim about with the sails in the transparent waters of the Lake.
Areas of the Dal Lake are grouped with slanting roofed houses on islands, while other parts seems lush green like well-planned gardens. As the eye travels onward, houseboats, houses and vegetation conclude unevenly and two huge sheet-like bodies of water - the Bod Dal & Lokut Dal, come into view.
The lake is probably at its most beautiful when the lotus flowers bloom in July and August. The floating gardens, known as "Rad" in Kashmiri, are one of the stranger aspects of Dal Lake. They're composed of matted vegetation and earth, which are cut away from the lake bottom and towed to a convenient location where they are moored. Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Melons all grow amazingly well in these gardens, if one look underneath one can see that they do literally float on the lake.
One can also approach the floating gardens by road; the boulevard runs along the eastern edge of the lake, providing fine views all the way.
One will often see weeds being pulled up out of the lake - this serves a double purpose. The lake waterways are kept clear and the weeds are rotted until they form excellent compost for the gardens. The shallowness of the lake and its heavy growth of waterweeds is probably the main reason there are so very few powered boats on the water. Dal Lake would be nowhere near as pleasant if there were powerboats rushing back and forth across its tranquil surface.
The largest group of houseboats lies along the western edge of the lake near the lakeside boulevard, towards Dal gate. They are lined in looping rows and around small islands. Several hotels can also be found on flat islands in the lake. Beyond the houseboats to the northwest are the floating gardens.
Nageen Lake (Srinagar)
Known as the 'Jewel In The Ring', Nageen is generally held to be the most beautiful of the Dal lakes. Its name comes from the many trees, which encircle the small, deep blue lake.
Nageen is only separated from the Larer Dal lakes by a narrow causeway and it also has a number of houseboats moored around its perimeter.If one wants to really get away from the chaotic city life all then Nageen is a good place to find a house boat and do it the surroundings are much more serene and isolated than on Dal Lake. One can rent rowboats from the camping site here - either to simply row around the lake or to look around for a houseboat.
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