Dal Lake, often referred as ‘The Jewel in the crown of Kashmir’, is an urban lake situated in the heart of Srinagar city. The snow clad Pir Panjal Himalayan ranges in the backdrop reflecting in its turquoise water, lavishly decorated houseboats and shikaras ferrying tourists and locals from one end to other are the fascinating features of Dal Lake. This is regarded as the 2nd largest natural lake of Kashmir with shorelines of 15.5 km (9.6 miles) encompassed by beautiful Mughal gardens, parks, houseboats and orchards.
Houseboats form a vital part of the scenery of the Dal Lake that offers unique and ethereal feeling of staying over water along with Kashmiri style hospitality. Shikaras, small embellished wooden boat are always ready to take tourists to a romantic and peaceful ride along the lake and its surrounding areas and rejuvenate their soul as the shikaras floats over the rippling water of the lake. The floating gardens, floating flowers and vegetable markets are the some key attractions of the lake. Shikaras can be hired from boarding boat stations all along the shoreline and govt. approved rates are displayed on the rate lists. You can either enjoy the ride in Dal Lake from shoreline to houseboat or can simply explore nearby areas like Shankaracharya hill, Hazratbal, Char Chinar, Nehru Park, Kabutar Khana, etc.