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Dal Lake

Dal Lake

Reckoned to be the heartbeat of Srinagar, Dal Lake is the finest manifestation of the power and beauty of nature. Fringed by majestic mountains and the Mughal Gardens, Dal Lake has steadfastly maintained its position as a favorite tourist place to visit in Srinagar. The canopied Shikaras sailing on the sparkling water offers a picture perfect moment. On the other hand the houseboats on the lake render luxurious accommodation option. Along with nature lovers, Dal Lake also proffers great options to adventure seekers. Water sports including water skiing, golfing and hot air balloon riding have lately become quite popular in Dal Lake.

Known as the Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir and Srinagars Jewel, Dal Lake is the most important landmark of Srinagar. It figures high on tourist itineraries and every tourist to the Kashmir valley makes it a point to visit the water body.

its a maze of intricate waterways and channels, floating islands of vegetation, houseboats that look so firmly moored they could almost be islands and hotels on islands which look like they could simply float away.

Attractions Around Dal Lake
There are three islands in the lake; three real islands anyway, there are other sorts of islands joined by causeways. Around the lake are many of Srinagars most interesting sights, in particular the pleasant Mughal gardens. Its also flanked by hills, particularly along its east bank. The Shankaracharya hill provides a very fine view over the lake. 

Floating Gardens
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 are 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.

There are many tours around the lake but by far the best way to see it is to take a Shikara for a day and do a circuit of the Mughal gardens. At a reasonable price, there is hardly any other lazier and more pleasurable way of getting into the swing of Srinagar.