Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats
Aziz Palace Houseboats

 

About Dal Lake

Dal Lake is situated in the hub of the modern city of Srinagar, the summer capital of the State. The urban lake which is the second largest in the state is integral to tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is nick named as Srinagar' s Jewel.

The Dal Lake is famous of the World. Dal Lake 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.


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'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.

 

Popular Tourist Destination in Srinagar


Mughal Gardens in Srinagar

The Mughal Gardens with their terraced gardens, numerous maple trees, refreshing fountains and blooming flowers, have become the outstanding attributes of Srinagar. Situated in the far eastern side of panoramic Dal Lake, The Shalimar Bagh(garden) and the Nishant Bagh are the most beautiful of all that are there in the city. Even Chashmashahi, though small, has made its mark as a successful tourist spot due to its spring of sweet and refreshing water which was once used for drinking by the Mughals.

SHALIMAR BAGH

The Shalimar were built by Emperor Jehangir for his wife Nur Jahan, 'light of the world' in 1616. Although it is known today as the 'garden of love' it was originally named the Farah Bakhsh or 'delightful garden'. The garden is built in four terraces with traditional water channel running down the middle. The gardens measure 540 by 183 metres. During the Mughal period the top terraces used be reserved for the emperor and the ladies of the court and was the most magnificent. It included a pavilion made of black stone in the middle of the tank. Black Marble fluted pillars supported the pavilion, which was used as a banquet hall. Shalimar Bagh has an air of seclusion and repose, and its rows of fountains and shaded trees seem to recede towards the snowcapped mountains. A Son Et Lumeiere or sound and light show is put on here every evening during the May to October tourist season.

NISHAT BAGH
The Nishat Bagh is another lovely garden with its 12 terraces representing the 12 signs of the zodiac, which descend gradually and seem to almost merge into the lake. It is situated on the banks of world famous Dal Lake in the backdrop of Zabarwan hills. With its flowerbeds, trees, fountains, the Nishat presents a dramatic sight. The gardens were designed in 1633 by Asaf Khan, brother of Nur Jahan, and follow the same pattern as the Shalimar gardens with a polished stone channel running down the centre and a series of terraces. It's the largest of the Mughal gardens measuring 548 metres by 338 metres, and often the most crowed. The walks beside the channel are bordered with lines of cypresses and Chinars. Also found within its vicinity are some remains of Mughal period buildings including a double storey pavilion enclosed on two sides latticed windows.

PARIMAHAL
The old Sufi college of Pari Mahal, the 'palace of the fairies', is only a short distance above the Chasma Shahi gardens. One can easily walk from the gardens up to the Pari Mahal then follow a footpath directly down the hill to the road that runs by the Oberoi Palace Hotel. The Pari Mahal consists of a series of arched terraces. Recently it has been turned into a very pleasant and well-kept garden with fine views over Dal Lake. It's attractively sited on a spur of the Zabarwan Mountains. The gardens are beautifully kept even today and a Son Et Lumiere show is put on here every evening during the May to October tourist season.

CHASMA SHAHI
Cheshma Shahi is the first Mughal garden one will pass after Nehru Park. Built at a height above the city, its views are as stupendous as its layout. The smallest of Srinagar's Mughal gardens, Cheshma Shahi has only three terraces in addition to a natural spring of water enclosed in a stone pavilion. Smallest of the Srinagar Mughal gardens, measuring just 108 metres by 38 metres, the Chasma Shahi, or 'Royal Spring', are well up the hillside, above the Nehru Memorial Park. The fresh water spring in these pleasant, quieter gardens is reputed to have medicinal properties. The gardens were laid out in 1632 by Ali Mardan Khan and include three terraces, an aqueduct, waterfalls and fountains.

The Temple of Shankaracharya
The Temple of Shankaracharya is balanced on a high octagonal plinth, on a hill called as Takht-i-Suleiman in Srinagar district. The temple dates back to 250 BC and over the time has become an important landmark on the face of Srinagar. It is said that the legendary philosopher Sri Shankaracharya stayed in this temple when he came to Kashmir to spread Sanatan Dharma. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and holds a lot of importance in religious as well as architectural context. The temple is built up of specially smoothened rocks which have been set at the peak of the hill with unimaginable precision. From the height at which this temple is located, you can have a scintillating bird's eye view of entire Srinagar.