“Gar firdaus, ruhe zamin ast, hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast.” Thus said a Persian poet. I always wondered, how can a place be so beautiful that the poet compared it to the heavens? I realized that when I travelled to Srinagar.

Going to Srinagar was the first day of our Photography tour to Ladakh.

Hotels Near Dal Lake Srinagar

There are a lot of hotels of all budgets on the Boulevard Road Srinagar which runs on the banks of the Dal Lake.

Houseboats At Dal Lake Srinagar

You can take a Houseboat at Dal Lake Srinagar for accommodation. Thats the best way to spend the night.
There are many house boats of all budgets from Rs.1000/- to Rs.5000/- per night or higher.
We stayed in Morning Star Houseboat, contact person Mama - +91 9596043011.
It had clean rooms for Rs.3500/- per person including dinner and breakfast.

Dal Lake To Srinagar Airport Distance

The distance from Dal Lake to Srinagar Airport is 20kms and takes about an hour to go. Make sure you have at least two hours from the flight departure time as security check here is a very complicated and tedious process.

We reached there in the afternoon. The cab from the airport dropped us beside the lake and off we set out to the other side where our house boats were floating.

There is a long row of boats beside the road and very houseboat has a designated boat for itself.

I found it very interesting to see lots of floating shops. There was a floating ice-cream parlour as well. By the time you reach your houseboat, you are likely to be approached by several sellers with products ranging from jewellery, saffron, leather bags. You will also find some photographers who will take the perfect – ‘Ye Chand Sa Roshan Chehra’ shot of yours like in the blockbuster – ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’

After about 20 minutes, we finally reached our houseboat Morning Star. The first thing that caught my attention was the intricate wooden carving.

We sipped cups of Kahwah, which is a traditional green tea made with saffron strands, cinnamon bark, cardamom, crushed nuts, usually almonds or walnuts. This is a popular drink in the whole of Kashmir valley.

Then, we went to the old city to see some places which I will cover in a separate post.
The evening was lovely watching the moon.

Enjoy my Dal lake images!

DalLakeSrinagar_001 DalLakeSrinagar_004 Most of the houseboats have an extension in front of the houseboats where you can sit and talk and enjoy the beauty of the lake. The dinner was cooked with locally grown vegetables and was a delight for the tongue. The whole ambiance added to the experience. After dinner, it was shopping time! There are lots of Kashmiri shawl sellers who will approach and impress you with their products. This person was waiting for us patiently as we were having our dinner. They have a variety of shawls suiting all budgets. By the way, this was the living room of our boat. The wood carving on the boats was amazing.

We were tired and went to bed. The next day would start really early for us. We had to visit the morning floating vegetable market.

I got up at 4am and got ready. I was dying to go out and take a picture. It was absolutely breathtaking. This view is at 445am, it was quite dark but choosing the right setting in the camera helped me capture this.

EXIF – 25s f/2.8 ISO 100

The boat which was supposed to take us arrived and we left for the market. It takes about half an hour to reach there. It was truly one of the most beautiful boat rides I have ever been to. Initially, we passed by a lot of tourist boats, and then we were able to see many local residences. The lake was much larger than my imagination. There were some small bridges to cross the lake at a few places. These ducks were like racing with us and winning every time. The lake water was still and we were able to see some beautiful reflection in the water.

Must go to the morning vegetable market.

Tips for photographers

Every moment is important here, from early mornings to late evenings, don't waste time sleeping a lot.
Must go to the early morning vegetable market. Ask your hotel owner to organize one for you. Negotiate the rates.
Start early to reach there on time.

Read about my experience on the Floating Flower and Vegetable Market on Dal Lake, Srinagar HERE

Read about my blogs on Ladakh HERE


Thanks to all my participants who joined me for the Photography tours over the last 10 years.

This post is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photography trainer.He strives to make every camera-owner a great photographer through his Photography workshops and Photo Tours and Photowalks.
All rights reserved. No copying without permission of the author Saurabh Chatterjee

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