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Kashmir is a dreamland, isn’t it? This place is absolutely perfect for anyone who has been longing for some relaxing moments. No other place in the country can match the breath-taking panorama of nature like in Kashmir. So if you are looking ahead to spend some relaxing time amidst the enchanting nature then Srinagar is the perfect place for you. I can bet your eyes would not have to search for beautiful sights here, as all that you see here is magical. Canopy of landscape and flower gardens, clear blue lakes, splendid structures and the lively markets, each and every thing here is surely going to give you an experience of a lifetime. And today let’s discuss what lies amidst this colourful world, something which is absolutely sensuous and swift. Thinking what I am talking about? Well it’s the Shikara. Yes the Shikara is one of the most fascinating attractions of Kashmir and lets discuss today this really unique thing which indeed is the best way out to experience the eternal beauty of Kashmir.

Shikara photoPhoto by shahbasharat

Shikara: A Cultural Symbol Of The Region

Shikara photoPhoto by Abhishek Shirali

What are Shikara’s, these are small boats which are made of wood and beautifully carved. They usually are flat-bottomed boats along with a cloth canopy. Usually they can be seen on the famous Dal Lake and Nagin Lake of Srinagar. Shikara is considered to be a cultural symbol of this region along with the houseboats. And the Shikara rides in Kashmir are one of the most charming aspects of the Jammu and Kashmir tourism. Shikara ride is much more than a normal boat ride, it is much more special and worthwhile as one can relax and also enjoy nature at its best in the surrounding views of the Dal Lake and Nagin Lake. The swift movement of the Shikara is one of the most unique ways for one to experience the timeless beauty of Kashmir. These boat rides is also used for sightseeing for the attractions which are located close to the Dal Lake. All the major lakes in Srinagar and Kashmir would have the Shikaras plying on it, it includes the Dal lake, Nagin Lake, River Jhelum, Manasbal Lake and Wullar Lake.

Shikara Boat Ride: One Classic Reason Which Attracts People To Srinagar

Shikara photoPhoto by Fulvio’s photos

A holiday in Kashmir is once in a life time experience for most of us. And the shikara ride is a reason that attracts thousands of tourists from across the country and even across the globe. This is the most peaceful and relaxing aspects of holidaying in Kashmir. The Gondola type light rowing boat will make the experience of sightseeing much more worth as it takes you into the interior parts of the peaceful and calm waters of the Dal Lake. And to add more to this relaxing journey, the cherry on the top is shopping- By-Shikara experience.

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The Dal Lake is quite centrally located to the landscape of Srinagar; hence many tourist attractions are very easily accessible by the Shikaras. Some of the attractions that can be covered while on Shikaras are Nishat and Shalimar gardens and Hazratbal mosque. There are some interesting places in and around Srinagar which are accessible only through the shikaras, they are Char Chinar, Kabutar Khana, Bathing Boats in open Lake, Golden lake and Lotus lake.
Also while one enjoys the easy-going shikara ride, they can also observe some of the most commonly seen birds like the white breasted kingfisher, pariah kites and little grebe sitting on the branches of the willow trees.

The Uses Of Shikara Apart From Leisure

Shikara photoPhoto by BOMBMAN

Most of us think Shikara’s in Kashmir are exclusive for the tourist only. But that’s a wrong thought the shikara in Kashmir are also used for various other purposes apart from leisure. Yes the locals here use the Shikara’s mainly for transportation, Fishing and seaweed harvesting. And the most unique use of the Shikara’s in Kashmir is in the floating market. The Shikara’s are used for selling a huge variety of beautiful flowers and handicrafts. These are quite popular among tourists who reside in houseboats. Guess the floating market is one of the most eye-catching glimpses in this state as it is full of colourful blooms.

Kashmir and the Dal Lake I need not talk much about its popularity. The beauty of this paradise sustains within its periphery. Kashmir is in all senses a Paradise on Earth which has a life which is unique in itself and also cannot be compared with the rest of the world. Do you know these houseboat and shikara communities actually have lived for centuries now? Their infrastructure on the Dal is so complete that they never really have to step on land. Isn’t that amazing? Yes Doctors, bakers and tailors you will actually see them all in tiny wooden shops on the lake itself.

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Tempted? I am sure you are, so whenever you plan to visit the beautiful Kashmir do not miss on the Shikara Ride.

Featured Photo by Mike Prince

Also See:

Tapola: The Mini Kashmir In Maharashtra

Gurez Valley In Kashmir: Explore The Unexplored

Kashmir: A Paradise For The Non-Vegetarian’s

Doodh-E-Pathri: The Valley Of Milk In Kashmir

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