Dal Lake is everything you could ask for in a hillside lake, and more. Considered the jewel of Srinagar, the beauty of this pristine lake, spread over 26 square kilometres, only grows around every corner. Be it the beautiful wooden houseboats drifting casually through the waters, the colourful Shikharas that cruise by with awestruck passengers, the floating markets at the crack of dawn, or the manicured lush gardens from the Mughal era along the shore, Dal lake is practically a representation of the Srinagar itself.
Srinagar has always been a pleasant place to visit in summer, therefore, making it one of the favourite places the Mughals and the Britishers liked to go during summer. One of its main attractions was the Dal Lake which was not left unnoticed. The Dal lake consists of four main char chinars in the middle of the lake which is a means of its recognition. The Mughals saw the potential in the Dal lake and surrounded it with beautiful gardens and pavilions and also built the Shalimar and Nilshad Gardens exactly at a place where the beautiful outstretched lake can be seen in all its glory. The Britishers brought forward the concept of boat houses in the Dal Lake, which further promoted tourism to the lake. A tourist hub, one should not miss the pristine beauty of Dal Lake.
Main attractions of Dal lake
Dal Lake is not one lake but a combination of three separated by causeways that in itself becomes an attraction. Houseboats with swimming facilities are allowed during summer and can be very refreshing. The beautiful floating gardens of Dal Lake brings in people from all over the world. Shikaras boats are the perfect medium to enjoy a quaint ride across the lake, and is a must go to if you are visiting Kashmir.
Another interesting activity in the lake is the market, where vendors have their own Shikaras and are not shy of approaching tourists with their most endearing handicrafts, saffron, edibles and even ice - creams in tow. Ice skating during winter on the frozen Dal Lake also attracts many tourists and is a wonderful activity to pursue under Kashmir's winter sun. The important attractions in and around the lake include the Island of Char Chinar, Nagin Lake, Chashme Shahi, Shankaracharya Temple, Hari Parbat, Hazratbal Shrine, Mazar-e-Shura Cemetery and Kashmir houseboats and shikara.
Sightseeing Around Dal Lake
The verdant beauty of the surrounding mountains combined with the scintillating waters of the lake is an experience beyond words. The beauty of this place is especially mesmerising during the sunrise and sunset.
Best Time To Visit Dal Lake
May to November is the best time to visit Dal Lake as the climate is pleasant. During winter, it gets extremely cold.
How to Reach Dal Lake
Dal Lake is the most famous landmark in Srinagar, making it easily accessible via all modes of local transport such as buses and auto rickshaws. You can ask any local for directions and you'll easily find your way.