Could you come for the feast?
I will adorn you with flower Garlands
At Naseem Bagh, I learned you were across the Lake,
Just below the hills,
Busy with your hunting
Here I come across in a shikara,
Offering my head for your pleasure (Mehjoor)
These soul-touching couplets of Gulam Mohammad Mehjoor, render one awestruck and smitten to the extent of getting lost in the depth of love in the beauty of the Kohimaraan where shikaras and serenity around resembles a dreamland. Shikaras, an immutable part of the Kashmiri culture have always pacified tourists worldwide. Ferrying in a shikara makes one forget everything and yearn for a thought that lasts forever. In his book, “Kashmir in Sunlight and Shade,” Tyndale Biscoe mentions the beauty of the shikara ride, where visitors would love to ferry from Srinagar to Baramulla in a shikara and sometimes it would take two days for the whole trip. In this blog, we are going to let you know about the best places for a shikara ride in Kashmir.
The marvelling and alluring look of Dal Lake is unparalleled in the whole world and shikaras moving in the heart of Dal add colour to the majestic panorama. The shikaras are beautifully adorned with intricate designs and colours and one feels for a moment to have entered a dream world far away from reality. The Dal Lake shikara ride can take you to the Nehru Park, majestic Mughal Gardens, Char Chinar an Island in the mildest of the lake, and the spiritual abode called Dargah Hazratbal. One can also witness the shikara shops offering different cuisine, traditional ornaments, flowers, and much more.
Adjacent to the famous Dal Lake lies Nigeen Lake, whose breathtaking beauty soothes the eyes of the beholder. The etymology of the word Nigeen is rooted in Nageena, which means jewel in the ring. So is the beauty of this beautiful lake that nobody can stop you from falling in love with this place. You will enjoy the shikara ride in the blue waters of the lake and coupled with the sips of saffron Kehwaa, you will find yourself out of this mundane world for a while. Nigeen lake is also popular for water sports, like boating, swimming, etc.
Wullar lake is the second-largest freshwater lake in Asia. The composure of the lake, its serenity, and quietude will make your heart pound like the first glimpse of your beloved. Recently shikara’s were introduced in Wullar lake. Riding a shikara here will make you feel like you are roaming in a wonderland. The lake sprawled over 130 square kilometres, is located between Sopore town and Bandipora District, watered by river Jhelum. The sight of Harmukh mountain from the lake seems like heaven calling you to get in.
Manasbal Lake, located in the Ganderbal District, is a sight to behold for anybody who appreciates Nature’s raw beauty. The lotus plants that line the lake bloom from June to August. The couplets from Amir Khusro, “Agar Firdaus bar roo-e Zameen ast, Hameen ast-o Hameen ast-o Hameen ast,” seem to be coming true as a shikara floats through the lotus flowers. Known as the Supreme gem of all Kashmir lakes, Manasbal Lake is a great tourist destination, especially for bird watchers, as the water body is Kashmir’s largest naturally occurring breeding grounds.