Chances are you might have already tried a Houseboat at Alleppey Backwaters in Kerala, but have you tried houseboats in Kashmir? Have you stayed in these specially designed wooden boats overlooking the ginormous Himalayan Mountains and the gorgeous Lake twins, the Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake? If your answer is NO, you are missing out a one of a kind experience in India.
The history of Houseboats in Kashmir goes back to the year 1888, when a British Army officer Kennard and a local Kashmiri Pandit Naraindas constructed the first houseboat in Kashmir. They named it “Victory”. Recognising the profitable aspect of houseboats, Naraindas continued building Doonga Houseboats. The houseboats became an instant hit among the British who started visited Kashmir for extensive holidays. During the Second World War, people from other European countries started heading to Kashmir for leisure and these floating houses were their favourite.
After independence in India, the houseboats demand pumped up even higher which saw many built-in changes in the Houseboats of Kashmir. With lavish interiors and modern amenities, the Kashmir houseboats sometimes surpass even the most modern star hotels in luxury and comfort. The ambience, the food, the sceneries outside, everything makes a houseboat stay in Kashmir, a must experience. You get served with scrumptious Kashmiri Food on board. The Kashmiris are famous for their love for food which gets reflected in their utterly delicious dishes.
Unlike the houseboats in Kerala, the houseboats in Kashmir are stable, however, on request, you would be provided with a Shikara Boat [Image below], on which you can have a tour across the beautiful Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake offering you some picturesque views of the heavenly Kashmir. You would come across floating vegetable markets, flower markets, handicraft shops and many smiling faces as well. The Shikara ride here is a delight for any traveller.
An average Houseboat in Kashmir is 80-100 ft long and 10- 20 ft wide and there is a range of houseboats in Kashmir from budget houseboats to luxury houseboats. Your Kashmir tour is never complete if you do not stay in these beautiful houseboats.
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