For a valley city whose name symbolizes wealth and abundance, peace certainly was in not in abundance. Decades of strife, uncertainty, and violence perhaps has taken its toll.
The calm and serene Dal lake perhaps belies all. The quite witness. Taking care of hundreds of families who are dependent on it. Colorful shikaras silently offering rides for the travelers. The shikaras, the house boats and the trade are still the main source of income.
Dal lake lies in the catchment area in the Zabarwan mountain valley, which surrounds the lake on three sides and is a part of a natural wetland and covers over 22 sq kms. With its basins, interconnected causeways, houseboats, houses, floating gardens, Dal lake is rich in fauna and has been a regular tourist attraction for many years.
After a short ride in a colourful shikara, a sumptuous lunch awaited us in the traditional but well-furnished deluxe house boat. Kashmiri dum aloo and other curries tasted better with the Kashmiri masala, unlike the pungent Punjabi masala that often passes of as north Indian food in other parts of the country.