As soon as our car parked near Ghat No 9 of Dal Lake, Srinagar around 3pm, a boat zoomed past carrying Lays, Kurkure, Mineral water bottles. As I struggled to capture the brilliant picture of Cola-isation of Dal Lake, the boatmen assured me that there will be more of that. And of course, they were right. As the boat glided through the waterways of Dal Lake lined with houseboats, I was left awestruck by the life on waters. We crossed a floating Phone Booth marked with Vodafone, Airtel stickers. A little ahead we saw a fruit-vendor selling watermelon to a local.
As we got ready for the sunset Shikara ride in Dal Lake there were more surprises waiting for us. As soon as the Shikara left our houseboat, we saw boats zooming by with cans of coke, fanta and mineral water bottles. This was the trailor of what Dal Lake could offer to a foodie on a shikhara ride.
As the boat came close to the floating post office we encountered a man selling Chicken Tikka, Mutton Seekh Kebabs and Chicken Seekh Kebabs. We could not resist the temptation.
We ordered half-plate of Seekh Kebab which came with three mouth watering chutneys. Already full from a lunch of Wazwan delicacies at Mughal Durbar ( one of the popular restaurants in Srinagar) we tasted a mouthful of kebabs.
As the boat zoomed past the Nehru Park we made another stop to buy a bottle of coke from a food stall (floating) which sold beverages. You could get anything that you wanted from a bottle of coke/ pepsi to even tea/ coffee. If that was not enough we coaxed a boatman selling roasted corns to strike a pose for us. As our Shikhara took to strange waterways we found ourselves near to a boat selling the famous “Kahwa”. As our two and a half hour long ride came to a close we sat in our verandah of the house boat watching boats sellings corns ( bhuttas), kebabs and fruits.
Life does not come to a standstill on these shores till its pitch dark and with the break of dawn the boatmen are ready to embrace a new day selling cups of tea and flowers.
The lake of Paradise has lots to offer for a foodie on a Shikhara ride in Dal Lake,Srinagar.