“Now many people hardly believe that this is really Dal Lake.”. The tourist houseboats are elaborately carved, and often have three or more bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a lounge, dining area and a kitchen. But during the winter months, from September to March, he says he’s fortunate if he earns 100 rupees ($1.48) a day. All basic facilities like electricity, toilets, hot & cold water are available. He uses his long wooden boat, known as a shikara, to ferry people and to sell vegetables and other goods to houseboat dwellers. Many of these tourists flock to scenic Dal Lake and the adjoining Nagin Lake in the summer capital, Srinagar. Some families who live on houseboats own small canoes and do most of their travel along the waterways. One owner of a houseboat called The Flower Garden, Mr Abdul Karim Goosani still clings onto the proud memory of when actress Joanna Lumley, who was born in Kashmir, stayed for three weeks in the 80s on the boat his grandfather built. The floors and corridor are thickly covered with traditional and colorful Kashmir … This is a popular mode of transport for people who live on houseboats. “I cannot imagine a life out there in the houses on land.”. Her mother-in-law, son, and youngest daughter live with her. “Most of the problems that I face are during the winters, as on most of the days I do not even earn a penny,” Gooru says. SRINAGAR, INDIAN-ADMINISTERED KASHMIR — There have been houseboats on Kashmir’s rivers and lakes since colonial times, and the floating dwellings, some of which emphasize luxury, are big tourist attractions. About Kashmir Houseboats. Almost all houseboats are stationary, Zareef says. It was in the year 1962, the very first Deluxe Luxury House boat was built in Dal lake which was named as Pride Of Kashmir which earned a lot of fame and is still a pride to the owners. But the community also faces a social stigma, with many people assuming they can’t afford to buy land. Fargoo says his children worry about the stigmas associated with living on a houseboat. The first recorded houseboat in Indian-administered Kashmir was registered in the late 1880s. The September 2014 floods that devastated portions of the Kashmir Valley were especially scary for people who lived on houseboats, but those residents benefited from living on the water, too. A cook and a visitor coordinator are the boat’s two staff members. The highly personalized service of the staff – a Captain, Room Boy, and Chef- makes your Houseboat Tour package highly satisfying and a pleasurable experience. Doongas till now came in various sizes and use; for ferrying passengers, as water trucks for cargo, but never as grand as this one. For any query call us to have a hassle free tour. From 1955 onwards, houseboat owners of Kashmir started naming their houseboats on their own but the foreign influence continued. But the Jhelum River is no longer a popular tourist destination, Fargoo says. So he became a boat-builder, and a houseboat builder at that. “We felt that it would just flow off, but then we tied numerous ropes to the boat with the pillars on land, and it stayed still,” Fargoo says. But Misra does not want to live in a house on land. Aside from the dangers, Badyari says, he didn’t want his children to suffer like he did from the stigma that comes with living on a houseboat. But fewer tourists come to the river, he says, instead preferring the wide expanse of Dal Lake. “This is where I have seen my children grow, and I have all my memories here.”. Ahmad lives in downtown Srinagar, but his family has owned and managed a tourist houseboat, H.B. Houseboat dwellers rely on ferries to take them ashore to purchase necessities. He usually gets about 60 to 70 customers per month during the summer months, he says. Sewage and waste water go directly into the lake. Kashmir Houseboats. Dal Lake and the Jhelum River are transport highways for wooden boats that ferry dry goods, fresh vegetables and flowers. Official estimates are higher. His rates also go up to 6,000 rupees ($89) per day, since there is an increase in electricity costs to heat the houseboat. It can take up to an hour to reach the hospital for any treatment, Misra says. Many families also cultivate vegetables on the lake, using a traditional system of mats woven from weeds that can grow cabbage, spinach, pumpkin and others. The boat overlooks the famous Naseem Bagh (a 400-year garden established by the Mughals, its famous for its Chinar Trees) and is often rated as the number one houseboat in Kashmir. It’s not clear how many are leaving, because the houseboats are often kept and rented to tourists. Manzoor Ahmad, 55, owns a luxury houseboat on Dal Lake that he rents to tourists. Many houseboat owners work as fishermen or as “shikarawallas,” the local term for workers who transport people and goods in boats across the lake. Better known as the floating houses, houseboats in Kashmir provide a unique staying option. Houseboat is Located in Dal Lake Srinagar, these luxury Houseboats are affordable, House Boat offers traditional-style rooms on a house boat. The city is highly popular for its gleaming lakes and especially houseboats. Houseboat is a Novel type of accommodation available in Kashmir as you have Hotels available throughout the world but unlike a Houseboat being available in Kerala which is totally different and hence cannot prove compatible to what we have in Kashmir in any respect. Nishat  –  Comprising of luxurious 1 double bedroom: Best for honeymooners, Kushdil –  Just like Nishat: for newly wed couples, Gulshan  – Comprising of 2 double bedrooms: ideal for family vacation, Clermont Too – Having 2 double bedrooms maintaining your privacy and comfort, Shop No 35, Ranbir Market But other people brand these water dwellers as poor, and pollution and the territorial conflict have driven tourism down. Srinagar is the capital of Jammu and Kashmir, the north-most state of India. It is integral to tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is named the "Lake of Flowers", "Jewel in the crown of Kashmir" or "Srinagar's Jewel". Dal Lake’s natural beauty has long drawn visitors from around the globe, but its once-pristine water is now threatened by pollution from houseboats, says Manzoor Ahmad, 55, who rents a houseboat to tourists. Inspired by Bilquees (wife of Prophet Sulieman/Solomon) from the holy Quran, M Y Chapri named his houseboat Helen of Tory. That stigma makes it difficult for the community’s young people to find jobs on land, or to find marriage partners who aren’t other houseboat dwellers, Zareef says. Kushal  – Comprising of 2 double bedrooms. Till the year 1948, his family alone had built and managed some 300 houseboats. They are designed beautifully and can be matched with luxurious hotel. The houseboat, which is decorated inside with intricate wood carvings, has three bedrooms with bathrooms, dining hall, kitchen and a terrace. The family varnishes and paints the wood every six years, and spends up to 200,000 rupees ($2,953) for repairs and maintenance every three years or so. “I have memories before the 1990s when this area used to be full of foreign tourists,” Fargoo says. Houseboat Pride Of Kashmir Houseboat Pride of Kashmir In the year 1962, Pride of Kashmir is the first Deluxe Luxury houseboat in Dal Lake that was built in Kashmir which earned a … That’s when Kashmiris, Indians from other states and foreign visitors are more likely to visit the lake. Earlier, on December 3, a residential houseboat named HB Prince met the … The family spent all its time together, he says. Small wooden canoes are used to travel longer distances on Dal Lake and the Jhelum River. On busy days, he earns up to 500 rupees ($7.38). The first impression of a Kashmir Houseboat I must say a disclaimer here that we were heading towards the end of our journey and the next morning we were flying back to Kolkata. “If a person is sick, it takes a lot of time to reach the hospital.”. Ahmad charges between 4,000 rupees ($59) and 4,500 rupees ($66) per day to rent the houseboat during the summer season. The tourists who do come to Kashmir prefer the houseboats on Dal Lake, he says. He also takes locals and tourists for boat rides around Dal Lake. He became locally famous as ‘Naav Narain’ and his first houseboat was named Do you know that Houseboats also have names according to its design and facility. “The lake was very clean, and people from all corners of the world would specially come to see it,” he says. Ghulam Mohammad Gooru, 60, was only 15 years old when he started working as a shikarawalla on Dal Lake. But his children and grandchildren, including grandson Faizan Nazir, pictured here, who share it with him, want him to move to a home on land. The houseboats of the Southwestern Indian state of Kerala, known as Kettuvallam, navigate the area’s winding backwaters and offer a relaxing method to travel in India. The suites in the boat are warm and comfortable and up to date with latest standard and technology. Fargoo says that he has told his children they should feel privileged for the experience of growing up and raising a family on a houseboat. He remembers a time, during his youth, when a shikara began to sink in bad weather. Situated on the furthermost and quietest part of Dal Lake, it has five en-suite rooms with double beds, a desk and well-appointed bathroom with shower. He owns a second houseboat on the Jhelum River, which he rents to tourists. Stay at a Houseboat at Dal Lake, Srinagar is the best thing you can do in Srinagar, Kashmir! Trip to Mantalai via Sudhmahadev from Jammu, Sanasar’s Tulip Garden Opens for Tourists, Firdous  – Comprising of huge 3 double bedrooms & other facilities. Her family’s main income comes from renting their second houseboat to tourists. Mahmood Ahmad Shah, the director of tourism for Kashmir at the Department of Tourism Jammu and Kashmir, says there were 1,300 houseboats registered in four lakes and rivers in Kashmir Valley in 2015. Jammu Tawi - 180001 (Jammu & Kashmir). Houseboats that are homes to people are not categorized. The first houseboat he built and managed was named Kashmir Princess. So enjoy Shikara rides on … There are more than 1,000 houseboats in the Kashmir Valley, and some families who reside in one vessel earn money by renting a second one to tourists. Social activist faces stigma after contracting COVID, dwellers’ plight forces him to come up with unique idea, says will put in place all equipment, but Govt should ensure availability of doctor round-the-clock Owais Gul Srinagar : Tariq Ahmad Patloo, a social activist has come up with a unique innovation by manufacturing an ‘ambulance boat’, which […] Ali Mohammad Fargoo’s grandchildren play in a sandy area near the family’s houseboat. The summer months, from April to August, provide the best income, Gooru says. They are designed beautifully and can be matched with luxurious hotel. But sometimes Badyari misses the simplicity of residing on a houseboat with only two rooms. Ali Mohammad Fargoo, 76, says his houseboat on the Jhelum River rose with the floodwaters. The maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir did not allow the British to buy property, he says. Misra, together with her mother-in-law and two of her three children, live on an old, weather-beaten houseboat built of wood that has turned pale over time. Many of the floating dwellings have been passed down in families from generation to generation. About Kashmir Houseboats (Dal Lake) The houseboats are generally made from local cedar-wood and measure 24 38 metres (79 125 ft) in length and 3 6 metres (9.8 20 ft) in width and are graded in a similar fashion to hotels according to level of comfort. And the outsiders, mostly European, were pouring into the valley. The boat’s operator was able to swim and save everyone, Badyari says. These Houseboats are anchored to one side of the lake and they don't move in water. The Sukoon was Kashmir’s first luxury houseboat, and still sets the standard when it comes to luxury. Since 1991, the government has placed a ban on making new houseboats, because the rivers and lakes have become polluted by them. The wooden boats, known as “shikaras,” ferry people from the houseboats to the shore. Gooru lives in a house on the banks of the lake with his wife, son and his deceased brother’s family. The room is built on stilts in the water. The first recorded houseboat in Indian-administered Kashmir was registered in the late 1880s. But in winter, the numbers drop to an average of three or four customers a month, Ahmad says. Residents often intermarry, and they celebrate holidays and festivals together. Raihana Maqbool, GPJ, translated four interviews from Kashmiri and two interviews from Urdu. Fargoo lives on a houseboat with his two sons and their families. Fargoo owns two houseboats. “It is our life.”. Houseboats in J&K serve as the best meduim to fulfill your dream of staying as close to nature as possible. Book the perfect trip with 125 Kashmir houseboats, house boats and houses with 150 unbiased reviews! This mesmerizing city is located in the Kashmir Valley, on the banks of the river Jhelum. Forget hotels -- houseboats are the key accommodation when visiting the India-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. The maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir did not allow the British to buy property, he says. Ali Mohammad Fargoo, 76, has lived all his life on this houseboat on the Jhelum River, and he earns an income from renting a second houseboat to tourists. Their second houseboat is rented to tourists. Houseboats in Focus: The Sukoon. The houseboat boasts intricate wood carvings, three bedrooms with bathrooms, a dining hall, a kitchen and a terrace. The idea of enjoying holiday in Kashmir houseboat, first time arose in the mind of Britishers. About Srinagar Houseboats. But those left behind are working to preserve traditional houseboat culture. The children say they want to move out of the houseboat and live on a house on land, like their school friends. “After all, not all the people can experience living on water.”. She was born in her family’s houseboat, and when she married in 1987, she moved into the houseboat owned by her in-laws. It is categorized as a Deluxe houseboat by the Department of Tourism. On Landing in the Valley of Kashmir for the first time the idea most struck the mind of visitors is renowned “House Boats” who finds it a novel experience for staying possible now where else in the world. The houseboat community is tight-knit, Zareef says. Salim Ahmad Badyari, 35, says it took years to convince his family, especially his parents, to move from their houseboat to land. Butterfly Group Of Houseboats: Luxe Stay! A multi-tier categorization system, begun for the houseboats during the colonial period, continues today for the tourism houseboats and is administered by the Department of Tourism, Zareef says. The boat has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area, as well as electricity and potable water. Recognising the profitable aspect of houseboats, Naraindas continued building Doonga Houseboats. Her husband, Mohammad Aslam, who died in 2003, earned money by renting the family’s second houseboat to tourists. Fargoo has lived all his life on a houseboat. Trip to Kashmir valley is not complete without a stay in a houseboat. Misra, now a widow, says her family’s main income is from renting their second houseboat to tourists. Now, he says, many of his neighbors don’t know the family once lived on a houseboat. Anchored on the banks of the two beautiful lakes in Srinagar, Dal and Nigeen, houseboats tour are perfect for people of age and traveller of all types. So enjoy Shikara rides on the surface of calm and soothing lakes. Book the perfect trip with 124 Kashmir houseboats and houses to rent from ₹ 19,419 per week. “It was only the foreigners who lived in the houseboats on river Jhelum,” Zareef says. “We have slashed our prices, but still the flow is less,” he says. But the families who live full time on houseboats struggle with a social stigma that is isolating: Other Kashmiris sometimes assume that houseboat dwellers are too poor to live on land. Dal is a lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, India.It is an urban lake, which is the second largest in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Shikaras come in many sizes and have roofs to protect passengers from the harsh sunlight. Kolu group of house boat is an epitome of the family bond and as a result the management through the years are been taken over by the following generations. “I always feared to live on water,” he says. Do you know that Houseboats also have names according to its design and facility. Moored to the edge of the famous sky reflecting Dal lake the houseboats in Kashmir offer pleasing sounds of rolling water, hazy mornings and scenic evenings views from your balcony. “Due to the conflict that started during the 1990s, the tourist flow decreased, and our business was affected severely,” Ahmad says. The first houseboat was afloat… This houseboat was better than any regular Doonga anyone had seen so far. Ali Mohammad Fargoo, 76, has lived all his life on this houseboat on the Jhelum River. She does not use a last name. Royal House, since 1985. During the summer months, when there are regular rentals, the family earns around 15,000 rupees ($221) to 20,000 rupees ($295) a month, she says. Check out this video where he gives you a short tour of the boat: Check out this video where he gives you a short tour of the boat: Each room has a hand-crafted ceiling and hand-carved cedar paneled walls. The idea of enjoying holiday in Kashmir houseboat, first time arose in the mind of Britishers. In 2009, he rented his houseboat for 1,500 rupees ($22) per day. Houseboat of Dal lake in Srinagar Houseboat is the main part of Kashmir tourism. The family’s main source of income is whatever is earned from renting the second houseboat. DAY 10 : Another amazing day on the Nigeen lake at New Jacqueline Heritage Houseboat. “I feel it is the perfect place to live,” he says. The Butterfly Houseboats offer excellent stay and a wide … “Though the tourists started to come back, but the foreign tourist flow did not increase that much.”. That rate is set by the Department of Tourism. Misra uses only a single name, following the tradition of some women in Kashmir. What’s more, these houseboats provide a Shikara as a free transport from the houseboat to the nearest Ghat. Close to the end of 19th century, Kashmir was opening up to outsiders again. It gathered all the attention from far and near…boats flocked around for tourists to get a closer look. “It was only the foreigners who lived in the houseboats on river Jhelum,” Zareef says. PO Box 42557 Misra, 45, has been living in this houseboat since she married in 1987. Misra says that living in the floating houses is not always easy. A houseboat is a boat that has been designed or modified to be used primarily as a home.Some houseboats are not motorized, because they are usually moored, kept stationary at a fixed point and often tethered to land to provide utilities.However, many are capable of operation under their own power. The lake is bigger than the narrow waters of the Jhelum River, and hosts more activities, including boat rides and a floating market. HOUSEBOATS Srinagar is a city known for its scenic landscapes, snow clad mountain valleys, villages and beautiful lakes. 5636 Connecticut Ave NW Dal Lake had the highest number of houseboats, with 740 in 2015. Find and compare homestay in Kashmir, India with 145 unbiased Tripadvisor reviews Misra, 45, has always lived on Dal Lake. Ghulam Mohammad Gooru, 60, says he was 15 years old when he started working as a shikarawalla, or boat man, on Dal Lake. British rule in India ended in 1947, but the culture of living in houseboats continued, he says, and grew as more tourists came to Indian-administered Kashmir. They named it “Victory”. The houseboats on Dal Lake are homes as well as moneymakers, as many are rented to tourists. A ferry ride from land to a houseboat costs 10 rupees (15 cents) each way for houseboat residents, Gooru says. Misra’s kitchen is in a separate wooden room attached to the houseboat, called a “doonga” by locals. In a nasty old tradition of the land, people nick named him Nav Narayan or Boat Narayan. Before the 1970s, records indicate there were around 200 houseboats on the Jhelum River and Dal Lake. Their houseboat also needs repairs, Misra says. Another houseboat owner named his … It has been repaired every three years on average, and costs up to 60,000 Indian rupees ($886) each time. The fresh fallen houseboats belonged to Mohammed Sultan Badyari and Bashir Ahmed Kolu. “The houseboat is the only source of income, and we are dependent on it,” Misra says. Everyone relies solely on Gooru’s income, and they’re struggling to make ends meet, he says. But fewer tourists come to the Jhelum River these days, he says. He lives in one with his family and rents the other to tourists. Tourists pay 350 rupees ($5.16) per hour for a boat ride. Washington, DC 20015 Now, many families who for decades have lived on houseboats are moving to dry land. The houseboats that are built to be rented to tourists larger than the ones used by locals as homes. The boats are the most common form of travel for people who live on houseboats and for the tourists who rent them. Pollution has decreased the size of Dal Lake, and the water stinks in many places, Ahmad says. “When I started to row a shikara during the 1970s, there were few shikaras, and the tourists used to come in large numbers” he says. Misra’s mother-in-law, Mogli, is 75 years old and confined to her bed. All houseboats, whether used for personal or tourism purposes, have to be registered with the Department of Tourism, Shah says. But the military conflict in Kashmir kept tourists away, he says. That’s the only reason the family has ever discussed moving to land, but Fargoo says he’ll never do so. Some houseboat owners manage other houseboats that are rented to tourists, Zareef says. Each houseboat in Kashmir has been provided with a municipal water connection. “I was born here, married, and my children were born here, and they live here,” says Misra. Bobby Roy stayed at in a houseboat during his time in Kashmir and he loved it! Now, he says, there are about 500 shikaras plying the waters of the Dal Lake. “Here we face many problems while managing the day-to-day affairs,” she says. “It has been so long, and I only want to live here,” she says. Tourism started to drop when the Kashmiri conflict worsened in 1990, he says, referring to an insurgency connected to a long-simmering land dispute pitting India and Pakistan against each other. “But I don’t regret my decision, as I can see a good future for my family now,” he says. Now, the rent is 1,000 rupees ($15) per day. 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. [email protected]. He uses his shikara, a long wooden boat, to ferry people and to sell vegetables and other necessities. The boats were originally built to house British officials of the East India Company, says Zareef Ahmad Zareef, a Kashmiri historian, poet and social activist. “I wanted my children to live in a house like the other children do,” he says. The 1970s and 1980s were boom years for tourism, he says. Misra, 45, has lived on this houseboat since she was marred in 1987. Please see the following list of houseboats names along with its features: Wishing a happy Kashmir tour to you and your family. Raihana Maqbool, GPJ Indian-administered Kashmir. Misra’s son manages that business. But in recent years, more people are offering ferry services, Gooru says, so his share of the work is shrinking. Fargoo says the tourist-houseboat owners on the Jhelum River have done everything they can to attract visitors. About Us - Swan Group of Houseboats Swan Group of Houseboats is super deluxe houseboat Accommodation, located in Ghat No 12, Dal Lake, close to Shankaracharya Reserved Forest & Nehru Park, Boulvard Road, Dal Lake, Srinagar, Kashmir. The conflict-fraught region is making a tourism comeback, with the number of tourists doubling to 2 million in the past year. The state of Jammu and Kashmir has became a great tourist destination because it has developed and taken care of its uniqueness in a perfect manner. That’s his main source of income. Misra’s youngest daughter, who is in her final year of secondary school in Srinagar, wants to move to land because that’s where her friends live, Misra says. They receive electricity from the mainland through wires on fixed poles in the water, and water from pipes laid on the lake bed, but there is no sewage disposal system. “I will stay here till the last breath,” he says. As moneymakers, as well as electricity and potable water began to sink in bad.! 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