As soon as one thinks about Srinagar, an image of sparkling Dal Lake fringed with fleets of large wooden houseboats conjures up in front of one’s eyes. Call it human nature or a universal fact, ‘Rare is always special’ and the same goes for these rustic Kashmiri houseboats that can only be found in Srinagar in India…Well, yes Kerala has its own version of the houseboats (but let’s just not go there right now!). Coming back to Kashmiri houseboats, these fanciful and iconic floating chunks are one of its kind hotels in Srinagar that one apparently cannot find anywhere else, and I guess this pretty much explains why these houseboats are famous amongst tourists.
If you thought that living in a houseboat in Srinagar was an idea that was sold to gullible travellers, who are ready to pay anything to make their experience different from all; then you are absolutely wrong! As lucrative as the idea sounds, the stay is equally rewarding; in simple words you are in for the safest bet to earn yourself a wonderful stay at the exceptional place. Sans taking a shot in the dark, we have actually compiled a list of reasons as to what makes staying in Kashmiri houseboats once in a lifetime experience. Let us sail together on it, Shall We??
No, in no way we can deny the fact that the concept of a floating hotel in India is exceptional AND that is why it has gained tremendous attention from tourists. To be honest, who doesn’t want to post a picture on facebook that has a check-in status quoting “Feeling Amazing at BLAH BLAH Houseboat in Srinagar”? The PROUD feeling after the post Ladies & Gentlemen is priceless!!
The surreal landscape of Srinagar is the main attraction and what could be better than witnessing the mystifying beauty while staying on a fancy houseboat that hovers on the quite water of Nageen/ Nigeen Lake. Strategically positioned, the houseboats at Nageen Lake in Srinagar take you one step closer to nature. Once the doors are closed, you can disconnect yourself from the city’s bustling life and retire to a better mood and rejuvenation mode by observing scenic beauty from the windows of the houseboat. It is a WIN WIN situation that offers nothing but an unforgettable experience.
Yes, indeed there are travellers that book houseboats for special purposes like honeymoon holidays, anniversaries, family tour and many similar events AND then there are those who simply come here to get fascinated by the architecture of these Goliath-like floating hotels. Whether you are or NOT an architecture lover, you will appreciate the intricate wood carving that is highly inspired by Victorian style and the plush interior that resembles Kashmiri and Turkish set ups… this indeed will be one of its kinds of fusion that you can find anywhere in the world!
Newly-weds prefer a cozy private place where they can spend sometime getting to know each other and of course singing the sweet melodies of blossoming LOVE…LOL. No wonder these houseboats are such a hit amongst nuptial couples who come all the way to the Kashmir Valley. Spending a honeymoon in a houseboat is an exceptional idea, the romance just gets better and so does the travel experience.
When you are in a houseboat, you are no longer a guest; you are a family member! Most of the houseboat owners in Srinagar are kind, hospitable and friendly and once you are onboard you will not feel an inch away from home. As far as I remember, I read a piece on Srinagar houseboat experience in which someone spoke about how the houseboat owner’s son used to come every evening to the houseboat to watch television and have dinner with the guests. He further wrote about the houseboat owner who poured out his heart about the tough situations in Srinagar without demanding sympathy or money but an attentive ear. There are a number of stories that indicate the set up of cordial relations between the guests and the houseboat staff proving that a stay in a houseboat often concludes with some unforgettable memories.
You wouldn’t be disappointed with the food served in the Kashmiri houseboats (there’s always an exception) that serves two lavish meals a day. A typical of Kashmiri cuisine is what you are expected to be served with the heartwarming hospitality. However, guest’s choice is above all, one can order a different cuisine apart from the Kashmiri one and depending upon the chances of availability, it shall be served. A beautiful day with the perfect breakfast and the delectable evening meal course can certainly add to the memorable experience of staying on a houseboat.
Rumour has it that efforts are on to convert one or two houseboats into a casino arena, which would mean an added flavour to the curry of Kashmir. Well, it remains a rumour till it doesn’t materialize. However, there is still nothing that Srinagar houseboats lack in attracting tourists worldwide. If you are planning a holiday in Kashmir, make sure that you opt for a stay in one of these iconic houseboats that offer everyone experience worth cherishing.