If you are traveling to Kashmir, here’s a tip. Never stay in a hotel on land. Always choose a houseboat. That’s a strong realization I had.
I was invited to speak at a Digital Conference and the organizers had housed the speakers in an upmarket hotel in the city. Once the conference finished, I decided to stay extra two days to explore to city. As someone who’s hungry for new experiences, I decided to stay in a place where I have never stayed in my life before. A houseboat! That’s been one of the best decisions I’ve taken.
There are 1200 houseboats in Srinagar spread across the famous Dal Lake and Nigeen lake. With so much choice, it is easy to get confused about which houseboat to pick. I turned to Booking.com and Tripadvisor and chose one with a high rating. It’s called ‘Lake Palace’ and had a rating of 9.8 / 10. I trusted the people who left the reviews and they turned out to be absolutely right. A beautiful boat with absolutely wonderful owners. (more on them in the next post)
This is the hall, the first room that you see as you enter the houseboat. Intricately carved walnut wood furniture. Kashmiri carpets. Wood paneled interiors. Thick drapes for the windows. Exquisite chandeliers. The only gaudy thing was the plastic flowers.
I would have liked a place with no TV. But last night, I didn’t mind it because it was the finals of the IPL. I’ve never watched a single IPL match this season (thanks to no TV at home) and it felt good to catch a full match. Turned out to be a low-scoring thriller that went all the way to the last ball.
The bedroom was quite comfortable. It was spacious enough. The room had an attached bathroom complete with a bathtub with hot water and western closet.
This is the view that I woke up to at dawn. I can easily get used to this. It’s very therapeutic watching the clouds waft across the mountains and the Shikaras rowing peacefully across the lake.
The Lillies added to the beauty of the place.
They had a raft connecting the various houseboats in order to cater to large groups who prefer to stay together. All the houseboats are anchored and they float on the same spot for the rest of their life.