House Boats in Dal lake are unique anchored structures to one side of the majestic Dal in Srinagar. Situated in the heart of Kashmir and surrounded by the alluring beauty of Mughal Gardens, Dal Lake is a well-known travel destination of India. The lake gets its name from the Kashmiri word ‘Dal’ which means a Lake. The unbridled beauty of Dal Lake attracts millions of tourists each year and is one of the favourite holiday destinations of Indians.

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Houseboats in Dal Lake, Shikara rides, limitless chaos of vendors trying to sell you Crafts, and the serene weather of Kashmir sum up to make your travel experience worth it. It is a must-visit place for all nature lovers.

Houseboats in dal lake

Houseboats anchored beautifully at the side of Dal Lake. Photography by Naveed Bhat

Houseboats in Dal Lake: An Overview

North India
Jammu and Kashmir
Hill Station
Best time to visit
May to November
Mode of Transport
By Train : (from Jammu or Udhampur)

By Flight: (Srinagar Airport)

 Inside Houseboats

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What Exactly are the Houseboats in Dal Lake?

Houseboats in Dal Lake are wooden home-like structured anchored at one side of the lake. They are fitted well with all the comfortable things and facilities a traveler needs including electricity, water supply, kitchen etc. Houseboats in Dal lake offer a unique combination of royalty and comfort. On average , there are about 3000 houseboats stationed in and around Dal lake in Srinagar.

Houseboats in dal lake

While in Kashmir, see what its like to live inside a houseboat. Photography by Naveed Bhat

How to Reach the Houseboats in Dal Lake ?

A destination which is just 23 kilometres away from Srinagar airport and 22 kilometres from the railway station, Houseboats in Dal Lake are easily accessible from all parts of the country. From the airport, one can take a cab or an auto to reach the houseboats in Dal lake. and the later journey to the houseboats is completed with a Shikara ride. Your trip to Dal Lake can never end without a Shikara ride because it is the only mode of transport available. The Shikara’s are exquisitely designed to meet the comfort of the tourists and give them a pleasurable ride around houseboats in Dal lake. The cost of these Shikaras is reasonable.

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Are Houseboats in Dal Lake the Best Option to Stay for Travelers?

When we talk about accommodation, the houseboats in Dal lake themselves are the best option to settle in during your stay in Srinagar. The houseboats are a concoction of ravishing interior and comfort. Majestically designed the houseboats of dal lakes are not only appealing to our eyes but also makes sure of tranquillity and the tourist’s contentment.

Houseboats in dal lake

Gorgeous morning view from inside a Houseboat. Picture Credits: New Jacqueline Heritage Houseboat, Srinagar

Houseboats in Dal Lake: Cost of Staying  Overnight

The cost of a one-night stay at houseboats in Dal lake ranges between Rs.1000 to 6000. The cost usually depends on the number of people staying, the meals taken, and the type of houseboat chosen. There are a plethora of options available to choose from. From cheap, simple, homely décor to expensive, royal, magnificent interior everything is available as per the requirements of the visitor. Once you move in, the caretakers there would make sure that all your demands are fulfilled properly and you have a wonderful stay at the houseboats in Dal lake.

Houseboats in dal lake

A dining room inside a houseboat. Photography by Owais Ahmad

Are the Houseboats in Dal Lake Safe for Travelers?

People taking care of the houseboats are always very hospitable and obliging to their guests and give the best services to them. When talking about safety in houseboats, with my personal experience I would say that Houseboats in Dal lake do not have a locking system. The houseboats can’t be locked yet all your luggage is safe in there whenever you are out. When I asked our caretaker he said that they believe in hard work and nobody there is a thief to steal things. With this, you can understand that how safe houseboats in Dal lake are for all.

Houseboats in Dal Lake

A vendor selling freshly plucked flowers on a Shikara. Photography by Shafat

What Does This Place Have in Store for you?

When done with transport and settling down,  the next thing to do for a traveller as I did was take beautiful pictures of this serene beauty. All of a sudden I realized that I was surrounded by all the vendors who wanted to sell their antique yet glamorous handicrafts to me. To my surprise, these vendors were going houseboat to houseboat selling their work. The arts and crafts of Kashmir are famous around the world. The Pashminas, the handicrafts made up of wood and the woollen jackets. Everything has its own essence, has its own way. When taking Shikara ride around the Lake you can actually shop stuff authentic to this place. The ride begins with an empty Shikara and a filled wallet but ends with an empty wallet and a Shikara stuffed with Bags. Everything that you come across whether it be an archaic showpiece or saffron is worth spending money.

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The best part about the Shikara rides is that you can click multifarious pictures of various aspects of the terrain. In case you forget your camera then there is nothing to worry about because there are professional photographers who give you the perfect captures at a very minimal price. When done with pictures you have some delicious food waiting on your platter. There are boats which serve authentic Kashmiri Food.

Houseboats in Srinagar

A traveler enjoying a Shikara ride at Dal lake. Photography by Masood Bhat

Cuisines to Try Inside Houseboats in Dal Lake

Kashmir has some very good flavours which are partly influenced by Hindu culture and partly by Muslim. The food not only has a pleasant aroma but also tastes delicious. Some very famous dishes that you must try are Rogan josh, Dum Aloo, Goshtaba and Rista. These finger-licking dishes will make you fall in love with Kashmiri cuisine. Certain houseboats in Dal lake also serve Wazwan – the 30+ course Kashmiri meal.

Houseboats in dal lake

Kashmiri Wazwan. photography by Saqlain Asiff

Places to Visit Around Dal Lake

As mentioned previously Dal Lake is surrounded by the Mughal Gardens and the Mountains. If you visit Dal Lake then the Mughal Gardens become a must-visit too. Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh are located on the perimeter of Dal Lake and both the Gardens give enticing glimpses of Dal Lake and are worth visiting and spending some time. One can also visit the shrine of Hazrat Bal which is near to the Lake and is a religious place in Srinagar.

Houseboats in dal lake

Nishat Bagh. Photography by Rashmeet Kaur

Overall Dal Lake and Houseboats in Dal lake give you an amazing experience if you are looking for some break from your daily routine. The hustle free life, the pure and fresh air to breathe and some shopping, I don’t think we need anything else to call it a perfect vacation.

Happy wayfaring 🙂


Houseboats in dal lake

Shweta Pal is a Media and Communication student hailing from the Wine Capital of the Country. A simple and fun-loving person, Shweta is a travel enthusiast and an explorer who wants to travel every corner of this world. She loves exploring places and cuisines. She is an avid reader, a dancer, an actor, a chess player, and a writer writing her travel experiences. Shopping and talking to new people is her favourite pastime. She hates the monotonous lifestyle and conversations and wants every moment and conversation of her life to be unforgettable.