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Srinagar - Shikaara Diaries


Srinagar is less urban than most cities. It is rather a collection of several pockets of culture. The people, the culture, the food—everything about the city is rural, and there lies the charm of Srinagar.


Shikaaras meant for tourists are painted in bright yellow with flourishes in different colours. Decorated Shikaaras look like Kashmiri brides. There is a utility variety (which is not that well decorated, though) that the locals use, especially those living on the banks of the lake in the far corners.

Shikaras, Dal Lake, Srinagar


Srinagar's vegetable market is on a lake. Srinagar is not on Dal Lake; instead, Dal Lake is a part of Srinagar. There's a lot of terra firma in Srinagar, yet the market is on a lake. The reason is that the vegetable farms are on the lake.

Farmers get their produce on their boats early in the morning and sell what they can before the sun rises, after which buyers are gone. German turnips, Gourds, Tomatoes, Collard greens, and egg plants are common in September.

Tourists are an attraction for the vendors - not the other way around, because few tourists go there. 

After the buyers are gone, it is time to socialize.

Or just ponder or just sit and row the boat in quite meditation, watching people go by their own businesses.

Or fix oneself a tobacco laden something but avoid eye contact with the camera at all costs.