Dal Lake
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • Mila K
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia65 contributions
    Emerald beneath Himalayas
    Miracle place where nature and art get together. The size is impressive and hosts water market, boat houses, old villas from colonial times and even floating gardens where local people grow and harvest vegetables. Early morning ride with a boat through the low hanging trees open amazing and colorful views. This is the right starting point for a trek in the 7-lakes of Kashmir.
    Visited July 2022
    Written 7 January 2023
  • Devendra G
    India918 contributions
    Dal lake
    Dal Lake is almost the center of Srinagar. It is a large and beautiful lake. One can either stay at houseboats which are built in the lake (which I would not recommend), or take a shikara ride (boat ride). It is better to take a shikara ride for more than an hour, as one can also the enjoy the floating shops and market in the lake.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 20 March 2023
  • Sunshine
    3 contributions
    Nothing to miss if you don't go
    Heaven on earth? Nothing like that, just a simple looking lake except the water is cold and few mountains around, nothing really to miss if you don't visit, and if you do then be ready to be charged very high and they take you on small trip of one hour. During which they will stop at meena bazar shops which give them commission. Poorly maintained shikaras, Tourists are just a thing to rob for them in entire kashmir
    Visited May 2023
    Written 10 May 2023
  • Bala
    Chennai (Madras), India74 contributions
    Better Stay
    Good place for an outing. Would not recommend this stay for stay in any boat house. There is a village in center of dal lake. They entire guest or customer uses dal lake tosty and spoil / pollute the water in dal lake. Its bad and we saw lots of fishes dies and floats in water. Its smelly as well. Not sure on the house boats which you choose. Because almost all the house boats are not very clean and the staff in dinning space and accomodation person all ask for TIPS. If you give Rs. 50 they do not accept it.. Minimum is Rs.100. Also, they call it a Shikardam ride but the ride is also an another cheating one. They tell one round that the ride part of package. if you wanted to go a bigger one and 4hrs that will be on additional charge.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 28 May 2023
  • Andrew D
    Singapore, Singapore396 contributions
    Pretty, but too many persistent vendors
    There's no question that Dal Lake is the star of Srinagar. It's hard to imagine leaving Srinagar without experiencing a shikara ride on the lake. Unfortunately, there are too many persistent vendors who would sail near to your boat and try to sell their goods at elevated prices.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 August 2023
  • Jaya Waskar
    Mumbai, India2 contributions
    Pathetic experience, so commercialised
    We had already booked 45mins shikara ride via travel planner, however upon reaching there the driver insisted on getting the ride time extended for better experience. We paid 1k extra per shikara to extend by 45mins. We were told that 90 mins will be the overall ride time and stopping time in between wont be counted. The moment we start the ride, there are 2-3 sellers who surround you with their products and take around 8-10 mins. Later they forcibly stop at a floating market even if you tell them no for it. After that they ask you to take a tea break. And later including all these halt time, they dropped us back to the end point in 90 mins overall including all halt time as well. moreover, all people managing this along with the shikara riders are extremely arrogant & rude. They actually spoilt our entire charm of shikara ride! Such people are responsible for giving a bad tag to a beautiful place like Kashmir.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 August 2023
  • Vishal Bhargava
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates238 contributions
    Shikara Ride at Dal Lake
    While visiting Srinagar, Shikar Ride in Dal Lake is a must. It s an experience worth exploring. There are different options available depending on time you want to spend. Please bargain as there are no fixed rates, there will be local vendors who will sell fruits, kahwa, artificial jewellery, while you are still on Shikara, again remember to bargain hard. If you want to enjoy the ride, please take ride either in the morning or evening as the afternoon ride in summer may not enjoyable. Request boatman to play your favourite music, sit back, enjoy and take lots of photos..
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 29 August 2023
  • Explore924
    Australian Capital Territory, Australia5 contributions
    Great Shikara Ride experience
    It was an unforgettable experience that my mom had always dreamt of enjoying. One highlight of the trip was the traditional Shikara ride, an absolute must for those looking to explore the lake and its vibrant markets. I strongly advise against opting for motorboats due to their negative impact on aquatic life, noise pollution, and lack of cultural or tourism appeal. However, the lake left much to be desired in terms of cleanliness, with a constant barrage of hawking activities that could be quite irksome. Our houseboat, fortunately, was located on the better side of the lake. Some fellow tourists did mention that the opposite side of the lake had houseboats where the water quality was poor and stinks, and spending time there was a challenge. Unfortunately, I didn't record the direction or location of the houseboat I stayed, so can't suggest the direction or side of lake to choose in review. I thoroughly enjoyed our traditional Shikara ride, which lasted about 1.5 hours. The Shikara owner initially quoted us INR 1600, but after some negotiation, we settled on INR 1300, which included a Rs. 200 tip we decided to give him. In Australian dollars, this amounted to approximately $25. It's important to note that prices in Kashmir often require negotiation is there is too much price gouging here, so spending your money wisely and haggling is highly recommended to make the most of your visit. We savored the local delicacy, Kahwa, at a hotel nestled within Dal Lake while aboard our Shikara. Although I can't recall the name of the restaurant, I highly recommend indulging in Kahwa at the restaurants situated within Dal Lake rather than purchasing it from Shikara vendors during the evening. The Kahwa served at the restaurant is notably fresher. This valuable suggestion came from our Shikara sailor, and it turned out to be the best Kahwa we had throughout our stay in Kashmir. We also enjoyed some fruit chat plate from a shikara vendor, I think it is good to give some business to local shikara vendors. Overall, stay in houseboat no more than one day, and definitely enjoy shikara ride.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 October 2023
  • Amelie9626
    Cape Town, South Africa1,522 contributions
    Could be either good or bad
    "Official rate" i.e. the union rate for shikara is Rs. 700 per hour, but we negotiated it to Rs. 500 an hour. We took it for 3 hours, so the guy was really slow in moving around as he didn't want to cover many places. There are shikaras which will sell kahwa (Rs 50), fruit chaat (Rs. 100 for a tiny plate), and kashmiri costumes, kashmiri handicrafts, saffron, photos, and even bbq kebabs that will keep rowing up to you. The best part we liked was a market where they take - we didn't visit any shops, but the market was bustling. There are over 1100 licenced houseboats on Dal Lake and over 10,000 shikaras (commercial and private) operating on it. 29 ghats support this vast eco-system. How much you enjoy the shikara ride depends very much on the person manning the shikara. One of the people who took us to the houseboat was a grumpy guy, so we tried to avoid taking him for the 2 hours ride even though he had a prettier shikara.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 October 2023
  • Sunshine
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates279 contributions
    Beautiful but polluted.
    Dal lake is huge with natural beauty but very dirty and polluted. It is worth going for a Shikara ride only from ghat nos.14 to 17 to enjoy the nature’s beauty around 4 to 5pm (depending on season and length of the days) to enjoy the gorgeous sunset views . Some agents are charging a lot of money . Book through hotel or directly with Shikara owners. It should be Rs.1,000 to 1,200/- Rupees for one hour’s ride. Kashmiries should take pride in their province, keep it much, much, much cleaner and preserve it’s natural scenic beauty. Dal lake which is biggest attraction of Kashmir is dying from pollution. They should do massive campaigns for clean ups and preservation of it’s natural scenic beauty which is alluring and bountiful.but sadly neglected.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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Sunshine
Dubai, United Arab Emirates279 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Dal lake is huge with natural beauty but very dirty and polluted. It is worth going for a Shikara ride only from ghat nos.14 to 17 to enjoy the nature’s beauty around 4 to 5pm (depending on season and length of the days) to enjoy the gorgeous sunset views . Some agents are charging a lot of money . Book through hotel or directly with Shikara owners. It should be Rs.1,000 to 1,200/-
Rupees for one hour’s ride.
Kashmiries should take pride in their province, keep it much, much, much cleaner and preserve it’s natural scenic beauty. Dal lake which is biggest attraction of Kashmir is dying from pollution. They should do massive campaigns for clean ups and preservation of it’s natural scenic beauty which is alluring and bountiful.but sadly neglected.
Written 11 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debashis T
Dehradun, India1,654 contributions
Nov 2022 • Family

The view of Dal Lake is mesmerising in the day time as well as in the night.In the night, when thousands of houseboat lit the view is very nice.In the day time many shikaras(small boats) roaming in the lake.There are many ghats(around 30) from where you can take shikaras for ride.Choose the starting point between 10-15 number ghats so that you can cover major attractions.Shikaras are available for 30 mins- 1 hour ride time with prices starting from Rs.2000/- and on heavy bargain they may come down to 700-900.It is better if you take ride from ghat for the minimum time and while travelling in the shikara ask the man for increase the time by paying him directly some more.At ghats, middlemans are there, who take a heavy amount as their cut.The lake has so many things to offer, so chose your spots wisely before riding.Do enjoy the beauty of Dal Lake.
Written 24 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amelie9626
Cape Town, South Africa1,522 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
"Official rate" i.e. the union rate for shikara is Rs. 700 per hour, but we negotiated it to Rs. 500 an hour. We took it for 3 hours, so the guy was really slow in moving around as he didn't want to cover many places. There are shikaras which will sell kahwa (Rs 50), fruit chaat (Rs. 100 for a tiny plate), and kashmiri costumes, kashmiri handicrafts, saffron, photos, and even bbq kebabs that will keep rowing up to you. The best part we liked was a market where they take - we didn't visit any shops, but the market was bustling. There are over 1100 licenced houseboats on Dal Lake and over 10,000 shikaras (commercial and private) operating on it. 29 ghats support this vast eco-system.

How much you enjoy the shikara ride depends very much on the person manning the shikara. One of the people who took us to the houseboat was a grumpy guy, so we tried to avoid taking him for the 2 hours ride even though he had a prettier shikara.

Written 19 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shubhda7
Hoshiarpur, India186 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
What can you say about this lake which holds the prime position in this amazing city of Srinagar. We were lucky to go when the tourists were a little less. Our Shikara ride was from Nigeen lake and we went into the heart of Dal lake passing the floating markets which were a different kind of experience.
Then other Shikaras come offering their beautiful wares, kahwa and delicious barbecue paneer, chicken and fish.
It is a wonderful experience just to drift along enjoying the scenery and soaking in the atmosphere.
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wanderer
Bangalore District, India3 contributions
Apr 2023 • Family
Was a disappointment...The view from the lake was very good, But Filthy water, More over the boatman, photographers, and the traders never an opportunity to enjoy anything.
Written 12 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ankur2018
Patiala, India16 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
It is next to impossible for you to visit Srinagar and miss this lake. The lake stretches for a vast expanse and has different looks in different parts of the stretch. Innumerable houseboats and the shikaras paddling their way into the lake makes it even more beautiful.Mushtaq bhai our taxi operator cum brother is always helpful in making our trips more memorable.You can contact him at 9419049760 for best taxi servcis in srinagar and around.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sunshine54592806805
3 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
Situated in the middle of Srinagar city the lake provides astonishing looks of mountains. The shikara ride in the evening is must to do. One can stay in houseboat and experience the night stay in dallake.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

parveen5arora
2 contributions
Oct 2023 • Family
Dal lake is overhyped and commercialized. The lake is dirty and not maintained. Nagin lake is a better option if you want to stay in a houseboat and are looking for scenic beauty
Written 6 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Explore924
Australian Capital Territory, Australia5 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
It was an unforgettable experience that my mom had always dreamt of enjoying.

One highlight of the trip was the traditional Shikara ride, an absolute must for those looking to explore the lake and its vibrant markets. I strongly advise against opting for motorboats due to their negative impact on aquatic life, noise pollution, and lack of cultural or tourism appeal.

However, the lake left much to be desired in terms of cleanliness, with a constant barrage of hawking activities that could be quite irksome. Our houseboat, fortunately, was located on the better side of the lake. Some fellow tourists did mention that the opposite side of the lake had houseboats where the water quality was poor and stinks, and spending time there was a challenge. Unfortunately, I didn't record the direction or location of the houseboat I stayed, so can't suggest the direction or side of lake to choose in review.

I thoroughly enjoyed our traditional Shikara ride, which lasted about 1.5 hours. The Shikara owner initially quoted us INR 1600, but after some negotiation, we settled on INR 1300, which included a Rs. 200 tip we decided to give him. In Australian dollars, this amounted to approximately $25. It's important to note that prices in Kashmir often require negotiation is there is too much price gouging here, so spending your money wisely and haggling is highly recommended to make the most of your visit.

We savored the local delicacy, Kahwa, at a hotel nestled within Dal Lake while aboard our Shikara. Although I can't recall the name of the restaurant, I highly recommend indulging in Kahwa at the restaurants situated within Dal Lake rather than purchasing it from Shikara vendors during the evening. The Kahwa served at the restaurant is notably fresher. This valuable suggestion came from our Shikara sailor, and it turned out to be the best Kahwa we had throughout our stay in Kashmir.

We also enjoyed some fruit chat plate from a shikara vendor, I think it is good to give some business to local shikara vendors.

Overall, stay in houseboat no more than one day, and definitely enjoy shikara ride.
Written 5 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Voyage19792726330
1 contribution
Sep 2023 • Family
Dal is a lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is an urban lake, the second largest lake in Jammu and Kashmir, and the most
Written 29 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Dal Lake (Srinagar) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Dal Lake

According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Dal Lake: