Dal lake probably the main reason Srinagar is the summer capital of Kashmir. The houseboats on the lake make for a prime Indian Honeymoon spot. Staying on the house boats can be quite a romantic experience, some are pretty lush inside , however, nowhere near as posh as the 5 star prices they are asking. Since I'm alone except for my Scissors, I opted to stay in a hotel while in Srinagar. Besides its only a hassle getting to and from the boats as they are located on the lake you need to hire a Shikara, which means you have to haggle for the price every time you want to go somewhere on land.
Shikaras are the boats that ply all means of trade and leisure on the lake. I took a Shikara out for a trip around the lake, 250 rs for 3 hours.
It would have actually been a very enjoyable experience except for the fact I spent an Hour telling him I wasn't interested in any other tours, his guest house, Pashima shawls, or him!
So after we made that perfectly clear, I then had to ward off all the other Shikaras that came up to the boat to try to sell me their wares. Why would I want to dress up in Kashmiri dress and get my picture taken on a boat? WHY? I don't fall for the typical tourist crap and when the driver asked if I wanted to steer the boat I said , "No thanks, I'm paying you to do that." He asked me a few more times,lol. I finally asked him, "why are you tired and lazy" and he said, "Yes Yes." So we stopped amidst the Lilly ponds and took a half hour rest in the afternoon sun. That was the only time he shut up!
I asked about the sanitation on the house boats and where the waste goes, he flat out said into the lake, and then in the next sentence said but the lake is clean and you can swim in it UGGGH yeah right dude.
I did see a new water sport ,one I haven't seen before, they call it water skating I will call it Door skiing. Basically a guy getting pulled by a boat standing on a door. And if he falls into the water well like the Shikara driver said its clean.
The lake itself is home to 14,000 people who live on houseboats or small islands. There are Pharmacy's, stores, mini marts, schools, you name it they got it of course except for the BAR!
There are plenty of signs up reminding people to keep the lake clean , but there are plenty of signs of human garbage as well. Until people can respect the lake it will never be really clean.
Lets just hope that these children treat their lake better than their parents.