Exploring the Serenity of Kashmir Houseboats: A Perfect Getaway

Houseboat in Kashmir

The houseboat is a hotel floating on the water in which it is everyone’s dream to stay for one night and if this thing comes true in the houseboat in Kashmir then its fun becomes double.

There are many such scenes in Jammu and Kashmir that no matter how much you praise them, they will fall short. Because of this Kashmir has been called Heaven on Earth ( Jannat). You will like to stay in the midst of these sights forever after seeing Kashmir valleys, waterfalls, high snowy mountains, greenery, and the shining shikhara of the valley.

If you do not stay in the houseboat for one night on the Kashmir trip, then your trip will be considered incomplete.

Living in a houseboat is a pleasure of its own and you will not get to see the kind of hospitality you would get on a houseboat anywhere else. Just believe that this is a floating hotel on water.

These houseboats made of deodar wood are as beautiful from the inside as beautiful and captivating. It is nice to stay inside and see the outside view. Houseboats have 2 or 3 rooms. Like a hotel, it has all the facilities for eating, drinking, and staying.

You can choose a houseboat according to your budget, it is of standard, deluxe, and luxury categories and you can choose it according to the meal plan.

The only purpose of building houseboats at the bank of dal lake and Shikara in Dal lake in Kashmir was to attract more and more tourists. This main goal started attracting tourists and was also very successful. Kashmiri’s workmanship and excellent hospitality were a sample that people definitely liked to stay in the houseboat.

Apart from Dal Lake, these houseboats have also been built in Nagin Lake of Srinagar and are increasing the glory of the world-famous Dal Lake.

The lighted Shikara in Dal Lake will show you a different side of itself during the night. Shikara ride in Dal Lake in the evening is such an experience that you will not be able to forget for the rest of your life.

The Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has illuminated most of the shikaris on Dal Lake with fancy lights. This step has been taken to promote tourism as well as nightlife in the Kashmir Valley. Earlier, there used to be lamps in the Shikara to illuminate the valley at night.

Many Shikaras are floating in the lake at night and the light of these shikaras in the water of the lake creates a different charming scene. Houseboats stand on the banks of the lake, which looks like a shining garland when seen from a distance.

During the day, the azure blue water of Shikara and the greenery spread far and wide give you a different feeling. Many Bollywood hit films have also been shot on Shikara. Out of which the song ‘Ye Chand Se Roshan Chehra’ from the film ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ has been filmed. In this song, Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore filmed the entire song sitting in Shikara.

The tour of all the tourists visiting Kashmir does not end without enjoying the Shikara ride. Various houseboat festivals are organized here to enhance the tourist experience. Earlier, people who like Shikara rides in the evening used to see only darkness in Dal, but now it is not like that, you can take a Shikara ride day or night.

It is very important to take care of the weather for the Shikara ride, in extreme winter days the water of Dal Lake freezes and the Shikara ride is also closed.

In Kashmir Trip, you get to see the beautiful mountains of Kashmir, the open plains of Gulmarg, the breathtaking glaciers of Sonamarg, the valley of Pahalgam, and the beauty of Srinagar. In Srinagar, you can visit Shikar Ride in Dal Lake, Shankaracharya Temple, Char Chinar and Saffron Farm, etc.

Many non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are a part of the traditional delicacies here during the visit to Kashmir: Kashmiri Pulao, Rogan Josh, Nadru Yakhini, Rista, Haak, Kashmiri Saag, Khambir, Thukpa, Kashmiri Gaad, and Goshtaba

Important Points

  • A Kashmir Houseboat is a traditional wooden boat that has been converted into a floating home.
  • The first houseboat was built in the late 19th century by the British.
  • Houseboats have been a popular attraction for tourists visiting Kashmir since the 1900s.
  • The intricate woodwork and carvings of the houseboats are a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the Kashmiri people.
  • The construction of houseboats is unique and requires a specialized knowledge of the water’s behavior.
  • Houseboats offer a unique experience of living on water and experiencing the beauty of nature up close.

Kashmir Houseboats: An Abode of Peace

A special chance to experience the calm and quiet lifestyle of floating in the Himalayan is provided by Kashmir Houseboats. About a century has passed since these floating homes first became a well-liked attraction for visitors to Kashmir. The houseboats offer a cosy and distinctive approach to enjoy the area’s natural beauties because they are the ideal fusion of tradition and contemporary.

The first houseboat in Kashmir was constructed by a British citizen named Mr. M. T. Kennard in the late 19th century. Yet, houseboats did not start to gain popularity as a tourist destination in the area until the early 1900s. Currently, there are more than 1,000 houseboats on the Dal Lake alone, each of which offers a different perspective on life on a boat.

The houseboats are made of native cedar wood and have elaborate woodwork and carvings that showcase the Kashmiri people’s exceptional artistry. The boats’ construction is distinctive and necessitates a thorough understanding of how water behaves. The houseboat is always level because to the boats’ ability to rise and fall with the level of the water because they are anchored to the lakebed.

A houseboat vacation is a unique experience. It offers a distinctive approach to experience Kashmir’s natural beauty and fully immerse oneself in its vibrant culture. The living quarters on the houseboats are nice and comfortable, with hot water, comfy bedding, and adjoining bathrooms. Moreover, some luxurious houseboats provide heating, air conditioning, and other amenities.

One of the most attractive and tranquil locations in the area is the Dal Lake, where the houseboats are docked. The lake is surrounded by majestic trees, gardens, and mountains covered with snow, making it the ideal location for relaxation. A shikara ride on the lake is a must-do activity since it provides a special way to discover the lake’s beauty and the area around it.

The History of Kashmir Houseboats

Kashmir About a century of history has gone into the development of houseboats. A British citizen by the name of Mr. M. T. Kennard constructed the first houseboat in the late 19th century as a means of getting around a British legislation that forbade foreigners from owning land in the area. The way people lived in Kashmir was transformed by Kennard’s creative idea of constructing a house on a boat, which was an instant hit with both residents and visitors.

Early in the 20th century, houseboats gained popularity as a tourist attraction in Kashmir, and soon the region’s lakes and rivers were dotted with hundreds of them. Craftsmen used the native cedar wood to make complicated and gorgeous structures for the boats, which were then exquisitely adorned woodwork and carving.

Early on, the affluent British residents of Kashmir employed houseboats as a way to escape the summer’s heat and dust. Local businesses and traders who wanted to move their wares across the area’s waterways also made use of the boats. Houseboats, however, became a common option for tourists looking for a distinctive and cosy way to experience Kashmir’s natural beauty as tourism in the area developed.

As new materials and methods were developed over time, houseboat design and construction changed. Now, the Dal Lake alone is home to over 1,000 houseboats, and each one gives a different perspective on life on the water.

While some of the houseboats are lavish with air conditioning, heating, and contemporary amenities like Wi-Fi and satellite television, others are poor with only the most basic of amenities.

Houseboats have maintained their traditional charm despite the changes and are still a crucial aspect of the Kashmiri way of life. The boats are evidence of the workmanship and ability of the Kashmiri people, who have been constructing and caring for these floating homes for more than a century.

Construction and Architecture of Kashmir Houseboats

The environment of the area is distinguished by the distinctive and interesting Kashmir Houseboats, whose building and design are equally impressive. The boats are made completely of wood, with elaborate woodwork and carvings that highlight the ability and artistry of the Kashmiri people. They are constructed using a combination of traditional and modern construction methods.

Deodar or cedar wood, a locally produced and renewable resource, is generally used to construct the houseboats. The timber frame and hull are produced initially in a staged process that builds the boats from the ground up. Wooden planks are then used to cover the frame, and they are fastened to it with bolts, glue, and nails.

A waterproof material, like tin or shingles, is used to construct the boat’s roof, which aids in shielding it from the weather.

The beautiful woodwork and decorations on the houseboats are among its most noticeable features. The designs of the woodwork, which are often created by hand, can range from straightforward geometric patterns to intricate floral themes. Chisels are frequently used in the carvings, which produce complicated and lovely designs.

The houseboats’ interiors are as amazing, with each giving a distinct and cosy living area. The living room is often roomy, well-lit, and equipped with huge windows that provide breathtaking views of the surroundings. The bedrooms are warm and inviting, with nice furnishings, warm blankets, and soft bedding to keep you cosy on chilly nights.

Some of the houseboats have recently had renovations and upgrades to add contemporary conveniences like air conditioning, heating, and satellite television. Yet, the majority of the houseboats continue to exude their old-world elegance and provide a singular window into Kashmiri culture.

houseboat in kashmir
houseboats in Kashmir

FAQs About Houseboat in Kashmir

  1. Q. How many houseboats are there in Kashmir?

    A. There are over 1,000 houseboats on the Dal Lake alone.

  2. Q. How much does it cost to stay in a houseboat?

    Depending on the type of boat and the time of year, staying on a houseboat might be expensive. Yet, the typical cost of a night on a houseboat is between INR 2,500 and INR 10,000.

  3. Q. What are the facilities available in a houseboat?

    The majority of houseboats include standard comforts like cosy mattresses, attached bathrooms, and hot water. Additionally, some luxurious houseboats provide heating, cooling, and other modern amenities.


A Kashmir houseboat stay is a singular experience. It’s a distinctive way to experience Kashmir’s natural beauty and its vibrant culture. It is the ideal vacation for anyone seeking peace and quiet due to the calm waters, magnificent scenery, and pleasant living arrangements. Come and discover Kashmir Houseboats’ magic for yourself!

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