Kashmir newspapers would be incomplete for a visitor if he does not visit the houseboats. Fun in Kashmir does not end with sightseeing or an adventurous visit. Undoubtedly, Kashmir is a beautiful place where everything is enjoyed. Kashmir is famous for Dal Lake all over the world and hence Dal Lake is famous for houseboats. The premium wooden houseboats are referred to as the jewel of Dal Lake, hence a stay on the water in one of the greatest pleasures of a visit to Kashmir.
Houseboats are the most aesthetic and romantic part of your stay in the valley. Apart from the lonely look, these houseboats have been filmed in several Hollywood and Bollywood movies so far and filmmakers always choose these wooden structures for wide audiences across the world.
In Srinagar, there are about 910 houseboats left in Dal Lake, Nigeen and Jhelum which have been categorized as Deluxe, Class A, B, C and D where tourists enjoy premium services. If you are traveling in the valley you have to stay in a houseboat once or you will miss a lot here. The boats are simply magnificent. They have rich architect and smooth service. The tradition of the province is very old and rich.
As there are a number of water bodies here, a large part of the population derives their livelihood from these waters. Life on the water is a great tradition in the region and the locals have made arrangements to experience the beauty and wonder of a stay in the water for their guests.
Jammu and Kashmir is indeed a major tourist destination in the Indian subcontinent that welcomes travelers from all over the world. It has still perfectly preserved its uniqueness. At J&K you can choose to stay in a houseboat. It allows you to live on the water and to be closer to nature. The houseboats are completely made of premium wood and will comfort you with their warm surroundings, peaceful and fascinating environment and enchanting views outside. One can find a fully furnished house with formal living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, carved wooden furniture and beautifully decorated interiors.
There are usually 1 to 5 bedrooms with attached bathrooms, a common dining room and a balcony. The stunning interiors are in typical Kashmir style which showcases the vibrant colors and art of the region. It is not very difficult to find one that suits your needs.
Different websites and service providers have classified their own houseboats and given them different ratings, but the Houseboat Syndicate has classified all houseboats into Deluxe, Class A, BC and D where tourists from all over the world receive Au Pair services .
“We have 910 houseboats left in Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake, Chinar Bagh and River Jhelum where customers are provided with services depending on the category they wish to stay in,” Mohammad Yaqoob Dunoo, the spokesperson for Houseboat Owners Association, said. is interviewed with Rising Kashmir.
In the famous Dal Lake, there are around 600 houseboats offering services in the Deluxe, Class A, B, C and D category. While in Nigeen Lake, visitors can enjoy the Deluxe and Class A houseboats there. Also in Chinar Bagh area there are C and D class houseboats stationed and in Jhelum river there are about 70 houseboats where all houseboat classes are available except Deluxe which are few.
These beautiful houseboats allow you to be on the water and close to nature with the perfect vacation experience.
The luxury houseboats are top quality with a separate living room (lobby), separate dining room, pantry, 4-5 bed bedrooms with attached bathrooms, in addition to internet connection, cable television, on-call doctors and visitor services. In class A houseboats, the services remain the same as those of the luxury category, but the size of the rooms is smaller.
Similarly, in Class B houseboats, seating and dining facilities join there. In addition, the size of bedrooms and other rooms is smaller than category A.
In categories C and D, these types of barges are smaller in size. They look like Donga boats.
To capture the true essence and charm of a Kashmir Valley tour, it is mandatory to stay in a houseboat at least once. The wonderful pleasure of standing on deck and watching the breathtaking scenery, coupled with vibrant life on the water, is a unique experience in the valley and cannot be found anywhere else on earth.
The interior of houseboats in Kashmir is as charming as the scenery outside. The houseboats feature characteristic Kashmir architecture and are well decorated and designed with typical local wood carvings.
The houseboat is being built on a landmass in the waters as it becomes easy for the owner to push the boat into the lake once it is ready. The making of these houseboats is no less than an artistic marvel. They are made of deodar wood which costs more than 6000 rupees per square foot while khatamband costs 2500 to 3000 rupees per square foot to make the interior of conquering boats just like hotels have their categories.
A single houseboat having four to five bedrooms, a living and dining room, adjoining toilet and pantry costs around three to four crore rupees, sometimes more due to inflation.
Ghulam Rasoon Siah, president of the Houseboat Owners Association, told Rising Kashmir that the luxury category houseboat is the high-end houseboat that offers all available luxuries like master bedrooms, luxury bathrooms, the luxury living rooms and dining rooms, all made of walnut wood. He however said that Class D houseboats despite wooden interiors without luxury fittings.
“A class is almost the same as a 3 star and luxury hotel rivals 5 star,” he said and added, “All houseboat owners have a class license obtained from the Department of Tourism.”
Providing details on luxury, he said we had around 300 houseboats including Princess of Kashmir, Meena Mahal, Sukoon, Lion of Kashmir, Muscat, Mughal Sheraton, Gurkha, Butterfuly and others while in Class A , there are about 150 houseboats including Kingfisher. , New Sydney, New Suzan, Young Bombay, New Cutty Sark and others.
Rising Kashmir has spoken to a few houseboat owners in this regard. Bashir Ahmad, owner of the A and B grade New Shaheen and Shaheen Palace houseboats respectively, said they charge Rs 2,000 to 2,500 respectively per night including meals.
Yousuf Chapri, an 84-year-old man and owner of the Sukoon barge, said these barges were used for transportation and there were more than 2,800 boats in Kashmir before 1947. “The numbers have now gone down due to several economic reasons. and policies,” said Chapri.
Giving the logic behind the name Sukoon, Chapri said the houseboat’s name perfectly symbolizes its Sufi meaning, indicating peace of mind, wisdom and contentment.
“It is the only houseboat in Kashmir which is longer and wider with full carvings on the ceilings and sides and has an eco-friendly system for all bathrooms and no waste goes into the lake”, he asserted.
He said: “I have traveled the world to at least 22 countries and have never seen a system like a houseboat outdoors.”
Mughal Sheraton, located near Dalgate, opposite Ghat number 09, was built in 1989 by the late Mohammad Abdullah Batku, but after it expired, his son Bilal Ahmad ran the houseboat.
Mentioning the facilities inside the houseboat, Bilal said that they have 3 luxury executive rooms and one suite with bath concept installed with Jacuzzi and recently they have installed fully automatic Jacuzzi with hot steam. hydromassage and bluetooth aqua massage in the room.
Other than that, they have toiletries from Bio-Tech Company. “In each room, we have installed a mini-bar and a coffee/tea maker,” Bilal said.
Bilal created boat rooms on themes such as Chinar, Tulip and others.
The Lake Nigeen mascot houseboat is inherited from the fifth generation of the Tuman dynasty. Yaseen Tuman, 45, is the owner of the mascot. The Tuman family was among the leaders in the tourism and hospitality sector in Kashmir.
“Mascot is the symposium of Kashmiri art and culture. It gives you an idea of the skills of Kashmiri artisans and craftsmanship,” Yaseen said. He also said the beauty of the houseboat highlights value the richness of Muslim architecture with intricate carvings.
Tourists generally prefer to stay in boats than in a hotel in Kashmir. It becomes even more common on special occasions. There are a large number of boats in the valley which accommodate a large number of tourists.
If you want to enjoy a mesmerized stay while listening to the gentle sound of water dancing to the rhythm of the breeze, you need to book a houseboat in advance.