The delightful Dal Lake

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 Apr 2017 13:01:25

If one wishes to witness poetry vacillate in a fluidic form, to hear and feel a certain tranquility even amid the quandary, one must visit the delightful Dal Lake in Jammu &Kashmir. It is also popularly known as the ‘Jewel in Srinagar’s crown’. Dal itself means a lake in Kashmiri. The capital city of Srinagar comes alive around this little over 15 km-long stretch of Dal Lake. Beautiful parks and Moghul gardens are lined up on both sides of the lake along with several hotels.

The lake remains abuzz with activity almost all round the year, except for the harsh winters when temperatures dip below -11 degree Celsius and the lake freezes, as if going into hibernation.

But otherwise, the lake is as alive as it can be. The many canoes slide over the aquamarine expanse carrying fruits, flowers and vegetable, much to the delight of the tourists. Like the backwaters of Kerala, the thrill of the floating market can be experienced by one.

The lake is also popular among fishermen, though the aquatic life has seen a slump in recent past. There are boathouses carrying awestruck tourists and colourful shikaras ferrying them around. Memories of the sprightly Shammi Kapoor head-banging in one of these shikaras to woo his lady love in the film Junglee come rushing back. In fact, Kashmir has been immortalised in countless of Indian movies, with the Dal Lake being a quintessential element of the films’ landscape.

While there are a variety of weed spread across the face of the lake, the innumerable lotus blooms in the months of July and August create a sight to behold. What stars do to the azure, these flowers do to the Dal. The socio-political problems that Kashmir has been facing for long are known to all. The clouds of volatility sometimes cast a shadow on the dynamics of the State, and Dal remains a silent witness to all of it, continuing to be its tranquil self.

Sangeeta Mahajan, a freelance photographer, on her recent sojourn to J & K, captures the tranquility as well as the hustle bustle of the beautiful Dal in her lens.