Floating by on a Srinagar Morning

Harzatbal’s call for morning prayer had woken me, replacing my usual cell phone alarm as the sound of the night. I now find myself sitting on soft cushions of a long flat-bottomed boat with a canopy above my head, while my parents and sister recline opposite me, peering out from under their blankets to protect themselves from the chilling early morning breeze. Behind them a small, tightly built figure is propelling us slowly forward with a spade shaped oar. Another man soon joins him beyond the shores of Hazratbal mosque, this time baring a flask with tea. This is our first morning in Srinagar and hot sweaty Mumbai is now but a distant memory.

[Hazratbal Mosque is one of the holiest shrines in Kashmir and its known for the Moi-e-Muqaddas (The Sacred Hair of the Prophet]

As we slowly move forward past quaint fishing villages, under the high Karakoram range on one side, the world floats by in shades of blue and the Dal lake seems like a long, wide, lazy, paradise. A paradise,though lost in conflict, is in reality unchanged by it. The english name board fitted on our shikara, 'Stranger in Paradise', seems so very apt. The valley it seems is too resilent to be shaped by violence.

Srinagar Reflections
[Srinagar by the Dal Lake]

Fishing Village on the Dal, Srinagar
[A quaint little fishing village on the banks of the Dal Lake]

A pair of brown cheeked Kingfishers perch themselves elegantly on a pole, ignoring us as we slip slowly through endless beds of floating weeds.
As we go under a rickety wooden bridge we witness a clutter of canoes and hear a distant sound of voices.

[A grey heron sifts through the marsh on Dal Lake]

As we move forward we reach the chaotic scene of what in Srinagar is known as “the floating market”. Life in Srinagar revolves around the Dal lake. Whether it is children going to school, women going shopping or vegetable vendors selling their produce, it all happens on the lake. Therefore, it did not surprise me to find an entire floating vegetable market.

Shodows in Green
[Floating Gardens on Nageen Lake]

I will leave you with some more pictures.

Boy on the Boat.
(The boy with the intense look)

[Vegetables exchange hands on the floating market]

[Money follows the sale]

[Fresh Raddish]


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Prasoon said...

the most beautiful pics i ave come across recently are from your blog - awesome..
i salute thee !!! what equipment do u have as in which camera - lemme knw?

you may get in touch with me at prasoon[dot]gupta[at]gmail or at flickr - added ya :)

Jo said...

All those reflection pics are cool!!! Again another great travelogue told through pictures.

Akshay said...

Prasoon - sent you an email

Jo - Thank you, the Dal Lake was a great place to experiment with a reflections. I'm glad you like the travelogue.

Anonymous said...

all the pictures you have taken in kashmir are awesome!

Whiskers said...

I can't say I disagree. I'll check to see the consensus. Happy mother's day!

mufti said...

lots of beautiful pictures there, but one stands out. floating by on a srinigar morning is absolutely out of this world! the best picture i've seen for a long time...

Anonymous said...

The Picts Are really Fantastic...
Hey man My mail Id is mohini@eth.net Jus in case u update the mail do let me know
so that i can also enjoy the same...

Anand daga

rakesh kay said...

the houses on the lake remind me of amsterdam..ur choice of subjects and sense of timing are brilliant

Pooja Aggarwal said...

Awesome pictures - my favorite one is the one with the intense look on the boy...

Anonymous said...

ah! what beauty you have captures with your wods as well as your camera. thanks! i am a kashmiri living in the uk, and it was so nostalgic for me to read ur blog... i try going back every year and couldnt go this year so am missing it very much...

kanya said...

just getting ready to visit srinagar in august.to escape the heat of zagreb. very nice pics:))))

zamir kashmiri said...

im dream i visit sri nagar but not possible by matter kashmir issue i pray God kashmir become a indepiendt country