Azure tipped mountains reflect a thousands hues of blue into the waters of the tranquil shadowy weed-ridden Dal lake. Morning prayers from the white domed single minaretted mosque, the Hazaratbal, resound through the till then silent confines of the valley. Darker tones give way to gentle blues as our boatman Lasa, surges the shikara forward with his spade shaped oar. Dawn awakens to the music of a thousand birds and ducks swim by, as a fisherman waits patiently to catch his breakfast. A brown cheeked kingfisher swoops into the air and then maneuvers itself skimming the water for gnats as dapchicks make morning dives into the water in pairs disappearing and reappearing with tiny tadpoles in their beaks.