Beautiful Houseboats at Beautiful Kashmir!
We get into a holiday mood, even before our arrival at Sukoon (roughly meaning ‘tranquility’ in Urdu/Persian). A slow transfer by boat across the picturesque mountain ringed lake, its waters sparkling in the afternoon light, soothes away any stray anxieties we might be harbouring about travel to Kashmir. Then the warm welcome on the aptly named houseboat moored on a secluded stretch of the popular lake, makes us feel instantly comfortable.
Unlike their Kerala counterparts, Kashmiri houseboats are permanently anchored. According to one story, it was a Kashmiri pandit trader, Narain Das, who first converted his doonga boat into a makeshift shop when his property was destroyed by floods. His ingenious idea was adopted by colonial vacationers from the Indian plains, looking for loopholes in a Kashmiri law that banned foreigners from owning real estate. Overnight, the dispossessed trader turned into the boatbuilder, ‘Naav’ Narain.
One Mr. M…
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