Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Dal Lake and Nigeen…

Dal and Nigeen; spring-fed the 6 km long, 3 km wide Dal is divided into four distinct parts by causeways: Gagribal, Lokutdal, Boddal and Nigeen. Moored along the banks of the lake are Srinagar's unique floating homes - the houseboats, ornately carved and richly furnished, with living areas, bedrooms baths and sundecks. The lake is constantly abustle with colour and movement as the graceful little shikara boats with their gay canopies, glide along its surface.
On the banks of the lake, close to Cheshmashahi, the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date conference facilities in a setting of unrivalled beauty overlooking the lake are a large number of modem hotels of all sizes, suitable for all budgets.
A favourite with water sports enthusiasts is Gagribal, for the waters here are ideal for water skiing, surfing and swimming.
The many islets that dot the lake are thickly wooded with willow, while the unique floating gardens and lotus beds are a means of livelihood for the urban farmers who grow vegetables on the lake.
The smallest, but the loveliest part of the Dal is the Nigeen considered, in fact, (a separate lake. The ring of trees that encircle its crystalline waters have given it its name, which means “Jewel in the Ring”: Nigeen is popular with water-skiers, swimmers and those in search of a peaceful houseboat holiday.

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