Floating Vegetable Market -Dal Lake
August 29, 2017
Dal Lake is famous the world over for its scenic location, for its shikaras (boats) that float on it and for the promotion of aqua sports like water skiing. The Dal Lake is also famous for its ‘floating vegetable market’, the only one of its kind in India and only the second in the world, The unique floating gardens in the natural wetlands of Srinagar are the prime source of vegetable cultivation and this fresh vegetable are then sold on the floating Shikaras on the lake.the other being the rowing shops along the backwaters of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
Floating vegetable vendors are a prime tourist attraction in the Kashmir Valley, and this is reflected in the sales and annual turnover, estimated to be in the range of Rs. 35 crores. There are no permanent shops on the lake.You can easily get a glimpse of this floating market early in the morning. The pretty picture it proffers makes it one of the best Srinagar tourist places to visit. This colorful floating market set against the beautiful backdrop marks it is a photographers’ heaven. A prized possession of Jammu & Kashmir tourism, the floating market of Srinagar is a must see. The floating market first attracted international attention in 1960, when a Japanese photographer featured it in a tourist guide that was published out of Japan.
Around 10,000 kanals (around 1,250 acres) of land along the Dal Lake is being used for the cultivation of vegetables, “This is a very old market where the sale and the purchase of vegetables take place between 5 am. and to 7 am. every day. Most of the vegetables are grown on the lakeside and retrieved from the lake before being sold in just 2 hours. Any vegetables left over are taken to street markets. This market is famous. Many tourists come here just to take photographs of it. Dal Lake is home to vast stretches of the lotus plant. Lotus flowers not only balance the wetland ecosystem but also lend a special kind of beauty to the lake.
Keep the camera ready on the way back as well. The sun would be up and light would be just perfect for pictures. For lovers of bird photography, there would be ample opportunities to capture them as well. Some of them even come quite close to the boats. Migratory birds have also started flocking to the lake, especially in the winters. There have been some unfortunate stories of them being killed, but in most cases, the locals welcome them as they also lure photographers and bird enthusiast to the area. The birds primarily come from Russia, Turkey, China, and the Philippines. Even rare species like Brahmini ducks have been spotted here. Other common birds include Greylag geese, Mallards, Pintails, Gadwalls etc.