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Houseboats in India




Things that are rare have always found a place in the prestigious corner of the heart. They have always earned the title of being exotic and everyone wants to experience it at least once their life time. Such things are many and if a list be made it would be endless. However when you are in India something common between the extreme north and extreme south but exotic must be experienced. The states that I ‘am talking about are Jammu Kashmir and Kerala. These two states of the country may be different in numerous ways i.e. in terms of landforms, culture, tradition food and people but they both share something the rest of India does not have. Are you still wondering as to what I ‘am talking about? Or have you guessed it?   


The houseboats may be the most common sights in these two states but for the rest of the country it is exotic as it can get. The two states have a lot of waterways and therefore boats seem to be the easiest way to get around places when here. 

The state of Kerala which is located towards the south western part of the country is well known for its extensive and beautiful backwaters. So when you are in the state a tour of the backwaters is a must for without it the holiday would be incomplete. The houseboats that ply over the backwaters and lagoons were used to transport spices from one place to another. However in the recent years the houseboats of Kerala have been introduced in the field of tourism. Therefore to tour and explore the exotic backwaters one needs to rent a houseboat which comes in different sizes, shapes and budgets. Among the various budgets that fit in the schemes of the houseboats the Deluxe one is something that one has to try out. The deluxe houseboats that ply over the emerald backwaters are filled with the basic amenities of life and it would feel like staying in a hotel itself but a floating one. A houseboat cruise along the backwaters is a relaxing one and the sense of being one with nature can be felt.



Other than the south western state of the country Jammu Kashmir is one that is famed for its houseboats. The houseboats here are known by the name “Shikaras” and are a grand sight to see. Though the state may not have many waterways as that of the southern parts of the country, it does have a large number of lakes. Some of the most famed lakes here would be the Dal Lake and the Nagin Lake. These two lakes draw a lot of tourists for the beauty and size that they exhibit is phenomenal. The houseboats or Shikaras as they call it are a world apart from its counterpart in the south. Here they are well carved, painted, designed etc and one can accordingly take their pick. The Shikaras here are estimated according to the design, facilities and services offered. A deluxe Shikara would mean a house boat that is well carved, well painted, has all the basic amenities of life fulfilled such as a kitchen, bathroom, running water etc. The house boats here come in different sizes too, one can choose from one bedroom, hall and kitchen to three bedrooms, hall and kitchen. 

A stay in the flamboyant and luxurious houseboats floating along the emerald backwaters or the blue sky reflecting lakes is something that one ought to try out in a lifetime. These small pleasures of life in sync with nature are something that is to be cherished and fondly remembered. 


Kashmir Backwater


Kashmir sobriquet as the “heaven on earth” has earned the title because of the unparallel beauty of the placid lakes, the alluring valleys, the snow clad mountains, the orchards, the Mughal gardens and much more.  But despite all of them when one thinks of Kashmir the one picture that comes to our mind are the wonderful houseboats and the Shikaras floating on the famous Jhelum River, Dal and the Nagin lakes. The houseboats have become an icon of the state. 


The tradition of these houseboats was started by the Britishers during the colonial periods. Inspired by the beauty of the place the Britishers tried to settle in state but were not granted permission to construct on the land here so the Britishers stared to settle on the calm waters of the Dal and the Nagin Lake and with time added the necessary facilities that are needed in a proper house. Post independence the houseboats were left behind and the local people have successfully carried along the tradition and today the houseboats are the choice of every most of the tourists visiting Kashmir.
Unlike the houseboats of Kerala in India the houseboats are stagnant and remain sided on the banks of the Jhelum River, the Dal Lake and the Nagin Lake. The tour around the lakes and the rivers here are usually done with the help of the Shikaras that take for the sightseeing to nearby places as the Mughal gardens as the Nishat and Shalimar gardens, Hazratbal mosque and some deeper parts of the Dal lake.  Some houseboats also have the paddle boats that allow the tourists to have some fun in the waters into the lakes. Since the houseboats have to remain in water hence they are made up of fine quality cedar wood. The carvings on the interiors are magnificent and speak of the fine artistry of the craftsmen belonging to the state. The class and the beauty reflect in the rooms here due to the fine works. 


There is a variety in the line of the houseboats that you can choose from as according to your budget. There is usually the standard, the deluxe and the super deluxe category of the houseboats that cost you a fair and very much comparable with the costs of the resorts and the hotels that stand on the land. There are a number of the houseboats on the lakes and each has its own list of the celebrities that have stayed on them. The names too are very much whimsical.



There are more than thousand of the houseboats and each is provided with around 2, 3 or 4 rooms with proper sanitation in the rooms and the bathrooms along with the proper carpeting with the finest carpets woven by the weavers from Kashmir and the fine furniture. 
The food is excellent with each houseboat provided with a cook so that you can order your choice of food. The food is usually free and the all the major meals are provided at the houseboats along the morning cup of fresh local drink called Kahwa. The service is excellent and the food is served at the dining area with due care to sanitation and cleanliness. 
Are you ready to go for a trip to  houseboat in paradise on earth , click here now!       



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