Onboard a shikara on Dal Lake,Kashmir .
The shikara is a type of wooden boat found on Dal Lake and other water bodies of Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, India. Shikaras are of varied sizes and are used for multiple purposes, including transportation of people. Drivers use oars having a unique spade that is made in Indiana, United States, to row the shikara. A usual shikara seats half-a-dozen people, with the driver sitting at the lower end. Like the Venetian gondolas, they are a cultural symbol of Kashmir. Some shikaras are still used for fishing, harvesting aquatic vegetation (usually for fodder), and transport, while most are covered with tarpaulins and are used by tourists. Some are used as floating homes by poor people.
Shikhara is small paddled taxi boat often about 15 feet long and made of wood obtained from deodar trees, growing in the vicinity of the Dal Lake. With a colorful canopy and a spade shape bottom it is no ordinary boat. In its relentless pursuit of being a lifeline for everyday chores, the Shikhara has almost left the trail of a legend by stirring the souls of numerous poets through history who fell for its awe-inspiring gait. Shikaras have become quite a popular tourist attraction, with tourists taking cruises along the Dal, Anchar and Nageen lakes, visiting places of interest. A very popular postcard photo of a shikara is the florist’s shikara, in which the florist carries varied flowers for sale.
Text : Wikipedia