Living on a Boathouse in Kashmir
Entering the quaint looking boathouse, the posh interior of elaborate decoration that greeted us was a pleasant and fascinating surprise. The corridors of the boathouse are adorned with paintings and intricate carvings; each room of ornate furnishing and colored tapestries holds a fireplace to huddle together for warmth in the blistering cold.
Onboard the Shikara (local name of the wooden row boats), we begin the majestic ascent into the twist and turns of the valleys and lakes of Kashmir, paddling along the scenic route and meandering rivers, with silhouette of the Himalayas mountains veiled in mist.
It was approximately 3 degree Celsius during our stay along Dal Lake, Srinagar, the temperature could go below 0 degree Celsius in the night. The beds of rustic charm had warmers where we could tuck in its coziness till the next morning, safe and snug.
Our housekeeper, Rice prepares the home cooked meals, with curry and mutton being the ubiquitous element of the Kashmir palate. Despite the bitterly cold weather, the hospitality and eager friendliness of the people brought a glow of warmth and contentment. “I am thankful to God, everyday is a new life” Rice chimed every morning, I was moved by his gratitude and appreciation for each and every simple pleasure in life. This short stay in Kashmir felt like a pry into a subterranean world that will leave one craving for more.