One of the most popular attractions of Kashmir includes the Kashmir houseboats. The magic of houseboats, with the serene and tranquil water flowing below, is enough to lure tourists to Srinagar. The sound of rippling water combined with the picturesque overview provided by most of the houseboats leave you completely at peace with yourself. Shikaras of Kashmir, India are the perfect solution to the hectic, stressful and maddening pace of most of the cities.
Along with some calm and quite, the house boats of Kashmir offer almost all the luxuries of a hotel. You can see a large number of houseboats parked along the Dal Lake, Nagin Lake and Jhelum River. Made of Cedar wood, these houseboats or Shikaras house a dining room, lounge, pantry, 3 or more bedrooms (with attached bathrooms) and even a balcony. Also, the houseboats are beautifully furnished with carved furniture, exquisite Kashmiri rugs and fabrics. Once you stayed in a houseboat, the accommodation of even a five star hotel will look pale to you.
It is interesting to note that the houseboats have been categorized depending upon the degree of luxury accorded by them. The grading, done by the Department of Tourism, classifies the houseboats into Deluxe, A-class, B-class, C-class and D-class. The highest category (Deluxe) houseboat offers excellent furnishing and first-rate amenities. On the other hand, the ‘D category’ (lowest) houseboats offer the minimum basic facilities. There is a separate houseboy for every boat, for doing the routine chores.