One of the most stately and regal ways to journey around Kashir’s beautiful Lake Dal must surely be aboard The Sukoon; a traditional Shikhara houseboat, complete with modern luxuries.
You cruise so smoothly and quietly that it’s possible to imagine you aren’t moving at all - that the lakeside forests, with their picturesque trees and colourful birds, are gliding past you, rather than vice versa. The locals in their tiny fishing villages pause in their daily tasks to wave as you sail past. Shopkeepers smile at you from their waterside stores. Busy markets call out to you. Merchants’ boats draw alongside selling Kashmiri embroidery, jewellery and leatherwork. And when you land you’re free to browse through ancient gardens originally created by Mughal emperors and still bursting with color and resounding with birdsong. You’ll venture along forest paths that give way to unchanged villages in shaded clearings. You’ll discover hilltop temples, deserted except for the ghosts of their gods, and ancient forts perched high above rolling plains.
Be sure to keep your camera charged; the forts will present you with wide angle views of the spreading countryside. The lake at its most tranquil will mirror the life on its banks. The forests always suggest chance encounters with wildlife, birds and a profusion of flowers. Small wonder the word ‘Sukoon’ is found in Sufi poetry and means the equivalent of spiritual awareness.
Sukoon Houseboat, at a glance
- Traditional Shikhara Houseboat, recreated to offer luxurious modern amenities
- Five spacious cabins including one suite
- All with contemporary en suite bathrooms
- Charming Kashmiri-style décor and furnishings throughout
- Large windows giving superb views over the lake and passing banks
- Capacious, traditionally furnished living room with gleaming wooden floors and observation-size windows
- Dining room with carved walnut furniture, serving authentic Kashmir, Indian and international food
- Sun deck offering 360˚ panoramic views of the lake and surrounding countryside – perfect for relaxing with a sundowner