Prof. Braj B. Kachru
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An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri


chapter 33 chapter 33: Lake Dal
Lake Dal

Lake Dal


Lake Dal

Dal Lake is one of the famous lakes in India. People come to visit this lake from distant places. It is a very big lake. It is five miles long, and two and a half miles wide. It is divided into two parts. The first part of the lake, the 'Small Lake' (), extends from the Dal Gate to what is known as "the camels' grave" (kabar). The other part is called the 'Big Lake' ().


In Dal Lake there is a spot which is called . It is said that of all the places in the lake, this is the deepest. Some people say that there is a spring at this spot which is forty miles deep. People also say that at one time in the past there were two springs around . These two springs were considered holy by the Kashmiri Pandits.

Dal Lake is full of houseboats near Dal Gate. Tourists live in these houseboats during the summer. There are many orchards around Dal Lake. In these orchards there are apple, pear, cherry, and almond trees. In the spring when these fruit trees blossom, the Kashmiris go out to these gardens for picnics with their samovars.

People go for outings in Dal Lake in the shikaras. There are facilities for swimming in Dal Lake. Many tourists go there to go swimming. The famous gardens of Kashmir, which are called the Mughal Gardens in English, are on the banks of the lake. The famous Mughal Gardens of Kashmir are Nishat, Shalimar, and Chashma Shahi. 

Adjoining Dal Lake is Nigin Lake. There is a club at Nigin. Tourists and Kashmiris go there in the evenings. 

There are two places (islets) in Dal Lake where people go for outings. One is called the Golden Island () and the other is called the Silver Island (). One can reach  and  only by boat. 

There is a road all around Dal Lake. One part of it is called the Boulevard Road. On this road there are some beautiful houses and hotels. Lotuses and water chestnuts grow in Dal Lake. In Dal Lake there are also many small vegetable gardens which float on the water. In the summer, Dal Lake is filled with lotuses.  In the winter, too, it looks attractive with snow and ice. People skate on the icy surface of the lake or ride a bicycle on it.

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