Sunset shikara ride

Shikara ride at Clermont Houseboat: Rs.300

We cannot give any excuse for Mr Ghulam’s offer to take shikara ride with Lhasa (the old guy’s name is really Lhasa!) since we did not yet ride any shikara when we were staying near at Ambassador Houseboat. Mr Ghulam said we could go with Lhasa for shikara ride during sunset for Rs. 250 for one hour. So after coming back from walking in Nasim Bagh, we’re now ready for shikara treat with Lhasa!

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Nasim Bagh and University of Kashmir

The University of Kashmir is located inside a huge old garden called Nasim Bagh, and it’s back entrance is just opposite the road from Clermont’s Houseboat. After we placed our bags in the room, we went out to have a walk. The area is almost empty and nothing like a campus area. Nasim Bagh is a garden with these huge trees dated from hundred years ago, and it’s really nice that they are preserving it despite setting up a university campus in there.

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Butt’s Clermont Houseboat

Auto-rickshaw from Dal Gate to Clermont Houseboat: Rs.100

We arrived at Mr Ghulam Butt’s Clermont Houseboat after lunch at Lhasa Restaurant. And to our surprise, this houseboat is very exclusive and an outstanding from the bunch of houseboats we had seen earlier in Dal Gate. It comes with its private garden, and consists of 4 to 5 big houseboats, a house of the workers and housekeepers, a kitchen, a gallery building, and another small house for souvenir shop. Also, a posh-looking summer cottage in the corner. All of this are located inside a private gated area belongs to its respectful owner, Mr Ghulam Butt, elder brother of Mr Bashir.

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Hazratbal Mosque and town

Auto-rickshaw from Dal Gate to Hazratbal (return): Rs. 300 
Crispy fried lotus roots: Rs.10
Shoe repair: Rs.30

Our first outing in Srinagar, we really dont know how to get to where. Because it seems a bit late by now to visit the gardens (Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh etc) we decided to go to Hazratbal this afternoon and do the gardens another day. At the Dal Gate where we saw many auto-rickshaws, one of them approaches us making an offer, that he could ‘bundle’ all main destinations in Srinagar (Hazratbal and the gardens for two days) for Rs. 700. Surprisingly, we did not bargain and agreed (which I later blamed Az for agreeing too fast and myself for not objecting), perhaps we were mesmerized with his nice way of offering. So the driver brought us to Hazratbal, which is actually a town the other side of Dal Lake by some 7km, and it takes rather a while driving at small roads but we enjoyed watching views we passed by.

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