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!
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.
Houseboats: Can get from cheap to expensive rooms – Rs. 500 to some thousands Rs. Moderate is Rs.1000 with breakfast. The most important thing to check if they provide enough heating (especially if you come in non-summer season). It’s even more crucial than bathroom! A bonus if they have internet.
Shikara ride: There’s a notice board by J&K Tourism giving standard price of Rs.300 per hour for shikara ride. But you can always bargain (possible to get Rs.150)
Boat crossing: Rs.10 to Rs.40
If you havent had enough of Dal Lake views already! Some more photos I had to put here, for them being so beautifully tranquil. A big plus for being in this place in early April when you can hardly see tourist around. Dal Lake to my view should be a typical plain lake if it’s not because of the existence of classy houseboats sitting side-by-side, along with mountains at the back, making this place truly a Heaven on Earth, as it’s claimed to be.
Double room with breakfast: Rs.1000
When our bus arrived at the Tourist Information Center station, there came a number of men asking where we’re heading, if we need a hotel or houseboat or rickshaw etc. Some even offered houseboat at Rs. 500, which is very cheap compared to what I’ve agreed with Ambassador Houseboat via email. I told them we already booked our houseboat, and mentioning Mr Husam of Ambassador, suddenly a guy gave a signal that Mr Husam is around here.