Houseboats owners get ready to welcome tourists on Dal Lake
The world famous Dal Lake is getting ready to welcome hordes of tourists, as houseboat owners in the valley have begun maintenance and repairing of their houseboats with the onset of the winter season.
Houseboat owners in Srinagar are repairing houseboats by coring to ensure the safety of boats before the commencement of snowfall in the valley.
"We begin the repair work with coring as we prepare ourselves for the next season, so that the customers do not face any problem. If coring is not done then the houseboats will sink and where will the tourists live," said Bilal Ahmad, a houseboat owner.
During the season for tourists, the houseboat owners start the coring of boats in which they fill the gaps on the floor of the boat with special grass and repairing the damaged portion with expensive timber of the valley known as deodar.
Coring expert Gulam Mustafa said that the houseboats would sink if they were not maintained.
"It adds to the life of the houseboats. The tourism in the valley depends on the houseboats. The tourists can stay in hotels anywhere in India but these houseboats exist only in Srinagar," said Mustafa.
Every year large number of tourists visits the valley to enjoy the scenic beauty including the ride on the boats and prefers to stay in unique houseboats on the lake.
Hotels and the famed houseboats on the mirror-calm Dal Lake framed by snow-capped mountains are booked for weeks in the pick seasons.