History of Houseboats


Houseboats of Kashmir are converted shikaras. Each houseboat is constructed using the ancient principles and techniques of boat building by the local carpenters using Anjali wood. Coir ropes are used for tying the wooden boards together. In the past shikaras were the major method of cargo transportation in Kashmir.

Houseboats are olden day rice boats, which were used to carry the harvest from one part of the other place to go safely as eco friendly, no mechanized, centuries Shikaras have been roaming in the backwaters transporting men and materials to different destinations. Due to its sheer size and shape, Shikaras can carry heavy load. It was the important mode of transportation in Kashmir just because of its accessibility to the most remote areas. As time passed, the scene changed gradually. Motorized road, rail and air transportation scored over the slow and staid country boat, with people opting for speed over charm. During the time when road and rail transportation was expensive or unavailable, traders used this as a form of main transportation in the inland waterways. The boats had enough facilities for cooking and sleeping for the boatmen.

A houseboat is on average 70 feet long boats with 15 feet width in the central section. They are made from wooden planks that are stitched together by ropes. Interestingly, nails are not used at all in the construction of the Houseboats. Most of the houseboats are made from a wood known by the name of Anjili. Palm leaves tied over bamboo poles form the roof of these houseboats.


Kashmir Houseboats
 Interior Design of Houseboats      Traditions & Cultures of Houseboats
  Excursions in Dal Lake      Excursions in Nagin Lake
  History of Houseboats