The Floating Market
of Srinagar

By Juhi Saklani

You can have all the fun of shopping while on a boat with a view

The floating gardens, or ‘Rad’, on the Dal are a mix of matted vegetation and earth, and produce some superb veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers. The dawn-time floating vegetable market on the Dal is an excellent photogenic visit with colourful produce being hawked on equally colourful shikaras, and gives you a dekko at a relatively recent tradition. This is not a retail market; vegetable growers come with shikaras laden with leafy greens, water chestnuts, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and more, to sell to agents of the shops on land. Given tourist interest in this, the market now also has a plethora of shikaras selling flowers, saffron, wood carving et al. Reach by about 6 in the morning and it’s all over by 7-7.30am.