Dal Lake covers a total area of about 18 sq. km. This urban lake is the second largest lake in Kashmir. It is nicknamed “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir”. Houseboats specially for tourist were built on this lake. The waters were shallow, about 1 to 4m deep. There was a morning vegetable market. It opens around 7am and was over by 9.30am. This floating market caters mainly to locals staying around the lake. However, lately more tourists have discovered this market and during the peak season you may see more tourists than traders.
There were also rows of floating shops selling souvenirs and handicrafts catering mainly to the tourists.
The waterways were not very well maintained. The locals throw rubbish, plastic bags, etc into the lake and these can be seen beneath the clear waters. The best time to visit this place for photography is around 6.30am.