The Dal Lake is also famous for its 'floating vegetable market', the only one of its kind in India and only the second in the world, the other being the rowing shops along the backwaters of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
The unique floating gardens in the natural wetlands of Srinagar are the prime source of vegetables cultivation and these fresh vegetable are sold on the floating Shikaras on the lake. You can easily get a glimpse of this floating market early in the morning. This is a very old market where the sale and the purchase of vegetables takes place between 5 am to 7 am, Most of the vegetables are grown on the lakeside and retrieved from the lake before being sold in just 2 hours. Any vegetables left over are taken to street markets.
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 number of shikaras selling flowers, saffron and kahwa (Kahwa tea is infused with a range of spices including cinnamon and cardamom, and served with a touch of saffron and a garnish of chopped almonds)
The floating market of Srinagar is a must see The market starts fairly early in the morning so you need to leave your houseboat or hotels pretty early too. Its good to be there by 5am if you want to experience the hustle bustle of the market and get some nice shots
This colourful floating market set against the beautiful backdrop marks it is a photographers heaven.