Dal is a lake in Srinagar, the capital of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Dal Lake is a misnomer as Dal in Kashmiri means lake.
It is integral to tourism and recreation in Kashmir and is named the “Jewel in the crown of Kashmir” or “Srinagar’s Jewel”.
It is also an important source for commercial operations in fishing and water plant harvesting.
It covers an area of 18 square kilometres and is part of a natural wetland including its floating gardens.
The floating gardens, known as “Raad” in Kashmiri, blossom with lotus flowers during July and August.
The wetland is divided by causeways into four basins; Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin. Lokut-dal and Bod-dal each have an island in the centre, known as Rup Lank (or Char Chinari) and Sona Lank respectively.
The houseboats (Shikaras) are closely associated with Dal Lake which provide accommodation to tourists in Srinagar.