Known as the Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir and Srinagar’s Jewel, Dal Lake is the most important landmark of Srinagar. It figures high on tourist itineraries and every tourist to the Kashmir valley makes it a point to visit the water body.
Dal Lake is lined by gardens built in the Mughal era and many parks. Mughals, who were smitten by the beauty of Kashmir, laid extensive gardens to heighten its beauty. The best views of the lake can be seen from the Shalimar Garden and Nishat Garden that were built during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Jehangir.
(Few Images Taken From Web)
Covering an area of 18 sq km, the Dal Lake is part of a natural wetland that covers an area of about 21 sq km which includes floating gardens. The floating gardens are known as ‘Rad’ in Kashmiri language. The floating gardens are known for the lotus flowers that blossom during the months of July and August. The Dal Lake is divided into four basins, Bod Dal, Nagin (also a separate lake), Gagribal and Lokut Dal. There is an island in the middle of Bod Dal also known as Sona Lank. Lokut Dal is also known as Rup Lank and Char Chinari.
At a surface elevation of almost 5,200 ft, the Dal Lake has an average depth of almost 5 ft and a maximum depth of 20 ft. The Dal Lake has a catchment area of 316 sq km.
There are two theories for the origin of the lake – one states that it is a post-glacial lake that has undergone a lot of changes in size over the years. The other theory of the origin of the lake states that the Dal Lake was formed due to flood spillage from the Jhelum River.