Dal lake of Kashmir is one of the most beautiful and picturesque lakes in India. It has been and continues to be a part of the poetry by some renowned poets. The second largest lake of Jammu and Kashmir state, Dal Lake is encircled by magnificent mountains on three sides. Adorning the banks of the Dal Lake is a number of blooming gardens and orchards. Five basins and a number of channels well linked with each other are some of the features of the lake. Dal Lake is approximately 6 km by 3 km in size and changes its moods and scenery after every few kilometers.
The embankments of Dal Lake also house a number of Mughal monuments and the campus of the University of Kashmir. Further beautifying the scenery of the lake are two hillocks that house the famous shrine of Shankaracharya and Hari Parbat temples. The other unique features of the Dal Lake are the famous Shikaras and Houseboats. Numerous houseboats line the lake, providing their guests with serene atmosphere and picturesque surroundings. The Shikaras provide ferry rides to and from the banks of the lake to the houseboats.
The Dal lake of Kashmir, India is divided into four parts by causeways, namely Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin. Scenery of this lake also consists of clusters of sloping roofed houses on its islands. Apart from being one of the greatest attractions of the valley, Dal Lake also supports the second largest industry of the region, fishing. The plethora of fishes in the lake provides occupation to a large number of people in the valley. It is believed Dal Lake originated from the Pleistocene Oligotrophic Lake, which at one point of time covered the entire Kashmir valley.