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May 10, 2012

Floating vegetable market on Dal Lake charms tourists

     Srinagar: Tourists thronging Srinagar are captivated by the famous floating vegetable market on the Dal Lake. The 150-year old market is one of its kind in India and only second in the world after the rowing shops along the Mekong river in Vietnam. Around 12,500 acres of land along the Dal Lake is being used for the cultivation of vegetables and it generates business worth Rs 35 million annually. Every morning, farmers from different parts of the city board their vegetable-laden houseboats to sell their produce. " In the summers, we get a lot of vegetables like bitter melon, bottle gourd, ladyfinger, cucumber and pumpkin. I have been involved in this work for many years," said Muhammad Sadiq, a vendor. Other than the floating market, the Dal Lake is famous for its scenic location, houseboats and aqua sports like water skiing. Tourists visit this market in large numbers to purchase vegetables and some of them were completely captivated by the scenic beauty. "It's amazing, the whole vegetable market is in the middle of the Dal Lake . It's been a beautiful experience. The people are wonderful, they are warm, polite and they really depend on us for their livelihood, so the more we come over here the better it is for them," said Zareena, a tourist.
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