Srinagar: The two-day Houseboat Festival which started yesterday on the banks of Dal and Nigeen Lakes concluded this evening.
The festival was organised by the Tourism Department. During the two day festival, emphasis was laid on the heritage value of the houseboats on these two lakes. There are about 900 houseboats in Dal and Nigeen lakes.
The visitors to the two-day festival were apprised about the history of houseboats, the celebrities who stayed in them and the unique role played by houseboats in attracting tourists from across the globe for decades now.
The festival had components of local Music, food, art, culture besides local folk artists performed during a laser show and live concert.
The main highlights of the two day festival were the display of live music, putting up of Art gallery besides showcasing varied culinary and cuisine specialities.
Traditional folk music, a Floating stage and water screen on Dal waters, illuminated shikara carnival and live musical performances by local musical bands was also the part of the two day festival.
On the occasion, Secretary, Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez said the idea behind holding the Houseboat festival has been to start the celebrations for coming winter tourism season. He hoped the festival would be a harbinger of a great tourism season during winters in the Valley besides reinvigorating a sense of pride among the people about the rich heritage and memory attached to Houseboats.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Fazlul Haseeb said Houseboats have played a unique role in attracting tourists from across the globe. He said the Kashmir Valley’s famed houseboats, which over the decades have emerged as dream stay for tourists, will be this winter season’s main attraction.
In their responses, Houseboat owners were appreciative of the Department's move and said that the festival would go a long way in boosting winter tourism in Kashmir and send a message across the world that Kashmir is truly warm even in the harshest conditions around.
The festival was organized in the backdrop of a record number of tourists visiting the Valley this year, breaking all the previous records and to showcase the contribution of iconic houseboats in the tourism sector of Kashmir.