... on Dal Lake.
For most of us Kashmir is synonymous with Dal where all the shikaras wait to take the tourists across to the houseboats. But behind the houseboats there is another world. Houses sitting along the river, an entire colony of people who depend on the water for everything including buying their daily groceries.
Each morning around 5 one can see many shikaras going back and forth carrying different kinds of items. Their destination is a clearing in the lake where most of the transactions are done.As we sat watching the men negotiate one could see them all kinds of things on this floating - including gas cylinders.
With the sun yet to break out and mountains all around them this must be one of the most fun locations to buy things. I am sure no one raises their voices or breaks into a fight.
If you get to Srinagar try this ride. Be early. The negotiations are over by 7 in the morning and everyone goes home.