Kashmir Indepth

Market in Dal Lake where maximum business starts after sunset

Raouf Dar

Srinagar Sep 29 (KINS): As the sun begins to set, Kashmiri shopkeepers usually pull down their shutters and leave for their homes. However, this market has set up a different example, where most of daily commercial activities start after the darkness.

Situated in the tourist hub on the famed Dal Lake, every day thousands of tourists throng to this market and purchase goods.  The market houses over two hundred shops and showrooms encompassed with shops selling; pashmina shawls, paper machie products, carpets, chain stitch rugs, and even gold ornaments.

Not only the handicraft items, this market is also known for selling homemade merchandise goods. Though the market remains open during the day, the real activity starts only in the evening hours and continues till midnight.

“Tourists visit this market in large numbers to purchase goods and are completely captivated by the uniqueness of this market,” said Mushtaq Ahmad, who lives adjacent to this market in the heart of Dal Lake told news agency KINS.

He said the shops which are selling home necessities also remain open till midnight during the tourist season.

“We do around 20-percent business during the day hours, while 80 percent business takes place in the night hours,” said a Pashmina seller, Farooq Ahmad.

Farooq said that tourists make purchases here in the night hours as they are busy sightseeing during the day.

“Tourists staying in the houseboats and the hotels in the Srinagar city frequently visit this market and make purchases of handicraft items worth lakhs of rupees every day. Our market is entirely dependent on tourists,” said Ishtiaq Ahamd, a jeweller.

Shopkeepers claimed that tourists are frequent visitors to this market because they have not “compromised” with the quality of the products being sold in the market.

“We sell products which are of pure quality and are not allowing anyone to deceive the tourists,” said a shopkeeper.

Locals also get a lot of vegetables like gourd, cucumber, pumpkin, and lady finger from the market.  Not only vegetables, there are also a few fruit shops selling fresh and dry fruits.

Tourists who visit the market are enchanted with the location of the market surrounded with water from all sides. Tourists take it as a souvenir of the time they spend in the market.

“It’s amazing that such a market houses hundreds of shops in Dal Lake. It has been a great experience to shop here and I will never forget the time I spent in the market,” said Harish, a tourist from Gujarat.

Harish said that he has purchased handicraft items at the cost of one lakh from the market. (KINS)


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