DAL LAKE, SRINAGAR, KASHMIR, INDIA.
Photographer: Sapna Kumar
Venice has the Gondola, Kashmir the Shikara: A single oarsman skilfully glides a Shikara across the azure expanse of the Dal lake in this photo by Sapna Kumar on her trip to Srinagar in Kashmir, India. Kashmir with its snow capped mountains and cool climate has historically been a sought after summer retreat in the North – briefly put off limits by militant activities in past years. To the Mughals, the region was paradise on earth. Their emperors not content with immortalizing the natural beauty of the land with eloquent poetry had pleasure gardens and pavilions etched into its surface to prove their undying love for favorite queens before taking them on pleasure cruises on clear waters that mirrored their reflections, till their power declined and their memory receded into the pages of history. The romantic cruises, however, gained cult status over the centuries and the Shikara, a sturdy wooden boat fashioned out of the tough Deodar trees that cling to the shores of the lake now lets honeymooners and couples exchange vows of love on a lake that is the soul of a trip to Kashmir.
About the photographer: Sapna Kumar is a graphic designer and art director with a passion for photography, specially travel photography. She first picked up a camera in 2011 and since then has never viewed the world in the same way. Quote Sapna: For me, photography isn’t so much about the images but more about the moments that surround them. I have been able to experience and witness many amazing moments, all of which I will cherish forever. Photography really feels like an extension of who I am. I love being one with the environment and exploring new locations. And this art has helped me slow down and enjoy the simple things that nature has to offer.