‘All will disappear’: sun sets on Kashmir’s traditional houseboats as tourism, and Dal Lake, dry up

High in the foothills of the Himalayas, on a lake ringed by Mughal-era gardens, Imtiyaz Ahmad and two other Kashmiri men were hard at work earlier this month cleaning a sumptuous cedar-wood houseboat.

In happier times, Young Beauty Star was a popular floating hotel for tourists who flocked to Dal Lake, in Indian-administered Kashmir, but in recent years a combination of politics, environmental protection and the coronavirus pandemic have conspired to mean its days – and those of the lake’s…

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