Ground Reports

The Iconic Floating Post Office on Dal Lake

By Haris Jeelani Toogo, 10 Nov 2021

India's famous floating post office located on the banks of Dal lake. This is one of the oldest and India's only floating post office. It has been here from the time of Britishers to the Mahajara's. Started in the British era this floating post office is continuing the legacy of delivering the letters and couriers to the people living in the lake.

Aswin Asok along with his two friends have come to Kashmir from Kerala. They started this journey by road covering all the states from North East to Kashmir. They were asked by many of their friends to send a postcard from the floating post office of kashmir, "Finally we have reached our today's destination and we are writing the post card for our friends and family back in kerala '' said Asok. This floating post office is very famous in Kerela and our family members have insisted on a postcard from this address, he added.

All the services of the post office are available at this floating post office on Dal Lake while being afloat. They use a special seal of a shikara along with a boatman to put on the envelope.

''This is a 200-year-old post office from even before the Maharaja's time to the British Era. It was finally called a floating post office. There is no change in the number of posts sent across. When there is tourist flow, we don't have time to even talk. Thousands of people come to take pictures in this post office. They can buy special covers, postcards and stamps from here. The postman hires a shikara and delivers the letter to houseboats. This has been going on for years and still continues. '' said Farooq Ahmad, Post Master.

Showket Ahmad has been working as a sub postmaster for years in this post office. We provide all the postal facilities in this post office said Showket. Its name was changed from Nehru post to floating post office in 2011. If any tourist comes to Kashmir it's impossible that they won’t visit this place, added showket.

The floating ATM has been started to help the dal deliver as well as the tourists staying in the houseboat. The ATM has been put up by the State Bank of India.

“SBI opened an ATM on a houseboat on Dal Lake, Srinagar for the convenience of locals and tourists. The floating ATM in the popular Dal Lake fulfills a long-standing need and will be an added attraction to the charm of Srinagar,” the bank tweeted.

Houseboat owners also said that they were facing difficulties to withdraw the money during emergencies, and said that the SBI took a good decision by installing the ATM and thanked them for the same.

People walking around in Dargah Hazratbal, a famous shrine on the banks of Dal lake. It is the most visited place in Srinagar and it boasts impressive architecture. The dome and minaret display the influence of Mughal architecture, the shrine though also has the influence of Kashmiri architecture. Hazratbal is a delicate reminder of the fact that poetry does not always need pages or words. When the pages are torn and ink is faded, the living poetry can be felt through heartbeats and emotions.