Kashmir accommodation - Sukoon


Kashmir’s lakes and mountains offered the 19th century colonial British a welcome respite from the summer heat of India’s plains but the suspicious Maharaja forbid them from acquiring land. A compromise that suited both were wooden boats that became seasonal floating homes and the Kashmiri houseboat was born.

Sukoon was originally built in 1979 and has an enviable position in a quiet spot at the end of a row on Dal Lake. Her restoration and modernisation have been sensitively done – only recycled wood was used in renovations, a bio tank ensures that no waste is discharged into the lake and drinking water is served from gleaming copper jugs instead of problematic plastic bottles. The cedar wood panelling has been restored to reveal carvings, the original glass chandeliers polished to sparkling and the five spacious rooms have a modern en-suite bathroom with bath and shower as well as huge windows overlooking the lake. There is a comfortable lounge and a cosy dining room where a delicious mix of Kasmiri, Indian and continental cuisine is served.

Sukoon means tranquil, or a Sufi term referring to an elevated state of mind that combines peace, wisdom and contentment so you don't need to feel obliged to do anything more than soak up the views from the veranda or roof terrace, watching life go by with a cup of kahwa, the Kashmiri tea made from saffron and cardamom. Stay here and relax for a few days to enjoy sunshine, walking, exploration and water trekking by shikara or motorboat.

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