Shikara race is one of the most tourist-favorite events of Srinagar, Jammu, and Kashmir. The race takes place during the Shikara festival in the famous Dal lake of Srinagar. Besides Shikara Race, Dragon Boat Race and Canoe Polo Match are also organized.
The reason this festival was started by the government was to make Srinagar more enticing to travellers. Started in 2016, this festival has now become a unique identity and personality of Srinagar. Visitors now feel their Srinagar experience is nothing if they don’t get to witness the Shikara Race.
Each year during spring-summer, the Shikara festival is celebrated with full vigor and joy in Srinagar, Kashmir. The important and perhaps the most exciting part of this festival is the Shikara race. Shikara means long light-paddling boats. Several colourful Shikaras are brought out during the festival and local men & women along with tourists take part in this adventurous sport. Moreover, while you’re in the boat, mesmerizing Sufi music is played in all the boats.
After you’re done with the light-hearted competitive Shikara Race, you can go for buying souvenirs. There are several floating shops that can sell you all sorts of amazing things ranging from gulkand ice cream to flavored saffron. You can also eat spice-infused barbequed lamb, chicken, and fish. The aroma and taste is something you won’t experience anywhere else.
Many people who come to see the Shikara Race end up staying in the houseboats which they describe as nothing less than magical. You’ll be pampered with luxurious services and gastronomical delicacies in addition to Kashmiri tea and Kahwa. Visitors swear by the wondrous star gazing at night.
Srinagar is a serene and beautiful city that is on just about every traveller’s wish list. From pure natural beauty to modern-day events & festivals, like the Shikara race, there is just everything here to experience and explore. The city is located at a distance of 816, 2,986, 2,186, 2,328 km from Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kolkata respectively. Here are three main modes of transport you can take to witness the Shikara Race.
Srinagar has its own airport - Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport or simply, Srinagar Airport. It is owned by Indian Air Force. There are easily-available taxi and cab services outside the airport.
Delhi - Board Air India, IndiGo, AirAsia, Vistara, Spicejet flights from Indira Gandhi International Airport. The airfares start from Rs.7,000
Mumbai - Board Air India, Air Asia, Go Air, Spicejet from Mumbai Airport. The airfares start from Rs.8,000
Kolkata - Board Spicejet, Air India, Go Air flights from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The airfares start from Rs.10,000
Chennai - Board Spicejet, Air India, IndiGo from Madurai airport. The airfares start from Rs.11,000
One of the cheapest ways to reach Srinagar is via a rail network. Srinagar has its own railway station, called Srinagar railway station or Nowgam railway station. However, there are no direct trains from Srinagar to any major city. But there exist direct trains from a nearby Jammu railway station - Jammu Tawi. From there on, you can take State Transport Bus that goes to Srinagar.
Delhi - Board Jammu Rajdhani from New Delhi Railway Station and deboard at the Jammu Tawi Station
Mumbai - Board Swaraj Express from BANDRA TERMINUS and deboard at the Jammu Tawi Station
Chennai - Board Andaman Express from MGR CHENNAI CTL and deboard at the Jammu Tawi Station
Kolkata - Board Jammu Tawi Exp from KOLKATA Station and deboard at the Jammu Tawi Station
If you’re a Jammu and Kashmir resident or live nearby, then you can very well take the bus route to attend Shikara Race. Here is highway information from various places.
Leh - 807 km via Leh Manali Hwy
Dalhousie - 382 km via NH44
Chamba - 418 km via NH44
Mysuru - 91 km via NH501 and Srinagar - Kanyakumari Hwy