Date : 30th Jan 2013

Seminar Speaker: Mr. Abrar Shah

Designation: Research Scholar


Topic: “Houseboat Tourism in Kashmir”

Venue: Skyline Business School, Delhi campus

Audience: BBA Tourism specialization students


The speaker- Mr. Abrar Shah- began his discourse by speaking about what exactly a Houseboat is in the Kashmiri context. He described it as being called a ‘Donga’ in the local language & being made of cedar wood, which is the main characteristic that divides it from houseboats from other regions. The model used was first developed by a British army officer.



The community in Kashmir that works on houseboat construction is known as Hanjis. While it is their traditional craft, in modern times they have commercialized the venture leading to business generation. Some houseboats have even been converted in to full-fledged hotels. Students then asked whether there were any environmental problems with so much commercialization. The speaker went on to explain that indeed that was the case. To stem the tide of environmental degradation, Justice Bashir Ahmad Khan, Honourable judge of the High Court, actually arranged for an order to close down the commercialization of the houseboat industry. The Hanjis then appealed to the Supreme Court as their livelihood was threatened. The case is ongoing.



Mr. Shah then went on to talk about some related aspects of Kashmiri culture. Kashmir has its very own Golden Triangle which includes- Srinagar, Pahalgam & Gulmarg. The cuisine of the land is known as Wazwan, while the chef is called Waza. Pashmeena shawls form part of the attire during the mild summers.


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Written by Mr. Aritro Dasgupta (with assistance from Ms. Himanshi Verma, BBA L3 S2)

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