"‘Soon the English Sahibs would arrive’"

Sahib is an Arabic term meaning owner or master; it is often used as a form of respectful address for a European man in colonial India.

During the period of India’s colonial rule, Kashmir and its lakes became a popular summer destination for the British Raj allowing them to escape the scorching heat of North India amidst the back drop of the Himalayan mountains.

Even though the Maharaja of Kashmir invited the British to the valley, he did not allow them to own land or build houses in the valley. To accommodate this rule they set up houseboats on the tranquil Lake Dal and would have to be ferried across every summer.

Houseboats on the lake in Srinagar
GNU Free Documentation LicenseHouseboats on the lake in Srinagar - Credit: Fidelisle