This was my 2nd trip to the scenic Dal Lake (Feb 2011). I had made a trip here last April.
From my experience, the period APril-June would be the best time to visit Dal Lake, when the weather is extremely pleasant with lotuses blossoming all over one portion of the lake, famously termed as Lotus Lake. The Lake is frozen around December -early Feb.
Dal Lake is one of the biggest as well as most beautiful lake in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, surrounded on three sides by majestic mountains.
The Dal Lake stretches over an area of about 18 square km and its waters is crystal clear. There are shikaras available who'll take you on a ride around the Lake for about 2hrs & charge a nominal fee of 200 INR.
The floating hotels or 'Houseboats' are another famous attraction here. The story is that , these used to serve as homes to the British, who were then prohibited from building on Kashmir land. After the British left, the houseboats were claimed by locals and transformed into hotels. These Houseboats charge you anywhere between 500 - 2000 INR for a night's stay.
Once can witness the snow-clad Himalayan range on the other side of the Lake during winter & I was fortunate enough to witness during this trip - just when the snow begins to melt. It gets really cold at this point & one is advised to carry enough warm clothes/jackets.
At the lake, shopping comes to your doorsteps. Itinerant salesmen paddle up from boat to boat, selling you everything from dry fruits, film, baked goods, papier-mâché boxes, woolen shawls, silk carpets, leather goods, money-changing services, etc. While they are persistent, they are also incredibly polite, so it is up to you to be firm if you are not interested in their ware.
If you get a chance to visit Srinagar, do visit the lake till the time the beauty lasts.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.