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Houseboats became a part of the Kashmir scene because the ruler of Kashmir forbade the British to own land in Kashmir. The resourceful British, though, perhaps remembering experience on the Thames at Henley, though of houseboat, which would not infringe the rule, so founded on of the great traditions without which, it is arguable, the economy of the Valley of Kashmir would greatly suffer.
Some houseboat are built with rooms running into each other separated in the middle by main entrance and gallery; other have rooms leading off a corridor which runs the entire length, ending in pantry. All though, will differ in some way or another and all re delightful and enchanting and extremely comfortable.
The large boats can be as much as 55 m and 3.6 to 4.5 m wide. House boats in the main have square ends, the rear being used for water boiler which is stocked with logs and wood chippings and provided running hot water to the bathrooms, morning and evening. The front end if a verandah, often with landing steps leading up from the water. These verandahs are spacious and are made of intricately carved wood worked; from then one can sit and watch boatmen, trader-and kingfishers.
The interior, depending on category, will be either opulent or comfortable. Houseboat categories are Deluxe and A. Most boats will be carpeted by Pesian rugs, many of them quite old and all beautiful. The furniture will most probable be a of teak, the walls and ceiling of pine. In the upper class boat walnut will be used for small tables.
Deluxe houseboat will have three or four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and one has to marvel at there being so much hot water supplied by what seems to be an inadequate boiler.
Houseboat has a roof space railed roof and overhung by an awning. This is the sun-bathing terrace,a fine place fo evening drink or meal
Behind the houseboat will be moored the cook-boat and it is from here that all meals will be provide.