It's not the obvious spot for a bookshop - in the middle of a lake, and only accessible by boat. But that's where Gulshan Books has chose to open its new branch - amid Srinagar's Dal Lake (the area is called Nehru Park, but it's a small island about a hundred metres from the lakeside Boulevard). The two-minute shikara ride costs fifty rupees each way (so about 65p) and it takes you to one of the best bookshops not simply in Kashmir (no, there's not a lot of competition) but in South Asia.
The shop also has a small but charming open-air cafe overlooking the lake - is there any book store anywhere which can beat this for a view?
And I have to declare an interest: Gulshan not only sells books, it publishes them. In particular it republishes volumes ancient and modern about Kashmir. Among its dozens of titles is my book A Mission in Kashmir. I am happy to report that it was in stock!
Gulshan Books' main Srinagar branch, on Residency Road in the city centre, has bounced back from the 2014 floods, which put the store out of action for months. It's as welcoming and well stocked as ever.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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