As they say, “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” Reading a book is like an act of play by your mind. Books are uniquely a portable magic. Imagine yourself in the middle of a giant lake and having an access to a reading-room cafe with lots of books and a stunning view of snow capped mountains. That’s the dream of every book lover! Yes Books with a view.
Gulshan Books Kashmir made this dream come true, providing an absolute treat for book lovers, on the bank of Dal Lake. It is one of the oldest bookstores in Kashmir. It is a reading room cum cafe, situated on Nehru Park Island, just a few kilometers away from the city center. It was opened in May 2016 and has managed to attract thousands of visitors since then. It is surrounded by dreamy houseboats and enchanting Zabarwan Mountains. Your trip to Kashmir is totally incomplete without visiting this place.
It has a collection of books from different eras to different genres. If you are a bookworm then this is the place to be. It is like, ‘You name it and you get it’. Icing on the cake is the delicious Kahwa that is offered to the readers. They also offer free shikaras rides to people who are keen to read books on Kashmir and its literature. Is it not enough for you to get tempted?
It is jointly run by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) and Gulshan Books Kashmir is the only publishing house that has a collection of around 80,000 books and holds a record in Limca Book of Records as the “only bookshop-library on a lake” in India in its 2018 edition.
Gulshan Books Kashmir is owned by a 46-year-old, Sheikh Ajaz Ahmad. He owns a publishing house and five bookshops in the state which includes three bookshops in Srinagar—one on Residency Road in the city centre, the other on Dal Lake, and third smaller book store at the Srinagar International Airport. His entire family has been into the book business for generations.
“It was my dream to open a unique bookshop in Kashmir. I approached the former chief minister, the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, with the idea of having one on Dal Lake and eventually we were given the go-ahead,” says Ahmad.
“I’m happy we are being recognized for successfully running the shop at a time when more people are reading on screens and the publishing industry is taking a beating,” he adds.
He is also planning to expand in cities some metropolitan cities and look forward to maintain his family legacy. We are very proud to have Gulshan Books in Kashmir and wish him lots of success for his upcoming ventures.