AP PHOTOS: Kashmir's floating market reopens after floods

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NTP: Floating Market in Kashmir India
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AP PHOTOS: Kashmir's floating market reopens after floods
A Kashmiri flower vendor rows his boat at the floating vegetable market on Dal lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. Vegetables traded in this floating market are supplied to Srinagar and many towns across the Kashmir valley. It's one of the major sources of income for the lake dwellers who spend years carefully nurturing their floating gardens from the weed and rich soil extracted from the lake bed. Sometimes a boat will weave through, selling flowers to the tourists who stay in the houseboats. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
A Kashmiri vegetable vendor poses for photographs as he waits for customers at the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. Vegetables traded in this floating market are supplied to Srinagar and many towns across the Kashmir valley. It's one of the major sources of income for the lake dwellers who spend years carefully nurturing their floating gardens from the weed and rich soil extracted from the lake bed. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Kashmiri men take a break to chat while selling their produce at the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. Vegetables traded in this floating market are supplied to Srinagar and many towns across the Kashmir valley. It's one of the major sources of income for the lake dwellers who spend years carefully nurturing their floating gardens from the weed and rich soil extracted from the lake bed. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
A Kashmiri man, right, pays money after buying vegetables from a vendor at the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. It's just before dawn when boats laden with fresh produce appear, floating through a maze of waterways on the Dal Lake in Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar. In this idyllic setting boatmen haggle over price and vegetables are traded and shifted from one boat to another amid the chirping of birds. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Kashmiri men sell their produce at the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. It's just before dawn when boats laden with fresh produce appear, floating through a maze of waterways on the Dal Lake in Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar. This is Kashmir's floating vegetable market, deep inside the lake and surrounded by scenic house boats and water lilies. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
A Kashmiri man, left, negotiates the rate as he prepares to pay money after buying vegetables from a vendor at the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. It's just before dawn when boats laden with fresh produce appear, floating through a maze of waterways on the Dal Lake in Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar. In this idyllic setting boatmen haggle over price and vegetables are traded and shifted from one boat to another amid the chirping of birds. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Kashmiri men sell vegetables at the floating vegetable market on Dal lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. It's just before dawn when boats laden with fresh produce appear, floating through a maze of waterways on the Dal Lake in Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar. In this idyllic setting boatmen haggle over price and vegetables are traded and shifted from one boat to another amid the chirping of birds. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
A Kashmiri flower vendor rows his boat at the floating vegetable market on Dal lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. Vegetables traded in this floating market are supplied to Srinagar and many towns across the Kashmir valley. It's one of the major sources of income for the lake dwellers who spend years carefully nurturing their floating gardens from the weed and rich soil extracted from the lake bed. Sometimes a boat will weave through, selling flowers to the tourists who stay in the houseboats. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
Kashmiri men take a break to chat while selling their produce at the floating vegetable market on Dal Lake in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. Vegetables traded in this floating market are supplied to Srinagar and many towns across the Kashmir valley. It's one of the major sources of income for the lake dwellers who spend years carefully nurturing their floating gardens from the weed and rich soil extracted from the lake bed. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)
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SRINAGAR, India (AP) -- Boats laden with fresh produce appear just after dawn, floating through a maze of waterways on Dal Lake in the main city of India's portion of Kashmir.

This is Kashmir's floating vegetable market, deep inside the lake and surrounded by scenic house boats and water lilies.

In this idyllic setting boatmen haggle over price and vegetables are traded and shifted from one boat to another amid the chirping of birds.

Sometimes a boat will weave through, selling flowers to the tourists who stay in the houseboats.

Within an hour the delightful scene vanishes. The day's business is done.

For generations this market in the middle of the lake has endured. But last year heavy floods devastated most of Kashmir and drowned the floating vegetable gardens in the lake.

"It has been a tough year. I'm so happy to see many of us here again," vegetable vendor Ghulam Hassan said. "I don't know how long it will take us to get back to how it used to be before the floods."

The flooding in September last year destroyed thousands of homes and infrastructure worth $17 billion in Kashmir. For days, many residents were left stranded on rooftops or the upper floors of buildings as bloated livestock carcasses floated by.

And Dal Lake dwellers found it extremely difficult to keep their houseboats anchored as the water levels rose the highest they had in a century.

Growing vegetables in the lake has just about started again but the local delicacy of nadur, or the lotus stem, will take another year or two, farmers say.

Vegetables traded in the floating market are supplied to Srinagar and many towns across the Kashmir valley. It's one of the major sources of income for the lake dwellers who spend years carefully nurturing their floating gardens from the weeds and rich soil extracted from the lake bed.

Growers say the production is still low but they're happy.

"At least we've made a fresh beginning. There's a lot of hard work ahead," says 70-year old vegetable grower, Mohammed Safdar.

"I already miss selling nadur."

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