Houseboats were apparently popular among foreigners because the Maharajah usually did not allow foreigners to construct their own residences. The original owner of this postcard wrote on the back: "Apparently of early  90's [vintage]. The same type of boat prevails in 1929. Besides it the cook boat for a crew of 6-8, their families and general services. A shikara propelled by lotus leaf heart-shaped paddles for short trips, accompanies a house-boat. It is flat-bottomed and recalls gondolas to some. Passengers sit in the middle under awnings & curtains, on cusions flat on the bottom. A house-boat has drawing room dining room, & 2 or 3 sleeping rooms each with 'bath'. This one probably accommodates the 3 on roof. Some are very large and palatial."
A Houseboat at Baramulla, Kashmir