Best Alpine Lakes of Kashmir
Kashmir is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and its alpine lakes are among the most spectacular in the region. The real beauty of Kashmir lies in the mountains and alpine lakes which are lies on top of these mountains. Here are some of the best alpine lakes in Kashmir according to our trekking experts.
The Natural Marvel – Gangbal Lake Best Alpine lake of Kashmir
Gangbal Lake is the best alpine lake of Kashmir, also known as Gangbal Tal, is a high-altitude alpine lake located in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Nestled at an elevation of approximately 3,575 meters (11,726 feet) above sea level, it is surrounded by the grandeur of the Himalayas. This freshwater lake stretches over an area of about 2.4 square kilometers, making it one of the largest in the region.
The Mythical Connection
Legend has it that Gangbal Lake holds great mythological significance for the local people. It is believed that the lake is connected to the holy Amarnath Cave, a renowned Hindu pilgrimage site. Pilgrims often stop by Gangbal Lake during their journey to seek blessings and tranquility.
Trekking and Adventure
For adventure enthusiasts, Gangbal Lake offers some of the most exhilarating trekking routes. The most popular trek starts from the picturesque Naranag village, leading trekkers through lush forests and meadows before culminating at the lake’s shores. The trek is a perfect blend of natural beauty and adventure.
Another way is from Pahalgam aru valley, which starts from aru valley but it is longest route as compared to naranag side. This route is usually opted by yatra pilgrimages. From this route you will experience beatiful landscapes and small alpine lakes on the way to gangbal.
Camping by the Lake
Camping is a popular activity at Gangbal Lake. Setting up tents by the tranquil waters, under the starlit sky, is an experience that is bound to rejuvenate your soul. The campfire stories and the sound of nature’s orchestra make it a memorable camping destination.
Most Beautiful & best alpine lakes of Kashmir – Kounsarnag
Kounsarnag Lake is one of beautiful Alpine lakes in kashmir, is situated in Pir-Panjal mountain range in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Nestled at an elevation of 3,710 meters above sea level, this glacial lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters that mirror the surrounding snow-capped peaks. The trek starts from Aharbal waterfall the main tourist attraction in Shopian known as the Apple Bowl of Jammu and Kashmir.
Legends and Myths
Legend has it that Kounsarnag Lake is connected to several ancient myths and tales. According to local folklore, it is believed to be the abode of a mystical serpent, and the lake’s name itself is derived from “Kounsar,” which means serpent in the local language.
Trekking Routes for Kounsarnag lake starts from Aharbal waterfall towards Kungwattan meadows. The trekking distance is almost 27kms long journey. You need to do couple of halts to reach the lake. One Night camp you can do in Kungwattan. Next day you can trek towards Mahinag, you need start ealy in the morning and then second halth will be in Mahinag overnight stay Camp. Last camp will be on the destination.
Kounsarnag Trekking Plan or Itinerary
- Srinagar – Aharbal (75 km Journey)
- Aharbal – Kungwattan (9 km trek)
- Kungwattan – Mahinag (7 km trek)
- Mahinag – Kounsarnag (8 km trek)
Camping by the best alpine lakes of kashmir Kounsarnag
Camping enthusiasts will find Kounsarnag Lake to be a paradise. Setting up camp by the lakeside, with the snow-capped peaks in the background and the soothing sounds of nature all around, is an experience that fosters a deep connection with the natural world.
A Natural Marvel Carved by Glaciers
Sheeshnag Lake is a high-altitude glacial lake situated in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It owes its existence to the slow and steady movement of glaciers over thousands of years. The name “Sheeshnag” translates to “Lake of Crystal” in Urdu, perfectly encapsulating the lake’s pristine and translucent waters. Its trekking starts from Chandanwari Pahalgam.
A Sacred Destination
Apart from its natural beauty, Sheeshnag Lake holds immense religious significance for Hindus. It is believed to be a sacred spot where Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism, performed the ‘Tandava’ dance. Every year, thousands of pilgrims undertake the arduous Amarnath Yatra, which includes a stop at this ethereal lake.
Trekking and Camping
For adventure enthusiasts, Sheeshnag Lake in Pahalgam is a paradise. Camping in best alpine lakes of Kashmir is best experience one can do. The region offers numerous trekking and camping opportunities. The most popular trek is the one leading to the holy Amarnath Cave, passing by the Sheeshnag Lake. Trekkers are rewarded with breathtaking views and the chance to connect with nature in its purest form.
Sheeshnag Trekking Plan or Itinerary
- Srinagar – pahalgam (90 km Journey)
- Pahalgam – Zojibal via chandanwari (5 km trek)
- Zojibal – Sheeshnag (10 km trek)
Fishing in Sheeshnag
Anglers, too, find solace at Sheeshnag Lake. The pristine waters are home to trout and mahseer, making it an ideal destination for fishing aficionados. The tranquillity of the surroundings adds to the charm of this activity.
4. Tulain Lake
Tulain Lake in Kashmir : Beautiful Short Trek with Beatuiful Flowers
Nestled at an altitude of 3353 meters (11000 ft) above sea level, Tulian Lake offers a trekking experience like no other. Surrounded on three sides by towering mountains, often adorned with a glistening coat of snow, this picturesque lake promises an adventure of a lifetime.
The adventure begins in Pahalgam, a town known for its scenic beauty and vibrant culture. From here, trekkers set forth on a path that leads to the crown jewel, Tulian Lake. The trek to Tulian Lake is not merely a physical challenge; it’s an exhilarating journey of self-discovery. Each step forward is a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and determination.
Embarking on the journey to Tulian Lake is not for the faint of heart. The trek is known for its steep and challenging terrain, with the final stretch being the most demanding. Yet, the sense of accomplishment upon reaching the lake is unparalleled.
The Frozen Wonderland: Winter at Tulian Lake
While the lake remains frozen for a few months in winter, the icy veneer adds a whole new dimension to its charm. Trekking through the snow-covered terrain is an adventure in itself, offering a glimpse into the raw power of nature.
Planning Your Trek to Tulian Lake:
A successful trek requires careful planning. From permits to accommodation, this section will guide you through the essential steps to ensure a seamless expedition. To reach baisaran valley you can go by cab service in srinagar.
- Pahlagam to kanimarg via baisaran (6kms journey)
- kanimarg to tulain lake (8kms trek)
- tulain lake to pahalgam (14kms journey)
Flora and fauna surrounding the lake:
The lake’s ecosystem is a sanctuary for a diverse range of flora and fauna. From vibrant wildflowers adorning the banks to rare bird species gracing the skies, Tulain Lake is a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife photographers alike. Flowers in best alpine lakes of Kashmir are most beautiful thing you can capture during your trekking.
5. Tarsar & Marsar Lakes
Tarsar Marsar Lakes: A Gem in the Kashmir Valley
The Tarsar Marsar Lake Trek stands as a jewel in the crown of the Kashmir valley. This extraordinary journey leads to two exquisite twin lakes, distinguished for their almond-like shape, nestled amidst the peaks of Kolohai glacier.
The peaks of Kolohai glacier stand sentinel, providing a dramatic backdrop to the entire trek, their grandeur leaving trekkers in awe. The trail unveils a picturesque landscape adorned with lush meadows that sway gently in the breeze, while valleys stretch as far as the eye can see.
Location and Accessibility
Located in the Aru Valley of Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir, India, Tarsar Marsar Lakes are surrounded by the grandeur of the Himalayan range. Accessible from Srinagar, the summer capital of the region, the lakes are a day’s drive away. The trek to the lakes starts from the picturesque village of Aru.
History and Legend
Legend has it that the lakes were named after two sisters, Tarsar and Marsar, who were believed to be the custodians of these pristine waters. Local folklore tells tales of their benevolence and their ability to heal ailments with the lake’s sacred waters. For booking to travel best alpine lakes of kashmir you can call us for arrangements.
Flora and Fauna
The vicinity of Tarsar Marsar is a thriving ecosystem, home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Alpine meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers lead the way to dense pine forests, which shelter various bird species. Lucky trekkers might even catch a glimpse of the elusive Himalayan brown bear.
There are two main trekking routes to reach best alpine lakes of kashmir Tarsar Marsar Lakes:
one via Aru-Khemsar-Dudhsar-Bakkarwal Gaon and the other through Aru-Sheeshnag-Dudhsar. Both routes offer unique experiences, with varying landscapes and encounters with local nomadic communities. best alpine lakes of kashmir have most beautiful scenic routes.
- Pahalgam Aru Valley to Lidderwath (10Kms trek)
- Lidderwath to Shekwas (7kms trek)
- Shekwas to Tarsar (5kms trek)
- Tarsar to Sundarsar (5kms trek)
- Marsar to Homwas(9kms trek)
- Homwas to Aru valley(13kms trek)
Things you should carry during Trekking Best Apline lakes of Kashmir
- Trekking Shoes
- Avoid carrying sneakers or sports shoes. Opt for shoes with excellent grip and ankle support.
- Backpack (40 – 60 litres)
- Choose a backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Don’t forget to have a rain cover to keep your belongings dry.
- Daypack (20 litres)
- On summit day, bring a smaller backpack to carry essentials like water, snacks, and a medical kit. Consider using a foldable backpack for convenience.
- Layers and Warm Clothes
- Pack thermals and layers to regulate your body temperature in varying weather conditions.
- Trek Pants, T-shirts, and Undergarments
- Pack according to your comfort and need. Remember to keep it light.
- Sun Protection
- Sunglasses, a suncap, and sunscreen are essential to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.
- Hand Gloves and Socks
- Bring two pairs of regular socks and woollen socks for added warmth.
- Lighting: Headlamp/LED Torch
- These are crucial for navigating in low light conditions. Make sure to have one on hand.
- Trekking Pole
- This provides balance and support, especially on uneven terrain. Don’t forget to include it in your gear.
- Rain Gear: Poncho/Raincoat
- Weather in best alpine lakes of Kashmir can be unpredictable. Be prepared for unpredictable weather with a quality poncho or raincoat.
- Cutlery (Spoon, Coffee Mug, Lunch Box)
- These are essential for meal times. Make sure to pack them.
- Personal Medikit
- Include bandages, antiseptics, and pain relievers for minor injuries or discomfort.
- Pack light with essentials like moisturizer, a small towel, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer. Skip wet wipes to minimize waste.
- Hydration (1 litre Water Bottle)
- Stay hydrated by carrying a 1-liter water bottle with you.
- Plastic Covers
- Bring extra plastic bags to separate wet clothes from dry ones. Remember to take them back with you and avoid littering. Keep best alpine lakes of kashmir clean from these unatural things.
Remember during travelling best alpine lakes of Kashmir always trek responsibly and leave no trace of your presence in the mountains.