Whether it’s the altitude, the pristine water or the charm of the surrounding landscape, there’s something remarkable about the sparkling lakes in Himachal Pradesh. There are hundreds of postcard-perfect lakes waiting to be explored in the densely crowded Indian state.
From fishing and swimming to boating and sightseeing cruises, each lake offers a unique set of fun activities. Lakeside resorts, villages, and cities feature a host of cultural attractions too, including medieval churches, well-preserved museums, and scenic public gardens. Wherever your travels through Himachal Pradesh take you, no visit is complete without a tour of the state’s most extraordinary lakes.
Top 17 Lakes In Himachal Pradesh
We have picked 17 famous lakes in Himachal Pradesh every traveller should make an effort to see. While some are suitable for swimming, make sure to check the weather and water conditions beforehand and heed all warning signs. Take a look and pick your next destination based on the lake it houses:
1. Khajjiar Lake – Stunning Views
Khajjiar Lake is situated at a height of 1,920 m above sea level. The evergreen cedar trees surrounding it make beautiful reflections on the pristine blue lake. It got its name from Khajji Nag, the deity in the temple nearby. The highlight of this spot is the floating island, which is actually a bunch of grass growing on the lake’s surface — a beautiful sight to behold! Several backpackers trek to this lake to get their adrenaline fix.
From paragliding to horseback riding and zorbing, there are plenty of recreational activities worth pursuing. If you’re not an adventurous soul, you can simply lie back on the grass and admire the scenic vistas of Mount Kailash.
Location: Khajjiar, Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh 176314
2. Prashar Lake – Beautiful Trek
Prashar Lake is located at a height of 2730 m above sea level. It lies 49 km north of Mandi near a three-storied pagoda dating back to the thirteenth century dedicated to the sage Prashar. He is believed to have meditated on the banks of this lake. Surrounded by snow-capped Kinnauri mountain ranges and overlooking the river Beas, the lake is an awesome place to relax and connect with nature.
There is around, a floating island inside the lake, though it is unclear how deep it is. During summer, it floats away to one side of the lake and then slowly drifts towards the other by winter.
Location: D.P.F. Parashar Dhar, Himachal Pradesh 175005
3. Chandra Taal – Serene And Quiet
Chandra Taal is situated at an altitude of about 4,300 m above sea level. It is one of the two highest altitude wetlands of India. The crescent-shaped lake is accessible on foot from Batal and Kunzum Pass from late May to early October. The vast meadows on the banks of the lake are used as camping sites. During spring, these meadows are carpeted with hundreds of wildflower varieties. It is one of the most stunning natural lakes in Himachal Pradesh.
There are several myths surrounding this lake, like the presence of a mermaid and fairies paying a visit to the spot every night.
Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh 175140
4. Renuka Lake – Ageless Beauty
Renuka Lake in Himachal Pradesh lies 672 m above sea level. It is the largest natural lake in Himachal Pradesh, with a circumference of about 3214 m. It was named after the goddess Renuka. You can choose between a self-driven boat or a canal boat to explore and experience the scenic sights surrounding it.
The six-day long annual Shri Renukaji Fair is celebrated in the third week of November on the banks of the lake. On the left bank of the lake amidst lush green forests lies Renukaji Zoo, a part of the Renukaji Wildlife Sanctuary.
Location: Sirmaur district, Himachal Pradesh 173022
5. Suraj Tal – Picturesque Location
Suraj Tal lies 4890 m above sea level. It is the third-highest lake in India and the 21st highest in the world. It is situated 65 km away from Keylong, the district headquarters of the Lahaul Spiti district. It joins the Chandra River downstream at Tandi to form Chandrabhaga River in Himachal Pradesh. When it enters Jammu and Kashmir, it is renamed as Chenab river.
Suraj Tal remains inaccessible during the winter months of November to April. The trek to Suraj Tal skirts along the banks of the river for about 3 km and takes you through Bhaga valley.
Location: Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh 175132
Suggested Read: 15 Places To Visit In Himachal Pradesh In December 2022
6. Nako Lake – Sacred Beauty
Nako Lake lies 3,662 m above sea level. The willow and poplar trees surrounding the lake make stunning reflections on it. The Buddhist temples located in vicinity to it are popular with both tourists and locals. At least one full day is required to explore the lake, adjoining ancient ruins and the famous Nako monastery. The snow-clad peaks, rocky cliffs, and apple orchards add to the beauty of the lake.
Location: Nako village, east end of Kinnaur Valley, Himachal Pradesh 172112
7. Bhrigu Lake – Breathtaking Views
Bhrigu Lake is a high altitude glacial lake located at an elevation of around 4,300 m above sea level. You can trek to the lake starting from May to October. It remains in a frozen state for six months. People with competent physical fitness can easily enjoy the privilege of hiking to the lake even without previous hiking experience. It is one of the most adventurous activities you can pursue here.
Location: Bashisht, Himachal Pradesh 175104
8. Chamera Lake – Eye-soothing Views
Chamera Lake is an artificial lake in Himachal Pradesh and is quite largely famous amongst travellers. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery and the sight is eye-soothing. Situated at an altitude of 763m, the Chamera Lake is a part of the Chamera Hydroelectric project which is built over the river Ravi. The lake is famous for various water sports that can be indulged in, such as boating and fishing. Spending a day here is one of the simplest leisure activities that you can do.
Location: Chamba district, Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
9. Dal Lake – Mesmerizing Location
Dal Lake in Himachal Pradesh is a beauty that cannot and should not be missed. It is one of the most popular lakes in Himachal Pradesh and is worth the visit. A fair is organised on the banks of the lake during the month of September. The event is celebrated to mark the presence of Lord Shiva and is quite popular amongst the Gaddi tribe. Lake is famous for offering a chance to indulge in various activities such as boating, picnic by the river bank, or just relaxing. It is one of the major tourist attractions in McLeodganj.
Location: Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh
10. Dashir Lake – Picturesque Lake
Dashir Lake is located near Rohtang Pass and is a really picturesque lake. The lake is surrounded by glaciers and mountains of Pir Panjal Range. It is a common belief that the lake has therapeutic properties and the same is mentioned in a lot of local myths. The lake has crystal clear water which makes it possible to see right through the lake. It’s an easy trek to reach the lake, and you will find that this lake is frequented by campers and nature lovers who wants to get away from the crowded metropolises
Location: Rohtang Pass, Himachal Pradesh
11. Rewalsar Lake – Scenic Beauty
Nestled in Mandi at an elevation of 1360m and surrounded by mountains, it is one of the most scenic lakes in Himachal. The lake is also known as Tso Pema Lotus Lake. It is to be said that it is from the small town of Rewalsar, Guru Pasmasambhava spread Mahayana Buddhism in Tibet. The lake is considered to be sacred and holy amongst Hindus and Buddhists. The sparkling blue water creates an amazing aura about this place making it a place worth visiting.
Location: Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh
12. Seruvalsar Lake – High-altitude Lake
Counted amongst one of the most beautiful high-altitude lakes, Seruvalsar Lake in Himachal Pradesh is nestled at an elevation of 3100m from sea level. Situated at a distance of 76kms from Kullu, you will have to reach Jalori Pass first in order to reach this lake. There is a small temple of Burhi Nagini Devi situated on the bank of the lake. Burhi Nagini Devi is the Snake Goddess and you’ll witness women worshipping and pouring ghee on the lake shores in order to please the goddess. It is a simple and beautiful place that will take you away from city life.
Location: Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh
13. Dhankar Lake – Must-visit Lake
Dhankar Lake is one of the must-visit lakes in Himachal Pradesh. The lake is situated in Dhankar Village in Spiti Valley and attracts a large number of tourists. Located above the Gompa and Dhankar Village, the only way to reach this lake is to trek here which some might find strenuous, but the view after the trek makes it worth it. Camping near the lake is not allowed, but you can spend a few hours here and cherish the views.
Location: Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
14. Kareri Lake – Frozen Lake
Kareri Lake is not a famous lake, but it is a beautiful lake in Himachal and is situated close to Dharamshala town. The lake is perched between lush green forests and fed by the melted snow and glaciers. It is a great picnic and camping spot and a good place to visit with a group of friends. In the winter season, you will find this lake frozen, owing to the altitude of 2934m it is situated at. Rejuvenate yourself by making a visit to this pristine lake and scenic backdrop.
Location: Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh
15. Gobind Sagar Lake – Marvellous Beauty
Gobind Sagar Lake is an artificial reservoir built on the Sutlej River and is one of the most beautiful lakes in Himachal Pradesh. The lake was founded by Guru Teg Bahadur, the tenth guru of Sikhs. Home to almost 51 species and subspecies of fishes, it is also a place of worship among Sikhs. The water body is famous amidst anglers due to the water being stagnant. You can indulge in boating in this lake, speedboats and paddleboats are available.
Location: Una and Bilaspur district, Himachal Pradesh
16. Maharana Pratap Sagar – Man-made Lake
Maharana Pratap Sagar is a well-known man-made reservoir in Himachal Pradesh and is a popular tourists spot that is worth the visit. The reservoir is located in Kangra Valley and is home to more than 220 species of birds. The lake is the perfect place to spend some quiet and relaxing time right in the lapf of nature. You can read a book, indulge in some bird-watching and enjoy some snacks. Alternatively, there is also an option of canoeing, rowing, sailing, and swimming.
Location: Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh
17. Manimahesh Lake – Sacred Lake
Located at an altitude of 4080m and very close to Manimahesh Kailash Peak is the Manimahesh Lake which is housed in the Pir Panjal Range. The lake is very close to Mansarovar Lake and that is why Manimahesh Lake is also considered to be a holy lake by the Hindus. This lake must be visited during the months of August and September as at that time a ‘Manimahesh Yatra’ is organised.
Location: Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is as famous for its white snow-clad mountains as it is for its spectacular lakes. Nearly all the cities and districts in Himachal Pradesh host lakes that serve as pivotal recreational areas. Wherever you choose to stay, you won’t be too far from the water and all the beautiful scenery which accompanies it. Book your trip to Himachal Pradesh right away to explore these lakes in the summer. From large lakes to smaller mountain lakes, Instagram-worthy lakes to family-friendly lakes in Himachal Pradesh, summer is the best time to discover them all.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Lakes In Himachal Pradesh
How many lakes are there in Himachal Pradesh?
Himachal Pradesh is home to some of the most beautiful natural wonders that take away the breath of the travelers. There are about 25 natural and artificial lakes in Himachal Pradesh.
Which is the largest lake in Himachal Pradesh?
The largest natural lake in Himachal Pradesh is Renuka Lake. The lake was named after the Hindu Goddess Renuka. This lake is sitting at 672 m above the sea level and showcases a circumference of approximately 3214 m.
Is there any artificial lake in Himachal Pradesh?
Yes, there are two artificial lakes in Himachal Pradesh namely Gobind Sagar Lake and Chamera Lake. Gobind Sagar Lake is situated in Bilaspur while Chamera Lake can be found in Chamba.
Which dam is situated in Himachal Pradesh?
There are a total of four dams in Himachal Pradesh and all four dams have been built artificially. Pong Dam in Kangra, Pandoh Dam in Mandi, Largi Dam in Mandi, and Kol Dam in Bilaspur are the four dams in Himachal Pradesh.
Which is the smallest lake in Himachal Pradesh?
The smallest man-made lake in Himachal Pradesh is the Pandoh Lake that has a surface elevation of about 900 m.
Which is the highest lake in Himachal Pradesh?
The highest lake in Himachal Pradesh is the Suraj Tal Lake that is located in Lahaul- Spiti. The surface elevation of this lake is at about 4883 m.
What is the best time to visit Himachal Pradesh?
To witness Himachal Pradesh at its best, the summer season is an ideal time to pay a visit to this state. The pleasant, favorable, and cool weather makes it a perfect destination to escape the heat of other locations in the country.
What are some popular lakes in Himachal Pradesh?
Some of the popular lakes in Himachal Pradesh are Khajjiar Lake, Renuka Lake, Dhankar Lake, Chandra Taal Lake, Suraj Taal Lake, and many more.
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