Kashmir, fondly called as heaven on Earth, is a natural paradise that can enchant anyone. Apart from its mesmerizing mountains and breathtaking valleys, the lakes in Kashmir are also world famous and a traveler’s delight. And so, from freshwater to salty to hot spring ones, we give you a list of all the famous lakes in Kashmir that no traveler should ever miss!
1. Dal Lake
One of the most famous lakes in Kashmir, the Dal Lake is actually made of three lakes and doesn’t look like a normal lake at all. This is due to its maze like waterways, channels, houseboats, and floating islands – all making it look like a group of islands in a water body. This is one of the most famous attractions in Srinagar and a stay in a houseboat here, truly offers an awesome experience.
- Location: Srinagar, Kashmir
- Things to do: Explore islands, houseboats & floating gardens, enjoy shikara rides, houseboat stay, floating markets, and swimming
- How to reach: Situated in the heart of Srinagar, this lake is well connected via all kinds of transport.
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Visit Kashmir and experience skiing in Gulmarg, trekking through the breathtaking mountains lakes, trout fishing in Sonmarg and a romantic stay in houseboats in Jhelum River. Book packages inclusive of airport transfers, cab, resort, sightseeing, and meals.
2. Nagin Lake
An offshoot of the Dal Lake, Nagin Lake offers a peaceful and authentic experience of the “lake life” in Kashmir. Surrounded by hills and greenery, one can stay in a houseboat here for several days, enjoy a shikara ride, visit floating markets or simply relax. A true romantic Kashmiri experience awaits you here.
- Location: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
- Things to do: Houseboat stay, shikara ride, floating markets, swimming, and shopping
- How to reach: Nagin Lake is separated from Dal Lake by a causeaway which can only be crossed by foot or by a two wheeler.
3. Wular Lake
One of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes, the Wular Lake is a famous attraction near Srinagar that you should definitely visit when in Kashmir. Encompassing an area of more than 130sq KM, this lake supports rich bio diversity and has many people dependent on it for fish and aquatic vegetation. Additionally, this beautiful lake also provides flood protection to the entire Kashmir Valley. Tourists can also enjoy a panoramic view of the lake from the top of a garden that is situated on a hill by the lake. One of the most picturesque lakes in Kashmir, this one is a must visit for all.
- Location: Bandipora district, Jammu and Kashmir.
- Things to do: Boating, water sports, and Bird Sanctuary visit (Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary is located beside the lake)
- How to reach: Wular Lake is 2 hours away from Srinagar.
4. Mansar & Surinsar Lake
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The Surinsar and Mansar Lakes in Kashmir are perfect abodes for nature lovers. Calm, peaceful, and serene, visitors can best experience its charm during the summer time when it is full of lotus flowers. Accommodation facilities are available near the lake thus making it one of the perfect choices for all those who crave for nature.
- Location: Jammu and Kashmir
- Things to do: See the water based lotus garden, photography, soak in the peaceful ambience
- How to reach: The Mansar Lake is 62 km away from Jammu and the Surinsar Lake, which is an extension to the Mansar Lake, is 24 km from the main city of Jammu.
5. Gadsar Lake
One of the highest lakes in Kashmir, the Gadsar Lake is a hidden beauty that can only be reached through the alpine trek. Situated in what is known as the “valley of flowers”, the Gadsar Lake is 28 km from Sonamarg and has an incredibly beautiful background to it. Famous for being a trekking base, it is surrounded by alpine flowers and is a delight for nature lovers!
- Location: Located in Sonamarg, it is a gateway to Ladakh and situated just before the Zojii La pass
- Things to do: Brown trout fishing, “trek to destination”, and photography
- How to reach: The lake can be reached after crossing the Gadsar Pass (the highest point in the Great Lakes trek at 13750 feet)
6. Mansabal Lake
One of the best lakes in Kashmir, the Manasbal Lake is a beautiful option for those who love the offbeat. A bird watcher’s paradise, it is home to many aquatic birds. Apart from this, one can also find a Mughal garden built by Nur Jahan by the lake. All in all, this is a must visit lake in Kashmir for all the nature and history buffs.
- Location: Ganderbal District in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in India
- Things to do: Bird watching, campsite stay, nearby sightseeing, trekking base
- How to reach: Located in the Jhelum valley on the route to the Wular Lake via Safapur, one can reach here from Srinagar via Shadipur or via Nasim and Gandarbal.
7. Gangabal Lake
Situated at a height of 3570 meters, the Gangabal Lake is also known as Haramukh Ganga is located on the foothills of Haramukh Mountain. It is home to a variety of fishes including brown trout and rainbow and offers its a visitors to indulge in an enjoyable fishing session (permit needed).
- Location: Foothills of Mount Haramukh in Ganderbal district, north of Srinagar city in the state of Jammu and Kashmir
- Things to do: Trekking, fishing, and photography
- How to reach: One can reach the lake from Srinagar (45 kilometers) by road via Ganderbal up to Naranag and then do a trek of 15 kilometers up slope to the lake (horse or by foot). Another trek (25 kilometers long) leads to the lake site from Sonamarg via the Vishansar Lake. Additionally, one can also reach the lake through a trek from Bandipore via Arin.
8. Tso Moriri Lake
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One of the highest lakes in the world, the Tso Moriri lies some 137 km away from Leh and is a sight to behold. One can enjoy night camping beside it and also soak in the marvelous beauty of the Rupso Valley. The lake, which is some 40 meters deep at its lowest point, is also home to a variety of marine life. There is also a monastery nearby for those who want peace and religion.
- Location: Ladakhi part of the Changthang Plateau in Jammu and Kashmir in northern India.
- Things to do: Camping and sightseeing
- How to reach: One can visit it while traveling from Leh to Manali or you can also include it while traveling to Pangong Tso. No matter how you reach here, a night stay is recommended for all.
9. Tsokar Lake
Truly, a natural marvel in Kashmir, the Tsokar Lake is located near Rupso in Leh and is surrounded by hot water springs. At a height of 5000 meters, this is truly a natural wonder that you would definitely not want to miss. There is a heavy amount of salt in the lake giving it a white sheen and a true picturesque ambience.
- Location: Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
- Things to do: Sightseeing, hot water springs with the salt water and springs having medicinal properties, optional night camping, bird watching, and animal spotting
- How to reach: The Tso Kar lies 160 km south of Leh and is close to the Leh Manali road which passes 30 km west of it. The lake is at a distance of 540 km from Srinagar.
10. Pangong Lake
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The lake that was made famous by the Bollywood movie “Three Idiots”, Pangong Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the whole of Kashmir. An extremely picturesque spot for bird watching, this lake is enchanting in its personality. One can also camp near it and enjoy the various migratory birds that flock here.
- Location: Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India; Rutog County, Tibet, China
- Things to do: Night camping, star gazing, Mormot spotting, swimming, and photography
- How to reach: The closest airport is in Leh and is 150 km from the lake. Road transport is available from here. For rail, the nearest railway station is in Kalka and one can hire buses and taxis to reach Manali via Shimla. From here, there are regular bus and taxi services for Leh. And if you’re traveling by road directly, then it is at a 5-hour drive from Leh
Now that you know all about the lakes of Kashmir, we hope you do pay a visit to these incredible attractions. And just in case, if you’re wondering about your trip planning, don’t worry, we have you covered! Simply choose a Kashmir Tour Package and we will customize it for you.
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