Home - Tour India - Jammu & Kashmir - Lakes in Kashmir


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Kashmir is a land of lakes and rivers. The river Jhelum (ancient name, Vitasta- transformed into Veth, in Kashmiri parlance) meanders through the valley in artistic Zigzags, which have furnished the motifs to the deft Kashmiri artisans.

Nestled among hills in the north-east of the valley is the Wular (20 km by 8 km), the largest fresh-water lake in India. The Dal lake, well known for the Mughal gardens flanking it, in the vicinity of Srinagar, is about 6 km long and about 3 km broad.

Other well-known lakes are the Manasbal (the deepest in Kashmir), the Kaunsar Nag (3,901.44 m), and the Gangabal and other mountain tarns, at an elevation of over 3,300 m. In the Lidder valley, there are huge glaciers like Kolahai which is about 8 km long and comes down as low as 3,300 m. The mountains and lakes are complemented by luxuriant orchards dotted with majestic chinar trees, providing so many breathtaking spectacles.

This land is a happy combination of the mighty splendor of mountains, of lovely glades and forests. The river Jhelum meanders its steady course through corn-fields into the heart of the Srinagar city and, onwards, till it rushes headlong through the frowning gorges, and dashing against boulders joins the Arabian Sea through the plains of Punjab.

The onlooker will find nature wild and vibrant wherever he may go in the country. The mountains lend unique charm to the land and in this aspect of its natural beauty, Kashmir even excels the much-adored Switzerland. To a traveler hailing from the plains or other parts of India and the world, familiar with the routes leading into Kashmir, the whole sweep of towering ranges opens up before his eyes when he steps up the Pir Panchal whose peaks rise over 15,000 feet on the South-West of the country. The natural surroundings of Kashmir unfold themselves on the journey both through the Banihal and the Jhelum Valley roads. Here he observes a sharp change of scene.

Pangong-Tso, the largest brackish lake in Asia
Located in Ladakh this lake is very calm and clear. The lake falls both in China and also in India. Measuring 130 kms long and 7 kms wide at an altitude of over 14,000 feet the Pangong Tso lake is a hollow lake changing colours with sunlight.

Reaching here requires a pass from the Deputy commissioner of Leh as this area falls under the Army control. 30 kms away from the Manali - Leh highway you touch a place named Karu. Here the road bisects into two one leading to Manali and the other to Pangong tso. Karu is the place where your passes are verified and then you can move on to see this largest brackish lake in Asia which is truly a memorable life time experience.

The path leading to Pangong Tso is green which is quite amazing at this height. After regular checkposts verifying your passes we reach Chang La (17,350 ft) which is the third-highest motor able pass in the world (The first being Khardong La Pass 18380 Ft , and the second being Leh to Manali road). Now on we spot snow on the way, the mountains turn to green and brown. A pasture of cows and yaks and a school of mountaineering is located here.

This route leads to Pangong which is a terrain and the sight of a blue water lake appears suddenly in sight. After crossing Lukung the lake becomes more visible. The area stretches to the Ruthong region neighbouring the Chushul. This is the Indo-China border and the way enters China. Thus we a have the permission upto Spangmik which is around 8 kms from Lukung which is home to the Kampa tribe. The fresh water lakes feeding the lake are in Tibet.

Now coming to the attraction of the lake where the chief role is played by the sun. The lake changes colours as the crystal clear water changes into blue, green, purple, orange, violet, and red as a rainbow. It is home to many migratory birds and mammals. The black-necked Siberian crane, bar-headed geese and waterfowl can be spotted at the lake. One can stay here in tents and enjoy the silence of water. This lake freezes in winters.


 
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Jammu and Kashmir The Paradise on Earth
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Capital - Srinagar
Ideal time to Visit - March - October
Road trip summary J&K
Road trip summary, time, kms and tolls and other information required to plan your road trip.
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Travelogues to J&K
Planning a visit to J&K read through travelogues to plan your trip
This period covers three seasons in Kashmir i.e., spring (March-early May), summers (early May-late August) and autumn (September-November).

The blossoms of spring, the cool weather of summer and the gold and red hues of autumn all provide the peak season for Kashmir travel. From December to early March is the winter season for Kashmir, when the entire valley wears a white blanket of snow.
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Lakes in Jammu & Kashmir