Saturday, 12 April 2014

Lakes you cannot afford to miss if you live in India

Whether you are bird lover, a photographer, plant lover, a stargazer, nature lover or the one who simply travels without a reason, just for the love of it, you can't simply miss out to camp at these nature's gifts.The crystal clear night skies, the morning chirping of the birds, the purity of the water, the tall snow-capped mountains , there is a unique divinity about these lakes which no one can deny.

Travel when you are young and healthy , go now.... because you never know what tomorrow has planned for you. Trekking and spending a night at these lakes will be the best decision of your lives.
Here goes the list of top ten most beautiful lakes of India.

10. Gangabal Lake ( Altitude : 3600m)

Located at the foothills of the Mount Harmukh in the Kashmir Valley, Gangabal Lake is considered sacred and Pious as the River Ganga by the Hindus.

According to Hindu mythology, Mt. Harmukh is the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva.
Beautiful alpine plants and birds, the locals and gujars on flocking with their sheep can be seen on the trek. The 15 km trek begins from the beautiful Naranag village, which also serves as a base for various other treks.

9. Krishnasar Lake (Altitude : 3710 m)

Krishnasar, the lake of Lord Krishna is located from 115 km from Srinagar. The long alpine trek, yet a divine trek starts from the Shitkadi Village. The 35 km trek demands good level of physical fitness, but the lovely views and the divinity of the surroundings makes it easy for you.

Adjacent to it is the Vishnasar Lake, as the legend calls it,  the Lake of Vishnu. The brown Trout fish is a big attraction of these lakes. There are large meadows for camping at the lake side.

8. Gadsar Lake (Altitude : 3600m)

Admist the snow-covered mountains lying behind the Krishnasar Lake, lies the Gadsar Pass at 4190 , which leads to the Gadsar Lake. It has many interesting stories related to it, and hence many names, like the Lake of Flowers, Lake of Fishes and interestingly, the Lake of Death.I will share the stories shortly, for those who are interested. It offers extremely picturesque views for the true nature-lover.

7. Nako Lake (Altitude : 3660m)

Located in the Poo sub-division of Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh, this is the perfect place for those wish to feel the Buddhist Culture to the fullest.The lake is surrounded by the Buddhist temples and monasteries. Leisurely spend time here, have a cup of tea while having a spiritual chat with a monk.  Most travelers halt and spend a day here while, on the way to the Spiti Valley.

6. Tsokar Lake (Altitude : 4530m)

A huge lake, in the Southern Ladakh, with an area of 22 sq. km needs no words for its beauty. You are so close to the horizon, making it a paradise for star gazers. It is also a delight for the bird and wildlife lovers, you can be sure to spot the black-necked Cranes and the Tibetan Sandgrouse.

The ladakh ranges in the background are a treat.

5. Suraj Tal (Altitude : 4880m)

                                        "This photo of Suraj Tal is courtesy of TripAdvisor"

 The third highest lake of the country, located in the Lahaul and Spiti Valley is the lake of the Sun God. It is directly accessible by road without much of a trek, and offers stunning view of the Bara-Lacha-la Pass, which is just 3kms from this lake. Not a very big lake but lovely enough for the memory to remain with you for a lifetime.

4. Pangong Tso (Altitude: 4350 m)

Beginning in Ladakh, this lake extends upto Tibet, and is shared by both India and Tibet. This is the same lake where the last scene of the famous '3 Idiots' movie has been shot. 

3. Gurudongmar Lake (Altitude : 5230 m )

                                          "This photo of Gurudongmar Lake is courtesy of TripAdvisor "

The lake,in North Sikkim, the second highest lake of India has its historic roots associated with the first Guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev Ji , who, on one of his journeys was approached by locals regarding the problem of water. Guruji, with his stick hit the snow-covered mountain to provide  water to the local shepherds. The snow melted to give crystal clear water.

It's quite a difficult journey to the lake, but its worth it. It's a proud moment to be at this lake for every Indian, to realise that nature decided to give this lake to India, with China and Bhutan envying us from both the sides.

2. Chandratal Lake (Altitude : 4300 m ) 

My personal favourite, maybe due to my love for its location, the Spiti Valley (Himachal Pradesh) and the beauty of the camping site it has on offer. Spring is a wonderful time to be here, as the wild flowers add to the charm of the lake. It gets it's name from it's Crescent Shape, also known as 'Lake of the Moon'.

1. Tso Lhamo Lake ( Altitude : 5330 m) 

In North Sikkim lies the highest lake of India, the 14th highest in the world.The Tso Lhamo Lake, which i would say the most beautiful lake of India, remains frozen for major part of the year, is as calm, as beautiful, as divine as one can imagine. One simply can't afford to miss this priceless beauty in his life. Even a few moments spent here can change your life.  

Please do let me know if I have missed any lake which u think should be in the list.

I will soon be posting details about how to do treks to these lakes, so that lack of information doesn't stop you from fulfilling your dream. Stay tuned. For the time being, have a look at the top 10 treks of India