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  • Writer's pictureKevi Sirie

Lakes in Kashmir: As entrancing as it can get!

Updated: Oct 5, 2022

With its glassy, still surface and spectrum of colors, a gorgeous lake can showcase several water's most mesmerizing qualities. Kashmir features brilliant lakes and is often centered in between incredible mountain ranges.

So, regardless of where one travels In Kashmir, you will find a plethora of beautiful lakes to swim in, hike around, and admire.

Lakes in Kashmir are simply stunning wonders of nature, with their shimmering waters and riveting reflections. Whether or not they are bordered by towering Himalayan mountain ranges or overgrown forests, there's always something magical about seeing a lake’s surroundings mirrored in its azure waters.

Here is a list of the most notable and alluring lakes you must visit on your next visit to Kashmir:

List of Lakes in Kashmir

The stunning scenery of Jammu & Kashmir includes numerous lakes, which play a significant role in its beauty. They appear to be passageways to paradise, with the enormous Himalayan hills towering over them.

In Kashmir, there are many different types, hues, sizes, and shapes of lakes. In contrast to Kashmir's well-known tourist destinations like Dal and Nigeen, which are inaccessible and only accessible by footpath, are lakes like Vishansar and Krishansar. 

1. Dal Lake

Still waters of Dal lake  during the day
Image by Ravi Teja

The most visited lake in Kashmir and famously termed “Srinagar’s Jewel”, Dal Lake is a crowned destination serving as a hotspot for Srinagar. Its three sides are surrounded by majestic mountains and a large number of gardens and orchards have been laid along the shores.

One of Dal Water's main draws is the Shikaras with canopies that ply the lake. The ideal place for tourists to stay in Srinagar is one of the houseboats on the lake, which is also the city's primary attraction.

Along with being a popular tourist attraction for nature lovers, Dal Lake even invites the fishing enthusiast with its plethora of fish along with Carp. In addition to this, the floating vegetable and flower market is a major place to see.

The lake also serves as an important source for commercial operations in fishing and water plant harvesting.

Best time to visit: May to November

Things to do:

  • Houseboat stay

  • Visit the floating market

  • Shikara ride

2. Nigeen Lake

An open view of Nagin Lake in the autumn season.
Image by Tufail Shah

A harbor for nature lovers Nigeen is a popular destination in Srinagar. The shorelines of the lake are adorned by beautiful willow and poplar trees. Nagin Lake offers a peaceful atmosphere where tourists can enjoy their vacations in Srinagar.

Despite being connected to the lovely Dal Lake by a minor canal, Nigeen Lake is considered to be an entirely different entity. The variety of tall trees that encircle the vivid blue lake gave this lake its alternate name, "The Jewel in the Ring."

The houseboat accommodation option on Nigeen Lake offers a unique trip experience to cherish for life. Also, tourists can frame the most of their visit to Nagin Lake by delighting in a Shikara ride amidst peaceful and placid nature.

You could also swim in the lake for a memorable experience if you're a tourist searching for a little more excitement!

Best time to visit: March to November

Things to do:

  • Watch sunrise and sunset

  • Shikara ride

3. Gadsar Lake

The beautiful Gadsar lake in Kashmir
Image by Vivek Sharma

Gadsar Lake is considered to be one of the most alluring lakes in Sonamarg. It is also referred to as the Lake of Flowers owing to the beautiful vegetation that surrounds it. The bluish-green waters of the Gadsar lake are so clear that the clouds, mountains & surroundings are perfectly reflected in them.

Surrounded by snow-covered mountains and shrouded in alpine flowers, this lake is famous as a trekking base. It is considered one of the highest-altitude lakes in the Kashmir region and you can enjoy panoramic views of the frozen lakes of Satsar and Baltan.

In addition to being a popular trout fishing center, it serves as a significant camping and trekking hub in the region. The lake is also regarded as a terrific setting for photographers.

Best time to visit: June to September

Things to do:

  • Fishing

  • Camping

  • Trekking

4. Wular Lake

The clear Bhat of Wular lake reflecting the mountains around it.
Image by Junaid Bhat

Situated on the foothills of Haramuk Mountain, Wular Lake is a large freshwater lake that spreads across 200 sq km. The natural beauty of this lake is only best witnessed with the naked eye.

Being located amidst a row of snow-clad hills, Wular Lake is undoubtedly beyond description. The geological activity that created the lake's basin is what causes the lake's area to change throughout the year, a phenomenon that is exclusive to this site.

Early in September, Wular Lake is a center of movement as producers gather to row their shikaras before emerging with the raw freshwater chestnuts in the late afternoon. It is a popular location for activities like boating, water sports and water skiing, etc. It is also famous for its stunning sunset point, especially in the summer.

Best time to visit: April to September

Things to do:

  • Picnic with friends and family

  • Water skiing

5. Mansar Lake

A boat in the middle of a lake
Image by Kirtan Creative

A pristine lake nestled amid forest-covered hills, Mansar lake is a placid, laidback waterbody that ensnares the soul and senses given its crystal clear environment. The shores of the lakes are lined by temples which also serve as a hub for Hindu pilgrims.

Due to its accessibility to Tibet's revered Mansarovar Lake, it gets a large number of pilgrims and devotees and is held in the highest regard by the locals. Along with scenery and spirituality, boat rides on the lake are fun ways to witness the many interesting-looking fish in the water.

This lake is famous for its excursion sites and boating expeditions. A perfect escape from hectic city life, Mansar lake is a vision that offers tranquillity to a weary soul.

Best time to visit: July to October

Things to do:

  • Visit the temples near the lake

  • Fishing

  • Boating

6. Gangabal Lake

The snow capped mountains adorns the steady waters of Gangabal Lake.
Image by Panda Travels

A lake embraced by the splendor of Harmukh mountain that runs along the Himalayan range on one side and lush green meadows on the other, Gangabal Lake is almost heavenly in its natural habitat.

It is an alpine high-altitude lake and it houses varieties of freshwater fishes including rainbow and brown trout. The trail route to Gangabal trek is renowned for its picturesque regions offering generous sightings of the Himalayan wildlife and floras.

An oligotrophic lake like Gangabal Lake is perfect for fishing for brown and rainbow trout. The Gangabal trekking trail travels through a number of beautiful locations, and one would be especially astounded by the sight of Himalayan fauna and spectacular flora.

Best time to visit: May to October

Things to do:

  • Trekking

  • Pony ride

  • Fishing

7. Tulian Lake

The turquoise waters of Tulian lake resting amidst the mountians.
Image by Maxmolla

Famously known as the 8-shaped lake, Tulian lake in Pahalgam is a wonder in its own right. The lake is surrounded by a row of mountain ranges namely Pir Panjal and Zanskar ranges which adorn the lake with trails of dense forests and snow-clad mountains.

The lush green meadows around the lake which are covered in flowerbeds during the spring season give the surroundings an ethereal look and feel to it. The peaceful, undisturbed atmosphere surrounding the lake is so captivating that you can just let go of your troubles and feel refreshed instantly.

The color of the lake, which is a stark contrast against the snow-capped mountains in the distance, makes it one of Kashmir's most picturesque landscapes. The Bakkarwal population resides in the valley, and you can see them all the way to this gorgeous Lake.

Best time to visit: April to August

Things to do:

  • Sightseeing

  • Trekking

8. Kausarnag Lake

Glaciers melting on the waters of Kausar Nag during the early summer months.
Image by Sajad Ography

A high-altitude oligotrophic lake located in the Kulgam district of Kashmir, Kausar Lake is indeed a sight to behold. This snow-fed lake is located near Kulgam, at a height of roughly 4000 feet, tucked in the lap of the Pir Panjal ranges on three sides.

Trekkers are greeted by magnificent landscapes of startling blue tints set against the rocky terrain once they reach the lake. The placid mountains above and the calm, crystal-clear water make it the ideal natural setting for revitalizing the senses.

The sparkling blue water of the lake combined with serene summits draped in patches of snow with prolific hues of the green meadows makes the lake an attractive destination for a trek.

Best time to visit: July to October

Things to do:

  • Trekking

  • Camping

9. Manasbal lake

A boat floating in the middle of a lake
Image by Renzo D'souza

A stunning freshwater lake that is considered to be a gem in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir valley, Manasbal lake has long since been associated to be one of the most remarkable lakes in all of Kashmir.

Manasbal Lake's crystal water both gives the place a picturesque appeal and gives the locals a means of subsistence. The lake was given its name after the magnificent Mansarovar Lake in Tibet. A large number of visitors flock to the picturesque Manasbal Lake.

A striking feature of the lake can be attributed to the luscious growth of the lotus in July and August, giving the lake a divine and exquisite aura to it. It is thought to be India's deepest lake and is referred to as the greatest treasure of all Kashmir Lakes.

Best time to visit: April to September

Things to do:

  • Birdwatching

  • Water skiing

  • Boat ride


1. Which lake in Kashmir is the biggest?

Within the Kashmir Valley, northwest of Srinagar City, is Lake Wular, one of the biggest freshwater lakes in not just India, but also in Asia.

2. Does Dal Lake have lotus plants?

It does indeed. It becomes much more beautiful and serene when the lotus blossoms are there.

3. In Jammu and Kashmir, which district is called the District of Lakes?

The Sindh River, popularly called Nallah Sindh, flows through the Ganderbal district. It has a diversified environment and is frequently referred to as the District of Lakes because it has the most lakes in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Final Words

Lakes in Kashmir have a charm on their own. These lakes have a tendency of drawing in thousands of visitors every year.

This just stands to prove that the mighty lakes in every region of Kashmir have stood the test of time to provide visitors with enticing views and ensure quality time with loved ones.

So, on your next visit to Kashmir, make sure the lakes in Kashmir make it on your list and witness the hype in person!

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