The valley of Kashmir lies between the mighty Himalayan range and the Pir Panjal range. Popularly known as the “heaven”, Kashmir is a land of snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, glacial-fed rivers, beautiful gardens, and vast meadows. On one side, Kashmir has extensive terrain, while on the other, apple orchards await their bloom. Its beauty and tranquility attract every traveler. The distinct culture and cuisine of this place also make it an ideal destination.
There are many lakes in Kashmir. But only a few of them are open for tourists to visit. So, here are some of my favorites curated for you.
1. Dal Lake
One of the most popular lakes in Kashmir, Dal lake is also called the ‘lake of flowers’. It offers spectacular views of the mountains and the terrain nearby. It covers an area of 21 sq—kilometers, inclusive of the floating garden. The lake also serves commercial purposes like harvesting of water plants and fishing.
- Location: Dalgate, Srinagar, Kashmir
- How to Reach: You can either take a taxi or bus to Lal Chowk and walk towards Dal lake. Or, you can hire a cab directly till Dal Lake. If you wish to walk, take a boulevard road. It will be approximately a 20-minute walk from Lal Chowk.
- Things to Do: Take a drive on Boulevard road/foreshore road. Explore the beautiful islands and gardens such as Nishat and Shalimar. Stay overnight in a houseboat of your choice. Go shopping in the floating market. Enjoy blissful rides on colorful shikaras and enjoy a breathtaking view of the sunset.
- Check the official page of Dal Lake.
2. Manasbal Lake
Manasbal is the deepest lake in Kashmir. Gratbal, Kondabal, and Jakorbal are the three villages that surround this beautiful water body. It lies to the north of Srinagar. Ruins of a 17th-century fort Darogabagh and an aesthetic Mughal garden Jharokha overlook the pristine waters of the lake. Manasbal is also famous for being a paradise for bird-lovers. You can spot a lot of aquatic birds here.
- Location: Ganderbal district in Kashmir. Check other tourist places in Ganderbal.
- Things to Do: You can watch different kinds of birds. Visit nearby places. Stay at the campsite. If you are into adventure sports, you can also try water-skiing (if available)
- Check the official page.
3. Nigeen Lake
The Nigeen lake comes with a picturesque view of Hari Parbat and Shankaracharya Hill. The holy shrine of Hazratbal also lies to its north-east. It serves as a perfect romantic getaway with its charming views of the hills and lush greenery. If you want to be away from the crowd and still wish to stay in a houseboat, Nigeen Lake is your ideal destination.
- Location: Nigeen, Srinagar, Kashmir.
- Things to Do: You can enjoy shikhara rides with an exquisite view of the surroundings. Stay in houseboats. Swim within the lake at sunrise. Explore and shop from the floating markets.
- Check the official page of Nigeen lake.
Kashmir has a lot to offer with its breathtaking beauty and charm. But the picturesque lakes might be your favorite place to visit because of its serenity and versatility.