Kashmir Lakes

The city of Srinagar itself is quite famous for its lakes. Peace, serenity, calm, tranquility all defines the beautiful lakes of Kashmir. Apart from that, the delightful backdrop of the lakes almost leaves you speechless. Then, there are the amazing Shikaras and houseboats on the lake that further add to the enjoyment. Some of the famous lakes in Kashmir are:

Dal Lake

The Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes, not only in Kashmir, rather in the whole of India. It is the second largest lake in Kashmir and is almost 6 km by 3 km in size. The main attractions of the lake are the encircling mountains, blossoming gardens and orchards, Shikaras and Houseboats.

The embankments of Dal Lake also house a number of Mughal monuments and the campus of the University of Kashmir. Further beautifying the scenery of the lake are two hillocks that house the famous shrine of Shankaracharya and Hari Parbat temples. The other unique features of the Dal Lake are the famous Shikaras and Houseboats. Numerous houseboats line the lake, providing their guests with serene atmosphere and picturesque surroundings. The Shikaras provide ferry rides to and from the banks of the lake to the houseboats.

The Dal lake of Kashmir, India is divided into four parts by causeways, namely Gagribal, Lokut Dal, Bod Dal and Nagin. Scenery of this lake also consists of clusters of sloping roofed houses on its islands. Apart from being one of the greatest attractions of the valley, Dal Lake also supports the second largest industry of the region, fishing. The plethora of fishes in the lake provides occupation to a large number of people in the valley. It is believed Dal Lake originated from the Pleistocene Oligotrophic Lake, which at one point of time covered the entire Kashmir valley.


Nagin Lake

Nagin Lake, a subsidiary of the Dal Lake, is regarded as a separate lake. Swimming, diving and boating are some of its major attraction. Its picturesque locales consist of Shankaracharya hill, Hari Parbat and a number of willow and poplar trees along its banks.

Nagin Lake of Kashmir is an offshoot leading from the Dal Lake. The Nagin Lake is located to the east of the city, at the foothill of the mountain Zabarwan. On the edges of the Nageen Lake are a number of willow and poplar trees. The reflection of these tees in the water of the lake lends it a beautiful view. Surrounded by Shankaracharya hill (Takht-e-Suleiman) on the south and Hari Parbat on the west, the Nagin Lake of Kashmir presents a charming sight. Shikaras, ferrying people to and from the lake, are a fascinating feature of the lake. Bathing boats as well as water-skis and motor launches are also available for hire at the lake.

 

Manasbal Lake

Located approximately 28 km from Srinagar is the charming Manasbal Lake. It is one of the largest natural haunts of aquatic birds In Kashmir.


Manasbal Lake is located in the Jhelum valley, north of Srinagar city in the State of Jammu and Kashmir in India. The name Manasbal is said to be a derivative of the Lake Manasarovar. Lake is encircled by three villages viz., Jarokbal, Kondabal (also called Kiln place, is situated on the north-eastern side of the lake) and Ganderbal and is stated to be the deepest lake (at 13 m/43 ft depth) in the Kashmir valley. The large growth of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) at the periphery of the lake (blooms during July and August) adds to the beauty of the clear waters of the lake. The Mughal garden, called the Garoka, (meaning bay window) built by Nur Jahan overlooks the lake.

The lake is a good place for birdwatching as it is one of the largest natural stamping grounds of Aquatic birds in Kashmir and has the sobriquet of "supreme gem of all Kashmir Lakes". The rootstocks of lotus plant which grows extensively in the lake are harvested and marketed, and also eaten by the local people.

 

Anchar Lake

Situated amongst scenic surroundings, the Anchar Lake is best enjoyed with the help of a Shikara. The lake serves as a bird watcher's paradise. A large number of exotic bird species can be seen here.

Wular Lake

Wular Lake - is the largest fresh Water Lake in Asia, towering mountains surround it. The Jade Green Waters swirl gently around a curious, bubbling spring in the middle of the lake.

Besides these lakes, which are fed by the melting snows from the mountains, there are hosts of mountain tarns form-glared by the glacial action and other phenomenalactivities of range nature. There are several glaciers on Haramoukh. On the South side they only descend to about 13,500 ft., but alter the North 1,500 ft lower. They are fed by the large snow fields on the summit, which are of great thickness. The snow cliffs on the middle peak show a vertical thickness of nearly 200 feet. In there seen all the surrounding valleys.

 

There are lakelets varying in size from mere ponds to sheets of water a mile or so in length and quarter a mile broad., most of these occur at a height of 11,500 feet. There can be no doubt that they are all due in some way to glacial action , and that they are not of very remote age. Tydall points out that a glacier 900 feet deep would produce a vertical pressure of 486, 000 lbs. upon every square inch of its bed. But the small glacier on the shoulders gone, of such mountains as Haramoukh or Tutakuthi would not exceed 200 feet in thickness, and would not be capable of excavating hard rocks beneath. So the numerous tarns and lakes may be own regarded as due chiefly to the formation of embankments across line of drainage. Sometimes such embankments may have been caused by the deposit of avalanche debris from a slideslope or by the advance of a side glacier with its lateral moraines. The lakes and lakelets found in upper valleys around Haramukh mountain are Gangabal, Lool Gool and Sarbal. They are at an elevation of nearly12,000 feet above sea level. The shimmering waters lend glory to the Gangabal Lake, which stands at an elevation of 11,800 feet. To the South cast of the Pir Panchal range lies the lake Konsar Nag (12,800 feet) surrounded by three peaks. Its is fed by glaciers. It is said to be a source of the Jhelum. In the spring and summer, the water is some 40-ft higher than in winter. In the spring, its surface is said to be covered with icebergs, which are driven about by the wind.

In the Liddar Valley, large glaciers are observed. On the mountain range of this Valley, the glaciers are found in Kolahoi. According to Dr. Neve " one glacier is about five miles in length and comes down as low as 11,000 feet" From here to the cast on the way to Amar Nath cave lies the famous Shesh Nag at an elevation of 14,000 feet. Glaciers are prominent in this area.

Coming into the Valley proper, we find the frozen lake of Alapathar or Apharwat, well over Khilanmarg. Flowers of rainbow colors are found in wild profusion here. The mountain tarn stands at the height of about 12,500 feet. It is said to be 500 yards long and 150 yards wide. The surroundings are austere and wild. It is popular haunt of tourists.

 

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