Dal Lake, Kashmir
Dal Lake, KashmirImagesofIndia / Shutterstock

Top Lakes In Kashmir You Must Visit

Kashmir's lakes offer diverse experiences, from the bustling activity on Dal Lake to the untouched beauty of Gadsar Lake. Each lake has a unique charm, making them all worth visiting

Regarded as "Paradise on Earth," Kashmir is blessed with natural beauty. Among its many attractions, the lakes of Kashmir stand out for their stunning beauty, serene environments, and the unique experiences they offer. Here are the top five lakes in Kashmir that every traveller should visit:

Dal Lake

Dal Lake is Kashmir's most famous and frequently visited lake. Located in Srinagar, it is renowned for its beauty and Shikaras (traditional wooden boats).

Attractions

  • Houseboats: Staying in a houseboat (Shikara) on Dal Lake is a unique experience. These houseboats are well-furnished, offering modern amenities while allowing guests to experience the traditional Kashmiri lifestyle.

  • Shikara Rides: These boat rides offer a peaceful way to explore the lake, floating past lotus gardens, Mughal gardens, and the floating market.

  • Floating Markets: Early morning visits to the floating vegetable market provide a glimpse into the local way of life.

  • Mughal Gardens: The lake is surrounded by beautiful Mughal gardens, such as Shalimar Bagh, Nishat Bagh, and Chashme Shahi, which offer scenic views and historical insights.

Best Time to Visit

May to November is the best time to come when the weather is pleasant, and the gardens are in full bloom. Winter months also offer a unique experience when the lake can partially freeze.

Floating market, Dal Lake
Floating market, Dal LakeTappasan Phurisamrit / Shutterstock

Nigeen Lake

Nigeen Lake, often considered part of Dal Lake, is located to its west and is connected to it by a narrow strait. It is more tranquil and less crowded than Dal Lake, making it ideal for a peaceful retreat.

Attractions

  • Houseboats and Shikaras: Like Dal Lake, Nigeen Lake offers houseboat stays and Shikara rides but in a quieter setting.

  • Water Sports: The lake is famous for swimming, canoeing, and water skiing.

  • Hazaratbal Shrine: Located on the northern shore, this important Muslim shrine adds a spiritual dimension to the visit.

  • Sunset Views: The lake provides spectacular sunset views, reflecting the changing colours of the sky on its calm waters.

Best Time to Visit

Nigeen Lake can be visited year-round, but the best time is from April to October. 

Wular Lake

As one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia, Wular Lake is vital for its ecological significance and the livelihoods it supports. Situated between Bandipora and Sopore, the lake draws tourists for its many birds.

Attractions

  • Bird Watching: Wular Lake is a haven for bird watchers. It hosts a variety of migratory and resident birds, including the black-eared kite, short-toed eagle, and Eurasian sparrowhawk.

  • Fishing: The lake is a significant source of fish in the region, and visitors can often see local fishermen at work.

  • Boating: Exploring the lake by boat provides insights into the local life and the natural beauty of the surrounding areas.

  • Nearby Attractions: The ancient ruins of the Wular Lake temple and the village of Sopore, known for its apple orchards, are worth visiting.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit Wular Lake is between June and August when the weather is pleasant and the birdlife is most active.

Nigeen Lake
Nigeen LakeImagesofIndia / Shutterstock

Manasbal Lake

Manasbal Lake, located in the Ganderbal district, is considered the deepest lake in Kashmir. It is surrounded by mountains and is known for its abundant aquatic plants.

Attractions

  • Lotus Gardens: The lake is famous for its lotus gardens that bloom during summer, creating a picturesque scene.

  • Boating and Fishing: The clear waters of Manasbal are ideal for boating and fishing. 

  • Manasbal Temple: The ancient Manasbal Temple on the shores of the lake adds a historical and cultural dimension to the visit.

  • Mughal Gardens: Nearby Mughal gardens like Jaroka Bagh offer beautiful views and historical significance.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Manasbal Lake is from May to September when the weather is pleasant, and the lotus flowers are in full bloom.

Gadsar Lake

Gadsar Lake is a high-altitude lake located at an elevation of approximately 3,600 metres in the Ganderbal district. It is part of the famous Great Lakes Trek in Kashmir.

Attractions

  • Alpine Flora: The lake is surrounded by alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers, which bloom during summer.

  • Clear Waters: Gadsar Lake is known for its crystal-clear waters, reflecting the surrounding snow-capped peaks.

  • Trekker's Paradise: The lake is a highlight of the Great Lakes Trek, a popular trekking route offering some of Kashmir's most beautiful landscapes.

Best Time To Visit

June to September is the best time to come here. The weather is favourable during these months, and the region is accessible for trekking and exploration. 

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