25 Beautiful Lakes of Pakistan

Published By Mobeen Mazhar

Pakistan is blessed with the most dynamic landscape one can imagine within the boundaries of any single country. Beautiful white sand beaches, rocky shores, marshlands, mud volcanoes, canyons, caves, deserts, green plains, cultivated fields, forests, plateaus and of course … the mountains !!! While each and every area of my motherland is beautiful in its own unique way, what attracts me most are the mountains and their valleys. The connection with nature is the strongest in remotest of the mountain-valleys. They have always been my fascination. And, the Jewel of the Crown are the mesmerizing lakes.

The connection with nature is the strongest in remotest of the mountain-valleys

This article covers such 25 beautiful lakes of Pakistan that i have visited in past 15 years with a quick snapshot of their whereabouts and how to get there 🙂

Astore Valley

1- Darla Bala Lake

Darla Bala Lake – Astore Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35° 3’26.04″N, 74°49’35.01″E

It is a beautiful and very less known lake in Upper Astore Valley which has significant reflection beauty. This lake comes on roadside while going from Rattu to Riat Village or further to Kalapani.

Darla Bala Lake – Astore Valley, Pakistan

Darla Bala Lake – Astore Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

2- Rama Lake

Rama Lake – Astore Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35°19’50.78″N 74°47’10.93″E

Rama Lake is at the foot of Chongra Peak which is part of Nanga Parbat peak system. Nanga Parbat is world’s 9th highest mountain with altitude of 8126m (26,660 ft). A short drive takes you to Rama Meadows from main Astore town. Rama lake is one hour trek away from Rama Meadows and in summer, jeeps can also go till the lake after snow melts.

Rama Lake - Astore Valley, Pakistan

Rama Lake – Astore Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

3- Riat Lake

Riat Lake – Upper Astore Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
34°50’44.66″N, 74°48’35.24″E

A jeep road goes till Riat Village from Astore and passes through Rattu, Darla Bala, Chechri etc. It is around 4 hours drive. Then a trek of 8 km leads to Riat Lake in Riat Valley. The lake is at 13,100 ft ASL. There are 5 other small lakes in the area.

Riat Lake - Upper Astore Valley, Pakistan

Riat Lake – Astore Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

4- Riat Lake 2

Riat Lake 2 – Upper Astore Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
34°52’13.70″N, 74°50’33.46″E

The surroundings of this lake are exceptionally green in summer and the lake has wonderful reflections. It comes midway on trek of main Riat Lake.

A jeep road goes till Riat Village from Astore and passes through Rattu, Darla Bala, Chechri etc. It is around 4 hours drive. Then a trek of 8 km leads to Riat Lake in Riat Valley.

Riat Lake 2 - Upper Astore Valley, Pakistan

Riat Lake – Astore Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Azad Jammu and Kashmir

5- Chitta Katha Lake

Chitta Katha Lake – Shounter Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
34°55’19.40″N 74°31’7.40″E

Chitta Katha Lake is a deep bowl shaped body of water with no open water outlet. It is surrounded by unique peaks with hundreds of years old snow layers frozen on them. Chitta Katha Lake is 13,400 ft ASL and is accessible only after a tough hiking trek of 10 km. The light green colour of lake is also very unique.

The trek starts from Domail Bala which is in Shounter Valley. From Muzaffarabad, one has to travel to Kel in Neelum Valley and then jeep ride onwards to Domail Bala in Shounter Valley.

Chitta Katha Lake - Shounter Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Chitta Katha Lake – Shounter Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

6- Ratti Gali Lake

Ratti Gali Lake – Neelum Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
34°49’52.55″N, 74° 3’40.26″E

At 12,130 ft ASL, Ratti Gali is the beauty queen of Kashmir. It is accessible for very short time period due to layers of snow blocking the way in winters. Trekkers take this challenge usually in summer months of July-Sep.

Recently, a jeep track was built up to base of lake. A campsite has also been created there. Ratti Gali Lake can be approached from four routes including:

  • Dowarian village on main Neelum Valley – jeep ride and 30 min – 1 hour trek at end
  • Burwai Route – Crossing Ratti Gali Pass and approach Hans Raj Lake and Ratti Gali Lake
  • Nuri Top Route – Crossing Dowarian Pass and approach Hans Raj Lake and Ratti Gali Lake
  • Gattian Pass Route – Crossing Gattian Pass from Gattian Lake valley and descend to Ratti Gali Lake
Ratti Gali Lake - Neelum Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Ratti Gali Lake – Neelum Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

7- Shounter Lake

Shounter Lake – Shounter Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
34°58’24.54″N 74°30’47.26″E

At 10,200 ft ASL, Shounter Lake is one of the famous summer attractions in Azad Kashmir. A side valley from main Neelum Valley leads the way to this lake. This side valley is called Shounter Valley. The lake is at a distance of 25 km (jeepable) from Kel which is a major town in main Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir.

Shounter Lake - Shounter Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Shounter Lake – Shounter Valley, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Baltistan

8- Sadpara Lake

Sadpara Lake – Baltistan, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35°14’6.75″N, 75°37’53.55″E

Sadpara Lake is very near to Skardu city and comes on way to Deosai Plains. A dam has been constructed here which has damaged the natural beauty of this wonderful lake. The island in the middle is now gone due to rise in water levels. This image was taken in 2007.

Sadpara Lake - Baltistan, Pakistan

Sadpara Lake – Baltistan, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

9- Shangrila Lake

Shangrila aka Lower Kachura Lake – Baltistan, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35°25’35.96″N 75°27’17.73″E

Shangrila Lake is a heart shape body of water surrounded by greenery, trees, mountains and huts of local resorts. This is one of the top attractions if you are visiting Skardu – The Mountaineering Headquarter of the World !

Shangrila Lake - Skardu, Baltistan, Pakistan

Shangrila Lake – Baltistan, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

10- Sheosar Lake

Sheosar Lake – Deosai Plains, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
34°59’44.24″N, 75°14’23.73″E

This lake is in start of Deosai Plains aka “The Land of Giants” if coming from Astore Valley side. Deosai Plains are considered the second highest plateau after Tibet with an average altitude of 13,500 ft ASL. It is also part of Deosai National Park which is accessible from Skardu and Astore. This lake is famous for Nanga Parbat reflections on a clear day.

Sheosar Lake - Deosai Plains, Baltistan, Pakistan

Sheosar Lake – Deosai Plains, Baltistan, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Chitral Valley

11- Bashkar Gol Lake

Bashkar Gol Lake – Sor Laspur, Chitral Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35°55’2.41″N, 72°20’29.70″E

At 12,100 ft ASL, it is one of the most beautiful lakes of Pakistan with turquoise color. The lake is huge in size and is estimated to be almost 3 times the size of Saif-ul-Muluk and a bit bigger than Sheosar Lake.

The trek is 22.5 km long (one way) and takes around 11 hours to reach the lake. The starting point is a village called Sor Laspur which is at foot of Shandur Top on Chitral side. Porters are available from Sor Laspur.

Bashkar Gol Lake - Sor Laspur, Chitral Valley, Pakistan

Bashkar Gol Lake – Sor Laspur, Chitral Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

12- Darwaza Pass Lake

Darwaza Pass Lake – Broghil along Wakhan Corridor, Chitral Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
36°52’50.49″N,  73°24’10.69″E

Darwaza Pass is on border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and connects Broghil with Wakhan Corridor. There are 8-10 medium to small lakes in this area.

A drive of 12-14 hour takes one from Islamabad/Rawalpindi to Chitral city and another drive of 4-5 hours takes you to Mastuj. Mastuj is base for Broghil treks. The road ahead is jeep drive of 10-11 hours till Ishkarwaz. If road is blocked (normally due to overflow of river) then jeep goes till a point ahead of Lasht and then few hours of trek till Ishkarwaz. From there, it is 3-4 hours trek till Darwaza Pass. Nearest campsite is Ghrail which can act as a base for the full day exploration of these lakes.

Darwaza Pass Lake - Broghil along Wakhan Corridor, Chitral Valley, Pakistan

Darwaza Pass Lake – Broghil along Wakhan Corridor, Chitral Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

13- Karomber Lake

Karomber Lake – Border of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
36°52’41.73″N, 73°42’15.81″E

Karomber Lake is in Broghil Valley which is a sub-valley of Chitral. A drive of 12-14 hour takes one from Islamabad/Rawalpindi to Chitral city and another drive of 4-5 hours takes you to Mastuj. Mastuj is base for Broghil treks. The road ahead is jeep drive of 10-11 hours till Ishkarwaz. If road is blocked (normally due to overflow of river) then jeep goes till a point ahead of Lasht and then few hours of trek till Ishkarwaz. From there it is 2 or 3 days trek till Karomber Lake depending on your convenience. Main campsites are Ghrail, Lashkargaz, Sheorsheer and Laleerabad.

Karomber Lake - Border of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

Karomber Lake – Border of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

14- Lashkargaz Lake

Lashkargaz Lake – Lashkargaz Village, Broghil along Wakhan Corridor, Chitral Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
36°51’42.20″N,  73°26’56.40″E

Lashkargaz Lakes is a collection of 4-5 small lakes very close to each other formed most probably due to wetlands in this whole area. The lakes are very close to Lashkargaz village and campsite which holds a very famous yak polo festival every year.

Lashkargaz campsite is 12 km from Ishkarwaz and is normally selected as first day’s campsite on Karomber Lake trek.

Lashkargaz Lake - Lashkargaz Village, Broghil, Chitral Valley, Pakistan

Lashkargaz Lake – Broghil along Wakhan Corridor, Chitral Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Shandur Pass

15- Shandur Lake

Shandur Lake – Shandur Pass, Border of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
36° 4’53.46″N, 72°31’57.84″E

Shandur lake is couple of km away from the main camping area on Shandur Pass at 12,100 ft ASL. Shandur Pass is famous for its internationally renowned polo festival held every year in summer. It is termed to be the highest polo ground in the world and this lake forms a wonderful backdrop for the polo ground.

Shandur Lake - Border of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

Shandur Lake – Shandur Pass, Border of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Ghizer Valley

16- Kinisoteko Lake

Kinisoteko Lake – Ghizer Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
36°10’49.69″N, 72°48’0.22″E

Handrup village is a wonderful location on Gilgit – Chitral road with amazing views of Ghizer and Handrup Valleys. There are 2 small water bodies on road side at this place. The main attraction is the beautiful reflections of the surroundings.

Kinisoteko Lake - Ghizer Valley, Pakistan

Kinisoteko Lake – Ghizer Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

17- Phandar Lake

Phandar Lake – Ghizer Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
36°10’24.51″N,  72°56’46.66″E

Phandar is very famous destination in Ghizer Valley and the lake and its surroundings are renowned for autumnal beauty. It takes 4 hours to drive for Gilgit city to Phandar.

Phandar Lake - Ghizer Valley, Pakistan

Phandar Lake – Ghizer Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Nagar Valley

18- Rush Lake

Rush Lake – Nagar Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
36°10’24.68″N, 74°52’57.75″E

Rush Lake is officially the highest alpine lake in Pakistan and one of the highest in the world at 15,400 ft (4,694 m) ASL. It is a minimum 2 days very strenuous trek from Hopar Village in Nagar Valley which is last jeepable point. Hopar Village is 4 hours drive away from main Gilgit city and 1 hour drive away from Karimabad in Hunza Valley.

Rush Lake - Nagar Valley, Pakistan

Rush Lake – Nagar Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Kaghan Valley

19- Dharam Sar Lake

Dharam Sar Lake – Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35° 6’15.80″N 74° 6’15.21″E

Dharam Sar Lake is situated at 13,500 ft ASL in Upper Kaghan Valley. This lake is ahead of Babusar Top and its location is visible from Babusar Top as well. Just before reaching the Babusar Top, a jeep track goes down in valley. The lake is one hour drive away from the start of this jeep track.

Dharam Sar Lake - Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Dharam Sar Lake – Kaghan Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

20- Dudipat Sar Lake

Dudipat Sar Lake – Upper Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35° 1’6.58″N 74° 5’20.89″E

At 12,800 ft ASL, Dudipat Sar Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Pakistan and is accessible from Besal village after 8 hours of trekking. Besal village is at 1.5 hours drive from main Naran town.

Dudipat Sar Lake - Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Dudipat Sar Lake – Kaghan Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

21- Fairy Lake

Fairy Lake – First Lake of Sat Sar Male Lakes Series, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35° 4’59.86″N,  73°59’26.13″E

At 13,344 ft ASL, Fairy Lake is first lake in the series of Sat Sar Mala Lakes. Sat Sar Mala Lakes are hidden in a side valley while going from Lulusar Lake towards Babusar Pass. A village called Gittidas comes between Lulusar Lake and Babusar and this side valley is just before this village on right side if going from Lulusar to Babusar.

Fairy Lake - Sat Sar Mala Lakes Series, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Fairy Lake – First lake of Sat Sar Mala Lakes Series, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

22- Saif-ul-Muluk Lake

Saif-ul-Muluk Lake – Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
34°53’2.62″N, 73°41’40.84″E

Lake Saif-ul-Muluk (10,500 ft ASL) is the most famous tourist destination amongst the lakes in Pakistan. Saif-ul-Muluk Lake can be accessed from Naran town in Kaghan Valley by an adventurous jeep ride of 1 hour.

Saif-ul-Muluk Lake - Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Saif-ul-Muluk Lake – Kaghan Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

23- Sambak Sar Lake

Sambak Sar Lake – Upper Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35° 5’56.97″N, 74° 5’50.90″E

Sambak Sar Lake is situated at 13,700 ft ASL in Upper Kaghan Valley. This lake is ahead of Babusar Top and its location is visible from Babusar Top as well. Just before reaching the Babusar Top, a jeep track goes down in valley. Jeep track passes near Dharam Sar Lake which is on road side while Sambak Sar is 1 hour trekking from this spot.

Sambak Sar Lake - Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Sambak Sar Lake – Kaghan Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

24- Surkhail Lake

Surkhail Lake – Highest of Sat Sar Mala Lakes Series, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35° 4’49.46″N, 74° 0’22.02″E

Surkhail Lake is the highest lake of Sat Sar Mala Lakes series at 14,100 ft ASL. Sat Sar Mala is a very rare destination of Upper Kaghan Valley. It is a series of 7 lakes hence the name Sat Sar Mala. 5 of these lakes are in cascades and the water from top most lake falls into next and so on.

Surkhail Lake - Highest in Sat Sar Mala Lakes Series, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

Surkhail Lake – Highest of Sat Sar Mala Lakes Series, Kaghan Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

Swat Valley

25- Kandol Lake

Kandol Lake – Swat Valley, Pakistan

Co-ordinates:
35°25’17.82″N, 72°25’56.20″E

Kandol is one of the prime trekking destinations of Swat Valley. The trek starts from a village in Upper Swat Valley called Laddu which is at 1.5 hours jeep drive from main Kalam town. The lake is at 9,950 ft ASL.

Kandol Lake - Swat Valley, Pakistan

Kandol Lake – Swat Valley, Pakistan
Credits: Mobeen Mazhar

About

Mobeen Mazhar

Mobeen is co-founder and admin at The Karakoram Club. He is a passionate traveler and has spent 15 years exploring Pakistan and its natural beauty. Photography gives him a mode to express his love for nature and a medium to document his travel experiences. He is a landscape specialist, regular travelogue writer and travel expert for Pakistan.

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