Gangbal Lake

Located at the foot of majestic Harmukh mountain, Gangabal lake has an average altitude of 12,000ft from the sea level. Necked by spectacular mountainous landscape, this gorgeous lake is about 3.5 km long and half a km wide with more than 80 m deep in the centre. Formed by the melting waters of Harmukh glacier, some people believe that Gangabal is the source of Sy’endh river (not to be confused with Indus River that flows through Ladakh). Those who happen to scale the heights of Harmukh peak, take a break here only to bath in the serenity of its environs that reinvigorates their tired souls.

Gangabal may put you into a meditative state if you choose to stay there for a couple of hours. The lake is relatively warm in late July, so one can go for a refreshing swim in its waters. There is a several-days trek from Naranag to Gangabal lake to Sonamarg through the mountain valleys. The route is dotted with several other lakes. There is the black water lake known as Bramsaar, a hot water lake called Sukhnag and Dukhnag. It can also be reached by a steep pull of 4000 feet from the Sind valley. By the side of the path rushes a clear, ice -cold stream. From the top of the rise are superb views precipitously down to the Wangat valley leading up from the Sind and beyond it to a jagged range of spires and pinnacles. The path then leads over rolling downs, covered in summer with ranunculus and primulas, to a chain of torquoise and ice-green lakes, above which grimly towers the massive Harmukh.

One comes across beautiful lakes full of rainbow trout fish in crystal clear water, Alpine forests, green meadows and valleys with colourful wild flowers. It is a unique experience to watch sunrise and sunset view of the Harmukh peaks in Gangabal lake. At Gangabal, one can indulge in many adrenaline raising activities like hiking, fishing in lake waters as it teems with trout fishes or simple long walks in the lap of pristine ambience. However, weather can play spoilsport if you are not prepared in advance. Take warm clothes with you besides enough stock of eatables. Then sky is the limit of your enjoyment here.