Nundkol Lake

Nundkol Lake, a small but beautiful lake with crystal clear water, lies at the foothills of Harmukh mountain just 1.5 km before Gangabal Lake about 17 km from Naranag. The water from Gangabal flows into this lake and together they form the Cranknaaz stream. However, Gangabal Lake is bigger and at higher elevation to the north of the lake. Surrounded by the lush green meadows, the banks of the Nundkol Lake serve as the camping site during the summers. Naranag is the nearest settlement and serves as the base camp for trekking to the lake. The trek to this lake meanders through gorgeous valleys and flower decked foothills. One can also hire ponies from Naranag for this joyous journey. During the winter, the Lake freezes and is covered by mounds of snow. In the summers, the basin of the lake is surrounded by a sheet of alpine flowers. The geum, blue poppy, potentilla and gentian are relatively common. Hedysarum flowers are found in late spring throughout the area around the lake. The Nundkol Lake is stocked with trout especially the brown trout fish. The fishing is permitted to the licensed anglers.

This Lake is accessible only during the summer; during the winter, the treks are closed because of the heavy snowfall. It can be reached from Srinagar, via a 65 km motorable road which leads through Ganderbal and Wayil to the Naranag trekking camp. The alpine meadows of Trunakhul and Badpathri lie at the halfway point of this two-day trek to the lake. An alternate trek starts from Chattergul village, 10 km to the west of Naranag which leads through the meadows of Mahlish. The lake can also be accessed through Bandipora and the five-day starting point of the trekking is Arin village. Tourists prefer Naranag trek and return via Gadsar Lake, Vishansar Lake and Sonamarg to cover most alpine lakes of the area.

This area is extremely fragile as far as the environment is concerned. Lot of people trek up from Naranag to Gangabal and go back as a weekend outing. Remember, do not litter around these beautiful lakes as they are economically extremely important for Kashmiris. Also, go prepared with minutest need been taken care of in advance as nothing is available enroute the trek except the abundance of nature at its best.