Alpine Lakes That You Can't Miss Out On

Alpine Lakes That You Can't Miss Out On
The beautiful Gurudongmar lake in North Sikkim, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Do some soul searching around lakes that will bring you closer to Mother Nature

Meenketan Jha
January 25 , 2019
04 Min Read

India is a land of not only cultural diversity but also of geographical richness. From the Himalayan Mountains that grace its Northern borders to the multitudes of rivers that follow through its boundaries, there are many marvels around the country that are still unexplored, unspoken of. River bodies as such have always been a location of tranquility and introspection with their significance deeply steeped in our history. While rivers like the Ganges, Brahamputra and the Indus are well known, India is also admirably blessed with a variety of alpine lakes. Hidden at high altitude they retain an immense charm. Glistering in the midst of the alpine meadows, these lakes offer a sure fire getaway from your busy lives. 

Pangong Tso, Ladakh


Pangong Tso in Ladakh is divided between India and China

I hope you remember the moment from 3 Idiots when Kareena Kapoor chases Aamir Khan on her scooty at the end of the film. Have you ever wondered where it was shot? Well, sheltered by snow-capped mountains and clear blue skies lies the enchanting Pangong Tso. A prime alpine lake in India, its crystal transparent water will steal your heart. You can choose to stay overnight as well if you have packed a tent along. The night sky is dazzling with stars flooding the vast expanse above. 

Getting There: From Leh, you can book a cab that will take upto 5-6 hours one way. You must also get an inner line permit as its a high security area. Direct flights from Delhi to Leh are available. 

Tso Moriri, Ladakh

Landscape of Tso Moriri

A bird watcher's paradise, Tso Moriri witnesses a large flock of migratory birds. Cranes, geese, and grebe grace. Over 250 kilometers from Leh the Tso Moriri captures imaginations with its surreal beauty. Try to catch the mesmerizing reflection of the moon and the star-studded sky in the glistening lake. Believe me, it will be unlike anything you may have ever seen before. 

Getting There: From Leh, you can book a cab that will take upto 5-6 hours one way. You must also get an inner line permit as its a high security area. Direct flights from Delhi to Leh are available. 

Tso Kar, Ladakh

Tso Kar in Ladakh

Another marvelous alpine lake and guess where this one is as well? Yes, nestled about 160 kilometers from Leh the Tso Kar isn't too far from the Tso Moriri. Bounded by small hillocks, Tso Kar is well known for the wildlife nearby. Rare animals like the Tibetan Wild Ass, Tibetan Gazelles, Himalayan Yaks, and Sandgrouses inhabit the territory so keep an eye out. 

Getting There: From Leh, you can book a cab that will take upto 4-5 hours one way. You must also get an inner line permit as its a high security area. Direct flights from Delhi to Leh are available. 

Gadsar Lake, Jammu & Kashmir

A trekker walks past Gadsar Lake

Unlike the lakes in Ladakh, this Kashmiri wonder is breathtaking. About a 100 kilometers from Srinagar, I'd seriously recommend putting a blindfold on till you get to the location. Take in the silence as you walk through the grass while approaching the lake, feel the wind in your hair and brace yourself to be mesmerized once the blindfold comes off. 

Getting There: Gadsar Lake is 28 kilometers from Sonamarg which happens to be about a 2-hour jouney. To get Sonamarg, you can take a cab from Srinagar which is about 80 kilometers away. 

Chandra Taal Lake, Himachal Pradesh

Chandrataal Lake in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh

I'd be lying if I told you the Chandra Taal lake was anything less than a dream. The crescent shaped lake is located in the Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. With grassy plains and an inspiring array of mountains surrounding it, the sapphire colored water is a feast for the eyes. If you are planning on staying overnight, observe the night sky and the Milky Way Galaxy unfold in front of you.

Getting There: The quickest way to get here is through Manali which happens to be about 125 kilometers away but will still take you about 7-8 hours. If you have your own car, make sure to get the Rohtang Permit to be able to cross the Rohtang Pass. 

Gurudongmar Lake, Sikkim

Male tourist at the high altitude Gurudongmar lake in North Sikkim

By car, it takes about six hours to reach this lake sacred to the Buddhist from Gangtok. The lake stays frozen for about 9 months of the year. Situated at an altitude of almost 18,000 ft, all you will see nearby is snow, more snow, and unending snow. Legends say the lake has healing properties and hence many try to take back small water when they visit here.

Getting There: A car journey from Gangtok usually takes about 7-8 hours. The lake is about three hours away from Lachen. The nearest airport is Bagdogra near Siliguri, about 124 kilometers from Gangtok.

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