LAKES OF GARHWAL HIMALAYAS
OF UTTARANCHAL HIMALAYAS :
Garhwal Himalaya, is gifted by numerous lakes which are more than 36 in number, including a few hot springs ones also. The lake are mostly located in a zone of 2500m to 5000m above sea level, where human interference is almost negligible. Some of these water bodies have a great potelential for development of aqua cultures,fisheries and other uses.In Garhwal, the term kunds and lakes are often synonymously used, though kund can either be hot or cold water spring.Amoung the prominent lakes of Garhwal Himalaya, Panya and Vasundhara lakes are the highest located ones about 4880m in Chamoli District. The more known Roopkund,Shahastratal,Vasuki tal, Kaghbhusandi tal, hemkund and deoriatal are other lakes of lesser Himalaya and central Himalaya border zone. Beside, being a natural resource, some of these lakes are visited regularly by tourist and trekkers for their religious and aesthetic values. Hemkund Masartal,Dodital,Shahastratal,Deoriatal, Vasuki are prominent lakes under this category.
Satopanth Lake : The Lake Of Divinity
Region : Garhwal Himalayas
Duration : 8 / 10 Days.
Altitude : Max : 4405m
Grade : Moderate
Area Covered : Rishikesh : Joshimath : Badrinath : Laxmi van : Satopnath Tal.
Best Season : June / July / August / September / October.
Summary : It is a glacial lake surrounded by high snow capped peaks, 25 km from Badrinath.The lake has 3 corners and a circumference of about 1 km; its height is 4330 m. above sea level.Its name comes from the Hindu Triad - Brahma ,Vishnu & Mahesh and the belief is that each of its corners is occupied by one of Them. The trek goes through rough and enchanting waterfalls with dramatic scenes. The view from the lake is magnificent over lofty peaks: Chaukhamba Peaks & range, Neelkantha Peak,Nar / Narayan Peaks, Mana Pea, and many other unnamed peaks we can see en route.Wild animals and many different kinds of flowers & medicine plants are in this area. On the holy day of Ekadashi, Hindus belive that Lord Vishnu , himself, takes a bath in the lake. One can trek to Kalandi Pass via Ghastoli and Arwa Tal.
Kakbhusandi Tal (Lake) :
Region : Garhwal Himalayas
Duration : 8 /10 days
Altitude : Max.4325 m.
Grade : Moderate
Area Covered : Rishikesh : Joshimath : Khaldhar : Udiyaar : Kakbhusandi L:ake.
Best Season : May / June / September / October / November.
Summary : it is a small oblong lake of emerald green water ,Situated at the altitude of 4345m., near Kankul Pass (5230m), the lake is surrounded by snow capped peaks,and its clear blue water is shining in a meadow full of Brahmakamal and other flowers. Two huge rocks on a spur of Hathi Parbat are imagined as acrow and an Eagle. Local believe that the crow is intensely conversing with Eagle (Garuda) on the affairs of the universe. There is another version : once a learned Brahma of Ayodhya incurred the wrath of the sage Lomas here. He was changed into the form of a crow by the Sage.The lake is set up in the lap of the Hathi Parwat. View: Barhmal Peak, Mana Peak, Hathi Ghodi Base, Raj Kharak, a flat meadow area covered with many variety of flowers,while on the way one have to cross Bhunar river, which comes from the sources of the Mana range & Hathi Glaciers.
To trek to the Valley of Flowers is also a good option. 3 more days from Bhundar: first to Ghangaria, then to the Valley of Flowers,then back to Joshimath.The trek route is in glacial moraines and slippery rocks over a long distance from Kakbhusandi to the Valley of Flowers.
Nandi Kund : 3970 m : Is a lake spread over an area of 11/2 km. The trail commands a beautiful view of lush green meadows and lofty snow covered peaks. There are some very old woods, which are worshipped, as belonging to the Pandavas.It is a lake spread over an area of one and a half km.
Sapat Kund : 3354m : Situates on the Panch Kedar trail near by Kalpnath & Madhya Maheshwar , within a range of 2 km. On these seven lakes that are not frequented like tourist yet. Some have cold water and others have warm water. The co lour of the water also various.
Homkund : 4061 m : Homkund is approached via Sutol or Roopkund after crossing Shilasamundra glacier. It is a small lake encompassing a view of the Trishul and Nanda Ghunti Base camps.
Chatrakund : 2620 m : A days walk from Joshimath, commanding a magnificent view of lofty peaks and crossing the excellent green grassy meadow Auli (Winter ki resort center) and Gorson Bughyal
Tata Pani and Unyanital : 3072m : Can be approached through the khiron Valley between Badrinath and Hanumanchatti. These are warm water lake in the midst of the Himalayas.
Tolital : 2965 m : Situated amidst dense forests in the Rudhranath, ranges houses ducks.
Duration : 10 /12 days.
Altitude : Max.3980m
Grade : Challenging
Area covered : Rishikesh : Joshimath : Badrinath : Ghastoli : Satopanth : Arwatal.
Best Season : May / June / August / September / October.
Summary : For the more enterprising, a trek to Arwatal via Mana and Arwa Nala is rewarding. A number of streams have to crossed through hazardous icy and snowy terrain. Badrinath to Ghastoli is 17 Kms. And Arwatal is another 22 Kms.
Vasuki Tal Trek :
Region : Garhwal Himalayas : Uttarakashi
Duration : 8 / 10 days
Altitude : Max . 4135 m
Grade : Moderate
Area Covered : Rishikesh : Kedarnath : Vasuki Tal (Lake).
Best Season : May / June / August / September / October
Summary : Vasuki tal is an enchanting lake approached from a steep climb of 14 kms from Kedarnath. The trek from Kedarnath to Vasuki Tal is a continous Ascent along a goat track and it offers a panoramic view Of Chaukhamba peaks. The final trek to Vasuki Tal is Downhill for 1 km. At the bottom of this, one can see Rectangular slabs of rocks.
A picturesque lake , 4135 mts. Above sea level is encirecled by lofty mountains and offers a commanding view of Chaukhamba peaks.From here to painya Tal north - west of Valsuki Tal is about 1 km on rocky surface. Vasukital Lake, about kms in radius, with crystal clear waters will possibly take you into an immediate trance. The view of Chaukhamba Peaks and Mandakini Valley is wonderful from here.
Dodital (Lake) :
Duration : 8 /10 Days
Altitude : Max.3055m
Grade : Moderate
Area Covered : Rishikesh : Uttarakashi : Gangori : Dodital
Best Season : May / June / July / September /October / November.
Summary : A sparkling lake surrounded by dense forests. The famous Himalayan trouts are found in abundance in the lake. Here is a dazzling body of water in the midst of an extremely dense forest of oak, pine, and deodar. Fed by natural springs in its depths. It provides an idyllic retreat for rest and recreational activities like angling, boating and bird watching. The lake about three kilometers in circumference, calm and placed in a setting equally calm and lovely, in direct contract to what lies ahead of the trek when, after a few kilometers, the scenery will change to rough, rugged and awesome in its wild beauty. A beautiful camping site, while behind the lake is the magnificent back - drop of the blue sky playing with the mighty peaks of the Himalayas truly a veritable temple of nature.
Kedar Tal :
Duration : 8 /10 days.
Altitude : Max. 4425m.
Grade : Moderate
Area Covered : Rishikesh : Uttarakshi : Gangotri : Kedar Valley : Kedar Tal.
Best Season : May / June / September / October / Mid November.
Summary : An enchanting lake , 4425mts, above sea level against the splendid back - drop of mighty Thalay Sagar Peak. Kedartal punctuated with breath stopping close view of Greater Himalayan peaks e.g. Thaleysagar (6904 mts), Brigupanth (6772 mts) and Jogin Group of peaks. The emerald lake with melting snow of Kedar glacier originates kedarganga, a tributary of Bhagirathi, considered as lord Shiva,'s contribution to Bhagirathi. One can encounter a good variety of high altitude fauna e.g. Bharal (blue sheep), Goral, Himalayan black bear with a great variety of birds. The trek is bit strenuous, but the rewards are very high. Accesible through a rough mountains trail, it is the base camp for trekking to surrounding peaks. Besides the peaks surrounding the lake you can also see the Banderpunch range.
Deoriya Tal :
Duration : 6 / 8 days.
Altitude : Max.3055m.
Grade : Soft
Area Covered : Rishikesh : Ukhimath : Sari : Deoria Tal.
Best Season : April / May / June / July / August / September / October / November / December.
Summary : Trek start from Okhimath and followed through Sari small village situated inside a dense forest its only 3 kms trek from Sari , which leads to enchanting lake Deoria Tal. This beautiful lake at an altitude of 3055mts. Above sea level gives the spectacular reflection of snow capped peaks in the lake water. Ideal sport for angling and bird watching. The lake is about 120m long and 75 m broad and 20m deep. It is of an oval shape. It is very deep on the northern side and is nowhere very shallow. Early morning the snowy range is clearly visible reflected on the water. This range includes the Badrinath and the Kedarnath peaks to the west of it. It is a year round tourist sport.
Sahasratal and Masaratal :
Region : Garhwal Himalayas - Uttarakashi
Duration : 10 / 12 Days.
Altitude : Max.4650m
Area Coverd : Rishikesh : Ghuttu : Pachari : Tamakund : Khatling : Sahasratal
Best Season : May / June / August / September / October / Mid November.
Summary :These both lakes are nearly situates at Khatling Glacier. Sahasratal on east and Masaratal on the west of khatling glacier respectively. Nature has showed her rich bounty on the valley of Bhilangana, full of enchantment with a panoramic view of the snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers such as Jogin group, Meru etc. The most outstanding is sphetic Prishtwan, made of white quartz, which from a distance dazzles like the driven snow. The snow tops of these peaks are magnificent.
Duration : 8 / 12 Days
Altitude : Max.4080m.
Area Covered : Rishikesh : Debal : Bedni : Roopkund
Best Season : May / June / August / September / October / November.
Summary : Roopkund is situated at a height of 5029 metres in the lap of Trishul massif.The mystery lake of Roopkund has attracted many a besotted traveler since the discovery of human skeletons in the lake and the glacier descending into it. For many years the origin of the skeletons remained a mystery. Some thought it to be the remains of General Zorawar's army that lost its way while returning from Tibet. But the popular belief, narrated in the folk traditions about the pilgrimage to Nanda Devi undertaken by Raja Jasdhaval and his wife the Garhwali Princess Rani Balampa, who perished in a hailstorm at Jurangali, appears to be closer to the truth; especially since the carbon dating of the skeletons and its anthropological studies point towards the authenticity of this folk-lore.The lake, surrounded by rock strewn glaciers and snow clad peaks, is magnificent.
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