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Lakes in Srinagar

One of the prime reasons due to which Kashmir receives a huge influx of tourists every year are the lakes in its capital city, Srinagar. The lakes in Srinagar are not the usual waterbodies, which you can find anywhere, but they are the epitome of peace, serenity and tranquility. Prominent lakes which deserve such an introduction are Dal Lake, Nagin Lake, Anchar Lake, Wular Lake and Manasbal Lake. Considered as the face of Srinagar, all these beautiful lakes possess a scenic background of the mountains. Filled with narrow water canals, houseboats, floating shops and gardens, these beautiful lakes are amongst the best tourist attractions in the city. The enchanting lakes connect to the other major attractions in Srinagar.

Owing to this, one can simply book a houseboat and visit several places, located all along the banks of the lake.  Attractions like Nishat Garden Hazratbal Mosque, Shah Hamdan’s Shrine, Nasim Bagh and Nehru Garden lie in the vicinity of these lakes. 

List of Some of the Best and Most visitied Lakes in Srinagar

Dal Lake Srinagar

Dal Lake Located in Srinagar city, which is 6.4 km long and 4km wide, and within its periphery, four enormous expanses of water - Lokut Dal, Bod Dal, Gagribal and Nagin. Hence, Dal Lake is not a flat, continuous mass of water, but an intricate maze of waterways, making for a spectacular sight and an even more enchanting locale to explore.To the delight of the visitors they can enjoy fascinating rides on traditional Kashmiri Houseboats and Shikaras. The Shikara ride can be an hour-long sightseeing session of the Dal a shopping-by-shikara expedition to handicraft shops within the lake area; or a whole-day trip featuring visits to major landmarks in Srinagar. This beautiful lake of Kashmir valley is revered not only for its spectacular beauty, but also for its vibrancy, because within its periphery, the lake sustains a unique life, unmatched elsewhere. The Houseboat and 'Shikhara' communities have lived for ages on the Dal, and have created such a complete infrastructure that they do not need to step on land for their day-to-day sustenance.

Wular Lake Srinagar

Fed by river Jhelum, Wular Lake is the largest fresh water lake in Kashmir valley, and also in India. Surrounded by mountains and dense forests of alpine and coniferous vegetation, Wular lake offers a captivating natural sight to its visitors. In order to visit the famous lake, one has to travel around 60 km from the city of Srinagar. Perfect as a picnic spot, the Wular lake receives a huge influx of foreign tourists as well as locals. The vicinity of this pristine lake provides natural habitat to a variety of terrestrial birds, which can be the reason for a bird watcher to travel to this part of Kashmir.

Apart from birds, Wular lake is also a breeding ground for a variety of fishes, so fishing is also one of the prime activities at the lake. Besides, visitors can also indulge in water sports activities like water skiing at the lake. History of this enchanting lake narrates setting up of an artificial island by the 15th century king of Kashmir, Zain-ul-Abidin. It was basically done to provide shelter to the local boatmen of the region during that time. The remains of this artificial island can still be seen in the lake.

Manasbal Lake Srinagar

Manasbal Lake in the Kashmir valley is a picturesque water body that is nestled in the serene Jhelum valley. Residing  solo, the beautiful Manasbal lake is not attached to any major channels for water inflow. Tucked away in the lap of nature, the lake is one of the major attractions near Srinagar, the visit of which one can bank on.  The origin of this popular lake is not yet clear. However, it is believed by the locals that it is very ancient as it is named after the sacred Mansarovar Lake in Kailash mountain. In today’s times, Manasbal lake is by far the deepest lake in India and it gives tourism a new high in the state. The exotic view of the lake includes beautiful lotus flowers dotted in the major portion of the lake. Much to the amazement, the surroundings of this natural lake boast of an ancient fort on its north shore.

As you sail through the lake on traditional boats named Shikara, you can have a nice time watching several birds flying in the vicinity. This makes the lake a paradise for bird watchers. Apart from its scenic nature, Manasbal lake near Srinagar offers a number of activities like fishing and water skiing.    

Nigeen Lake Srinagar

Nestled at the foothills of Zabarwan ranges in Srinagar, Nagin Lake is one of the prime tourist attractions in the city that must not be missed. Basically it is an offshoot of the parent Dal Lake.  Being surrounded by mountains-Hari Parbat on the west and Shankaracharya hill on the east, the location of the Nagin Lake proves to be an adoring sight. Just like the other popular lakes in Srinagar, popular houseboats like Shikharas are a common sight here. These boats ferry people to and from the lake. Besides, the traditional Kashmiri Shikhara boats, visitors can also enjoy water skiing and fiberglass boat ride, which are made available at the embankments.

So shimmering and safe is the Nagin lake, one can even take a refreshing dip in the lake. As the banks of Nagin lake are bordered with several gardens, tourists can always visit them as part of their tour. 

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