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Gangabal Lake

Known for its picturesque location, serene mountains and unmatched beauty, Jammu and Kashmir makes an interesting place of visit for tourists. The state is home to several mesmerizing lakes, some of which hold religious and historical values along with being a treasured spot for fun-filled holidays.

Gangabal Lake (also known as Gangbal Lake) sits at the foothills of Mount Haramukh. Situated in Ganderbal district, this lake is about 45 km from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. Nourished by rainfall, glaciers and springs, this lake extends up to 2 ½ km long and 1 km wide. It is also 83 meters deep. The lake water streams into a small Nundakol Lake situated close by before moving on to Nallah Sindh via Wangath nallah.

Gangabal Lake has a deep religious history. In Hindu belief, Gangbal is also known as Harmukut Ganga and is as important as Haridwar. Every year, APMCC and Kashmiri Pandits organize a three-day-long yatra by the lake to conserve their cultural and religious history. However, following an outbreak of militancy in 1990 in the valley, government had closed the route to Gangabal Lake to end penetration into this valley.

In ancient times, Gangabal trail was used by Kashmiri rebels such as King Bhoja to take shelter in Dard area of Gurez and Tilel, cites Kalhana Pandit in Rajatarangini.


The lake is home to several species of fish such as the brown trout. However, to enjoy fishing, visitors require a permit from Srinagar.

Apart from fishing, this lake makes an interesting trekking and hiking spot. Visitors can walk all the way up over 4,000 meters, enjoying the green meadow, sight of Himalayan nomads’ home with their flock of sheep, leading to a stunning view of the lake. The trip, however, can also be made on a horse or pony.

An enchanting destination for fishing, Gangabal Lake in Kashmir holds trekking spot from various places. One such trek starts from Sonamarg via Kishansar and Vishansar, which is a 4 days hike. There’s also a one day trek from Kangan via Wangath and Narain Naag. Gangabal Lake can also be approached from Chattergul via Mahalish and Brahmasar, which is a 1 to 2 days trek.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to go on a hike on Gangabal Lake are months from July to October. For other months, snow makes the area unreachable. One can enjoy angling at this lake from March to October.

How to Reach

Situated at a distance of 45 kilometers from Srinagar, Gangabal Lake can be reached easily via road through Ganderbal. Visitors can hire taxi services from Srinagar, which operate at nominal rates, depending on the season.

Srinagar airport is well connected with regular flights from major Indian cities. The nearest railhead is Jammu Tawi Railway Station, which is linked with major Indian cities via rail.

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