Himachal Pradesh is also known as "Dev Bhoomi" which means the land of gods. This very own land of gods is truly blessed with the most beautiful and scenic mountains, landscapes, and spectacular lakes. Most of these enchanting lakes are surrounded by the panoramic view of the mountains enhancing their beauty.
The lakes in Himachal Pradesh are famous for their pristine beauty and tranquillity all over the country. Some of them are also well known because of their religious importance and hence considered sacred by the locals. Therefore, tourists from all over the country come to visit these lakes throughout the year.
Most of these sparkling lakes in Himachal Pradesh are located at very high elevations and are difficult to reach. Therefore, you will need to trek your way to these mesmerizing water bodies. Some of these lakes are wonderful camping sites and dream destination for those who love an outdoor adventure.
Himachal is home to one of the most picturesque and serene lakes in the entire country. During the tourist season, a huge number of tourists come to visit these lakes. Himachal Honeymoon Packages are incomplete without a visit to these lakes in the itinerary. These lakes are also an ideal destination for solo travelers looking for a quiet time where they can do some soul searching.
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6 Most Popular Lakes in Himachal Pradesh
1. Chandratal Lake
Chandratal Lake (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Chandratal Lake is believed to be Heaven for those who love Trek. It is located in the Lahul&Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh at a height of about 14500 ft. This Lake is known as Chandra Taal (Chandra means the Moon) because it's a crescent-shaped water body.
This lake is considered to be among one of the most beautiful lakes in Himachal Pradesh because of its deep blue crystal clear water and breath-taking view of the mountains. The beauty of this serene lake cannot be described in words it can only be experienced.
The most convenient way to reach this spectacular lake is via Manali. You can easily get deluxe and semi-deluxe buses to reach Manali from all major cities in India. Once you reach Manali you can spend the night at Solang valley and start your journey to the lake the next morning.
Chandra Taal lake is around 140 km away from Manali. You can hire a taxi from Manali that will take you to Batal via Gramphu and Chhatru. You can also take a bus from Kaza that will take you to Batal. After reaching Batal you will have two options, one is to trek your way to the lake and another is to hire a taxi.
Chandra Taal Lake is located at a distance of about 15 km from Batal and the weather is really cold here. Therefore, the trek to this lake is not an easy one but it will surely be the one to remember. The views while you trek to this river are amazingly beautiful. It will also help you to acclimatize to the weather.
This lake is one of the top must-visit lakes in Himachal Pradesh. You must visit this lake in the morning so that you can view the reflections of the majestic mountains in the crystal clear water of this serene lake. There are various camping sites available near the lake but camping on the riverside independently is not permitted.
If you are looking for a perfect combination of sight-seeing and adventure then you must add this destination to your Himachal Trip Package. The best time of the year to visit this lake is during the summers.
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2. Nako Lake
Nako Lake, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Nako Lake is one of the most scenic lakes in Himachal located at an elevation of about 12000ft on the sides of Nako village. Nako is a small village located in the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. It is very close to the Indo-China Border. This lake is one of the most sought after tourist destinations around Nako village.
Nako village can be reached via Shimla or Manali. It is about 700 km from Shimla and about 900 km from Manali. Buses and Taxis are available from both the towns to take you to this beautiful village. However, if you choose the bus as an option then you will need to change your bus twice. Once from Shimla of Manali you need to board a bus to RekongPeo and from there another bus to Kaza.
Kaza is about 111 km away from Nako village and it will take around 3 hours to reach there via Taxi. Once you reach Nako village you can relax there for the night and enjoy some local food before visiting the Lake the next morning. You can also visit Nako Monastery which is another popular tourist attraction here.
The journey might be a little tough but the splendid beauty of this lake will make it all seem worth it. Once you reach this lake you will be amazed by the hypnotic beauty of this lake. It is a perfect spot for you to unwind and enjoy the calmness of nature. This is one of the most famous lakes in Himachal Pradesh. Your journey to Himachal would be incomplete without visiting this magical lake.
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3. Prashar Lake
Prashar Lake, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Rahul Arora)
Prashar Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Himachal Pradesh located at a height of about 8500ft in the district of Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. The lake is located at a distance of about 50 km from Mandi.
Like many other lakes in Himachal Pradesh, this lake also has its association with Hindu Mythology. It is believed that Bhim (one of the Pandavas from Mahabharat) formed this lake by striking his elbow on the mountains and creating a huge dent. Therefore, this lake is considered holy by the local dwellers.
A very famous sage named Prashar meditated and stayed along-side the lake to honor him this lake was named Prashar Lake. A temple of this sage has also been built near this Lake. This is a three-storied temple with a structure resembling that of a Buddhist Pagoda
Mandi can be reached conveniently from all major cities in India. You can Trek your way to this lake via village Kantlu. It takes around 2 hours from Mandi to Kantlu in a taxi. It is a 7 Km trek and will take about 5 hours to complete. Once you reach the lake there will be several camping options available for you.
This sparkling lake in Himachal Pradesh is surrounded by lush green forest adding to the picturesque beauty of this lake. The lake has beautiful deep blue water with a tiny green floating island that keeps changing its position throughout the year. This lake is a perfect spot for couples wanting to spend some quality time away from their busy schedules in the cities.
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4. Kareri Lake
Kareri Lake, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Kareri Lake is one of the most popular lakes in Himachal Pradesh located near Ghera village at a height of about 9500ft. Ghera village is located about 20 km from this lake in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
To reach Kareri Lake one must reach Dharamshala in Kangra district and from there they can reach Kareri village and trek their way to this lake. Dharamshala can be reached easily via air, train, and buses from all major cities in north India. The nearest airport is Gaggal airport which is about 13 km from Dharamshala. The nearest train station is Pathankot station which is around 8 km away. Buses are also easily available to reach Dharamshala.
Once you reach Dharamshala you can take a Taxi to reach Kareri village and trek your way up to Kareri Lake. The trek is full of pine and oak trees and beautiful wildflowers. The trek is not very steep and it will take around 5 to 6 hours to complete.
Once you reach this mystic lake you can enjoy the serenity of this lake in the green meadows. You can also camp anywhere you like near this lake. It is a picture-perfect spot to relax and see the sun going down in the majestic Dhauladhar range. Tour to this lake is a part of many Himachal honeymoon packages.
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5. Manimahesh Lake
Manimahesh Lake, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Manimahesh Lake is located about 13, 400 ft high and around 25 km away from Bharmaur in the district of Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most famous lakes in Himachal Pradesh because of its religious importance for the Hindu population in India.
It is believed in Hindu mythology that this lake was created by Lord Shiva after he married Devi Parvati. Therefore, the lake is considered sacred among the Hindus in India. Many Hindu worshipers gather here in the months of Saawan (August and September) to pay their respects to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati by bathing in this freezing water.
To reach Manimahesh Lake you will have to reach Chamba which is easily accessible by taxi and buses from all major cities in India. After reaching Chamba you will have to reach Bharmaur which is about 60 km away from Chamba. Local buses and Taxis are conveniently available at Chamba. After reaching Bharmaur you can take a bus or taxi to Hadsar which is about 13 km away from Bharmaur.
You can trek from Hadsar to reach Manimahesh Lake; this trek is about 14 km long and can be a little difficult. There is no concrete road and the weather condition can get very challenging. For those who do not prefer to trek horses can also be hired to reach Manimahesh Lake.
Manimahesh Lake offers the most extraordinary views of mount Kailash and other surrounding peaks. The moment you reach here the feeling of serenity exhilarated by the scenic beauty will dazzle you. If you are visiting this lake for spiritual reasons then you might as well dare to take a dip in the icy water of this lake.
Overall visit to this lake can be a gratifying experience for adventure lovers looking for a spiritual experience in the hills.
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6. Suraj Tal Lake
Suraj Tal Lake, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Suraj Tal Lake is located about 16000ft high in the Lahul&Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. This lake is located at a distance of about 65 km from Keylong district which can be reached via Leh – Manali highway. This lake is the third highest lake in India.
To reach this heavenly lake you can trek to Baralacha la pass via Leh – Manali highway. Suraj Tal is about 4 km away from Baralacha la pass. Trek to this river is not an easy one and the climatic conditions can be unpredictable. Those who decide to trek to this lake must be well prepared for any surprises.
All this would be worthwhile after reaching this marvelous lake. The astonishing beauty of this lake and the mountain peaks surrounding it will take you into a whole new world of wonders. This is one of the most scenic lakes in Himachal that one cannot miss on their trip to Himachal.
The best time to visit is from the month of May to July due to difficult weather conditions during the rest of the year. However, if you do not wish to trek to this mystical lake then you can also reach this lake in a taxi or a bike.
These were some of the best Lakes in Himachal that have not been explored by many due to extreme weather conditions and difficult mountainous terrain. If you are planning to visit Himachal this summer then you can request your tour operator to add a visit to these lakes to your Himachal Trip Package.
These lakes are wonderful destinations for adventure lovers as most of them are located at high mountain peaks. It would also be a great idea to explore these magical lakes with a group of friends. Whether you are traveling solo, with your spouse, or with family a visit to these magnificent lakes will be one of the best experiences that you will have on your trip to Himachal.