The Gangabal Lake, also known by the name of Haramukh Ganga is a lake situated at the foothills of Haramukh Mountain in Ganderbal district of Kashmir valley. This alpine high altitude lake lies at an elevation of 3570 meters, is home to many types of fishes including rainbow and brown trout. The lake can be reach via Ganderbal and Naranag and then, need to cover 15 km trek route via Vishansar and Krishnasar Lake. The Gangabal Lake can also be accessed through a trek from Bandipore via Arin. The best season to visit the lake is from the month of July to September.
The twin lakes of Gangabal and Nandakol look stunning when viewed from Zach pass on the hills opposite side. It is definitely worth the effort, try and hike up as high as possible, higher you go, better is the view!
If there are shepherds around with their flock, the lake is great for fishing but one needs a permit from Srinagar.
On a clear day, the view of Nandakol lake at the base of Harmukh peak towering to a height of over 5000m is fantastic. You can make this a trip on horse/pony from Narnag.
Major Tourist Activity:
Trekking and fishing.
How to Reach?
The Gangabal lake is approached from Srinagar 45 kilometres by road via Ganderbal up to Naranag and then a trek of 15 kilometres upslopes leads to the lake, which can be covered by a horse ride or by foot. The shepherds and gujjars can be seen during the trek with their flocks of sheep and goats. Another trek (25 kilometres long) leads to the lake site from Sonamarg via the Vishansar Lake crossing the Nichnai pass ( 4100 meteres). It can also be accessed through a trek from Bandipore via Arin.
Gangabal Lake Trek
The trek to the lake Gangabal takes place in an alpine environment, (cut crossing) with meadows, (cut from) and huts of Gujjars – Himalayan nomads - with their herds crossing through two passes (cut steeps of) over 4,000 m to get to the lake Gangabal, the sacred Hindu lake and place of pilgrimage.