DESTINATION Saral Lake | by Ch. Faisal Mahmood
Saral Lake is located in Neelam Valley, in Pakistan’s Azad Kashmir at an altitude of 13,600 feet (4,100 m). The lake is accessible from Sharda by a jeepable track which leads to Gumut National Park and then through hiking trek can be reached to the lake which is another hidden pearl of the valley.
Nature is so beautiful and captivating and one of the most beautiful creations of nature is lakes. People all over the world like to spend time boating, fishing, and even swimming in lakes. Lakes also provide wonderful sceneries and are provide great opportunities for picnics. Pakistan is blessed with immense natural beauty and Pakistan has its fair share of lakes and Saral lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
The lake is only accessible to trekkers after at least one night of camping en route to the lake. The tourists have multiple options to access the lake. The most preferable way is via ‘Lailan ki basti’ in Kaghan valley and Noori top Road leads to Lailan ki basti.When one stops about 6km before Noori top from Kaghan side, there one’s left is Lailan ki basti. About 12km trekking through the lush green valley one can reach the lake via this route.
The 2nd possible option to reach the lake is via Dudipatsar lake trek from Besal village. This one is practiced by most of the trekkers. Trek to Dudipatsar lake is one of the most beautiful in Kaghan valley. A walk through lush green meadows and white streams will bring you to a very small seasonal settlement Mullan ki basti. From Mullah ki basti, Dudipatsar lake is a 2 hours trek and Saral lake can be accessed by crossing the 4200m high Saral pass which lies to the right of Mullah ki basti. Trek length from Mullah ki basti is around 12km. One last option to access the lake is from Sharda side via Sharda-Jalkhad road. One has to cross the 4300m high Surgan pass to access the lake. This trek is the shortest but very steep and difficult.