Ansoo Lake, Kaghan Valley
|Location||Kaghan, Manoor Valley, Himalaya|
|Surface elevation||4,250 meters (13,940 ft)|
The name "Ansoo" comes from its tear-like shape (the Urdu word Ansoo means teardrop). The lake also resembles a human eye with a central ice island resembling the iris and a ridge resembling an eyebrow, which becomes even more prominent when ice melts on the "eyebrow" during the summer. This ridge was partially destroyed in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
There is no place to stay at Ansoo Lake. Some people may camp on the top of extremely cold and windy mountains but it is very risky and even the locals do not recommend this.
This lake can be reached by two different routes. First one is short but steeper trek from Saiful Mulook Lake. It takes more than 7 hours for a round trip to Ansoo lake starting from lake Saiful Mulook. The trek is covered with snow in most parts of the year. The best time to trek is from July 10 to August 15. The optimal time to set off for the lake from Saiful Mulook is around 06:00 in the morning, in order to return before sunset. Horses and guides can also be hired from the Lake Saiful Mulook.
Sometimes, the lake is not viewable due to fog or rain. The trek to the lake itself presents several picturesque views to the visitors. After hours of trekking a hill is climbed, and on the other side, Ansoo Lake is visible. Aansoo Lake can be reached using two treks;
From Lake Saif-ul-Malook
It takes seven to nine hours of trek for a round trip from Lake Saiful Malook to Ansoo Lake. This trek can be separated into two halves. The first part is through a valley alongside a river to the base camp of Malika Parbat. The second steeper part is from the base camp of Malika Parbat to Ansoo Lake. This lake is located at the far off deserted and extremely difficult areas; thus, it can become dangerous if one is not fully equipped and require proper guidance and planning as there are no lodging facilities available. Camping is the only solution, but it is so windy and ice cold out there that one has to be really prepared to camp.
From Mahandri through Manoor Village
The second trek to Ansoo Lake begins in a village named Mahandri, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) to the south of Naran. Turning left from Mahandri Bazar, a jeep track leads to Village Manoor. This valley offers picturesque views. Vehicles cannot proceed further from here. 6–7 hours of trek brings one to a green meadow called “Dher”. From here the trek becomes steeper. After 3–4 hours of trek from Dher at a height of about 16500 feet, Ansoo Lake becomes visible. There is no risk free way to reach lake waters because it lies in the crater with steep, snow covered walls. There is no apparent drainage of lake water and no one ever tried to explore it because of its dangerous approach and limited resources in that area.
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