Gangabal Lake

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Gangabal Lake
Location Ganderbal, Kashmir Valley
Coordinates 34°25′50″N 74°55′30″E / 34.43056°N 74.92500°E / 34.43056; 74.92500Coordinates: 34°25′50″N 74°55′30″E / 34.43056°N 74.92500°E / 34.43056; 74.92500
Type oligotrophic lake 1.57 km2
Primary inflows Melting glaciers
Primary outflows Nundkol Lake which drains into Sind River
Max. length 2.7 kilometres (1.7 mi)
Max. width 1 kilometre ( 0.62 mi)
Surface elevation 3,575 metres (11,729 ft)
Frozen November to April

The Gangabal Lake (Urdu: ﮔﻨﮕﺒﻞ ﺟﮭﻴﻞ‎, Hindi: गंगाबल झील), also called Gangbal Lake, is a lake situated at the foothills of Mount Haramukh (the highest mountain peak in the vicinity of Kashmir valley)[1] in Ganderbal district, north of Srinagar city in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is an alpine high altitude oligotrophic lake,[2] home to many species of fish,[3] including the brown trout.[4]

The lake has a maximum length of two and a half kilometres and maximum width of one kilometre. It is fed by precipitation, glaciers and springs. The lake water outflows to a nearby Nundkol Lake[5] and then via Wangath nallah[6] to Sind River[7] The trout fishes are present in the lake.[8]


The Gangabal lake is approached from Srinagar 45 kilometres by road via Ganderbal up to Naranag[9] 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 three mountain passes Nichnai pass, Gadsar pass and Zajibal pass of an average elevation of 4100 meteres.[10] It can also be accessed through a trek from Bandipore via Arin.[11][12]

Religious beliefs[edit]

In Hindu tradition Gangbal is also called Harmukut Ganga, and it is believed that this place is as pious as Haridwar where Hindu pilgrims perform prayers and immerse ashes of the dead. A traditional annual three-day-long yatra has been revived by APMCC and Kashmiri Pandits to preserve their cultural and religious history.[13] This Harmukh Gangbal Yatra is performed annually in the month of September.[14]



  1. ^ "Trekking Kashmir". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  2. ^ Raina, HS; KK Vass (May–June 2006). "Some biological features of a freshwater fairy shrimp, Branchinecta schantzi, Mackin, 1952 in the Northwestern Himalayas, India" (PDF). J. Indian Inst. Sci. 86: 287–291. Retrieved 21 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Fishes and Fisheries in high altitude lakes, Vishansar, Gadsar, Gangabal, Krishansar". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  4. ^ Petr, ed. by T. (1999). Fish and fisheries at higher altitudes : Asia. Rome: FAO. p. 72. ISBN 92-5-104309-4. 
  5. ^ "Harmukh Gangabal". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  6. ^ "Indus projects". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  7. ^ Raina, Maharaj Krishen. "Know Your Motherland – Gangabal Lake". 
  8. ^ "Kashmir tourism". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  9. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir update". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  10. ^ "Track to Gangabal". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  11. ^ "Kashmir Treks". Retrieved 2013-10-24. 
  12. ^ "Tracks of Kashmir". Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  13. ^ "Gangabal yatra to commence after 100 years". zeenews.india. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  14. ^ "Harmukh Ganga Yatra scheduled between September 11 and 15". Retrieved 4 September 2013.