The exquisite beauty of Manasbal Lake justifies its title as one of the most beautiful lakes in Kashmir. 30 km from Srinagar, on the way to Wular Lake, is situated Manasbal. The lake is not only ornamental because of its scenic beauty, its water is also a means of living for the people. The pure Mansarovar Lake in Tibet gives Manasbal its name. While being a major tourist attraction, Manasbal also holds the record for being the deepest lake in India. Hence, it surely is the supreme gem of all the lakes in Kashmir.
Experience Kashmir through a new perspective. Manasbal lake provides the perfect location for birdwatching. Basking in the serenity of this place is a whole new adventure in itself. You can also visit the Mughal garden built by Nur Jahan, Garoka. Next to the lake, you can find ruins of the Manasbal Temple and many Buddhist Shrines. All these remains provide significance to the Mughal era. Locals can be seen fishing the small snow streams that ultimately merge into the lake. Enjoy a nice calm day by the Manasbal lake and admire the beauty of the flora growing in and around the lake.
Flora and Fauna at Manasbal Lake
The lake is home to macrophytes and phytoplankton, both floating and submerged. June witnessed the highest population of plankton at 864.9 mg/square cm and at 54 mg/ square cm in December. The numbers were affected by biomass production.
Inside the lake, the fauna population comprises of zooplankton, fish and benthos. Multiple species of fish can be found in the lake too. These include C Carpio communis, neomacheilus latius, S. esocinu and Schizothorax niger. The exotic species of Cyprinus has managed to multiply extensively ever since its introduction in the lake in 1956. But frequent environment changes have also caused a decline in its population numbers.
Activities at Manasbal Lake
The introduction of water skiing at Manasbal lake has caused a lot of tourist attraction. You can also experience many other tourist activities, amusements and water sports. For its beauty, Manasbal lake has also become a popular picnic spot. You can also opt for the many locally organized boat rides, aquatic sports such as skiing and rafting available by the lake. Exotic Himalayan bird species call Manasbal lake their home. Enjoy the greenery around the lake by taking a casual stroll. Also be sure to visit the nearby Mughal garden, Garoka, built by Mughal Empress Nur Jahan. You can enjoy the calm scenic landscapes from here.
At Manasbal lake, water skiing is a sport that is extensively supported by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. You can hire instructors that are well versed in the sport and use all the required equipment that is provided by the State government. The beautiful waters of the lake are enough to catch anyone’s attention for one swing at water skiing. From the month of May till late August, tourists can find many water skiing instructors for hire at Manasbal Lake.
Recently excavated Hindu Temple, named the Manasbal Temple, is situated on the eastern shore of the Manasbal Lake. The highlights of the temple include its Kashmiri style architecture. The lower half of the temple was unearthed when a restoration procedure was being carried out at the lake. The epigraphic writings on the walls of the temple suggest it to be dated back to 800-900 AD during the reign of Sankaravarman or Avantivarman. The construction of the temple uses local grey stone and the roof is made in the shape of a pyramid with floral motifs.
Attractions Near Manasbal Lake
There are a lot of rich tourist attractions near the lake. The breathtaking beauty of this place will make you want to keep coming back. As a haven for birdwatchers, this place is inhabited by many species of birds. You can take a stroll through the orchards around the lake, including the Mughal Garden, Jharoghabagh, and many more. The Chinar trees, mulberry and the apple orchards only make this place even more beautiful.
The surrounding villages of Kondabal and Jarokbal also manage to attract a lot of tourism. Another lake, near Manasbal Lake, called the Wular Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. A treat for religious people and cultural fanatics is the nearby temple, Manasbal Temple. It is a centuries-old temple located on the eastern side of the lake. It is said to have been constructed using grey stone during 800-900 AD.
Best Time to Visit Manasbal Lake
Opt for the months between May and October to visit Manasbal lake. This is because these months offer a pleasant temperature to properly tour around the lake. The temperature of the place during these months is usually around 8-22 degrees Celsius. The winter is too chilly to be enjoyed properly.
Tips for Visiting Manasbal Lake
- Tourists are not advised to swim in the lake.
- Don’t bother carrying woollen clothes during the summer. It is only during the winter that you need to carry them.
- Avoid polluting the lake.
How to Reach Manasbal Lake
Manasbal Lake is situated in the small town Safapora of the district of Ganderbal. You can reach there through Srinagar, located 30 km from the lake. Local buses and private taxis are available for the tourists to reach the lake. On the way, you will be awarded with the beautiful sights of Shadipur, Gandarbal, and Nasim. Manasbal Lake is beauty personified. Head to the lake to witness one of the most breathtaking landscapes all over the state.