Trekking to the Himalayan Lakes of Nepal

  • Sun-Sep-2019

The staggering mountains in the Himalayas attract every one of us; as undeniable is their majestic beauty, even being in their vicinity feels serene and peaceful. Although it is always the mountains that are pious, the glaring Himalayan lakes of Nepal are no less ardent.

These high altitude lakes make a perfect destination for trekking in Nepal. The trails are all along with the grandeur of mountains while going through the distant villages and valley rich in culture and tradition, and ultimately, there is the lake, with an immediate backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

Some are in relatively high altitude, while some are in considerable height; the trek awaits you, as per your convenience. So, here are the some of the best Himalayan lakes of Nepal, perfect for nature admirers and trekking in Nepal.

Tilicho Lake

tilicho lake of nepal

Tilicho Lake is one of the highest lakes in Nepal at 4,919 meters covering 4.8 km2 in Manang. Also, the highest for its size in the world. With such an impressive elevation Tilicho lake is one of the much-coveted lake/destinations in Nepal. It is a breathtaking blue colored lake amid the mountains in complete serenity; Tilicho peak, Nilgiri, Muktinath peak and Khangsar.

At first, Tilicho lake became popular as a side hike of Annapurna Circuit with additional 3-4 days. However, the sole trek to Tilicho Lake has also caught the attention of trekkers and is very much on their interest.

The trek begins right from Besi Sahar and scaling higher you will observe the beautiful view of some of the tallest mountains; Dhaulagiri (8,167 meters), Manaslu (8,163 meters), Annapurna (8,091 meters) and Machhapuchre (6,993 meters), including stunning cascading waterfalls, verdant forests, and picturesque villages.

Further, Tilicho’s religious significance is what makes this trek even more remarkable. It is mention in Hindu epic, Ramayan, as Kak Bhusundi Lake, where the happenings of Ramayan was told by sage, Kak Bhusundi to Garuda (king of birds).

Gokyo Lakes

gokyo lakes of nepal

Gokyo Lakes are the cluster of several lakes, with six main ones; Gokyo Cho, Thonak Cho, Longpanga Cho, Ngojumba Cho, Tanjung Cho, and Gyazumpa Cho. These lakes range from 4,700 to 5,000 meters and within the periphery of Sagarmatha National Park.

Trekking towards these six glacial-fed lakes, a typical climb to Gokyo Ri at 5,357 meters is also included (Same height as Everest Base Camp), from where Everest, Makalu, Nuptse, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Gyachung Kang can be seen.

Along with the breathtaking view of mountains and bright turquoise high-altitude lakes, you will also come across Ngozumpa glacier, the largest glacier in the Himalayas.

As Gokyo Lakes falls under the Everest region, you have to walk on the same route as Everest Base Camp up to Namche Bazaar from where you will divert to Phorse and towards the lakes.

Panch Pokhari

Panch pokhari lakes of nepal

Panch Pokhari, which translates as “Five Ponds” as per the Nepali language, is one of the captivating Himalayan lakes of Nepal with five beautiful lakes. Its high altitude location at 4,100 meters has it to be the 9th highest altitude wetland in the world.

The group of this five lakes is in the northeast of Kathmandu in the base of Jugal Himal, that includes Dorje Lakpa (6,966 meters), Madiya (6,257 meters) and Phurbi Chhyachu (6,637 meters). The best part of all is, the trail towards the Panch Pokhari is an off-the-beaten-path trail, which is remote and very least walked. So, for those who want to have a quiet time with nature, this Himalayan lake of Nepal with be an ideal option.

Panch Pokhari also holds religious importance, where, in the occasion of Janai Purnima, thousands of Hindu as well Buddhist pilgrims make their way towards the lake. Coming to Panch Pokhari, Brahmins does the ritual of changing of Janai (sacred thread), which they wear around their bodies.

Panch Pokhari trek is rich in culture with the Sherpa and Tamang settlements and a magnificent view of Jugal Himal, Makalu ranges, Kanchengjung and Rolwaling.

Rara Lake

rara lake of nepal

One of the travel writers has quoted Rara Lake trek as “incomparable natural splendor, “untouched” villages, blissful and quiet” – one cannot deny the beauty of Rara Lake, once visit there. Rara Lake is located at 2,990 meters in Jumla and is the biggest and deepest freshwater lake in Nepal Himalayas.

As Rara Lake is surrounded by Rara National Park has a very unique floral and faunal importance including rare and vulnerable species. There are 1074 species of flora and 51 species of mammals. Himalayan black bear, leopard, musk deer, red panda, jackal, wild dog, common langur, rhesus macaque, wild boar, Himalayan tahr, yellow-throated martin, and common otter are some wildlife.

Also, with 214 species of birds, Rara Lake is the best place to be for avid-birdwatchers. Great-crested grebe, red-crested pochard, coots, mallard, black-necked grebe, merganser, hulls, gadwall, common teal, and solitary spine are some birdlife of Rara Lake.

Rara Lake Trek is a fascinating journey that takes you through the remote countryside towards the Tibetan border. The region is distant and unknown by the horde of trekkers. The best way to embark on the trek is to take a flight from Nepalgunj to Jumla, from where the lakes is only 2-3 days walk away.

Shey Phuksundo Lake

shey phoksundo lakes of nepal

Located at 3,612 meters elevation, Shey Phuksunda Lake dominates the popularity of Shey Phuksundo National Park. Along with turquoise blue water of the lake, the mighty peaks all around makes the view even more mesmerizing. It is a famous inclusion on Upper Dolpo trek and however, itself lie in Lower Dolpo Region.

The lake also has significance to the Tibetan Bon religion. Bon and Buddhism prevail in the Dolpo region, and right in the southern belt of the lake, there are more than 20 stupas, where annual worship and prayers are carried out. Another magnificent thing about the lake is over 167 meters tall waterfall, known as Phuksundo Waterfall.

Shey Phuksundo Lake trek takes you towards the region of Dolpo, where lies the centuries-old ancient feats, with the staggering natural beauty.

Gosaikunda Lake

gosaikunda lakes of nepal

Gosaikunda is the famous lake that remains frozen for six months in winter, from October to June. The whole Gosaikunda complex covers total 1,030 hectors, with 108 small to medium-size lakes. However, the main lake of Gosaikuna at 4,380 meters is pivotal of all. Bhairab Kunda and Saraswati Kunda are also the important lakes of the complex.

Gosaikunda is a short trek of around one week, that takes to the enticing and one of the popular trekking region of Nepal, Langtang. The lake lies within Langtang National Park and although a short journey, it offers the dramatic view of Ganesh Himal range, Manaslu range, Langtang Lirung, Tibetan Peak.

During the festival of Janai Purnima, the lake gets flooded by a throng of devotees for its religious importance. As per the Hindu scriptures of Bhagvat Puran, Vishnu Puran, and the epics Mahabharat and Ramayan, they all refer to Samudra Manthan which is related to the origin of Gosaikunda. It is believed that Lord Shiva created the lake when he thrust his holy trident in the Himalayas to extract the water to cool his burning throat after swallowing poison. So, to take a holy bath, people walk all the way to the lake, especially in Janai Purnima, when the water is considered of extra importance.