Swat is better known as the valley of lakes which is not only the source of emerald green mighty river Swat but also serve as exquisite camping sites for nature lver and explorers. Almost all of these lakes require trekking or horse safari through thick forests and crossing gushing streams. Most of these lakes are veiled from the eyes of the tourists due to their remote locations. Exploring these wonders of the nature require stamina, patience, audacity and above all love for nature and wilderness.
Spin Khwar (White Stream) Lake
Spin Khwar is a beautiful lake hidden in the lap of mountains towards the north of Kundal Lake and south east of Utror valley. The name Spin Khwar has a clear significance as a small white stream in the east flows down to the lake from the surrounding mountains and is a major source of water. There are four possible access routes. First from Ladu village, Utror after 2 to 3 hours trek. The second one from Kandol is very steep but shorter. The third route is from Desan meadows. The fourth possible route is via Godur pass is Kalam.
Khaipro Lakes lakes in Swat region are located at a very high altitude in the foot of the tallest peak in the range with a considerable depth. The name Pari or Khapiro is given to the lake due do the widespread belief that the lake is the abode of fairies. The lake is surrounded by sharp jagged rocks and peaks with scanty grass and flowers growth. Pari Lake I is a small lake which feeds the greater Pari Lake located below it. The lake is triangular in shape and is surrounded by tall mountains with western face opening to the greater Pari Lake. It is comparatively greater in size and depth than the other lake situated in its vicinity and remains open in the months of July till September. Lakes are accessible after 2hours tough trek from Kandol lake in Utror valley, Kalam.
This, a long day return trek is a fantastic moderate to difficult excursion for lakes lovers. Kandol Lake can also be an exciting camping with proper gear. Located in the thickly forested Utror valley, neighboring to Kalam in Swat, this lake is an awe-inspiring place to visit in summer season. It takes about an hour from Kalam to Utror by a privately hired jeep. Kandol is a large green shaded lake, surrounded by snow covered mountains with green slopes merging in the water. The cold clear water with reflection of mountains is a breathtaking view. The cool breeze and the pleasant temperature make this magnificent place ideal for camping and rest. If you have enough time, a walk around the lake with extended exploration of nature and isolation is also possible.
The name Izmis means caves in Kohistani and as the lake is surrounded by several natural caves, the people have named the lake after these caves. Izmis Lake is located to the North-east of Utror valley at a high altitude above the tree line. A 13 km walking trail also goes towards Izmis Lake from Utror, which is located at an elevation of 11,230 feet above sea level. The word ‘Izmis’ means caves in Kohistani and the lake gets its name from the several natural caves surrounding it. A small jeep-able link road from Utror will take you to the starting point of a 3 to 4hours trek. The trek through lush green Banda will make your journey memorable.
Bashigram Lake is situated to the east of Bashigram valley near Madyan. The road to this valley is partly metalled and can be plied by a four by four or any ordinary vehicle. It takes almost forty to fifty minutes to reach this picturesque valley inhibited by simple and hospitable folk. From here, trekking of four to five hours, take you in the realm of a serene and enchanting lake of Bashigram. The trail to this lake is itself a unique and memorable experience. On the way to lake, one comes across lush green forests, exotic flowers and crystal clear springs and stream of various natures.
Daral lake is situated to the northeast of Sidgai Lake and can be accessed through Saidgai after two three hours rigorous trekking. The trail to Daral is full of fun and amusement because it runs over sky touching heights of the mountains provides spectacular sights. Analternate 6hrs trek from the equisite Gabeen Jaba also takes you to Daral Lake. The meadow around Daral is majestic indeed. Lake is accessible 5 months of the year. A small stream pours from this lake to the roaring Daral river. On the way down to Bahrain valley in the deep gorge carved by thick canopies of conifer, pine and cedar forests always hover over your head providing shelter from the blazing sun. An expert and keen observer of herbal plants will discover boundless treasures of herbal plants here.
Some places on earth are so wonderfully and spectacularly designed by the hands of Mother Nature that one finds it hard to describe the beauty and serenity of the area in written words. To experience the true and real beauty of these areas, it becomes binding to visit the area and explore the uniqueness and exquisiteness personally. For me it is the best place in the world to escape from the routine hectic and busy life and spend some moments in the lap of pure and serene Mother Nature though some people may consider it madness or lunacy to leave the comforts and facilities of home and suffer, though sometimes, the bitterness of nature. Anyway let us take a walk in the domains of fairies where greenery inspires you, streams sing for you, cool gusts of wind caresses you and move its invisible fingers through your hair.
Anakar lake also Andrab lake, is in the Anakar valley of Kalam. It is less a explored lake of Swat valley. The trek starts from the Anakar village, which becomes a popular tourist hub now, on the way to Utror valley. From the Utror valley, a 10 kilometres trek leads to the lush green forests up to the lake at the altitude of 10,840 feet above sea level. To reach the lake, a 4×4 or Fielder cars can be hired for around 1500-2000Rs from Kalam bazar. The jeep track beside the gushing Bankhwar nala will pass through forests and take you to some elevation near the Anakar meadows. Anakar meadows itself is a beautiful lush camping site with the Bankhwar nala flowing by side. The trek from Anakar village takes around 8hrs to reach the lake. You have to trek along the stream on a 12km mostly undefined track. The trek passes through lush green forest and end up in boulders where the mighty majestic Andrab lake is hidden.
Godur is the largest and nearest lake to Kalam, but rarely visited due to difficult approach. The lake lies to the southwest of Kalam at 12,600 ft above sea level. From Kalam, there are two routes to Godur. One route follows the Godur Nala and climbs very steeply through the narrow gorge. This route is quite difficult and strenuous. The second route is from Desan (near Utror), which is long but less steep. The route from godur nala is comparatively easier. Start the trek just before Kalam bazar before the check post. Take the jungle road at the start of power house at Kalam entrance. Pass the flood devastated hotels near a village and you will enter the real wilderness. The trek from there gets steeper and it takes 6 to 8 hours to reach the Godur pastures which is a beautiful camping site. The route ahead is another 5 to 6km of steep ascend but the magical view of the lake overcomes the trek effects. Total elevation gain from the starting point to lake is around 2000m.
Shetan Goot Lakes
After a taxing 13-hours-long trek on a risky trail of a steep rocky mountain, the sight of a huge mirror-like water body at once captures ones attention. The viewer at once gets a sense of mystery and excitement. The alpine glacial lake is perched 13,404 feet above sea level at the end of a 30 kilometer long pasture to the north of Kedam in Bahrain valley. The trek to Sehtan Goot is certainly difficult. But he believes that it is worth it, “It starts from Kedam in Bahrain valley and traverses through a magically beautiful valley where trekkers can witness dazzling beauty of lush green meadows, milky waterfalls, forests and mountains. Shetan Goot translates to ‘Devil’s corner’. From times unknown, shepherds gave the area this title because of its unmatched beauty and paranormal phenomenon. It is said this is where fairies dwell under devil’s guardianship.
This lake is located at a distance of roughly 10 kilometers from Mahodand and takes one day to reach here. The hike is gentle and the trek ascends gradual. There is a camping area near the lake where tourists can pitch their tents and spend a day or two comfortably. You cannot at all imagine that how best your time and moments will come out to be if you ill visit this lake! It is a jaw opening lake, it is a real and actual serene looking lake. If you want to feel beauty, if you want to see the real beauty this Neelsar Lake is here for you. A little further is the Katchi khani top or pass which leads into neighboring Chitral valley. There are two other passes that leave to Ghizer valley from Deewangar near Neelsar lake. The first one is a 4900m Bashkaro La and the second one is the 4700m Dadrili pass that will take you to Handrap lake in Ghizer valley. The meadow around neelsar is an excellent camping site in summer season.
Saidgai Lake is situated in the Hindukush chain of mountains, interspersed by several small and large lakes, which runs from the western edges of the Pamir plateau, west of the Karakoram. The mountains have snow-covered tops and are crossed by some minor glaciers. Saidgai Lake is located in the peripheries of Swat and Dir mountain ranges and serves as a huge reservoir of water for Hushirai Khwar (Stream), Dir. The lake can be accessed through three different trails and sides; Hushirai valley,Dir , Sulatanr,upper Swat and Sakhra lalko,upper Swat. The Lalko, name of village, trail to the lake is the most easy and breathtaking regarding accessibility and natural beauty. A jeepable and unmetlled road ends in the beautiful and exotic valley of lalko where your trekking and hiking chapter starts. From here, continuous trekking for almost seven to eight house lead you to your desired destination. On the way dark green pine, conifer and cedar forests keep you cool and refreshed; and small scurrying streams quenches your unquenchable thirst. On the way you will come across a vast pasture, which is called Gabina jaba.
Kharkhari Lake beyond doubt is the jewel in Swat’s crown. It is located approximately 45 kilometres from Kalam Valley and 23 kilometres from Utror Gabral area. Cradled by mountains, the body of water separates Swat from Chitral. A fork from Gabral leads to two areas – Kharkhari and Kamrat Valley. The journey to Kharkhari is an experience in itself. Thanks to the rugged terrain, a three-hour drive is followed by a four kilometre trek before the glistening surface of the lake emerges. Four waterfalls, several glaciers and dense vegetation wave past as you traverse the unpaved route.