It remains a dream of many of us to discover the breathtaking snow-covered view of the glaciers in the Himalayas at least once in a lifetime. There are numerous glaciers in the Himalayas which are known to be the source of rivers, streams, fountains and lakes. When we talk about lakes then a pristine and serene visualization of imagination hypnotizes us. There are many awesome natural blue lakes in the Northern and Northeastern Himalayas which remain almost frozen throughout the year due to their high altitude location.
Let’s have a look at those mesmerizing Lakes:
Gurudongmar Lake is considered as one of the most sacred lakes in the world.It is located in Sikkim at the high altitude of 17800 ft above the sea level the ahs made it one of the highest lakes in the world. This lake is named after Buddhist Monk Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche who was the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, visited this place in the 8th century. Gurudongmer Lake is revered by Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists people all over the nation there legends about this lake that depict the story of spiritual bonds with this lake.Gurudongmar Lake is considered holy by both Sikhs and Buddhists. It is said that long ago Guru Padmasambhava, on his way back from Tibet, visited the lake which represented the holy place of Dorje Nyima. Due to its high altitude the lake used to remain frozen throughput the year and local people ehad to face lots of difficulties for the scarcity of water. They appealed to Guru Padmasambhava to help them out. When Guru Padmasambhava granted their prayer and touched a small section of the lake, as per the legends, that part of the lake never freeze up after that. Since then, the lake attained the holy status and became an important place for pilgrimage for the Buddhists. Another legend says that once that holy place was visited by Guru Nanakdev who blessed the lake and that turned into a sacred one and one section of the lake never gets covered by ice no matter how cold the weather is. The Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army built a Gurudwara to honour that.
Ladakh is the widely known cold desert of the country where a beautiful blue lagoon called Tsomoriri Lake is situated at the hight of 14835 ft and this is the largest high altitude lake in India. This is better known as the Mountain Lake and it is a freshwater lake which is radiantly beautiful with pristine blue water. This is surrounded by high altitude Blue Mountains and valleys and when white clouds flow over the blue lake then a breathtaking sight will be visible. There is another interesting factor that this lake is home to 34 species of birds and i4 out of that are water birds. Bird lovers will be delighted to see birds like brown-headed gulls, great crested grebe, and black-necked crane. This is the place where you will find some rare animals like Tibetan Gazelle, Tibetan Ass, Tibetan Wolf, and Snow leopard. Another attraction of this place is 400 year old Korzok Monastery.
Sikkim is an amazingly beautiful state of North East India which is the home to one of India most well-known lakes called Tsomgo Lake which is also known as Changu Lake. The word Tsomgo literally means “source of lakes and this Lake is the source of many streams in the surrounding area. This water body is nestled 35 km away from the city, surrounded by majestic glaciers and haughty Himalayan peaks.
According to the legend, long long ago, there was a shelter for yaks where the lake is currently situated. One day, an old woman, a yak herder had a dream and she was asked to vacate the place as it would soon be flooded with water. She decided to leave the place and asked others to follow her but other herder friends refused to believe her. As soon as she left, an old woman with flowing snow-white hair entered the valley and the place was filled with water, drowning the other herders and animals and every existing thing. There was no sign of life, the woman with white hair is believed to be the guardian deity of the lake that later came to be known as Tsomgo. During ancient times, lamas would predict the future based on the ever-changing colours of the lake. At present the lake is still revered as a sacred spot during Gurupurnima along with shamans to offer prayers.
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Dal Lake is located in the beautiful valley of Kashmir is one of the most important lakes in the country for attracting tourists from all over the world. Kashmir is known as the ‘Heaven on Earth’ which is often known as the home to Goddess Durga.In the Ice age all the mountains and the entire valley was covered with ice. At the end of the Ice Age as ice started to melt, a huge lake was created in the valley. Goddess Durga once reincarnated as the daughter of Mount Himalaya and she was called Parvati. The lake was named ‘Satisar’: Sati- the Daughter of the mighty Himalayas and Sar means Lake. She was the protector of the lake and used to enjoy water-sports with her friends at this lake. When Parvati was married to Lord Shiva then a demon named Jaladbvhaba took control of Satisar Lake and started to torment the people of Naga kingdom who lived around the lake. Lord Shiva and Mata Sati came to destroy the demon and Shiva threw his trishul which banged and crashed the western banks of the Satisar. All water of the lake drained out through the crack and the hidden demon was killed by Mata Parvati. Still some water that remained in some deep pockets became lakes in the Kashmir Valley. Thus Dal-Lake was one such deep area at the bottom of Satisar Lake. The lake also serves as a source of water of Jhelum river that flows through the entire Kashmir valley.
Suraj Tal is located at an altitude of 4950 m above the sea level, surrounded by snow capped Blue Mountains. Suraj Tal Lake is considered as the 3rd largest lake in India. Situated in Spiti Valley, Suraj Tale In literal sense means, ‘The Lake of Sun God’. Just below the Baralacha-La pass, it is strongly believed that this lake is sacred one and a dip in the Suraj Tal Lake cleanses a person of his sins, it attracts a lot of people and is therefore considered spiritual. However, the major reason that the lake has gained popularity is that it comes on the way to the famous Manali-Leh path that is popular for trekking and biking trips that also cover the Baralacha-La Pass on its way. This Lake is for those who are mostly adventurous and religious at the same time.
Popularly known as the ‘Lake of flowers' the Gadsar Lake is nestled in the Kashmir Valley. During the summers, this lake region gets filled up by various colorful wild flowers and thus this is known as ‘Lake of flowers’. It is mostly surrounded by pasture land full of various kinds of wild alpine flowers; therefore the lake more popularly known as valley of flowers. The name Gadsar in Kashmiri means the Lake of Fishes. The lake is named so because of the abundance of trout fish here. The lake is mainly fed by melting of glaciers. The Gadsar Lake outflows through a stream that flow north westwards and joins Kishanganga River at Tulail. The lake is a small one but located at a mighty height of 3600 meters. During harsh winters, the lake is frozen from December up to April.
Gangabal Lake is the one of the highest lakes in India and the highest lake in the Kashmir Valley. It is majestic glaciers which are the source of water throughout the year. It is an high altitude lake that flows into the nearby Nundkol Lake, which is equally beautiful. The Gangabal Lake lies at the foot of the north -eastern glacier of Haramukh. The lake is also known by many other names like Haramuktaganga and Uttarganga. The Gangabal Lake is condidered to be the most sacred pilgrimage of Hindus since ancient times. It attains the status similar to Haridwar. The Kashmiri people perform the last rituals of the dead in sacred waters of the lake. The place is highly pious because it is believed that Lord Shiva’s top -knotted hair (Jatta) had touched the waters of lake at this spot.
This lake is named after the sage Prashar, father of Maharshi Vedavyas. It is said that the sage had meditated at this place over years. In the 14th century, Raja Ban Sen built a pagoda here to pay homage to the sage and this place became famous as an isolated zone of meditation. Along with the beautiful lake, this area is also well famed for the dazzling view it gives of the entire valley. There is legend about this lake that it was created by Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers. The story goes that after the Kurukshetra war, Pandavas were returning with Lord Kamrunag. When they reached this place, Kamrunag decided to live here forever. So, Bheem (the strongest of the lot) rammed his elbow on one of the mountains and created a dent. This dent is said to be today’s Prashar Lake. No one knows how deep the water level is in the lake and locals believe that it is unfathomable. Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges. Pir Panjal and Kinnaur Peaks are visible through this trek route. The mystic blue lake and a pagoda-like temple next to the lake with vast green surroundings will captivate the visitor forever.
One of the high altitude lakes in the Garhwal-Kumaon Himalayas, Brahmatal is named after the Hindu God Brahma. According to the legend, Lord Brahma used to meditate at the Brahma Tal, and thus the name of the water body. The lake is isolated and it is hidden within the beautiful vicinities of the region. You need to trudge to reach this wonderful creation of nature and one can witness Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Ghunti and Trishul from very close. Your trek to Brahmatal will make you almost speechless with beautiful views of the glittering streams, snowcapped mountains, and thick Oak forests. Lots of Himalayan ranges are visible from east to west and offer a breathtaking view. Some of the best peaks of the area include the Trishul, Mrigthuni, Bethartoli Himal and the Nanda Ghunti peaks. The western mountains include the Ghoda, Hathi, Kamet, Neelkanth, and Chaukhamba peaks. Two large lakes of this region Bekaltal and Brahmatal remain frozen during the winter season.
The high mountain Sela pass connects the tourist paradise Tawang to the rest of India. Seal Pass is home to around 101 sacred Buddhist lakes. Sela Lake near the summit is one of them. This high altitude lake gets frozen during the winters. There is a heart touching story of the Sela Lake. It is a story of selfless love and courage which took place during the Sino-Indo War in 1962. A local tribal girl Sela fell in love with the Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat. He was serving in the 4th battalion, the 4th Garhwal Rifles in the North-East Frontier Agency during the Battle of Nuranang. Sela, the Monpa girl was in love with Jaswant against her father’s wish. During the Sino-Indo war, while Jaswant Singh Rawat was fighting single-handedly against the Chinese army, Sela along with her sister Nura helped him by supplying ammunition and food. When Sela’s father came to know about their love story he was hostile and he informed Chinese army that Jaswant Singh was fighting alone against the Chinese battalion. After that, Jaswant Singh Rawat was captured and killed by the Chinese. Sela committed suicide by jumping from a hillock. And Nura, her sister was killed by the Chinese army. The story of love and courage ended with betrayal of Sela’s father.Later the lake was named after Sela.