Go Beyond Gulmarg & Trek To A Frozen Lake At 4380m! Here’s All About Kashmir’s Alpather Lake

The lake is often referred to as the "Frozen Lake"

by Tejashee Kashyap
Go Beyond Gulmarg & Trek To A Frozen Lake At 4380m! Here’s All About Kashmir’s Alpather Lake

Nestled in the picturesque region of Jammu and Kashmir, Alpather Lake is a high-altitude lake. It’s in a place that embodies the raw beauty and serene tranquillity of the Himalayas. This pristine body of water is situated near Gulmarg. The lake is often referred to as the “Frozen Lake” due to its icy cover that persists for most of the year.

Enchanting Beauty Of Alpather Lake

Photo Credits: Canva

Alpather Lake is cradled in a bowl-shaped valley at the base of the twin peaks of Apharwat. The setting is idyllic, with the snow-clad mountains forming a dramatic backdrop. During the summer months, the ice begins to melt. It reveals the clear, reflective surface of the lake, which mirrors the surrounding peaks and the blue sky above. The meadows around the lake burst into a riot of colours with wildflowers in full bloom, creating a vibrant contrast against the stark, rugged terrain.

In the winter, the lake transforms into a frozen wonderland. Thick layers of ice cover the lake, and the entire landscape is blanketed in snow. This transformation creates a magical and somewhat surreal environment. The boundary between the lake and the surrounding snowfields blurs, making it a favourite spot for winter trekking and photography.

Also Read: Planning A Short Trip To Kashmir? Here’s A Perfect 2-day Itinerary To Explore This Winter Getaway

How To Reach The Lake?

trekking expeditions kashmir
Credits: Wikimedia

The trek to Alpather Lake starts from Gulmarg. The journey to the lake can be completed as a day trek for those with good physical fitness, though some may prefer to camp overnight to fully appreciate the journey. The trail begins from Gulmarg, ascending gradually through dense forests of pine and fir. As trekkers move higher, the forest thins out, giving way to alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers during the warmer months. The initial part of the trek is relatively gentle, making it accessible for beginners, but the difficulty increases as the trail approaches the lake.

The landscape becomes more rugged and rocky. The path winds through boulder-strewn slopes and steep inclines. Trekkers are rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, which grow more spectacular with each step. Local legends and folklore add a layer of mystique to the trek. The lake and the surrounding mountains are considered sacred by the local communities. They believe that the spirits of their ancestors dwell in these high, remote places.

Trekking to Alpather Lake is a journey into the heart of the Himalayas. So, when are you going?

Cover image credits: Wikimedia Commons