Saif ul Malook is a magnificent lake in Pakistan’s Kaghan Valley. This alpine lake is well-known for its crystal-clear waters and spectacular reflections of the surrounding peaks. The lake is surrounded by lush green mountains and unspoiled wilderness, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Saif ul Malook Lake is a must-see site for anyone interested in trekking, camping, or simply soaking in the spectacular views.
Location and Geography
Saif ul Malook is a beautiful lake in Pakistan‘s northern area, specifically the Kaghan Valley in the Mansehra district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The lake is located at an elevation of 3,224 metres (10,578 feet) above sea level, surrounded by the beautiful green Himalayan mountains. The lake is fed by the melting glaciers of nearby hills and is recognised for its crystal clear waters that mirror the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Saif ul Malook is part of the Deosai National Park, which is the world’s second-highest plateau and home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. The lake is also a popular hiking and trekking destination, with various paths reaching to its shores. The lake is ideal for nature lovers and photographers who want to capture the breathtaking views of the surrounding terrain.
Overview of the Lake
The letter S is formed like a crescent and measures around 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) long and 0.5 kilometres (0.3 miles) wide. The water is very clear, with some sections reaching depths of 40 metres (131 ft). The lake is flanked by snow-capped hills and lush green woods, adding to its mesmerising splendour.
The lake is particularly recognised for its diverse fish population, which includes brown trout and rainbow trout, making it a popular fishing site. Visitors can also go boating on the lake or ride in traditional wooden boats called Shikaras. For those who want to spend the night on the lake’s banks and enjoy the tranquil ambiance, there are many camping areas available.
Famous Attractions and Activities
Saif ul Malook is the most dominant among Top Lakes in Pakistan. Saif ul Malook is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Some of the famous attractions and activities at the lake include:
- Trekking and Hiking: The lake is a popular spot for trekking and hiking, with several trails leading to its shores. Visitors can hike to the lake from the nearby towns of Naran and Kaghan, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Fishing: The lake is home to a variety of fish, including brown trout and rainbow trout, making it a popular spot for fishing. Visitors can rent fishing equipment and try their hand at catching a fish.
- Boating: The lake offers boating facilities, and visitors can take a ride on traditional wooden boats known as shikaras. Boating on the lake is a great way to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
- Camping: The lake offers several camping sites for those who wish to spend the night on its shores and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the lake.
- Photography: The lake is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts, who can capture the stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including the snow-capped peaks and lush green forests.
- Cultural Experience: The lake is surrounded by small villages and offers visitors the opportunity to experience the local culture and customs, including traditional Pakistani meals.
These are some of the famous activities and attraction of saif ul malook.
Best Time to Visit Saif ul Malook Lake
The best time to visit Saif ul Malook depends on your plans and the type of weather you prefer. Visitors can visit the lake from June to September, which is considered the prime tourism season. The weather is warm and bright throughout this time of year, making it ideal for trekking, hiking, and other outdoor activities. During this time, the lake is also accessible by road, and the vistas are at their best.
However, if you want to see the lake in its winter glory, the ideal months to come are December through February. The lake is frozen and covered in snow during this time, providing a magnificent atmosphere.
How to reach Saif ul Malook
Saif ul Malook is located in the Kaghan Valley of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. There are several ways to reach the lake, depending on your location and mode of transportation:
- By Road: The most common way to reach the lake is by road. The lake is accessible via the Naran-Kaghan road, which is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can rent a car or take a bus to Naran and then hire a jeep or a local taxi to reach the lake.
- By Air: The nearest airport to Saif ul Malook is the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad. Visitors can take a flight to Islamabad and then hire a car or take a bus to Naran. From Naran, they can hire a jeep or local taxi to reach the lake.
- By Train: The nearest train station to Saif ul Malook is the Balakot Railway Station. Visitors can take a train to Balakot and then hire a jeep or local taxi to reach the lake.
- By Trekking: Visitors can also hike to the lake from the nearby towns of Naran and Kaghan. The trek is a moderate level hike and takes around 4-5 hours to reach the lake.
It’s worth noting that the lake is in remote location and the road leading to the lake can be closed due to heavy snowfall or landslides during certain months. So, it’s recommended to check the road conditions before planning your trip.
Exploring the Surrounding Area
Naran and Kaghan Valley
Two major tourist destinations near Saif ul Malook are Naran Valley and Kaghan Valley. The valley is famous for its beautiful scenery, lush green meadows, and snow-capped mountains. Day trips from Saif ul Malook can be taken to explore these valleys and enjoy activities such as hiking, trekking, and fishing. The valley also has various hot springs that are thought to have medicinal powers. Visitors can also sample local cuisine, shop for handicrafts, and learn about the local culture. Kaghan valley is also known for its magnificent lakes, including Lulusar, Dudipat, and Saiful Malook.
Lalazar Meadows located at an altitude of approximately 3,000 meters, captivates the hearts of travelers with its unparalleled beauty. Situated just 21 kilometers away from the popular tourist destination of Naran, Lalazar Meadows offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. To reach this picturesque haven, one can embark on a scenic jeep ride from Naran, which takes around 2 hours. As you traverse the winding mountain roads, the air grows crisper, and the views become increasingly majestic, painting a vivid tapestry of verdant valleys, snow-capped peaks, and vibrant wildflowers. Upon arriving at Lalazar Meadows, prepare to be mesmerized by its sprawling green meadows, glistening streams, and a sense of tranquility that sweeps over you. Lalazar truly is a slice of heaven on Earth, a place where nature’s magnificence unfolds in all its glory.
Lake Lulusar is another lovely lake near Saif ul Malook. The lake is noted for its crystal-clear water and is located in the Kaghan Valley, surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Day trips from Saif ul Malook can be taken to explore the lake and participate in activities including as hiking, trekking, and fishing. Boating and picnics are additional popular activities on the lake. Visitors can also take a tour of the surrounding area to see numerous bird and wildflower species. The lake is particularly well-known for its stunning reflections of the surrounding mountains in its clean waters, making it a popular destination for photographers. The lake is best visited during the summer months when the temperature is milder.
Another popular attraction near Saif ul Malook is Babusar Top. It is the highest point in the Kaghan Valley and is located at an elevation of roughly 4,173 metres. Visitors can visit Babusar Top on a day excursion from Saif ul Malook and enjoy activities such as hiking, trekking, and birdwatching. The pass is also an excellent location for camping and picnicking. Visitors can also take a tour of the surrounding area to see numerous bird and wildflower species. The summit provides a panoramic view of the surrounding area and the snow-capped Himalayan peaks. The Babusar Top is best visited during the summer months when the temperature is milder and the pass is open.
Tips for a Memorable Trip to Saif ul Malook
- Plan ahead: Before visiting Saif ul Malook, it’s important to research the best time to visit, what to pack and what to expect from the weather. It’s also a good idea to plan your itinerary and book accommodations in advance, as the lake can get crowded during peak season.
- Pack for the weather: Saif ul Malook is located at a high altitude, so the weather can be unpredictable. Pack warm clothing, rain gear and comfortable hiking shoes to prepare for all types of weather.
- Respect the environment: Saif ul Malook is located in a fragile ecosystem. It is important to respect the natural surroundings by not littering and following Leave No Trace principles.
- Hire a local guide: Local guides can provide valuable insight into the area’s culture, history and natural wonders. They can also help plan your trip and help you navigate the terrain.
- Capture the beauty: Saif ul Malook is a beautiful place and it’s worth capturing the memories with a camera or video camera.
- Take time to explore the surrounding area: The surrounding area of Saif ul Malook is also full of beautiful landscapes and places to explore. It’s worth taking time to visit Rama Meadows, Lake Lulusar, Babusar Top, Fairy Meadows, Chilas and Karakoram Highway.
- Be prepared for the altitude: Saif ul Malook is located at a high altitude so it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and take necessary precautions, such as drinking plenty of water and taking it easy on the first day.
In conclusion, Saif ul Malook is a must-see site for nature lovers and thrill seekers. It is a beautiful lake in the midst of the Kaghan Valley. It is surrounded by unspoiled forests and lush green mountains. The lake is famous for its brilliant blue waters and beautiful reflections of the surrounding peaks. It also has a diverse wildlife population and is a popular destination for camping, hiking, and trekking. A journey to Saif ul Malook allows you to unplug from the rush and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in nature’s splendour. With a little planning and preparation, you may have a fantastic trip to Saif ul Malook that you will remember for the rest of your life.