by Amna Tanveer Khan
Pakistan is a land that is rich in culture and traditions – and it is this existence of numerous cultures that also often gives birth to interesting myths and urban legends. One such interesting myth is that of Ansoo Lake, a beautiful wonder in the Northern region of Pakistan. The name literally translates to ‘The Lake of Tears’ and it starts to make sense as you scroll down to read more.
Situated in Kaghan Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the lake is at an altitude of 13,927 feet above sea level and is considered among one of the highest lakes of the Himalayas. But apart from the fact that the lake is beautiful, have you ever wondered why it’s called ‘Ansoo’, which means teardrop?
According to legend, there was once a Prince, Saif ul Malook who fell in love with a fairy princess. Since the marriage between humans and fairies was not permitted, the Prince had to go through several trials and quests for 12 years before he could marry the fairy.
But this isn’t all, there was a villain in the story too. A giant called Duo Safaid (the white giant), was also in love with the fairy and could not bear the thought of her marrying anyone else and ended up kidnapping her. Alas, there is no stopping true love and no matter what the giant did, the fairy never stopped loving the Prince. In envy and rage, the giant began to cry and thus, as a result of his broken heart and true love, this beautiful lake came to existence. Now that you are familiar with the fascinating tale of this place, you must be curious about how to get there.
The lake that was discovered by Pakistani Pilots in 1993 has one of the toughest treks that takes up to 6-12 hours to reach depending on the route you take. To reach the lake, you can either take
· The Saiful Malook route, which is a 7-9 hour trek, involves trekking to the Malika Parbat base camp and later crossing the glacier to reach Ansoo Lake. At Saif Ul ul Malook, there is a chance you might find some horses to rent that you can ride on instead of walking.
· Through Village Mahandri, located at a distance of 40 km to South of Naran. A jeep can be embarked, which will take you to Manoor Village, which is a treat on its own for nature lovers because of the breathtaking beauty of this place. After this, the mode of transport changes to walking, and after 6 -7 hours, you land yourself in a gorgeous meadow known as Dher. But the trek doesn’t end here, another 3-4 hour trek is required for you to finally reach and see the wondrous Ansoo Lake.
One thing to remember is that at such high altitude, the oxygen level is very low so it is best to be prepared while also having some equipment like special sticks, rain coats, ropes and lots of food handy.
The lake is situated at a height of 13,000 ft above sea level and thus the weather is usually more on the cold side. The lake is only accessible during the summer months from June-September, while winters are closed down, with even the locals steering clear of the lake due to the dangerous steep ridges that surround it. The temperature can go as low as -20° C so choose the travel months wisely.
Why not plan a trip to visit this lake in person? Let’s travel now!