With the relentless heat abating, it certainly is a blessing to be able to venture into colder places to experience the snow and the icy panoramas that winter has to offer. As winter advances and some lakes freeze, there’s nothing like winter’s balm to alleviate one’s lassitude. If the snow queen actually existed, she would have been chuffed to bits! Here’s a list of some of India’s frozen paradise of great lakes situated at greater heights.
1. To kick off the list, is the Cholamu lake or Tso Lhamo lake situated at an imposing altitude of 5,330 metres or roughly 17,487 feet, very close to the Tibetan border in northern Sikkim. This lake has the honour of being India’s highest fresh water lake and is also the source of the Teesta River (excellent for some white water rafting and kayaking). Due to its proximity to international borders, you need to evince your RAP to the officials to get permission to enter the area (no, you don’t need to rap like Yo Yo Honey Singh, it’s a special entry permit from the cops & the army that you need to obtain).
2. Yet another lake situated in Sikkim is the sacred Gurudongmar Lake, situated at an altitude 17,800 feet approximately. Guru Dongmar or Guru Padmasambhav, a benevolent sage heeded to the desperate please of the villagers who had no access to fresh drinking water in the winters & went on to unfreeze a portion of the lake with his ‘Dang’ or stick. Guru Nanak too is said to have told the villagers that those who drank from these waters would gain virility and migh,t & would have children. Here’s drinking to storks ushering in some good news!
3. The eerily beautiful & bone-chilling (literally!) Roopkund Lake comes third on our list of frozen winter lakes. Situated in Uttarakhand, all the hype & mystery surrounding countless bones that were found in & around the lake was finally solved by experts. Is the sheer beauty of this lake enough to overcome the feeling of spookiness and prevent goose bumps from emerging on your skin? Courage my friend, courage!
4. As Ovid rightly said “Beauty is a fragile gift” and this is a fitting description of the Tsomoriri or Lake Moriri situated in Ladakh. Surrounded by mountains and fed by springs, it is home to umpteen flora and fauna; all of which are protected as part of the Tsomoriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. The pristine waters reflect the sky at all times and nature exhibits itself in many hues. To help protect this fragile ecosystem, WWF too has set up a research centre close by.
5. Coming in 5th is Pangong Lake located in Ladakh. If by now, this name doesn’t sound familiar to you, then surely the end scene from 3 idiots (the hilarious scene where the gang gets to know that Aamir is Phunsukh Wangdu and of course the famous smooch with Kareena) would surely ring a bell.
6. There are still people out there scouring the earth on a quest to find paradise or Shangri-la, but little do they realize that it’s snugly seated in a corner of our country; nestled in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh. It’s also aptly named Paradise Lake or Sela Lake & when it’s frozen, some of the adventurous (or crazies) even walk on it. Talk about taking a walk in paradise!
7. Located on the old silk route, Tsomgo Lake or Changu Lake is of immense spiritual value to the Sikkimese. The lake was used to aid the monks in ancient times to predict the future, and people from far and wide, including faith healers come to offer their prayers (additional blessings are always welcome). This lake too would certainly get you into a photo clicking frenzy, & would have a place of pride (in your house, phone, laptop, etc) propped conspicuously for all to admire.
8. Last but not the least, the all-time favourite & the timeless, Dal Lake which has been witnessing frigid temperatures. Right from the nostalgic moments of Kashmir Ki Kali, to celebrities like Aamir Khan visiting & of course our Indian brethren who come from all walks of life, who inevitably fall for its sweet charms. Dal Lake has & will always be an inspiration because whichever way you turn to look, it’s nothing short of sheer poetry.