Nepal is the world’s second-richest country in water resources globally, defies the fact that Nepal is all about the mountains. Melting snows and glaciers of sky-high mountains gives way to numerous rivers, waterfalls, and Lakes in Nepal. As the landscapes' diversity, the lakes in Nepal show great diversity locating themselves from the high Himalayas to Terai. Despite the fact, the beauty of every lake is breathtaking, here are the top 5 lakes in Nepal that you shouldn’t miss out on your Nepal visit:
1. Gokyo Lake:
Gokyo Lake, located at 4690m, is one of the main and most beautiful lakes in Nepal. Gokyo Lake is the combination of six prominent lakes, and they are Gokyo Cho, Thonak Cho (largest), Guazumpa Cho, Tanjung Cho, and Longbanga Cho. Among all the lakes, Gokyo Cho is the main lake also named Dudh Pokhari. Located in the shadow of the world’s sixth-highest mountain, Cho-Oyu, Gokyo lake is not that far from World’s highest mountain Everest. A walk of 3 hours towards the Gokyo Ri provides an up-close glimpse of Mt. Everest. Being an important part of Sagarmatha National park, it offers amazing vistas of mountains like Nuptse, Cholache, Makalu, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. It is a glacial lake as its main source is Ngozumpa Glacier, the largest glacier in the world.
How to reach there?
To reach there, you have to have a flight to Lukla from the domestic airport of Kathmandu. From Lukla, trekking for 6-7 days on the world’s famous Everest Base Camp trek will lead you to Gokyo Lake. So, visiting Gokyo lake is an EBC trek in another way.
If you have time constraints or don’t want to do the EBC trek, You can get there by helicopter. A helicopter tour to Gokyo lake enjoying the aerial view of the World’s highest mountains is also amazing.
2. Shey-Phoksundo Lake:
Talking about Nepal's lakes, it is not fair to miss out on the deepest lake in the country. The maximum depth of this lake is 145m, according to the survey of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology in 2004. This alpine freshwater lake lies in the western part of the country, Dolpa district, at 3611m. It covers a total area of 494 ha (1.91 sq. mi) and the main attraction of Shey Phoksundo National Park. This lake holds religious significance and sacred to the Buddhists following the Bonjo religion. On the southern side of the lake, there are twenty stupas, and the eastern side holds a Gompa where Buddhists celebrate their annual prayers and worship.
The unique landscape, forests, distant mountain views, and untouched natural beauty attracts many tourists every year. This amazing lake was listed on the Ramsar site in 2004.
How to reach there?
To reach there, you can catch a flight to Nepalgunj from Kathmandu. It will take only 30 mins to get there. From there, you can trek on the Dolpo trek trail, or even better; you can have another flight to Jupal airport. From the airport, a pleasant walk of 3-4 hrs alongside Bheri river Bank will take you to Shey Phoksundo Lake.
3. Rara Lake:
Rara is the largest Lake in Nepal, occupying some areas of remote districts Mugu and Jumla. This lake is located at an elevation of 2990m above sea level with a total area of 1583ha (6.11 sq mi). Being the most attractive part of Rara National park, this wetland was listed in the Ramsar site in 2007.
Furthermore, Being the home to three endemic fish species and one endemic frog species, this lake has great floral and faunal significance. The most striking fact about this lake is it changes its colour in the sunlight. The seasonal change of the background with the reflection of Sinje and Kanjirowa mountain makes this lake even more attractive. Boating on the cristal clear water, hiking to hills surrounding the lake, this place is a place of tranquillity.
How to reach there?
To reach there, you can catch the flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgunj and then to Talcha airport. Talcha airport is at a distance of 4 km from the lake.
4. Tilicho Lake:
Tilicho lake, located at the elevation of Nepal 4919, is one of the highest altitude lakes in the world. It is located in the high Himalayas of the Manang district of Nepal. The surrounding snow-capped peaks of Khangsar, Ticho, Nilgiri, and lack of vegetation in the background magnifies the beauty of this lake. As the background is snowy, the lake's surface looks like a silvery shiny coating of snow. Locating in the Annapurna range of the Himalayas, tourists prefer this Lake to be part of the world’s classic Annapurna circuit trek.
Furthermore, the visit to this lake allows knowing about the Tibetan culture and tradition first hand. It can be a life-changing visit for many seeing the lifestyle of Himalayan peoples. This lake holds great religious significance. Moreover, it is believed to be the place where sage Kak Bhusundi told Ramayana to Garuda.
How to reach there?
To reach there, you can catch the bus to Manang valley, which is the overnight stop for the day. Two days trek from Manang valley will lead you to this dream destination, Tilicho lake.
5. Gosaikunda Lake:
A holy Gosainkunda lake is located at an elevation of 4380 m in the heart of the Langtang region. Residing perfectly between the high hills of the Rasuwa district, it covers a total surface area of 13.8 ha. This region consists of 108 lakes, including other major lakes like Surya Kunda, Saraswoti Kunda, Bhirav Kunda, etc. & each of them with its own religious significance. This beautiful lake remains frozen during winter and then melts, being the main source of the Trishuli river. This lake was listed on the Ramsar site on 29 September 2007. Beautiful lakes when mingles with panoramic mountain view of Langtang Lirung, Dorje Lakpa, Ganesh Himal, this place gives you the taste of Heaven.
According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Shiva using his trident, had created this lake to cool down his stinging throat with poison. This lake is also believed to be the adobe of God Shiva and Goddess Gauri. The water of this place is holy, and taking a bath there can wash away all of your sins. Every year during Janai Purnima, Gosainkunda lake attracts hundreds of pilgrims from all around the world.
How to get there?
To get there, you can catch the bus to Dunche, which will take about 4-5 hrs from Kathmandu. There are two ways from Kathmandu to reach there. Dhunche, 3-4 days of the trek, depending upon your physical fitness, will lead you to Gosaikunda lake. This is the best way to get there as you can have Nepal's experience with amazing overnight stops.
If you have time constraints or don’t want to trek, You can reach there directly by helicopter, enjoying the view of beautiful landscapes and mountains of the Langtang region.