One of the most beautiful and magnificent lakes of Pakistan is the awe inspiring Dudipatsar Lake which is also called the Dudipat Lake. The amazing lake, filled with magnificent blue green water, is in a valley of snow covered peaks located in a national park called Lulusar-Dudipatsar. The name of the lake has been created by two local words, “dudi” and “pat“. Dudi is used to mean white in the local language and pat is used to denote high mountains which are common in the area where the lake is located. The last word “sar” is a commonly used word for “lake”. According to locals the name has been given to the great lake due to the heavenly white snow that covers the mountains surrounding the lake.
Dudipatsar Lake’s Geography
The Dudipatsar Lake is located at an approximate height of 3,800 meters (almost 12,500 feet) above the sea level. However, the mountains forming the valley are much higher and many of them are covered in snow throughout the year. The average height of the mountains surrounding the lake is around 4,800 meters above sea level. Dudipatsar is located in the very northern part of Kaghan Valley, located in Mansehra District, KPK Pakistan.
Best Time to Visit Dudipatsar Lake
The best season to go on a hiking trip to the lake is the mid of summer season. However, this season can be quite dry and if there is no shade, the sun can be quite harsh. If any hiking trips are undertaken in the early part of the season then the snow that is being shielded from the sun can be seen in several deep ravines in the valley. During this season, the snow may have melted but it will leave many parts of the plateau much waterlogged and even marshy. However, other areas will be easy to traverse.
Dudipatsar Lake Trekking Guidance
The trail used by hikers is not very difficult and it has been labeled as a moderate difficulty trail. This does not mean that any novice can undertake it without realizing that it will take effort in order to get to the lake. The main part of the trail is a very smooth climb, with only occasional obstacles, but there can be some rough patches when the hikers will have to negotiate streams, small brooks, big and small boulders, fallen trees and other problems. As the hiking season is in the summer, much of the snow will have melted, but this will leave the ground very soggy.
Trail And Journey for Dudipatsar Lake
The hiking journey will start in the town of Besal. This is a small town which can be used as base as it contains some civilization. The town also has some lodging, or on the other hand, hikers can make camp here and spend their night in camps. Those who have not arrived via hired transport will be parking at their own risk but they can also hire trustworthy guides who can get vehicles taken care of while the hiking party is on the journey.
The first day hikers will arrive at Besal and they will use the entire day to get to Besal via Narran. They will traverse a large part of Kaghan valley during this day. This should be done on a hired jeep if people have no driving experience in mountains as the roads can be very tricky to navigate.
During this day the hikers will trek to the lake using the Dudipatsar hiking trail as marked by the government of Pakistan tourism department. The trail is not much maintained but the snow should be clear if the hiking is done in the months of summer during mid-June till mid-august.
The normal way is to set up camp after the long trek on day two and then go to sleep after having dinner. Day three is then spent on the lake. This is the most enjoyable time of the entire trip as the lake is huge and extremely beautiful.
The fourth day of the trip is usually started with a short hike of return journey in order to reach the “mullah Ki basti”. The hikers then have breakfast or lunch at the “mullah Ki basti” and continue on their journey towards Besal. However, if the hikers are not up to it, there can be camping at the “Mullah Ki basti” and the journey can be continued the next day.
Equipment And Kit
The trek and the hike to Dudipatsar Lake require some special equipment. The basic equipment is almost the same as with other hikes of the same difficulty. For example, the hikers will have to take special hiking rucksacks and sleeping bags as well as walking sticks, readymade and precooked food and day packs. However, the personal equipment required for this trek varies from other treks. Two important things required for this journey are waterproof footwear and very good sun protection. Footwear should be water proof because many of the paths will be almost marsh like with the receding snow and the melting rivers. The sun, too, will be quite harsh and may lead to sun burn if adequate protection is not used. As with all trips that are going away from civilization, supplies of first aid and other emergency supplies such as flash lights, water treatment capsules and ropes are a must.
Precautions And Survival Tips
- In order to safely traverse the trail, there are certain precautions that can be taken and certain survival tactics that can be used. Here are some basic tips for the trip.
- Always plan ahead. Make sure the journey has been planned well in advance
- Make sure the equipment is not damaged and it is in full working order, before the journey starts.
- Make sure all hikers are using only the marked trails and not straying from the path for any reason whatsoever.
- Use locals as guides if the trekking is being done by new hikers.
Some things are to be avoided when going on the trek to Dudipatsar Lake.
- Do not try to travel too fast or for too long. An injured hiker will lead to bad consequences not only for himself but for the entire team
- Do not stray from the path as this may cause confusion, or the person going away may get lost and have to be rescued.
- Do not try to take shortcuts, as there may be lots of dead ends. Also do not try to climb over the sides of mountains as the receding snow will have made them quite slippery.
- Do not try to trek at night as it may lead to people getting lost or getting injured.
Nature Reserves of Dudipatsar Lake
The entire trail is located in the national park and is, therefore, full of natural diversity. It will also take the hikers through many zones of the park with each zone having distinct flora and fauna. In the lowland parts of the trail there will be lush growth of the flowering plants local to the area and as the trek moves towards the heights there will be meadows of alpine wildflowers which will be in full bloom if the season is right. The most common species of animal to be found will be marmots and many kinds of birds including many species of migratory birds which only come to nest during the season when water is plentiful.
There are some species of fauna which may be difficult to observe, but they have been spotted on several occasions. These are the magnificent snow leopard and the black bear, both of which are considered endangered in the area. Some small animals are also present such as some species of weasels and lynx. If the weather is right the Himalayan snowcock and the local snow partridge may also be spotted in the area.