Wonderlands: The Lake in Pakistan


Pakistan has various natural and beautiful landscapes, ranging from the highest mountains, lush green meadows, and dense and dark forests to dry and sandy deserts. Pakistan is a country that holds many hidden gems. Among these treasures are its stunning lakes, which offer extraordinary views and contribute to the country’s cultural heritage.

This blog will discuss the different tourist attractions, biodiversity, and geography of lakes located in Pakistan’s northern, western, and southern belts.

Lake Culture in Pakistan

Lakes are of immense importance in Pakistani culture and traditions. These water bodies are sources of life, abundance, and spirituality. In this blog section, we will deal with cultural heritage, tourism, and recreation linked with lake culture in Pakistan.

Preservation of Cultural Heritage

Lakes in Pakistan have many folklores and myths associated with them that are passed down through generations. They have become symbols of cultural heritage, embodying the stories and traditions of local communities. These landmarks are usually surrounded by temples, shrines, and other historical places, thereby adding to the cultural value of lakes.

Tourism and Recreation

The scenic beauty associated with lakes in Pakistan annually attracts many tourists and nature enthusiasts. These places offer tourist attractions like boating, fishing, and hiking, contributing to the local economy and directly promoting the tourism industry of Pakistan.

Ecological Importance

As we know, lakes serve as natural habitats for various flora and fauna; therefore, they play an essential role in sustaining local ecosystems and biodiversity. The lush green meadows and regions surrounding lakes serve as breeding grounds for many migratory birds, making them a haven for bird watchers and researchers.

Water Supply and Agriculture

Lakes are a valuable source of fresh water for agricultural and irrigation purposes. Usually, the region surrounding lakes is very fertile and allows the cultivation of various crops, thereby contributing to the livelihood of local communities. Moreover, lakes help to maintain water tables and replenish underground aquifers, ensuring a sustainable water supply for locals.

This section of the blog makes us aware of the importance of lakes for both biodiversity and locals. In the next section, we will explore various lakes in different regions of Pakistan.

The Northern Lake Belt

The Northern Lake Belt of Pakistan has picturesque and mesmerizing lakes. From the mythical Saif-ul-Malook to the captivating Attabad Lake, these wonderlands are known for their mesmerizing landscapes surrounded by stunning mountains, unique ecosystems, and blessed weather patterns. This part of the blog will explore northern lakes like Saif-ul-Malook, Attabad, and Ratti Gali Lake.

Lake Saif-ul-Malook

Legend and folklore associated with Lake Saif-ul-Malook

Many myths and stories are linked to this Lake, but the most famous is a fairy tale of a Prince and a fairy queen. Prince Saif-ul-Malook was an Egyptian prince who fell in love with the Fairy Queen Badi-ul-Jamal. According to storytellers, Prince often dreams of a lady with long black hair and spellbinding beauty. After having her in his dreams many times, the Prince decided to find her and embarked on a journey.

In his quest, he faced many struggles and finally met a Saint. The Saint gifted him with a Sulaimani cap and asked him if the cap would take him to his destination. The saint advised Saif-ul-Malook to carry out an extensive prayer consisting of forty days. Once he reached there, he acted accordingly. His prolonged prayers were finally answered by the biggest dream of his life, he finally met her princess, The Fairy Queen Badi-ul-Jamal.

On meeting her, he learns that she is the hostage of The White Giant and can do nothing without his orders. Both of them decided to run away from Hunza. Knowing the whole situation, The Giant became angry, and due to his wrath, a great flood came to Hunza. The Egyptian Prince and Fairy queen took shelter in a cave.

According to fortune tellers, all the story’s characters are still alive. On every 14th of the moon, several lights surround Saif-ul-Malook Lake, symbolizing the meeting of two lovers. Many people say that The White Giant was in such deep love with the Fairy Queen that he cried a lot due to their separation his tears gave rise to Ansoo Lake (The Lake of Tears) in Hunza. Ansoo Lake’s presence proves that the White Giant still cries for his love. The extreme weather conditions of Hunza symbolize the anger and mental condition of the White Giant.

Geographical features

The lake is surrounded by grayish-black high mountains with crystal clear waters that look like a mirror and reflect the majestic peaks, creating a view that leaves the visitors awe-inspired.

Flora and Fauna

The surroundings of the lake are home to diverse flora and fauna, ranging from wildflowers in the meadows to elusive species of birds, butterflies, and other arthropods. The overall serene view gives a feeling of haven to tourists.

Attabad Lake

The story behind the formation of Attabad Lake

Attabad Lake is a result of nature’s fury. In 2010, a massive landslide blocked the Hunza River, forming a lake now known as Attabad Lake that stands as a testament to the forces of nature.

Majestic mountains and turquoise waters

Attabad Lake is famous for its turquoise waters set against the mountains. The contrast between the vibrant blue hues of the Lake and the rugged terrain makes it a photographer’s paradise.

Impact of Attabad Lake on the local community

Although Lake resulted from a natural disaster and killed about twenty people at the time of its formation, it’s well said that every blessing comes with a curse, but the curse is over now. Presently, locals are using this Lake as a source of income via tourism and hoteling.

Ratti Gali Lake

Geography of Ratti Gali Lake

Ratti Gali Lake is among the least explored lakes by tourists. It is in the Neelam Valley, surrounded by lush green meadows and snow-capped mountains. Far from bustling city life, it’s a paradise for people who love their loneliness and want to spend their vacations peacefully with nature. Rati Gali Lake is known for its wilderness because of the absence of modern development, which allows tourists to enjoy the raw beauty of nature.

Hiking trails and adventure activities

We know that achieving something beautiful requires extra effort and hard work. So, to enjoy the serene beauty of the Lake, tourists have to go through a jeep track followed by an hour of trekking. The trek is surrounded by mountains, meadows, and ditches, allowing visitors to explore the region’s natural wonders.

The Western Lake Belt of Pakistan

The western lake belt of Pakistan includes Haleji Lake, Keenjhar Lake, Manchar Lake, and Rawal Lake. They offer various attractions, recreational activities, and natural wonders. This blog section will explore historical folklore, freshwater ecosystems, and leisure options.

Haleji Lake

Haleji Lake is located in the Thatta District of Sindh. It is surrounded by numerous food sources for wild animals, making it an ideal habitat for resident and migratory birds. Thousands of bird flocks visit Haleji Lake every winter. The types of migratory and resident birds of the Lake include flamingos, pelicans, herons, ducks, and many others. The diverse life at the Lake provides a delightful experience for bird enthusiasts.

Migratory birds and their habitats

Haleji Lake is a crucial stopover for migratory birds from Siberia to warmer regions. These avian travelers rely on the Lake’s wetlands and surrounding vegetation for nesting, resting, and feeding. The Lake’s diverse ecosystem supports the needs of various bird species, ensuring their survival and enriching the overall ecological balance.

Conservation initiatives for Haleji Lake

Being a safe home for migratory and resident birds, Haleji Lake is an attractive spot for bird hunters. Due to the increased hunting rate, birds hesitate to visit this Lake on their journey from Siberia to warmer regions, reducing the overall ecological richness and biodiversity. So, to keep their population and survival situation on track, The Government of Pakistan has taken various conservation initiatives. These initiatives include habitat restoration, monitoring, research programs, and awareness campaigns. All these efforts aim to safeguard the avian population and promote sustainable tourism and responsible environmental practices.

Keenjhar Lake

Historical Significance and Folklore

Keenjhar Lake, also known as Kalri Lake, holds great historical significance and is surrounded by captivating folklore. According to legend, the Lake was formed by the tears of two lovers, Noori and Jam Tamachi. Fortune tellers said that Jam Tamachi was a ruler of lower Sindh. On his fishing expedition, one day, he fell in love with Noori, a pious and beautiful lady from the tribe of fishermen. Despite class differences, Jam Tamachi married Noori and made her the palace queen. Out of jealousy, other queens poisoned Noori to death. He made her a shrine and cried so much that the surrounding areas got flooded with his tears, forming a lake. Now, her shrine stands in the middle of the Lake. At Keenjhar Lake, visitors can explore the cultural heritage associated with Keenjhar Lake while enjoying its breathtaking beauty.

Surrounding attractions and local cuisine

Keenjhar Lake is surrounded by many tourist attractions, like the historic town of Thatta, which is known for its ancient architecture and cultural heritage. Moreover, local cuisine, ranging from flavorsome Sindhi biryani to traditional sweets, adds delight to tourists’ overall experience.

Manchar Lake

Largest freshwater lake in Pakistan

Manchar Lake, located in Sindh province and covering over 100 square miles, is the largest freshwater lake in Pakistan. The Lake’s sheer size and beauty attract nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Ecosystems and biodiversity

Manchar Lake is known for its rich biodiversity and unique ecosystem. It serves as a breeding ground for various fish species, supporting the local fishing community. The Lake’s wetlands and marshy areas provide nesting sites for resident and migratory birds. Moreover, the surrounding vegetation and wildlife contribute to the overall ecological balance.

Cultural Significance

Apart from being a natural wonder, Manchar Lake lies close to Sehwan Sharif, renowned for its mystic sufi shrine. Sehwan Sharif is known for the shrine of Lal Shehbaz Qalandar, a Sufi saint and poet of Pakistan. When he settled in Sindh, his way of life and personality influenced many non-Muslims to convert to Islam. The Lake’s proximity to this historical site adds to its glamor, attracting visitors who seek both natural and spiritual experiences.

Challenges and conservation measures

Manchar Lake faces several environmental challenges like pollution, encroachment, and water scarcity, which pose threats to the Lake’s ecosystem and biodiversity. The local authorities are taking various conservation measures like wastewater treatment projects, community-based initiatives, and awareness campaigns to ensure sustainable biodiversity.

Rawal Lake


Margalla Hills in Islamabad surround Rawal Lake, which serves as an oasis in the busy life of the capital city of Pakistan. With its clear water and lush green surroundings, it’s an escape from chaotic urban life for locals. Apart from its natural beauty, it’s well managed and maintained by the Capital Development Authority, giving a glimpse of natural beauty with a bit of an artificial touch.

Recreational Activities

Rawal Lake offers many recreational activities, like boating and fishing. The Lake’s surroundings also feature picnic spots and gardens where families and friends can gather and spend leisure time together.

The Southern Lake Belt of Pakistan

The Southern Lakes of Pakistan are located in Balochistan, Sindh, and southern Punjab and are evidence of the country’s diverse landscape and natural beauty. In this blog section, we will explore Hub Lake and Hamal Lake.

Hub Lake

Hub Lake is located in Hub, Balochistan. Balochistan is one of the neglected regions of our country; if we talk about the infrastructure and developmental projects surrounding Hub Lake, they are minimal, so the visitors can experience the true raw beauty of nature.


Like the western lakes of Pakistan, the southern lakes, too, are favorite sites for migratory birds to settle for a short period during their migration from cooler regions of the world. Hub Lake has a variety of bird species. Balochistan is very sparsely populated, so it is a reservoir of wildlife, which makes it the best tourist spot for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers.

Hamal Lake

Hamal Lake, located in the Qambar Shahdadkot district of Sindh, is an oasis amidst the arid landscapes of the region, surrounded by rugged mountains and rocky terrain. Water flowing down the Kirthar Ranges makes up most of the water in the Lake. It offers a serene atmosphere for those seeking solitude and tranquility.


In conclusion, we sum up that Pakistan is enriched with natural beauty and landscapes, and its evidence is the Lakes of Pakistan. Our country has many freshwater lakes in the southern, western, and northern belts. Lush green forests surround some, while others are oases in the dry landscape, showing how beautifully nature portrays a single physical feature in various ways with diverse wildlife and ecosystems. 

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