Ansoo Lake kaghan
Ansoo Lake is a high-altitude lake (elevation 13927 feet or 4245 metres) in the Kaghan Valley and is counted as one amongst the most beautiful lakes of the world. It is situated in the Mansehra District of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is near Malika Parbat in the Himalayan range.
This lake can be reached by two different routes. First one is short but steeper trek from Saiful Mulook Lake. It takes more than 7 hours for a round trip to Ansoo lake starting from lake Saiful Mulook. The trek is covered with snow in most parts of the year. The best time to trek is from July 10 to August 15. The optimal time to set off for the lake from Saiful Mulook is around 06:00 in the morning. Horses can also be hired from the Lake Saiful Mulook along with a guide who will take you to Ansoo Lake. It costs almost PKR 1000-1500(in year 2011) per horse and PKR 1000 additional for the guide but one still has to walk more than 35% of the distance by himself. This trek can be further divided into two part. First half, which is towards Saiful Malook, is valley along the river and it goes up to Malika Parbat base camp. Second half is steeper starting from Malika Parbat base camp and ends with Ansoo Lake. This part is all about climbing on the mountain. File:Ansoo Lake – GPS reading.jpg
Second trek to reach Ansoo Lake starts from the village Mahandri, which is 40 km south to Naran Village, and it goes through Manoor Gali and Kach Gali. This trek takes at least three days of 12 hour trekking to get to Ansoo Lake. Steepness of this trek may be the same as of other one but travel in the valley is lot more. This gives an opportunity to camp along the rivers, in jungles, on the top of mountains and in abandoned towns.
Both of above mentioned treks run in opposite direction from Ansoo lake and are connected via mountains top forming half circle 300–400 feet above the lake waters. From this altitude, there is an amazing vista of lake on one side and top of Malika Parbat and beautiful skyline of high altitude mountains covered with snow on the other side. There is no risk free way to reach lake waters because it lies in the crater with steep, snow covered walls. There is no apparent drainage of lake water and no one ever tried to explore it because of its dangerous approach and limited resources in that area.
The name “Ansoo” comes from its tear-like shape (the Urdu word Ansoo means teardrop). This lake also resembles Human Eye with central ice land resembling Iris of Human Eye and a ridge resembling Eyebrow becoming even more prominent when ice melts on the Eyebrow in summers. This ridge was partially destroyed in 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
In 2010, a team from Peshawar is dispatched to Ansoo Lake to discover and help promote to educate people about Ansoo Lake and its beauty, in order to increase tourism in K.P. This team includes the team leader Mr. Wali Ullah Khan commonly known as Doctor-Saab in Naran, Mr. Muhammad Javaid, Mr. Seyaf Fasal and a 20 years old Local guide Mr. Muhammad Idress. This team local high altitude journeys were originally headed by a Local team guide a 65 years old famous trekker Mr. Tahir from Naran.
This team discovered and mapped-down the possible various routes to Ansoo Lake and the possible benefits each rout can offer. Moreover, it describes the length and toughness and, the camping and weather conditions of the various routes to Ansoo. The team was also given the task to collect evidences if found of the unknown cryptid species Bipedal Humanoid primate, commonly recognized as the Ice Man (local name Barmanu, Borbund or Burbundu or Bala-Burbando). The team only once however, strongly denied those news and expressed it as a form of disinformation and propaganda. Since then no word about the Ice Man on behalf of the team was heard in the media. The team even denied their proper organogramic set up, chain of command and hierarchy in themselves, and the team funding by the government of Pakistan, states that they were friends and mere common tourists. Latter they even denied their travel to Ansoo Lake however, the home media with the help of local people did exposed some pictures of the team members; posing on high altitudes and near the Ansoo Lake.
The lake is said to have been discovered in 1993 by Pakistan Air Force Pilots who were flying low in this area. Earlier, the lake was not even known to the locals.
There is no place to stay at Ansoo Lake. Some people may camp on the top of extremely cold and windy mountains but it is very risky and even the locals do not agree to recommend this.
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