Another Charming Lake in Kashmir for Tourists | Chitta Katha Lake
Chitta Katha is a beautiful lake in a fascinating Shounter Valley of the Heaven on Earth-Kashmir (Azad Kashmir). Altitude of this lake is around 13500feet. In local language Chitha Katha means white stream (name of the stream coming down from Hari Parbat which is originated from the lake called Chitta Katha Sar or the lake of mount Hari Parbat).
Shounter Valley is located in the tehsil of Sharda in Neelum District. You can reach Chitha Katha through Muzaffarabad to Neelum Valley. When you reach Kel in Neelum, you have to take a jeep to reach Domel that is about 20km from Kel and then it’s trekking for 5KM. Kel is known to be the base camp of this lake.
Only reachable in July and August, on the way to Lake there are two stunning watercourses at Shounter and at Chitta Katha.
Please note here, while traveling, must keep you CNIC with you, especially in Kashmir. Because it is the border area and there are army check posts at every 15-20kms. They note down who is travelling in both direction.
Trekking of Chitta Katha Lake
Trek for Chitta Katha Lake originates from the Upper Domel village, one have to travel by jeep for almost 2 hours from Kel. Jeep drivers demand almost 150-200 rupess per person for one way ride.
From Chitta Katha Village the actual trek to the Lake starts. Jeeps usually drop at the road, a few kilometers before Uper Domel Village. That is the last public service spot on this trek. It takes around half an hour to reach Chitta Katha Village. Two trekking options are availed by the tourists. First one is along the Chitta Katha Nullah, and that trek is for professional trekkers, new trekkers can take
The second trek is a bit longer and you have to trek around the rocky face mountain. For this trek you have to cross the Nullah foot bridge and then walk. The Rocky Face Mountain is one of the places near Domel where Ruby Gemstone is found and extracted.
After about an hour’s trekking, this trek opens up in the wide valley at the base of Hari Parbat. This Valley is best for Camping, if you plan not to return same day, then you can camp here for night. Tourist enjoy bonfire too at this place.
After that valley only half an hour of a steep trekking leads you to the destination, yes, Chitta Katha Lake. The whole trek and the lake is full of beauty and nature that wins the hearts. Cool breeze, fresh air, birds singing, among all this, you will feel the peace of heaven. Besides all this, Lake is real love for the photographers, as it gives them marvelous landscapes.
Reaching the lake you can have a beautiful view of the areas of Ath Muqam, Dawariyan, Ratti Gali, Sharda, Kel and Tao Batt (The last residential area of Azad Kashmir).