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Dudiptsar Lake


Dudiptsar Lake or Dudipat Lake is a lake encircled by snow clad peaks in Lulusar-Dudipatsar National Park. The lake lies in the extreme north of the Kaghan Valley, in the Mansehra District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in northern Pakistan. The word "dudi" means white, "pat" means mountains and "sar" means lake. This name has been given to the lake because of the white color of snow at surrounding peaks. In summer the water of the lake reflects like a mirror. The word "sar" is used with the name of each lake in the area, translating as 'lake.'

Geography

The lake's water is a beautiful greenish blue hue and very cold, at an elevation of 3,800 metres (12,500 ft). The surrounding mountains, with snow patches in the shady dales, average around 4,800 metres (15,700 ft) in elevation. Their natural habitat is in the Western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows ecoregion.[2] The lake and its wetlands habitats are of significant ecological importance for resident fauna and migratory waterfowl. Some of the park's fauna includes the Snow leopard, Black bear, Marmot, Weasel, Lynx, Leopard, Himalayan Snowcock, and the Snow Partridge. 


Lulusar Lake, also in the park, is the primary headwaters of the Kunhar River. Saiful Muluk National Park, with Saif ul Maluk Lake, is adjacent in the 150 kilometres (93 mi) long Kaghan Valley region and together the parks protect 88,000 hectares (220,000 acres). 

Access

The lake and park is accessible for four months of the year from June to late September. In the summer, when the mirror-like water reflects the scenery, visitors from different regions of the country and from abroad travel to enjoy the enchanting views. The trail head for Dudipatsar is located at Besal, which is about an hours drive from the town of Naran. The road is accessible by cars and motorbikes. From Besal onwards visitors trek in vast alpine meadows to reach Dudiptsar Lake. The lake had an abundance of trout, but illegal fishing with dynamite and nets resulted in a sharp fish population decline. It is advised to not track it in snow, as it is an avalanche prone area.

The 2005 Kashmir earthquake in North Pakistan made access more difficult. However since 2006 the Pakistan government has taken 'all steps' to restore tourism in the Kaghan Valley, including rebuilding and new tourism facilities and infrastructure. 


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