Attabad Lake’s Blue Water
The blue water of Attabad Lake calls you over and you can’t resist it. We four decided to go to Khunjarab Pass and Attabad lake was the extra value added to the journey. I remember reading Pakistan’s famous journalist “Irfan Siddique” columns about the Attabad Disaster. This happened in year 2010 when a massive landslide hit Attabad village and resulted in few causalities. It also blocked the flow of Hunza River for 5 months. So practically Karakoram Highway was closed and there was very little to no traffic on this major route. Further more, it brought flood to nearby villages and food supply was not consistent.
Story of Attabad Lake Continues….
In absence of any road, people started moving all shipments on barges until realignment of Karakoram Highway took place. The project cost was around 275 million USD and it consists of few bridges and 5 really long tunnels. Once you are in these tunnels, be ready to consider day as night (due to no light in the tunnels). But still its an amazing journey. When we traveled in 2016, it was ready and it was the most beautiful road.
I have been to many lakes and to be honest, 2 lakes inspired me most. Loch Lomand of Scotland (In Scottish, Loch is for Lake) and Attabad Lake of Pakistan. Later lake is approximately 21 km long. Pictures of Lake Attabad charm you to reach there but actual feeling of the lake is very unique experience. We were coming back from Khunjarab Pass when we stopped at this Lake. It was a long journey back and we were traveling from last 3 days (Coming from Islamabad and visiting other places of Gilgit. I will cover those as well).
Calmness of Lake
We took a boat on rent. The lake waters were very calm and still, just like a yogi holding breath and there were no signs of movement. The only voice was of boat’s engine and it was bit disturbing. The glacial water was cold and it was hard to keep your hand long in the lake. Looking through the crystal clear water of Attabad Lake was like peering through the glass. It was very clear. However, when the boat driver told us that below this water there is a whole village with houses and everything. There was a brief moment of sadness in our boat. Life goes on, and i believe locals must have compromised with the accident.
If my memory serves me well, this boat trip lasted for half an hour and it was a worthwhile journey. The lake was surrounded by the mighty mountains on one side. On other side, there is Karakoram highway. The depth of this lake is more than 300 feet.
Activities at Attabad Lake
At that time only Jet Skiing and boating were available in terms of recreational activities. Night Camping facility was available but now i have heard there are some cottages available alongside the lake. I will definitely give it a try. Even if you are not interested in doing any of this stuff, just stay there for some time. I am sure you will feel relaxed.