Places to Visit in Deosai Plains
Ali Malik Pass – First Stop in Deosai Plains
The first stop on the way was Deosai top or Ali Malik Pass (if you are coming from Skardu) which gives you an idea about how amazing the journey forward is going to be. If you like having a cup of tea, I believe that’s the first and last stop from where you can have it (or the time we traveled it was the only one). So, don’t risk it if you are a tea lover. Depsai plains has everything to offer except tea. There was very light snowfall and that made weather amazing. Snow covered mountains and plains seemed very near. We made a quick stop and started moving forward to our destination i.e. Sheosar lake.
Our next stop was Shatung Nala. If I define Deosai, I am sorry, I can’t (saying this after thinking for 5 minutes). Silence is absolute. This deafening silence was broken when we reached Shatung Nala. There was fresh water stream running by and that is the primary source of water of Satpara lake. Noise of water in this silence was not disturbing at all rather it was musical to ears.
From Shatung Nala, after travelling 6 km, we reached a point called Bara pani. It was June but still grounds and mountains of Deosai had snow on it. A lot of snow in fact. Here, we saw a couple of jeeps stuck in the mud. The main reason was, they deviated from the main set course and relied on the engine power of their jeeps. But by using it aggressively stuck further deep in the mud.
A piece of advice for non-local drivers is better to have a local driver with you or don’t try to create new ways. Follow the path, and it will lead you to your destination. GB government had their own recovery department. And it came to rescue as well. In the recovery process their own vehicle got stuck. It was the patch of the journey where we met naughty Marmot who refused to give us any pose at first.
Bara Pani is at the elevation of 12,700 ft. and also core zone of the brown bear. If you are thinking of camping, Bara Pani is the place where you should as weather is relatively warm here. Bara pani (Big water) as the name indicates has a larger water stream flowing from top of icy mountains and coming to lower sides of plains.
And then after covering a few more kilometers, we reached at Kala Pani (not the black waters where in colonial times English people used to put prisoners). This is the prison where every individual will want to go(Hope you understand when someone says things metaphorically.). This water stream looks black from a distance but if you go near, water is crystal clear and freezing. The black color is due to the black stones in the streambed. We didn’t stay here for a long time and started moving towards Sheosar Lake.
Sheosar Lake (Blind Lake) – Our Final Stop in Deosai Plains
Sheosar Lake (also known as Shausar lake or blind lake), where our driver refused to go to at first due to very bad road conditions. We insisted, he refused. And we kept on insisting until he said okay. There was a catch in this agreement which was if we get stuck, its our responsibility. And we have to spend a night out in the cold wilderness of Deosai on our own risk. We took our chance as there was no other way.
With an elevation of 13,589 ft., it is one of the highest lakes in the world. This lake has different shades to show, either its ice covered or surrounded with greenery. At this time of year, it was all covered with ice keeping our share of Trout fish in its belly. There was an army party going on one side of the lake. “Mango Party” was our only party at this lake. That was it. Shausar lake refused to unveil its beauty. May be, she expects another visit. Idea of going back there keeping all the route in mind seems difficult. But every good thing has a price to pay. My price is to go back again.