Kaghan: The “Unseen” Rhapsody” Part-2

KAGHAN: THE UNSEEN RHAPSODY PART-2

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Jalkhad
The next morning I woke up at 6.30 am, stayed put for a while in order to give my limbs more warmth and relaxation as the warming sun has created a sort of greenhouse effect inside the tent. Had an oatmeal cookie and a cup of tea from the local hotel and started my decline for the Kaghan road. I waited for almost two hours sitting along the bank of roaring Kunhar as its ferocity kept mounting as the  day grew warmer. I finally got lucky when a local van stopped by. I quickly climbed on the roof with my backpack. It was an amazing journey. The treacherous road crisscrossed between the mountains, shearing through towering glaciers.

I reached Jalkhad at around 1 in the afternoon. As the name being self explanatory, Jal-khad can be taken as a large ditch in the path of river Kunhar. The abundance of blue-green algae had turned the lake into emerald green, and with the thick coniferous forest at the other end, the place appears to have jumped right out of a fantasy. The carpeted road ended at Jalkhad and from there onward it was just a gravel road, one that can be tough on a trekker’s feet. The work done by FWO up to this place is of high standard and a mighty difficult one. Kaghan road via Babusar pass to Gilgit, if made operational, can actually reduce the time to reach Gilgit by 7-8 hours. I bought some pakora’s to soothe my tummy and started off on foot. As per the local info, it was a 2 hours walk up to Baisal. Soon I was offered a ride in one of the passing by jeeps, which apparently had pity on a lone backpacker trekking in perilous mountains. I reached Baisal at 2 o clock and started off on foot for Lake Lulusar. It took me another gruesome 2 hours to reach the lake.


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Lake Lulusar
Lake Lulusar is the largest fresh water reservoir in the valley and is also the birthplace of river kunhar. Seated at approximately 11000 ft above sea level and stretching almost 3 kms in length the lake twists and turns in a narrow valley, making it impossible to capture whole of it in one single snap. The lake has a character of its own. The first most striking feature of it is the deafening silence around it, away from the thrashing kunhar. A few kilometers beyond Lulusar a small stream drops in the lake which originates from the mythical string of seven lakes aka “sat-sar mala”. “Sar” in the local language refers to lake. 

They are a bead of seven lakes, the higher one dropping in the lower lake with lake “Surkhail” being the highest one at approximately 15000ft above sea level. While the first lake on the way up is known as the fairy lake. The name “Sat-sar mala” was coined somewhere back decades ago when maybe there were actually seven lakes, but at this point in time there are known to have only six of them.  “Sat-sar mala” being not on my current list of the expedition to assorted lakes, I sat there fantasizing about the beauty and the magnificence of the place.

……to be continued
Part – 3