Location : 50-km From Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
Famous As: A Picnic Spot
Significance: Said To Be The Largest
Fresh Water Lake In India.
Best Time To Visit: June To August
Claimed to be the largest
freshwater lake in India, the Wular lake can spread over nearly
200-sq-kms but its actual surface area tends to vary during the
year. The Jhelum River flows into the lake, 40-km downstream from
Srinagar, and then out again.
The lake, calm though it may appear, is noted for the fierce winds
that sometimes blow up. The deepest part of the lake is known as
Mota Khon, the 'Gulf of corpses', since the bodies of people
drowned in the lake were all supposed to be washed to this place.
At one time there was an artificial island on the lake, where
boatmen could shelter if the weather turned bad, but silting on
that side of the lake has joined the island to the lakeside. It's
now a popular picnic spot.
PLACES TO LOOK AROUND
There are several large towns or other places of interest around
the shore of the lake.
Sopur, at the south end of the lake where the Jhelum leaves it, is
noted for its fruit growing - particularly Apples and Walnuts. The
main resort town for the lake is Ningal Nullah, 5-km from Sopur.
From here one can hire sailing boats to cruise on the lake or for
Lolab Valley & Bungas
Beyond Sopur is the Lolab valley, reached either by a road from
Sopur or by following the bridal path from Kiuhnus. To the west of
the Lolab valley there is an extensive flat meadow called Bungas,
at 2,896 metres above sea level and 114-km from Srinagar . It's
like an undeveloped Gulmarg.
Kiuhnus bay is a small valley 20-km from Sopur and 12-km from
Bandipur. Further up this valley of the Madumati River there are
The important town of Bandipur, famous for its woven blankets, is
on the eastern shore of the lake, at the foot of the 3,355 metres
Tragbal Pass. On the northwest side of the lake, near Ashtiung,
there is a Ziarat or shrine to Baba Shukur-ud-Din, a disciple or
the saint Nur-ud-Din.
Baramula, to the south west of the lake, was on the main route to
Rawalpindi, the chief route from Kashmir to the Indian plains
prior to independence. Roads also run from here to Gilgit and
Hunza, into what is now the restricted zone controlled by
Pakistan. Baramula is the legendary place from which Vishnu is
said to have drained the waters, which once filled the Kashmir
Close to Shadipur, where the Sindh River flows into the Jhelum,
there are the ruins of a number of Hindu and Buddhist shrines.
Shadipur has a camping site and is noted for the abundant fish in
the waters around it.
Narmarg Narmarg, above the lake, is a popular trekking
Houseboats, Doongas and
sailing boats can be hired on the lake. The three main mooring
places are at Ningal Nullah, Kiuhnus Bay and at Ajus Spur on the
south east side. Around the lake there are various canals, which
lead through the silt at the river mouths up into the rivers
themselves. One of the best is to the Erin valley, which starts
from Nodhal and winds 6½-km up to two high altitude lakes.
HOW TO GET THERE
Road: Buses leave
the tourist reception centre in Srinagar in the morning for a day
trip around Wular Lake and back. The bus first stops at Anchar
Lake, then on to Safapur, to stop at Manasbal Lake, thence to
Bandipur, 56-km away. This is followed by lunch at Watlab where
there is a government rest house, and a tour of the mosque of Baba
Sakar-ud-Din, then on to Sopur. The lake can be reached by river
as well as road.