Handarap Lake: a hidden gem in Shandur Valley

Handarap Lake

Handarap Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes found in Pakistan’s northern region. It is located in Shandur Valley in the Gupus-Yasin district of Gilgit Baltistan generally known as the northern region of Pakistan which is quite famous for its mountains, lakes, and snow-capped landscapes. Shandur Valley is quite famous for its beauty and natural wildlife. It is an elevated plateau found in the mountain ranges of Hindukush and Karakoram. The valley is blessed with natural beauty, wildlife, and a lake which is a very famous tourist attraction for nature lovers and hikers.

The lake serves as the reservoir of water at a high altitude for the Shandur Valley. The lake’s water comes from the melting glaciers and is crystal clear. The surrounding scenery and crystal clear water make it one of Pakistan’s most famous and beautiful lakes. The crystal clear water of the lake provides a reflection of its surrounding that provides a breathtaking view.

Location: how to reach Handarap Lake

The exact location of the lake is found in the Handarap Nallah, of Shandur Valley in the Gupus-Yasin district of Gilgit Baltistan. The estimated elevation of the lake is found to be 3,285 meters or 10,777.6 feet above sea level.

Handarap Lake can be reached by taking the Karakoram Highway from Islamabad to Gilgit Baltistan. Then continuing on the west to take the Gilgit Chitral road that takes you towards the Shandur valley. Then after that comes the hardest part of the journey. You have to hike for four hours from the Handarap Village. Accommodation is available for tourists at the sites near the lake. The off-road track for 4×4 jeeps and bikes is also being built for the ease of tourists.

Weather: best time to visit

Handarap Valley is known for its lush green fields, so rainfalls are expected between January and March. The valley is best explored in the time between June to August when the weather there is quite pleasant and favorable.

The best time to visit the Handarap lake is June to September when the weather is quite pleasant and the lake is not frozen. Tourists can also witness and get a lifetime experience of watching the Annual Shandur Polo Festival which is held in July near the Handarap lake.


The famous activities tourist can take part is boating, fishing, and camping near the lake. Handarap Lake is also famous for Trout fish. Tourists that enjoy fishing can catch the Trout from the Lake and enjoy their meals.


To conclude, if you are a nature lover and willing to go on 4 hours of hike this is the best destination for you. Hnadarap Lake provides its visitors with breathtaking views of nature, a pleasant ecosystem, and the clear cold fresh water of the glacier. The Lake is truly a hidden gem waiting for it to be explored by nature lovers.



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