When you think of Lakes in Nepal, you probably think of gorgeous mountain scenery, lush greenery, and tranquil waters. But did you know that Nepal is also home to some of the biggest, popular, and beautiful lakes in the world?
From pristine glacial lakes nestled in the Himalayas to sprawling sacred lakes surrounded by ancient temples, there are plenty of amazing sites to explore.
In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 biggest, most popular, and most beautiful lakes in Nepal that you must visit on your next trip.
- 1. Rara Lake
- 2. Phewa Lake
- 3. Shey Phoksundo Lake
- 4. Tilicho Lake
- 5. Begnas Lake
- 6. Tsho Rolpa Lake
- 7. Rupa Lake
- 8. Gokyo Lakes
- 9. Gosaikunda Lake
- 10. Khaste Lake
List of the 10 Popular Lakes in Nepal
Nepal is home to some of the many beautiful and majestic lakes in the world. Lakes in Nepal are some of the most stunning and serene places to visit. From the picturesque high-altitude lakes of the Himalayas to the peaceful serenity of lowland lakes, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
1. Rara Lake
Nestled in the serene and tranquil Himalayas of Nepal, Rara Lake is one of the most beautiful and largest freshwater lakes in Nepal. Located at an altitude of 2,990 meters in Jumla district, this stunning lake covers an area of 10.8 km2 and has a maximum depth of 167 m. Surrounded by pristine forests, meadows, and snow-capped mountains, Rara Lake is a popular tourist destination in Nepal.
Rara Lake has crystal clear blue waters, perfect for swimming and boating. The lake also offers some great opportunities for bird watching and fishing, as it is home to a variety of migratory birds. You can even spot endangered species like the red-headed vulture, black-necked crane, and the rare Nepal forest gecko.
A visit to Rara Lake would not be complete without a trek to the nearby Rara National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in Nepal. Here you can explore some of the oldest forests in the country, with a diverse array of flora and fauna including various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
Whether you are looking for a peaceful and relaxing getaway or an adventurous and thrilling adventure, a visit to Rara Lake is sure to satisfy your wanderlust. So pack your bags and head off on an unforgettable journey to this majestic lake!
2. Phewa Lake
Located in Pokhara Valley, Phewa Lake is one of the most popular and beautiful lakes in Nepal. It is the second-largest lake in Nepal, measuring 4 km long, 2 km wide and 8.6 m deep. It is located at an altitude of 742 m, and has a surface area of 5.7260 sq.km.
The crystal clear waters of Phewa Lake draw tourists from around the world, who come to enjoy the majestic views of the Himalayan mountain range. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery, and the waters are so pristine that it is said to have healing powers. There are many activities that can be done here such as boating, fishing, swimming, and even paragliding.
You can also take a boat ride across the lake to reach the famous Tal Barahi Temple located on an island in the middle of the lake. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Durga, and it is believed that worshipping her at this temple will bring good luck and prosperity.
For stunning sunrises and sunsets, head to one of the many viewpoint restaurants near the lake. Enjoy a delicious local meal as you take in the beautiful views of Phewa Lake. For a truly magical experience, stay in one of the many resorts situated around the lake and watch the sunrise while sipping a cup of hot tea.
If you’re looking for some fun, head to Lakeside and enjoy shopping in the bustling street markets or relax on one of the many café terraces overlooking the lake. Whatever you choose to do, Phewa Lake will give you a memorable experience that you won’t forget!
3. Shey Phoksundo Lake
Located in the Dolpa district of Nepal, Shey Phoksundo Lake is the deepest lake in Nepal and the second deepest lake in South Asia having a depth of 136 meters. It is the largest lake in the Trans-Himalayan belt with an altitude of 3,589 meters.
The lake is surrounded by high mountains and dense forests and has breathtaking views. Its crystal clear water has a bluish-green tinge to it, making it a sight to behold.
The lake is home to various species of fish, including the endangered snow trout and other species of trout. Visitors can also observe various migratory birds, especially geese and ducks, along the shoreline of Shey Phoksundo Lake.
The nearby hills and forests are also home to various wild animals like leopards, blue sheep, musk deer, and Himalayan black bear. This makes Shey Phoksundo Lake an ideal destination for trekking and wildlife photography.
Aside from these activities, visitors can also explore the Shey Gompa Monastery, which is perched on top of a hill nearby the lake. The monastery was built in the 15th century and offers stunning views of the lake and its surroundings.
4. Tilicho Lake
Situated in Manang district, Tilicho Lake is one of the highest and most beautiful lakes in Nepal. It is located at an altitude of 4,919 meters above sea level, making it the highest lake in the world. It is surrounded by white glaciers and snow-capped mountains, making it a perfect destination for trekkers and adventure seekers. The view from the top of the mountain is simply breathtaking. The crystal clear water of the lake reflects the majestic Annapurna ranges, offering a stunning backdrop for photographs.
Tilicho Lake is also home to many species of birds and wildlife. The tranquility of the lake’s environment makes it an ideal spot for relaxation. There are also many interesting sights to explore along the way, including Manang village, Gurung villages, and Mesokanto La pass.
Trekking to Tilicho Lake is a popular activity among tourists and trekkers in Nepal. Most people choose to do a 4 to 5 day trek from Kathmandu to Manang village, passing through various other scenic areas along the way. The trekking route passes through some of the most picturesque villages and forests in Nepal, providing travelers with breathtaking views of the Annapurna range. The trek culminates at Tilicho Lake, where visitors can take in the stunning scenery and feel peace in their hearts.
Tilicho Lake is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and unforgettable adventure in Nepal. The breathtaking views, peaceful atmosphere, and abundant wildlife make it an ideal place to unwind and recharge after a long trek. So if you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, head out on a trek to Tilicho Lake!
5. Begnas Lake
Situated in the Kaski district of Nepal, Begnas Lake is the third largest lake in Nepal and is one of the eight major lakes in Pokhara Valley. It is located in the south east of Pokhara Valley at the surface elevation of 650 meters with a total surface area of 3.28 sq.km.
It is one of the popular destinations for tourists visiting Pokhara. The water from the lake is used for irrigation and some parts of the lake are used as caged fisheries. The water level in the lake keep fluctuating due to the rain, and the utilization for irrigation.
More famous for its natural freshwater, more visitors are attracted to this lake for boating and fishing.
6. Tsho Rolpa Lake
Tsho Rolpa Lake also known as Cho Rolpa Lake is one of the biggest glacial lakes in Nepal. Situated at an high altitude of 4,580 meters in the Rolwaling Valley of Dolakha district, it has grown quite considerable over the last 50 years due to the glacial melting in the Himalayan regions.
With the surface area of 1.537 kilometers, the lake serves as a primary outflows of Rolwaling and Tamakoshi rivers. Since it is located between the beautiful mountain ranges of Langtan and Everest, it gives the stunning views of mountains and natures.
There are interesting terraced fields, fast-flowing rivers, forests, and glaciers around this lake.
7. Rupa Lake
Located at the border of Pokhara Metropolitan and Rupa Rural Municipality of Kaski district, Rupa Lake is the third biggest lake in the Pokhara Valley situated at an altitude of 600m covering an area of around 1.35 sq.km.
It is a freshwater lake which is elongated from north to south and is fed by perinnial streams. It has one of the largest watershed area in Nepal which is 32 sq.km.
Alongside Begnas Lake, it is one of the major destinations for tourists in the Pokhara Valley. It is best known for providing spaces for boating experiences for domestic and international tourists. Apart from this, cage culture and pen culture have been practiced in Rupa Lake for fish farming.
The surrounding of this lake supports a number of flora and fauna species. A total number of 36 species of waterbirds have been recorded in the lake that represents about 19% of the total wetland dependent birds in Nepal.
8. Gokyo Lakes
Located at the high altitude of 4,700 to 5,000 meters at Sagarmatha National Park, Gokyo Lake is an aligotropic lake in Nepal. It is not a single lake, but a group of six main lakes, out of which Thonak Lake is the largest. These lakes are the world’s largest freshwater lakes.
Geographically, it is located in the Khumjung VDC of Solukhmbu district of Nepal. Out of the 6 lakes, its main lake is Gokyo Cho which is also known as Dudh Pokhari while Thonak Lake is the largest with an area of 65.07 hacters.
These lakes have a great religious significance in Nepal and are considered sacred by both Hindus and Budhhists of Nepal. This site is considered as a residing place of Nag Devata (Snake God), and also a temple of God Vishnu and God Shiva is situated at the western corner of the Lake. Therefore, every year a good amount of Hindu pilgrims visit this lake, especially during the Janai Purnima-one of the festivals in Nepal.
Gokyo Lake is also one of the major tourist attractions because it leads towards the Everest Base Camp and other popular areas. These lakes are also a part of extended Everest Base Camp trek. So, the lake also keep attracting numbers of international trekkers and climbers.
9. Gosaikunda Lake
Gosaikunda us one of the major aligotrophic lakes in Nepal. Nested at the high altitude of 4,380 meters just beside the Langtang National Park in the Rasuwa district of Nepal, it covers a total area of 13.8 hacters. Gosaikunda is one of the very few lakes in Nepal which remains frozen for six months in winter from October to June. When it melts, it form the Trishuli River which is one of the major rivers of Nepal.
Gosaikunda has more religious significance than other lakes in Nepal. The area of this lake has been delineated as a religious site for Hindus in Nepal. According to the Hindu Mythology, this lake is the abode of the Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri. Many Hindu scriptures like Bhagwata Purana, Vishnu Purana, Ramayana, and Mahabharata refers to Samundra Manthan, which is directly related to the origin of the Gosaikunda. The waters of this lake are considered very holy and of particular significance. The lake receives thousands of pilgrims of Nepal and India throughout the year, especially during the Janai Purnima, also known as Raksha Bandhan which is one of the most celebrated festivals in Nepal.
Besides known for its religious significance, Gosaikunda is also famous for watching birds and experiencing natural beauty of Nepal.
10. Khaste Lake
Khaste Lake is another popular lake situated in the Pokhara Valley. It is located at the Kharane Phant of Pokhara Metropolitan City. It covers an area of almost 25 hacters.
The lake is mostly known for Pisciculture which has been practicing here for several years. This lake is one of the best places to see birds like Siberian, India, and Afghan birds in Nepal. These birds come here to find refuge from the cold.
So, due to the migration of several birds, this area has a great potential to become a research centre of migratory birds of different species in Nepal.
So, these are the 10 popular and famous lakes in Nepal. While visiting the country, you will get to see many more beautiful lakes like these in the every part of this country. From the glistening Gosaikunda Lake to the breathtaking Phewa Tal, the country offers a plethora of stunning lakes that are sure to amaze anyone who visits them.
So while visiting Nepal, don’t forget to explore these amazing lakes!
1. How many lakes does Nepal have?
Nepal has over 3,252 glaciers and 2,323 glacier lakes.
2. Which is the biggest lake in Nepal?
With a total area of 10.4 sq.km, Rara Lake which is situated in Jumla district is the biggest lake in Nepal.
3. Which is the deepest lake in Nepal?
Shey-Phoksundo, popularly known as Phoksundo Lake is the deepest lake in Nepal with a depth of 136 meters.
4. What are the most famous lakes located in Nepal?
Nepal has thousands of lakes. Out of them, lakes such as Rara Lake, Phewa Lake, Tilicho Lake, Phoksundo Lake are among the famous lakes. Their popularity isn’t only limited to the borders of Nepal. These are the lakes that are famous and popular worldwide.
5. Which is the highest lake in the world?
Tilicho Lake which is situated in the Manang district of Nepal is the highest lake in the world. It is situated at the high altitude of 4,919 meters above the sea-level which makes it world’s highest lake.