Chitta Khatta Lake
Kashmir is the place which is blessed from natural beauty and is very famous for its virgin beauty. There are different places to visit and praise the nature’s beauty. There is a lake named as “Chitta Khatta” it is like a diamond in the crown of Neelum Valley. It is situated in the upper Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan at an elevation of 1400 feet above the sea level. The major attraction of the lake is its milky white colors of water from which the name of the lake is derived, Chitta means “White”.
Chitta Khatta Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Pakistan. The Kashmir’s snow covers mountains surrounded this beautiful lake and during summer flowers on the side of lake added more beauty to it. One can access this area through Kel in Neelum valley. The road is about 30 km and can only be covered by jeep from Kel to Chitta Katha Lake. If you have an intention of trekking there then you must have to spend night Ulti domel village and you have to start your journey early in the morning. For trekking in this area one has to be mentally and physically fit to do this hiking. For this purposes horse can also be hired.
Trek To Lake:
One of the frozen lakes for most of the year, the Chita Katha is located in Shounter valley in Azad Kashmir. A strenuous 4 to 8 hours trek is the last obstacle between the Upper Domel and this 4,100 meters (13,500 ft) high lake. Upper Domel is a little remote town in Shounter valley and available through a 4-5 hours going on an unsteady jeep street from Kel in Neelum Valley. It is likewise conceivable to arrive at Upper Domel from the Astore valley.
A stay in Upper Domel requires complete camping arrangements as no other options are available. For camping look around for an appropriate place as the potatoes are cultivated at every inch of levelled land. Very basic food and tea can be available from a 5×5 feet smoky cabin at the start of the village.
From the village, trekking starts by walking out of the village on the same jeep road which led to the Upper Domel. A steep path leaves the jeep road to the edge of the noisy river about 150 meters from the village. A temporary and unreliable bridge made of bushes helps to cross the river and reach to another small settlement dominated by the potato fields.
A steady climbing starts at the end of this cultivated settlement. A continuous ascent on a stony path with number of round turns takes about one and half hour. Once at the top of this green ridge, the views at both front and back sides are superb.
In the front, a sharp decline is leading to a deep bowl shaped valley with snow and ice. The slippery icy surface requires care while crossing towards the other side of the snow. There are few ‘gujjar’ huts with few families taking care of animal herds.
After few minutes of gentle walk, this bowl ends at a narrow gorge with a water stream in the deep. The Lake covers by a thick snow. Carefully walking on this slippery and inclined snow it takes approx. half an hour to reach to the end of this gorge.
The slanted way forward is still relentless, however the green inclines with uncountable blooms on the two sides make this real estate parcel an out of world dream place. For further fascination, more than ten small and medium sized waterfalls dropping from the heights in every direction.
At the end of this splendid land, the Chitta Katha is few minutes easy walk away. By strolling on wide and level stones, keeping the eyes on developing snow secured tops at a nearby separation now; abruptly the Chitta Katha comes into view. At the feet of heavily snow covered Hari Parbat, this lake offers exclusive views from every aspect.
In local language the ‘Chitta’ means White and ‘Kattha’ is used for water stream. In a more meaningful manner it can be imagined as a reservoir of clear water which reflects the white snows of surrounding peaks. Chitta Katha is set in a deep bowl in a serene isolation.