Ratti Gali Lake: A Jewel in the Heart of the Mountains

Introduction

Ratti Gali Lake is a glacial lake located in the Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir. The lake is considered one of the most beautiful places to visit in the valley. Due to its remote location, Ratti Gali Lake offers a sense of serenity and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The sound of water and the surrounding mountains create a truly peaceful ambiance.

Ratti Gali lake

Ratti Gali Lake Height

ratti gali lake height

The Ratti Gali Lake sits at an impressive altitude of 3,683 meters (12,083 feet).

Ratti Gali Track

ratti gali lake track

The Ratti Gali trek is a popular route for reaching Ratti Gali Lake. There are two main ways to reach the lake. One is that you can take a 4×4 jeep from the village of Dowarian to a base camp located around 18 kilometers from the lake. This is the easiest option, but it doesn’t allow you to experience the full beauty of the track. The second and more adventurous option is a hike.

Ratti Gali Lake Hike

hike from ratti gali lake

Reaching Ratti Gali includes a hike of the entire trail from Dowarian to the lake. The trek is roughly 6 kilometers long (one way) and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. The trail winds through meadows, and forests, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It is one of the “Places to Visit in Kashmir

Ratti Gali Camping

camping at ratti gali lake

Ratti Gali camping is a popular activity for those who want to experience the beauty of Ratti Gali Lake up close. The area around the lake is a designated camping spot, and several tour operators offer camping packages that include tents, meals, and a guide.

Ratti Gali Base Camp

base camp rattigali

Ratti Gali Base Camp is a staging area for those visiting Ratti Gali Lake in the Neelum Valley. It’s located about 18 kilometers from the lake itself and is accessible by a 4×4 jeep ride from the village of Dowarian. Most people use the base camp as a starting point for the hike to Ratti Gali Lake.

Ratti Gali Lake Weather

weather at rattigali

Ratti Gali Lake is cool all year. Summers are nice and warm, around 33°C (91°F) in the day, but nights are cool at 20°C (68°F). It rains sometimes all year, but winters are snowy and cold. The roads are even closed from November to April because of the snow! The average temperature throughout the year is a pleasant 23°C (73°F).

Best Time to Visit Ratti Gali Lake

best time to visit ratti gali

Ratti Gali Lake is closed during the winter months due to heavy snowfall. The roads leading to the lake are typically blocked from November to April. The best time to visit the lake is during the summer months when you can enjoy green meadows and the stunning scenery.

Ratti Gali Location

The nearest major city to Ratti Gali is Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir. The journey from Muzaffarabad to Ratti Gali can take 4 to 6 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. The first stop after Muzaffarabad is the village of Keran, about 45 kilometers away. From there, you’ll continue to Dowarian, another village located 19 kilometers from the lake. Lastly, From Dowarian, you can take a 4×4 jeep to the base camp, which is 18 kilometers away. The final leg of the journey is a 1-1.5 hour trek to the lake itself.

Ratti Gali Road Map

Distance From Various Cities

Muzaffarabad to Ratti Gali Distance

 The distance between Muzaffarabad and Ratti Gali Lake is approximately 75 kilometers (47 miles). Travel time can vary depending on traffic conditions, but it typically takes 2 to 4 hours to drive from Muzaffarabad to Ratti Gali Lake.

Ratti Gali Lake distance from Islamabad

Islamabad is further away from Ratti Gali Lake than Muzaffarabad. The distance is approximately 230 kilometers (143 miles). Travel time can take anywhere from 5 to 7 hours depending on traffic.

Ratti GaliLake distance from Lahore

The distance between Ratti Gali and Lahore is a whopping 630 kilometers (391 miles). Travel time by car can take up to 14 hours, so you might want to consider flying to Islamabad instead.

Neelum valley to RattiGali Lake

Ratti Gali Lake is located within the Neelum Valley, so technically, the distance is zero kilometers. However, depending on where you are in the Neelum Valley, it could take between 2 to 4 hours to get to the lake by car.

Ratti Gali Lake distance from Murree

Murree is not as far as Islamabad or Lahore, but it’s still a significant distance. The distance is approximately 380 kilometers (236 miles). Travel time by car can take 8 to 10 hours.

Hotels in Ratti Gali

hotels near rattigali

While Ratti Gali itself doesn’t have many hotels due to its remote location, there are several options for staying near the lake in the Neelum Valley. Here are some highly-rated hotels near Ratti Gali Lake:

  • Ratti Gali Resort Dowarian: Located in Dowarian, this guest house offers a comfortable stay close to the starting point for the trek to Ratti Gali Lake. It has a 4.5-star rating on Google with positive reviews for its cleanliness and friendly staff.
  • Hotel The Lodge Sharda Neelum Valley: This hotel is in Sharda, a scenic location near Ratti Gali Lake. The hotel boasts a beautiful setting and comfortable accommodations, and it has a 4.6-star rating on Google.
  • Kashmir Dosut Lodges: Another option in Sharda, Kashmir Dosut Lodges is a well-regarded guesthouse known for its hospitality and delicious food. It has a 4.3-star rating on Google.
  • Country Resort: This hotel is also located in Sharda and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Country Resort has a perfect 5-star rating on Google, though with only a few reviews.

Conclusion

Ratti Gali Lake is a jewel of Pakistan. Whether you’re seeking an adventurous trek to reach the lake or a chance to simply soak in the beauty of its crystal-clear waters and surrounding meadows, Ratti Gali offers an unforgettable experience. The cool mountain air, the peaceful atmosphere, and the breathtaking scenery make Ratti Gali Lake a perfect destination for relaxation, reflection, and connecting with nature.

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