I am fond of traveling to rare spots in the interior of the country that are normally not visited by the common tourists. Such spots give me pleasure and satisfaction of visiting some untouched beauty spots having the pure, clean, and fresh environment. I was able to visit one such rare spot of Sheshnag Lake near the town of Pahelgam in Kashmir during my visit to India in the year 2006. There are very few visitors who generally visit this rare spot of Sheshnag.
Sheshnag is situated at the height of around 12000 feet from the mean sea level. This Lake is a natural Lake and is in existence since last thousands of years. It is around 250 feet deep and having an area of 5 square miles. It is said that this Lake was dug by the Sheshnag, who is considered the king of all the snakes himself as per the Hindu religion. The people also believe that the Sheshnag himself stays in this Lake even today. Sheshnag is one of the most ancient and vital places of pilgrimage of the Hindus. It is rather difficult to reach Lake of Sheshnag for the tourists. You have to reach town of Pahelgam, which is situated at around 55 miles away from Shrinagar by hired car or the State Transport buses. Then, you have to travel by bus or taxi up to Chandanwadi. After this, the tourists have to travel by walking up to Sheshnag. Even, the pony does not go up to the Sheshnag in some season. The tourists have to cross the bridge after Chandanwadi and walk through extremely difficult, two miles long steep road up to Sheshnag. The tourists are required to cross the Mountain of Zozpal on the way to reach to Sheshnag. This entire valley is known as Pishughati. The meaning of Pishughati is the valley full of slippery earth and water. The walk way is so narrow that hardly one person can walk on it. There have been incidents of some deaths also due to the fall in the valley while climbing up. You need to be extremely careful while walking through this walk way.
Sheshnag is situated at the distance of around 7 miles from Chandanwadi. There are snow cladded Mountains all around Sheshnag and the view of these snow peaks is simply gorgeous. The small Mountains of snow are seen floating in the Lake. The water of this lake is extremely chilly and it is extremely difficult to take a bath in it, even in peak summer. The entire Lake gets frozen due to snow in the month of June. The best season to visit Sheshnag is during the month of May. The River Sheshnag comes out of this Lake and meets the Kolhai River at the town of Pahelgam. The place known as Vayujan comes around one mile ahead of the Sheshnag lake. This place is considered ideal for performing tap and deep meditation. The visitors can see some Yogis performing tap here with almost no clothes on the body even in peak winter. The entire view of the lake and the near by area is simply out of the world and I am quiet confident that such view of nature’s beauty may not be perhaps available anywhere in the world.
There are no hotels or any guest houses here at Sheshnag for the tourists as very few tourists stay here for the night halt. Most of the tourists stay at Chandanwadi and then, travel up to Sheshnag by feet or on pony. There are couples of small restaurants that serve hot drinks like tea, coffee, and milk. Some few snacks items are also available at these restaurants like biscuits, omelet, and some other eggs preparations. In case, the tourists would like to stay here for the night halt, there are tents available, which are managed by the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir. Such tents can be available at the rates of around Rs.400 ($8) per day. There are sleeping bags and some other very limited furniture like folding plastic chair, and a tea table. The toilet and bath facilities are available in common between all the tents. The night halt can be made here at Sheshnag only during the months of April to June as the rainy season starts from end June. Make sure to carry some dry fruits and some dry snack items with you for consuming on the way and during your stay at Sheshnag. The visit to Sheshnag would really be an adventurous trip and would be really pleasant and fun filled who love this type of outings. We could not stay for the night halt at Sheshnag and still consider us unfortunate for missing the great and unique opportunity to be within so close to nature.
I am sure this article would encourage some of my AC friends and readers to visit this unique place during their next visit to India.