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Ratti Gali Lake is a lake in the Neelum Valley of the Azad Jammu & Kashmir, situated at above 12,130 Ft from sea level. To reach the lake, you have to take an awesome as well as a bit dangerous jeep ride from Dowarian. It will take almost 2 hours to reach the base camp of the lake from Dowarian. From Ratti Gali Lake BC, you either can trek to the lake or take a horse ride. The trek would take almost 1 hour, while the horse riding would take around 40 mins from base camp.
Dowarian is a town in the Neelum Valley. You can reach the town via any car you own or on local transport as well. For local transport, you have to take a mazda from Muzaffarabad to Kel, it will take around 4 hours to reach Dowarian from Muzaffarabad on local transport. For your own transport, you can take Muzaffarabad-Neelum Road, you will reach Dowarian after a 2:30 hours drive. On the way you can witness Dhani Waterfall, Kundal Shahi & Keran on the main road to Dowarian.
Dowarian to Ratti Gali Lake Base Camp
There are jeeps available at Dowarian towards Ratti Gali Lake. The jeep would take PKR 5,500 on same day return & PKR 7,500 for next day return from the Lake. The base camp is around 16 KM from Dowarian, the jeep would take around 2 hours from Dowarian to Base camp.On the way, you can witness Glaciers and a great natural mesmerizing scenes. There is a complete Tent City installed by individuals at the Base Camp, for an over night stay the base camp. It would take an hour trek to the lake or you can take the services of a horse in PKR 300 per person from Base Camp to the Lake. A tent at the base camp is available between PKR 500 to PKR 1200 per night, depending on accomodation facilities.
You can also approach Hans-Raj Lake from Ratti Gali Lake Base camp. It would take almost 4 hours from Base Camp to the Hans-Raj Lake of trekking.
Ratti Gali Lake
Ratti Gali Lake is situated at 12,130 Ft above sea level. It is one of the largest lakes in the valley. Glaciers around the lake are the main source of fresh water in the lake. It is one of the most beautiful lakes in Pakistan. The lake is accessible between June and October only. The way from Dowarian is closed due to snowfall, most of the year.
There are actually two lakes at the Ratti Gali. Larger lake is located on the other side of the mountain. A smaller could be found immediately after the base camp.
Places to Visit
Although every inch of the valley is great for a tourist who’s visiting the valley for the first time. Here I’ve pointed out some of the best locations to visit in the valley, which are located along the main road from Muzaffarabad to Dowarian.
- Dhani Waterfall
- Kutton Waterfall
- Kundal Shahi
There are government rest houses, lodges and hotels along the way. Government Rest houses are either managed by Ministry of Tourism or Forest Department of AJK Government. While there are a number of private hotels and camping also available. Here is a list of Rest house with respective departments of AJK Government.
- Keran Resort: Leased to Valley Trackers.
- Tourist Huts, Upper Neelum
- Tourist Huts, Salkhala
- Domail Resthouse
- Dawarian Resthouse
Some of the best private hotels before the lake are
- Paradise Lodges, Keran
- Habib Guest House, Upper Neelum
Precaution before visiting Neelum Valley
You must have your CNIC or NICOP before travelling to Neelum Valley. Foreigners are strictly not allowed in the valley, due to it’s vicinity from LOC. Army check posts are every where in the valley.
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