Sheshnag Lake

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Sheshnag Lake
LocationAnantnag, Kashmir valley, India
Coordinates34°05′37″N 75°29′48″E / 34.093697°N 75.496686°E / 34.093697; 75.496686Coordinates: 34°05′37″N 75°29′48″E / 34.093697°N 75.496686°E / 34.093697; 75.496686
TypeOligotrophic lake
Primary inflowsMelting of snow
Primary outflowsA tributary of Lidder River
Max. length1.1 kilometres (0.68 mi)
Max. width0.7 kilometres (0.43 mi)
Surface elevation3,590 metres (11,780 ft)
FrozenDecember to March

Sheshnag Lake (Sanskrit: शेषनाग झील) is an alpine high altitude oligotrophic lake[1] situated at the track leading to Amarnath cave 23 kilometers from Pahalgam in Anantnag district of Kashmir valley in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir at an elevation of 3590 meters. It has a maximum length of 1.1 kilometers and maximum width of 0.7 kilometers.

Etymology, geography[edit]

According to the Hindu mythology Sheshnag means the king of snakes[2] and the lake was dug by Sheshnag himself.[3] It is believed by the Hindus that Sheshnag stays in this Lake even today.[4] It is one of the most ancient places of pilgrimage for the Hindus, as it lies on the track of Amarnath cave.

Sheshnag Lake is home to many types of fish[5] among of which is the brown trout.[6] It freezes during winter, and is inaccessible during this season due to heavy snowfall. It is surrounded by green lush meadows and mountains covered by snow.[7] Sheshnag Lake is one of the famous tourist destinations in Kashmir Valley. It is mostly fed by melting of snow and streams coming down from mountaintops. It drains out through a stream which joins Lidder River at Pahalgam.


Sheshnag Lake is situated 120 kilometers east from Srinagar and 23 km from Pahalgam. It can be accessed[8] 113  km by road up to Chandanwari from which ponies can be hired to cover a trek of 7  km upslope to reach the Sheshnag Lake. Amarnath cave is situated 20 kilometers north of this lake. The best time to visit the lake is from the month of June to September.



  1. ^ Raina, HS; KK Vass (May–June 2006). "Some biological features of a freshwater fairy shrimp, Branchinecta schantzi, Mackin, 1952 in the Northwestern Himalayas, India" (PDF). J. Indian Inst. Sci. 86: 287–291. Retrieved 23 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "Indian Mythology; Hindu Myrhology: Sheshnag". Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Sheshnag Lake". Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  4. ^ Bhag-P 5.25.1 Archived 20 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Fishes and Fisheries in high altitude lakes, Vishansar, Gadsar, Gangabal, Krishansar". Retrieved 1999. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ Petr, ed. by T. (1999). Fish and fisheries at higher altitudes : Asia. Rome: FAO. p. 72. ISBN 92-5-104309-4.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ "Pahalgam Sheshnag". Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Travel to Sheshnag lake". Retrieved 23 April 2012.