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The Enigmatic Charm of Attabad Lake

Nature's Bounty and Local Pride

By afifaPublished 5 months ago 5 min read
The Enigmatic Charm of Attabad Lake
Photo by Osama Khan on Unsplash

Attabad Lake is situated in the picturesque Gojal district within the stunning Hunza Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Its formation dates back to the year 2010, following a significant landslide in the Attabad region. Over the years, Attabad Lake has evolved into one of the premier tourist destinations in Gilgit-Baltistan, captivating travelers with a plethora of exciting activities such as jet-skiing, fishing, boating, and a range of other delightful pastimes. This pristine waterbody is surrounded by abundant natural beauty, including clean, pure water, invigorating fresh air, flourishing alpine vegetation, majestic snow-capped peaks, verdant meadows, and captivating vistas.

Yet, the magnificence of Attabad Lake is just a fraction of the enchantment that the Hunza Valley exudes. Hunza Valley, nestled in the remote northern reaches of Pakistan, offers a kaleidoscope of experiences for avid mountain and nature enthusiasts. The scenery in Hunza is breathtaking, with its enchanting flowering trees, captivating lakes, lush green meadows, and the towering presence of snow-clad mountains. With each passing hour spent in this paradise, Hunza Valley leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of its visitors.

Tourists worldwide are drawn to Hunza Valley, bestowing upon it the appellation "Heaven on Earth." Beyond its natural beauty, the people of Hunza are renowned for their warm hospitality and genuine welcome, making any visit to this region incomplete without indulging in the delectable local cuisine and the soothing tea served by the hospitable locals.

Among the many awe-inspiring destinations in Hunza Valley, Attabad Lake stands out as an absolute gem. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and the imposing backdrop of the Karakoram Mountains, it rightfully claims a spot among the most exquisite lakes in Pakistan. A visit to Attabad Lake is a must for anyone exploring the wonders of Hunza.

By Umar Farooq on Unsplash


The inception of Attabad Lake can be traced back to a tragic event that unfolded on January 4, 2010, in the remote Attabad village of Hunza Valley, located within the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Northern Pakistan. This fateful day witnessed a massive landslide that descended upon the village, causing significant devastation and altering the landscape forever. Regrettably, this natural disaster claimed the lives of 20 individuals and razed 26 homes to the ground.

The consequences of this cataclysmic landslide were far-reaching and profoundly impactful. The landslide obstructed the flow of the Hunza River, causing it to stagnate and, in essence, giving birth to what we now know as Attabad Lake. The creation of this stunning yet sorrowful tourist attraction had dire implications, as it resulted in a five-month-long suspension of the river's water flow.

As the lake gradually filled with water, its dimensions expanded dramatically. By the first week of June 2010, Attabad Lake stretched over a vast expanse, extending to a remarkable 21 kilometers (13 miles) in length and plunging to depths exceeding 100 meters (330 feet). This transformative process submerged the nearby villages of Shishkat and Gulmit, inflicting further hardship on the Gojal region.

By Mudasir Husain on Unsplash

The inclement weather conditions prevalent in these northern areas exacerbated the challenges faced by the affected communities. Access to essential provisions, including food, medicine, and other necessities, was severely curtailed, as transportation links, such as helicopters, and vital services to Hunza, remained disrupted.

In the midst of this crisis, prominent Pakistani political leaders, including Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, and Yousuf Raza Gillani, visited the lake to assess the situation and provide relief to the victims and their families. The downstream areas remained under the looming threat of potential floods, necessitating the evacuation of residents.

Given its genesis in the aftermath of a natural disaster, Attabad Lake has also come to be known as the "Attabad disaster." Despite its tragic origin, the lake has evolved over the course of 11 years, becoming a significant source of livelihood for the local populace. Numerous guesthouses and hotels have sprung up in the vicinity, capitalizing on the lake's pristine blue waters juxtaposed against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Karakoram Mountains, a scene that could easily be the stuff of poets' imaginations.

The lake's water is a mesmerizing blend of crystal clarity and bluish-green hues, enveloped by hills adorned with shades of brown. It stands as a testament to nature's beauty and resilience, a testament to the transformative power of geological events. The confluence of Attabad Lake, preceding the construction of a passageway, stands as one of the most remarkable and awe-inspiring experiences in an individual's life.

By Ijaz Rafi on Unsplash


At Attabad Lake, a multitude of boats can be found, serving as essential vessels for ferrying people across the lake to various destinations within the valley. These vibrant boats create a striking spectacle against the deep blue expanse of Attabad Lake, offering a visually captivating experience. The use of boats is indispensable for both tourism, enabling residents to traverse from one side of Attabad Lake to the opposite bank, as it represents the sole means of transportation apart from the Karakoram Highway Tunnel.

The enchanting bluish-green hue of Attabad Lake is a sight to behold, so remarkably clear that it mirrors the sky, creating a breathtaking reflection in the lake's tranquil waters. Beyond its aesthetic allure, the area surrounding Attabad Lake distinguishes itself not only for its natural beauty but also for its commitment to cleanliness. A stringent anti-litter policy prevails in this region, with strict prohibitions against any form of littering. This conscientious approach stands as a major attraction for visitors, particularly within the context of Pakistan, where pristine and unspoiled spots are a rarity. The local residents are resolute in their determination to prevent any pollution in the area, safeguarding the enduring beauty of this remarkable locale.

By Mohsin Kazmi on Unsplash

In the broader context of Hunza Valley, this verdant expanse is characterized by an abundance of vibrant flowers that adorn its landscape. Against this backdrop, the scenic spectacle of Attabad Lake, framed by an array of captivating flowers, emerges as a primary draw for those seeking to explore the rugged terrain surrounding the lake.

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  • Qudsia5 months ago

    Good one!

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