Location : 50-km From Srinagar,
Jammu & Kashmir
Famous As: A Picnic Spot
Significance: Said To Be The Largest Fresh Water Lake In India.
Best Time To Visit: June To August
Claimed to be the largest freshwater lake in India, the Wular
can spread over nearly 200-sq-kms but its actual surface area
tends to vary during the year. The Jhelum River flows into the
lake, 40-km downstream from Srinagar, and then out again.
The lake, calm though it may appear, is noted for the fierce
winds that sometimes blow up. The deepest part of the lake is
known as Mota Khon, the 'Gulf of corpses', since the bodies of
people drowned in the lake were all supposed to be washed to
this place. At one time there was an artificial island on the
lake, where boatmen could shelter if the weather turned bad, but
silting on that side of the lake has joined the island to the
lakeside. It's now a popular picnic spot.
PLACES TO LOOK AROUND
There are several large towns or other places of interest around
the shore of the lake.
Sopur, at the south end of the lake where the Jhelum leaves it,
is noted for its fruit growing - particularly Apples and
Walnuts. The main resort town for the lake is Ningal Nullah,
5-km from Sopur. From here one can hire sailing boats to cruise
on the lake or for fishing.
Lolab Valley & Bungas
Beyond Sopur is the Lolab valley, reached either by a road from
Sopur or by following the bridal path from Kiuhnus. To the west
of the Lolab valley there is an extensive flat meadow called
Bungas, at 2,896 metres above sea level and 114-km from Srinagar
. It's like an undeveloped Gulmarg.
Kiuhnus bay is a small valley 20-km from Sopur and 12-km from
Bandipur. Further up this valley of the Madumati River there are
Houseboats, Doongas and sailing boats can be hired on the lake.
The three main mooring places are at Ningal Nullah, Kiuhnus Bay
and at Ajus Spur on the south east side. Around the lake there
are various canals, which lead through the silt at the river
mouths up into the rivers themselves. One of the best is to the
Erin valley, which starts from Nodhal and winds 6½-km up to two
high altitude lakes.
HOW TO GET THERE
Road: Buses leave the tourist reception centre in Srinagar in
the morning for a day trip around Wular Lake and back. The bus
first stops at Anchar Lake, then on to Safapur, to stop at
Manasbal Lake, thence to Bandipur, 56-km away. This is followed
by lunch at Watlab where there is a government rest house, and a
tour of the mosque of Baba Sakar-ud-Din, then on to Sopur. The
lake can be reached by river as well as road.