Ratti Gali Lake: Ratti Gali Kashmir

Ratti Gali Lake

Introduction to Ratti Gali Lake

In the lush Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, Ratti Gali Lake is a glacial lake that captivates visitors. It’s a jewel of the region, fed by melting glaciers from the majestic mountains around it, at an impressive altitude of 3,683 meters (12,083 ft). A pristine lake reflects the azure skies and lush greenery of the valley to create an enchanting panorama.

You’ll get a thrilling Jeep ride on the way to Ratti Gali Lake, and then a trek that takes 2 to 3 hours from the base camp. For those who don’t want to trek, the base camp offers basic amenities and horses. It’s a challenging hike, but it’s worth it because you’ll get a stunning view of the lake. It’s surrounded by peaks of the Himalayas and colorful wildflowers.

Ratti Gali Lake

  • History of Ratti Gali Lake

This lake’s history has a lot to do with the Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan’s geological and cultural heritage. This lake’s name, “Ratti Gali,” comes from the red stones and soil in the area; “Ratti” means red in Punjabi, and “Gali” means lane or pass. A small settlement called Dowarian1 nearby is also known as Dowarian Lake.

Besides being a natural wonder, the lake is also a part of local folklore and tradition. Trekkers and nature lovers love it because it’s so beautiful and it’s an adventure to get there. It’s a challenging hike but it’s worth it. It’s a great place to see the wadi e Neelum  and the flora and fauna of the region.

Recently, Ratigali Lake’s popularity has increased, leading to more awareness of its pristine environment and conservation efforts. Azad Kashmir’s lake is a symbol of its natural beauty, which is why visitors come from all over.

  • Geographical features of Ratti Gali Lake

Here are some of its key geographical features:

Alpine lake: Ratti Gali Lake is an alpine lake, meaning it’s located in a high-mountain environment. Alpine lakes have cold, clear water and pristine surroundings. Ratigali Lake was formed by glacial meltwater. Several streams flow from the surrounding glaciers into the lake. It’s about 1 kilometer long, 0.5 kilometer wide, and 20 meters deep.

In the surrounding mountains, there are snow-capped peaks, lush green meadows, and pine forests. The mountains are part of the Karakoram Range, one of the highest in the world. The water at Ratti Gali Lake is cold and clear. You can swim, fish, and boat there. There’s a lot of wildlife around Ratti Gali Lake, like trout, snow leopards, and ibex.

  • Ratti Gali Lake Weather

Due to high altitude the Ratti Gali Lake weather is unpredictable. Here are some key points about the Ratti gali Lake weather:

Summer: The average summer temperature in Ratti Gali Kashmir is 15°C (59°F).

Winter: The average winter temperature in Ratti Gali Kashmir is -5°C (23°F).

Rainfall: Ratti Gali Kashmir Lake receives 611 millimeters (24 inches) per year. 

Snowfall: Ratti Gali Kashmir Lake receives 3 meters (10 feet) of snowfall per year.

It’s usually between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius around Ratti Gali Lake during the summer, which is the best time to visit. However, at night, the temperature can drop to around 5 degrees Celsius, so you should be prepared with warm clothing and thermals. Despite its high elevation, ratigali Lake’s weather is cold. Visitors should prepare for a cool climate, even during peak season.

There can be sudden rain showers in the region, and the Rati Gali weather can change rapidly. Be prepared for it at any time. Due to its remote location and high altitude, Kashmir Ratti Gali weather can differ from nearby areas slightly. Make sure you check the latest weather forecasts before you head there.

  • How to reach Ratti Gali Lake

It is located in the wadi e Neelam, Azad Kashmir. Muzaffarabad, the administrative capital of Azad Kashmir, is 75 km away. Depending on traffic and weather, Muzaffarabad to Ratti Gali can take between 4-6 hours.  The next stop is Dowarian (Ratti Gali Base Camp), which is located only 19 km from this lake, after passing the village of Keran. Keran is 45 km from Ratigalii.

To reach the lake’s base camp, you’ll need to hire a 4WD Jeep once you arrive there. From there, you can trek or ride a horse to it. The journey from the Ratti Gali base camp to the lake is an adventure, and part of your overall experience of visiting Ratigali Lake. Before planning your trip to Kashmir Ratti Gali, be sure to check the latest travel advisories and road conditions. Enjoy your trip!

Top tourist Points near Ratti Gali Lake:

Ratti Gali Lake is a must-visit place for anyone who wants to experience nature’s beauty and peacefulness. The lake is a hidden gem that will leave you speechless and breathless. If you are planning to visit Ratti Gali Lake, here are some of the best places to visit near the lake that you should not miss:

  • Dhani Waterfall: A scenic spot near the lake

Dhani Waterfall is a natural waterfall located near Kashmir Ratti Gali Lake, about 3 kilometers from Dowarian. The waterfall is about 15 meters high and falls into a small pool. The waterfall is encircled by greenery and rocks, creating an attractive scene. The waterfall is also a source of fresh and cold water, ideal for drinking and bathing.

Dhani water fall near ratti gali
Dhani water fall near ratti gali


Dhani Waterfall is a scenic spot near the lake that attracts tourists and locals. The waterfall is an ideal place to relax and enjoy water and nature sounds. The waterfall is also an excellent spot for photography, as it offers contrast of colors and textures. The waterfall is accessible by a short hike from Dowarian, which takes about 30 to 40 minutes. The hike is easy and suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Dhani Waterfall is a must-see attraction near Ratti Gali Lake, as it offers a refreshing and relaxing experience. The waterfall is a hidden treasure that will bring you closer to nature and yourself. If you are visiting this Lake, do not miss the chance to visit Dhani Waterfall and witness its beauty and charm.

  • Keran Valley

Keran Valley is an attractive valley located along the Neelum River, about 95 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. The valley is famous for its scenic beauty, lush green meadows, and crystal clear water. The valley offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, such as Nanga Parbat, Shounter Peak, and Haramosh Peak. The valley is also home to wildlife, such as leopards, bears, monkeys, and birds.

Ratti Gali Lake

Keran Valley is an idyllic valley near the Lake that attracts tourists and adventurers. The valley offers a range of activities, such as camping, fishing, boating, rafting, and hiking. The valley has several camping sites, such as Upper Neelum, Lower Neelum, and Keran Resort. These sites are where one can enjoy the night under the stars and a bonfire.

The valley is also a good spot for fishing, as the Neelum River is rich in trout and fish. The valley also offers boating and rafting facilities, where one can enjoy the thrill of the water and the scenery. The valley is used as a base camp for several treks and hikes, such as the Shounter Valley, the Ratti Gali Pass, and Chitta Katha Lake.

Keran Valley is a must visit place near Kashmir Ratti Gali Lake, offering a blend of nature and adventure. The valley is a paradise for nature lovers, photographers, and thrill seekers. If you are visiting the Lake, do not miss the opportunity to explore Keran Valley and experience its charm and beauty.

  • Sharda Valley: Sharda Neelum Valley

Sharda Valley is a valley located along the Neelum River, about 136 kilometers from Muzaffarabad. The valley is named after the Hindu symbol of knowledge, Sharada, who has a temple and a university in the valley. Visitors can enjoy a variety of attractions and activities in the valley, which is rich in history, culture, and nature.


Sharda neelum valley

Sharada Peeth: A Hindu Temple

One of the main attractions of the valley is Sharada Peeth, a collapsed Hindu temple and learning center that dates back to the 6th century CE. The temple was dedicated to Sharada, and was one of the most important shrines on the Indian subcontinent. The temple was also a center of excellence in various fields of knowledge, such as philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and linguistics.

The temple was famous for its library, containing thousands of books and ancient documents. The temple also created the Sharada script, a writing system widely used in Kashmir and other parts of North India. The temple was destroyed by attackers and natural disasters, and now only some pillars and walls remain. The temple is still a holy place for many Hindus, who visit to pay respects and seek blessings.

The valley also has ancient landmarks, such as Sharda Fort, the Sharda Bridge, and the Sharda Mosque.

Sharda Fort 

Sharda Fort is a historical fort built by Kashmiri rulers to protect the valley from enemies. The fort is located on a hilltop and has a strategic view of the valley and the river. The fort is now in bad condition, but it has traces of its former glory.

Sharda Bridge 


Sharda bridge

The Sharda Bridge is a stone bridge built by Akbar in the 16th century. The bridge connects two sides of the Neelum River near Sharda town. The bridge is still functional and used by locals and tourists.

Sharda Mosque 

The Sharda Mosque is a mosque built by Afghan ruler Ahmad Shah Durrani in the 18th century. The mosque is located near Sharda Peeth and has simple and elegant architecture.

Sharda Valley is a must-visit place near Ratti Gali Lake, as it offers a glimpse into the ancient history and culture of the region. The valley is a treasure trove of ancient relics, which tell stories of past civilizations and their achievements. If you are visiting the Lake, do not miss the chance to visit Sharda Valley and explore its wonders

  • Shogran

Shogran is a hill station situated on a plateau in the Kaghan Valley, about 34 kilometers from Balakot. The hill station is located at an altitude of 2,362 meters above sea level. It offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, such as Musa ka Musalla, Makra Peak, and Malika Parbat. The hill station is also surrounded by dense pine forests, which create a serene and refreshing atmosphere.



Shogran is a hill station near the Lake that attracts tourists and nature lovers. The hill station offers a range of activities, such as hiking, camping, horse riding, and photography. The hill station has several hiking trails, such as the Shogran Trail, the Makra Trail, and the Musa ka Musalla Trail. These trails lead to different peaks and meadows.

The hill station also has several camping sites, such as Shogran Park, Pine Park, and the Forest Rest House. These sites are where one can enjoy the night under the stars and a bonfire. The hill station also offers horse riding facilities, where one can explore the valley and the forest on horseback. The hill station is a good spot for photography, as it offers a variety of landscapes, colors, and angles.

Shogran is a must-visit place near Ratti Gali Lake, offering beauty and adventure. The hill station is a paradise for hikers, campers, and photographers. If you are visiting the Lake, do not miss the chance to visit Shogran and experience its charm and beauty.

  • Dowarian: Ratti Gali Base Camp

If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the Neelum Valley, Dowarian (Ratti Gali Base Camp) is an excellent choice for you. Dowarian is a village located on the bank of the Neelum River, about 106 kilometers from Muzaffarabad and 22 kilometers from Athmuqam. It is the base camp for the trek to the Lake, one of the most stunning alpine lakes in the region.

Ratti Gali Lake Kashmir

Dowarian is an attractive village with a serene lake surrounded by lush green mountains and plants. The lake is fed by the Ratti Gali water stream, which merges with the Neelum River at this point. The lake is an ideal spot for fishing, boating, and camping. You can also enjoy the view of snow-capped peaks and pine forests from the lake.

Dowarian has a rest house for AJK Tourism and Archeology Department, where you can stay and enjoy the local hospitality. The village also has a civil dispensary and an elementary school, which shows the area’s development and education. The village is famous for its fruits, such as walnuts, mulberries, cherries, and apples, which you can taste and buy from the local markets.

Dowarian is a place to experience the culture and history of wadi e Neelum, as well as the adventure and beauty of RatiGali Lake. It is a place that will make you fall in love with nature and its wonders.

  • Patlian Lake 

Patlian Lake is another glacial lake near Ratti Gali Lake, at an altitude of 3950 meters. The lake is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and colorful flowers that create a stunning contrast. Here are some additional details and information about Patlian Lake:

Patlian Lake is one of the most beautiful and scenic lakes in Azad Kashmir. It requires some effort from its visitors to show off all its natural views. The lake freezes in November and melts in March every year. There was a time when the whole lake was covered in snow all year round, but global warming effects are quite visible now.

The opposite end of the lake has purple and pink flowers in summer. The whole mountain is covered with flowers with a sweet scent. The lake is accessible by a jeep ride from Lawat town, followed by a short trek or horse ride. The local jeep charges Rs 11000 to take 4-5 people to the top, and the distance from Lawat to Patlian Lake is 25 km. It takes 3.5 hours to get there.

The lake is near the Line of Control, and Indian troops across the Neelum River watch the visitors’ every move until Lawat Bala. Patlian Lake has its tent city, which tourists establish from March to September every year. Tent accommodation costs Rs 2500 for one tent that houses 4 men. There is also a village on the way, where visitors can buy food and rations, but they charge a lot.

Patlian Lake is a hidden gem of the wadi e Neelam that deserves more attention and appreciation. It offers a relaxed and peaceful environment for nature lovers, who can enjoy fishing, boating, or camping near the lake. There is also a mountain peak that houses a group of Markhor, a rare and threatened wild goat species.

Adventure activities at Ratti Gali Lake

Nature lovers and thrill seekers can enjoy the following adventure activities at the Lake:

  • Trekking: 

There are several ways to reach the Lake, including trekking, which takes you through some of the most scenic and thrilling landscapes. From the base camp, the trek usually takes 2-3 hours.

  • Camping: 

Camping in the base camp area is an excellent option for those who wish to stay overnight and enjoy the starry skies and quiet sounds of nature.

  • Canoeing and Kayaking: 

The lake’s calm waters make it ideal for canoeing and kayaking, and you can enjoy the surrounding mountains while exploring the lake.

  • Photography: 

You can enjoy the beauty of the lake, the waterfalls, and the wonderful weather at the Lake through photography.

  • Picnicking: 

Pack a picnic basket with local delicacies like boiled eggs and qahwa for an enjoyable day on the lake.

  • Live Cooking and BBQ: 

After an adventurous day, enjoy freshly prepared meals at the base camp with live cooking and BBQ.

  • Horse Riding: 

If you don’t want to trek, horses can be rented at the base camp to take you to the lake.

  • Other Games and Activities:

Make your visit more fun and memorable by playing tug-of-war, cards, drum circle, or dumb charades with your friends.

Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape or an exciting adventure, this Lake offers something for everyone. Not only will you have the opportunity to explore, but you’ll also enjoy the natural beauty of the lake.

Hotels and Restaurants

While there are no hotels or restaurants directly at the Lake due to its remote location, visitors can find accommodation and dining options in nearby towns. Here are some options:

  • Keran Resort 

The Keran Resort is located in Keran, a small town located on the Neelum River and offers lodging with gorgeous views of this river. The cost of a night’s stay at the resort starts at PKR 4,000.

  • Valley Trackers Resort 

In addition to providing a wide range of amenities, Valley Trackers Resort offers a range of dining options and comfortable rooms with a starting price of PKR 4,000.

  • Diyar Resorts 

Diyar Resorts offers modern amenities and beautiful natural surroundings. Rooms are available from as little as PKR 4,000 a night at their resort.

  • Eagle Nest Cottage

This charming property offers a relaxing atmosphere and a scenic location. You can book a room starting from PKR 3,500 per night at Eagle Nest Cottage.

  • Hotel Neelum Elites 

The hotel provides a comfortable stay with essential amenities, with room costs starting from PKR 5,000 per night.

  • Neelum Star River

This hotel is located on the banks of the river and offers a tranquil setting; the rooms start at PKR 4,700 per night.

  • Sharda

Sharda is a town that offers a range of accommodation options. Here, you can find a range of hotels for a starting price of PKR 4,300.

It is important to note that the prices mentioned here are starting rates and can vary based on the season, the type of room, and the availability of the room. To ensure that accommodations are available during peak tourist season, it is advisable to book in advance. Generally speaking, the amenities included in hotels include basic lodging, dining, and transportation to nearby tourist attractions.

You can book hotel online near ratti gali from here.

Local Cuisine

Ratti Gali Lake’s local cuisine is simple and hearty, reflecting the region’s remote location and limited resources. Here are some of the most popular dishes to try:

  • Kashmiri Trout

This dish is made with freshly caught trout from nearby streams and is prepared with several spices, including cumin, coriander, and turmeric. The trout is usually grilled or pan-fried and served with rice or naan, depending on your preference.

  • Dum Pukht

There is a Kashmiri dish called Dum Pukht. This includes a stewed lamb dish in which the lamb is marinated overnight in a mixture of spices, and then cooked slowly in a sealed pot until it is tender and flavorful. It is typically served with rice or rotis.

  • Kashmiri Haak

Kashmiri Haak consists of local greens cooked with spices, including garlic, ginger, chili peppers, as well as other herbs and spices, usually served with rice or roti.

  • Kashmiri Naan

The Kashmiri Naan is a flatbread that is made from wheat flour and cooked in a tandoor oven. This flatbread is typically served with curries and dals.

  • Kahwa

The Kahwa green tea is very popular in Kashmir, and is usually made with green tea, milk, sugar, and almonds.

Although the options may be limited due to the remote location, you will find the food to be prepared with care, and you will get a taste of the local hospitality in the process.



How far is Ratti Gali Lake from base camp?

Ratti Gali is located at 12,130 feet above sea level and is a jeep drive from Dowarian to about 18 kilometers.

What is the jeep fare in Ratti Gali Lake?

The Jeep ride usually costs around Rs. 5,500 for the same-day return and Rs. 7,500 for next-day returns.

Which city is Ratti Gali in?

In the Azad Kashmir region of Pakistan, the Ratti Gali Lake is an alpine glacial lake located in Neelum Valley, Pakistan.

Ratti Gali to Muzaffarabad travel time?

Ratti Gali Lake is approximately 2h 43m away from Muzaffarabad.

Muzaffarabad is famous for what reason?

There are a number of popular attractions in Muzaffarabad, including: Pir Chinasi; Neelum River; Kashmir Abshar.

What are the most famous places in Azad Kashmir?

A list of the top attractions in Azad Kashmir

Ratti Gali Lake. 

Arang Kel.

Ganga choti Mountains. 

Pir Chinasi Mountains. 

Gurez Valley (Kel to Taobat) Nature & Wildlife Areas. 

Mangla Dam.

What is the name of the dam built on the Neelum River?

Neelum-Jhelum Dam: With a height of 60 m and a length of 125 m, the Neelum-Jhelum Dam contains a storage reservoir with an 8,000,000 m3 capacity, of which 2,800,000 m3 is at peak storage level.

How much power does the Neelum Jhelum hydropower plant produce?

There are four turbine-generators in the underground powerhouse with a combined capacity of 969MW, which are discharged into the Jhelum River via a three-kilometer tunnel.


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