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Daral Lake

Daral Lake also known Daraal Dand is an alpine scenic lake in the hill top of Bahrain a region of Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa the Province of Pakistan. It is situated to the northeast of Saidgai Lake. Daral Dand is situated in the western upper reaches of Bahrain, in the foothills of Spinsar Mountain and to the northeast of Saidgai Dand at an elevation of 3,505.2 m (11,500 ft). The lake is fed by melting glaciers of the surrounding mountains and gives rise to Daral Khwar which is the main left tributary of Swat River. The lake appears as giant amoeba like in shape and stretched over a huge area.Near the lake, there is an ancient mosque where shepherds and visitors offer their prayers and use it as a resting place for night.

The magnificent Daral Lake is guarded and shackled from all sides by gigantic mountains and not even a trickle of water escapes the huge and sprawling lake. The notion that Daral Lake is the origin of Daral river/torrent looks absurd, as the lake is literally land locked.

Daral lake is sprawled over a huge area like a giant amoeba. Large rugged and jagged boulders of various shapes and sizes surround it. Carpets of lush-green grass and erotic flowers cover the edges of the lake. Leaping and swimming frogs in the lake is a spectacle, which compels one to think about the survival of these fragile amphibians in such a harsh, and intimidating eliminate.

The blue and wavy water of the lake presents a welcome contrast to rugged and jagged mountain cliffs in the background. The vast and sprawling pasture and grasslands sustain different communities of nomads who make the valley lively busy derving summer.

Trekking for about an hour from Daral Lake lands you in a small lakelet called Dand Ghara (Lake edge) in local vernacular. It looks like an offshoot of the gigantic Daral Lake and most of the nomads live around its vicinity. A small mosque built by the nomads on its edges provides relief and respite for the trekkers after their long exhausting walk. You can spend a night here and relish the calm surrounding, and company of the inquisitive nomad kids for whom the trekkers in their strange attire and backgrounds is the only source of attraction.

The descend towards the lake is tricky and treacherous; therefore, utmost care and precaution must be taken climbing down the gully.

A small stream pours from this lake to the roaring Daral river. On the way down to Bahrain valley in the deep gorge carved by thick canopies of conifer, pine and cedar forests always hover over your head providing shelter from the blazing sun. An expert and keen observer of herbal plants will discover boundless treasures of herbal plants here. The track down to Bahrain valley is an extremely long but easy to walk trail which winds up in Bahrain valley after relentless trekking for eight to nine hours. The beautiful sights and landscapes on the way down are saved forever in your memories to cherish later in moments of tranquility.

Daral Lake is accessible only during the summer; during the winter, the trails which lead to the lake, are closed due to heavy snowfall. While in summer, it can be accessed from Bahrain in three to four hours of trekking on bare mountains, after which the trek descends down towards the East where Daral Lake is located. Alternatively, it can be approached from Gabina Jabba hill top, the most favoured trail. An unmetalled-cum-jeepable road ends at Gabina Jabba where the trekking journey begins. From here, continuous trekking for almost 4–5 hours leads to the lake.

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