The kingdom of the North-east is tucked away from the rest of the country within the folds of its mountains and valleys. Along the isolated paths, dotting the terrain lie hundreds of lakes. The crystal clear waters sit resplendent amidst surreal settings. From atop, they look like Neverland and close up, they take you to a place of quiet peace. It is impossible to take on the circuit of North-East India without stopping at some lakes.
The 5 lakes in the North-East you must visit –
1. P.T. TSO
Penga Teng Tso or P.T. Tso as it is locally called, is a high altitude lake about 45 minutes from Tawang. Situated at an altitude of 12,000 ft, its bright blue waters create a striking contrast with the white snowy mountains surrounding it. The lake is of spiritual significance to the locals and forms a beautiful backdrop for photos. One can walk around or even ski here. However, there are no amenities around it, and so one must go prepared.
2. MADHURI LAKE
The Sangetsar Tso is one of the most popular lakes in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Named after the Bollywood actress Madhuri who shot for the film Koyla here, it is located on the way from Tawang to Bum La. The lake was formed as the result of an earthquake. The road to the lake starts from Zemithang and is an adventure in itself, with 52 hairpin bends. The lake is quite unique for it has dead trees right in the middle of it! Right beside the lake is a cafe run by the Indian Army and one can have delicious chhole bhature or maggi with a cup of tea while marvelling at the beauty of this natural lake.
3. SELA LAKE
Sela Pass connects the town of Tawang with the rest of Arunachal Pradesh. It is here that the high altitude Sela Lake lies. Located at 13,700 ft, the Sela Pass has around a 100 lakes, but the most famous is the Sela Lake itself. The lake remains mostly frozen because of its altitude and forms a breathtaking sight. The area around the lake is great for a hike and even for bird watching in the summer. There are stalls selling food and tea, and also rum, surprisingly.
4. BADA PANI LAKE
Umiam or Bada Pani Lake is a lake in Shillong, Meghalaya. Contrary to the lakes of Arunachal Pradesh, with most of them nestled between snowy peaks, the Bada Pani Lake is surrounded by lush greenery that imparts it an unmatched sense of tranquility. What makes it even more surreal is the boathouse perched atop it, where one can stay for a night or two with a Naga-Khasi family. The lake was created by damming the Umiam River and now sits magnificent as a tourist attraction.
5. NAGULA LAKE
Picturesque and delightful, the Nagula Lake close to Tawang is one of the many high altitude lakes in the region. The rolling green mountains that form a crescent around it make it seem like an Alpine destination. Sitting here is a deeply peaceful experience with Brahminy ducks bobbing around. The reflection of the mountains ripples through the lake and it is a perfect spot for a picnic. However, the lake remains frozen for most of the year.
Thank you very much to you and your team for arranging this fantastic tour. One of the best pick from this tour was your meticulous planning and promptness of service. All arrangements were fantastic, be it a delivery of vehicle at Chandigarh airport, hotels particularly at Chandigarh, Leh, Nubra, Pangong. However the best was at Jispa, Kargil and Srinagar for different reasons. Jispa was simple but authentic with very tasty food.
Rajesh & Gauri Natu
Graphic Designer, Apple
Sunil, after I ran 21k Marathon I bragged about it for years. The same is being repeated again, with my ambition to drive across the Himalayas, which was almost faded with Srinagar under curfew. You and Chetan were the spark to our fire that we could do this drive and without a single trouble. Driving is a passion but driving thru places where there are no roads is trouble, but your breakup of program and awesome car condition helped us actually sail thru. Three cheers and five stars.
Absolute Networks, Mumbai
Wow. wow, wow. What a experience! We took the route of Delhi - Jammu - Srinagar - Leh - Sarchu - Manali - Delhi. Sunil Kapoor gave us excellent service which includes his next to new 4WD in immaculate condition and all hotels were top class. Coming from Australia, we were bit nervous in start but when we met Sunil, we had full trust and all went very positive. Sunil gave us perfect instructions and everything was according to plan. Thank you Sunil and your team for our one of the best experience in life you have provided us.
Director, Webential, Australia
Eight of us from Sri Lanka got Sunil to arrange a self driven tour to Leh and we are very happy with our decision. He was punctual, trustworthy and met our expectations. The service provided was very professional. As foreigners it’s hard to arrange such a tour by ourselves and Unwind outdoor filled in the gap perfectly. All places we stayed were nice and decent. Should specifically mention about the two Scorpios which we instantly fell in love with. They were very well maintained ...
Friends from SriLanka
After days of research, we finally came across a facebook page called ‘Unwind Outdoors’. It seemed like our dream was going to be finally true. Very reasonably priced and Sunil from Unwind was like a know-it-all person.
The itinerary was so crisp and so very well laid out that there was no reason for us to worry other than coping up with nature’s fury.
Clifford Chance, Delhi
We did a SUV self drive trip from Chandigarh to Ladakh and back organized by Unwind Outdoor.
Highly recommend Unwind Outdoor as Sunil and Manpreet took care of everything we needed (car, hotel bookings, sightseeing and food recommendations, permits) and everything was organized seamlessly. Sunil was very patient with all our queries, giving suggestions and options to suit our preferences.
Ashish & Neha Thadani
Great to see the know-how of the Unwind Outdoor team regarding every aspect of the Srinagar - Leh - Chandigarh self drive trip. From weather conditions, to road conditions, to health/clothing requirements, and also driving instructions - Sunil and Manpreet are warm, meticulous and knowledgable. Villa Himalaya in Sonamarg surpassed all our expectations and ensured that our expected standards for the rest of the trip were extremely high.
Symbiosis Law School, Mumbai
Thanks Sunil for arranging a wonderful trip. Everything went well and we were in good hands with friendly and competent drivers. Accommodation was good and tents were comfortable beyond our expectations. We didn't have problem with food choices. It was a totally rejuvenating vacation and experience for us. Thanks from us in Singapore!
We travelled as a couple & completed a self drive trip from Delhi-Jammu-Srinagar-Kargil-Leh-Nubra-Pangong-Tso Moriri-Sarchu-Manali-Delhi. Itinerary was meticulously designed to be a mix of adventure and comfort. Hotel choices were best. Support was available at all points in case of emergency.Vehicle provided was top notch. Thanks to Mr. Sunil Kapoor for personally putting in efforts to maintain such high standards.
Nikhil & Neha Mazumdar
Manager L&T, Mumbai
Six of us (two families) travelled to Leh in Jul / Aug 2015 and we had an excellent experience with Unwind Outdoor. From the very beginning of our excited planning phase, Sunil has been willingly suggesting us options, number of days, places to visit etc. He has all the knowledge of the terrain, passionate about trekking and traveling himself, so he understands travel-crazy people such as me and my quirks.
We landed in Leh in time for cloudbursts and flashfloods and landslides (along with mud and rocks sliding too). Despite Nature's fury, Sunil and Skarma made sure we were utmost safe and comfortable. These guys are just not into travel business, they help people fulfil their travel dreams. Truly! Go guys!!
Barclays Bank, Bangalore