Kundol Lake also known as Kundol Dand, is a lake in Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, which is located in the north of Utror valley at a distance of 20.8 kilometers (12.9 mi) away from Kalam. Similarly, there is a well known story about the lake which is that every night in a month, a golden bowl appears in the center of the lake and glistens like moon but no one has ever touched that bowl due to magical powers inside it.
The Kandol lake is a beautiful and stunning lake in the North of Utror valley in Swat. There is a link road which is leading to the Kandol lake, while passing through Ladu valley from Kalam. It takes two hours to reach the Ladu valley on foot whereas a four-wheeled vehicle takes quite a lesser time to get there. Trekking area is quite safe and the tourists can enjoy all the way by the captivating natural scenery along-with the trek.
The Utror valley is tranquil and calm place with dense forests, mountains, serene environment, meandering river and obviously the majestic Kandol lake. From the Utror bazar, the road along the river takes about 15 to 20 minutes to access the bridge for crossing the river. There is junction point for the two trekking routes; one goes to the Ladu and another to the Kandol lake. Utror valley has many attractions for explorers. If you have couple of more spare days then you can explore nearby Spin Khawar lake and Desan meadows.
Trek To the Lake:
First of all the trek towards the Kandol lake goes parallel to the river, on a sandy and rocky patch which consists of a three to four hour of trekking and hiking from the bridge to the lake. It is better to start hiking early in the morning to avoid sweltering sunshine. Water is available everywhere along the trek but it is better to keep drinkable water bottles along-with you to avoid inconvenience. However no food-corner might be available along the trek that’s why it is advised to bring food items and snacks. In case of camping, carry all the relevant gear which is essential for cooking like fuel etc.
Initially riverside sandy trek runs from almost between the clumps of trees and grassy-land with entwining streams. There is a small hamlet on the opposite side of a stream, connected with a small wooden bridge. There are a few mud cottages, lush-green slopes in the foothills of the mountains and the vast fields of potato crops. For crossing the streams either ice-blocks or tree trunk are used.
The trek to the lake is mainly in ascending, along the mountain ridge. It is an intensive trekking for half an hour, in the beginning, on the muddy and narrow zigzag trek. Then the thick forest starts, which is comparatively a better trek for hiking. The path through the forest opens in a wide and rather deep gully; furthermore it is quite impassible from the opposite angle of the ridge. It takes a consecutive trekking on the right side, through a wider and leveled land with a clearly visible path, which approaches to another gully, where there is a small glacier. The glacier connects with the gully nearly all the year round. It takes 10 minutes to reach the Kandol lake after crossing the glacier carefully.
Kandol is a large emerald green lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains with grassy slopes which intermix with the glacier water. The clear icy water with the reflection of nearby mountains presents a spectacular view of the lake. The fragrant breeze and pleasant temperature make the lake a worth-visiting place and an ideal spot for camping and picnic. Tourists can enjoy a strolling around the lake, explore the beauty of the nature or meditate in the solitude.
Access to Lake
Kundol Lake is accessible only during the summer; during the winter, the roads are closed due to heavy snowfall. It can be accessed by unmetalled road from Kalam up to Utror in a four-wheel automotive where a link road ends in a green valley called Ladu in the foothills of the mountain. Earlier, jeeps used to go till a higher village called Ladu but now bridge and jeep track is destroyed due to floods and rains. One way track time is around 2 to 3hrs till the lake. There are also small refreshment huts in Ladu valley where one can take tea and get something for eating. From Ladu it takes almost four to six hours to reach the lake. The mountains around this small valley are covered with tall cedar and pine trees.