Dudipatsar (or simply Dudipat lake as sar is the local name for lake) has gained immense popularity among trekkers in past few years. Available pictures of this lake online with its turquoise color, surrounded by lush green meadows and snow capped mountains attract a lot of people every summer. This lake has become the starting trek of many trekkers who start their trekking career with this lake .
Dudipatsar in local language means white lake. It is called so because of the snow capped mountains surrounding it. The lake stands at around 3900 meters altitude and lies at the east of Naran town in the Kaghan valley. It is accessible through a couple of days trek from Besal near Naran. The lake only remains accessible for around four to five months from June – September or October. In other months, it remains covered under snow and the extreme weather becomes a barrier for the people except the real daring ones. July and August are the best months to visit this lake when the meadows are lush green.
From Naran, it takes a couple of hours drive to Besal from where the trek starts. Naran Besal road is in good condition till Jalkhad beyond which it has some rough patches. Besal is not a town as such rather just a combination of few houses and a small hotel. The trek starts behind the hotel at Besal where one needs to cross the river . There is a pulley through which one can cross the river however it operates only during the months when bakarwal (gujjars) are in the areas. Bakarwals normally stay in the area from June – September. The trek ascends steeply at the start but becomes gradual after a couple of hours walk. The trek continues in the narrow valley along with the Purbinar stream for most of its length. From Besal, it takes 6-7 hours to reach Mulla ki basti from where the lake is a further an hour away. Before Mulla ki Basti the valley opens up and stretches itself with its green meadows. Trek from Mulla ki basti to the lake is extremely beautiful and gentle. At places, it resembles pretty much with Deosai plains. A lot of marmots also inhabit this area. Total trek distance from Besal to Dudipat is around 18 km.
It is recommended to camp at Mulla ki basti instead of lake because of logistics and security reasons. Although the area is generally safe, there had been a few rare robbery incidents reported at the lake campsite by Kohistani people. A makeshift hotel also works at the basti run by a few men from these bakarwals.
Porters and mules are generally available at Besal during the season. For off season trekking, they must be arranged beforehand from Naran. Although efforts had been made to streamline porter rates, but this has not been very successful. The rates are negotiated and are generally much higher than the rates of Northern areas.
From Dudipat, if you want to extend trekking, you can visit saral lake after crossing saral gali. Saral lake is another beautiful lake of the region. Saral gali takes a couple of hours from Dudipat. From Saral gali, saral lake round trip however takes 4-5 hours if you want to touch its waters. From saral gali, one can further continue towards Nuri Top or descend towards Larian de basti from where jeep can take back to Naran. Nuri top marks the boundary between Kaghan and Neelum valleys. From Nuri Top, one can either descend to Sharda through Surgan Nala or move along the ridge towards southwest and reach Rattigali lake which is another beautiful lake of the area. From Rattigali, one can descend to Dowarian in the Neelum valley.