Chitta Katha Lake (Azad Kashmir)
Chitta Katha Lake is situated in the Shounter valley in Sharda, Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir at an altitude of 13,500 feet on the foot of Mount Hari Parbat. Lake can be accessed from Kel to Domel Bala by Jeep hired from Kel, and then trekking for 5km.
About Shounter Valley
Shounter Valley is situated in the Neelum Vally Azad Kashmir. It can be accessed from Kel by using Jeep. This valley is normally covered with snow, so only available in few months of summer season. It is an ideal location for tourists who like trekking and camping.
It is located just at the distance of 12 KM from Kel at an altitude of 10,200 ft. It has number of lakes created with the glacier waters from the surrounding mountains. Chitta Katha Lake, Spoon Lake, and Shounter Lake are the most favorite spots for tourists in the Shounter Valley.
Shouter Valley is a remote location, so there is no restaurant and hotels in the valley. If you want to stay there, then you must have camps. Instead of that, you must also have eatables and other necessary items.
Jeeps are only available from Kel. You can negotiate price with the jeep drivers as they always demand higher price. While traveling toward Shounter Valley, jeep driver will try to move all time to save his time. But you have to force him to stop, so that you can enjoy the beauty of the Shounter Valley and its splendid unforgettable with the lush green meadows and snow-capped mountains.
By using Shounter Road, you can crossed Shounter Pass to enter into the Astore Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is an crossing between Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. It is situated at the elevation of 14,500 feet above the sea level. It is a jeep track from Kel to access Shounter Pass. Shouter Pass is only opened in few months of summer, May to August, due to heavy snowfall in the winter season. It is a gateway to Shouter Valley and Chitta Katha Lake.
Shounter Lake, also known as Spoon Lake due to its spoon like shape, is only the most significant location in the Neelum Valley on foot of Hari Parbat. It can be accessed from Kel by jeep within three hours. It is the highest lake in the Neelum Valley at the elevation of 10,200 feet above sea level. It's sources of water are surrounding glaciers on the mountains. It gives a magnificent view within the snow-capped mountain peaks.
Further moving ahead, you can access Upper Domel. From there, a trek leads toward the Sarwali Peak base camp and Rattu Valley in Astore Gilgit-Baltistan. From Domel, you can access the Chitta Katha Lake after 7-8 hours trekking. The Chitta Katha an attractive lake in the snow-covered mountains, and the reflection of bluish water with shadow of glaciers gives a charming view of the lake.
Weather of Shounter Valley cool and pleasant in summer season, and much harsh in winter season with heavy snowfall. So never try to visit this valley in winter season, without specialized guide.