Mahodand Lake

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The upper regions of Pakistan are blessed with ethereal beauty and portray the rich landscape the country is home to. Most of these areas are rather inaccessible due to lack of human effort as the outfits assigned the responsibility to popularise them as exquisite viewing sites are singularly lacking in ability and wherewithal. One of such beautiful place is Mahodand Lake which is situated in Swat 40 kilometers from Kalaam in a valley named Usho. Surrounded by beautiful snow-tipped mountains, forests and abundant greenery it sits at an elevation of 9,400 feet above sea level, is 2 kilometers long and 1.2 kilometers wide. In the local vernacular Mahodand Lake means Lake of Fishes and it has an abundance of fish particularly trout. Mahodand Lake is fed by the waters of surrounding glaciers and springs from the Hindu Kush Mountains.

The Lake is accessible only through four-wheel drive vehicles as the terrain is difficult to be negotiated by regular vehicles. The Lake lies at the foothills of the vast Hindu Kush mountain range that divides Pakistan from Central Asian plateau. Its locale is full of dense forests and its banks are covered by pines and pastures that serve as a camping site during the summer. The Lake is the repository of pure water flowing in from melting glaciers and energising springs sprouting from Hindu Kush Mountains. The flowing waters give rise to Ushu Khwar known as the major tributary of the Swat River.

The intensity of cold closes down the lake for the entire winter season and it is majestically covered by heavy snow. The onset of summer witness the Lake waters coming into form and its basin is full of sheets of alpine flowers such as Geum, Blue Poppy, Potentilla and Gentian. The Lake is endearingly circled by diverse Pinus species which serves as abode for wild birds. The Lake is a rich repository of the unique Trout fish but its catch is allowed by official authority. The waters of Mahodand Lake are divided into a series of small and large streams, which once swarmed with brown and rainbow Trout that was introduced by the former ruler of Swat State. The large presence of anglers catching Trout indiscriminately led to reducing its presence significantly.

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