Swimming at the tragic earthquake lake – a trip to mesmerizing chikaar.

Swimming at the tragic earthquake lake – a trip to mesmerizing chikaar.

Those who love open water swimming, their travel destination has also swimming plan included. When they reach the destination they look for “open water swimming near me” or  “open water swimming events”. Most of the times swimmers traveling abroad will keep their swimming gears with them wetsuit, swimming goggles, and garmin watch. 

Same is with me, I have previously done open water swimming in London, United States, South Africa and UAE, during my visit to Pakistan I decided to swim in open water.

Zalzal Lake (The Earthquake Lake)


Zalzal Lake in Kashmir is Natural lake formed as a result of earthquake in 2005. This is now most popular tourist destination today, though road infrastructure is not yet suitable for this location and it is not directly connected to the road, that is the reason this untouched lake is still very clean. 

Zalzal Lake is located in Pakistani Administered Kashmir Chikar (the town of Muzaffarabad District). 

To reach there the best way is to Visit Bagh Azad Kashmir, which is 4 hours drive from Islamabad, the Capital City of Pakistan. 

From there you can Sudhan Gali where there are many resorts, hotel and guest houses to stay. Then you can take local tranport or hire a car to reach the Zalzal Lake View Point.

Road Access to Zalzal Lake

I travelled from Bagh to Sudhan gali which is 21 KM and then From Sudhan Gali silk road is good and it hardly takes 40 minutes to reach there. We had Half Marathon Race that started from Bagh to Sudhan Gali, after completing the race we took rest and then moved from Sudhan Gali to Zalzal Lake view point which is 16km , the road is partly damaged with two big land slide areas, but still access to the view point is easy, we drove 4X4, but saloon car is also better choice.

From View point to Zalzal Lake it will take another 20 minutes walk/hike downhill. You can park your car and walk to the Zalzal Lake, there is one Boat and one TUCSHOP, but weather and view is great.

Those who are interested in swimming must make sure that they have enough gears and safety measures before swimming and more than this is your swim, you must know how to swim in Open Water.

Even if you want to use boat make sure you put on life jacket. 

Swimming in Zalzal Lake

Zalzal Lake in all over Pakistan is best place for open water swimming,  for people who love Water Sports, they must not miss this place.. Long distance swim of (2.5 KM covering complete lake) was organized by Bagh Youth Forum and Pir Panjal Travel and Tours. The lake is beautiful in its kind. I love open water swimming, I swum many places in the world, but experience in Zalzal lake was totally different, water from Natural Springs comes all the times in this lake which keeps the lake water fresh and sweet. 

July is usually monsoon, when I did swimming in this lake it was drizzling which made the swim more interesting, water temperature was fine. I must say this is one of the best lakes in the world.


I will share my detailed experience soon in this blog,but below is the strava activity  link, where I only recorded warmup swim.

I have recorded this swim using garmin forerunner 935, though there are many other options to chose from garmin like ; garmin vivoactive 3, garmin fenix 5 or garmin fenix 3 but this watch is perfect for the triathlon.