7 Interesting Facts about Tilicho Lake in Nepal

Lake Tilicho in Nepal is the highest large lake in the world and you reach it via the highest mountain pass in the world. Due to its cold temperature, nothing lives in the lake, however, the surrounding land is full of wonderful flora and fauna. Despite its cold temperature, a Russian team scuba-dived in the lake, thus performing the world’s highest-altitude dive. Looking to learn more about this fascinating body of water? Then read on. Here are some of the most interesting facts about Tilicho Lake in Nepal.

7 Interesting Facts about Tilicho Lake in Nepal

1. Lake Tilicho is the highest large lake in the world

Tilicho Lake is a high mountain lake located at an elevation of 4,919 meters (16,138 ft) above sea level on the slope of Mount Makalu in the Mahalangur section of Nepal. It is the highest large lake in the world. The mountains Muktinath Peak, Nilgiri, Khangsae and Tilicho surround the lake. On the lake surface, you can see huge pieces of ice floating. The ice comes from avalanches on the glacier covering the western slope of the mountain.

2. Lake Tilicho is a freshwater glacial lake

Tilicho Lake in Nepal is 4km long and has a maximum width of about 1.2 kilometres. Its average depth is 85 metres (279 ft) and it has a water volume of 41,000,000 US gallons of fresh water. The surface area of the lake is 4.8 km2 (1.9 sq mi).

Facts about Tilicho Lake Nepal

3. Tilicho Lake is one of the most visited lakes in Nepal

Tilicho Lake is one of the most visited lakes in Nepal due to the popular Annapurna Circuit Trek. This hike takes an additional three to four days to reach the lake. The Annapurna Circuit begins in the Province’s capital city, Pokhara. Pokhara is Nepal’s second-largest city and in it’s the largest in terms of population. The final approach to the lake is done in a day hike from the lodge at Tilicho Base Camp. On this trekking route is Thorong La Pass, a mountain pass with an elevation of 5,416 metres above sea level in the Damodar Himal. It is the highest mountain pass in the world.

4. No aquatic organism lives in the lake

According to the Nepali Department of Hydrology & Meteorology (2003), no aquatic organism has been recorded in the lake. This might be due to the low temperature in the Himalayan belt. However, the area is home to some beautiful fauna, for instance, lonicera spinosa, oxygraphis, Alpine buttercup, Alpine astragalus, cargana, primrose, gentians, edelweiss and many more. Snow leopards and blue sheep also live in the area and if you look up, you’ll see lots of birds too, for instance, Himalayan snowcock, Alpine chough, and demoiselle crane.

Facts about Tilicho Lake Nepal

5. Tilicho Lake is the site of the highest altitude dive

One of the highest ever altitude scuba dives took place at Tilicho. In 2000, a Russian diving team, consisting of Andrei Andryushin, Denis Bakin, and Maxim Gresko, did a scuba dive in the lake. On the day of the dive, the water temperature at the surface was 6°C. At 21 metres under the surface, the water temperature was 3°C.

6. Poor weather affects Tilicho Lake

If you plan on trekking to Tilichho Lake, you need to plan carefully as there can be severe weather along the trail. For instance, in the winter months, there are large snowfalls that often leave people stranded near the lake. On the other hand, the summer months see the arrival of monsoon season and the surrounding areas become impassable. Therefore, the best time of year to attempt the Annapurna Circuit trek and to visit Tilicho Lake is in autumn, between September and November, and in spring, between March and May.

7. The lake has religious significance for Hindus

Tilicho Lake is believed to be an ancient Kak Bhusundi Lake mentioned in Ramayana. According to the holy book, sage Kak Bhusundi is the person that first told the happenings of Ramayana to Garuda – king of birds. He narrated these events near this lake.

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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