Great Lakes of kashmir Trek
Duration :- 8 Days
Grade :- Moderate
Max Altitude :- 13,750 Ft.
Approx Trekking Km :- 72 Kms.
Cradled in the lap of ravishing Himalayas, lies the crowning glory of India, the land of Kashmir, which is proudly denoted as paradise on earth simply for its serene pristine beauty that till date remains unmatched to any location across the globe. The Kashmir Great Lakes in the Kashmir Valley is one of the most sought after trekking destinations as it simply unwraps the mesmerizing beauty of the region filled with sparkling high altitude lakes amidst alpine meadows and beautifully dotted with amazing colorful orchids. Covering a total distance of 72 kms the challenging trail starts from Sonamarg at 7,800 feet and reaches to a maximum elevation of 13,750 feet at Gadsar Pass and then descends back to Naranag at 7,450 feet. The trekking route majorly comprises of mountain walking and is considered as moderate difficulty level trekking which can be done by first time trekkers too. So not only for the adventure seekers, the charismatic Kashmir Great Lakes trek is ideal for the nature lovers who wishes to bask in the charming beauty of lush landscapes, verdant meadows, fresh water lakes and myriad collection of wild flora at the backdrop of stunning peaks.
The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is a trekking journey of 8 days and the trekking is best done during the period of July till September when the meadow track remains filled with blooming flowers and verdant greenery. After this period, touring the valley in the Sonamarg region may not be that pleasant as rains and snow may hit anytime as change of weather is pretty much unpredictable in the high altitude regions. The temperature in Kashmir Valley in July stays from 15C to 20C and in the night drops to a minimum of 1C. But if the trek is done in September, the weather can be cooler with day time temperature hovering between 15C to 10C whereas in the night it may fall to a minimum of -3C. It is one of the best monsoon treks of the country.
The beautiful Kashmir Great Lakes trek is a pulsating escape from the hustle bustle of the city life and it enables the travelers to explore some of the sacred, untouched and blissful vision of undisturbed nature. The trek requires a minimum fitness level though advance knowledge of trekking is not mandatory. Any person above 14 years of age is eligible to participate in the hiking though the maximum age is depended on the fitness level of the individual. Although the trekking trail crosses through meadows and passes there are some steep ascents and sharp descents which makes it challenging for the inexperienced trekkers.
Great Lakes trek is a high altitude trekking in Kashmir and risk pertaining to the altitude is always there which should be noted specially by the beginner trekkers. One of the most common problems faced is Acute Mountain Sickness where a hiker may feel nausea, headache and uneasiness in the body. However this is usually a temporary problem and can be solved with correct measures. Also the air in the high altitude gets lighten and with decreased air pressure there remains possibility of breathlessness and dizziness. However if the fitness standards are maintained the trek can be done without any major health issues.
About the trek
Going by the name itself, this particular trekking expedition is a journey showcasing amazing views of some of the fascinating lakes in the Himalayan Kashmir region. Initiating from Sonamarg the trekking route passes through several waterways like Gadsar, Kishansar, Vishnasar, Satsar, Gangabal, Nundkol Lakes along with some unknown smaller lakes too which happens to only accentuate the beauty of the roads. The trekking trail concludes at the Naranag village and all through it guarantees a pleasant experience that remains imprinted in the minds of hikers forever. Sonamarg is based at an altitude of 7,800 feet at a distance of about 3 hours drive from Srinagar. The first campsite is based near Sindh River in Shitkadi Village and here only one can fetch a hint of all the wonderful things that can be enjoyed by the trekkers in this trip. Passing through thick forest of maple trees it’s a wonderful journey enjoying the pictorial beauty of Kashmir valleys. The next day the trek continues to Nichnai which is based at an elevation of 11,500 feet and covers a distance of 11kms. Enjoying the mesmerizing view of verdant Sonamarg Valley one passes through Thajiwas Glacier which is one major attractions of this region. Silver birch trees and thick maple forest all provides a refreshing and rejuvenating feel that energizes the mind and body to continue further and explore more, the beauty of nature.
From Nichnai at 11,750 feet, the next destination is Nichnai Pass which is nestled at an elevation of 13,100 feet and from there it’s a descent to Vishansar Lake at an altitude of 12,000 feet. The total trek for the day is a cover of 12kms and takes about 7 hours to complete the whole journey. The campsite for the third day would be at the banks of Vishansar Lake where one can plenty of activities at the backdrop of scenic extravaganza. In July however sometimes the lake turns frozen but otherwise its apt for fishing. The next destination is Gadsar Pass at an altitude of 13,750 feet which is the highest point of the trek. The trail can be quite challenging with steep ascents, winding roads and sharp turns. The trail passes through Gadsar Lake on its way and can savor the beauty of Gadsar Glacier. From Gadsar it’s again a 9kms trek to Satsar where one can enjoy the sight colorful wild flowers marking the way with amazing and unique fragrance. The sight of Satsar Twin Lakes is truly beautiful here. From here it’s a trek of 11kms to reach Gangabal twin Lakes via Zaj Pass. It’s a rocky terrain of an hour to Zaj Pass from where one can enjoy the awe striking views of Lakes, Mt Harmukh and the glacier. The day ends after visiting the Gangbal Lake and camping on the banks of Nandkol. The last day of the trip is a sharp descent from 11,500 feet to 7,450 feet to Naranag crosses stretches of deep pine forests. From Naranag it’s a drive back to Srinagar for an onward journey. In a whole it’s a physically demanding and laborious trek but with the treasure of the pristine beauty it is effort worth taken in every sense.
Day 1 :- Arrive at Sonamarg
Altitude: 7800 ft
90 kms drive from Shrinagar, approx 3 hours.
If booked in advance, Travelmyroutes can arrange pick up from TRC at 3pm
Our campsite is near the Sindh river (Shitkadi Village).
Since there are no shops around ensure that you have all that you need already.
Remember to carry your ID proof in original and 2 photo copies as we have to submit them at the army check post.
Day 2:- Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur.
Altitude: 7,800 ft to 11,500 ft
11 kms trek, approx 8 hours
After the breakfast we trek to Nichnai via Shekdur.
The trail takes you through meadows, dense forests with Maple, Pine and Bhoj trees.
After approx half an hour, we get an army check post where we have to submit our ID proofs.
While you are at it, you can enjoy an awesome view of the Sonmarg Valley or the Thajiwas Glacier.
The trek from Shitkadi to Shekdur is goes through thick forests of pine trees and will take approx 2 and half hours.
At Shekdur, you can indulge in instant noodles and an omelette if you wish to.
We follow the Nichnai Stream as we trek from Shekdur to Nichnai.
We have lunch at the Nichnai stream, after Shekdur.
Day 3 :- Nichnai to Vishansar lake via Nachnai Pass
Altitude: 11,500 ft to 12,000 ft via 13100 ft
12 kms trek, approx 7 hours
Trek from Nichnai to Nichnai Pass is of approx 1 and half hours ascent.
At the top of Nichnai Pass you can get B.S.N.L network, which is the last point under mobile coverage area.
From Nichnai pass to Vishansar there is a descent.
At Vishansar campsite, lunch will be offered.
We can visit the Vishansar Lake which is just 15 minutes walk from the campsite
The first lake of the trek and one of the most beautiful ones.
If the trek is in July, the lake will be frozen. Otherwise, we can do fishing at the lake with permission from Srinagar Fishing Department.
Vishansar is visited by hoards of sheep and their shepherds are known for interesting stories.
The campsite is a unique place with an open ground and you can play volleyball, cricket etc.
Beware of dogs at campsite
Day 4:- Acclimatization + Rest Day. (Condition Apply)
You may visit Kishansar lake, which is at approx 1 and half kms from our camp site.
If the weather is not good we will use acclimatization day at vishansar or else move towards next camp site, rest day can be use at Gangbal camp site.
Day 5:- Vishansar lake to Gadsar via Gadsar Pass
Altitude: (12,000ft) to (12,000ft) via (13,750ft)
14 kms trek, approx 10 hours
We start the trek earlier than usual.
The trail passes from Vishansar to Gadsar, via Gadsar pass the highest point of the trek.
From Vishansar, the trail takes a steep ascent till Gadsar Pass.
We can see the Kishansar Lake on the way.
From the Gadsar pass till the camp site, we descend gradually.
We can spot the Gadsar lake en route.
You might also spot the Glacier of Gadsar Lake.
After the Gadsar lake, we will reach the campsite in 2 hours.
Just a few minutes before our campsite, we will have another army checkpoint and we will have to share our ID proofs with them.
Pack lunch will be provided
Day 6 :- Gadsar to Satsar
Altitude: 12,000 ft to 12,000 ft
9 kms trek, approx 6 hours trek
Mid July to mid August, the trail is laden in vibrant flowers.
We need to share our IDs at another army check post en route. .
Moving on, we see two small lakes which are often mistaken as Satsar Lakes.
We will visit the Satsar twin lakes, in the afternoon, which are approx 1.3 h
Stasar twin lakes are also known as mengen top.
Those twin lakes are between the middle of the mountain.
Day 7 :- Satsar to Gangabal twin lakes via Zaj Pass
Altitude: 12,000 ft to 11,500 ft 13000
11 kms trek, approx 6 hours
We walk on rocky paths for approx an hour and ascend till Jazz Pass.
At the pass, you can enjoy views of the 4 lakes, Mt. Harmukh and its glacier.
From the pass we descend till the Gangbal lake and camp at Nandkol lake.
We visit the Gangbal Lake, which is one of the largest lakes in the trek.
Post dinner, a team of Kashmiri staff will perform their traditional songs and dance.
Day 8 :- Gangabal to Naranag Drive to Srinagar
Altitude: 11,500 ft to 7,450 ft
15 kms trek, approx 7 hours
The trail is a descent till the last point of the trek – Naranag, so take care of your knees and ankles.
The trail will pass through pine tree forests.
On advance booking, Travelmyroutes can arrange transport to Srinagar at a charge.
After the 70 kms drive, you will reach Srinagar by 6:30 pm.
* Please note that prepaid sim cards do not work in Kashmir.
Don't forget your ID proof in original and 2 photo copies.
On Day 8, you’ll reach Srinagar between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. You can book your travel any time after 8 pm.
1. Accommodation. (Camping)
2. Meals while on trek (Veg & Egg)
3. Trek equipments like Sleeping bag, mattress, tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent
4. Trekking Permits
5. First aid medical kits and oxygen cylinder.
6. Qualified & experienced trek Leader, Guide and Support staff
1. Transport from Srinagar to Sonmarg and Narnag to Srinagar
2. Hotel Stay in Srinagar.
3. Food during the transit.
5. Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
6. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.
Transportation: The cost of transport from Srinagar to Sonmarg and return from Narnag to Srinagar has to be borne by the participant. Travelmyroutes has arrangements with local transporters to pick up trekkers from Srinagar. The vehicles will leave Srinagar at 3.00 pm and reach Sonamarg by 6.00 pm.
Cost : 12950 rs inclusive of all taxes .
You may also like the following events from Travelmyroutes:
Also check out other Trips & Adventurous Activities in Bangalore
, Sports Events in Bangalore
, Entertainment Events in Bangalore
Liked this event? Spread the word :