The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is an amazing trekking expedition. Experience the legendary beauty of Kashmir which inspired the Mughal Emperor to name it Heaven on Earth. As the name indicates, the trekking expedition covers the major lakes of Kashmir, which includes Vishansar, Gadsar, Kishansar, Nundkol and Gangabal.
The 72 km trek is full of extensive mountain walking. The moderate to difficult trail passes through steep climbs and sharp descends. The trek is physically demanding for which proper fitness is absolutely necessary. This trip is not just for the adventure enthusiast, nature lovers and the first time trekkers too can try it out. An ideal monsoon trek, make plans for July till the month of September. During this time the trail is snow free and you walk though lush grasslands which kindle the air with their fragrance.
The Great Lakes Trek of Kashmir is challenging but the scenic beauty inspires you to overcome. The memorable expedition is undoubtedly an experience of the ‘Heaven on Earth’.
Day 01: Srinagar to Sonamarg.
Arrival at Srinagar Airport, drive to Sonamarg. O/N Sonamarg.
Day 02: Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur (9 to 10 km)
Morning after breakfast leave for Nichnai, trek for 6 – 7 Hrs, start with a 3-4 km trek from the Sonamarg and reach a roadside eatery, from where you can bag up all the required commodities for the day. Here onwards, the trek will be a gradual one and alongside the Sindh River, it will take you through maple and pine forests. Completing the hike through the forests, you will be rewarded with the stunning views of the Sonamarg Valley and pictorial streams.Here onwards, the trek will descend down and will take you to the snow-covered Shekdur Range. Relax around the vicinity for a while before you start trekking towards the Nichnai, which is located at around 11,500 ft above the sea level. O/N camping at Nichnai.
Day 03: Nichnai to Vishansar Lake (13 km)
Day Highlights, 8 Hours Trek, Nichnai Pass, Himalayan Range, Vishansar Lake Day Details Starting early in the morning; around 08:00 AM, start the trek towards the Nichnai Pass and enjoy the stunning views of the lush valleys and the untouched beauty of the region. Hereafter, cross the river and continue hiking through the banks of the river and arrive at the Nichnai Pass or the Vishansar Berry. Arriving at the pass, which is located 13,500 m above the sea level, witness and enjoy the meticulous beauty of the pass and the snow-covered peaks all around it. Hereafter, the trek will undergo a steep descend and will lead you to a pictorial meadow of colorful flowers; while on this trek, you can also catch glimpses of a cascade that finally joins a river. Here onwards, continue with the hike and upon arriving a flat valley, continue towards its end and arrive at the campsite. Gazing on the left of this trail, you can also behold captivating views of the Himalayan Range and also the Vishansar Lake. O/N Camping at Vishansar.
Day 04: Acclimatization day in Vishansar
Day Highlights acclimatizeyou to the weather and rest at Vishansar, Day Details This day of the Lakes in Kashmir Trek would be a light one as you acclimatize yourself to the weather and rest at Vishansar.O/N Camping at Vishansar.
Day 05: Trek from Vishansar to Gadsar (via Krishansar and Gadsar Pass) (11 km)
Day Highlights 6 Hours Trek, Krishansar Peak, Vishansar and Kishansar Lake Day Details This chilly morning, witness the Kishansar Peak casting its reflection on the azure lake waters. Start the trek for the day towards the lakeside and reach the Kishansar Peak, which is situated around 500ft above the campsite. Here onwards, ascend to the other side of the water reservoir. The trek till here comprises of both easy and tough terrains. Later part of the day, trek towards the Kishansar Lake and and finally make it to the Gadsar Pass that is perched at a height of 13,800 ft and is the highest point of this trek. From the pass, pass through a flowery meadow and some of the pictorial lakes; Yamsar is one of these lakes.From here, continue with descend and after crossing Iris, reach the Gadsar Lake. A picturesque lake, it is adorned with the stunning beauty of exotic flowers and snow on both the sides. Arriving at the lakeside, report to the nearest Army Camp and complete the formalities of getting permission to pass Gadsar; ID proofs are a must for this.O/N Camping at Gadsar.
Day 06: Gadsar to Satsar (12 km)
Day Highlights 7 Hours Trek, Satsar Lakes, Camping beside the Lakes Day Details Your day will begin with a walk from the army camp towards the stream. Brace yourself for varied terrains from super steep, flat and even land. Take a short break at Maengandob that is fringed by mountains. Reach the first of Satsar lakes, which is a group of seven different lakes and follow the same procedure of yesterday with the army officials and set camps near the surreal first lake of Satsar.O/N Camping at Satsar.
Day 07: Satsar to Gangabal Twin lakes (9 km)
Day Highlights 7 hours Trek, Gangabal Twin lakes Day Details A true test of caliber, this is the day when you will have you push your physical and mental limits! Trudge through rocks and boulders ridden terrain, pass the last of the Satsar lakes, and start hiking downwards for half an hour till you arrive at the forest line.Here onwards, start ascending upward and reach an altitude of 13,400 ft; during this climb, you can witness several ridges at different heights and the quaint Gujjar huts as well. From the summit, you can also behold the fascinating views of the twin lakes: Gangabal and Nundkol, that are connected to each other by a picturesque stream and are known for trout-fishing.Post this; trek through a sharp and rocky trail and make it to a gurgling stream, passing which, you will reach a lush meadow that advent towards the Nundkol Lake, which is also a popular weekend getaway among the locals. Trekking for around 20 minutes from the Nundkol Lake, you will finally arrive at the Gangabal Lake and by crossing the bridge across the lake. O/N Camping at Gangabal.
Day 08: Trek from Gangabal to Naranag (12 km, 7 hours)
Day Details On your final day of the Kashmir Lake Trek, start from the Gangabal camp, ramble on grassy land dotted with yellow flowers and pine forest. Descend are reach Naranag, the last leg of your trek. Reach Naranag Village in Ganderbal District.Drive back to srinagar.O/N Srinagar.
Day 09: Srinagar – Free day at Leisure.
Free day at Leisure or optional excursion to Gulmarg (with added charges of transport & acitivity)
Day 10: Departure, Transfer to Srinagar Airport
Morning after breakfast, leave for Srinagar Airport. Drop at Airport. Journey Ends here with sweet memories of Glacial Trek of Kashmir.
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