Sonmarg, Jammu & Kashmir
Pick & Drop Point
Dishad Garden Srinagar
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Call Our Mountain Experts
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek does not require an introductory treatise. It is the proem itself. It is easy to draw a preface by simply hearing the name. You will find the beauty and adventure of Kashmir on a Himalayan trek. Trekking to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek offers a lifetime of unforgettable memories, which can be so tiring. It is hard not to be spellbound by the tranquillity of the Kashmir lakes and their virgin beauty. The lakes are not the only thing that stands out, but the barren mountains covered in milky white snow make a strong statement. As you can see, this trek is located in Kashmir, also known for being the paradise on the earth. This trek takes approximately 7-9 days to complete. It is moderately difficult in terms of the trekking challenges. The trek covers approximately 13000 feet in elevation and 63 kilometres. You will gain so much about yourself on this fulfilling trek – both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Nothing can prepare a trekker for the conflicting and overwhelming emotions of whether or not his body can withstand such strains and whether or not he will survive. The joy at reaching the destination is evident. With a few preparations, this trek is a memorable one that will be treasured by trekkers for years to come.
The trek to the Great Lakes of Kashmir Physical fitness is essential. You must take care of your body, be healthy, and look good. You can train yourself as a trekker by exercising regularly at the gym, running on an incline, biking, cross-training, and stretching every day. Mental fitness is equally important. The trek starts approximately 3kms from Sonamarg on the Srinagar Road. There are very few Shabbas along the way. Trekkers should eat at the Naranag stop, as the last trace of a dwelling spot will be at Naranag.
A few miles of the trail will take you to a green meadow that overlooks Sonamarg. Trekkers will reach the Maple and Pine tree starting line at the top of these meadows. The next section is a dense, lovey-dovey forest of Maple trees. This trek in India is the only one of its kind. Throughout the trek, you will be immersed in the meadows. You can enjoy the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek best between June and September. The greenery and blooming flowers are at their peak during this period. This trek is suitable for beginners in trekking. Trekkers can take a hike up the Maple trees and enjoy the stunning views of nearby villages, including Sonamarg. It is amazing to see how nature combines to create a beautiful picture. The trail descends into another meadow dotted with Silver Birch trees, and a few shepherds huts. The land of Shekdur is marked by tiny streams that run through the meadows and small snowy mountains. Shekdur is also the only campsite with trees on this trek. This is an optional add-on to your clicks. It is a beautiful show of light and shadows, thanks to the sun’s rays that shine through the forest. The trail continues climbing back into the river valley that is the beginning Nichanai. The peaks surround you as you enter the valley.
The Vishansar lake is reached after crossing the tunnel-like Nichnai pass. It is followed by miles of meadows and a waterfall. The lake’s size and the surrounding mountains are the first impressions it gives to trekkers. The Kishansar Lake is located at a distance of only 1.2 km away. The trail is surrounded by a large meadow. The trail continues up a ridge. The Gadsar pass, which is at the top of the trek, offers the best view of both lakes. The time is now to descend. The eye sees Yamsir Lake and Gadsar Lake as it descends. You will then reach Maengandob, where you’ll find very few deep craters. You will be able to see the Satsar Lakes Collection of Seven Lakes, and further, the Twin Lakes among which the Gangabal is the largest and Nundkol the second. You will be greeted by meadows, glaciers and mountain peaks at your final destination, Naranag. Trekkers will enjoy a variety of terrains: endless meadows and snow-clad pinnacles, passes, barren lands, struggling rivers, and numerous meadows. It is well worth trekking the trail to the Great Lakes. It fulfils all of the trekkers’ expectations. This trek is something that no one will ever do, but it will change the way you think about trekking. It’s a way to heaven and virgin serenity. Trekkers should have all the equipment they need for trekking. Professionals are not required. Trekking Gear, including trekking shoes and a trekking pole, is essential. Trekkers should not compromise their body’s needs. It is better to know your body needs than following the advice of another man. It’s important to understand your body. This is not for children, but anyone can do it. You should keep your luggage and carry bag as light as possible. It should be comfortable.
One of the most beautiful trekking routes in India is to Kashmir Great Lakes. There is no doubt about it. It confirms Kashmir’s mythical statusHeaven on Earth. Because the trek is set on a larger canvas than life, it is a beautiful sight. It is located 75km northeast of Srinagar. It offers a 360 degree panorama of rugged mountains, rolling meadows and turquoise alpine lake. You can explore more than seven lakes, five valleys and the other beautiful areas. Its diversity makes it an attractive place to live. Moderately difficult trek It lasted six days. It requires long trekking days and steep ascents and descends, with no easy exit points. It is not recommended for beginners who haven’t been exposed high-altitude trekking. The challenges are worthwhile, however. Every day is postcard-perfect with a new alpine lake every day. These lakes are made even more beautiful by the snow patches that provide water. They can be seen sliding down the mountains to the lakes. Sometimes, you might see milky-white icebergs floating on the lake’s inky blue water. There are also meadows in Kashmir. These meadows can be found in all sizes and shapes, with some even a lot in one day. These meadows become a haven for pine and maple clumps on the first day. They descend to a valley where sheep and horses can graze. These meadows are home to wildflowers that flourish in great numbers on the third day, just above the Gadsar pass. The grassy plain of Satsar appears almost manicured, with a twinkling stream flowing through it.
The things I love about the trek
1. Enjoy the stunning mountain scenery while on the trek
Many treks in the Himalayas offer breathtaking views. The Kashmir Great Lakes, however, is a different scale. The mountains of Kashmir look like this. You can feel their presence all around you. It is not exaggerated to say that a trek through Kashmir is like viewing IMAX on a TV while everything else is on a regular TV screen. Kashmir is a place you can feel it all.
2.The diversity of the valleys, meadows
Seven trekking days are required for the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. You will also be trekking in seven different valleys. Each valley is spread out over the course of the trek. Each valley is a tough competitor to the one before it.
Six of the seven valleys that you can trek are distinct grasslands, or meadows. These meadows and grasslands at high altitude are linked by high passes. You would expect meadows to be the same on both sides of a pass. They aren’t. Each of them has its own world and charm.
You can start with the Shekdur meadows, also known as tabletop set among Maples and Birch trees. The Nichnai grasslands are a great example of how large and rugged meadows can get. Cross the Nichnai pass to enter a meadow you won’t want.
The Vishnusar grassland is a wide, grassland that descends gently, rich in wildflowers, and has a gentle stream running through it.
The Gadsar meadow has a more dramatic appearance. It is narrower and has more jagged mountains on its sides. The central landscape is dominated by a large Gadsar, but it leads to many smaller lakes. Wildflowers bloom throughout the valley.
You will be transported to the top of the Gadsar valley by climbing up“Windows wall paper”Valley of Satsar. Satsar meadows are characterized by a smooth, manicured green lawn with a few maple trees and horses enjoying the graze. I have never seen greener grass elsewhere.
The Gangabal expanse is the last grassland. The valley below Zaj pass is almost like looking at the green world map. Gangabal in the blue looks just like Africa! Nandkol is on its side. The green landscape is also dotted by 4 lakes.
For me, the meadows at the trek are the best and most important reason to love KGL.
3. The lakes
The lakes are a must-see in any discussion about the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. Before my exploration began, I only saw a few photos of the lakes and thought they were photoshopped images from a Scandinavian country. These lakes were not found in our mountains. These lakes at high altitude change color throughout the day.
Clear at dawn, sea green by afternoon, light blue by evening, and then inky blue by night. You will be amazed at the stunning lake scenery of Vishnusar, Kishansar, and the sea-green Gadsar with its ice floes.
4. The colors in Kashmir Great Lakes
KGL can be done best in July/August or early September. These months are monsoon in India, but the rains on the Pir Panjal side get much less. The mountains still get their summer rains, and the flowers explode into a rainbow of colors.
Different colors can be found in different valleys. There are pinks, purples and yellows as well as whites. The flowers change with the seasons. The colors of the sky and grass, rocks, water, and water all add to the beauty of the trek. It is not difficult to believe that Kashmir’s green is more vibrant than Kashmir’s blue. Each color is vividly saturated.
The vibrant colors of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek will be a big hit with you.
Day Wise Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive Srinagar and Drive to Sonamarg
- Altitude: 7800 feet
- It takes approximately 3 hours to drive 90kms from Shrinagar
- TrekupIndia can arrange pickup from TRC at 3 pm if booked in advance
- The campsite is located near the Sindh River (Shitkadi Village).
- There are no shops nearby so make sure you have everything you need.
- Keep your ID proof with you in the original and two photocopies. We will need them to check at the Army Check Post.
In the afternoon, depart for Sonamarg. It takes 3 hours to reach Srinagar.
Day 02: Sonamarg (7.800ft) to Nichnai (11.1500ft), via Shekdur
- Altitude: 7,800 ft – 11,500 ft
- 11kms Trek, approximately 8 Hours
- We trek to Nichnai via Shekdur after breakfast.
- You will find the trail through dense forests of Maple, Pine, and Bhoj trees.
- We are allowed to go through the army checkpoint after about half an hour. Here we must submit our ID proofs.
- You can also enjoy a spectacular view of the Sonmarg Valley and the Thajiwas Glacier while you’re at it.
- It takes approximately 2 and a half hours to trek from Shitkadi, Shekdur through dense pine forests.
- You can enjoy instant noodles or an omelette at Shekdur if you so desire.
- As we trek from Shekdur, to Nichnai, we follow the Nichnai Stream.
- After Shekdur, we have lunch at Nichnai.
3 hours ascent, followed by 1-hour descent, and finally a gentle ascent up to Nichnai (6hrs, 9kms). The trek begins 3kms from Sonamarg on the Srinagar Road. Just after 3km, you will see a single Dhaba to your right. This is the last place you will find short food, packaged water, biscuits, and other snacks. Naranag is the next settlement at the end. The jeep track runs to the right of the main road. The track descends to the Sindh river, which flows between the main road and the mud track. The track runs along the trekking trail, but it quickly turns higher up. The trail curves left at 10 minutes and cross a meadow. This meadow overlooks Sonamarg. Within half an hour, you will reach the top of the meadow, where Maple and Pine trees begin. The trail descends quickly to a small brook, then climbs back up. The next section is a dense forest of Maple trees. It is a unique experience to walk on the green grass among the Maples.
The trail will wind up through the Maple trees for the next hour-and-a-half. Keep to the path going uphill, as those heading down will take you to nearby villages. Between the trees are clearings. Look around to see the Sonamarg valley from the other side. It gets more beautiful as you get higher. At the top of this ridge, the Maple forest ends and the meadow on the other side gently slopes down. Enjoy a few minutes on the ridge and take in the view of Sonamarg Valley. It is a beautiful scene with the streams, meadows, pines, and town nestled. Now the climb is over, and the trail descends into a meadow. Silver Birch trees line the meadow to the left, as well as a few shepherd huts. The 40-foot wide meadow is covered in a carpet of green. The meadow is dotted with small brooks that provide water. The small peaks are covered with powdered snow. This is Shekdur. This is Shekdur. The average trekker takes 2 1/2 hours to reach the meadow. If you choose to end the day’s trek at the meadow’s end, it will take another half hour. Shekdur is a lovely campsite, surrounded by Bhojs. This campsite is the only one with trees on the trek, so it adds variety to your photos and moments. Make Shekdur your first campsite if you are starting from Srinagar at dawn. At least 2 hours further away is the next campsite Nichnai. It is too early to camp if you start from Sonamarg, Shekdur. Take a break at the meadows before moving on to Nichnai. The Shekdur meadow lasts for about half an hour. The gentle descent along the meadow ends at a forest of Bhoj, or Silver Birch. Continue to descend by following the trail through the forest. Be on the lookout for the sun’s rays as they weave through the dense foliage, creating a beautiful show of light and darkness.
You will reach the end of the Birch trees in 45 minutes. The trail then descends and climbs back up into a river valley. This is Nichanai’s beginning. Now, the trail runs along the right bank of Nichanai’s river as it goes upstream. To the left, you will see Sonamarg valley’s snow-clad peaks. Now you are in a wide valley, but the mountains bordering your side. The valley is flooded by the river Sindh, which eventually flows through it. Your mules will be walking very slow over the rocks for the first 30 minutes. After an hour, the river valley is green and has no rocks. As the river valley narrows, you can see the green meadow expanding between the mountain ranges. The triangular twin-snow-clad peaks of the Triangular Twin Snow-capped Peaks are far ahead. You can pitch your tents on a flat surface and finish the first day of trekking.
Day 03: Nichnai (1,500ft) to Vishansar lake (12,000.ft).
- Altitude: 11500 ft to 12,000ft through 13100 ft
- 12 km Trek, approximately 7 hours
- The trek from Nichnai Pass to Nichnai Pass takes approximately 1 and 1/2 hours.
- You can access the B.S.N.L network at the top of Nichnai Pass, which is the final point in the mobile coverage area.
- There is a descent from Nichnai pass towards Vishansar.
- Lunch will be served at the campsite Vishansar
- You can also visit the Vishansar lake, which is only 15 minutes from the campsite.
- This is the first and most beautiful lake on the trek.
- The lake will freeze if the trek takes place in July. If we have permission from Srinagar Fishing Department, we can fish at the lake.
- Vishansar is frequented by flocks of sheep, and their shepherds are well-known for telling interesting stories.
- This campsite offers a great place to play volleyball, cricket and other sports.
- Dogs at the campsite are to be avoided
Nichnai Pass 13,500ft. Medium climb. A short descent is followed by a flat meadow walk that ends near Vishansar lake. 12 km, 6 hrs
It is a long trek on meadows, with the scenery constantly changing. To allow you to take in the beauty of the meadows, start at 8 a.m. Crossing the Nichnai Pass or Vishansar Berry is your first goal for the day. It is visible from the campsite. It is located just to the right side of the twin, snow-covered peaks. Cross the river after walking for half an hour along its banks to reach its left bank. For the next hour, continue walking on the left bank. As you walk through the meadow, notice how the trail gradually climbs. It will take you one hour to reach the pass. You will see a small lake at foot of the mountains as you climb. This lake is deep blue and can be seen as a hint of the main lakes that lie ahead. It is misleading. The pass is not visible from the meadow below. Only then will the Nichnai pass appear. The trail goes inwards twice. You can see the Sonamarg valley from the Nichanai pass. Most of the time, BSNL’s phone network works here. This is where you will get your phone network. Once you reach Gangabal, the next sign of the network will be visible.
The Nichnai pass feels almost like a long tunnel. To the left are many snow-clad peaks. The right side has no peaks, but the land rises to the left. Nichnai Pass is located at 13,500 feet. This is your second day on the trek. It is an extremely fast ascent. People often feel the altitude while climbing to Nichnai pass. It is good to know that the trail descends quickly from this point. The trail quickly descends. Within an hour, the rocks will give way to grass. Right next to you, red flowers will bloom. You can see a vast green meadow with mountains on the sides. The meadow is fed by a new river that flows from the pass.
Take a moment to admire the views of the mountains, the river below, and the flowery meadow. You will see a large waterfall that cascades down the mountain cliff, joining the river. The rapid descent from the waterfall ends, and you can now walk through the wide flat meadow. The classic Himalayan snow-clad mountains can be seen to the left. However, you will notice grey and barren mountains to your right that resemble the Ladakh ranges. You can walk between the two ranges and enjoy the lush green carpet. The valley is bounded by two main streams. Keep to the right of the stream. Brace yourself for another stream crossing in half an hour. It is cold.
Continue on the meadow for about an hour and a quarter until you reach the valley’s end. A stream runs perpendicularly to your left and your right. This stream flows from the Vishansar lake, which is slightly higher to your left. The campsite is too far away to see the lake. Place your tents near the stream that flows from the lake. There is plenty of camping space. Half a km from the campsite is the Vishansar lake. It is 100 ft higher than the campsite. Follow the stream straight ahead, but don’t cross it. It takes approximately 7 minutes to reach the lake, which is located in two mounds. Vishansar lake will immediately make you feel big. It is nestled beneath 4 mountains.
Even though it is only 0.5km away, the Kishansar peak reflects in Lake Michigan. When the lake is still, reflections can be spectacular. The time of day and the number of clouds above the lake will affect the colour of the water. Clearwater is possible early in the morning before the sun shines. When the sun shines, the lake begins to change its colour. The water is completely blue on a sunny day. The water appears greenish-blue in the latter half of the day due to clouds and the evening sunlight. The lake is beautiful in any colour, and it’s worth seeing the beauty of it all.
These lakes are home to many trouts, making them a popular spot for trout fishing. For fishing, you will need a permit from Srinagar
Day 4: Day of Acclimatization and Rest Day at Vishansar
Day 05: Vishansar (12000ft) to Gadsar (12000ft), via Kishansar lake & Gadsar Pass (13,750ft).
- Altitude: (12,000ft to (12,000ft), via (13.750ft).
- 14kms Trek, approximately 10 Hours
- The trek starts earlier than usual.
- The trek takes you from Vishansar up to Gadsar.
- The trail ascends steeply from Vishansar to Gadsar Pass.
- On the way, we can see Kishansar Lake.
- We descend slowly from the Gadsar pass to the campsite.
- En route, we can see Gadsar lake.
- The Glacier of Gadsar Lake might also be visible.
- We will arrive at the campsite after passing Gadsar lake. It takes us 2 hours.
- We will be stopped by another army checkpoint just a few minutes from our campsite. They will ask for our ID proofs.
- Lunch will be provided
A steep 2-hour ascent is followed by a steep descend followed by a gentle stroll in the meadows. (5 hours, 10kms)
Next in the series is Kishansar lake. Only about half a kilometre away, the Kishansar lake is 500ft higher than Vishansar. The base of Kishansar’s peak is the Kishansar Lake. From the campsite, it takes approximately 45 minutes to reach Kishansar Lake. Cross the stream straight ahead and you will reach the campsite. On the right side, the trail climbs to the Vishansar lake. There are several tracks. The one that goes up offers a better view of the lake and meadow from a higher elevation, making it more appealing for photographers. Stick to the flatter trails if you prefer a more difficult trail. Although the lakes are only 1.2km apart, it is impossible to see them together. Kishansar also has a lot of blue. The meadow to its right is a large one. A sharply rising ridge line borders the lake and meadow on the far side. The Gadsar pass is located at the top end of the ridge.
Spend some time in the Kishansar meadows and take photos of the lake from different angles. Next, you will trek from the Kishansar lakeside to the top. The mountainside is marked by a thin pencil line. This is the track you should follow. You should always stick with the higher one, even if any of them takes you to the top. The climb to the summit of the ridge takes about an hour at a moderate pace. 45 minutes into the climb you’ll be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views you could ever imagine. The full view of both the Kishansar- and Vishansar lakes are available together. You can see the twin lakes until you reach the Pass or the ridge. This is known as the Gadsar Pass. Altitude 13,800ft This is the highest point of this trek. A long valley is visible on the opposite side of Gadsar Pass. There are 2-3 small lakes. A series of snow-clad peaks can be seen in the distance. These peaks are beyond our Line of Control. It is not unusual to find snow at Gadsar pass, as well as in the first part of the descent to the opposite side. It is easy to descend. The Yamsar lake is the first small lake to be seen on the left. Locals believe Yama is somehow associated with the lake. Beyond Yamsar, there is another lake without a name. You can descend another hour to flat meadows. The valley is narrower and has two ranges on either side. The multicoloured flowers that grow out of the green grass are striking. It begins with red and then moves to the blue and purple Iris flower.
You are very close to Gadsar when you are in the Blue Iris area. This is one of the most beautiful and pristine lakes on the trek. Gadsar can be found at the base of snow-clad cliffs. Blue flowers bloom on one side, while snow slabs from the mountain fall onto the lake on the opposite. The green valley is gently descending as you look ahead. The stream that flows from one lake to another, the Yamsir and Gadsar, is what connects them all. Gadsar can be found at 12,500ft. You can make Gadsar your campsite for its beauty, but only if it is possible to swear to keep the area as clean as you found it. Gadsar is not a campsite. A small abandoned military shelter is located near Gadsar.
If you don’t want to camp near Gadsar then the Gadsar army camps is the next location to camp. Keep going downhill from Gadsar until the valley widens in about half an hour. Look left for another blue lake. The snow-clad mountains are now giving way to lower barren mountains. It is now at a considerable elevation gain. A few Shepherd huts will be visible about half an hour further down the trail. Continue to descend and the army camp will be visible at the end. Gadsar army camp only houses 5-8 soldiers. The Headquarters must permit to move beyond the army camp. The Headquarters are located 3 miles away, near the village in the treeline. The Gadsar camp communicates via walkie-talkies with the Headquarters. The army has a satellite phone at the HQ. It is best to notify the Gadsar army camp as soon as you can if you are within their range. Their green signal takes about 2 hours to get through. All details, including original id cards, are recorded and collected.
Day 06: Gadsar (12000ft) to Satsar (12000ft).
- Altitude: 12,000 ft – 12,000ft
- 9kms Trek, approximately 6 hours.
- The trail is full of vibrant flowers from mid-July to mid-August.
- You will need to show your ID at another checkpoint of the army while you are on your way.
- We see two smaller lakes that are sometimes mistaken for Satsar Lakes.
- In the afternoon, we will visit the Satsar twin Lakes, which are approximately 1.3 h
- Mengen top is also known for Stasar twin lakes.
- These twin lakes can be found in the middle of the mountain.
After a gentle descent of 1 hour, there is a steep ascent of 3 hours. Then comes a flat meadow walk. (6 hours, 12kms) Turn left from the army camp towards the stream. The trail continues up the mountain and crosses the stream. The stream’s elevation is 10,600ft. Nearly 10kms from the Satsar camp, at 12,000ft is the Satsar camp. The easiest way to trek is to cross the stream. Crossing the stream is the easiest way to get your feet out of the cold water. If one makes it to the bridge, the climb up will be steeper. Continue on the trail up the mountain after crossing the stream. This trail looks much like a western ghat. It feels very similar. The tree line is just above you. Below you, trees and the river valley can be seen. You will climb 1100ft in an hour and a quarter. The climb becomes a traverse once you reach the 11,500ft elevation. The trail curves to the left, leaving the river valley. Now you are walking along a flat path that is surrounded by meadows and mountains. You will see a few deep craters to your right. Maengandob is the name of this area. The scene ahead is stunning. In front of you are isolated mountains. To the right, you will see a small ridge. Between is a flat, green bed with a stream running in the middle.
If Gadsar lake is your last camp, you can camp here. If you were in the army camp at the beginning, it is logical to travel a bit further today to camp near the first Satsar lakes. Satsar has 7 lakes. Depending on the season, you can find water in 4 to 5 lakes. The checkpoint of the Satsar army is located beyond the ridge to the right. This is the 3rd defence line from the LOC. This is where the ID collection, verification and questioning process continues. This will ensure that tomorrow’s trekking day is clean. The first Satsar lake is located just ten minutes from the army camp. It is quite large and beautiful in its natural setting of mountains in the front. You can camp at this spot for the entire day
Day 07: Satsar (12,500ft) to Gangabal twin Lakes (11,500ft).
- Altitude: 12,000 ft – 11,500 ft 13000
- 11kms Trek, approximately 6 Hours
- For approximately an hour, we walk on rocky trails and then ascend to Jazz Pass.
- The pass offers views of Mt. Harmukh with its glacier.
- We descend to the Gangbal lake, and then camp at Nandkol lake.
- We will visit Gangbal Lake, one of the largest lakes on the trek.
- After dinner, a group of Kashmiri staff members will perform traditional songs and dances.
Mild ascent, gradual descent, long steep ascent, steep descent, and gradual up-and-down walking. (6 hours, 9kms)
You can trek up and down the days, just like the whole trek. To reach the largest Satsar lake, trek up to half an hour from camp. It is a bouldery terrain and is more of an exercise in boulder hopping than anything else. The largest of the Satsar lakes, however, is also the final in the series. The trail begins to descend after the last lake. Continue on the main trail for about half an hour until you reach the forest line to your left. On the right side, you will see a ridgeline that is approximately 1000ft higher. It’s time to climb again. At the base of the climb, the elevation is 11,800ft. To climb to the top, use the zig-zag pony track. The 45-minute trek to the top of the first Ridge will take you there in 45 minutes with only brief breaks. There are two more ridges that you can climb once you reach the top. From the base to the top, the trail is rocky and barren. The Gujjar huts can be seen among the tall pines behind you if you look back at the mountains. It is easy to see the stark contrast between the barren mountains and the lush greenery on the opposite side. It takes approximately two hours to reach the summit of the third ridge. The altimeter shows a height of 13,400ft. The best thing about the ridge top is the amazing view.Both These tow lakes are situited next to each others. A stream moves water from one lake to another. Two more blue lakes can be seen if you look closely. Although the Gangabal is the largest of the group, the smaller lakes are not named. The Nundkol is its companion. Now you know where you are. It is located 1400ft below your feet. You will then ascend to the lake by going down a little more. Be sure to take photos of both sides, and be prepared for a steep, stony descent. You will reach either the Gangabal, or the Nundkol. While the ascent is dry, you will cross a stream halfway down. You can fill your empty bottles with cold water before you continue.
You will find green meadows again after a steep downhill for about an hour. Although the meadow isn’t very wide, it stretches from your left to your right. You can see the tree line again about a kilometer to your left. The lake shore can still be seen from a distance once you reach the base. Although the destination can be seen, it seems distant. You will reach Nundkol lake by a quick climb and shorter descent, as well as a stream crossing over a log bridge. This lake isn’t as clean as the others you visited on the trek. All around you can see remnants of campfires. Many people hike up from Naranag and Gangabal to go back for a weekend. They will regret not cleaning up after themselves the beautiful lakes. At the base of Harmukh’s peak is the Nundkhol Lake. The mountain’s rocky edge is home to the Harmukh glacier. The trout fishing is a specialty of the Nundkhol and Gangabal. Nundkhol is approximately 20 minutes from the Gangabal lake. The two lakes are connected by a fiery stream. To reach Gangabal from Nandkol, the stream must be crossed. Don’t try to cross the stream at lower levels, but instead go all the way up to Gangabal’s bank. On the right is a well-constructed bridge. Gangabal is enormous. One hour is enough to parikrama each of the lakes.
Day 08: Gangabal (11,500ft) to Naranag (7.450ft). Drive to Srinagar
- Altitude: 11500 ft to 7450 ft
- 15kms Trek, approximately 7 hours
- You will be walking down the trail until you reach Naranag. Please take care of your ankles and knees.
- You will be passing through the pine forest.
- TrekupIndia can arrange transportation to Srinagar for a fee if you make an advance booking.
- You will arrive in Srinagar at 6:30 pm after driving 70kms.
- Prepaid sim cards are not valid in Kashmir. Carry Postpaid Sim Cards.
- You will reach Srinagar on Day 8 between 6:30 and 7:30 PM. After 8 PM, you can book your travel.
Gradual descent, then steep descent. (6 hours, 11 kms)
You will be sore on your knees and toes from the long trek. Head down the stream towards the Gangabal campsite. Walk along the ridge to the right, not beside the stream. Your aircel phone may be able to see a glimpse of the network 30 minutes into your hike. You will descend to a flat green meadow to your right as the ridge ends. When you look back, the Harmukh peak is impressive. You walk gingerly in order to avoid getting stepped on the little yellow flowers that grow all around the green meadow. You will reach the fringes the tree line about an hour from the campsite. You can see the pine trees that line the meadows, as well as evidence of civilization such the existence of a log home. Don’t walk directly into the forest, but instead stay on the fringes of the forest and move towards the right. This trek is known for its characteristic: you don’t lose any altitude but climb a little. At the tree line, you drop to 10,800ft and climb back up to 11,000ft. You will never lose altitude for 6kms. As you make your way through the Pine forest, you’ll be at the 10,800ft mark. The true descent begins only after you have walked for about 2/3 of the distance. Now the descent is really steep. Through the pines, the trail becomes a well-worn, muddy path. You will drop more than 3000ft in the last 4kms. You will often see many people trekking up this route from Naranag, only going to Gangabal. Naranag is slowly approaching at 8500ft, but there are still many miles to go. It is a tough stretch, but you soon reach the village track with stone pavements. You will be on the main road to Narnag in no time.
Food Provided by Us During the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
We provide only Indian vegetarian food and mainly your meal is going to contain Indian bread, vegetable, lentils and Rice along with delicious dessert. During your trek, we will serve three meals a day including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the evening, you will also be served tea & snacks and lip-smacking soup before dinner. If it will be a long day of trekking, you will be given a packed snack.
After doing a lot of research on the nutritional requirements for the trekkers, we prepare the menu. Before putting all the meals together, we also consider altitude gained and weather.
The meal served by us while trek is perfectly balanced with the right amounts of calories, carbohydrates, vitamins, protein, fiber, and minerals. You need to know that all our cooks have great expertise in cooking and have undergone thorough training. So, get ready to enjoy delectable and lip-smacking dishes during your trek. You will be served with lemon tea in the tent in order to start your day with a refreshed feeling. Before leaving the campsite for trekking, you will be given a hot finger-licking breakfast like upma, Aallu Prantha, Besan Chilla, Poha, Daliya, Corn flakes, Maggie, along with tea or coffee.
In case, your trek will be longer one then we also offer some fresh local fruits such as apples and even healthy drinks like Frootie or Maaza. In the afternoon, you will be served simple & healthy lunch, while at around 04:00 pm, you will be given tea and a light evening breakfast. After you reach your campsite at night, you will be served a hot and delightful dinner. After reading this, you must have got the idea about the food provided by us on trek, you don’t need to worry about food. Many trekkers trek with us again and again because of the food we provide. Thus, we will definitely give you unforgettable experiences.
Safety During Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Trekking with us for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is completely safe because we have a team of trek leaders who are qualified in Wilderness first-aid and also have complete information about the high-altitude glitches. During Trek, we carry a complete first-aid kit that contains all the important medicines. Before trekking with us, you need to ensure that you are medically fit for the trek and if you are able to judge yourself then it is better to take advice from a professional. For us, your medical fitness is very important than anything else.
Know About Us:- You need to know that our company Trekup India has been in the field of Adventure Tourism for the last 23 years. Right from our inception, we have been involved in providing treks, voyage & hiking programs as well as high altitude expedition rafting.
We keep on organizing treks in Uttarakhand and Himachal, while being a part of the trekking community, we feature more than 75 Himalayan documented treks. Apart from other outdoor activities, our company also organizes trips for schools, colleges, and family.
We ensure complete technical safety in the mountain
Our company has a vast team of more than 100 guides, as well as trainers in order, serve in the mountain treks. One of the best things about our team is that all the members are trained professionally from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Indian mountaineering foundation Delhi as well as Hanifle Center Outdoor Education Mussoorie.
Therefore, we never believe in compromising on the quality as well as services offered to our valuable customers.
For Us, Your Safety Is the Top Priority
At Trekup India, you will find a team with local knowledge and fluency in English as well as Hindi. This helps in ensuring that you have an amazing trek and not only this, we also pay attention to your health as well as safety because this is something we cannot ignore. All the team leaders involved in trekking have already undergone several professional courses in First Aid, Portable Altitude Chamber Training, CPR, Environmental Awareness Training as well as Advanced Wilderness Emergency Medicine.
We also carry a complete first aid medical kit not only on the trek but on each and every trip which is organized by us. Apart from the medical kit, we carry a portable altitude chamber and medical oxygen for all kinds of high-altitude treks . Our company has great expertise in organizing all sorts of group adventure holidays for family groups, school & college groups as well as friend groups. When it comes to travel options, we have a wide range that suits different fitness levels as well as traveling styles.
Therefore, no matter who big the group size, we pay personal attention to each and every member present in the group.
How We Ensure That Your Trek Is Safe with Us
Right from our establishment, we at Trekup India, are continuously involved in introducing new safety practices into Indian trekking in order to ensure the safety of voyagers. For walking on snow, Trekpp India introduced Microspikes and also made emergency bottled oxygen mandatory for all kinds of treks. In order to test pulse as well as oxygen saturation levels, pulse oxymeters are used. As a safety communication device, we at TrekupIndia introduced radio.
Though we have noticed that most of the organizations organizing treks do not follow these systems but with time several competing companies are adopting these practices and organizing great and safe treks.
Explore our New Safety Protocols
In order to ensure a perfect Trek, we have introduced some new safety checks that will assure more safety for our trekkers.
Our On-trek safety checks includes:
- Daily oxygen saturation along with pulse readings
- Stretchers team appointed on every trek
- Trained mountain staff and full safety
- Additional oxygen cylinders
- Special medical kit for high altitude treks
- Microspikes on all types of snow treks
- Experienced Trek leaders as well as safety
- Technical team on all snowy slopes
What should you pack for the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?
Being an trekking, adventure & travel company, we get many questions from our trekkers and most common question that arises is what to carry or what should we pack for the trek? Sometime it becomes difficult to explain in details and therefore below we have prepared the detailed packing list, helpful for all trekkers coming to the Himalayas. Whenever we go on trek or start packing things one should remember the packing pattern i.e. either you start from head to foot or foot to head, this way there will be rare chance that you will forget the items to pack, so go step by step.
Make sure your backpack should be comfortable neither too big nor to small and for a week trek 60-70 liters of backpack should be enough to hold all your belongings. Ensure that your backpack has good hip & Shoulder support and pockets should be accessible quickly.
All trekkers should keep in mind that daypack is very important, this will be a great help to you while on trek, also every single day you won’t be carrying you backpack therefore for day excursion , shorter hikers, sightseeing you can carry your stuff in it.
- Trekking shoes: Preferably water proof, ankle support.
- Walking / Hiking sandals: This can be used off trek i.e. in the morning and evening hours, basically to get your feet rest from heavy boots, sometime used for crossing streams and rivers, it’s more comfortable and safe than crossing barefoot or wetting your boots.
- Sneakers (Optional): For normal driving days or can use around the camp
- Socks (3-4 Pairs) – Make sure to choose material wisely, it should be quick drying, warm and comfortable.
- Hiking / trekking jacket: Carry good quality layer jackets
- Hiking pants: Check some kind of long nylon blend, light and quick drying pants. Warm covers ups like fleece-lined tracksuit pants or ski pant.
- Undergarments as per your habitual requirement
- T-Shirts and Shorts (3-4 Warm comfortable)
- Ordinary Shirt / T-shirt – Just in case everything gets wet this will help for roaming around.
- Long Sleeve shirt – can be used as a base layer on colder days
- Socks – at least 4-5 pairs
- Leggings – Can be used specially chilling morning and evening , to keep your body warm
- Thermals – get 2 pairs of thermals, this will be great need a body to keep it warm.
- Buff / Balaclava – This is a must to carry to cover your neck and this item is an ideal solution to keep your neck / throat warm.
- Beanie Cap- Very helpful item for colder and windy days should carry 1, also sometime when its freezing cold you can use it a night as well.
- Hiking Hat- this will basically help during the day time specially from the sun rays, make sure it has a strip so that wind does not below is far from your headJ..
- Gloves – 01 pair will be enough to keep your hand warm and nice.
- Rain wears
- Rain Coat and Pant – Carry a pair of it to protect you from the rain OR
- Rain Poncho – during long rains, the waterproof jackets starts leaking but poncho does get work in keeping you dry, so choose accordingly.
- Rain covers: Some small water proof to cover your backpack and daypack as well for your gadgets.
- Gadgets and Electronic
- Trekking Poles
- Mobile phone
- Spare batteries for phone and camera, powerbank
- Light weight flash light or headlight
- Waterproof bag made up of plastic for camera
- Music system / Bluetooth
- Plug/converter for electrical items
- 1 liter water bottle
- Journal with pen would be good idea to keep your notes.
- Some book of your interest for ideal time
- Get into habit of keeping Map and guide book of the region.
- Hygiene & Personal toiletry
- Sunscreen with UV protection
- 1 or 2 small quick-drying towels
- Toilet paper/tissues/wet-wipes
- Toothbrush/toothpaste/ mouth freshener
- Deodorant / Talcum powder
- Sanitary pads/tampons (For female traveler)
- Bio gradable Soap
- Nail clipper
- Your other personal items that you use on daily basis
- Personal First aid Kit and Energy – below are some common medicine generally required / used during your adventure trip, however please consult your doctors prior.
- Antiseptic towel or water syringe (to clean the wound)
- Butterfly bandage for small cut
- Cotton and elastic bandages and sterile gauze pad for larger wounds
- Latex gloves used when its wound bleeds
- Medicine for Diarrhea (Upset stomach)
- Medicine for cold, flue / fever headache
- Some pain killers
- ORS pouches
- Quick pain relief spray (External use)
- Any personal medicine prescribed by your doctor
- Dimox / Similar for high altitude sickness
- Bug Repellent
- Carry some nutria / energy bars and drinks (non-alcoholic)
Note: Kindly consult your doctor before purchasing or taking any medicine.
9.Compulsory Documents to Carry
These are files needed to be submitted at Forest Department before ypur trek. With no of these, you will not be permitted to trek .Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Carry Id’s like adhaar, voter id, etc.
Important note: You can book rent gears, what you can rent & buy from us and what you need to get from your home town, make your bagpack easy not heavy.
Click the link: https://booking.trekupindia.com/rent-trekking-gears/
Now you are all set for your Adventure trip with Trekup India!!
Trek Cost Inclusion
- Stay is included on all days of the trek ( from sonmarg to naranaag ). You will be staying in tents (2 per tent).
- All meals from dinner at Sonmarg on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8 are included. Meals are simple, nutritious and vegetarian.
All the trek equipment will be included like a sleeping bag, kitchen & dining tent, utensils, mattress, tent, toilet tent, and crampon (if needed).
Note:- Tents and sleeping bags are custom made of Trekup India which are tested on high altitudes by our mountain expert trek team.
All the trek equipment will be included like a sleeping bag, kitchen & dining tent, utensils, mattress, tent, toilet tent, and crampon (if needed).
Note:- Tents and sleeping bags are custom made of Trekup India which are tested on high altitudes by our mountain expert trek team.
First aid medical kits, oxygen cylinder as well as stretcher.
Check our on trek safety protocol here.
- All the needed forest entry fees along with permits.
- Your trek will be led by a trained, experienced professional guides and trek leaders with a solid guiding background and trekking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking terrains.
Trek Cost Exclusion
- All kinds of personal expenditures are excluded.
- Anything that we have not mentioned avobe.
- The trek cost is not inclusive of meals bought during the journey on 1st day and last day. ( Food starts from dinner at base camp on day first till last day lunch ).
- Mules or porter charges to carry private baggage (Offload Charges for bag 360 per day, per bag. Note: bag weight should not be more than 11 kg.
- Any kind of emergency evacuation charges
- Transport charges from Sonmarg to Naranaag and return.
How To Reach Srinagar?
By Air:- Most air carriers such as Indian Airlines (www. Indian airlines.nic.in) Jet Airways (www.jetairways.com ) have regular flights to Srinagar. Getting to Srinagar by flight from New Delhi is considered the most conceivable.
By Train:- Jammu may be the closest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu railway station is nicely attached to other main towns in India by rail. Direct Rails are available from Delhi, Trivandrum, Bangalore and also Chennai.
By Bus:-Srinagar is connected through the National Highway 1A to all over the country. J & K transportation has regular comfy buses from Jammu. The Journey captures approximately ten hrs to arrive at Srinagar.