Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is the most popular trek of Kashmir Himalayas that contains the sparkling views of mountains and Lakes. This whole trek covers the seven beautiful Kashmir lakes. Four lakes out of seven are situated at the height and are surrounded by majestic mountains. You can also avail a chance to rest in between the alpine pastures of beautiful wild flowers. This trek is quite physical challenging and need full dedication of the trekker to finish it. You can enjoy the remoteness of Himalayan region by walking in the narrow lane between mountain on one side and the low valley on the other side.
About The Trekking in Kashmir
This trek takes full eight days to complete. Stat from Sonamarg that is situated at the base of Zozila Mountain you will reach the second point Shekdur. Shekdur is based on a plain meadow and is surrounded by silver birch trees from all around. You can place a camp for your night stay. Vishansar is the third place of your journey. After that, you will cross two beautiful lakes and will reach at Gasdsar Lake. Satsar Lake is the biggest of all lakes that you will view after Gasdsar Lake. Now you will have to climb to reach at Gangabal Lake. This place contains two mesmerizing lakes. Trout fishing at Gangabal is a new experience and every trekker delighted in doing this. Gadsar pass will be the next, and from here you will ascend for Gadsar Top. Gadsar top is the highest and the last point of your journey from where you can view the entire valley. You have to reverse your journey to finish your trekking adventure.
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Day 1 :- Arrive Srinagar, Drive to Sonamarg Night stay in Camp.
Day 2 :- Sonamarg (7,800ft) to Nichnai (11,500ft) via Shekdur Night stay in Camp.
Day 3 :- Nichnai (11,500ft) to Vishansar lake (12,00ft) Night stay in Camp.
Day 4 :- Acclimatization + Rest Day.
Day 5 :- Vishansar (12,000ft) to Gadsar(12,000ft) via Kishansar lake and Gadsar Pass (13,750ft) Night stay in Camp.
Day 6 :- Gadsar (12,000ft) to Satsar (12,000ft) Night stay in Camp.
Day 7 :- Satsar (12,000ft) to Gangabal twin lakes (11,500ft) Night stay in Camp.
Day 8 :- Gangabal (11,500ft) to Naranag (7,450ft) Drive to Srinagar Night stay in Camp.
Day 01: Reach Srinagar, Drive to Sonamarg. Night stay in Camp
You can reach Srinagar via different ways. Road will be the best approach for you if you have enough days in hands and want to enjoy this trip fullest. The road towards Srinagar passes between beautiful mountains, rivers and forests. Road will provide you the correct feel of the nature of the most astonishing place of India. When you will reach Srinagar, you have to hire a taxi that will take you to Sonamarg. The road of Sonamarg is filled with sharp turns, and it will be a thrilling experience for you.
The distance will cover in around three hours and this three hour ride will never be erased from your mind. When you reach Sonamarg, stay at guesthouse that encompass all the proper arrangements of night stay. Take some rest at the guesthouse, or you can roam around in the local market. At night, enjoy some local delicacies that will give you warmth and energy, essential to fight with cold weather.
Day 02: Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur
This is the starting day of your trek. You have to begin your journey at 8 am. After taking a ride for three km, you will reach a spot Dhaba. You will find it as the only place to eat and stock some packets of biscuits, drinking water, fruit juice and other consumable items for the rest of your journey.
Your trek will divert towards the right to Sindh River. This River flows in between the main road and the muddy track. The trail from here starts to ascend and after 10 minutes the road will bend to the left and enters a wide green pasture. This pasture after a gradual slope will take you to the top. You will find abundant of Maple and Pine trees as atmosphere here is best suited for these coniferous trees.
The route will climb down to a small stream. The trail will ascend soon, and you will witness the dense forest of Maple trees. Beneath your feet, you will experience the bed of grass, soft as cotton.
For the next two hours, the trail will continue side to side with the forest, and you will reach some villages. After climbing for some time, you can view the entire vista of Sonamarg Valley. At the top of the ridge, the maple forest will come to an end, and a meadow will appear with mild slopes going down at the other side of the ridge. Spend some time here and consume the natural beauty of Kashmir. The small brooks, the pastures, the pine forest, the maple forest and the entire valley of Sonamarg will create an astonishing picture, and this is only the starting, actual is yet to come.
Now, you do not have to ascend, the trail will climb down to pasture that is almost plain. The pasture is enclosed with the silver birch trees on left and with shepherd shelter in the west. On you right side, you will able to see small mountain peaks, covered with snow, this is place Shekdur. It is the perfect place for a campsite that is covered with bhoj trees. You will find it covered with only trees from every direction, and that makes this place beautiful, attractive and perfect to capture some photographs. It will take you 3 hours to cross the meadow and if you planned an early start and make Shekdur your first resting place, then the next would be Nichnai that is 2 hours away. You can have lunch at Shekdur and start your journey towards Nichnai.
After walking for an hour on the grass field, you will come to a river valley; this is the commencing point of Nichnai. Your track will turn to the right bank of the river that goes upstream. At present, you are walking behind the high peaks of Sonamarg Valley. The trek you are walking on is surrounded by mountains on both sides. The River flowing with you creates a lot of noise and makes it impossible to hear anything else. After sometime River flows past the valley and joins the Sindh River. You will walk over the rocks on uneven terrain, and it is quite tiring.
After walking for an hour on the rocky land, you will enter again in the flat grass field with an ongoing slope. You will view twin triangular peaks of snow covered mountains from far. This is the last campsite place for the day. Set-up your tent on an even ground and sleep tight at night as you need good sleep and the rest for upcoming days.
Day 03: Nichnai to Vishansar Lake
This day is going to be the most tiring day which is full of undulating walk and most scenic beauty of the trek. You should start up early as it will provide you the opportunity to inhale fresh and crisp air that will refresh you from outer, as well as the inner side. Your first plan of the day is to cross Nichnai pass. Walk for half an hour alongside the river then cross it from its left side. After walking for an hour on the left side of the river, you will witness that your track steeps, and now you have to climb the pass for another hour.
The trail you are walking on will turns two times and then Nichnai pass will come. You can view entire Sonamarg valley from the Nichnai pass. This pass is like a hollow tunnel situated in between rocky mountains from all sides. Located at the height of 13,500 feet, you can feel the altitude. From Nichnai pass, now, you will move downward. This track is uneven and rocky and soon you will feel that your legs are paining badly. Climbing down for an hour, you will enter into the grass fields. Filled with red wild flowers and a river flowing alongside is a treat to your eyes.
Walking on the plain is very easy and the cherry of the cake is the view of Himalayan Mountain at its full glory. Walk for another half an hour and Nichnai valley will come to end. You will see another stream flowing, this is the start of Vishankar Lake. Lake is positioned at the higher level and cannot be seen from here. You have to place your tent in order to take some rest. Vishankar Lake is situated 100 feet from your camp so you can spend a full day enjoying the bright sunshine. Take some rest and be prepared for next day expedition that is Gadsar.
Day 04: Acclimatization Day and Rest Day
You have gotten the full day to enjoy the beauty of Kashmir Lakes. After having a healthy breakfast, you can go to explore yourself. This day will acclimatize you against the harsh temperature and environmental conditions that will continue for the rest of the trek. You can avail this opportunity by getting familiar with the local culture. It will also facilitate you to get accustomed with the weather conditions of the Himalayan Mountains. You will find many beautiful, scenic scenes, and having some best shots with your camera, is the true utilization of the day. Your guide will inform you about the weather conditions of the place and will prepare you against any storm. At such height, climate is very unpredictable, so it is always recommended taking the advice of guide very seriously.
Night stay will provide you sufficient time to prepare for the further expedition.
Day 05: Vishansar – Kishansar Lake – Gadsar Pass – Gadsar Lake
Next lake is Gadsar Lake that is located at the Kishansar Lake region. The Kishansar Lake is present at the base of Kishansar peak. You will have to walk for 45 minutes, to reach at the Lake. The track climbs up from the right side of he Kishansar Lake.
After some time, the path will take you towards a ridge and at the edge of it is Gadsar pass. You can witness many beautiful pastures from here. The lane here is very narrow and will take you toward the top of the mountain. After walking for more than two hours, you will reach at the top point of the ridge. Along the way, at the midpoint, you can view most beautiful scenes of the trip where Vishanar and Kishansar were seen together. Follow the same path and meanwhile enjoy the beauty of the natural will take you to the Gadsar pass, the highest point of your trek of 8 days.
You will see some most astonishing views in between, many small lakes, snow clad path, many beautiful grass fields covered with red and white iris flowers. It all indicate that you are near your destination of the day. Gadsar is a snow clad cliff top where you can see snow from one side and blue flowers blooming from the other side. The altitude of the place is 12,500 from the sea level. There is no definite place to set a camp so you will have to stay at the army camp near Gadsar.
Day 06: Gadsar to Satsar
Your trek of the day will starts from the army camp and will turn left towards the stream. One path will head up to the mountains after crossing the stream. The Satsar is almost 10 km away from the present position and is situated at the height of 12,000 feet.
The trek towards the mountain looks identical to a western ghat trail. After walking for one and a half hour will take you to the height of 11,000 feet. Reaching at 11,500, your climb will slowly become a traverse. Your track will turn to the left leaving the river valley. You will walk on the meadow enclosed by mountain from all sides. Maengandob is the name of this place.
Satsar is the place where you will find 7 lakes combinedly. The water in the lakes depends on what time you are trekking, mostly you will find 5-6 lakes filled with water.
You will encounter an army check post after crossing the ridge. You will have to attain permission to continue ahead. The next 15 minutes of the walk from army check post will take you towards the first lake of Satsar. This place is simply the most beautiful and astonishing place. The first lake is quite big and looks mesmerizing in the green setting. At night you may have to fight with chilling winds, have a campfire and spend some time with your friends.
Day 07: Satsar to Gangabal twin lakes
Today, you need to walk for 9 km that will take around 6-7 hours to reach your destination. The path towards Gangabal goes up and down, and you start moving along to reach at the widest part of Satsar Lake. You have to continue your walk for the next half an hour to reach the forest line on your left hand side. On your right side, you will view a ridge located at the height of 1000 feet of your current position. At present, you are at the altitude of 11,800 feet. To reach at the top of the ridge, you will have to follow a zigzag path. After reaching at the top, you will have to climb two more ridges. The track is rocky and hard. At your back, you can see the small beautiful huts of Gujjar in between from pine trees. Experience the contrast of green and barren mountains standing tall beside each other.
From the top, the view is simply stunning. From here, you can see the two lakes lying next to each other. The biggest of all lakes Gangabal magnifies its serene beauty all around. The twin lake Nundkol lying just besides the first one; spread the aura of blue water all around. Lake Gangabal lies 1400 feet below from your present position, so you have to face the steep, stony descent downward.
In your way, you will meet a stream that will bring some smile on the tiring faces. Climbing down for another 40 minutes will lead you towards the greenery. Walking on it for one km, you will get a view of the tree line again.
Walk for some time, and now you will come across to Nundkol Lake. This lake is not as beautiful as you expected because all the travellers leaves their waste at this place. This lake is just below Harmukh peak. Gangabal Lake is 30 minutes walk from the Nundkol Lake. You will have to walk on the man made bridge reach your destination. Place a camp along the bank of the lake and enjoy the beauty while having some rest.
Day 08: Gangabal to Naranag
This day trek is very painful for your knees and ankle. From the Gangabal campsite, you have to head along the stream. It is always suggested walking along the ridge than stream. To your back, Harmukh peak will stand tall and huge and impressive. You can notice the green meadow covered with yellow colored flowers. Walking ahead, you will see some faces as some huts can be seen in the deep forest. Fro the next 6 km, you will not experience any gain in the altitude. The track will ascend gradually so it will not affect your speed. You will ascend from 10,800 feet to 11,000 feet while coming out from the forest region. By the end of the track, you will witness a sudden descent and will lose 3000 feet in next 4 km.
From this place, you can easily see the last destination of your trek- Naranag. The last round of rocky terrain will take you into a small and stony village of Naranag. You have to move ahead to reach at the main road of Naranag. It is the last place where you will find human faces, and after 6 days of trekking, it is a joyous thing. Naranag is situated at the lower altitude in comparison of the other places of this trek; therefore, people live here throughout the year. You can roam around to know about this village. Here, you can enjoy good Kashmiri food and a nice place to stay at night. Next day, you will find your cabs ready to take you back to Kashmir. From there, you can either board flight, train or bus to reach your homes.
How to Reach
How to Reach
By Air :-
Most major air carriers like Indian Airlines (www.indian-airlines.nic.in) Jet airways (www.jetairways.com) and Indigo operate daily flights to Srinagar. Reaching Srinagar by flight from New Delhi is the most convenient way.
By Train :-
Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu railway station is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.
Srinagar is linked by the National Highway 1A to the rest of the country. J & K state road transport operates comfortable buses from Jammu. The Journey takes about 10 hours to reach Srinagar.Cost Terms
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. Trek The Himalayas 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.
Srinagar Accommodation: The stay at Srinagar on the last day is not included in the trek fee. However we can assist you in booking a hotel or a houseboat for the same. Most participants opt for the Trek The Himalayas pick up – and we assume the same in your case. In case you do not want the Trek The Himalayas pick up, please let us know at least 15 days in advance to the start of the trek. Intimation is by email only at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note : Normally TTH expect to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you don’t want to carry your backpack so you can give it to porter, but you have to informe us in advance and have to pay Rs. 300/- extra per day per bag. To book a Trek/ adventure program please use our online booking form or, alternatively, you can call us on the given for confirmation of tour you have to wire a deposit and initial deposit.
Paying the Trek/ Adventure activity fee: The fee can be paid by online transfer/check deposit/ demand draft. Instruction for payment will be forwarded along with your confirmation email. When your transfer is done, please e-mail us a confirmation mail with your transfer details, so that we can follow up your reservation efficiently.
When to book: It is wise to make your booking at least two months in advance. However, if you want a good deal on your domestic/international flight, we recommend organising your trip at least five months in advance. (Please contact us if you require a late booking)
In the event of cancellation of trek/adventure activity services due to any avoidable / unavoidable reasons we must be notified of the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive advice in writing, and cancellation charges would be as follows: –
Cancellations prior to 24 days from the start of the trek
Book any other trek till one year or get 95% refund
(Note: If the trek charges are more, the balance needs to be paid by the trekker)
Cancellation between 24 days and 14 days to the start of the trek
Choose to go for the same trek, with any other batch, till year or get 70% refund
Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the trek
Choose to go on the same trek, in the same season, with any other batch or get 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 10 days to the start of the trek
Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend. No cash refund.
1)- Change of trek batch is dependent on the availability of seats in the batch.
2)- In case of transferring a trek to a friend, he/she should satisfy all the mandatory requirements put forward by TTH.
3)- TTH holds the right to change/cancel the policies, without prior notice.