Validating the Kashmir’s status as heaven on Earth, the trail to Kashmir Great Lakes takes you through lush green meadows dotted with colourful wildflowers, dense forests, clear lakes, steep uphill climbs across three mountain passes and challenging descents through rocky terrain. The innumerable lakes situated at high altitude mark the uniqueness of this trek.
Each day is postcard perfect, with a new alpine lake to look forward to and then there are lush green meadows which are stunningly beautiful.
Check out this photo story to know what it really means to trek the legendary valleys of Kashmir!
The trek begins from Shitkadi, which is a few kilometres ahead of Sonamarg. The Sindh River and Thajiwas glacier amidst the lush green surroundings add to the beauty of the place. You spend the night here on day 1.
You trek to Nichnai on day 2, which will be your first campsite at 11,500 feet. The beginning is a very steep climb that goes on for 3 hours and then a 1 hour moderate climb, followed by a 3-4 hour ascent to Nichnai. You walk through the dense forest of Maple trees, rocky terrains, and pretty meadows till you finally reach your destination.
Day 3 is quite special as you get to see first lake of the trek – Vishansar at 12,700 feet. It is a long walk on meadows with the scenery changing for the better all along. The campsite is situated on the base of a small hill, on the other side of which lies Vishansar Lake.
On day 4, you move towards Gadsar Pass, the highest point of this trek at an altitude of 13,800 ft. Watch the Vishansar Lake and Kishansar Lake shining brightly on the one side of the pass and spot the three hidden lakes of Gadsar on the other side.
On day 5, you start your journey by crossing the icy cold waters of the gushing streams and take the trail that goes up the mountain. Somewhere on the way, if you are lucky, you catch a glimpse of the mighty Nanga Parbat, which is the ninth highest mountain in the world. You walk through never-ending meadows till you finally reach your campsite at Satsar Lakes. Satsar is actually a collection of 7 lakes. Utilize the evening time to explore the Satsar Lake that sits hidden behind the huge mountain wall.
Get ready to witness one of the most amazing views of this trek on day 6. Jiz Pass is the last of three passes on Kashmir Great Lakes trek. Enjoy the view of twin lakes, Nandkul and Gangabal from 13,100 feet. Find a quiet corner, and let your soul relish the beauty that this place have to offer.
Day 7 is mostly descent. And a long, crazy, knee-hurting descent. The rock path and slippery sand will make the walk a bit exhausting. But when you finally reach the end, the sense of achievement at having completed the trek will make the pain worth it. You will reach Naranag today after walking 11 kms and Srinagar is a just 3 hour car ride away.
There’s no doubt that the Kashmir Great Lakes tops the chart of most beautiful treks in India. Do remember to look up at night to witness the Milky Way. If you’re lucky, the sky will remain clear on all the seven nights.
So what are you waiting for? Head out to Kashmir Great Lakes and witness the mesmerizing view of amazing lakes and open valley for yourself.
Click here to check out one of the most beautiful treks in India, Tarsar Marsar!