KASHMIR GREAT LAKES

7 Days

Kashmir is fascinating trekkers and mountaineers from all over the world and has got the title of  “ Paradise on earth ”. Kashmir great lakes trek is the most beautiful trek of the Indian Himalayas due to its vast green meadows, snow-covered mountain peaks, and amazing alpine lakes.

There are more than 2000 Alpine lakes in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the majority of them reside in the Kashmir valley but all of them are not meant for trekking purposes due to a number of reasons.

This awesome adventure starts from an elevation of 2700 m ASL and provides spectacular views of the alpine landscape from the start.  The Kashmir great lakes trek will take you through the recurring views of pine forests, meadows covered with wildflowers, snow-capped mountains in the background, and witnessing the 7 breathtaking alpine lakes is the tag for Kashmir great lakes trek.

Overview

Himalayan landscapes reflect a luminosity that is not present on the plains.  Kashmir great lakes trek is full of psychedelic scenes of mountains peaks, meadows, and feelings of distant planet emerges from the heart while witnessing the sunrise and dawn breaking over the alpine lakes. After crossing the tree line at an elevation of 2000 meters the route of the great lakes trek provide amazing views of cliff valleys, glaciers views with sweet flowing water streams, and the meadows which are full of wildflowers. Great lakes trek is listed among the 5 best treks of India and is permitted for trekking purposes during the right season only by the Department of Tourism Jammu and Kashmir. The popular trails heads for great lakes trek are Naranag and Sonamarg. If you are gonna start trek from Naranag (closest village to this trekking trail), it will end up at Sonamarg and vice versa. We the team of Himalayan Bird offer you an amazing all-inclusive trekking deal for this trek with fixed group departures apart from that we operate private treks on the trail throughout the season.

KASHMIR GREAT LAKES

  • KASHMIR GREAT LAKES
  • KASHMIR ALPINE LAKES

Itinerary

The beautiful trek to Kashmir great lakes starts from Srinagar, where you arrive on your own. We have made things easier for guests, we are ready to pick you up from the Srinagar airport or Srinagar (Tourist Reception Centre). The pick and drop facility is included in the package for the fixed group departure dates and for private treks too. Getting to the basecamp of the trek through the banks of Dal Lake Srinagar and through the banks of River Sindh. It usually takes up to 4 hours to cover the distance of 80kms (50 Miles).
The elevation of KGL basecamp at Sonamarg is 2700 m ASL. The landscape of the first camping site is full of wilderness and helps for acclimatization too. Enjoying the mesmerizing views of Thajwas Glacier and Sonamarg meadow reminds the fact that, Kashmir is fully photogenic. The day will end up with delicious meals and trekkers are advised to sleep before 10 PM. Taking proper sleep and getting up fresh for another day of adventure.

This awesome mountain journey starts from the popular and trending hill station which is Sonamarg. The first day of the trek is the easiest part of the trail. Our campsite for the Kashmir Great lakes trek is located at an elevation of 2500 meters above sea level on the banks of Sind river Sonamarg. Heading towards Shekdur, With the gradual ascent of one hour, we will be touching the tree line of pine forests. While looking behind an amazing panoramic view of Sonamarg, Tajiwas Glacier and surrounding snow-capped mountains make the view magnificent. The route seems to get to an end in between the tree line.

A narrow ridge that takes 30 minutes from its left corner to get into the beautiful meadow of Shekdur. This place is surrounded by different types of tree species like Birch ( Bhoj Patra), Boxwood (Shamshad), Deodar (Cedar), and Dogwood. This meadow is been used by gypsies and local shepherds for pasturing during summers. The gypsy houses and tents could be seen around the meadow. This mountain spot is a beautiful camping site too and by omission, the place is named Tabletop but in actual the name is given to the summit of the mountain nearby. Taking our early lunch break in this beautiful landscape makes the day memorable.

Acclimatization is one of the reasons to stay overnight at Nichnai. Right after breakfast, we will be climbing towards Nichnai pass (4116 m) which is the second-highest pass of the great lakes trek. During the trek, we could spot the gateway of the Greater Himalayas which is Zoljilla Peak (3,528 m).

The trek from the camping site starts with a normal walk of 30 minutes and a moderate steep ascend of 180 minutes to get over the pass. The terrain towards pass is not too rough but due to high altitude and steepness in the up climb, it needs more push. The water stream of Nichnai comes to an end and the mind blowing view of lofty snow peaks provides the sense of the ore. The toughest part of the trek is over and we are at the elevation of 4114.8 MAMSL. (13500 feet.) The Herd of sheep grazing on slopes, small meadows, gypsy houses, and the mountain range of Zanskar is visible from Nichnai pass. This spot is named also Maggie point and the best match to relax, eat, and experience joyful views.
After crossing the pass the route turns right. Itis time to descend for the next 30 minutes with 2 hours of normal walk to cross the Valley of Vishansar Lake. The mountain peaks of this beautiful landscape remain under the convoy of clouds most of the time. A number of small snow-fed waterfalls mingle and form a crystal clear water stream that connects to the outflow of 2 great lakes. Small pebbles and stones fall down occasionally, due to the footsteps of folks of sheep and goats, grazing on the steep grass-covered slopes. Standing and walking in the valley of spiky mountain peaks fills the trek with the real wilderness. Walking parallel to the water stream will lead us to our campsite of Vishansar and Krishansar Lakes. Right after taking some rest, we will be exploring the Vishansar Lake which takes just 15 minutes from the camp.

Next to this Lake, there is another lake named Krishansar, the lake is triangular in shape and is 2 times bigger than Vishansar Lake. These lakes are the main sources of the Kishanganga river. In between a major river flowing from Dras, Kargil joins the stream and changes it to one of the biggest hydroelectric power-generating rivers of India. The river later enters Pakistan and called with the name of the Neelum river. Such giant water resources are building blocks for vegetation, drinking water, hydroelectricity for a huge human population.

The Kashmir great lakes trek is considered a moderate + difficult trek but also trek itinerary does have a direct impact on your physical stamina. Camping a full day and 2 nights at two great lakes is enough time to acclimatize and explore. One more step from us which makes your trekking more moderate is that your rucksack (10-15 kg ) is being carried out by horses during the whole trail.

Today is going to be more amazing and adventurous. We are at the elevation of 3600 meters and getting to Gadsar pass (Elevation – 4200 meter) is the first part of today’s trek. ( In the Kashmiri language ” Gad ” means Fish and “ Sar “ means High altitude water body). Starting the trek with a normal walk of 30 minutes and 90 minutes of a steep climb up to the top of Bari (“ Pass” ). On every step towards the ridge, the view of the beautiful mountain range gets bigger and adds a new thrill to the adventure.
The most epic and popular view of the great lakes trail is from Gadsar pass. Two green bluish alpine lakes ( Vishansar and Krishansar ) in the lap of snow-capped peaks with the view of cliff valleys and snow dotted slopes in the background provide a breathtaking panoramic view. Such epic views of alpine landscapes are no were found in the whole world.

Satsar Lake trek is a group of 7 lakes small alpine lakes. Few of the lakes get dry right after the glaciers around the lakes are melted away. During the month of July and August, 3 to 4 lakes could be seen easily. Starting the trek from Gadsar campsite with 90 minutes of steep ascent followed by 1 hour of a normal walk. The terrain while descending towards Satsar Lake produces the sound of flowing water but water cant be seen but only heard. In actuality, the water flows beneath the rocks and this place is named Dubta Pani. This part of the Kashmir great lakes trek differs in landscape and looks similar to western gahts.
The trail bends and forms a traverse to a small valley known as Mengondob, leaving the river of Menandob behind will take us to Satsar Lakes. The Lakes are providing different scenic views which depend on the season. During the month of June and July, the mountains are partially covered with snow which adds glory to the Valley but very few trekkers trek during this season. When it comes to flora, Kashmir’s great lakes trek always remains with wildflowers and a number of herbal plants from the time snow melts till the end of September. Exploring Satsar Lakes right after providing identity proof at Satsar Amry Camp ( 3rd line of control ). Our campsite is going to be an isolated valley of Satsar Valley and getting free after delicious having delicious meals. Tomorrow is going to an epic day of adventure, clear sky can give us chances to spot the 8000 m Peak of Nanga Parbat from Zajiball Top. Get free after dinner and proper rest will keep you ready for another day of adventure.

Waking up in this part of the Himalayan region is an adventure in itself and today is gonna be an epic day of the trek. Getting to Zojiball top from the Satsar campsite will take up to 3 – 4 hours which starts with a gradual ascent and descends with a steep ascent. The 40 percent of trek terrain is tricky and needs a little bit more push. Going through boulder walk and gaining altitude through the rough rocky mountain ridges. Going through zigzag routes over ridges will take you to the summit. The view is mesmerizing from the summit of the Zojiball, a mind-blowing view of two alpine lakes Nundkhol and Gangabal Lake in the lap of Mount Harmukh 5146 m ASL.

Once you are on the top Zojiball, the trekkers will have the chance to spot one among 8000 m mountain peaks of the world which is Nangaparbat 8126 m ASL using Binoculars. After taking a rest at the top and enjoying 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape it time for a steep descend of 50 minutes with a gradual descent of 30 minutes. Our campsite for tonight will be on the banks of Gangabal Lake with a giant mountain in the front. The temperature remains around 7 degrees Celcius (44 degrees Fahrenheit ). The campsite provides options for a campfire in good weather conditions, it is not uncommon to rain in the Valley of Harmukh during the late evening. We are at an elevation of 3500 meters and camping next to the lakes provides a fantastic camping experience with the real wilderness of the Himalayas.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek provides a lifetime adventure experience with picturizing views of Valleys, mountain passes, alpine lakes, cascading waterfalls with exotic wildflower beds. Kashmir Great Lakes but it does have great history too. In 1856 by members of the Great Trigonometric Survey led by Thomas Montgomerie, Mt. Harmukh was climbed for the first time. Montgomerie and other British Climbers made the first survey of the Karakoram mountain range from the summit of this mountain. The climbers sketched the two most prominent peaks, labeling them K1 (Masherbrum) and K2 about 130 miles ( 210 km) to the north of Mt. Harmukh. The surroundings mountains had been part of early climbing expeditions even when Tenzing Norgay wasn’t born. During this period of time, advanced mountaineering was just about conquering 4000 and 5000 m peaks.

Descending through the slopes of Mt.Harmukh towards Trundkhol meadow is the easiest part of the whole trek. The meadow of Trundkhol is pasturing mountain land for nearby Gujjar tribes and Shepherds. A number of gypsy houses and a Hut of the Department of Forest Protection will pass through the trek. Facing the Amry Camp while getting to the end of the meadow where we need to provide our identity information. Right after the Amry camp, we will enter the tree line at the elevation of 2950 m. For the next 40 minutes, the trekking route is moderate normal decent and provides a broad view of alpine valleys and glaciers. There are a number of small waterfalls on the route which could be used as a drinking water resource. The Gangabal route remains busy with gypsies grazing their cattle and transporting their needs on horses. The route makes turn through the forest and takes you to a small meadow which is actually Budhseri top. At this mountain spot, a Tea stall is set up during the summers where Maggie, Tea/Coffee, and Snacks are available.

INCLUDES/EXCLUDES

INCLUDES

  • 3 Delicious meals, Tea/Coffee and Refreshments.
  • Twin Sharing Dome Tents.
  • Dinning Tents.
  • Changing Tent.
  • First Aid + BLS.
  • 360 Trek Insurance
  • Sleeping bags (-8) and Sleeping Pads.
  • Trekking and forest permits.
  • Pro Trek Leader and guides.

EXCLUDES

  • Any other item not mentioned in inclusion.

FAQ

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation of any expedition/trek/tour must be notified immediately by writing an email to echoradventures@gmail.com. The cancellation of the trek will take place only after receiving a cancellation mail from your end.
  • For any cancellation requested 40 days prior to the first day of any expedition/trek/tour, the full amount will be refunded with 10% of the amount deducted as a processing fee.
  • For any cancellation requested between 40 to 30 days prior to the first day of expedition/trek/tour, only 50% of the amount will be refunded without any processing fee deduction.
  • If cancellation is requested 30 days prior to the first day of expedition/trek/tour, there will be no refund.
  • The rates/fees for the trek once decided will remain the same; however, if the group size is decreased from the client end, the trek fees may vary.
  • In case of any untoward situation like a natural disaster, national emergency, terrorist activity, adverse weather conditions, or any other unforeseen situations, the refund may or may not be entertained which will solely be upon ECHOR ADVENTURES to decide.

Medical Fitness for Great Lakes Trek

  • Trekkers must get a recommendation from a registered medical officer/institute; getting a medical certificate is a must before embarking on an expedition/trekking. If you suffer from severe lung/heart/muscle disorders or any disease that can turn fatal, you are advised not to take any expedition/trekking with us.
  • In case you lack the required fitness, or are suffering from diseases that have the potential of becoming fatal in the mountains/ high altitude, ECHOR ADVENTURES reserves the right to bar your participation from any expedition/trekking without any refund/compensation

Travel Insurance

  • Trekkers/Guests are advised to have travel insurance cover. Our prices/fees don’t cover insurance or any other travel cover. Your travel insurance must cover accidents, injury, illness, and death medical expenses including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, emergency repatriation including helicopter rescue and air ambulance where applicable, and personal liability.

Promotional Material And Identity Proof

  • ECHOR ADVENTURES reserves the right to take photographs/videos of participants and use them for any marketing/promotional activity. Any objection should be sent in writing before the commencement of any expedition/trek with us.
  • Please carry valid Identity Proof. A valid passport and visa for all the tourists from outside India, and for Indians a valid identity proof preferably Aadhaar Card.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

KASHMIR GREAT LAKES
From ₹15,500 ₹15,500
/ Adult