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Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Max Altitude

13,750 FT

Grade

Moderate To Difficult

Duration

8 Days

Trekking KM.

72 KM

Suitable for:15+ years.
Experience:First timer can apply, previous trekking experience is more appreciated.
Fitness:Cover 6 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.

15,500 /Person

  • +5% GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Sonmarg to Naranaag
  • Camping (Twin sharing)

Overview

Trek Info


  • Trail TypeA cross over trail through passes. The trek starts at Sonmarg and ends at Naranag
  • Rail HeadJammu is the nearest rail head to the base camp
  • AirportSrinagar airport
  • Base CampSonamarg (90 kms drive from Shrinagar, approx 3 hours)
  • Best Season
    • Monsoon Treks (July, August)
  • Snow More snow in the months of July
  • Services fromSonamarg to Naranag
  • MealsMeals while on trek & at Hotel/Guesthouse (Veg & Eggs)
  • StayCamping (Twin sharing) & Hotel/Guesthouse


  • Region - Jammu and Kashmir
  • Duration - 8 Days
  • Grade - Moderate To Difficult
  • Max Altitude - 13750 Ft.
  • Approx Trekking Km - 72 Kms.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is in no need of an introductory treatise. It presents the proem in itself. You can draw a preface of it by just hearing its name. Kashmir is a wonderful place and if you are on a himalayan trek you are bound to taste the natural beauty and adventure. The trek to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek offers a lifetime experience of vintage memories that are so wonderfully tiring. The thundering silence of the Kashmir lakes and its virgin beauty is spell bound. Apart from the lakes, even the barren milky snow clad mountains stand out in might and proud.

The location of this trek, as obvious, is Kashmir, also known as the paradise of the earth. The trek duration calculates around 7-9 days and this trek is often graded as moderate in regards to the trekking challenges. The elevation circles around 13000 feet and the distance paths approximately 63 kms. On such a fulfilling trek you will learn so much learn about yourself- in a trifecta – physically, mentally and emotionally. For a trekker, nothing can replace and prepare him for those paramount and conflicting emotions that whether his body will take so much of strain and whether he will make it or not. But the joy on reaching the destination is obvious. This trek will always be happy and a cherishing trek for the trekkers that comes in handy with a few preparations.

As the trek to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek demands physical fitness, you must take good care of your health, shape yourself well and be fit and fine. Trekkers can train themselves by working out regularly in gym along with running, walking on incline, cycling, cross-training and stretching on a daily basis. Along with physical health mental fitness is important equally.

Coming to the details of the trek, it generally starts from almost 3 kms out of Sonamarg, on the Srinagar road. You can find few dhabbas on your way. Its better to the trekkers to pick up short eats here for the next trace of a dwelling place will be at Naranag that would be probably mark the end of the track.

A few of the trail and the trek enters a green meadow, overlooking the Sonamarg town. At the top of the meadows trekkers reach the starting line of Maple and Pine trees. What follows is a lovey-dovey deep dense forest of Maple trees. Such an experience has always been unique to this trek in India.

You will always be amongst the meadows throughout this trek. The best time to enjoy the Kashmir Great Lakes trek is in between the June and September as the greenery and the blooming flowers are at their best during this calendar period. Its so that a beginner in trekking can also join this trek.

Trailing through the Maple trees uphill, trekkers can enjoy the crystal clear view of the nearby villages downhill and especially the Sonamarg village. Every bit of nature nestles to make a wonderful picture. From here the trail slopes down into yet another meadow lined by the Silver Birch trees and a few shepherd huts. Massively tiny brooks struggling through the meadows and snowy peaks of small mountains mark the land of Shekdur. Shekdur is the only camp site with trees on this trek. It is therefore an add-on in your clicks. The sun rays piercing through the forest, that comes on your way, on further trailing, makes it a nice show of dark and light. Further the trail climbs back into a river valley which is the beginning of Nichanai. You have entered into a wide valley encompassed by the peaks.

After crossing a tunnel-like Nichnai pass followed up by the miles spreading meadow and the cascading waterfall with the icy cold composition of two atoms of Hydrogen and one atom of Oxygen, comes the Vishansar Lake. The first impression that the lake imposes upon the trekker is that of its volume and surrounding provided by the four mountains. It is been followed up by the Kishansar Lake which is only at a distance of 1.2 kms. It has a big meadow stretching by its side. The trail follows up through a ridge. You can see the loveliest view of the two gone-by lakes together from the Gadsar pass which is the highest point of this trek.

Then the time comes to descend. On the way back, the eye captures the view of Yamsir Lake, the nameless lake and the Gadsar Lake which are all connected by all stream. Further you will come to a place called Maengandob where few deep craters are found. The landscape ahead is magnificent for you get to visit Satsar Lakes-collection of seven Lakes and further the twin lakes among which the bigger is the Gangabal and the other one to arrive is Nundkol. On your last destination two Naranag, you are greeted with awe-inspiring glaciers, meadows as well as mountain peaks.

The trek to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek will provide to the trekkers a perfect flavour of all hues of terrain- innumerable meadows, snow clad glaciers and pinnacles, passes, rocky barren lands, struggling streams. The trail to the Great Lakes is worth trekking. It does justice to all the expectations of a trekker. No individual will ever undergo but this trek will make you undergo. It is a path to heaven and its virgin serenity.

While trekking, trekkers must be equipped with the necessary equipments. Apart from the professional trekking gear, stuffs inclusive of trekking shoes, trekking pole are important specifically. Trekkers must never compromise with their body requirements. Its better to understand your body need and not going by the choice of some other fella. The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is not a childs game but even a child of ten years can go on this trek. The luggage or the carry bag should be as light as possible. It will be in your comfort.

Who can participate

    • Age; 15 years.
    • Experience of any high altitude trek, at least 1 treks of 4,000m/13,100ft.
    • The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.
    • The climber should be able to carry a 12-16 kg backpack.

     

    Note:-

    • Junior trekkers (below 15 years) should have a company of parent/guardian.
    • Trekkers between 15 to 18 years can come solo with the disclaimer form signed by parent/guardian.

     

    Health Awareness

    • Pulse rate at rest must be in between (60 to 90 beats per minute)
    • Blood Pressure Reading must be in between (DIASTOLIC 75 – 85, SYSTOLIC 100 - 130 mm Hg)
    • Respiratory rate at rest must be in between (12 to 20 breaths per minute)
    • Should not have Liver and kidney issues
    • Should not have Diabetes Mellitus, Bronchial Asthma, Epilepsy, Heart problems, Very High blood pressure etc
    • No pacemaker implant

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive at Sonamarg
    • Altitude: 2400m/7800 ft
    • 90 kms drive from Shrinagar, approx 3 hours.
    • If booked in advance, TTH can arrange pick up from Nishant Garden in Srinagar
    • Our campsite is near the Sindh river (Shitkadi Village).
    • Since there are no shops around ensure that you have all that you need already.
    • Remember to carry your ID proof in original and 2 photo copies as we have to submit them at the army check post.

Depart to Sonamarg in the afternoon. It is 3 hrs drive from Srinagar.

Day 2 : Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur.
    • Altitude: 3,500m/ 11,500 ft
    • 11 kms trek, approx 8 hours
    • Altitude Gain:- 1,100m/3,700ft
    • After the breakfast we trek to Nichnai via Shekdur.
    • The trail takes you through meadows, dense forests with Maple, Pine and Bhoj trees.
    • After approx half an hour, we get an army check post where we have to submit our ID proofs.
    • While you are at it, you can enjoy an awesome view of the Sonmarg Valley or the Thajiwas Glacier.
    • The trek from Shitkadi to Shekdur is goes through thick forests of pine trees and will take approx 2 and half hours.
    • At Shekdur, you can indulge in instant noodles and an omelette if you wish to.
    • We follow the Nichnai Stream as we trek from Shekdur to Nichnai.
    • We have lunch at the Nichnai stream, after Shekdur.

3 hour ascent followed by 1 hour descent and finally a gentle ascent to Nichnai (6 hours, 9kms)

The trek starts 3 kms out of Sonamarg, on the Srinagar road. Exactly at the 3 km mark, spot a lone Dhaba on the right. The place also sells packaged water, biscuits etc and is your last place to pick up short eats. The next trace of dwelling civilization is only at Naranag at the end of the trek.

A jeep track diverts to the right off the main road at the shop. The track goes down to the level of the Sindh river flows in between the mud track and the main road. The trekking trail starts along the track but quickly diverts higher up. 10 minutes into the trek, the trail bends left and enters a green meadow. The meadow directly overlooks the Sonamarg town. In half an hour you are at the top of the meadow where Maple and Pine trees start. At the tree line, the trail quickly descends to a tiny brook and then climbs again. What follows next is a lovely dense forest of Maple trees. Walking on the green bed of grass amidst the Maples is an experience unique to Kashmir in India.

For the next hour and a half, the trail winds up through the Maple trees. Stick to the trail heading uphill as the ones going down head to some of the nearby villages. The trees give way to clearings in between. Turn around and see the view of the Sonamarg valley which gets better and fuller as you gain height. The Maple forest ends at the top of the ridge and the other side a meadow gently slopes down. Spend a few moments at the ridge taking in the views of the Sonamarg and its neighboring valley. The streams, the meadows, the pines and the town nestled make a wonderful picture. The climb is now over and the trail slopes down into a meadow. The meadow is lined on the left by Silver Birch trees and a few shepherd huts. The carpet of green rolls down from the trees to the end of the 40ft wide meadow. Small brooks which cross the meadow serve as water sources. On the right are small peaks with snow powdered on top of them. This is Shekdur. If you plan to have a short days trek on day one, this is where you pitch your tents for the day. It takes an average trekker about 2 1/2 hours to reach the meadow from the road head and add another half an hour if you decide to break the days trek at the end of the meadow.

Shekdur is a beautiful campsite surrounded by Bhoj trees. This is the only campsite with trees on this trek and therefore adds a good variety to your moments and photographs. If you have started from Srinagar in the morning, make Shekdur your first camp. The next campsite Nichnai is atleast 2 more hours away.

If you started from Sonamarg, Shekdur, just three hours into the trek is too early to camp. Have lunch at the meadows and move ahead to Nichnai. The meadow of Shekdur stretches for half an hour. The gentle descent on the meadow ends in a forest of Bhoj or Silver Birch. Take the trail that goes in the middle of the forest and continue to descend gently. Watch out for the sun rays making their way in between the thick foliage making it a nice show of light and dark.

In 45 minutes, you reach the end of the Birch trees and the trail goes down and climbs back into a river valley. The river valley is the beginning of Nichanai. The trail now is along the right bank of the river going upstream. Look behind to see snow clad peaks from Sonamarg valley. You are now in wide valley but enclosed by mountains on either side. The river, which joins the Sindh eventually flows in speed through the valley. The first 30 minutes is over rocks and your mules will walk very slowly over here.

An hour into the river valley green patches devoid of rocks open up. The river valley widens and you can see the green meadow widening in between the two mountain ranges. Far ahead lie triangular twin snow clad peaks. Choose a flat ground to pitch tents and end the first days trek.

Day 3 : Nichnai to Vishansar lake
    • Altitude: 3,650m/ 12,000ft via 4,000m/13100 ft
    • 12 kms trek, approx 7 hours
    • Trek from Nichnai to Nichnai Pass is of approx 1 and half hours ascent.
    • At the top of Nichnai Pass you can get B.S.N.L network, which is the last point under mobile coverage area.
    • From Nichnai pass to Vishansar there is a descent.
    • At Vishansar campsite, lunch will be offered.
    • We can visit the Vishansar Lake which is just 15 minutes walk from the campsite
    • The first lake of the trek and one of the most beautiful ones.
    • If the trek is in July, the lake will be frozen. Otherwise, we can do fishing at the lake with permission from Srinagar Fishing Department.
    • Vishansar is visited by hoards of sheep and their shepherds are known for interesting stories.
    • The campsite is a unique place with an open ground and you can play volleyball, cricket etc.
    • Beware of dogs at campsite

Medium climb to Nichnai pass 13,100ft. Small descent followed by a long flat meadow walk ending near Vishansar Lake. (12 kms, 6 hours).

The days trek is a long walk on meadows with the scenery changing for the better all along. Start by 8 am to give you enough time en route to enjoy the meadows. Your first destination for the day is to cross the Nichnai pass or Vishansar Berry. The pass is visible at a distance from the campsite. It lies just to the right of the twin snow clad peaks. After half an hour of walking along the river, cross the river to move to its left bank. The next one hour, walk on the left bank. Notice that the trail slowly starts ascending as you traverse through the meadow. The following one hour is a climb to the pass.

As you climb, notic e a small lake at the foot of the mountains. The lake is deep blue in colour and you can sense your expectations raising of the main lakes to come on this trek. The pass is deceptive. The ridge seen from the meadow below is not the pass. The trail turns inwards twice and only then does the Nichnai pass come up. From the Nichanai pass, watch the Sonamarg valley and the trail you came from. BSNL phone network tends to work here most times. This is the last point on the trek where you get phone network. The next sign of network is only when you move beyond Gangabal.

The Nichnai pass feels like a wide tunnel. On the left stand a series of snow clad peaks. There are no peaks on the right but the land raises on the right too. Nichnai pass is at an altitude of 13,100 ft. You are just into your second day of the trek and this by any standard is a very fast ascent. It is not uncommon for people to feel the altitude on the climb to Nichnai pass. The good news is that the trail descends from here on. The rocky trail descends rapidly. In the next hour the rocks give way to grass. Red flowers spring out next to your feet. What you see ahead is a wide green meadow stretching for miles with mountains lining the sides. A new river flows down from the pass into the meadow ahead.

Stop here and take in the view of the peaks, the river below and the flowery meadow. Notice to your left a big waterfall splashing down the mountain cliff and joining the river. From the waterfall, the rapid descent ends and you are now walking through the flat wide meadow. On the left are the classic snow clad Himalayan mountains but notice on your right, grey and barren mountains resembling the Ladakh ranges. Walk along in between the two ranges over the lush green carpet of grass. Two main streams flow through the valley. Stick close to the stream on the left. In half an hour, brace yourselves for another stream crossing for the day. The water is icy cold.

Continue in the meadow for an hour and a half until you reach the end of the valley. Another stream flows perpendicularly from your left to your right. This stream originates at the Vishansar lake which is a bit higher on your left. The lake is not seen yet and cannot be seen from the campsite. Pitch your tents anywhere beside the stream coming from the lake. There is ample camping space. The Vishansar lake lies half a km to the left and 100ft higher from the campsite. Head left and follow the stream without crossing it. The lake is two mounds away and takes about 7 minutes to reach. The first impression you get on seeing the Vishansar lake is that it is big. It lies nestled below 4 mountains.

The Kishansar peak though 0.5 km away, reflects in the lake. The reflections are wonderful when the lake is still. The color of the lake depends on the time of the day and the clouds in the sky. Early in the morning, before the sun really shines, expect clear colorless water. The lake starts getting its colors when the sun shines. On a clear sunny morning, the water is absolutely blue. Clouds and the evening sun make it look greenish blue in the later half of the day. Whatever be the color the lake looks wonderful and it is worth catching a glimpse of the lake in all its hues.

These lakes are full of trouts and trout fishing is popular. Obtain a permit from Srinagar for fishing.

Day 4 : Acclimatization + Rest Day. (Condition Apply)
    • You may visit Kishansar lake, which is at approx 1 and half kms from our camp site.
    • If the weather is not good we will use acclimatization day at vishansar or else move towards next camp site, rest day can be use at Gangbal camp site.

-

Day 5 : Vishansar lake to Gadsar via Gadsar Pass
    • Altitude:3,650m/ 12,000ft via 4,200m/ 13,750ft
    • 14 kms trek, approx 10 hours
    • We start the trek earlier than usual.
    • The trail passes from Vishansar to Gadsar, via Gadsar pass the highest point of the trek.
    • From Vishansar, the trail takes a steep ascent till Gadsar Pass.
    • We can see the Kishansar Lake on the way.
    • From the Gadsar pass till the camp site, we descend gradually.
    • We can spot the Gadsar lake en route.
    • You might also spot the Glacier of Gadsar Lake.
    • After the Gadsar lake, we will reach the campsite in 2 hours.
    • Just a few minutes before our campsite, we will have another army checkpoint and we will have to share our ID proofs with them.
    • Pack lunch will be provided

Steep 2 hour ascent followed by a steep descent followed a gentle walk in the meadows. (5 hours, 10 kms)

The next lake in series is the Kishansar lake. The Kishansar lake lies just about ½ km away and 500ft higher than Vishansar. The Kishansar lake lies at the base of the Kishansar peak. It takes about 45minutes to reach Kishansar lake from the campsite. Move right towards the stream and cross it where it is easy. The trail climbs up on the right side of the Vishansar lake. There are multiple tracks here. For those keen on photography, the one going up is more attractive as you get the view of the meadow and the lake from a height. For those who prefer an easier trail, stick to the flatter trails. Though the two lakes are only 1.2 km away, there is no point where the two lakes are visible together.

Kishansar is also big and blue. It has a big meadow stretching on its right. The lake and the meadow is bordered on the farther side by a ridge line that raises sharply. The trail climbs up to the top of the ridge and on the top of the ridge is the Gadsar pass.

Spend time at the Kishansar meadows photographing the lake from various angles. The next part of the trek is from Kishansar lake side to the top of the ridge. You see a pencil thin line traversing through the mountain side. That is your track to follow. Always stick to the one going higher though any them will take you to the top. It is an hour and a halfs climb to the top of the ridge a moderate pace. 45 minutes into the climb, you will be treated to one of the loveliest views you can ever imagine. Both the Kishansar and Vishansar lakes are in full view together. The view of the twin lakes lasts till you reach the ridge top or the Pass. This is called as the Gadsar pass ? altitude 13,800ft ? the highest point on this trek.

On the other side of the Gadsar pass stretches a long valley with 2-3 small lakes visible. Far in the distance lie a series of snow clad peaks. The peaks lie outside our Line of Control.

It is not uncommon to find snow at the Gadsar pass and also in the initial parts of the descent to the other side. The descent is straightforward. The first small lake that is seen on the left is the Yamsar lake. The locals tend to believe that lord Yama has some association with the lake! Beyond Yamsar is another nameless lake. An hours descent leads you into flat meadows again. This valley is narrower with two ranges running on your either sides. Notice the multicolored flowers growing up out of the green grass. It starts with red and moves on to blue and purple Iris flowers.

When you are in the blue Iris area, you are almost at Gadsar ? one of the prettiest and most pristine of the lakes on this trek. Gadsar is at the base of snow clad cliffs. Blue flowers spring up one one side and snow slabs fall into the lake from the mountain on the other side. Look ahead to see the green blue valley gently slope down. The Yamsir, the nameless lake and Gadsar are all connected by a stream as water flows from the higher lake to the lower. Gadsar is again at 12,500ft.

Choose to make Gadsar you campsite for its sheer beauty but only if you can vow to leave the ground as neat as you found it to be. No one camps at Gadsar. There is a small abandoned army shelter near Gadsar.

If you choose not to camp next to Gadsar, the next place to camp would be the Gadsar army camp. Continue on the downward trail from Gadsar and in half an hour the valley widens up. Spot another blue lake on the left of the valley. Notice the snow clad mountains now give way to lower barren mountains. You have lost considerable altitude again. In another half an hour down the trail, a few Shepherd huts come up. Continue downhill and at the end of the third half hour, the army camp comes up. Gadsar army camp is just a small hut housing 5-8 army men. To move beyond the army camp, one needs permission from their Head quarters. The Head quarters is 3 miles further away down into the tree line near a village. The Gadsar camp communicates with the HQ through walkie talkies. The HQ is equipped with a satellite phone of the army.

If you are near the Gadsar army camp, it is best to report to them as soon as possible. It takes 2-3 hours for their green signal to come through. All details of the trekkers and staff including original id cards are recorded, collected and checked.

Day 6 : Gadsar to Satsar
    • Altitude: 3,650m/ 12,000 ft
    • 9 kms trek, approx 6 hours trek
    • Mid July to mid August, the trail is laden in vibrant flowers.
    • We need to share our IDs at another army check post en route. .
    • Moving on, we see two small lakes which are often mistaken as Satsar Lakes.
    • We will visit the Satsar twin lakes, in the afternoon, which are approx 1.3 h
    • Stasar twin lakes are also known as mengen top.
    • Those twin lakes are between the middle of the mountain.

Gentle descent for 1 hour followed by a steep ascent for 3 hours followed a flat meadow walk. (6 hours, 12 kms)

From the army camp move left towards the stream. The trail crosses the stream and heads up the mountain. The altitude at the stream is 10,600ft. The Satsar camp is at 12,000ft and almost 10 kms away. Crossing the stream is the easiest way to trek. If one really wants to avoid getting their feet wet in the icy cold water, then head to the bridge which a kilometer away and cross the stream. The climb up is steeper if one goes to the bridge.

After crossing the stream, take the trail that goes up the mountain. The trail now looks like a typical western ghat trail. The terrain feels very similar. You are just above the tree line. Trees and the river valley are visible below you. The hour and a half long climb takes you up by 1100ft. Once beyond the 11,500ft altitude, the climb graduates to a traverse. The trail bends round to the left and leaves the river valley. You are now walking on a flat trail surrounded by mountains on a meadow. To you right are a few deep craters. This place is called as Maengandob.

The landscape ahead is captivating. Isolated mountains stand in front. Towards the right is a small ridge. In between is a flat green bed with a stream flowing in between. Choose to camp here if Gadsar lake was your last camp. If the army camp was your start, it makes sense to cover a little more distance today and camp near the first of the Satsar lakes. Satsar is actually a collection of 7 lakes. You can actually find 4 or 5 lakes with water, depending on the season you choose to trek.

Beyond the ridge on the right is the Satsar army check post. It is the 3rd line of defence from the LOC. The same process of ID checking, collection and questioning repeats here too. Finish this today so that tomorrow is a clean day of trekking.

Ten minutes out of the army camp is the first of the Satsar lakes. The lake is pretty big and looks picturesque in its green setting with mountains in front. Choose a place to camp here for the day.

Day 7 : Satsar to Gangabal twin lakes via Zaj Pass
    • Altitude: 3,500m/ 11,500 ft  via 3,950m/ 13000ft
    • 11 kms trek, approx 6 hours
    • We walk on rocky paths for approx an hour and ascend till Jazz Pass.
    • At the pass, you can enjoy views of the 4 lakes, Mt. Harmukh and its glacier.
    • From the pass we descend till the Gangbal lake and camp at Nandkol lake.
    • We visit the Gangbal Lake, which is one of the largest lakes in the trek.
    • Post dinner, a team of Kashmiri staff will perform their traditional songs and dance.

Mild ascent followed by gradual descent followed by long steep ascent and long steep descent followed by gradual up and down walk. (6 hours, 9 kms)

The days trek goes up and down replicating the trek as a whole which mostly goes up and down. Trek up half an hour out of camp, to reach the biggest Satsar lake. The terrain is bouldery and it is more of a boulder hopping exercise than anything else. The biggest of the Satsar lakes is also the last in the sequence. After the last lake the trail starts to descend. Continue for half an hour on the main trail until you see the forest line ahead to your left. The right side is a ridgeline about 1000ft higher. It is time to gain height again. The altitude at the base of the climb is 11,800ft. Take the zig zag pony track to climb up to the top of the first ridge. A 45 minute trek with limited breaks will see you on top of the first ridge. Once on top, you see two more ridges to climb. The trail from the base to top is barren and rocky. Looking behind at the opposite mountains, spot the Gujjar huts amidst the tall pines. You will not fail to notice the bareness of the mountains here and the greenery on the other side.

A total two hour ascent brings you to the top of the 3rd ridge. The altimeter reads about 13,400ft. The best part however is the surprise view you get from the ridge top. Two lakes lie next to one another. A stream takes water from the higher lake to the lower. If you look keenly, two more blue lakes are seen one on either side at a distance. The smaller lakes are nameless but the biggest amongst the set is the Gangabal. Its companion by the side is the Nundkol. You now know your destination. It is 1400ft below you. The route descends a bit more and ascends again to the lake. Take pictures of both sides and brace yourself for a steep stony descent. Your destination is either the Gangabal or the Nundkol. The ascent is dry but on the descent you cross a stream mid way. Fill your empty bottles with the cold water and move on.

An hour and a half steep descent brings you to green meadows again. The meadow is not too wide but stretches from your right to left. A kilo meter down left, you see the tree line again. Once at the base, the lake shore is still a good distance. The destination is seen but seems far away.

A quick climb, a shorter descent and a stream crossing over a wooden log bridge brings you to the shores of Nundkol lake. Notice that this lake is not as pristine as the other lakes you saw on the trek. Remnants of camping are there all around. Lot of people trek up from Naranag to Gangabal and go back as a weekend outing. You will wish they spared time and thought to clean up the mess they created by these beautiful lakes.

The Nundkhol lake lies at the base of the Harmukh peak. The Harmukh glacier hangs on the the sides of the rocky edges of the mountain. Both the Gangabal and Nundkhol are famous for trout fishing.

The Gangabal lake is about 20 minutes away from Nundkhol. A fiery stream flows on the right of the two lakes connecting them. The stream has to be crossed to go to Gangabal from Nandkol. Do not try to cross the stream at the lower levels but go all the way to the bank of Gangabal and on the right you find a good man made bridge laid out. Gangabal is huge. A parikrama of either of the lakes will easily take an hour.

Day 8 : Gangabal to Naranag Drive to Srinagar
    • Altitude:- 2,250m/ 7,450 ft
    • 15 kms trek, approx 7 hours,
    • The trail is a descent till the last point of the trek – Naranag, so take care of your knees and ankles.
    • The trail will pass through pine tree forests.
    • On advance booking, TTH can arrange transport to Srinagar at a charge.
    • After the 70 kms drive, you will reach Srinagar by 6:30 pm.

    * Please note that prepaid sim cards do not work in Kashmir.
    Don't forget your ID proof in original and 2 photo copies.
    On Day 8, you’ll reach Srinagar between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. You can book your travel any time after 8 pm.

Gradual descent followed by steep descent. (6 hours, 11kms)

The days trek is a killer on your toes and knees. From the Gangabal campsite head down along the stream towards the tree line. Don't walk beside the stream but walk along the ridge on the right. 30 minutes into the trail, your aircel phone could get glimpses of network just enough to tell home that you are alive. The ridge ends and you descend to a green flat meadow on the right. The Harmukh peak looks impressive when you look back. The green meadow has little yellow flowers growing all over and you start walking gingerly to avoid stepping over them.

An hour out of the campsite, you hit the fringes of the tree line. Pine trees line the meadows and you also see traces of civilization with the presence of a log hut. Do not walk into the forest directly but stick to its fringes and walk towards the right. As a trademark of this trek, you don't lose altitude now but start to climb up a bit. You drop to 10,800ft at the tree line but climb again to 11,000ft. For about 6 kms you never really lose altitude and you are forever around the 10,800ft mark making your way in and out of the Pine forest and finally entering it fully. Only after walking for 2/3 of the distance does the true descent begin. The descent is now really steep. The trail is a well trodden muddy one through the thick of the pines. The last 4 kms sees you dropping more than 3000ft. It is not rare to spot lot of people trekking up here from Naranag headed only to Gangabal.

Naranag slowly comes in sight at around 8500ft but there is quite a bit more to go. The last stretch of the last day does become an endurance test but soon the stone paved village track comes up and in no time you enter the main road of Narnag.

How To Reach

  • Pick Up Place
  • Drop Place
  • Note

Everyone needs to reach Srinagar
Pick-up location: Nishant Garden in Srinagar, once you reach at pick up location TTH will take care of your further travel arrangements. We advise you to come by air and avoid journey by bus. Do reach Srinagar one day before your trek date for safer side.
 Pick- up Time: 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


Options to Reach Srinagar:
1.    If you are planning to take a bus, you can reach bus stand in Srinagar from any major city. It will take approx. 30 minutes to reach Nishant Garden from bus stand.
2.    If you are planning to fly to Srinagar which is well connected to all major airports in India, you can reach Nishant Garden by 45 to 60 minutes via taxi from airport.
3.    If you’re coming by train, there are two railway stations.
-   Jammu railway station is about 260 km away and takes around 8 hours by bus.
-    Udhampur is 200 km away and from there it is 6 hours bus journey to Srinagar.

  • Pick-up and Drop is not included in the cost, which is Rs1,700
  • TTH’s Tata Sumo, Tempo Traveller or similar vehicles will pick-up you.
  • If you wish to upgrade the transport service, please contact the Trek Coordinator.

Trekkers will be dropped at Srinagar Nishant Garden by 06:00 PM, for onward journey from Srinagar it is advised to make arrangements for next day.

Cost Terms

  • Inclusions
  • Exclusions
  • Note
  • Tour Fee
  • Cancellation Policy

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 (Rs1,700)
2. Hotel Stay in Srinagar.
3. Food during the transit.
4. Insurance.
5. Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
6. Anything not specifically mentioned under the head.

Normally TTH expect to carry your personal luggage on your own, if you wish to offload your backpack, you can give it to Mule.
Charges of offloading backpack:-
INR 2100/- if you make an online payment, 10 days in advance
INR 2400/- if you inform us after reaching Sonmarg
The backpack cannot weigh more than 10 kgs. Backpack should have waterproof cover. Suitcases/strolleys/ bags will not be allowed.

Special Offers

Make a single payment and trek the number of times you want.

If you book a trek with Trek The Himalayas and are unable to complete the same or you have successfully completed that trek and want to do it again, you can repeat it multiple times without paying the cost of the trek.

Terms and conditions

  • This offer is a non-transferable.
  • This offer is valid for Trek The Himalayas limited fixed departures.
  • This offer is valid for 5 years from the date of booking.
  • This offer is not valid if the participant has received a cash refund or voucher at the time of cancellation.
  • Participants don’t have to pay for the trek cost but have to pay for the transport cost.

The fee can be paid by online transfer/Check deposit/Cash 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.
 

Cancellation terms:

For the cancellation of services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reasons, Trek The Himalayas must be notified of the same in writing at [email protected]  At the time we receive your written cancellation, refunds based on the total fare are as follows.

Cancellations prior to 25 days from the start of the Trip

Refund options

  • 5% deduction of trek fee
  • 100% cash voucher for any trip till one year

Cancellation between 24 days and 15 days to the start of the Trip

Refund options

  • 30% deduction of trek fee
  • 100% cash voucher for same trip till one year
  • 85% cash voucher for any trip till one year

Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the Trip

Refund options

  • Book the same trek, in the same season, with any other batch
  • 50% deduction of trek fee
  • 80% cash voucher for same trip till one year
  • 70% cash voucher for any trip till one year

Cancellation less than 9 days to the start of the trek

Refund options

  • Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend
  • No cash refund
  • 20% cash voucher for the same trip till one year
  • 10% cash voucher for any trip till one year

If by a rare consequence TTH calls off/cancels a trek:

At TTH, we almost never call off or cancel our treks. But in the rare event that we do call off or cancel a trek due to any unforeseen circumstances or natural catastrophes like continuous rain or snow, thunderstorms, snowstorms, landslides, floods, earthquakes, or any other natural calamity that prevents us from carrying out a trek in a safe manner, unforeseeable circumstances like local riots, curfews, pandemics, lockdowns, government orders, or any such situations that prevents a safe trekking experience, TTH will issue a voucher summing up to the same amount as your trek fee. The voucher can be redeemed on any of the treks over a period of the next year.

Note

  • The voucher is also not issued if for any reason you have to come down from the trek. The trek leader may send you down from the trek, owing to reasons like lack of fitness, AMS, blood pressure, turn-around-time, health issues, or if you are found smoking/ drinking, or breaking the rules of the trek. Vouchers are issued only when the whole trek is cancelled or called off on behalf of TTH.

In the rare event that TTH shifts a trek:

As we mention always, weather conditions at high altitudes are extremely unpredictable and can change at any time of any day. Also, situations like natural calamities or political unrest, pandemics and lockdowns, etc are out of our control and if an event cannot run under any such circumstances that we do not directly have control over then we will try to give you an alternative trek, which means your trek will be shifted from one trek to another, which will be safer and more favourable.

In these cases, a voucher is issued to mitigate the difference in cost between the two treks. You can redeem the voucher at any time over a period of one year from the date of issue. A refund fee or refund of the difference is not applicable.

Note:

  • Change of trek batch is dependent on the availability of seats in the batch
  • In case of transferring a trek to a friend, he/she should satisfy all the mandatory requirements put forward by TTH
  • TTH holds the right to change/cancel the policies, without prior notice
  • Cash refund is applicable only in case of bookings made without using any promotional offer code or vouchers

Cash Voucher Terms:

  • This is a non-transferable voucher
  • The voucher cannot be merged with any other offer of Trek The Himalayas
  • The voucher is valid for Trek booked directly with Trek The Himalayas in India
  • To avail the voucher please use your register phone number or e-mail id
  • All the other Terms of booking a trek with Trek The Himalayas are applicable to the voucher
  • Trek The Himalayas holds rights to add/remove any of the Terms and Conditions without prior notice

Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. "Trek The Himalayas" reserves the right to change expedition dates, people or itineraries as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which TTH or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. TTH reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason whatsoever.

Trek Essential

  • Basic Gear
  • Clothes
  • Personal Utilities
  • Head Gears
  • Foot Gears
Back pack & rain cover(50 - 60 ltr) with comfortable shoulder straps
Day pack + rain cove20 - 30 ltr (If hire a mule or porter)
Walking stickAdvisable (At least one)
Water bottle/Hydration pack2 bottles of one liter each, People who use hydration pack 1 hydration pack and 1 bottle of one liter, Carry at least one thermos flask.
Personal Medical KitConsult your doctor
SnacksEnergy bars, dry fruits, electral/ors
T-shirts4 Full sleeves (Non-cotton)
Fleece T-shirts1 Nos.
Fleece jacket1 Nos. (Alternative: a woolen sweater)
Down feather / Hollofil jacket1 Nos.
Wind & waterproof (jacket & pant)1 Pair
Trek pants3 Synthetic (avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris)
Fleece/woolen gloves1 Pair
Poncho1 Nos.
Sunscreen creamMoisturiser
Hand sanitizerAntibacterial powder
Toothbrush and toothpasteLip balm / Chapstick
Toilet Paper & wipesQuick dry towel
Head torch1 Nos. (Avoid Hand torch)
Woolen cap1 Nos.
Balaclava1 Nos. (Optional)
Neck-gaiters1 Nos.
SunglassesDark with side cover, it should be U/V protected, People who wear spectacles- (A)- Use contact lenses. (B)- Photo chromatic glasses.
Trekking shoes1 Pair (Waterproof, high ankle with good grip)
Floaters/flip-flops1 Pair
Cotton socks6 pairs
Woolen socks1 pairs
Gaiters1 Pair (TTH will Provide)

Fitness

Fitness regime for:

Moderate To Difficult

Calculate Your BMI :


Your BMI value is

24.22

Congratulations, your body is in good conditions!

BMI Range Category
Less than 16.5 Serverely Underweight
16.5 - 18.5 Underweight
18.5 - 25 Normal
25 - 30 Overweight

  • If your BMI is normal, you can plan your fitness regime as mentioned.
  • If your BMI is not normal, consult your trusted physician before you plan your fitness regime.
  • If you're suffering from any chronic illnesses consult a medical practitioner.

Map

  • Photos
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Reviews

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Frequently Asked Questions

1- What kind of accommodation we’ll get in this trek?

We do camping throughout the trek. We provide twin sharing tent all season tent .

2- Will you provide us with tents and sleeping bags?

Yes, we will provide sleeping, tent, mattress. It is among the central equipment.

3- What will the temperatures be like during this trek?

During trekking day time is always pleasant as temperature stay between 15C-22C throughout the season. At night time, temperature varies between 8 C to 0 C. Our morning, evening and nights are quite cold so you need to be prepared by wearing layers around camp. In early July, high chances of getting snow at Nichnai Pass and Gadsar pass and around. From July mid to August, almost snow melts by July end. And then around August end to September mid expected night temperature around 4 C to 0 C and one can expect snowfall around 2nd week of September. Do expect light shower around evening time.

4- How do we reach Srinagar?

Pick-up location is TRC: Tourist Reception Center in Srinagar, Once you reach TRC, TTH will take care of your further travel arrangements.
Options to Reach Srinagar: We advise you to reach Srinagar one day before trek date and by flight only. Better to avoid road route.
If you are planning to take a bus, you can reach ISBT in Srinagar from any major city. It will take 1 hour to reach TRC from ISBT.
If you are planning to fly to Srinagar which is well connected to all major airports in India, you can reach TRC within 10 to 15 minutes via taxi.
If you’re coming by train, there are two railway stations.
Jammu railway station is about 260 km away and takes around 8 hours by bus.
Udhampur is 200 km away and from there it is 6 hours bus journey to Srinagar.

5- Where and what time do we have to reach in Srinagar?

Reporting point is Tourist Reception Center in Srinagar and Reporting time is 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM on trek date.

6- Whom should I call once I reach in Srinagar?

We always share driver and vehicle number 1 days prior the trek date, so you can call him on your arrival if you’re having problem with finding vehicle.

7- If we come prior the trek date, Do you provide accommodation?

No. We don’t but we can suggest you good hotel/Stay nearby pick up location.

8- How many trekkers do you take in a group?.

To run a batch we need 10 people and maximum batch size 20 to 22 people.

9- How do we reach to basecamp and get back after the trek?

You can take out transport service; do contact your trek coordinator to book transport service. We use Sumo/Bolero/Max or equivalent (shared by 6 people)/Tempo Traveller. We arrange vehicle depending on availability and final batch size.

10- What is the best time to do Kashmir Great Lakes?

Best time to do Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is July, August and September 2nd week. One can see lush green meadows, alpine lakes and beautiful colourful flowers. To enjoy it’s beauty, it is advisable to plan this trek July and August month. In September time one can see green meadows turning brown and flowers also changes its colour, but still this change in scenery is pleasing to watch.

11- Are trek poles, Jackets and other equipment available for rent from Trek The Himalayas?

Yes, we do provide gears on rent. You can book it using you TTH account directly.

12- Is this a good trek for a first timer?

Yes, we recommend this trek to first timer as well as experienced one. Make sure that you should have good fitness. People suffering from Bronchitis, Asthma, High blood pressure, Epilepsy (got faints), TB , Heart problem or on higher BMI side are strictly not allowed to go on any Himalayan trek. Apart from this if you had any medical history, please let us know.

13- Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?

Yes, Offloading facility is available. You should book it in advance and pay us Rs.2100/- in total or book it after reaching there, and for that you need to pay Rs.2400/- in total. Bag weight should not more than 11 kgs.

14- What is the age limit?

We allow minimum 15 years kid in this trek and maximum depend on trekker’s fitness.

15- Who will be with us on the trek from Trek The Himalayas?

Mountaineering qualified Experienced and first aid certified Trek Leader, First Aid Certify local guide, Cook, helpers and supporting staff.

16- What kind of toilet facility you are providing us?

Toilet tents would be there. Basically we use dry toilet which is one of the best way to answer nature call in forest. Dry toilet means, we dig a pita and keep mud and shovel so once you are done with your business you can cover it up using mud. It is most hygienic way. You should carry toiletries as we mention in essential.

17- Can you give us brief details about served food while on trek?

We serve Indian vegetarian food with occasional eggs while on trek, to give you general idea it is like this, Dal sabji roti, rice in lunch & dinner and daliya, poha, sandwich etc in breakfast with morning & evening tea.

18- Do we get enough water for drinking?

Yes, trekker must carry 2 water bottles 1 litre each so they can refill it at campsite for drinking and keep themselves hydrate.

19- Is there mobile network on this trek?

No network while trekking. Idea, Airtel and BSNL networks available in Sonamarg and after that you will not get any network during the trek. Only post-paid connection works in Kashmir.

20- Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?

There isn’t any charging point. And you need to rely on your power bank or batteries.

21- What kind of shoes we should buy for this trek?

You should buy shoes which has these three features –Good grip, Ankle Support and additional water resistant layers. Generally, we advise Quechua Trek 100, MH 500 and MH 100.

22- Is Trekking pole necessary?

Yes, it is necessary. It is additional support which helps you reduce tiredness and give you strength and balance.

23- When it gets really cold can I consume alcohol?

No. Alcohol and smocking isn’t allowed while on trek. It is totally misconception that it will keep you warm. Your body need to acclimatize properly and for that eat properly and drink enough water; these things will keep you warm.

24- How do I manage the lower temperatures on the trek?

Layer Up From Head To Toe
Eat Full Meals, never sleep empty stomach
Use sleeping bag in right way and don’t leave free space in sleeping bag.

For upper body
– Thermal layer
– T-shirt (full-sleeves preferred)
– Fleece layer
– Thick Jacket
– Waterproof or Windproof jacket (outermost layer when it is snowing or raining)
For Lower Body
– Thermal layer
– Hiking pants (normal) or only one Winter hiking pants can work

Based on how warm you feel you can skip any of the above layers.

25- What all do I need to carry on the trek?.

A) Mandatory documents: 2 xerox of ID having address (addhar card/driving license), 2 Passport size photograph, Medical form signed & sealed by doctor and soft/hard copy of vaccination certificate and Adventure Insurance.
B) Essential list:
Upper body warmer - 1
Quick dry t-shirts -3
Fleece jacket -1
Down feather/hollow fill jacket -1
Rain poncho/rain proof jacket- 1
Lower body warmer - 1
Quick dry convertible trek pants - 3
Rain proof water pants/poncho - 1
Suncap- 1
Woollen cap/Balaclava - 1
Sunglasses (UV protected with side cover)- 1
Neck gaiter/muffler - 1
Cotton trekking socks 4-5 pair
Woollen socks 2-3 pair
Waterproof high ankle trekking shoes -1 pair
Waterproof hand gloves with fleece layer inside- 1 pair
Woollen gloves -1 pair
Head torch- 1
Lunch box -1
Water bottle- 2(1 litre each)
Extra batteries for head torch
Toiletries (toilet paper, wet tissue, sanitizer, tooth brush, tooth paste, hand wash, sunscreen lotion)
Menstrual hygiene kit for female trekkers.

26- Is it safe to trek with Trek The Himalayas ?

Yes, it is totally safe. Our leading staffs has years of experience in Trekking and known about the situation we may face while on treks because of weather or emergency and take action accordingly.

27- How your cancellation policy work in case of cancellation?

For the cancellation of services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reasons, Trek The Himalayas must be notified of the same in writing at [email protected] At the time we receive your written cancellation, refunds based on the total fare are as follows.

Cancellations prior to 25 days from the start of the Trip
Refund options
• Refund after 5% deduction of trek fee
• 100% cash voucher for any trip till one year
Cancellation between 24 days and 15 days to the start of the Trip
Refund options
• Refund after 30% deduction of trek fee
• 100% cash voucher for same trip till one year
• 85% cash voucher for any trip till one year
Cancellation between 14 days and 10 days to the start of the Trip
Refund options
• Book the same trek, in the same season, with any other batch
• Refund after 50% deduction of trek fee
• 80% cash voucher for same trip till one year
• 70% cash voucher for any trip till one year
Cancellation less than 9 days to the start of the trek
Refund options
• Transfer your trek (same trek, same batch) to your friend
• No cash refund
• 10% cash voucher for any trip till one year
To know more check cost terms in website.

28- Do you provide crampon/micro spikes and gaiters?

We provide micro spikes and gaiters, if required.

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