Popular Kashmir Great Lakes and Offbeat Doodhpathri Trek

When we talk about trekking in Kashmir, the very first trek that comes to our mind is undoubtedly the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. This trek has made its place among the heart of the masses and for very good reasons. However, trekking in Kashmir is not just about the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek but we also have another offbeat option, equally beautiful as the Great Lakes Trek and introduces you to the raw and untouched beauty of Kashmir. It is the Doodhpathri Trek. Doodhpathri is another magnificent trek in the paradise of Kashmir featuring 7 beautiful lakes. Read on to learn more about these two mesmerizing treks in Kashmir. 

Doodhpathri - A Hidden Delight in Kashmir

Doodhpathri Trek

The Doodhpathri Trek is less popular among the trekkers but we would absolutely love to introduce you to this amazing gem of a trek in Kashmir. It is a lovely grassland trek that features the picture-perfect landscapes of Kashmir amidst the backdrop of towering mountains. Not only this, the trek also takes you to 7 beautiful lakes hidden in the confines of the valley.

The lakes of Doodhpathri Trek

Gurwansar 

Gurwansar Lake is the first lake that you will encounter on the Doodhpathri Trek and you visit this lake on Day 4 of the trek. Girwansar Lake is set amidst verdant greenery and the lake in summer the lake is surrounded by Irish wildflowers. You will also notice a meandering stream that flows from the lake to the heart of the valley adding to the ethereal ambiance. If you are someone who is a bird watcher then the Gurwansar Lake region offers great opportunities to spot the Golden Oriole. From the Gurwansar campsite, you can get a lovely view of the beautiful Diskhal meadows and the Ashtaar Valley.

Pamsar 

The second lake on the Doodhpathri Trek, Pamsar Lake is like a serene oasis in the mystical valley. The lake is nestled amidst boulders and ridges and provides a serene respite for the trekkers along their way. The secluded location and the untouched beauty of the Himalayas make the Pamsar Lake a spot for rejuvenation and introspection. The lake derived its name from the word ‘Pam’ which is a local Himalayan herb. This herb is found in abundance around the lake. During th monsoon months of June and July, you can spot wildflowers like blue poppy, gentian and potentilla. Along the trek to the Pamsar Lake, you will get to witness the lifestyle of the native Gujjar and Bakarwal community.

Bodsar & Tratsar

The Bodsar Lake is the biggest lake in this trek and the Bodsar Lake viewpoint is about 2.5 km from the Duriem campsite. When you are trekking to the Bodsar Lake viewpoint, keep an eye out for Tratsar, it falls on the same route.  Tratsar is also colloquially known as ‘Lokutsar’. The blue waters and the grandness of the lake amid the greenery add to the majestic charm of this lovely trek.

Navkansar I & II

While trekking down from Tratsar towards Gadtar, you will spot two more lakes – Navkansar I & II. These two lakes are also sprawled across breathtaking vistas. The green and blue of the landscape are truly remarkable and will leave a lasting imprint on your mind.

Damamsar

Damamsar is a beautiful glacial lake which is surrounded by boulders on its sides. Damamsar is quite big in size and the water of the lake is crystal clear. As you ascend towards Damamsar, there’s a high point on the ridge which will give you a beautiful bird’s eye view of Damamsar Lake as well as Navkansar I & II. Witnessing the three lakes together gives quite the vibes similar to that of the Great Lakes and Tarsar Marsar.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Doodhpathri Trek

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek needs no introduction. This spectacular trek takes you through some of the most stunning alpine meadows and crystal-clear lakes. The natural beauty is immeasurable as you pass through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, including the Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, and Gangabal Lake. The trek also offers stunning views of the Harmukh Peak, one of the highest peaks in the region. It is a great opportunity to explore the stunning natural beauty of the Himalayas, push yourself to new limits, and immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions.

Lakes of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Vishansar

This is the very first lake that you will come across on your KGL Trek. From the Nichnai Pass, it’s a small descent to the Vishansar Lake. The lake is surrounded by vibrant green meadows and the azure blue of the lakes appears striking in the landscape. The lake is nestled beautifully surrounded by four mountains and the colour of the lake changes at different times of the day. The lake waters appear colourless before sunrise and on a clear day as the sun rises, the lake appears to be getting bluer and settles into a deep aquamarine tinge. As the sun is close to setting, the lake water appears to be a greenish-blue in colour. 

Kishansar

Kishansar Lake is only about a half kilometre from Vishansar Lake and takes about 45 minutes to reach from Vishansar. This lake too is surrounded by lush meadows that attracts shepherds for grazing their cattle in the summer months. When you are trekking towards the Gadsar Pass, there comes a point when you can spot the Vishansar and Kishansar Lake together in full view. It’s a wonderful sight to capture. 

Gadsar

Gadsar is one of the most prettiest lake on the Kashmir Great Lakes trekking route. The lake sits at an altitude of 12,000 ft and the beauty and magnificence of the lake will leave you speechless. This lake is located at the base of the Gadsar peak and is glacial in origin. You can even spot blocks of ice and snow cascading down from the mountain above feeding the lake. The lake is surrounded by greenery and colourful wildflowers, it truly seems like a setting out of a fairytale.

Satsar

Satsar is a collection of 7 lakes. Out of all the lakes, you may find 4 to 5 lakes with water, depending on the season you are visiting Kashmir in. The lake cluster sits in a beautiful setting amidst greenery and mountain views. The lakes have an emerald hue that changes with the time of the day. These lakes are a great spot for trout fishing as well

Gangabal & Nandkol

As you ascend towards the Zaj Pass, two beautiful emerald lake come into view, it’s Gangabal with its companion Nandkol. Nandkol and Gangabal are also famous fishing destinations, especially trout fish. The Gangabal Lake is at a distance of 20 minutes from Nandkol and a stream connects both of them. Gangabal Lake is also known by the name Harmukh Ganga and the Kashmiri Hindus also conduct an annual pilgrimage to the lake called the Harmukh-Gangabal Yatra. While Gangabal is known as Harmukh Ganga, the Nandkol Lake is also known by the name Nandi Kund. Both the lakes lie at the base of Mt. Harmukh and serve as great camping spots in summer.

So here’s all the beautiful alkes that you will coem across in both Kashmir Great Lakes Trek and Doodhpathri Trek. For those who want to venture into the popular KGL awaits you and for those who want to wander off the beaten path but want to witness an equally exquisite natural beauty, the Doodhpathri Trek is your ideal choice!



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