Kashmir Great Lakes is known for presenting one of the most scenic views of the Himalayas. The innumerable lakes situated at high altitude mark the uniqueness of this trek. One has to cross three passes during this trek which makes it physically and mentally challenging, but the scenic view motivates you to keep moving forward. Check out this photo story to know what it really means to trek in the legendary Kashmir valley.
Day 1: Explore the Kashmir Valley
Driving from Srinagar to Sonamarg is totally refreshing. Witness the amazing architecture of Kashmiri Bungalows, and find yourself enthralled by the camp site view at Sonamarg.
Day 2: The Beautiful Valley and the Silver Birch Trees of Nichnai
Enjoy your walk through the finest silver birch forest which holds an important place in the history of India. Wonder at the innocence of local children on the way, and traverse along the wild streams of Nichnai.
Day 3: Crossing First Pass of the Trek: Nichnai Pass
On day 3, you get the first glimpse of the lakes you came so far to see. Spot the hidden lakes of Nichnai Pass, believed to have seven lakes, but due to their inaccessibility we were able to spot just three out of seven lakes.
Day 4: Lake View from Gadsar Pass
Gadsar Pass is considered to be the most challenging one in this trail. If it is raining heavily then the trail gets really slippery, and it becomes almost impossible to traverse the trail, but if luck is on your side and the weather is good, then prepare yourself to witness one of the most amazing views from 13,697 feet of altitude. Watch the Vishansar Lake and Kishansar Lake shining brightly on the one side of pass and spot the three hidden lakes of Gadsar on the other side.
Day 5: Negotiate the Zigzag Way to Satsar Lake
The walk from Gadsar camp site to Satsar camp site is the most amazing one. Treat yourself to the sweetest wild strawberries on the way. You have to negotiate a small steep zigzag climb towards the table top after which the view opens up to the valley spread across the vast green meadows, surrounded by magnificent mountains of Kashmir. Enjoy the flat walk in the warmth of the sun, and reach the Satsar campsite by afternoon. Utilize the evening time to explore the Satsar Lake that sits hidden behind the huge mountain wall.
Day 6: Watch Twin Lakes from Jiz Pass
Get ready to witness one of the most amazing views of this trek. 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 in the beauty that this place have to offer.
Day 7: Explore the Nandkul Lake and Gangabal Lake
Visiting Kashmir Great Lakes and not taking a dip would be a Sin. Utilize your buffer day and take a dip at Gangabal Lake and enjoy the warmth of afternoon sun. Spend your evening bonding with the local shepherds or just retire to singing Kashmiri folk songs alongside the camp fire.
Day 8: Enjoy Your Walk Through the Scented Pine Forest
You will be instantly nostalgic on the thought of going back to the usual routine, but you will find the last day to be equally adventurous as the rest of the seven days. Don’t take the descent lightly, as you will be descending down 4,000 feet in a day, which may take a toll on your knees and toes. I’m willing to bet however, that you will forget all about it as you enjoy the trail through dense forest and the refreshing pine tree fragrance that prevails throughout the trail. Get ready to negotiate 127 hair pin bends and asteep descent on the way to Naranag.
No doubt that the Kashmir Great Lakes tops the chart of most beautiful treks in India. It is hard to spot so many lakes nestled between the high mountain passes in any other part of the India. 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.