Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Kashmir, a word that evokes a thousand emotions of love, grandeur, exotic and in the words of Firdaus, heaven. Some say it is a paradise on earth, others say it is a paradise by itself, but indeed Kashmir outstand all the stunning places on earth. Pristine and untouched, the lakes over here be it Dal Lake, Vishansar Lake or Gangabal Twin lakes are surreal and a rare sight.On this trek we explore the most pristine of combination of alpine lakes, far-reaching meadows, high altitude passes and the vast unexplored vistas of Kashmir Himalayas. Best time to vist Kashmir Great Lakes is from July to September.
Kashmir Great Lakes is a moderate level trek i.e. it requires more strength and endurance than easy level treks. It is recommended that you first gain an experience of trekking to altitudes higher than 3000 metres, and then move one level up with this trek. However, if you are a beginner but committed to prepare, then you need at least 2-3 months to prepare physically & mentally for this trek. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale.
You must have done a small trek of 2-3 days before and hiked to an altitude of more than 3000 meters.
The base of Kashmir Great Lakes trek is Sonamarg. Sonamarg is 80 km away from Srinagar and can be reached by taxi or bus. To get to Srinagar -
By Air: There are multiple flights daily directly from Delhi to Srinagar, or connecting flights from all major cities. This is the easiest way to reach Srinagar.
By Rail: Although Srinagar has a railway station, it is not linked to the Indian Railway network. The closest national railway station is Jammu Tawi, from where Srinagar is 270 km away. There are multiple trains from Delhi and Chandigarh to Jammu Tawi. From Jammu, you can make the road journey to Srinagar either via private or state run buses or private taxi.
By Road: The road distance from Delhi to Srinagar is 800 km if you are taking a taxi or driving down in a private vehicle. Direct buses to Srinagar are available from Jammu.
Dal Lake: The jewel of Srinagar, the Dal lake is synonymous to a visit to Srinagar and almost a visual definition to the town. Spread over a straggling 26 sq.kms, it is the most photogenic stretch of this instance of paradise on earth and undoubtedly also the most sought after of attractions.
Mughal Gardens: Built in the Mughal era, donning its majestic architecture, are the Mughal gardens. The garden is a combination of the Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens & Chashm-e-Shahi. The most prominent feature of the gardens its long stretches of cascading fountains makes this a must see for every traveler.
Nishant Bagh: Laid out in 1633, the Nishant Bagh fondly known as the Garden of Joy. Its beauty is enhanced by the well-manicured landscapes, long avenues of Chinar & cypress trees, rare flowering plants, 12 terraces & several bubbling fountains that's cover the whole expanse of the garden.
Shankaracharya Temple: Visit this effulgent, age old temple in Srinagar to feel closer to the gods. Situated at a height of about 1100 feet on the south-east of the city, this sacred temple offers splendid views of the valley and the snow clad mountains of the Pir Panjal range.
Hazratbal: Hazratbal Mosque, situated on the western shore of the pristine Dal Lake, is a very sacred Muslim shrine in Hazratbal. Hazratbal's special significance is derived from the fact that it houses a heir of the prophet Muhammad, a relic, titled Moi-e-Muqqadas. The relic is only displayed to the public on religious occasions, usually accompanied by colourful fairs afterwards. The shrine commands a grand view of the lake and the mountain beyond, especially when its pristine white marble elegance is reflected in the waters of the lake.
All major networks have coverage in Sonamarg and Naranag. However, all outstation prepaid connections do not work in J&K. You will need either a postpaid connection or a local prepaid connection.
Kashmir Great Lakes is perfect for those who want to explore far-reaching meadows, alpine lakes, high altitude passes and the vast unexplored vistas of Kashmir
June - August
Here is your checklist for this trek. Make sure you pack all these items for a comfortable trekking experience.