Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Brief description

Grade:Difficult
Location: Kashmir
Altitude:4175 m
Duration:8 Days
The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek transports you to a divine, never before seen side of Kashmir evocative of its nickname, Heaven on Earth. This is the only trek in the Himalayas that packs three high altitude passes, five river valley crossings sporting seven alpine lakes, each an astonishing shade of green, blue and turquoise, all within an impressive span of 8 days!

Every day you are confronted by opulence that is boundless, grandiose and achingly beautiful: endless blue skies; larger than life panorama of rugged mountains, flamboyant meadows teeming with wild flowers, river crossings, boulder hopping; the KGL trek leaves you spoiled for choice and how!

Climbing up to an altitude of 4,206 M, the trail switches between ascents and descents on most days making it relatively easy to navigate. The only challenge lies in building endurance needed to tackle the long distances (10 kms or more) one needs to cover each day.

The trek is 69 kms long and is an excellent choice for beginners looking to step up their trekking game in the Himalayas. We recommend this trail for experienced trekkers as well, not for the challenges but for the sheer beauty and extravagance it houses.

The best time to do the Kashmir Great Lakes trek is from July to September. Find elevation chart, temperature chart, a detailed itinerary, route map and photo of the KGL trek. Scroll to the end of the page to read blogs on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

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Brief Itinerary

Arrival at Sonamarg (2, 730 M)
Sonamarg (2, 730 M) to Nichnai (3, 500 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Nichnai (3,505 M) to Vishansar Lake (3,658 M) via Nichnai Pass (4,150 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Buffer Day (Subjected to Weather Condition)
Vishansar Lake (3, 658 M) to Gadsar Lake (3, 810 M) via Gadsar Pass (4, 206 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Gadsar Lake (3, 810 M) to Satsar Lake (3, 658 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Satsar Lake (3, 658 M) to Gangabal Lake (3, 505 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Gangabal Lake (3, 505 M) to Naranag (2, 271 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Detailed Itinerary


Day 1

Arrival at Sonamarg (2, 730 M)

Distance: 81 kms (Srinagar to Sonamarg)

Duration: 3 hours

Sonamarg, which translates to Meadow of Gold, is the starting point of the KGL trek. If you have opted for transport with Bikat Adventures, please ensure you board the vehicle from Dal Gate No. 1 in Srinagar latest by 12 PM. If you are traveling on your own, try to reach Sonamarg by 3-4 PM.

Although you have to report at the base camp only by 3 P.M, we recommend you come here early to explore the region. Home to some renowned peaks and glaciers of the Kashmir National Park, one can spot the Sirbal Peak, Kolahoi Peak, Amarnath Peak and Machoi Peak alongside the Machoi Glacier from here.

The drive from Srinagar to Sonamarg, although short, is a pleasant one to undertake. Once you are out of the city, there is barely any traffic and charming countryside vistas replace the cityscapes. About 30 kilometres into the drive, snow-capped mountains take over the horizon and sprawling, grassy meadows cover the lands on either side of the road as far as the eyes can see. The views enroute to Sonamarg are well worth a day trip from Srinagar!

The stay will be arranged in camps for the day. We will have a Team introduction after evening tea followed by an early dinner.

Day 2

Sonamarg (2, 730 M) to Nichnai (3, 500 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 10 kms

Duration: 6 hours

We begin our trek at 9 am today from Shitkadi. The trail is a fair mix of ascent and descent. The gradient is moderate and plenty of water sources will be available for refilling water bottles along the way. 

We begin by following a vehicle track that heads out of the main road of Sonamarg. This track descends all the way down to the Sind River from where the trail head for the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek begins.

The trekking trail from the trail head quickly ascends up. About ten minutes into the trek, the trail unanticipatedly enters a patch of rolling, green meadows overlooking the town of Sonamarg. This marks the end of civilization as we know it and the beginning of the beauty that is the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek!

Take a couple of moments to soak in the view here. The waters of the Sindh river glistening in the early morning sunlight as she makes her way through this tiny town hugged snugly on either side by gorgeous mountains is a sight to behold.

This view only gets fuller and more resplendent as you ascend further up the trail. It takes 30 minutes to the reach the top of the meadow. Maple, pine and silver birch trees dot the landscape here. From here onwards, it is an undulating climb across vibrant meadows marked by clear brooks and streams all the way up to Nichnai, your campsite for the day!

Day 3

Nichnai (3,505 M) to Vishansar Lake (3,658 M) via Nichnai Pass (4,150 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 11 kms

Duration: 6 hours

We will be breaking camp early for the day and starting at 8 a.m. While the gradient is moderate, be prepared for long hours of walking. The scenery shifts winningly through the day ranging from a leisurely walk through expansive meadows, ambling along the banks of a river to a moderate ascent up the Nichnai pass followed by a sharp descent from the top of the pass. 

We begin by walking along the river running through the Nichnai Campsite. On the way, look for feasible spots where you can cross the river. The Nichnai Pass is located at a distance on the other side of the river.

Once you reach the other side, continue walking along the river bank in the direction of the Pass (which can be spotted from the campsite itself). The trail ascends steadily for the next hour all the way to the top of the ridgeline that was visible from the meadow below. This ridgeline is not the Pass however. The actual pass begins after a couple of bends along the ridge.

The Nichnai Pass is a striking passageway set at 4, 150 M with snow clad mountains lining its left. There are no peaks on its right but the land rises there as well giving it the illusion of walking through a tunnel.

Once you reach the top of the Pass, it is a rapid and steep descent on rocky terrain to the meadows below. You will notice that colourful little flowers dot the grass here. A new river now flows from the Pass into this region. Multiple, narrow trails run into the horizon as far as the eyes can see.

Take one of these trails and continue walking ahead. Snow-clad mountains rise against the skyline on your left while your right hand side contains stretches of barren and rugged mountain faces. The sharp contrast in scenery only exaggerated further by the dewiness of the grass and flowers at your feet makes this one of loveliest meadow walk experiences on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

Our campsite for the day is located two hours away beyond yet another river crossing and not far from an alpine lake with startlingly blue waters that is bound to have you hooked right from the moment you lay eyes on it. This is the all famous Vishansar Lake with its twin, Kishansar Lake, not far behind.

Day 4

Buffer Day (Subjected to Weather Condition)

If the weather condition is bad, then we will use the buffer day which can be used to explore the lakes & acclimatize. The decision to use the buffer will solely be taken by the trek leader.

Day 5

Vishansar Lake (3, 658 M) to Gadsar Lake (3, 810 M) via Gadsar Pass (4, 206 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 10 kms

Duration:  6 hours

Today’s trek is a steep two hour ascent followed by a steep two hour descent and then a gentle walk through the meadows. There will be ample water sources along the way to refill your water bottles. 

Our trail begins with climbing a pencil thin ridge running along the mountain side near Kishansar lake. It takes about an hour and a half to reach the top of this ridge. About midway through your ascent, the mountains unfurl an arresting view of the Kishansar and Vishansar lakes together!

This view lasts until you reach the top of the ridge. What follows is an hour of steep descent after which the trail opens up into a bright valley with mountain ranges guarding it on either side.

The meadows of this valley are by far one of the most colorful you will be encountering on the trek, thanks to the bright red, yellow, purple and blue flowers popping out of the green grass. It makes you want to flop down and sneak in a nap after the steep climb up the pass. The Gadsar Lake lies beyond this meadow.

With piercing blue waters, the Gadsar lake is the most pristine of the seven alpine lakes primarily because it is the least visited. Quite a few make weekend trips from Sonamarg to Vishansar and Kishansar, more so make the trip on the other side of the trail; from Naranag to Gangabal. Gadsar, however remains untouched because of its location at the highest point of the trek which makes its accessibility tough.

Our campsite is one and a half hours away from the Gadsar lake, close to an Indian Army camp where all of our original ID cards will be collected, checked and recorded.

Day 6

Gadsar Lake (3, 810 M) to Satsar Lake (3, 658 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 12 kms

Duration: 6 hours

The gradient for the day is mostly moderate barring the first one and half hours of steep ascent. Post that, it is a level walk all the way up to the next campsite. 

The landscape on today’s trail stands in sharp contrast to the river valleys we have been trekking through till now. The terrain is rugged, desolate and captivating in its isolation. Meadows are scant and are marked by scattered patches of white flowers. Boulders and rocky terrain dominate the landscape with an occasional brook cutting through them.

We will be crossing an army camp today as well where our original ID cards will be collected, checked and recorded before letting us cross. Rolling grasslands once again take over the terrain beyond the army camp. Ten minutes away lay the first of the Satsar Lakes. Satsar is actually a group of seven inter-connected lakes situated in a narrow alpine valley stretching north to south. The lakes drain out into the Wangath Nallah which is a tributary of the Sindh.

Big and picturesque in its greenery and backdrop of the mountains, we will be setting up camp here for the day.

Day 7

Satsar Lake (3, 658 M) to Gangabal Lake (3, 505 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 13 kms

Duration: 7 hours

We begin by taking the trail heading out of the Satsar Campsite. This section of the trail is exciting primarily because it is dominated by boulders. Most trekkers, we have noticed, are comfortable getting down on all fours when hopping from one boulder to the next. As fun as it may seem, do watch out for loose rocks that can make you lose your balance.

Beyond these boulders lie the largest and the last of the Satsar Lakes. After this, the trail descends for a good half an hour until we are confronted by ridge lines running across the mountains. It is time to gain altitude again. Be prepared for a steep ascent for the next three and a half hours. The terrain, you will notice, turns distinctly rocky and barren the farther we climb from the base.

Perhaps, it is to make up for the starkness of the landscape that KGL treats you with one of the most theatrical views of the trek right on top of this ridge- a vertigo inducing scene of the Gangabal and Nandakol lakes nestled snugly in the valley. Mist and fog playfully flit in and out of the scene hiding and revealing the twin lakes impelling you to take a break to watch the spectacle unfolding in front of you.

We will be setting up camp on the banks of the Gangabal lake. As is evident from the Pass, it is a very long descent from the top of the ridge to the campsite.

Unlike the other campsites, you will notice more trekkers and tents here. Gangabal and Nandakol are famous for trout fishing in the region. The Nandakol lake is bewitching in its setting. A jagged glacier clinging to slopes of the Harmukh Peak feeds the lake at its base. The play of light and clouds on the glacier are fascinating to watch!

Once you set up camp at Nandakol, take some time out to explore the Gangabal lake.

It is a short walk and a river crossing away from the campsite. The Gangabal lake, you will notice, is far less crowded than Nandakol and more tranquil in its setting. The water is clear near the banks revealing colourful pebbles on the waterbed. A mountain sits right on top of it. Remnants of a glacier clinging to its base feed this lake. It is a long and pleasant walk along its banks.

Once you are done exploring, ensure you return to your campsites before it gets dark.

Day 8

Gangabal Lake (3, 505 M) to Naranag (2, 271 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 11 kms

Duration: 6 hours

Watch your toes and knees on the trail today because, as you have guessed it, we will be descending to the Naranag road head which is where our trek comes to an end. The distance is long and the trail gets steep at the end.

From the Gangabal campsite walk along the ridgeline that runs downstream towards the trees. It takes about an hour to reach the treeline. Continue walking along its fringe. For the first 7 kms or so, you don’t really lose altitude. There are gentle ascents followed by flat walks on lush grassy meadows.

You also begin to notice the beginning of civilization on the way. A hut or two dot the landscape and makes you wonder what it would be like to live there. Once you cross the 7km mark, the trail begins descending sharply. The track is mostly muddy and runs under a cover of pine trees. One or two kilometres into the descent, Naranag appears in sight but it is still a long way to go.

Expect to reach Naranag by afternoon. Our vehicles to Srinagar will be waiting there. We should be in Srinagar by half past 6 in the evening. If you are planning to travel out of Srinagar the same day, ensure you book your transport that leaves the city post 9 to account for any delays on the way.

What's Included

  • Veg/ Egg Meals during the trek - Starting evening snacks on Day 1 till Lunch on Day 8
  • Forest Permits/Camping Charges/Permits, Trek Permit Fee/IMF Permission (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
  • Camping tents (Twin sharing), Temp rated sleeping bags, mattress
  • Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with First Aid certification & customized rescue course from NIM
  • Experienced Local guide, cook, helpers
  • Porters or mules for carrying common luggage
  • Exhaustive First Aid kit including portable oxygen cylinder

What's Not Included

  • Meals during road journeys
  • Any kind of Insurance
  • Any expense of personal nature
  • Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
  • Portage of personal backpack
  • Transportation to and from Srinagar

Are you Eligible for this Adventure?

Difficult
4175 m
69 km

BRS Level Required

BRS 5

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a level 5 adventure on the Bikat Rating Scale.

This makes it mandatory for you to have high-altitude experience of preferably multiple treks marked at level 5 on the BRS. The altitude, the terrain and the nature of the climb demand a certain level of skill and a need for you to be aware of how your body reacts to the various features of high altitude environment.

If you do not know what level of BRS trek would suit you best, worry not! Fill out this Form:

we will send you a progression chart to help you comfortably get out of your comfort zone in order to level up and ultimately reach your highest potential in the big, bad world of outdoor adventure.

Terrain

Climbing up to an altitude of 4,206 M, the trail switches between ascents and descents on most days making it relatively easy to navigate. The only challenge lies in building endurance needed to tackle the long distances (10 kms or more) one needs to cover each day. The trek is 69 kms long and is an excellent choice for beginners looking to step up their trekking game in the Himalayas. We recommend this trail for experienced trekkers as well, not for the challenges but for the sheer beauty and extravagance it houses.

Prequisite Skills

The trek demands a few mountain skills:

Layering for Himalayan Treks

Mountain Mannerism

Ascending and descending on steep gradients

Using a sleeping tent

Working together as a team

Walking in snow

fitness benchmark

If you can do the following, physically you are ready to take on this trek:

Jog/Run for 5 kms in 25-30 mins
Walk continuously for 10 kms on a slight incline
Hold your breath for 40 seconds
Climbing 30 floors without a break
10 Push Ups
15 X 2 sets of Lunges & Squats

Packing List

This is a list of essential items for individuals doing the trek with Bikat Adventures. This list contains only those items which the participants are required to bring with them. The list excludes those items which are provided by Bikat Adventures on the trek. We have divided the items into five categories. All the items in the list are essential except for those marked as optional.

Trekking Gear

  • Ruck sack bag with rain cover. Qty -1
  • Day Pack Bag - Recommended for treks with summit day
  • Head Torch with spare Batteries. Qty -1
  • U V protection sunglasses. Qty -1 Here is how you can choose the best sunglasses for trekking.
  • Water Bottles: 2 bottles of 1 liter each

Footwear

  • Non-skid, deep treaded, high-ankle trekking shoes Qty -1
  • Pair of light weight Slipper/Sandals Qty -1

Clothing

  • Quick Dry Warm lower or Track Pants. Qty - 2
  • Full sleeves T-shirts/ Sweatshirts. 1 for every 2 days of trekking
  • Pair of thick woolen socks. 1 pair for every two days of trekking
  • Thermal Body warmer Upper & Lower. Qty-1
  • Undergarments. Qty - 1 for every day of trekking
  • Warm jacket closed at wrist & neck .Qty-1
  • Full sleeves sweater. Qty -1
  • Rain wear ( Jacket & Pants ) . Qty-1
  • Pair of waterproof, warm gloves. Qty-1
  • Woolen cap. Qty-1
  • Sun shielding Hat. Qty -1

Toiletries

  • Personal toiletries kit (Small Towel, Toilet paper, paper soap, Bar soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, cold cream, etc.)
  • Sun screen lotion small pack. Qty -1 Here is your Sun Protection 101 to stay safe in the bright sunny outdoors.
  • Lip Balm small pack. Qty-1

Utensils

  • Small size, Light weight & Leak proof lunch box. Qty-1
  • Plate. Qty- 1
  • Spoon.Qty-1
  • Tea/Coffee (plastic) Mug.Qty-1

Miscellaneous

  • Camera (Optional)
  • Carry your medicines in plenty in case you have any specific ailment. Consult your doctor before joining the trek.
  • Dry fruits, Nuts, Chocolate bars (Optional)


Frequently Asked Questions



Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is only for experienced trekkers who have done at least one BRS 4 trek or equivalent.

If you can Jog/Run for 4 kms in 30-35 mins, you are ready to take on this trek. Once a week, you can practice running 8 kms in an hour or so to improve your endurance further. In addition to this, you can also add resistance workouts to your schedule like squats, lunges, push ups etc.

If you cannot do the above, there’s no need to worry. It is important to remember that it’s all about practice. Get on a training schedule and we can assure you that you will meet these standards in a matter of a few months.

A certain level of fitness and physical endurance are required to take on any high-altitude trail in the Himalayas. Basic knowledge about ascending & descending techniques for mountain trails, how to use a sleeping bag, toilet tents, sleeping tents, and mountain mannerisms will be helpful.

The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors between 13 to 17 years of age should be accompanied by their parents/ guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deems you fit for adventure activities like trekking.


The Kashmir Great Lakes are located in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, specifically in the Kashmir Valley region. The lakes are situated in the high altitude alpine zone of the Kashmir Himalayas and are spread across several valleys, including the Gangbal Valley, Nichnai Valley, Gadsar Valley, and others.

Kashmir Great Lakes trek is one of the most popular and scenic treks in India. It is located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and is known for its breathtaking views of the high-altitude lakes, alpine meadows, and snow-covered peaks. The trek takes you through some of the most beautiful lakes in the region, including the Vishansar Lake, Krishnasar Lake, Gangabal Lake, and Tarsar Lake. These lakes are known for their crystal-clear waters and stunning views. The region is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, and musk deer. You may be lucky enough to spot some of these animals during your trek. For more details on the highlights of this trek, read Highlights of Kashmir Great Lakes

Although the Kashmir Great Lakes is visually stunning and easy to navigate, the long distances one needs to cover each day exaggerated by the ascents and descents as we move from one valley to the next can be heftily demanding on your lungs and feet! For more details on the challenges of this climb, read Who is this trek meant for?

The best time to do the Kashmir Great Lakes trek is from July to September.

On the trekking days we have twin-sharing tents. In case you want an individual tent, you can add that to your booking request for an additional cost.

During the summer months of June to September, the temperature during the day is usually around 10°C to 20°C at lower altitudes, while it can be cooler at higher altitudes. At night, the temperature can drop to around 0°C to 10°C, and at higher altitudes, it can drop below freezing.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is considered to be moderately challenging in terms of technical difficulty. The trail involves walking on a mix of rocky paths, meadows, and ridges, with some steep ascents and descents. However, it does not require any specialized technical skills or equipment.


The base of Kashmir Great Lakes trek is Sonamarg. Sonamarg is 80 km away from Srinagar and can be reached by taxi or bus. Read: How to reach Sonmarg

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.

The nearest ATM is located in the city of Srinagar, which is the starting point for the trek.

We can arrange reserve taxis on request from Srinagar to Sonamarg and back from Naranag to Srinagar. Use the ‘Srinagar to Srinagar transport’ option as an add-on to book the transport with us. The vehicles will leave Srinagar at 12 pm and reach Sonamarg by 3 pm.

The trek ends in Naranag by around 3 pm and one can reach Srinagar by 6 pm. We advise you to keep at least a 3-4 hrs buffer for both timings.

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 paradise on earth and undoubtedly also one of 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 is its long stretches of cascading fountains making this a must see for every traveller.

Nishant Bagh: Laid out in 1633, Nishant Bagh is 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 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 snow-clad mountains of the Pir Panjal range.

Hazratbal: Hazratbal Mosque, situated on the western shore of the pristine Dal Lake, is a sacred Muslim shrine in Hazratbal. Hazratbal's significance is derived from the fact that it houses an 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 the common gear like tents, sleeping bags, mattresses etc. are provided. All the technical climbing equipment (as required) are also provided to you. Safety equipment used for rescue is carried by our trek leaders.

You can rent trekking shoes, trekking pole, a fleece jacket and a rucksack from us. In case you have any other requirements, you can talk to our representative and we will be happy to assist you in any way that we can.

You will receive your rented equipment during the briefing in Sonmarg, on Day 1.

Our trek leaders will collect the rented equipment from you at the end of the trek on the last day.

For a detailed list, check the Packing List section on this page.

You can buy your essentials in Srinagar. However, do not leave anything for last minute purchase.


Although not recommended, you can off load your bag at an additional cost. Add a request while making your booking for the trek and it can be arranged.

(Note: We don’t recommend offloading because the extra resources on a trail - ponies or porters depending on the trail - means extra load on the environment which can easily be avoided. It also goes against the spirit of trekking by eliminating a level of endurance and discomfort from the experience which are factors at the very heart of an outdoor adventure activity.)

You have the option of storing any additional baggage at the Bikat office in Gagangir. Leave your luggage at the base camp, and the Bikat team will transport it to their office. Your luggage will be returned to you in Naranag once the trek is finished.

On all trek days, we provide 3 full meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) in addition to evening snacks and tea. The meals are vegetarian and the menu is pre-decided for all days of the trek. We do provide eggs as well on certain days. If you have any specific food-related allergies or restrictions, you can let our local staff (during the trek) know, and your requests will get accommodated. We try to provide a variety of food across meals so as to avoid repetition as well as cover all nutritional needs.

On campsites, our team will dig dry pits and assemble a toilet tent to provide for safe and secure quarters. A shovel will be provided within the toilet tent as well. Using water in the toilet tent is restricted; you will need to carry your own toilet paper. On the more difficult expeditions, toilet tents are not carried to the higher camps (above base camp) due to restriction of space (to pitch the tent).

In case you get your period on the trail and don’t have sanitary napkins, our trek leaders can provide them to you. If you need any other kind of assistance, you can let our trek leaders know. Irrespective of gender, our leaders are gender sensitised and equipped to assist you in any way you need them to.

Our team carries a first aid kit and all the basic medicines required during the trek. They are equipped to be the first responders in case of any injury or health-related issues. For higher expeditions, we also carry a HAPO Bag and oxygen cylinders to tend to any altitude-related health conditions.

No, we will be camping in the wilderness with no access to electricity.


A copy of your ID Proof and Medical Certificate are the mandatory documents required for this trek. (Soft copies for all of these are to be sent to us & originals should be on your person while on the trek.)

Yes, insurance for any high-altitude activity is highly recommended to cover for the cost of rescue, evacuation and any other emergency service required as well as to cover for medical cost in case of injury or illness during the trek. You can buy it on your own. Alternatively, if you want us to buy it on your behalf, you can speak to our post-booking team and they will arrange it for you. They will send you a payment link once the insurance has been purchased.

Yes, there are multiple permits required for this. We obtain the permits on every trekkers’ behalf. All the permit costs are included in your trek cost.


Yes, you will receive e-certificates (of completion) after the trek. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek. In case you were unable to finish the trek, you will get a certificate of participation.

On completion of the trek, the certificate will show up on your dashboard on our website. You can download it directly from there.


Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is in India. If you are coming from outside, you will need a visa to enter the country. You should be able to find the rules for obtaining a Visa based on your home country on the internet. This information is easily available.

This does not apply to you if you are an Indian citizen. In case you don’t hold an Indian passport, you will need to check online for Visa application rules based on your home country.

If you are not an Indian citizen, you will need Travel Medical Insurance to travel to the country. Please make sure that your insurance policy is valid for the altitude you are going to and the activity you are undertaking, to cover risks during the trek. The insurance policy provided by Bikat Adventures does not cover foreign nationals. So, please do not purchase it while making the booking from our website.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is located in Kashmir Himalayas. The Himalayas house the tallest mountains in the world and have long been a treasure trove for all adventure enthusiasts. The variety in terms of beauty, terrain, landscape, geography, culture and opportunity for adventure in the Himalayas, remains undisputedly unmatched.

You can make the booking any time depending on availability of slots in our fixed departure batches. You will get this information at the top of this page.


A Basic Mountaineering Course certification from one of the five recognized mountaineering institutes in India is a minimum requirement to join our team. Our field experts are also trained in basic medicine and first-aid response. We also conduct on-ground training for our staff once a year as a refresher for old skills and to learn some new ones. During this training that we call APW (Adventure Professional Workshop), our leaders learn close to 25 topics and techniques of rescue which are not covered in the BMC and AMC courses. For practical training, we simulate on-ground situations to prepare them for quick thinking and quick response during emergencies.

We follow a rigorous regime of hiring and training our experts on the field. Each trek leader is a certified mountaineer with years of experience in the field. The interview process to bring a trek leader on-board is close to 6 months long where we assess various skills as well as personality traits of an individual. They also go through an on-field assignment as part of the hiring process. Trek leaders also progress in time from leading easier treks before advancing to the more difficult ones where the stakes are higher. For detailed information on our selection process, please visit Forerunners - The Making Of A Trek Leader

It absolutely is. We recognize, value and embody the ideology that the world of outdoor adventure can benefit from diversity. We make it our mission to create outdoor spaces as equally accessible and safe for all genders as possible. We also encourage women leaders in the outdoors and all of our staff (irrespective of gender) is gender sensitised. As for accommodation, in case there are no other women on the trek, a solo female trekker is provided with a separate single-occupancy tent.

Our batch sizes for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek are capped at 15 with the trek leader to trekker ratio of 1:8.

In addition to their qualification, our trek leaders are trained to tackle any and all kinds of sudden conditions that may present themselves on ground. During our recce stage, we study the trail in great detail and map out rescue routes before opening it up for our trekkers. We also have local support staff stationed in each area to arrange for emergency services at the place of need as quickly as possible.

We mobilise road rescue efforts where our trek leaders bring the person to be rescued down to the trailhead of the trek from where a car can take them to the nearest healthcare facility. The cost of rescue is not covered in the trek fee that we charge. It must be borne by the participant. However, if you opt for the insurance the cost of rescue operations can be claimed from the Insurance company on production of valid proof e.g. doctor’s prescription & hospital bills etc. Please note that Bikat Adventures is only a facilitator & not a party in the Insurance policy. You need to raise the claim request directly with the Insurance company. Bikat Adventures is not responsible for any rejection of claim. You can call the insurance provider directly for any clarifications related to the Insurance policy. Although not mandatory, we recommend buying the insurance. You don’t necessarily have to get the insurance we provide, you can pick an Insurance company of your choice and get a policy directly from them. If you need more information on the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, get in touch with our customer support team.

All the gear used on our treks and expeditions is tried and tested, maintained for good quality and is overall top notch in quality and condition. We are continually looking to obtain the best of everything there is in the market so as to ensure optimum safety.

That will depend on the nature of your medical condition. Do give us a call, and one of our people will help you understand what is best for you. If not this, we are sure there would be plenty of other options you can choose from our vast portfolio to pick as your next adventure.


We have rolling camps on all our trails. To know why we are strictly against the concept of Fixed Camping, read Reasons to Ban Fixed Camping in Himalayas

This is a complex question and has a compound answer. The simple response is that because it is bad for the environment which we dearly love but if you are interested in a more detailed response to this question, please read Reasons to Ban Fixed Camping in Himalayas

There are a number of measures that we take to prevent overcrowding on some of the most popular trails. Some of them are capping our group size at 15, capping the number of trekkers on a trail to 250 per season, constantly looking for newer trails and routes to spread the crowd around and providing incentives to our trekkers to try unexplored territories with us. We put in place the system of dynamic pricing, which is the first of its kind in the trekking industry, which incentivises trekkers to choose less crowded trails by offering higher discounts. We have noticed, since we started this system, that this has helped in a big way to spread out the crowds between trekking routes. We are also going international so as to relieve some of the stress on the Himalayan landscape as well as explore newer ranges and design newer experiences for our community. If you want a more detailed description of all our measures in this regard, please read Simple solutions to overcrowding on Himalayan Treks

Some basic things to remember are: do not use water, do not dispose of anything non-biodegradable inside the pits, carry your own roll of toilet paper and remember to cover up after yourself to leave a clean toilet for your fellow trekkers. Everything else is much the same like using an Indian style home toilet!

Most wet wipes are not biodegradable which means it could take 100 years or more for them to decompose – not the best thing if you are trying to ‘Leave No Trace’, right?

This is quite a tricky situation but not a hopeless one. Since most of our sanitary waste is not biodegradable, we recommend that you pack your pads/tampons neatly, store it in a zip-lock bag and bring it back down with you where there are better options to dispose of them. In case you do not have zip-lock bags, ask our trek leaders for them and they should be able to provide them to you.

Each trekker is responsible for the use and hygiene of their own eating utensils. And as a measure to maintain proper hygiene, we do not provide plates and spoons. Also, dipping your hands in cold water to wash your own utensils adds something to the overall joy of high-altitude living, wouldn’t you think?


On making the payment, you will receive a booking confirmation along with the packing list and a copy of the undertaking form via email. You will subsequently receive emails detailing documents required, how to prepare physically and mentally for the trek, information on pick-up location on the first day etc. Please add info@bikatadventures.com in your trusted emails list to make sure our emails don't go to your spam folder.

A Whatsapp group will be formed a few weeks before departure. Members from our team are on those groups as well. Feel free to seek any clarifications you require in regards to the trek, on the group itself. Updates related to transportation/pickup point/pickup timing, accommodation etc. will be shared on the Whatsapp group as well.

Yes, we create a Whatsapp group a few weeks before the departure date so that the flow of information remains smooth and transparent.

Yes, it is one of the mandatory documents you will need to submit before the trek starts. The soft copy is to be sent to us & the original should be on your person while on the trek.

Yes, we will provide you an undertaking form through email which will need to be filled up by you and submitted to us post booking.

Why Bikat?

Small Group Size


Our batch sizes are capped at 15 for smaller treks with the trek leader and trekker ratio of 1:8. This ratio, in our years of experience, has proven to deliver the best trekking experience for individuals as well as groups. Capping the size of the group ensures individual attention to each trekker so that no signs of distress or need during the trek go unnoticed. It also helps to form a more cohesive cohort with better group energy which helps define the rhythm and pace of days on the trek.

As you go higher up on the BRS scale, since the stakes are higher, expeditions have an even smaller group size with the ratio of expedition leader to climber set at 1:2.


Qualified Trek Leaders


We follow a rigorous regime of hiring and training our experts in the field. Each trek leader is a certified mountaineer with years of experience in the field. In addition to their qualification, they also go through practical and situational training to tackle any and all kinds of sudden conditions that may present themselves on the ground. Being unpredictable is the core nature of the mountains but being ready for any circumstance as best as possible is a controllable asset that we try to nurture.

Our field experts are also trained in basic medicine and first-aid response.

Watch: Forerunners - The Making of A Trek Leader At Bikat Adventures


Guided Progression


Since Bikat Adventures is a learning-based organization, we help you climb up the ladder of difficulty within the sphere of outdoor adventure systematically. Our on-ground training modules are designed to handhold you through the upskilling process so that you are ready to take on bigger challenges.


Equipment Quality and Check


All the gear used on our treks and expeditions is tried and tested, maintained for good quality, and is overall top-notch in quality and condition. We are continually looking to obtain the best of everything there is in the market so as to ensure optimum safety.


Support Systems


Along with the staff you see on-ground, we have a team of superheroes working in the background to give you the best experience possible. Our background team also comprises local staff from each area who know the region best. Having local support helps with studying the area, pre-planning, execution, and in receiving timely support in case of emergencies in these remote locations.


Communication


Our on-field staff is in constant contact with our teams based in primary locations so as to eliminate any avoidable delay in reaching additional help and support when required. We try to use the best tools for communication available, including satellite phones, in regions where they are not restricted.


What our customers Say

Cancellation Policy


Cash refund

Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date

5% deduction

Cancellations between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure date

50% deduction

Cancellations within 15 days prior to departure date

No Refund

Voucher refund

Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date

No Deduction

Cancellations within 5 days prior to departure date

No Refund

Please Note:
  1. Cash refund is applicable only in case of bookings made without using any promotional offer code or vouchers
  2. This is only a brief of cancellation terms. For finer details please refer Detailed Cancellation Policy.

Blog Posts

Informative
Highlights of Kashmir Great lakes
If Himalayan beauty had a standard or a metric for rating, the greatest and the prettiest of them all will be The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. The KGL trek is a celestial paradise on earth that has larger-than-life panorama of rugged mountains, serene a...
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Informative
Kashmir Great Lakes – Who is this trek meant for?
A trek that radiates splendour, dreaminess, and sheer beauty, just at the mention of its name, is the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. Dubbed “Paradise on Earth”, the KGL trek nudges you to pinch yourself time and again for the exquisite landsca...
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Informative
What Makes the Kashmir Great Lakes so Blue?
You have seen the photos of the glittering Kashmir Great Lakes, and if you have not, you are missing out. Anyone who visits these waters comes back raving about their vivid, cobalt blue color, the greenery that surrounds them and the sense of complet...
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Folklores
Debunked: Octopus Attacks Sheep on Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Want to know a secret? Kashmir Great Lakes, one of India’s most famed trails for its beauty and turquoise waters, has a dark side. Or so legend states. The Legend of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek This trek is legendary for its beauty and mini-adv...
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Informative
Five Fun Activities to Look Forward to at Kashmir Great Lakes
What pops up in your mind when your hear word ‘trekking’? Walking in the wilderness, climbing peaks, living a nomadic life under a billion stars with no connectivity and perhaps making new friends. When it comes to Kashmir Great Lakes, yo...
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Experiential
KGL – A double dream come true!
When you go closer to your wishes, they run away! When you move away from them, they come closer to you!  ...
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Opinion
Why Kashmir Great Lakes Should Be Your Next Trek
Pristine lakes nestled between high altitude mountain-passes is what comes to mind when hearing the name of ‘Kashmir Great Lakes.’ No doubt, the beautiful turquoise color lakes are the dominant factor in this trek, but that’s not al...
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Trekkers' blog
Kashmir Great Lakes and its lyrical companion
An anonymous Italian quote states 'Ogni viaggio lo vivi tre volte: quando lo sogni, quando lo vivi, e quando lo ricordi.' When translated it reads, ‘Every trip is lived thrice: when you dream of it, when you go, and when you remember ...
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