Tosamaidan Greater Lakes Trek

Tosamaidan Greater Lakes Trek

Kashmir 7 Days

Moderate

56 KM

MAX 15

MAX ALTITUDE

4100 mts.


15900 + 5% GST

Drung to Tosa

Add Ons

Description

The Tosa Maidan and Greater Lakes trek rubs shoulders with the one of the biggest meadows in Kashmir, the Tosa Maidan. But, it is not just the expanse of the scenery that leaves trekkers smitten with this place. The Tosa Maidan and Greater Lakes trek, our latest discovery in Kashmir, is all about endless meadows, glacial lakes and stunning campsites. If you are someone who enjoys the road less taken, this trek is for you. Being a completely unexplored trail, the trek gives one the feeling of being surrounded by wilderness and nature with nothing but meadows as far as the eye can see. Located in the Beerwah region of Budgam district in Kashmir, it is the perfect alternative for those who want to trek in lesser explored parts of Kashmir given that all the other moderate level treks are concentrated in the Sonmarg/Pahalgam region.

With flamboyant green meadows and endless blue skies spread out in all directions, the Tosa Maidan and Greater Lakes Trek brings desktop wallpapers to life and stylishly so. Every day on the trail, you are confronted by beauty that is grandiose, gripping and soul-satisfying. As one of our trekkers interestingly put it, this trek is seven days too short. You simply cannot get enough of the trail!

Over a span of seven days, the trek covers everything from coniferous forests and meadows to boulders and glacial lakes, taking us to a maximum altitude of 3,786 M. It checks all the boxes of providing an authentic trekking experience to beginners. Being a moderate level trek, it involves a few steep climbs and boulder crossings, but is dominated by meadow walks on some of the largest meadows in Kashmir! Not just this, we also encounter vast flower beds! The Tosa Maidan trek is one that just keeps giving.

The best time to do this trek is between July to September. Stay on this page for more information on the Tosa Maidan and Greater Lakes trek.



Itinerary

localtion
Day 1

Arrive at Drung (2,270M)

Distance: 42 kms drive

Duration: 3-4 hours

Like all treks in Kashmir, we spend our first day reaching the base camp from Srinagar. Drung is located at a distance of 42 km from Srinagar. If you have signed up for a drive with Bikat, the vehicle will pick us up at 1:30 P.M. at Dal Lake. In the event that you have made your own arrangements to reach Drung, this article will be helpful (click here).

The drive starts from Dal Lake and takes us through the bylanes of Srinagar, to end up on the highway towards Gulmarg. Although a short drive, we get to witness Kashmiri culture as we pass by local markets and lush green fields. The hustle and bustle of Srinagar and its outskirts slowly fades to make way for the mountains and the cool breeze, giving you a taste of what’s to come.

We stop for lunch at a restaurant on the highway. Treat yourself to some local cuisine and fuel up for the remainder of the drive! 

The drive slowly ascends and you notice a mild temperature drop with mountains taking over the landscape. At Tangmarg, the road diverts and we drive through alpine trees on either side. A 15 minute drive from the diversion takes us to the starting point of our trek, which is located a little above the renowned Drung Waterfall. 

Once at the campsite, we can unload and relax with some tea and snacks. Once all the participants have been gathered, the trek leaders will do a briefing session to give us an idea about the trek, what our schedule will be like and what we can expect the next few days. 

A freshly prepared dinner will be served and we can then take rest to prepare for the big day to come!


localtion
Day 2

Drung (2270 M) to Dhanwas (2886 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 10 kms

Duration: 6 hours

Before we start the trek today, we are taught how to pack our tents in order to be more self-sufficient during the trek. With our packed lunch, refreshments and lots of excitement, we begin our trek at 9:00 A.M. after a sumptuous breakfast! The trail quickly takes us into a coniferous forest with a gradual ascent. The initial parts are not very dense and keep moving into patches of meadows and then back into the forest. The views of the towering trees are a sight to see and if you are someone who is curious about the types of plants and trees, do make sure to chat up our guides who will have an answer to all your questions!

Around 2 hours into the trek, the forest grows denser as you gain some altitude. The trail from here becomes steep. The steep ascent through the forest takes around 1-1.5 hours to complete. Anywhere you choose to look, you will be delighted by the sight of greenery and the forest that surrounds you, making you forget the ascent. 

At the end of the ascent, the scenery opens up into vast valleys and meadows as you walk past the house of a shepherd. We stop here to refill our bottles. A short climb from here is the spot where we will take a break for lunch. Absorb the views as we relish our packed lunch after that long ascent. 

We continue on the trail, which completely changes in terms of the terrain. We are now trekking across wide meadows that open up into even wider ones. This part of the trail is relatively easy as we go up and down over lush green meadows. 

Dhanwas is finally in sight after 2 hours of meadow strolls. The climb down to the campsite is a fun filled one as we come across a few local children who visit from the nearby hamlet to say hello!

Once at the campsite, feast on some hot snacks and tea and watch the sunset over the mountains. You will see that you are surrounded by meadows and coniferous forests not too far from you. 

Hot dinner will be served after which we can retire for the day and get all the rest needed for Day 3!


localtion
Day 3

Dhanwas (2886 M) to Pehjan (3283 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 7 kms

Duration: 4-5 hours

Now that we know how to pack our tents, we roll them up and keep them ready for the porters. We start off today at 9:00 A.M. after hot tea and breakfast. The trail initially leads into a coniferous forest with a gradual ascent. It then opens up into meadows that give you views of snow-capped mountains on a clear day. For the next 2 hours, the trail is a meadow walk with a few ascents here and there. Today, we truly feel like we have come really deep into Kashmir and are thoroughly experiencing its beauty.  

The trail then steadily goes by a water canal, made by the locals to divert water for their uses. This part is entirely flat and can be completed with ease. 

We break for lunch by the canal and continue our trail for another half an hour. If the shepherds have got their herd out to graze, you will witness hundreds of sheep gathered just a little before the campsite. We take a short break here to enjoy the herd before we move on to arrive at the campsite.

At the campsite you will note that the treeline has ended and you are witnessing a greyer terrain compared to the previous site. With ample time on our hands we relax and get ready for the bonfire! We spend the evening around the fire, warming ourselves up, listening to stories and experiences of fellow trekkers. 

Dinner will follow after which we get all the rest needed for a long day that is ahead of us.


localtion
Day 4

Pehjhan (3283 M) to Tosa Maidan (3117 M) (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 10 kms

Duration: 5 hours

Today, we gear up to trek all the way to Tosa Maidan. The first 3 hours of the trail involves a gradual ascent through meadows and pink flower beds which is followed by half an hour of steep ascent. The flower beds are an absolutely beautiful sight, offering a contrast to the green meadows below. 

Once at the top, we break for lunch and fill ourselves for the descent. The trail is easy from here all the way to Tosa Maidan. A few easy boulder crossings and you see the scenery open up into what is easily one of the largest meadows in Kashmir. 

On your way down, you will notice macro plants shaped like flowers and will also come across the famous pashmina goats. With the trail being easy, we have more time to break and enjoy the scenery to the fullest.

The Tosa Maidan campsite is one of the best during the entire trek. We camp next to a crystal clear stream, surrounded by views of meadows that remind us of perfect wallpaper landscapes. 

We treat ourselves to ample food before we retire for the night.


localtion
Day 5

Tosa Maidan (3,117M) to Noonwan (3,528M)

Distance: 10 kms

Duration: 6-7 hours

Be sure to have a heavy breakfast today as we have a long climb ahead of us. Although gradual, most part of today’s trail is an uphill climb before we descend all the way down to Noonwan, where there is a bit of boulder crossing that we will encounter. 

Noonwan is a magnificent campsite right next to a lake. You will see some of the prettiest sunsets from here and the guides will also tell you that the lake is actually an extension from the Godsar Lake that you will see tomorrow!

Explore around Noonwan or sit back and enjoy the sunset with some snacks. Tomorrow will be challenging and it is the day we see the Greater Lakes of Kashmir, so it is recommended you get as much rest as possible.


localtion
Day 6

Noonwan (3,528M) to Godsar (3,786M) & Retrun to Noonwan

Distance: 10-12 kms

Duration: 6-7 hours

We have trekked far and long to finally see the Greater Lakes today! We leave early after breakfast to cover four lakes around Noonwan. These lakes make it worth the wait and are a delight to see. They are surrounded by mountains with remnants of snow and the deep blue skies making them picture perfect. 

Each lake, locally referred to as Neelsar, Dhamamsar, Bhansar and Godsar,  are different in their own way, and we cannot help but spend some time at each of them, absorbing the beauty that is before us. Godsar is the biggest and the most beautiful of them all. As beautiful as these lakes are, reaching them involves some boulder crossing which could be challenging. But you know what they say, the best views come after a hard climb! 

We return a little past lunch and have the entire evening to enjoy the campsite, sunsets and spend time with our fellow trekkers on our last evening together.


localtion
Day 7

Noonwan (3528 M) to Tosa Maidan (3150 M) and drive to Srinagar (Click to View GPS data)

Distance: 10 kms (trek) + 45 kms (drive)

Duration: 5 hours (trek) + 3 hours (drive)

Today is the last day of our trek and we make our way back to Tosa Maidan to reach the final point. We take a few group pictures as memories and start off on the last leg of the trek. We follow the same trail we took to reach Noonwan. A gradual ascent for half an hour and then we descend all the way to Tosa Maidan. Soak in the sight of the vast meadows of Kashmir one last time before the trek ends. 

Towards the end of the trek, there is a steep ascent to reach the final point from where we will be picked up and driven to Srinagar. This ascent could prove to be slightly tricky so it is advisable that you stay with the trek leaders and guides. Once at the top, there are small establishments providing snacks and food. We spend some time grabbing a few bites before our long ride to Kashmir.

The road for the first 45 minutes to 1 hour is a beaten path and the ride is a bumpy one. We drive through small towns and villages before we merge onto the Srinagar road. You will be dropped off at Dal Lake around late afternoon (4PM-5PM) where we say our goodbyes and make our onward journeys with long lasting memories of endless meadows, glacial lakes and the wonderful people of Kashmir.



Frequently Asked Questions

Pick your question

Eligibility: Is this trek good for me?

Tosa Maidan & Greater Lakes Trek 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.

Eligibility: Experience required

You must have done a small trek of 2-3 days before and hiked to an altitude of more than 3000 meters.

Eligibility: Fitness benchmark

  1. Jog/Run for 4 Kms in 35-40 mins or Walk continuously for 8 Kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better)
  2. Hold your breath for 25-30 seconds
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.

Eligibility: Requisite Skills

  • Know campsite basics like how to use a sleeping bag, sleeping tet, toilet tent.
  • Ascending & Descending technique for mountain trails.
  • Basic mountain mannerisms.

About the activity: Why should I go for this trek?

Tosa Maidan & Greater Lakes Trek

Treks in Kashmir are known for their verdant meadows and alpine lakes. But the Tosa Maidan & Greater Lakes Trek is a tad bit more special. It after all rubs shoulders with the one of the biggest meadows in Kashmir, the Tosa Maidan. But, it is not just the expanse of the scenery that leaves trekkers smitten with this place. The Tosa Maidan is so immense and so varied in terrain and geography that we set up camp here for an extra day just to be able to explore the region.

Best Season: What are the best months to visit this trek?

June - September

Packing List: How should I pack my rucksack?

Packing List: What to pack



Click here for packing list.

Packing List: How should I select my trekking shoe?

Connectivity: How to Reach the base of the trek & how to go back from the end point?

The base of Tosa Maidan & Greater Lakes trek is Srinagar. 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.

Connectivity: What is the cellular network connectivity for this trek?

All major networks have coverage till Aru. However, all outstation prepaid connections do not work in J&K. You will need either a postpaid connection or a local prepaid connection.

Nearby attraction: What are the nearby attractions that I can explore?

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.

Age limit: What is the minimum & maximum age limit?

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

Accommodation: What will be the accommodation type in this trek?

We will be camping during the entire course of the trail.

Equipment and facilities: What kind of tents and sleeping bags will be provided to us?

We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accomodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.

Equipment and facilities: Are there any washroom/toilet facilities on the trek?

Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek.These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.

Equipment and facilities: If we trek in snow, what equipment will you provide?

You will be provided with good quality of gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.

Equipment and facilities: What kind of food will be provided for the trek?

Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.

Equipment and facilities: What equipment can I rent from you?

You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.

Weather conditions: What will the temperatures be like during this trek?

The temperatures range from 20 degree to -3 degree celcius.

Weather conditions: When will there be snow on this trek?

There might be snow on the higher reach depending on the season.

Miscellaneous : Is there an option to offload my backpack?

If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.

Miscellaneous : Who will lead us on the trek?

A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.

Miscellaneous : Is the trekking pole necessary?

Yes, trekking pole is necessary. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.

Miscellaneous : Are there any local stores/shops from where I can shop trekking necessities?

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

Miscellaneous : Is it safe for a solo woman traveller to trek in Fixed departures?

Yes, it is absolutely safe for solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.

Miscellaneous : Will you give certificates on completion of trek?

Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.

Transport: In case we opt for the transport with you, where will you pick us from and where will you drop?

We can arrange reserve taxis on request from Srinagar to base point and back. Use the "Additional Transport" add-on to book the transport with us.

Transport: What time will you drop us at the end point on last day of the trek?

Expect to reach Srinagar by evening.

Mandatory documents: What are the mandatory documents required for the trek?

ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried) and Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) are the mandatory documents required for the trek.


Why Bikat

Learning Experience
  • We are an Adventure Learning Organisation first.
  • We want you to not just complete a trek safely but also pick up some basic trekking knowledge and skills along the way.
  • To achieve this we have integrated learning modules into our itineraries.
  • These modules will help you build the necessary skills to progress from trekking to mountaineering over time.
Loyality Programs

Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.

  • Currently we have three levels:
  • Basic Membership
  • Summiteer Membership
  • Leader Membership
Personalized Attention
  • Our group sizes on treks don’t exceed 15 members in order to maintain a healthy Participants : Leader Ratio of 8:1.
  • Over time we have found this number to be optimum when it comes to ensuring personalised attention to every member of our group.
  • On mountaineering expeditions this number is even smaller. Our group sizes are capped at 12 members ensuring a Participants : HAP Ratio of 2:1.
Best Expedition Leaders
  • Our Expedition leaders are advanced mountaineering course qualified, specially trained in rescue procedures from NIM and certified first-aid responders.
  • Even our local guides are certified first-aid responders.
Eco-friendly Practices
  • Group sizes are capped at 15 people.
  • Batch sizes are capped at 250 people per trail per season.
  • We follow a rolling campsite model.
  • We are constantly exploring and introducing new trails to reduce the burden on existing ones.
Safety

For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.

  • To ensure this:
  • Every region of ours is mapped with an emergency evacuation plan.
  • The equipment we use is UIAA certified.
  • Our trek leaders are AMC certified with specialisation in rescue procedures.
  • Our support staffs are trained in first aid as well.

Reviews


What's Included

Whats Included

  • Meals during the trek
  • Forest Permits/Camping Charges/Permits, Trek Permit Fee/IMF Permission (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
  • Camping tents, Temp rated sleeping bags, mattress
  • Safety Equipment includes static rescue rope, seat harness, carabiners, pulleys
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with Wilderness Emergency Responder & Rescue. course from NIM Uttarkashi
  • First Aid Certified Local guide, cook, helpers
  • Porters or mules for carrying common luggage

Whats Not Included?

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

Cancellation Policy

Cash Refund

Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
5% Deduction

Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
50% deduction

Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund

Voucher Refund

Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
No Deduction

Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure
No Refund

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

Blog Posts

10 Mountain features that must be a part of any trekker’s vocab!

Ritvij Kumar 25 March 2017

MOUNTAIN FEATURES THAT MUST BE A PART OF ANY TREKKER’S VOCAB!

 

While the terminology used in mountaineering is decently complex but the features that I am going to talk about are mostly the common ones. When we go t

Read More

Certifications