With flamboyant green meadows and endless blue skies spread out in all directions, as far as your eyes can see, the Kashmir 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! Treks in Kashmir are known for their verdant meadows and alpine lakes. But the Kashmir 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. And the best part about all of this- the trails are completely untouched. One look is all it takes to get mesmerised for a lifetime. The best time to do the Kashmir Greater Lakes trek is from July to September. For more information about the trail, elevation chart, temperature chart, a detailed itinerary, route map and photos, continue scrolling through this page.
Drive from Srinagar to Drung
Distance: 42 kms
Time: Two hours’ drive
The drive from Srinagar to Drung, although a short one, takes you through some scenic vistas of the countryside of Kashmir. You initially make your way through the city of Srinagar. Forty five minutes into the drive, houses lining either side of the road grow scant. The mountains in the backdrop become more visible. 15 minutes later, you begin ascending a gentle slope.
This continues all the way up to Tangmarg. At Tangmarg, the road branches out into two- follow the path on the right for Gulmarg. From this point onward, it is a steady climb up hill. Tall, alpine trees flank your left hand side and on the right; you get treated to yawning views of the valley below.
From here it takes half an hour to reach the renowned Drung Waterfall. We will be setting up camp at a 15 minute walk from the waterfall.
Trek from Drung (2270 M) to Dhanwas (2886 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Distance: 10 kms
Time: 4 hours
We begin our trek at 9 am today after breakfast. A few minutes into the trek, we leave the open meadows and step into forest cover. The trek starts with a gradual ascend for two to three hours through a lovely pine forest. A level walk for another hour brings you to the campsite for the day, Dhanwas.
Trek from Dhanwas (2886 M) to Pehjan (3283 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Distance: 7 kms
Time: 3 hours
We begin our trek after a leisurely breakfast in the morning. Today, we leave the treeline behind and step into the expansive green meadows. The trail ascends gently all the way to the campsite. But the trek does not end at the campsite. We will be exploring the region post lunch, trekking to a couple of known lakes and stumbling upon some unknown ones. Trek leaders, from every batch so far, have come back to us with tales and pictures of new lakes they discover from this day.
Trek from Pehjhan (3283 M) to Tosa Maidan (3117 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Distance: 10 kms
Time: 6 hours
There are meadows and then there is the Tosa Maidan. Today is a day most trekkers look forward to because it is the day you get introduced to one of the largest meadows in all of Kashmir- The Tosa Maidan. The trail for the day is a gentle ascent through meadows teeming with wild flowers. While the terrain is not a strenuous one to navigate, the distances can run long. A sound endurance level is key to finishing strong on this day.
Trek from Tosa Maidan (3117 M) to Gadasar Lake (3786 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Distance: 9 kms
Time: 6.5 hours
Today is a bit of both, tough and exciting. Do ensure you get a good breakfast in because the trail is going to be 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 this seems, watch out for loose rocks that can toggle your balance.
The trail is a contrast, alternating through meadows and rocky barren landscapes, at the end of which lies the campsite for the day- Gadtarsar Lake Camp.
Gadsar Lake (3786 M) to Noonwan (3528 M) (Click to View GPS data)
Distance: 14 Kms
Time: 6.5 Hours
The Gadsar Lake Campsite is one of the prettiest campsites in all of Kashmir. It truly feels like paradise on earth. As we trek to Noonwan, there are lakes on the left, lakes on the right and lakes everywhere waiting to be discovered today. Each lake is the same, yet so very different in its color and setting that it is impossible not to be smitten with this place.
Do let us know how many lakes you manae to discover around this day. The highest record has been 4, till date :)
Noonwan (3528 M) to Tosa Maidan (3150 M) and drive to Srinagar (Click to View GPS data)
Trek Distance: 8 Kms
Trek Time: 4 Hours
Drive Distance: 45 km
Drive Time: 3 hours
It is a four hour trek to Tosa Maidan followed by a three hour drive to Srinagar. Expect to reach Srinagar by evening. If you plan to travel out of Srinagar the same day, please ensure you book your transport that leaves the city post 9, to account for any delays along the way.
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.
You must have done a small trek of 2-3 days before and hiked to an altitude of more than 3000 meters.
June - September
Click here for packing list.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We will be camping during the entire course of the trail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
The temperatures range from 20 degree to -3 degree celcius.
There might be snow on the higher reach depending on the season.
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.
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.
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.
You can buy your essentials in Srinagar. However, do not leave anything for last minute purchases.
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.
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.
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.
Expect to reach Srinagar by evening.
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.
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.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure