Kashmir Great Lakes

A Paradise for Lake Lovers

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Starts at
11999 per person

Package Cost


12999 11999 per person

( ₹ 1000 discount from MyWanderlust )

  • 11000 per person including all costs Sonamarg to Naranag
  • Portal charges Rs 250 per day per bag

Inclusions:

  • All Accommodation During Trek
  • All Meals During Trek
  • One horse walking with trek Team if emergency he carry to trekker
  • Necessary Permits And First Aid Medical Kits
  • Qualified And Experienced Trek Leader, Guide And Support Staff

Exclusions:

  • Any Type Of Personal Expenses
  • Extra Snacks And Meals During Trek form shop
  • Insurance
  • Things Not Mentioned Under Inclusions
  • Mules Or Porter To Carry Personal Luggage(If Required)

Height:-  13750 ft.

Best Time :- July to September

Minimum Group Size :- 3

The Sonmarg-Vishansar-Narang trek is a beautiful trek that goes through beautiful meadows and seven amazing lakes of the Kashmir Valley. Imagine waking up in the lap of the nuture, with the rising sun, beautiful meadows and serene lakes everyday. The trek is an experience of a lifetime.

Itinerary



  • Short itinerary
    Day 1: Reach Sonamarg. Transport will be arranged at 2.30 pm from TRC , Srinagar. Cost of 5-6 seater cab is around Rs. 2,300 and is shared between trekkers.

    Day 2: Sonamarg (7,780 ft) to Nichnai (11,838 ft); 9.6 km, 6.5 hours

    Day 3: Nichnai (11,838 ft) to Vishnusar (12,011 ft); 12.5 km, 7 hours

    Day 4: Explore Vishnusar and Kishansar Lakes

    Day 5: Vishnusar (12,011 ft) to Gadsar (12,200 ft) via Gadsar Pass (13,850 ft); 11.5 km, 7.5 hours

    Day 6: Gadsar (12,200 ft) to Satsar (12,100 ft); 8.6 km, 4.5 hours

    Day 7: Satsar (12,100 ft) to Gangabal (11,651 ft); 9.5 km, 6 hours

    Day 8: Gangabal (11,500 ft) to Naranag (7,450 ft) and drive to Srinagar; 11 km, 6 hours. You will reach Srinagar by 8.00 pm

 

  Kashmir Great Lakes Dates Available 

28 July to 04 Aug 2018 (open)

22 Aug to 29 Aug 2018 (open )

01 Sept to 08 Sept 2018 (open )

11 Sept to 18 Sept 2018 (open )

 

Why Kashmir Great Lakes is the Prettiest Trek in India
Kashmir Great Lakes is the prettiest trek in India. Some treks come close to it, but at the end of the day, it is always the Kashmir Great Lakes (KGL) that is our most beautiful trek.

It is not on every trek that you get to see five beautiful alpine lakes. Each lake competing with the other in beauty that is almost divine. What’s more, these lakes come one right after the other. So everyday there is a new one to look forward to.

What makes these lakes even prettier are the snow patches that feed these lakes. You see them sliding off the mountain into the lakes. Sometimes you’ll see milky white icebergs floating on the lake’s inky blue surface.


.

Then there are the stunning meadows of Kashmir. They are present on each day of the trek. These meadows come in every shape and size, sometimes many in a day. On the first day, clumps of maple and pine grow like an oasis in these meadows. On the second day, they roll off a pass descending down a wide valley where horses run and sheep graze. On the third day, just below the Gadsar pass, wildflowers grow in wild abandon on these meadows. On the fourth day, the grassy plain of Satsar looks almost manicured – with a twinkling stream gliding through it.

Suffice to say, if you have not done the KGL, then you have not done the most beautiful trek in India.



Day 1 The Trek
The trek begins at Shitkadi, which is a few kilometres ahead of Sonamarg. 

Altitude: 7,800 ft (2,377 m)
Time taken: 4 hours, 8 km

The Shitkadi campsite, few kilometres ahead of Sonamarg, is a good starting point for the trek. 
Day 2: Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur

Altitude: 7,800 ft (2,377 m) to 11,500 ft (3,505 m)
Time taken: 6 hours, 9 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. 3 hours of steep ascent followed by descent for an hour. Final 2 hours, a gentle ascent to Nichnai.
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Sonmarg. You will find sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.

Sonamarg valley as seen from the top, on the way to Shekdur. 
The trek starts 3 km out of Sonamarg, on the Srinagar road. Exactly at the 3 km mark, you will spot a lone Dhaba on the right. The place sells packaged water, biscuits and other edibles and is your last place to pick up short eats. The next trace of civilization is only at Naranag, where the trek ends. Today’s trek consists of a 3 hour ascent followed by a 1 hour descent and finally a gentle 2 hour ascent to Nichnai. A jeep track diverts to the right off the main road at the shop. The track goes down to the level of the Sindh river which flows in between the mud track and the main road. The trekking trail starts along the track but quickly diverts higher up. 10 minutes into the trek, the trail bends left and enters a green meadow. This directly overlooks Sonamarg town.

In half an hour you are at the top of the meadow where Maple and Pine trees start. At the tree line, the trail quickly descends to a tiny brook and then climbs again. What follows next is a lovely dense forest of Maple trees. Walking on the green bed of grass amidst the Maples is an experience unique to Kashmir in India. For the next hour and a half, the trail winds up through the Maple trees. Stick to the trail heading uphill as the one going down heads to some of the nearby villages. The trees give way to clearings in between. Turn around and see the view of the Sonamarg valley which gets better and fuller as you gain height. The Maple forest ends at the top of the ridge and, on the other side, a meadow gently slopes down.

Day 3: Nichnai to Vishnusar lake

Altitude: 11,500 ft (3,505 m) to 12,000 ft (3,658 m)
Time: 6 hours, 12 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. 1.5 hours of gradual ascent followed by an hour long climb to the pass. Steep descent from the pass pass for about an hour easing off into a flat walk.
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Nichnai. You will find sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.

Meadows adjacent to the Vishnusar campsite. 
The day’s trek is a long walk on meadows with the scenery changing for the better all along. Start by 8:00 am to give yourself enough time en route to enjoy the meadows. Your first milestone for the day is the Nichnai pass or Vishnusar Berry. The pass is visible at a distance from the camp site. It lies just to the right of the twin snow-clad peaks. After half an hour of walking along the river, cross the river to move to its left bank. For the next one hour, walk on the left bank. Notice that the trail slowly starts ascending as you traverse through the meadow. The following one hour is a climb to the pass. It is a medium climb to Nichnai pass, 13,500 ft, followed by a small descent followed by a long flat meadow walk ending near Vishnusar Lake. As you climb, notice a small lake at the foot of the mountains. It is a deep blue lake and you can sense your expectations rising with regards to the lake.

The pass is deceptive such that the ridge seen from the meadow below is not the pass. The trail turns inwards twice and only then does the Nichnai pass come up. From the Nichnai pass, observe the Sonamarg valley and the trail you came on. BSNL phone networks tend to work here most of the time. This is the last point on the trek where you get a phone network. The next sign of network is only when you move beyond Gangabal.

The Nichnai pass feels like a wide tunnel. On the left stand a series of snow-clad peaks. There are no peaks on the right but the land raises on the right too. Nichnai pass is at an altitude of 13,500 ft. You are just into your second day of the trek and this, by any standard, is a very fast ascent. It is not uncommon for people to feel the altitude on the climb to Nichnai pass. The good news is that the trail descends from here. The rocky trail descends rapidly. In the next hour the rocks give way to grass. Red flowers spring out next to your feet. What you see ahead is a wide green meadow stretching for miles with mountains lining the sides. A new river flows down from the pass into the meadow ahead.

Day 4: Explore Vishnusar and Kishansar twin lakes


Vishnusar and Kishansar lakes are both visible from the route to Gadsar Pass. 
The Vishnusar lake lies 0.5 km to the left and 100 feet above the camp site. Head left and follow the stream without crossing it. The lake is two mounds away and takes about 7 minutes to reach. The first impression you get on seeing the Vishnusar lake is that it is big. It lies nestled below 4 mountains. The Kishansar peak though 0.5 km away, reflects in the lake. The reflections are wonderful when the lake is still. The color of the lake depends on the time of the day and the clouds in the sky. Early in the morning, before the sun really shines, expect clear colourless water. The lake starts getting its colours when the sun shines. On a clear sunny morning, the water is absolutely blue. Clouds and the evening sun make it look greenish blue in the later half of the day. Whatever be the colour, the lake looks wonderful and it is worth catching a glimpse of the lake in all its hues.

The next lake in the series is Kishansar. This lies about 0.5 km away and 500 feet higher than Vishnusar. The Kishansar lake lies at the base of the Kishansar peak. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Kishansar lake from the camp site. Move right towards the stream and cross it where it is easy. The trail climbs up on the right side of the Vishnusar lake. There are multiple tracks here. For those keen on photography, the one going up is more attractive as you get the view of the meadow and the lake from a height. For those who prefer an easier trail, stick to the flatter trails. Though the two lakes are only 1.2 km apart, there is no point where the two lakes are visible together. Kishansar is also big and blue. It has a big meadow stretching on its right. The lake and the meadow are bordered on the farther side by a ridge line that raises sharply. The trail climbs up to the top of the ridge and on the top of theis ridge is the Gadsar pass. Spend time at the Kishansar meadows photographing the lake from various angles.

Day 5: Vishnusar to Gadsar via Kishansar lake and Gadsar Pass

Altitude: 12,000 ft (3,658 m) to 12,500 ft (3,810 m) via 13,800 ft (4,206 m)
Time taken: 5 hours, 10 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. 1.5-2 hours of steep ascent followed by 1 hour of steep descent, easing off into a level walk.
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Vishnusar. You will find sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.

Descending through the Gadsar Pass.
The next part of the trek is from Kishansar lake side to the top of the ridge. You see a pencil thin line traversing through the mountain side. That is your track to follow. Always stick to the one going higher though any of them will take you to the top. It is an hour and a half climb to the top of the ridge at a moderate pace. 45 minutes into the climb, you will be treated by one of the loveliest views you can ever imagine. Both the Kishansar and Vishnusar lakes, in full view, together.

The view of the twin lakes lasts till you reach the ridge top or the Pass. This is called the Gadsar pass – altitude 13,800 ft – the highest point on this trek. The trek is a steep 2 hour ascent followed by a steep descent followed by a gentle walk in the meadows. On the other side of the Gadsar pass stretches a long valley with 2-3 small lakes visible. Far in the distance lie a series of snow-clad peaks. The peaks lie outside our Line of Control. It is not uncommon to find snow at the Gadsar pass and also in the initial parts of the descent to the other side.

The descent is straightforward. The first small lake that is seen on the left is the Yamsar lake. The locals believe that lord Yama has some association with the lake! Beyond Yamsar is another nameless lake. An hours descent leads you into flat meadows again. This valley is narrower with two ranges running on either side. Notice the multi-coloured flowers growing up, out of the green

Day 6: Gadsar to Satsar

Altitude: 12,500 ft (3,810 m) to 12,000 ft (3,658 m)
Time taken: 6 hours, 12 km
Trek gradient: Moderate; 1.5 hours of steep ascent followed by a level walk.
Water sources: Carry at least 2 litres of water from Gadsar. You will find rivulets along the trail but the water might not be suitable to drink.

Satsar campsite. 
After crossing the stream, take the trail that goes up the mountain. The trail now looks like a typical western ghats trail. The terrain feels very similar. You are just above the tree line. Trees and the river valley are visible below you. The hour and a half long climb takes you up by 1,100 feet. Once beyond the 11,500 feet altitude, the climb graduates to a traverse. The trail bends round to the left and leaves the river valley. You are now walking on a flat trail surrounded by mountains on a meadow. To your right are a few deep craters. This place is called as Maengandob. The landscape ahead is captivating. Isolated mountains stand in front. Towards the right is a small ridge. In between is a flat green bed with a stream flowing through. Choose to camp here if Gadsar lake was your last camp. If the army camp is where you started, it makes sense to cover a little more distance today and camp near the first of the Satsar lakes. Satsar is actually a collection of 7 lakes. You can find 4 or 5 lakes with water, depending on the season. Beyond the ridge, on the right, is the Satsar army check post. It is the 3rd line of defence from the LOC. The same process of identity checking, collection and questioning repeats here. Finish this today so that tomorrow is a clean day of trekking. Ten minutes out of the army camp is the first of the Satsar lakes. The lake is pretty big and looks picturesque in its green setting with mountains in front. Choose a place to camp here for the day.

Day 7: Satsar to Gangabal twin lakes

Altitude: 12,000 ft (3,658 m) to 11,500 ft (3,505 m)
Time taken: 6 hours, 9 km
Trek gradient: Difficult. 30 minutes each of gradual ascent and descent followed by a steep ascent for about 45 and then by a steep descent. Similarly ascending and descending trail all the way through.
Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. You will find a stream mid way during the descent to refill your water bottles.

View of Gangabal and Nandkol twin lakes from Jaj pass. Mt Harmukh is prominent in the background.
Mild ascent followed by gradual descent followed by long steep ascent and long steep descent followed by gradual up and down walk. The day’s trek goes up and down replicating the trek as a whole which mostly goes up and down. Trek up half an hour out of camp, to reach the biggest Satsar lake. The terrain is bouldery and it is more of a boulder hopping exercise than anything else. The biggest of the Satsar lakes is also the last in the sequence. After the last lake the trail starts to descend. Continue for half an hour on the main trail until you see the forest line ahead to your left. The right side is a ridge line, about 1,000 ft higher. It is time to gain height again. The altitude at the base of the climb is 11,800 feet. Take the zig zag pony track to climb up to the top of the first ridge. A 45 minute trek with limited breaks will see you on top of the first ridge. Once on top, you see two more ridges to climb. The trail from the base to top is barren and rocky. Looking behind at the opposite mountains, spot the Gujjar huts amidst the tall pines. You will not fail to notice the bareness of the mountains here and the greenery on the other side.

A total two hour ascent brings you to the top of the 3rd ridge. The altimeter reads about 13,400 feet. The best part however is the surprise view you get from the ridge top. The two lakes lie next to one another. A stream takes water from the higher lake to the lower. If you look keenly, two more blue lakes are seen, one on either side at a distance. The smaller lakes are nameless but the biggest amongst

Day 8: Gangabal to Naranag

Altitude: 11,500 ft (3,505 m) to 7,450 ft (2,271 m)
Time taken: 6 hours, 11 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. Mix of ascents and descents for 6 km followed by a very steep descent all the way down.
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Sonmarg. You will find sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.

Descent to Naranag
The day’s trek is a killer on your toes and knees, it is a gradual descent followed by steep descent. From the Gangabal camp site head down along the stream towards the tree line. Don’t walk beside the stream but walk along the ridge on the right. 30 minutes into the trail, your Aircel phone could catch network, just enough to inform home that you are alive! The ridge ends and you descend to a green, flat meadow on the right.

The Harmukh peak looks impressive when you look back. The green meadow has little yellow flowers growing all over and you start walking gingerly to avoid stepping over them.

An hour out of the camp site, you hit the fringes of the tree line. Pine trees line the meadows and you also see traces of civilization with the presence of a log hut. Do not walk into the forest directly but stick to its fringes and walk towards the right. As a trademark of this trek, you don’t lose altitude now but start to climb up a bit. You drop to 10,800 feet at the tree line but climb again to 11,000 feet. For about 6 km you never really lose altitude and you are forever around the 10,800 feet mark, making your way in and out of the Pine forest and finally entering it fully.

Only after walking for 2/3 of the distance does the true descent begin. The descent is now really steep. The trail is a well-trodden, muddy one through the thick of the pines. The last 4 km see you dropping more than 3,000 ft. It is not rare to spot a lot of people trekking up here from Naranag, headed to Gangabal. Naranag slowly comes in sight at around 8,500 ft but there is quite a bit more to go. The last stretch of the last day does become an endurance test but soon the stone paved village track comes up and in no time you enter the main road of Naranag. Drive to Srinagar and reach by 6.30 pm. Stay overnight at Srinagar.



Mobile connectivity and ATM point
Please note that prepaid SIM cards do not work in Kashmir. Make all your important telephone calls at Srinagar since mobile connectivity after this will be very poor. Please inform anxious family members about poor connectivity during the trek.

While Kangan, on the way to Sonmarg, has an ATM, we do not stop there unless it’s an emergency. Hence, it is advisable that you withdraw money, if required, at Srinagar.

 

KGL trek. Facilities available

Gear & Food

Here is the basic information of the gear we use while camping.

Tents : 3 people can comfortably sleep in these tents. Made out of polyethylene these are dome shaped and water proof. we use tents by top manufacturers like Quechua, Vaango Sleeping bags : made out of polyfill these are mummy shaped bags which keeps a person warm up to -5 degrees. we use sleeping bags by manufacturers like Quechua,Carry Mats: these are 6feet by 3 feet foam mats which are used to sleep on. It helps insulate the body from the cold underground. Kitchen and dining tents : made out of aluminum poles these are large marquees which can house more than 10people at a time. Typically they are A-shaped and have an outer covering to keep of the rain. Toilet tents : these are stand alone tents which act as a room to enclose the mud-pit which is used as a toilet. The pit is dug up to a depth of 3 feet and is filled by mud later on:

Here are the details of the kind of food we provide on treks.

BREAKFAST : Upma, poha, porridge, aloo paratha , boiled eggs , ommlettes , scrambles eggs , bread butter jam , honey , pickle , cut fruits , banana pancakes Lunches [Packed] : Fruits like apple/orange/banana , fruit drink like appy/frooti/real juices , butter & jam sandwich , boiled egg , vegetable sandwich , plain paratha-sabzi, biscuits , chocolates DINNER: Soup, starters , salad , papad, vegetable , roti's , rice , daal , sweet dish like fruit custard/caramel custard/sevaiyya/sweet bread, 1 local vegetable like mushrooms or green vegetables

 

Contact us 09596389412  

Email saddamhussaintheekery@gmail.com 

Organised By


trekking

Have more questions?


We are the experts of the Kashmir Valley since we live here. We have spent so much time with the mountains of this valley that they are not mere acquaintances anymore, they are our friends, family and bread earner. Whenever you book with any other big host, they generally hire us to help them with this trek. So why book with them and pay a premium? Book directly with us.

Please suggest some dates that you have in mind.

Please suggest what changes do you have in mind.

Please suggest what changes do you have in mind.

Please share your contact details.

We totally understand that unforeseen circumstances might need you to change plans, and so our cancellation policy makes it easier to do that.
  • Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trip — full refund.
  • Cancellation between 30 days and 15 days to the start of the trip — 50% refund.
  • Cancellation less than 15 days to the start of the trip — no refund.

In case of unforeseen weather conditions, government restrictions or any other unavoidable circumstances beyond the control of the host, certain activities during the expedition or the event itself may be cancelled, or there could be change in the itinerary. In such cases, the host will try their best to provide an alternate feasible activity or a voucher will be handed over (in case of cancellation or rescheduling of event) to you. However no refund will be provided for the same.

In case the trip is cancelled by the host for lack of minimum number of people in the batch, you will get a full refund.

Ask the host

Hussain Saddam

We'll never spam you, nor share your details with anyone else.
Message sent successfully. The host will get in touch with you soon.

Or, feel free to call the host

Hussain Saddam

Other experiences offered by the host: