If you are short on time and won’t be able to complete the entire trekking path, you can hire palki or ponies to transport you to your destination. You can also spend the night in camps or tented accommodation along the Jungle Chatti, Bheembali, and Linchauli hiking paths, and then begin your journey early the next day.
The Great Lakes Trek, also known as the Sonamarg-Vishansar-Naranag Trek in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is an alpine Himalayan high-altitude trek in Kashmir Valley.
On a hiking trip, how many times did you come across five different lakes? Yes, the five water bodies are the focus of an introduction to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. When one lake strives for beauty with the others, they wind up strengthening each other’s divinity. The fact that they happen one after the other adds to the excitement. In a sense, the lakes are waiting to surprise and perplex you.
How to Reach:
From virtually any city, you may go to Kashmir using one of three forms of transportation. Flights to Srinagar are available. Jammu Tawi will be your destination if you want to commute by train. During the high tourist seasons, additional trains run to Jammu. The road is the final option. You can drive your car to Jammu if you have one. As you can see, getting to the Great Lakes of Kashmir isn’t difficult at all.
Kashmir is a top hill station, therefore there are plenty of high-end hotels to choose from. There are a variety of accommodations available, ranging from five-star to low-cost. You will, however, be trekking through Kashmir’s vast lakes.
As a result, during your stay at the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, you will be sleeping in tents. You should look up photographs of the places you’ll be visiting on the internet. You can imagine how much fun your travel and stay will be then.
You must avoid snowfall if you want to go along the trail that connects Kashmir’s major lakes. In October, there is a fresh snowfall. Trekkers who have explored Kashmir’s vast lakes recommend visiting between July and October. Your travel planners will also tell you when the best time is to visit Kashmir’s beautiful lakes trip.
What we can do?
At the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, you will have the opportunity to indulge in some delectable local cuisine. Classic Kashmiri recipes include dum-aloo, chairman, and Rogan Josh. During the walk, though, you must consume just what you bring with you.
The majority of travel providers offer trekking programs that include a chef. They will prepare your meal. Alternatively, you may come across little local eateries where you can indulge in light snacks.
Things to Keep in mind:
Yes, knowing a few tips for viewing Kashmir’s beautiful lakes journey is essential. Every day, you will walk at least ten kilometers. You’ll reach a height of nearly 8,000 feet in a matter of days.
So, if you want to have a good time on your trip, you must be prepared. You must have sufficient endurance and stamina to participate in this trekking trip. You must engage in cardiovascular activities to maintain your health. Your vigor and endurance will improve as a result.
Kashmir The Great Lakes Trek is one of India’s most stunning treks. It features everything a trekker could want from a classic Himalayan trek, including pure alpine lakes, wide colorful meadows, and steep rocky passes. Few hikes in India are as lovely as Great Lakes, in my opinion.
The dazzling turquoise lakes and majestic mountain ranges of the Greater Himalayas left me speechless in admiration of the planet’s magnificence.
This nine-day journey from Sonamag to Naranag via Nichnai and Gadsar Pass is one of the most picturesque Himalayan hiking routes. Throughout the trek’s paths, there are numerous magnificent alpine lakes, and the view is breathtaking!
For a long time, the Great Lakes excursion has been on my wish list. Finally, I had the opportunity to participate in this walk with a fantastic group of people. In June 2018, I visited Kashmir for my Basic Mountaineering Course at JIM, Pahalgam. I was waiting for my co-trekkers at Srinagar airport exactly one year later.
Sonamarg, a major tourist location in Kashmir, is where the trip begins. From Srinagar to Sonamarg, it was a gorgeous four-hour trip. Our hotel was Hotel Czara, which is located directly next to the Sindh Nallah river, near Gagangir, a bit ahead of Sonmarag.
Because it was raining fiercely, we spent the evening inside the hotel. We were going to sleep after a delicious dinner and a quick briefing from our guide Altaf on the plans for the next day.
The next day dawned bright and clear. We got ready with our backpacks after a hearty meal. We traveled to Shitkadi’s starting location after the crew loaded the luggage onto the van. To avoid the throng, we decided to spend a couple of hours at the meadow. We began our walk to the Table Top, also known as Shekdur, after eating our lunch.
For the first couple of hours, it was a gentle ascent. From the top, we had a panoramic view of Sonamarg, which was surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It was a short stroll along zigzagging trails that led to a lovely grove of Maple and Pine trees. The tabletop was our objective when the route came to an end in an expansive flat area.
A shepherd’s hut serves wonderful noodle dishes and Kashmiri kava. As the sun fell, the temperature began to decrease. It was time to rest and sleep after dinner. Everyone was looking forward to the next day’s trip through the Nichnai pass, one of the more difficult passes on the trek.
We awoke to the sound of horses running around freely in the meadow. The sunrise was breathtaking. We left the campsite about 10:00 a.m. after breakfast. It was a half-hour downhill trail that led to a forest of Bhoj or Silver birch trees. The entire trip through the woods was quite relaxing. On our right, we could see a large river valley.
We had to trek through the snow and over rocks at times. We arrived at our lunch location quickly. Watching the river flow and the cotton-like clouds glide over the mountains was incredibly relaxing.
As we approached the Nichnai Pass, the terrain got increasingly rugged. It began to rain fiercely just as we approached the pass. A brisk breeze began to blow, making walking extremely difficult.
It was bitterly cold outside. We came across a shepherd’s cottage as soon as we passed the pass. The hut owner was quite friendly and invited us inside. As everyone was thoroughly drenched and suffering from the cold, our guide quickly gathered some wood and built a fire. We were offered hot maggie and kahva by the hut owner.
The Kahva worked its wonders, and everyone felt energized after a little rest. The rain stopped and the sun shone brightly. We started descending from the pass soon after. There was a lot of snow around.
We had a great time in the snow, and some of the group members had even tried sliding down an icy slope. Due to the wind and rain, the trip was lengthy and challenging, but everyone made it to the campsite safely with the help of the staff and team.
From our campsite, we were treated to a spectacular sunset. We were exhausted but delighted to see and enjoy nature in a different light.
We got up early the next day to catch the dawn. The sun shone brightly throughout the valley. We got ready for the trip to Krishnasar Lake after a nice breakfast. We crossed a lovely stream that ran alongside our campsite. While some of the group members chose to ride their horses through the stream, a few of us chose to walk across the cold water.
My feet went numb for a minute, but after a few seconds, the water felt wonderful. Near the stream, there was a large herd of sheep. We took several pictures with them before beginning our walk to Vishnusar, the first of the Great Lakes! Furthermore, the terrain was level with a slight rise.
Vishnusar was enormous!!! The turquoise blue lake is tucked beneath four mountains, surrounded by stunning scenery. The crystal clear water reflected the surrounding snowy peaks and clouds.
We drove to Krishnasar, which was another 50 minutes away, after over an hour of taking in the splendor of this magnificent region. At our campsite today, we had a cooked lunch.
Inside our large eating tent, we played some entertaining games in the afternoon. We spent the evening hiking around the lovely Krishnasar lake. The culinary staff surprised us by serving fresh trout fish for dinner. It was also delicious to eat daal rice and ladyfinger sabzi with chapati. I wanted to photograph the night sky, but the moon was bright and the stars were obscured. Regardless, the vistas were breathtaking.
We reached Gadsar Pass today, which is the highest point on the hike at 13,800 feet. The sunrise from the campsite was very stunning. The first rays of morning formed a golden shadow on the beautiful water of Krishnasar Lake, which seemed strange. We carefully made our way down the steep, narrow slopes after breakfast.
From the top, we could see both lakes. Everyone was in a good mood. We were so ecstatic that we were giddy dancing on top of the pass. We began descending after resting for a while. Powder snow had blanketed the entire area. The greatest choice was to slide down.
We made our way down to a wide-open field. The hike felt like a stroll through a park, with bright yellow flowers blooming everywhere. Our meal was taken near the Gadsar Lake. This circle-shaped lake was the most beautiful and cleanest of them all.
The snow slabs dropping from the rocks inside the lake astounded us. Walking next to the lake on a sloping trail all the way up to Gadsar camp was quite nice.