- The Indian Himalayas Are replete with wonders, including some of the most challenging treks. If you seek a challenge this summer that is stunning as well, we have perhaps the most gorgeous Indian trek for you—the Great Lakes Trek of Kashmir. An Alpine adventure, it takes trekkers on a journey like no other, through the much-famous meadows of Kashmir. This and more is what awaits you on the Great Lakes Trek.
- Kashmir Great Lakes Trek The trek starts from Shitkadi, a few miles from Sonamarg and touches an altitude of 7800 ft. The Great Lakes Trek is, under ideal circumstances, for 8-9 days; you need to be quite fit for the trek and involves around 75 km of trekking. You will be touching 13750 ft. for your maximum altitude here. It is advisable that you start your fitness regime months before hitting this one up.
- Sonamarg to Nichnai Your second day of the trek would involve around 11 km of trekking, and will take you till an altitude of 11500 ft. On your way from Sonamarg, pore over the astounding beauty of the Thajiwas Glacier. Starting from Shitkadi, you will be crossing pine forests to reach Shekdur. Soak in the views as you trot along.
- Nichnai to Vishnusar Lake A trek of around 12 km, going up to an altitude of 12000 ft will take you to the twin lakes of Vishnusar and Kishansar.It is a gradual ascent for 1.5 hours, and an hour’s climb, before you start to descend for around 1.5 hours. The trek on this day will take you across meadows and Nichnai Pass. You can pore over the Vishnusar Lake from the campsite, a wondrous green and blue waterbody.
- Vishnusar to Gadsar The next morning, as you move towards Gadsar, you will also be crossing the Kishansar Lake. The trek on this day is largely moderate, and takes around 5 hours. Once you reach the Gadsar Pass, soak in the view of the twin lakes together. From here, once you descend, you will have the sight of Yamsar Lake, and another lake that has no name. Gadsar is where the day’s campsite usually is.
- Gadsar to Satsar The trek from Gadsar to Satsar, again, will take around 6 hours. It is a moderate walk after some 1.5 hours of steep ascent, just above the tree line. Satsar has five unnamed lakes, and is a delight to camp at. An army check post is present here, and an ID check is usually done as well.
7. Satsar to Gangabal A slightly difficult day in terms of trekking, it involves steep ascents as well as descent. The trek would largely be taking you up and down; you will behold the stunningly blue Gangabal Lake one you reach the altitude of 13400 ft. Sprawled by its side, is Nandkol, the smaller of the two lakes. Both the lakes are quite a popular spot for trout fishing, and are about 20 minutes from each other.
8. Gangabal to Naranag A moderate trek awaits you from Gangabal to Naranag, and is a gradual descent for most of the route. You will be walking through dense pine forests most of the day, and the descent is quite a test for one’s knees! Once you reach Naranag, after some 6 hours from Gangabal, it is time to bid adieu to your camping days. From here, cabs to Srinagar can be hailed.