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All You Need to Know About Kashmir Great Lakes Trek 

by Geetika Gautam

Wander the lost paths of Kashmir amid the towering Himalayas and gushing river torrents with the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a remote, off the beaten track route that takes you deeper into Kashmir’s heart and soul. This is the only trek in the Himalayas that comprises three high altitude passes. It has five river valley crossings sporting seven alpine lakes. 

You also encounter an astonishing shade of green, blue and turquoise. All you get to see within an impressive span of 8 days. You have to climb up to an altitude of 4,206 metres. The trail also switches between ascents and descents on most days which  makes it easy to navigate. The only difficulty lies in building endurance you need to handle the long distances one needs to cover each day.

Therefore, if you are fit, you can explore the trek more. If you are someone who loves nature, you cannot miss this trek! If adventure and mountain trails are your thing, get ready for the Kashmir Great Lakes trek in India. 

You have decided you are going to go on a trek and the first thing to do is find out what a trek entails. You might think that all you need to do is get in your SUV, and start from there. However, this is not the case. There are guidelines that you need to follow depending on the trek you are going to take. 

Kashmir Great Lake

Below Are a Few Things You Should Consider When Planning Your Trek:

The type of trek:  There are several types of treks. Each one is different in so many ways. One has mountains, rivers, gentle terrain but also forests and lots of exuberance. It is important that you first consider the kind of terrain you need to have. Because this will determine what kind of trek is suitable for you. 

Important factors:

During the trek, you need to make sure that you are aware of certain important factors. They are all related to your safety and comfort during the trek. Here is what you should consider:

Weather : Are there times when it is icy or raining? 

If yes, this can have a huge effect on your way of travelling and also affect your emotions. Therefore affecting your ability to concentrate. So, before deciding on a trek that suits your needs, first check the weather forecast so you won’t be disappointed. 

Best Time to Visit Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

The best time for Kashmir great lakes trek starts from July to August. It is because you can witness the flowers in full bloom.

Drive from Srinagar to Shitkadi (6,175 ft)

If you are an adventurous traveler, it’s highly recommended to set out in a car and drive through some of Kashmir’s lesser known areas. One such area is the ‘Kashmir Great Lakes’. This region, northeast of Srinagar has lakes that are not on most maps and exist in isolation from one another. The best way to experience these lakes is by driving around and exploring on your own.

There are two routes that can be taken to reach the Kashmir Great Lakes:

  1. Drive from Srinagar to Shitkadi (6,175 ft) – Lake Abhe (5,450 ft) –Mourigram –Dakpathri – Warwan
  2. Drive from Srinagar to Kargil(10,800 ft) – Sarwan – Shitkadi (6,175 ft) – Lake Abhe (5,450 ft) –Mourigram

The lakes are surprisingly small for something which is as popular as Kashmir. At an elevation of 6,175 feet, Kashgol Lake is one of the lowest points in India. The lakes are separated by Mourigram and the highest point is 7500 feet.

Trek from Shitkadi to Nichnai

Kashmir is a beautiful, mountainous region of India that has many lakes and mountains. The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek from Shitkadi to Nichnai is one of the most popular treks in all of Kashmir. It provides visitors with outstanding views.

The trek begins at Shitkadi, which is situated at an altitude of approximately 2,270 metres (7,402 feet). From there it continues up through thick forests that are rich in birch and walnut trees before passing through the Banihal Pass. The pass is the point at which the mountain range of the Himalayas reaches down into the valley of Kashmir. The next day, visitors will reach Gavdari, which is situated at an altitude of 2,430 metres (7,852 feet).

The next two days are spent trekking through varied terrain before reaching Nichnai. This town is noted for its trout-fishing lake and it’s beautiful views of Kashmir’s many lakes.

Trek from Nichnai to Vishnusar

If you want to explore Kashmir, the best way is to undertake a trek from Nichnai to Vishnusar.  A journey which takes you through some of Kashmir’s most scenic and serene reaches.  It will also take you through some of its roughest and more difficult terrains.

Along the way, you’ll traverse three mountain ranges – Shamsabal, Daksum and Baramulla. You will also cross many streams that cascade down the mountainside. If you want to do it in the winter, you would need to take extra care.

Trek from Vishnusar to Gadsar 

This trek starts at Vishnusar and travels through the Gadsar Pass to Gadsar village on the shores of Dal Lake before returning from Srinagar.

Trek from Gadsar to Satsar

The trek from Gadsar to Satsar is one of the shortest but most scenic ones in Kashmir. This journey along the Nehru Feeder road traverses through rugged, beautiful mountain ranges and past crystal-clear trout rich lakes. Beginning from Gadsar, there are five lakes that you will come across on your way to Satsar. 

Trek from Satsar to Gangabal

This six hour trek takes you through the beautiful villages and landscapes of Kashmir. It starts from Satsar, goes across Pahalgam to Vishansar Lake, then again goes up the mountains to Gangabal. You will get a chance to see unusual settlements along these trails. As well as breathtaking views of Dras Valley and Kashmir Valley.

Trek from Gangabal to Naranag. Drive to Srinagar

This is a moderate trek from Gangabal to Srinagar. 

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