Kashmir, known around the world for its breathtaking natural beauty, including snow-capped peaks, powerful rivers, and rich cultural heritage, has a folk etymology of “desiccated land”. From the wintry expanse of Gulmarg to the lush meadows of Sonamarg, Pahalgam, Chandanwari, Aru, and Betab valley, there are plenty of attractions and activities to be found in Kashmir. Its many lakes and rivers, such as Dal Lake, Tullian lake, Chenab River, Jhelum River, and more. Additionally, the area’s peaky mountains and glaciers make it a paradise for adventures, with trekking and skiing being among the most popular activities.
This blog by Cliffhangers India outlines 5 compelling reasons why the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek should be at the top of every trekker’s bucket list.
The Shekdur campsite offers a spectacular sight of sunrise
The Shekdur campsite, also going by the name Tabletop, is the opening stop on the Kashmir Gate Lakes Trek. It has a large, flat grassland surrounded by forests and mountains, with the Sonam valley visible in the distance. The sunrises observed from there are incredibly beautiful, and a shepherd’s hut is located there as well, serving tea, Kahva, and snacks like Maggie.
The ever-shifting scenery
The journey begins in the village of Sitkari near Sonamgarg and follows a path that winds its way up and down through dense forests and across rivers and streams. As you progress, you’ll find yourself walking through grassy meadows and hills of a variety of hues, from green to brown. You’ll also traverse high-altitude passes like Nichnai Pass, Gadsar Pass, and Zaj Pass where you may even encounter snow, depending on the weather. The days are spent on trails that lead past beautiful alpine lakes, along with patches of huge boulders and rocky areas in the last few days. Upon reaching Naranag village, the path turns to dusty terrain and steep descent to the end of the trek. Each day brings a new array of meadows, and lakes and dramatic changes in the landscape.
Beautiful campsites and lake shores
You will be able to camp in the stunning meadows near alpine lakes each day of the Great Lakes trek. Of all the stops, the one near Krishnasar Lake was the most picturesque. If the moonlight is dim, you could witness millions of stars and even the Milky Way. The sunrises and sunsets from the campsites were breathtaking. It is highly suggested to add an extra day or two to the itinerary so that you can spend extra time at one of the campsites and marvel at the incredible scenery.
Mountain Lakes at a High Altitude
The Kashmir Great Lakes is an absolutely stunning journey through numerous alpine lakes, some of which are named after Hindu Gods. The trek starts with Vishnusar Lake, followed by Krishnasar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, and then the twin lakes of Nandkol and Gangabal. Every lake is more beautiful than the last. Their captivating turquoise waters provide a breathtaking view for trekkers.
Eye-feast for photographers
The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is a paradise for nature lovers and photographers. With vibrant meadows full of lush greens and vivid floral displays, snow-draped mountain peaks, serene lakes reflecting the sun’s rays, and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, every day offers something new and awe-inspiring. The colors of the meadows range from bright green to deep black and brown, while the sky provides a stunning contrast of fluffy white clouds and vivid blue. In the evenings, star-filled skies provide a truly magical experience.
Apart from this trek, another gorgeous trek in Kashmir Tarsar Marsar Trek is equally enticing.
If you have any questions or feedback about the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, please don’t hesitate to contact Cliffhangers India, we can even plan a customized trek for you.
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