What makes the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, the Greatest?


A heaven on earth, Kashmir is world-famous for its surreal natural beauty, snow-capped mountains, majestic rivers, and rich culture. According to folklore, the word Kashmir means “dry land” (Ka: water and Shimeera: dry). From the winter wonderland of Gulmarg to the beautiful meadows of Sonamag, Pahalgam, Chandanwari, Aru, and Betab Valley, Kashmir has many attractions that offer a wide variety of activities and locations. Kashmir has some of the most beautiful lakes and rivers such as Dal Lake, Turian Lake, Chenab River, and Jhelum River. Home to massive mountains and glaciers, Kashmir is truly the perfect playground for adventure lovers. Every year, not only ordinary tourists but also hikers, climbers, skiers, and snowboarders visit. A perfect combination of nature, adventure, and culture makes trekking in Kashmir a unique experience.

Of the many great trekking trails Kashmir has to offer, the Great Lakes Trek is one of the most scenics. Located in the Sonamag region, the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek (KGL Trek) is popular for its beautiful grasslands, unparalleled views of Mount Halmuk, and more than a dozen alpine lakes at the base of various mountains.

Here’s what maximizes it:

1. A magical sunrise view from the Tabletop of Shekdol Campground.

Shekdur Campground (aka Tabletop) is the first stop on the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. It is a huge meadow with flat meadows, surrounded by forests and mountains. From this point, you can see the Sonamarg valley in the distance. The sunrise from this place is amazing. This place also has a shepherd’s hut where you can get tea, kaaba, and snacks like maggie.


2. Ever-changing scenery:

The trek starts from a small village called Sitkari near Sonamarg. The trail starts up and down through dense forests crossing rivers and streams. Further up, hike through endless meadows and landscapes in shades of green and brown. It also crosses high elevation passes such as Nichinai Pass, Gadsa Pass, and Zazi Pass. Depending on the weather, it may even snow. Each day we hike trails along beautiful alpine lakes. There are also huge boulder areas and rocky trails at some spots on the last day of the trek. Once you reach Naranag village. The road becomes dusty and a steep descent to the final point. Each day, you can experience different colored meadows, lakes, and dramatic landscape changes.

3. Kashmiri people and their warm hospitality.

His seven-day journey through this beautiful place involves trekking and hiking in a land where life is simple and the air is thin. The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek offers an opportunity to witness the lifestyle of the Kashmiri people. Smiles are everywhere and their simplicity wins your heart. As the trek connects the Sonamag valley with the village of Naranag, you will often meet locals on the trail. There is also a shepherd hut along the way where the nomadic Gujjar and Bahruwal tribes stay with their livestock. These people are the most humble and kind people you’ll ever meet. Last year’s Adventure Pulse trek had some bad weather and heavy rain, but we were lucky enough to find shelter in the Shepherd’s Hut. and provided hot tea, Kaaba, and food. After trekking, staying in a houseboat on the famous Dal Lake was also an experience in that I appreciate the warm hospitality of the locals.

4. Unique trekking experience and trekking challenges.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a unique experience for many reasons. The trekking route offers unique landscapes and views of spectacular snow-capped mountains such as Mount Harmukh. The terrain and weather variations are unique compared to trekking in other parts of the Indian Himalayas. The pristine beauty of this remote location has a unique charm not found anywhere else in the Indian Himalayas.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is moderate. Hiking can be done by both amateurs and experienced hikers. However, this trek requires good physical fitness and advanced preparation. The trek is full of steep stretches and sections that will test your physical and mental strength. The elevation gain isn’t as dramatic as other hikes, but it does require proper acclimatization. Depending on the weather, you can also expect very low nighttime temperatures. Physical fitness is required to climb Nichnai Pass and Gadsa Pass. There is always a good chance of rain when crossing a pass, so you should be well prepared in case it does. All these factors make high-altitude trekking in some of the most beautiful and secluded places challenging yet rewarding.

 5. Large meadows and beautiful lakeside campgrounds.

Every day we camp in a beautiful meadow by an alpine lake. All of the Great Lakes trekking campgrounds are beautiful, but personally, the one near Lake Krishnasar was the most beautiful. On a moonlit night, you can see countless stars and even the Milky Way. The views from the campsite at sunrise and sunset were just magical. He recommends adding a day or two of him as a buffer day to your itinerary. This allows him to spend an extra day at one of the campsites and enjoy the rugged and beautiful scenery.

6. High alpine lakes.

As the name suggests, the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek takes you through over a dozen alpine lakes, each more beautiful than the last. One of the interesting things about these lakes is that some are named after Hindu gods. Lake Vishnusar (or Lake Vishansar) goes first, followed by Lake Krishnasar (or Lake Kishansar), Lake Gadsar, Lake Satsal (a group of seven lakes), and the twin lakes Nandkor and Gangavar . With their tremendous beauty and turquoise water, these lakes are a feast for hikers.

7. It’s a photographer’s paradise.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek offers nature lovers and photographers an opportunity to capture nature in different moods. Wide colorful meadows, snowy peaks, huge lakes, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and magical starry nights. Hiking will surprise you every day. 

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