Kashmir Great Lakes Trek comprises 6 stunningly beautiful high-altitude lakes. The trek spanning over a week requires you to walk over 72 kilometers.
You cross high mountain passes during the Kashmir great lakes trek. This trek lets you witness the varied vegetation and the picture-perfect beauty.
Without much further ado, let’s just dive right in!
The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
A brief introduction to the 6 lakes covered during Kashmir great lakes trek
1. Vishansar Lake
This is the first lake on the Kashmir Great Lakes trek and among the most beautiful lakes of Kashmir. Vishansar Lake is a high-altitude alpine lake nestled at 3,710 m above sea level.
This pristine lake holds a special significance for Kashmiri Pandits. In the summer, this lake is the best place for fishing and rejuvenating amidst the serene environs.
However, in the winter season, the lake remains frozen. It is fed by Krishansar Lake and is a major source of the Neelum River.
- Things to do at Vishansar Lake: Trout and Mahseer fishing, photography, and camping.
- Best time to visit Vishansar Lake: June to September
- Distance: 35 km from Shitkadi Village (base camp).
- Major Highlight of Vishansar Lake: During the trek to Vishansar Lake, you will cross Nichnai Pass which is 4,100 m above sea level.
2. Krishansar Lake
This is popularly known as the twin lake of Vishansar Lake and snuggled at a higher altitude than this. Located just 1 km from Vishansar Lake, Krishansar Lake is also famous for fishing in summer.
Encompassed by the snow-capped Himalayan range, Krishansar Lake is mostly fed by melting glaciers. As a result, the lake changes its color from sunrise to sunset and offers magical views.
Surrounded by lush greenery and sprawling meadows, Krishansar Lake is a paradise for nature lovers and peace seekers. Gadsar Pass is situated near the lake, a famous trekking destination.
- Things to do at Krishansar Lake: Trout fishing, angling, photography, and nature walk.
- Best time to visit Krishansar Lake: June to August
- Distance: 1 km from Vishansar Lake
- Major Highlight of Krishansar: Situated at just 1 km from Vishansar Lake. Near the lake, you will cross Nichnai Pass which is 4,100 m above sea level.
3. Gadsar Lake
This picturesque alpine lake is situated in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir Valley. It is a natural habitat of trout fishes and other fishes, also known as the ‘Lake of Fishes.’
Gadsar Lake lies at an elevation of 3,600 m above sea level and is mainly fed by melting glaciers. This lake joins with the Neelum River in Tulail.
There are numerous activities here in which you can partake, including trout fishing and angling. Moreover, this is the most beautiful lake in Kashmir, where you can rejuvenate amidst the tranquil environs.
- Things to do at Gadsar Lake: Trout fishing, angling, photography, sightseeing, trekking, and nature walk.
- Best time to visit Gadsar Lake: June to September
- Distance: 15 km from Ganderbal and 25 km from Sonamarg via Vishansar Lake
- Major Highlight of Gadsar Lake: You will cross Nichnai Pass to reach Gadsar Lake.
4. Satsar Lake
Famous for its blissful beauty and scenic background, Satsar Lake is a group of 7 lakes, and this lake gets its name ‘Sat Sar Lake.’
With the backdrop of snow-capped Himalayas, Satsar Lake is a popular place for thrill-seekers and peace lovers. You can enjoy camping near the lake and admire the breathtaking views of the lake.
Stargazing and nature walks are among the best things to do near Satsar Lake. It is a fantastic place to spot nature and spend some time away from the hustle-bustle.
- Things to do at Satsar Lake: Trekking, camping, nature walking, and stargazing.
- Best time to visit Satsar Lake: June to September
- Distance: 64 km from Srinagar and 10 km from Naranag.
- Major Highlight of Satsar Lake: Cross a glacier while visiting Satsar Lake from Gadsar Lake. Small glacier pools near the campsite are the prime attraction.
5. Gangabal Lake
Gangabal Lake is the largest lake of the Great Lakes of Kashmir. This place is among the most revered lakes and holds special religious significance for Kashmiri Pandits. It is a part of the Harmukh Ganga Pilgrimage.
The glittery blue color of the lake and the pristine beauty of this scenic place will leave you mesmerized. This hidden gem of Kashmir is nestled in the lap of the mighty Harmukh mountain range. The brown trout is the most popular fish which you can find here.
- Things to do at Gangabal Lake: Trout fishing, horse riding, camping, nature walk, and angling.
- Best time to visit Gangabal Lake: May to October
- Distance: 13 km from Naranag.
- Major Highlight of Gangabal Lake: Cross Zaj Pass to reach Gangabal Lake from Gadsar Lake.
6. Nandkol Lake
On the trek of the Great Kashmir Lakes, this is the last lake that you will visit during the trip. Nestled in the lap of Mount Harmukh, Nandkol Lake is also known as Kalodaka Lake, which is located amidst lush green meadows.
The bank of Nandkol Lake is a beautiful campsite where you can stay and enjoy stargazing.
The lake’s color changes with the sunlight, and you can admire the breathtaking views of the scenic sunset. Gangabal Lake and melting glaciers feed this lake.
- Things to do at Nandkol Lake: Trekking, trout fishing, angling, camping, and nature walks.
- Best time to visit Nandkol Lake: June to September
- Distance: 64 km from Srinagar and 10 km from Naranag.
- Major Highlight of Nandkol Lake: The Nandkol Lake gives rise to Wangath Nallah, which is the major tributary of the Sindhu River.
Also Read: Top Things to do in Kashmir
Itinerary for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
At a glance
- Region: – Kashmir
- Start Point: – Sonamarg
- End Point: – Naranag
- Duration: – 8 Days
- Grade: – Moderate To Difficult
- Max Altitude: – 13,750 Ft.
- Approx. Trekking Distance: – 72 km
- Nearest Railway Station: – Jammu Tawi Railway Station
- Nearest Airport: – Srinagar International Airport
DAY 1: Drive from Srinagar to Shitkadi
It will take 3 hours to reach Shitkadi from Srinagar.
Note: The process of your registration, health screening, and document verification starts at 4 pm. Ensure you reach Shitkadi on time for it.
DAY 2: Shitkadi to Nichnai
- Trek distance: 11.6 km
- Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes
- Altitude gain: 7,780 ft to 11,838 ft
- Trek type: Moderate. 3 hours of steep ascent followed by descent for an hour. Final 2 hours, a gentle ascent to Nichnai.
DAY 3: Nichnai to Vishansar Lake
- Trek distance: 13.5 km
- Duration: 7 hours
- Altitude gain: 11,838 ft to 12,011 ft
- Trek type: Moderate. 1.5 hours of gradual ascent followed by an hour-long climb to the Nichnai Pass. A steep descent from the pass for about an hour easing off into a flat walk.
DAY 4: Vishansar Lake to Gadsar Lake via Gadsar Pass
- Trek distance: 16 km
- Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes
- Altitude gain: 12,011 ft to 13,850 ft to 12,200 ft
- Trek type: Moderate. 1.5 to 2 hours of steep ascent followed by 1 hour of steep descent, easing off into level walk.
DAY 5: Gadsar Lake to Satsar Lake
- Trek distance: 11.5 km
- Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
- Altitude loss: 12,200 ft to 12,100 ft
- Trek type: Moderate. 1.5 hours of steep ascent followed by a level walk.
DAY 6: Satsar Lake to Gangabal Lake
- Trek distance: 9 km
- Duration: 6 hours
- Altitude loss: 12,100 ft to 11,651 ft
- Trek type: Difficult. 30 minutes each of gradual ascent followed by steep ascent for about 45 minutes and then a steep descent. Similarly ascending and descending trail all through.
DAY 7: Gangabal Lake to Naranag. Drive to Srinagar
- Trek distance: 13 km
- Duration: 6 hours
- Altitude loss: 11,651 ft to 7,450 ft
- Trek type: Moderate. A mix of ascents and descents for 6 km followed by a very steep descent all the way down.
DAY 8: Buffer Day
It is important to keep a buffer day as the weather condition may cause hindrances and delay the tour plan.
Also Read: 53 Most spectacular lakes in India
Who can go
- The beginners can embark on the trek, however, they should have some interest in trekking and mountaineering.
- The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without stress.
- The climber should be able to carry a 10-15 kg backpack.
- Heart problems, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.
Things to Carry during Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
- Day pack 20 liters to keep important items with you during the trek.
- Good trekking shoes, not sports shoes.
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses for snow and glaciers
- Raincoats unpredictable rains sometimes.
- Sweaters, full jacket with cap, and heavy woolen in layers
- Inner trousers, woolen socks, and track pants.
- Trekking poles, and torch.
- Slippers, two pairs of thick socks
Other Important Things to Carry:
- Sunscreen and moisturizer.
- Cold creams and lips cream.
- Carry on your passport or ID card.
- Mixed Dry Fruits and energy bars.
- Toilet paper and wipes.
- Medical kit and prescribed medicines.
- Extra Camera batteries or power bank