Region : Kashmir
Duration : 07 Nights 8 days
Grade : Moderate
Max Altitude : 13,467 ft
Approx Trekking : 63 kms
Activities : Trekking and Camping
Great Lake trek is one of best trek in Kashmir. You can imagine with the name of the trek that describes it as it´s best. Yes it´s just great and you will get to see a lot of fresh water lakes with trout to catch in the majestic, beautiful and breathtaking scenery of the Kashmir Himalayas. Everyday after some moderate trekking you will be rewarded with a sunset that colours the sky into beautiful shades of orange and purple. We will enjoy a dinner with some wine or beer by a romantic log fire. The altitude plus the remoteness of the trek will leave all the stress and hectic of busting cities and an all day routine behind you. You will be able to relax and find tranquility. This feeling will be underlined by a stunning scenery with deep blue couloured mountain chains covered by lush green meadows with pine trees and flower meadows like nowhere else in the world. It´s simply magnificient. Of course you will get to see a lot of cultural highlights as well. One for sure is to meet some shepherds with their families and herds druing our trek. On your way from Srinagar to Sonamarg and as well on the houseboat you will get an idea of the local culture, food and religion in Kashmir. Everything is very colourful and you will get to see a lot of mosques and religous people on your way. Our other trek routes are Goechala Trek, Sandakphu-Phalut Trek, Rachela (Neora Valley) Trek, Phoktey Dara Trek, Uttarey Dzongri Round Singalila Trek, Varsey Phalut Trek, Tosar Lake Trek etc.
The first day of the Kashmir Lakes Trek, spend time in the dreamlike place of Srinagar known for its refreshing gardens, lakes and houseboats. If you wish, you can take an iconic shikara experience at Dal Lake or amble through Mughal Gardens that unravels many beauties along the way.
Leave by the afternoon and be driven to Sonamarg by evening. Spend overnight at a campsite in Sonamarg.
Today will be first day of this enthralling Kashmir great lakes trek! After having breakfast at the guesthouse, start with a 3-4 km trek from the Sonamarg and reach a roadside eatery, from where you can bag up all the required commodities for the day. Here onwards, the trek will be a gradual one and alongside the Sindh River, it will take you through maple and pine forests. Completing the hike through the forests, you will be rewarded with the stunning views of the Sonamarg Valley and pictorial streams.
Here onwards, the trek will descend down and will take you to the snow-covered Shekdur Range. Relax around the vicinity for a while before you start trekking towards the Nichnai, which is located at around 11,500 ft above the sea level. Upon arrival in Nichnai, check-in into the campsite; dinner and overnight stay in the camp.
Starting early in the morning; around 08:00 AM, start the trek towards the Nichnai Pass and enjoy the stunning views of the lush valleys and the untouched beauty of the region. Hereafter, cross the river and continue hiking through the banks of the river and arrive at the Nichnai Pass or the Vishansar Berry. Arriving at the pass, which is located 13,500 m above the sea level, witness and enjoy the meticulous beauty of the pass and the snow-covered peaks all around it.
Hereafter, the trek will undergo a steep descend and will lead you to a pictorial meadow of colorful flowers; while on this trek, you can also catch glimpses of a cascade that finally joins a river. Here onwards, continue with the hike and upon arriving a flat valley, continue towards its end and arrive at the campsite. Gazing on the left of this trail, you can also behold captivating views of the Himalayan Range and also the Vishansar Lake; overnight stay in the camp.
This day of the Lakes in Kashmir Trek would be a light one as you acclimatize yourself to the weather and rest at Vishansar.
This chilly morning, witness the Kishansar Peak casting its reflection on the azure lake waters. Start the trek for the day towards the lakeside and reach the Kishansar Peak, which is situated around 500ft above the campsite. Here onwards, ascend to the other side of the water reservoir. The trek till here comprises of both easy and tough terrains.
Later part of the day, trek towards the Kishansar Lake and and finally make it to the Gadsar Pass that is perched at a height of 13,800 ft and is the highest point of this trek. From the pass, pass through a flowery meadow and some of the pictorial lakes; Yamsar is one of these lakes.
From here, continue with the descend and after crossing Iris, reach the Gadsar Lake. A picturesque lake, it is adorned with the stunning beauty of exotic flowers and snow on both the sides. Arriving at the lakeside, report to the nearest Army Camp and complete the formalities of getting permission to pass Gadsar; ID proofs are a must for this.
Your day will begin with a walk from the army camp towards the stream. Brace yourself for varied terrains from super steep, flat and even land. Take a short break at Maengandob that is fringed by mountains.
Reach the first of Satsar lakes, which is a group of seven different lakes and follow the same procedure of yesterday with the army officials and set camps near the surreal first lake of Satsar.
A true test of caliber, this is the day when you will have you push your physical and mental limits! Trudge through rocks and boulders ridden terrain, pass the last of the Satsar lakes, and start hiking downwards for half an hour till you arrive at the forest line.
Here onwards, start ascending upward and reach an altitude of 13,400 ft; during this climb, you can witness several ridges at different heights and the quaint Gujjar huts as well. From the summit, you can also behold the fascinating views of the twin lakes: Gangabal and Nundkol, that are connected to each other by a picturesque stream and are known for trout-fishing.
Post this; trek through a sharp and rocky trail and make it to a gurgling stream, passing which, you will reach a lush meadow that advent towards the Nundkol Lake, which is also a popular weekend getaway among the locals. Trekking for around 20 minutes from the Nundkol Lake, you will finally arrive at the Gangabal Lake and by crossing the bridge across the lake; you will arrive at the campsite; dinner and overnight stay in the camp.
On your final day of the Kashmir Lake Trek, start from the Gangabal camp, ramble on grassy land dotted with yellow flowers and pine forest. Descend are reach Naranag, the last leg of your trek. Reach Naranag Village in Ganderbal District. If you wish, you can visit Naranag Temple. Be driven back to Srinagar and unwind in guest house for the night.
By Air :-
Most major air carriers like Indian Airlines (www.indian-airlines.nic.in) Jet airways (www.jetairways.com) and Indigo operate daily flights to Srinagar. Reaching Srinagar by flight from New Delhi is the most convenient way.
By Train :-
Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu railway station is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.
Srinagar is linked by the National Highway 1A to the rest of the country. J & K state road transport operates comfortable buses from Jammu. The Journey takes about 10 hours to reach Srinagar.
You can hire a personal cab directly to Sonmarg from Jammu or you can rent a share taxi from Srinagar. The distance is over 100km and would take three hours to reach Sonamarg from Srinagar.
1. Accommodation : As per the current availability over there we can provide you Dormitory room at Yoksum & you will be accommodated in Tents / Trekkers hut during the trek.
2. Meal Plan : Day 1 Lunch to Day 10 Lunch.
3. Transportation : We will provide you : NJP / IXB / Siliguri to Yoksum & Yoksum to NJP / IXB / Siliguri return - Non-Luxury vehicle - seat capacity maximum 8 to 9 seats ( Sumo / Sumo Gold / Spacio / Mahindra Maxx / Similar ).
( Please Note : Vehicle will be taken for all transfers (Point to point drop) & the mentioned sightseeing points including fuel expenses on hire basis )
4. All Car Permits, Parking, Toll-Taxes, Tips / Bata for the said vehicle & driver.
5. Entry fees & forest camping charges of Kanchenjungha National Park.
6. One group leader from our company
7. Local Guide.
8. Local Porters, Yak / Mule / Horse for ration & equipment carrying only.
9. Cook during trek.
* Any Airfare / Train fare / Bus fare.
* Any extra porter for personal luggage.
* Any services not specifically mentioned in the inclusions.
* Any transportation which is not mentioned in the itinerary.
* Still Camera / Video camera fees at any sightseeing points.
* Any meals / food during transit outside menu or other than those mentioned above.
* Any expenses of personal nature like Room Heater charges / Hot Water Bag charges / Mobile charging fees etc.
* Any kind of Entry Tickets / Fees at sightseeing points/ Monument / Parks / Boating Points / Museum / Zoo / Any Excess Waiting Charges or Parking charges at any Riding point, Example - Ropeway, Boating, Horse Riding points etc.
* Any portage at airport / rail station / hotels / on the way / during trek / or anywhere, all Tips / Bata, Any Insurance / Travel Insurance, Beverages & Soft drinks, Mineral water, Telephone charges etc and all items of personal nature.
* Expenses caused by the factors beyond our control like any rail and flight delays, any roadblocks, any vehicle disturbances/malfunctions, any political disturbances, any Natural Calamities like earthquake, flood, land slide, snow-falls, storm, heavy rain-fall etc.
To prepare for a trek, we need to strengthen our 2 prime M’s – Mind and Muscle, the body. Only then, the spending of the 3rd M – Money; a little or more, can bring to us an intense lifelong experience like trekking.
At high altitude as the air gets thinner oxygen becomes less abundant. The percentage saturation of haemoglobin with oxygen determines the content of oxygen in our blood. After the human body reaches around 2,100 m (7,000 feet) above sea level, the level of oxygen in our haemoglobin begins to plummet. However, the human body has both short-term and long-term adaptations to altitude that allow it to partially compensate for the lack of oxygen.
You can train yourself to run 3 kms in 30 minutes as per the schedule given below. Remember always start your training program with stretching and warm up exercises.
You can follow this stretching before run
After 15 min of stretching you can follow this training schedule for trekking fitness required.
Week 1: Start with 10 minute of brisk walk and then jog for 10 minutes and finally 10minutes of easy walk.
Week 2: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 3: 5 minutes of brisk walk 15 minutes of jog 5 minutes of easy walk
Week 4: 5 minutes of brisk walk and jog for 25 min and cool down your body.
MIND, THE MENTAL ENDURANCE :
To build our physical endurance prior to trek, we workout in a gymnasium or outdoors nearby. In both the cases, we actually choose a suitable environment for us to sweat. So, even if you get extremely fit before the trek, you don’t get exposed to the versatile environmental or climatic challenges that nature offers during a trek. All these environmental conditions have a deep impact on our body and mind too. A walk through heavy rains or snowfall, even in a normal gradient, becomes more challenging than the same trail in a pleasant weather. And it happens not only because of rain or snow makes the walk more difficult. Also, you need to adjust, tolerate and fight the adverse nature psychologically in which your body and mind are not habituated. Here, your mind comes into play. This is where the game becomes more mental than physical.
1. Bulid your own motivation system.
2. Use your passion to bring more motivation.
3. Study about your trek route to gain knowledge to plan and prepare yourself appropriately.
4. Think positive & stay focused.
5. Visualization is a common technique for handling stress.
Developing mental strength is not a one day game. Your experiences are the best teacher. You become more confident after every trek. Cherish your journey after completion of the trek. Sense, the achievement. These will build your mind stronger forever, no matter where you want to use it for, a trek or a life.
1. Hire a digital trainer for free. The key is to do it perfect than more in numbers. Use video tutorial, mobile apps, read blogs and use a mirror to make it perfect.
2. Be a regular, rather inconsistent & intense.
3. Drink more water during the exercise routine and more importantly in the time of trekking. Keep dehydration, muscles cramps, and life-threatening hypothermia away.
4. Food is fuel. Maintain a well-balanced diet consist of carbohydrate, fat, and protein during your exercise and trekking days.
5. Sleep well. Finally, the lack of sleep can spoil your whole preparation for a trek.
Below are the list of personal articles which are required for a trek on the Himalayas. This guide helps you to give an idea about the things that you need to bring in as a trek member. Depending upon the number of days of trek, the articles quantity may vary and this list is made considering the trek duration being 5 to 7 days (week long treks).
Always try to avoid unnecessary Cloths, toiletries which are heavy and of little use on mountain. Pack light.
For selection of personal gear/equipment and backpacking please read the articles carefully, before buying an item:
Rucksack/Back Pack : A Must item. Between 40 to 50 Litres. Don’t buy more than 60L unless you are in expeditions. These will be heavier and can cause discomfort if not fully loaded. You can buy it online or offine from trekking gear store. We can help you to find the right one.
Sleeping Bag : You can hire from us or bring your personal one rated for high altitude in case you have. Personal one is always better for hygiene. You can purchase from us. http://www.majestichimalayan.com/final/hire-a-guide
Trekking Shoe / Boot : A must item. A good quality trekking shoe/boot must have the following specs :
i) A sticky rubber sole with lug (indentations for better grip).
ii) Ankle support (Medium or high ankle).
iii) Waterproofing membrane. (A must for high altitude and winter treks).
Mattress (Foam/Rubber) : It is very cheap. You can buy it from Hardware shop or trekking gear shop.
Micro spikes/Anti slip grip & Gaiters : Its necessary only for snow trek, specially in winter time.
Rucksack cover (Waterproof): Advised. MUST for protection from rain/dust/stain etc. (Alternately you can keep your clothing and warm jacket inside polythene pack. Do get the pack(s) back to home and re use/recycle).
Daypack/Knapsack : Optional (Can carry along with you with water bottle, food, camera and wind/water proof etc.) if you want to offload your Rucksack in permissible routes.
T-shirt (Base layer while you are hiking) : A must item and as per need. Take at least one Dry fit/Quick dry type which can ventilate sweat/moisture wicking. These are made of synthetic materials. Cotton T-shirts are NOT advised and avoid especially when you walk.
Warm Jacket (Mid layer clothing for warmth ) : A must item. Warm Fleece Jacket/Synthetic fill (Some refer as Hollow Fill Jacket/Down feather Jacket.
While hiking you will not require this unless you are hiking in cold conditions. Use this when you cool down at campsite. You can but from us - http://www.majestichimalayan.com/final/hire-a-guide
Windproof Jacket/Wind Cheater (Outer layer clothing for protection from wind and rain/snow fall) : A MUST item. A hooded one made of water resistant/repellent material is highly advised.
Use this along with Base layer (t-shirt) while hiking unless it is warm and sunny weather. Wear this always as outer later to protect from wind chill be while hiking or at camp site.
Thermal wear (Base Layer once you reach campsite) : Upper and lower (Woolly cot). Must for winter treks.
Trek pant : A must item. Can be Track pants (avoid cotton), 3 quarter/Cargo or Convertible kind.
One Dry fit/Quick dry track pant is advised. Water repellent/proof quality is a plus.
For altitude above 5000m/16400ft you should use wind proof and water proof trek pants.
Raincoat/Poncho/Waterproof clothing: Waterproofing is MUST during your trek in the Himalayas, be it in summer or winter.
This can be achieved by any of the following:
i) Use your windproof jacket and hiking pant having water repellent/proofing quality.
ii) A Poncho/Raincoat.
Balaclava/Woolen skull cap/Monkey Cap : A Must item for protection from cold. Made of woolen/synthetic warm material.
Sun cap/Wide-brimmed Hat/Bandana : For protection from sun while you hike.
Under garments/Inner wear : As per need.
Hiking Socks : 3/4 pair. Use full length socks (Don’t use tennis socks). 100% Cotton socks are NOT recommended as these absorb sweat and dry slowly. A pair of woolen material is nice to have especially in winter treks.
Woolen gloves : A Must item.
Waterproof gloves : Optional. Useful especially on high altitude treks where snow/ice is encountered.
Camp sandal : Can be a strap on sports sandal or a Hawaiian sleeper.
Walking Sticks/Trekking Poles/Ski Poles : Nice to have, reduces the pressure on knees and gives balance specially while descending. Advised at least one pole for treks involving snow/ice.
Knee cap : Optional. Makes a difference especially if you have knee injuries/problems (Neoprene added variant is better).
Water bottle/Hydration pack : Must. Good quality plastic bottle.
Sunglasses : This is MUST for all the high altitude treks and winter treks. Polarised/Anti-glare is always a better option in snow with UV400 (UV A & B) protection. Trekkers using spectacle can order custom make powered sunglasses.
Torch/Head Lamp with extra batteries : A MUST item. Head torch keeps your hands free.
Accessories/Toiletries : Optional and try to share when you travel in group.
Sunscreen lotion – Optional. At least 30/40 SPF.
Chap Stik/Cold & Moisturising cream – Optional. As per need. Use small tubes/bottles.
Tooth brush and tooth paste – Carry smallest available tube of tooth paste.
Soap/Soap strip – Carry small pocket size soap, or Soap strip.
Hand sanitizer – Optional. Small bottle.
Tissue roll ( Toilet paper) – This is a must item as water may not be available in the vicinity.
Towel – Medium size (light weight).
Anti-Fungal Powder – Optional. This helps to keep the socks and the trek shoe drier and odour free to an extent. Carry smallest container.
Camera with extra cells: Optional. Normally there is no charging point on the Himalayan trek routes, carry spare batteries/power bank.
Dry food items(Kit): Must. Carry some dry fruits, chocolate/energy/protein bars and GluconD/Tang/Getorade.
Personal First-Aid Kit: Optional – Anti septic cream, Betadine/Dettol/Savlon, Band aid, cotton, crepe bandage, safety pin etc.
Medicines Kit: This is a simple guide line and a doctor’s consultation is recommended.)
In case of cancellation of tour/travel services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reason/s we must be informed in writing. Cancellation charges would be effective from the date we receive letter in writing and cancellation charges would be as follows:
Please note – Irrespective of above mentioned cancellations slabs – in case of cancellation of tour services after the booking is made with us – a minimum 10% service charges would be applicable.
In case you cancel the trip after commencement refund would be restricted to a limited amount that too would depend on the amount that we would be able to recover from the hoteliers we patronize. For unused hotel accommodation, chartered transportation and missed meals etc. we do not bear any responsibility to refund.
In regard to refund of unused / unutilized services (which are paid for and cancelled in advance) the refund amount would be worked out on the basis of cancellation policy as described above and the money would be accordingly refunded to the person who has made the payment to us. Please note that the refund process may take 2 – 4 weeks due to banking procedures. If the refund is made to the credit card account OR to Bank account, the bank charges would be debited from the refund amount.