The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is unusual and divine in many aspects, and it takes place in Kashmir, a paradise on earth. KGL is known for having some of the most magnificent vistas of any trip, and it entails climbing three mountain passes to access a plethora of high altitude lakes, making it physically demanding but well worth the effort. This journey is dominated by the lovely blue colour of the lakes.
This article explains why KGL should be your next adventure.
When you hear the moniker ‘Kashmir Great Lakes,’ you think of beautiful lakes situated amid high-altitude mountain passes. The stunning turquoise lakes are undeniably the highlight of this journey, but they are far from the only attraction. There are many more things to see and do on this walk that will take your breath away.
Apart from the high altitude alpine lakes, here are five more reasons to make the ‘Kashmir Great Lakes’ your next trek:
Why Kashmir Great Lakes should be Your upcoming trek?
1. Learn About Kashmiri Culture:
What better way to learn about a place’s history and culture than to form bonds with the locals? Enjoy bonding with the local guides, who have a wealth of stories to share about how Kashmir was dominated by Buddhists, Hindus, and then Mughals, leading up to its current Mughal influence. On the route, stop to chat with the locals and enjoy the hospitality of the shepherds. I’m sure the mountain discussions will be much different from what you’ll encounter while sightseeing in the city.
2. Take a walk around the Scented Pine Tree Forest:
Do you prefer descents to ascents? I am, but it took a toll on my knees and feet with this one. Although the descent from Gangbal to Naranag appears to be an unending walk, the view you receive along the way is one of the reasons to do Kashmir Great Lakes. In any of my previous journeys, I have never encountered such fragrant pine tree forests. The scent of the pine trees is so invigorating, and the valley is so serene, that your mind will be forced to return to its own thoughts. Things that are difficult to express and indescribable to experience are rare. This is one of them, believe me.
3. Physically and mentally demanding:
Everyone thinks the Great Lakes of Kashmir hike is easy. I’d call it a moderate-altitude hike, but the physical and emotional challenges it presents are entirely different. Normally, on other treks, you may look forward to three to four days of climbing followed by a descent, but Kashmir Great Lakes tests your mental strength by requiring you to ascend and descend a significant amount of altitude virtually every day. It’s as though one day you’re celebrating the pass crossing and the next day you’re fighting the climb to the next pass. KGL completion is something you may be proud of for the rest of your life.
4. Identify the Five Lakes from Gadsar Pass:
It’s true! When you get a bit further up on the Gadsar Pass, you can see the Vishansar and Kishansar Lakes on the left side, and three of the Gadsar Lakes on the right. Wildflowers against a contrasting background of snow-covered mountains are a sight to behold, but that’s not all. Many of these little lakes may be found on the approach to Satsar camp site. How many do you think you can count? Take a stop for lunch at Gadsar Lake, which is just over the glacier.
5. Dal Lake, often known as the ‘Jewel of Srinagar’:
Visiting Dal Lake in Kashmir is a must-do activity. On the final day of the journey, arrive in Srinagar in the afternoon and retire to your boathouse to watch the sunset. Enjoy local cuisine at floating restaurants, taste ‘Wazwan,’ a multicourse dinner for non-vegetarians, and shop for gifts at the floating market.
The Great Lakes of Kashmir are regarded for having one of the most beautiful Himalayan views. The trek’s distinctiveness is highlighted by the numerous high-altitude lakes. This walk requires crossing three passes, which is both physically and mentally demanding, but the beautiful scenery inspires you to keep going. To learn more about what it’s like to trek in the famed Kashmir valley, check out this photo article.
Day 1: Take a tour of Kashmir Valley:
The drive from Srinagar to Sonamarg is completely rejuvenating. Witness the stunning architecture of Kashmiri Bungalows and be charmed by the Sonamarg camping scenery.
Day 2: Nichnai’s Beautiful Valley with Silver Birch Trees:
Enjoy your stroll through India’s best silver birch forest, which has a significant historical significance. On the route, marvel at the innocence of local children and go along Nichnai’s untamed streams.
Day 3: Crossing the Trek’s First Pass: Nichnai Pass:
On the third day, you get your first view of the lakes that you’ve travelled so far to see. Find the secret lakes of Nichnai Pass, which are said to have seven lakes but we were only able to find three out of seven due to their inaccessibility.
Day 4: Gadsar Pass Lake View:
Gadsar Pass is regarded as the most difficult section of the trek. If it’s raining hard, the terrain becomes extremely slick, making it nearly impossible to navigate; but, if chance is on your side and the weather is nice, you’ll be treated to one of the most breathtaking views from 13,697 feet above sea level. On one side of the pass, look for the Vishansar Lake and Kishansar Lake, which shine brightly, and on the other side, look for the three hidden lakes of Gadsar.
Day 5: Make your way to Satsar Lake via the Zigzag Route:
The most amazing hike is from Gadsar camping to Satsar campsite. On the way, stop for the sweetest wild strawberries. After a short hard zigzag ascent to the table top, the view opens up to the valley, which is spread across large green meadows and flanked by stunning Kashmiri mountains. Enjoy the flat stroll in the sun and arrive at the Satsar campsite in the afternoon. Use the evening to visit Satsar Lake, which is buried behind a massive mountain wall.
Day 6: From Jiz Pass, take in the view of Twin Lakes:
Prepare to see one of the trek’s most breathtaking sights. On the Kashmir Great Lakes trip, Jiz Pass is the last of three passes. From 13,100 feet, take in the vista of the twin lakes of Nandkul and Gangabal. Find a quiet spot and allow your spirit to be enchanted by the beauty of this area.