Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

Great Lakes Trek.

Trek Overview.

Distance, Duration and Difficulty.

  • 90 km (56 mile)
  • 8 nights and 9 Days Trek.
  • 3 mountain passes.
  • Alpine Forests
  • 12,000 ft (3,658 m) to 12,500 ft (3,810 m)
  • Difficulty Level - Moderate.

Main Sights.

  • Vishansar Lake
  • Krishansar Lake
  • Gadsar Lake
  • Satsar Lakes
  • Gangabal Lake
  • Nundkol Lake
  • Trundkhol Meadow
  • Nichnai Pass.

Season & Climate.

  • June - Middle of September
  • Occasional Rain and thundering.
  • Night Temperature 50 Fahrenheit ( 10 Degree)
  • Day temperate 100 Fahrenheit around.
  • Melting glaciers.
  • Thin Air over the mountain passes.

Cost and Inclusive.

  • 20000 thousand/Person (Indian Residents)
  • US$ 300/person ( Non - Indians )
  • All Transportation from Srinagar Airport or Hotel and Return.
  • 3 time delicious meals and refreshments.
  • Ponies to Carry Rucksacks and other belongings.
  • Waterproof pup tens and dome tens with sleeping pads and bags.
  • Trekking & fly Fishing Permits.
  • First Aid + Oxygen.
  • Professional Trekking Guide and Cook.
On the way to Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

Introduction to Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

Kashmir valley, A famous tourist destination over the world for its natural beauty, rich biodiversity, and for its arts and culture. Kashmir is fascinating tourists because of its natural beauty which comes from green lush snow-capped mountains.

From centuries Kashmir is been explored by nature lovers  for trekking  expeditions,  day hikes, snow treks, ski in the alps of Gulmarg, Leisure Tours  and more with the  advancement in adventure sports  today In Kashmir , Tourists  are having more  adventurous options like River rafting, Para Gliding, Skiing, Mountain Biking, Rock-climbing  and many  more related to Water Sports.

     In this topic, we are going to cover the most famous Trek of Kashmir which is “Great Lakes  Trek ”  or Kashmir great Lakes Trek.  Before we go into details about Great Lakes  Trek  I  want  to acknowledge readers  some important  things about High Altitude lakes In Kashmir , As we know or heard about Alpine lakes are those Lakes which are located  at  an elevation of  5000 feets above the sea level and In Kashmir there are more than 2000 Lakes  like that , yes it is Two thousand Alpine Lakes . Almost  200 Alpine  Lakes had been explored in Kashmir from centuries and 110  among 200  are  Named as per the belief of region or according to the language who discovered these Lakes. In the age of Information technology and  other  advanced software’s  like Google earth could help to get  accurate information,  e.g.,  location of  Alpine Lakes in Kashmir , After analysis you will  analyze most of the lakes which have not been explored are very small in size  also hard to reach or submit  therefore  you have  must  have professional mountaineering skills to submit them as compared to  submitting  other Alpine Lakes which are named and listed  and are been explored every year. Few other reasons why hundreds of alpine lakes had not been witnessed by any trekker and by professional trekkers, its because of the land dispute between Indian and Pakistan. Many places which are very beautiful, full of natural flowers within green meadows, Pine forests, wildlife areas are used as a base camp by Indian Army. Such constructions of the Indian Army does have a bad impact on the environment of Kashmir even over the ecosystem of Globe.

                Conclusion:  After studying above paragraph  we came to know all the alpine lakes in Kashmir are not reachable  or not meant for tourism purposes, either needs a lot of hard work and rocky terrains  which make them  too risky  and  one more reason is  that unexplored  Alpine  lakes lie near LOC(Line of Control ) of India and Pakistan.

13 Alpine Lakes of  Kashmir which are allowed and are safe to explore during the right season by the Ministry of Tourism Jammu and Kashmir.

  1.  Gangabal Lake.
  2. Nundkol Lake.  
  3. Vishansar Lake.  
  4. Krishansar Lake.
  5. Satsar Lake. 
  6. Gadsar Lake. 
  7. Tarsar Lake. 
  8. Marsar Lake. 
  9. Nandan Sar Lake.
  10. Sheshnag Lake. 
  11. Kausar Nag.
  12. Tulian Lake.
  13. Royal Sar Lake. 

 These 13 Alpine Lakes are having different trekking routes from different regions of Jammu And Kashmir but there is trekking trail which covers  6 of these beautiful Alpine Lakes and the experience is breathtaking, this trek is not just a trek but to witness a glimpse of heaven and so called as Kashmir Great Lakes Trek”.  

Access (how and where to start):  Trekking trail to Kashmir Great lakes could be started from four  Different Locations of Kashmir and does have proper trekking routes, But 2 of the trekking routes leading to Great lakes are not permissible by authorities. When it comes about safety, incredible mountains views and exploring of amazing sites nearby then Naranag and Sonamarg are the best locations to begin you trekking trail to 6 great lakes of Kashmir.

Trailheads:  

Trailheads: Sonamarg (East), Naranag (West)

      1.Sonamarg (District Ganderbal)

  2.Naranag (District Ganderbal)

  Least Chosen.

3.Tulail (Gurais, District Bandipora) 

4.Main Bandipora (District Bandipora)

 

Sonamarg, A famous hill resort situated in the lap of Himalayan snow capped Mountains 49.70 Mile (80 Km) towards the northeast and Srinagar City and  while heading  towards Sonamarg, on the halfway  A  macadamized  mountain road from left of  Kangan Main Market leads to the Tourist Village Naranag which is  almost 10 miles (16 km). The trekking trail-heads for Great Lakes Trek lie both on the northeast of Srinagar. Sonamarg is a popular and trending place for Mountain and Glacier sight-seen destinations in Kashmir and Naranag is a  Tourist Village in the district Ganderbal of Jammu and Kashmir famous for fly fishing, Ancient Monastery of Shiva. Both the places are safe and also leading to other different trekking expeditions and day hikes.Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is the name of an awesome trekking experience into the Himalayan Mountains of Jammu and Kashmir.  We got a short season of 3 and half months (June to 15 September ) to explore these 6 high Altitude Alpine Lakes of Himalayas and during remaining season the mountain passes remained closed due to plenty snow, with  freezing  temperature even until the starting of summers. The trekking trail is full of amazing mountain views, snow caped peaks, alpine valleys and Meadows and most epic and pleasant are the 6 beautiful Lakes. When it comes to adventure experience and beauty its mind blowing and more than exceptions.  Kashmir have  got a  title by A famous Mughal Emperor Jahangir “If there is paradise on earth, that is this , that is this, that is this”  Its not because  of Gardens  and palaces  they  built  in Kashmir which later called as Mughal  Gardens  (Shalimar Garden, Chashmashahi )  but its because of the  Beauty which God has gifted to Kashmir and without these beautiful lakes and attractive snow-capped mountains,  Kashmir may have not got this title . If you are planning for great lakes trek, you have chosen the most beautiful destination to visit in Kashmir, even prettiest in  Asia. The 6 great  lakes are named as:

  1.  Vishansar Lake.
  2.  Krishansar Lake.
  3.  Gadsar Lake.
  4.  Satsar Lake.
  5.  Nundkol Lake. 
  6. Gangabal Lake.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Itinerary.

Day 1. Pickup from Srinagar Hotel or from IGI Airport Kashmir.

Srinagar - Naranag ( 3 - 4 hours though tourist taxi ). Distance - 47 Kms or 29.2 miles.

beautiful dal lake srinagar

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. -Helen Keller” We heartily welcome our guests for being part of an awesome trekking expedition with us. Our company driver will pick up from Srinagar on the arrival time guests have mentioned. After pickup, the driver will be heading towards District Ganderbal through Main City of Srinagar and guests  will get through the boulevard road and  a beautiful view of Dal Lake Kashmir could be seen while heading towards  Ganderbal Kashmir which is 1 and half hour drive from Srinagar, The group will be offered with refreshments  and there will be a tea break at Ganderbal main Market. After a break of around 20 minutes, we will be heading towards Kangan, this is the point when we will be going upwards towards Valleys surrounded by Snow capped Mountains and following the River Sindh in opposite direction, we will be reaching Kangan Area and where  driver will turn left and will go though macadamized road  heading towards mountains and leading to famous Tourist Village Naranag. This will be an uphill drive for 8 Km from Kangan to Naranag. 

Naranag is famous for its natural beauty and for its ancient archeological site. Naranag lies on the left of Wangath river which is a tributary of Nallah Sindh and the source of  Wangath river is two of the great lakes, Gangabal and Nundkol. There will be overnight staying in guest houses and guests could relax and explore the beauty of  Naranag and its ties with Shiva. Some Historians believed that the king Awantivarman paid a visit and donated a pedestal for bathing at Butcher in the 8 the century Ad. Explore the time left during the first day and get ready for a breathtaking adventure experience which will start on next day morning.

Please check the inclusive up at the top.)

Day 2. Naranag - Gangabal Lake.

Naranag - Budhsheri - Budsheri Top - Trunkhol - Trunkhol Huts - Nundkol Lake - Gangabal Lake. ( 8 - 10 hours trek for occasional hikers). Distance - 15 Km. Trek Difficulty - Moderate. The surface elevation of Lakes - 3500 meters.

Getting ready in the morning with full energy and in  the valley of pine trees is an awesome experience , After having breakfast, Trekkers will be advised important steps to follow during the trek and  group will be following trekking route starting from Naranag  towards Budhsheri , this route starts from the main market of Naranag and to get up to top of Budhsheri , a zigzag trekking route leads through pine trees and as you go higher the panoramic view of Dumail and Shadimarg could be seen and the sound of flowing Wangat stream makes it melodious, Group leader  will be following the group at end and ponies to carry backpacks will be in front with the group guide, It takes 2 to 3 hours to  reach top of Budhsheri and the forest Block of Trundkhol starts after top of Budhsheri covered with different types of trees like Alder, Birch (Bhoj Patra), Boxwood(Shamshad) and Deodar(Cedar) which makes an aroma in the air and with the sound of pine it makes this trekking experience  mind-blowing while going through Tundkhol forests , You could find a gypsy tea stall at Trunkhol and after having tea break, we will be heading towards forest huts of Trundkhol and at this point the trek starts taking turns with updown on the route, the small water falls could be found on the route and the origin of those water falls  are glaciers of Mount Harmukh,It takes 2-3 hours to reach Trundkhol Forest Huts, while going through forests of  Trundkol suddenly a staigght muddy route will start and a view of green lush medows and a spring like feels comes while looking  at valley of Trundkhol. Reaching  the Trundkhol huts is almost end of the trek because now the trek is very easy as compared to places which we left behind, From Trundkhol route leads to Nundkol and  Gangabal Lake so get ready to witness the glimpse of heaven, it takes 2 hours at the most to reach Nundkhol Lake from  Trundkhol Forest Huts and the route is easy to follow, the lines going through the landscape of Harmukh Valley also, small slopes give this valley an extraordinary look and Peaks and Glaciers  of second Highest  Mount Harmukh could be seen during the trek. Tents will be pitched and its time to relax, we will be still having 3 hours of day time to explore these two lakes. 

Day 3. Explore two Great Lakes.

Make best out of your time, the day is yours and explore the world famous 2 Lakes Gangabal Lake and Nundkol lake.

An Amazing view of Nundkol Lake and Gangabal Lake.

 Explore two Great Lakes. It’s an amazing time for you to explore the beauty of Twin Lakes, you got the whole day to explore the 2 Great lakes which are the main water source of Wanganth River. This day will be full of adventurous activities like flyfishing, nature photography and video grapy, Swiming ( Under permissions of Group leader), Knowing about flora and fauna of the place, We have got everything for you, delicious meals, fishing equipment, full comfort tents, and sleeping bags and you could refer to the section Inclusive in this article. Harmukh Mountain is main part of Northern Greater Himalayas and Gangabal and Nundkol lake is situated in the lap of this great Mountain, named as Mount Harmukh, depends on the weather conditions trekking guide could decide to have 3 hours Hike to a small lake called Kolesar, which is located on the left side Mount when facing towards east. Submitting Mount Harmukh is meant for professional Mountaineers and is very difficult, Submitting Mount Harmukh need a lot of rockclimbings and mountaineering experience and still it’s full of risk because there are a lot of chances of rockfall and skitting of snow. A trekking community, Jammu and Kashmir Mountaineering and Hiking Association who have submitted more than 200 Alpine lakes of Kashmir and outside of it. “Its 3 times harder to submit second Highest Peak of Kashmir rather than the Highest Mountian Peak Mount Kolhai”, spending the time in landscape of  valley Trundkhol and 2 Great lakes will give our guests therapy of Nature and getting information from our guides will make you more passionate to know more about such beautiful lakes and their history. make your heart and mind full of memories and a real feeling of a life long roam, its time for a campfire and making a charming evening in the Himalayas. Meals will be served at 8 pm -9 pm during the whole trek. The fourth day will start with a new adventure and an amazing thing is that the highest Mountain peak of Korakaram Mountain Rage “K2” yes, could be seen very easily using binoculars during the fourth day of the trek.  

Day 4. Gangabal Lake - Satsar Lakes.

Gangabal - Judgeball bari - Mangun Dub - Satsar Lake. Trek duration: 8 -10 hours trek with 2 hours. Accends and descends in the trekking trail. Distance - 10 Kms.

Satsar Lakes.

  An overwhelming trekking trail will start from Ganagabal   Lake base camp to  Mountain Judgeball ( “ball”  literally means a Mountain in the Kashmiri Language), We have to go for an accent trek for 1 hour and the mountain ranges and cliff valleys of Great Lakes could be seen during good weather. Depends on the clarity of the sky, the Mountains of Karakoram Range including K2  could be seen from the top of JudgeBall using Binoculars. Following the up and downs in trekking trail from the top of Judgeball for next 1 hour. A feeling about the beauty of  nature and vastness of Himalayan mountain ranges will give  you an answer to why these lakes are called as great lakes of Kashmir,  A  U shaped valley having  green steep slopes  with colorful natural flower beds  will start right after the end of Judgeball,  this valley is named as Mangun Dub, This valley is been used by shepherds of Kashmir and also by nomadic tribes of Jammu Division to rare their cattle, sheeps, and buffaloes  during the peak summer season. This place is full of hundreds of herbal plants and grass that is why its been preferred by shepherds to rare their folks of sheep in such landscapes. This process of taking cattle, sheep to high altitude grasslands provide good profit to shepherds because  this way these cattle could gain weight and obviously  the more weight sheep will have the more will be the cost , its an interesting story of nomadic people who migrate during summers from different Parts Jammu division and it takes them 20 to 30 days to cover the distance of 300 Kms coming from different  Mountain passes  and following the Mughal road and  Ranges of Pir Panchal  with their sheep and goats.  Following the trail through the center of Mangun dub will be entering in another valley of 7 lakes named as Satsar ( “Sat”  means 7 and “Sar” means a high altitude natural water body). Today we could see up to 4 lakes only but for sure there were 7 lakes, that’s why the valley is named as  Satsar. Due to climatic changes because of  global warming, it doesn’t snow  in Kashmir as much it used to be 30  years back and that snow  was getting  melted down  from rocky terrains and moving downwards towards the Georges of mountains  which were giving birth to a few small lakes and now only 4 could be seen and we don’t know  what would be scenario in 2030. The 3  main Lakes of Satsar are up to 30 feet deep and has a natural spring under them and are also getting filled by the water of glaciers. During summers season a camp of Indian Amry could be seen at Satsar following the third Line of Line of Control and they would have already information about our trek to  Kashmir great lakes. The trekking trail for today is over we will be pitching our tents and exploring beautiful lakes.  

 

Day 5. Satsar Lake to Gadsar Lake.

Satsar Lake - Dubta Pani - Gadsar Lake Trek duration: 6 - 8 hours. ( Normal Walk and 1-hour slope accent trek ). Distance - 12 Km

Gadsar Lake.
Gadsar Lake surrounded by wild flowers like Cow parsley, Deadly nightshade,Dog rose, and Foxglove.

After having a delicious breakfast and getting our backpacks and belongings ready to get carried by ponies, the 5th  day of our trek will start from a beautiful Valley of Satsar lake to another beautiful destination named as  Gadsar Lake. We are already at an altitude of 12000 feet above the sea level and going to follow a trail with a normal walk for next  3 hours and while getting through a ridge we could see snowcapped Mountains and rocky terrains providing a mindblowing view.  This difficulty level of this trekking trail is normal, While going towards the meadows of  Gadsar Lake, Sounds of flowing water could be heard, this place is named as Dubta Pani (Sinking Water ). This Landscape is made up of rocky crust and Small water stream flowing under the muddy surface of the crust, making a seashore sound. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is full of exotic natural landscapes, meadows and glaciers views and with life-changing memories of   7 beautiful alpine lakes of Kashmir. These never lasting adventurous memories will take you in-depth in Nature and like  John Muir  said: “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” 

 A small slope could be seen at the end of this level walk and an accent trek of an hour will take you to route connecting Satsar Lake to Gadsar Lake, This route is been used by Gypsy families and shepherds and trekkers as well and is easy to follow because it looks like a brown line through green meadows. Down below the trekking route, the green tree line could be seen while following the trekking route. A right turn at the end of the slope will take you to Gadsar Lake. Gadsar Lake is for its beautiful natural flower beds surroundings the Lake, At Gadsar Lake a small camp of Indian Amry Forces who will like to know about our identity even they have got wireless information about us from Concerned Main Base. We will stay overnight at beautiful Gadsar Lake and we have a great opportunity for flyfishing, Fishing could be at All the alpine lakes of Great Lakes Trek but fishing in  Gardar Lake is an awesome experience and much easier to get a catch as compared to other Lakes Like Gangabal Lake. “Gad” in the Kashmiri Language means the fish and “Sar” means the high altitude water body, Gadsar Lake is full of Trout Species fishes that is why it’s named as  Lake of Fishes. Fishing is permitted under proper permissions and the Trek Kashmir used to bring permits for  3- 4 fishing rods for our folks. A Magnificient view of Gadsar Lake could be seen during full moon night which is really unbelievable. Gadsar Lake is often preferred for fishing but sometimes, you are not allowed to go for fishing by Indian Army even you got all the permissions. We will be staying to next to Gadsar Lake which mostly chosen meadow for tents.breath is The Great Himalayas, Taking our meals and getting in comfortable tents and by Morning we have to go through most epic Lakes Vishansar and Krishansar Lakes.

Day 6. Gadsar lake to Vishansar Lake.

Gadsar Lake - Gadsar Bari Top - Krishansar Lake - Vishansar Lake. Trek duration: 5 - 7 Hours. ( Normal Walk for 2 - 3 hours, Steep Uphill for 2 hours ). Distance - 10 Km.

 The Himalayas are considered Holy and been in such a beautiful holy land is more than an awesome adventure. Today’s trekking trail is going to be epic, we going to camp at the two great lakes of Kashmir, Vishansar Lake, and Krishansar Lake.  The lakes are named as per Hindu mythology of Vishnu which comes from the Mythology of Hinduism scripts and temples. Vishnu is the “preserver” in the Hindu triad (Trimurti) that includes Brahma and Shiva. In Kashmir, there was a King Avanti Varman (AD 855- 883) who have built temples in Awantipora and at different places of Jammu and Kashmir of Vishnu and some historians believe he is the one who gave names to these two beautiful lakes as Vishansar and Krishansar.

The trail will start from the meadow of Gadsar Lake heading towards the base of the ridge which connects Gadsar Lake Meadow and Vishansar Lake. The difficulty level of this trekking route is Normal, after a one-hour normal walk through Gadsar Meadow, a  mountain peak with rocky terrains on west side could be seen which was part of a Village, and is not part of our trekking trail. Until the year 2003  there was a village living named “Jabdoor ” which was one the closest village to these great lakes, the Village was situated  in the lap of mountains until 2003 from 1952 AD  and due to snow avalanches during every year the villagers started moving to plain areas of Tilail (Part of Gurais  Valley ) and count of families  living in Jabdoor was decreasing after every year. During  Winters of 2003, a massive snow avalanche messed the houses with 3 deaths and dozens of serious injuries. Leftover of house contractions could be seen and Jabdoor didn’t remain the nearest Village to great lakes of Kashmir. 

We are following the trekking route which leads towards ridge (Gadsar Bari) and after two hours of normal trek, we need to get to the top of the ridge ( Local Name – Gadsar bari). It will take 2 hours to get over the ridge and a mind-blowing view and Vishansar and Krishansar Lake, situated in the lap of highly elevated rocky mountain peaks and with a green lush mountains range around, The most epic scene of the whole trekking trail. Krishansar Lake, followed by Small one Vishansar Lake Makes an amazing panoramic view, now the uphill slopes are over for today going to explore both lakes after getting down the ridge. Ridge (Often called as Gadsar bari because it connects   Vishansar Lake with Gadsar Lake ) and remains with snow during the start of June and during 2019 summers snow scale will be more as compared to previous years, following the steps of the trekking guide experience only helps to identify the holes and weak points on a glacier. The climate at the meadow of Vishansar Lake remains better than other meadows we left, At Vishansar Meadow, Couples of Employees from the Department of Fisheries Jammu and Kashmir are living inside gypsy houses and their purpose is to take care of the crystal cleared Alpine lakes which are full different types of trout fishes including brown and rainbow trout fishes. Fly Fishing is permitted on the flowing stream of these Lakes only but over the Lakes. The lakes are elevated at 3710 meters and the smallest one is Vishansar Lake which comes second in today’s trekking trail. Vishansar Lake has a maximum length of 1 kilometer and a maximum width of 0.6 kilometers. The water stream flowing from Krishansar Lake and a small tributary from Vishansar Lake join, making a sweet flowing water stream through the gorges of Himalayan Mountains ranges. The stream runs northwards through Badoab valley and after crossing Bodoab village in Tulail where it meets a tributary coming from Glaciers of  Dras Kargil. The Stream runs towards west, parallel to the First Line of Control of Kashmir. The river is getting a large volume of water by many glacial tributary streams during the summers season. The river is named with two different names “Kishanganga” By Indian people and “Neelum River” by Pakistani People. This river enters Azad Kashmir in the Gurez sector of the Line of Control. Running west, parallel to the Line of Control, passing through Sharada. After Sharda, it bends to a southwesterly direction and runs along the Line of Control near Tithwal(100 Kms from Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir ). Then it bends northwest again, making a wide arc to join the Jhelum River in Muzaffarabad Pakistan.

Krishansar Lake is the source of Kishanganga River and a mega construction of the Hydroelectric Project was started in 2007. Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant is an $864 million run-of-the-river hydroelectric scheme that is meant to divert water from the Kishanganga River (Neelum River) to a power generating plant on the Jhelum River basin. It is located 5 km (3 miles) north of Bandipore in  Kashmir and will have an installed capacity of 330 MW.  Neelam River is Total  245 kilometers (152.236 miles) long, covering first 50 kilometers ( 31.0686 miles ) in the Indian-administered Kashmir and the 195 kilometers (122 miles ) in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Vishansar Lake and Kishansar Lake plays an important for the better environment and Agriculture of India and Pakistan also and is a great source of Hydro-Electricity and that is why our trekking trail is named as Great Lakes Trek. Vishansar Lake is our campsite for tonight and we got enough time to explore these lakes too.

Day 7. Vishansar Lake to Nichnai.

Vishansar Lake - Vishansar Lake Meadow - Nichnai pass (Bari) - Nichnai Meadow (Campsite). Trek duration: 6 - 8 Hours. ( Normal Walk for 2 - 3 hours. Steep Uphill for 2 hours then steep downhill for 1 hour ). Distance - 13 Km.

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. Today we are going to walk through the colorful, full of blossom and fresh glacier water streams of the Vishansar  Valley. The valley is covered with rocky elevated mountains with green lush texture from different kinds of plants and herbs. The route we will be following will lead us to second highest pass of the whole trekking trail, which is named as “Nichnai Pass”  Approximate elevation 3,660  m (12,000 ft). The landscape of Vishansar Meadow is itself an awesome camping site for short treks. More a flowing water stream having a number of tributaries from different glaciers of nearby Mountains and biggest glacier which feeds this fresh crystal clear water stream is Nichnai Glacier. Starting our trekking trail from the Vishansar meadow, walking towards the east of the meadow where from a water stream is coming and joins the mainstream of two great lakes, The water stream flows through a beautiful landscape covered with colorful flowers and crystal clear pebbles. The trekking route is easy to follow and is the almost normal walk for 2 hours through the banks of this flowing stream. Following the trail opposite to the flowing stream, the route is going parrel to the stream and while going towards the ridge of Nichnai Valley, the width and water volume of stream gets less and few small waterfalls could be seen at the end which are main sources of this beautiful flowing stream. Now the normal walk is over and its time to get over the Nichnai Pass, getting over this pass is not that much hard if we will be following a proper technique which will be taught by our trekking guide. We are at the elevation of 2,700  meters and we have to uphill for 950 Meters and we going to split this uphill trail into three parts to make it very easy. While Going uphill in a zigzag direction, trekkers are advised to  mind your steps because this trail contains small hanging stones and rocks which could harm those who are following the trail after you, after 2 hours of up steep, we will get over the pass and it gives you heart touching panoramic view of Himalayan Mountain Ranges and The Thajwas Glacier which is fed by snow throughout the year makes a wall like structure, when looking towards east from Nichnai Pass. Tajiwas glacier is one among mighty glaciers of the Himalayas which is covering the famous Hill station Sonamarg, the Sonamarg lies in the lap of the great Himalayan glaciers of Kashmir, namely Kolhoi Glacier and Machoi Glacier with some peaks of above 5,000 m. Sonamarg is going to be the final camping site for our Trekking trail of Kashmir great lakes trek or last destination of this trekking trail. Sonamarg and its surrounding mountains have very high historical significance because it has been used as base camp for silk route merchants during summers also these sacred valleys have produced thoughts of divine love to a number of mystical people from different faiths.

 We will get back to trail after witnessing amazing views of greater Himalayan glaciers from Top of Nichanai Pass. No doubt whole trekking trail is full of aesthetics,  but also the trail also gives you heart touching feelings and understanding of how mother earthworks to provide us main resources of life for free. These water streams do have an impact on the whole eco-system of the World, moreover, this trekking trail gives us a proper understating of the ecosystem of Himalaya, We may have read or heard about it but today we are standing next to such mighty Himalayas. Now its time for the  downhill trek  for next one hour through an easy trekking routes leading to Nichnai Valley  which  is just one  hour away from us, the downhill trail to the Middle of Nichnai Valley which is  our campsite for tonight, Nichnai Valley gives birth to one more water stream and will be walking parallel to the flowing stream  by tomorrow  but for today our camping site will be  in the middle of Nichani Valley. The small green hills and flowing water stream makes the trail melodious with amazing natural views of alpine forests. The temperature at Nichnai remains colder when comparing to other camping sites we left behind. There are a lot of beautiful slopes and rocky terrains around our camping site which can be explored on the same day. 

Day 8. Nichnai to Sonamarg via Shekdur

Nichnai Valley - Bruzawas - Shokhedur - Gagangir Sonamarg (Campsite). Trek duration: 6 - 8 Hours. ( Normal down ascent for 2 - 3 hours. Steep Up ascent for 1 hour, Normal down ascent for 2 hours, then normal walk for 1 hour ). Distance - 9.5 Km.

We are on the last day of our trek, we have been on the mountains of Himalayas, The amazing views of Waterfalls cascade down the cliff valleys, catches of beautiful snowfields and glaciers, 6 beautiful lakes, meadows, the nomadic tribes of Indian Himalayas and there living gives us a real adventure memories for our whole life, such wonderful memories cannot be achieved without a managed mountain journey  which we did and experience is always like a miracle. Checking the belongings after having breakfast and getting ready for a  moderate trail, We are leaving the  land where clouds were following us near over the head  and wildflowers follow us on  the sides, the trek from Nichnai Valley to Shekwas is an epic adventure of its own, the trail will take us through the mountains covered with blue pine, cedar and spruce in the successive low altitude zones, following the trail towards Shekwas and going parallel to the flowing stream at the end, up ascend trek  for an hour leading to Birch (Bhoj Patra) Valley and next to that is a green meadow named as Shekwas. This place is been used by nearby local people of nearby areas to rare their cattle during summers seasons and they got gypsy homes on the meadow where they spent their summers. A one last hour of down ascends trek will take us to Sonamarg. Sonamarg surrounded by   Zozila Mountain pass and Thajwas Glacier. The Sonamarg is a famous hill resort and the route leading to Hindu Holy Place Amarnath also originate from this beautiful resort. The Lidder Water Stream makes the resort more attractive and on the banks of the same river, we will have our campsite with campfire and lamb meat barbecue with the mystic touch of Kashmir Sufi Music. 

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