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Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek

Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek

A Himalayan High Experience
About The Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek

Vishansar and Kishansar Lakes
Vishansar and Kishansar Lakes
photo by: Sumita Chakraborty

As famous saying goes - If there is Heaven on Earth, Its In Kashmir...

Wonder if the person who said trekked this route or perhaps every sight of Kashmir was heavenly beautiful during the period of his reign !!

If we are asked about The Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek, ( also called by the name of Kashmir Great Lakes by many ), our first reaction is to go silent for few seconds or rather minutes, and then gather some words to describe it. An apt trek for all who loves to wander the Himalayas, where the mountains, the green meadows, the rivers, the lakes, people, clouds, snow.. each and every element of mother nature is just a dream experience to add to one's life !!

River on Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Tranquil stream flowing by
photo by: Sumita Chakraborty

By the end of the Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek (Kashmir Great Lakes ), if you are asked which campsite you liked the most, it will not be a simple question to answer. Each of the campsites on this trek are equally beautiful. The lush green meadows after the snow cover melts, keep your spirits elevated and never ever leaves that state of happiness. Whenever you talk about it, you feel that happiness come right back to you, the same as what happens to me as I write about this trek.

Here if you are bored of trekking, you can choose to roll down on few sections, or to keep simple, you may take of that hard shoe and let your feet take the pleasure offered by the softness of the lush green, velvet meadow top of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

near satsar on Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Near Satsar
photo by: Sumita Chakraborty

If meadows are a part of this trek, so are the lakes !! The region is bestowed with more than 22 lakes which are as pure as it can be. This trek has longer walks each day which involves crossing passes adding the thrill to the trek each day. Once you are done crossing over the pass, its turns itself into a lovely romantic walk on the meadows, passing by lakes, streams and flower beds, before you reach your campsites. Where there are meadows, there are sheep and shepherds too !! They add the extra charm to the Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek (Kashmir Great Lakes )

Oh !! not to forget the horses who ferries the load, the trout fishes which jumps frequently above the serene water surfaces of the lakes, the calls of Marmot teasing your energy, the gush of rivers adding to the music played by the band of nature.. the list goes on

Sheeps Grazing on Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Shepherd's Paradise
photo by: Sumita Chakraborty

Spend few of the most wonderful days of your life trekking the through the dreamland of Kashmir. Join our Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek (Kashmir Great Lakes )



Well, we have two itineraries for this trek. Belonging to the explorer's breed ourselves, we like visiting new places and destinations which very few rarely visit. So, one of our itinerary is designed for those who belongs to the adventure breed and likes exploring the new, and the other one is a shorter version of the same trek which you may choose to do, if you have less days on hand. While both the trek is almost similar and equally beautiful, the first one is bit longer and difficult compared to the shorter version of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. The difficulties adds to the thrill, beauty and gives immense satisfaction on completion of the trek. However, it is only advised to the fit trekkers with the mindset of sheer EXPLORATION 

Detailed Daywise Itinerary For Kashmir Alpine Lakes And Meadows Trek

Day 1From Srinagar To Sitkadi, Via - Ganderbal, Kangan

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

From Srinagar, we board to cab to Shitkadi - the road head for the trek. Shitkadi is just 4 km before more popular place of Sonamarg. Starting early from Srinagar isn't a bad idea at all as you may take some valuable time out to visit Sonamarg, the Thajiwas glacier and also relish some of the Kashmiri Wajwan in Sonamarg. Similarly, you can also take some time to wander around the streets of Srinagar and then start late for your drive to Shitkadi. 

Once you reach our Shitkadi, one of our team member will guide you to our beautiful camp site with a hot welcoming Kawa - the local way !

In the evening, we will give more details on the trek and issue personal equipment to be used in the trek and returned after finishing it.

Accommodation: Tents / Shitkadi
Meals: Evening Snacks, Dinner

Day 2From Shitkadi To Nichnai Pass Base, Via - Shekdur, Nichnai Riverside

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

After a good night's sleep, we wake up to a lovely morning in the Paradise of Kashmir. The views outside are just perfect and gets the shutterbug busy right away. The beautiful bright sun greets you with a warm smile. The Thajiwas Glacier surrounded by its sharp rocky peaks shines bright with the morning rays. Far at a distance, the rays of light create a magic passing through the clouds and the conifers to touch the lush green meadow. The horses join hands to further add to the view grazing around.

Its very easy to get lost here, so we remind you of our trek for the day and serve you the much needed - hot and tasty breakfast. Soon we find ourselves on the trail. As we start the trek, we straightaway start to climb up a steep zig -zag route under the covers of the conifers and open meadow at times to reach Shekdur. It takes us little less than 2 hours to reach Shekdur which is marked by a uniquely bent birch tree as if stretching itself to touch its toe, or offering its back to take you on a horse ride. There is a make shift tea cum maggi stall in Shekdur where we break for some rest.

After some rest and light snacking we again hit the trail which now gradually climbs down through the forest to take us to the Nichnai riverside. We need to be careful on some patches of this trail as we would be walking over wet / dry leaves which can be slippery. After a little more than a hour, we reach the riverside and a flat rock bed, which is an excellent place to break for lunch. Do remember not to spoil the river water.

The trail now climbs up gradually winding up through the boulders and humps to get us to the base of Nichnai Pass. We pass by multiple campsites and choose our campsite to the best interest of the team and its objectives.

Accommodation: Tents / Nichnai Pass Base
Meals: All Meals

Day 3From Nichnai Pass Base To Vishansar Lake Side Camp, Via - Nichnai Pass

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

The day starts with a full hearted motivation to cross the first barrier ahead in front of us, and thats the Nichnai Pass. The trail gradually climbs up to the pass top after crossing the Nichnai river over a snow bridge. A continuous push for about an hour and a half takes us to the top of the pass. Just before reaching the pass top, beneath the pass, look out for a lake which is shaped like India's map on your left. This is the first lake we view, and unnamed lake which we named it The India Lake.

From the pass top, the surrounding views are beautiful, if not cloudy. Early July can have good snow and make  the descend exciting. It offers good trekking challenge in getting yourself down for the pass. After some careful steps, the route eases out soon and its then a long leisure walk on the lush green meadow to our campsite beside the Vishansar Lake.  

The route is long and keeps easing out maing it a walk on flat plane ground. We choose a suitable place to have our packed lunch nearby a water source. We walk further on the flat ground which brings us to a vast table land with a soft velvet of green grass cover. After crossing the table land, we find a route going straight and the other one takes a left turn. A beautiful black peak named Vishansar peak by the locals allures your heart and excites you to go closer to it. Its on your left. As soon as you take the left turn, your campsite is visible, but at a far distance. We cross the stream which comes out of the Vishansar lake and camp beside the Vishanshar river on a flat ground, just 10 minutes before the Visharsar lake.

The Vishansar lake campsite is big enough to play football or a volley ball game. Also, the Vishansar lake and river is full of the rare Himalayan trout fish. Evening, we take an excursion to the serene Vishansar lake. If you schedule your trek by fullmoon, its much better as you can spend more time and click even better photos.

We had an amazing day today. We have worked hard and deserve a lovely dinner to get into those warm comfortable sleeping bags, with good memories of the day. The idea of going through your photos of the day isn't bad at all. Do not hesitate to do so if you have enough batteries t power it till the end of the trek, as the coming days are going to be even more rewarding.

Good Night ! 

Accommodation: Tents / Vishansar Lake Side Camp
Meals: All Meals

Day 4From Vishansar Lake Side Camp To Gadsar Army Camp , Via - Vishansar and Kishansar Lake, Gadsar Pass

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

We wake up to an exciting morning and today as we are all geared up to take the challenge of crossing the Gadsar pass. This is the highest altitude of this entire trek. The route was visible right from our campsite of Vishansar Lake - a narrow pencil mark of switch backs climbing up on a barren, rugged brown mountain.

The route passes by the twin lakes of Vishansar and Kishansar before we hit the steep switch backs to climb up to the top of Gadsar Pass. The climb can get challenging and need a good motivation. First rule - concentrate on the next steps and take some time to be appraised by thesurrounding views. Once you are on the mountain, do keep an eye back to view both the lakes of Vishansar and Kishansar together, looking like two eye balls. The black shiny dome of the Vishansar peak motivates you enough and keeps your tiredness at a bay.

An effort of some 2 hours or a little more, and you stand on the top of the pass. Here you are High, the views get you higher. After all you are on the highest point on this trek !!. We spend some good time and then start to tackle our downhill climb. Snow helps us an easy climb down and soon we reach the flat trails again.

Three lakes are seen from the pass top and as we keep getting down, the amazingly interesting shiny black wall of mountain continuously catches your attention. Mix of snow on the black rocks makes it look curious and appealing. Once the descend gets over, we land on a flat meadow following a stream. Walking on the flat zig-zag trail, we reach the scary looking Gadsar Lake and rightly so. The locals fear it and name it Yamsar and do not go near to it, believing that its the lake of 'Yamraj' - the God Of Death as per the Hindu belief.

We break for lunch before Gadsar by the side of a stream which adds water to the mighty Gadsar Lake. This land is full of colourful flowers of yellow and purple. Do remember to refill your waterbottles as after this point you will find no water source untill you reach the campsite, or the Army camp before reaching our campsite.

The trail is straight forward and is a easy walk which leads to our campsite, near to the Indian Army Camp. They are very friendly and will confirm our identity here. 15 more minutes, and we reach our campsite.

Its been a long but rewarding day today. We are served hot snacks with coffee and then some nice tasty dinner to give us that comfortable, cozy sleep.

Accommodation: Tents / Gadsar Army Camp
Meals: All Meals

Day 5From Gadsar Army Camp To Maighandop, Via - Satsar Army Camp, Zach Pass

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

A day filled with Lakes.. yes, you cross by atleast 5 lakes of Satsar before you reach your campsite, and on reaching the campsite, two huge lake of Nandkul and Gangabal greets you with an air filled with booster energy.

We start the day by crossing a snow bridge which often remains throughout the season, due to a continuous shadow over it. We then need to traverse the mountain and follow its bodily turn to the left with which we enter a new valley. The trail remains simple for the first hour before coming across few switch backs to cross. Soon, we cross the first lake and other lakes of Satsar starts to pass by one after another. We pass by an Army camp where we re-validate our identities and share a friendly bond. We offer them some sweets which we carry to gift them some homely feeling.

The lakes keep coming and a right turn by the side of the fifth lake brings us to a lovely campsite of Mainghandob. Other teams camp here and it just takes about 3 hours of good walk to be here. We will skip this campsite and utilize our day more efficiently and tactically to explore the Gangabal area which are full of lakes, where only the wandering souls of the shepherds visit. We have lunch in Mainghandob, or we can also have it after crossing the Zach pass which is about 2 and a half more hours from here.  

The route to the Zach Pass top adds to our adventure as we need to cross a boulder zone and requre safe steps. We will cross the river in front of us and the negotiate the boulder zone which takes about an hour to cross. We do have an alternate route which the horsemen use but that's a very long one.

After the boulder zone, our trail gradually climbs up to the Zach pass, occasionally zig-zacking in between. It takes about 2 hour and a half to be on the top of Zach Pass from Mainghandop.

From the Pass top, 3 lakes are visible whereas there are some about 9 lakes in the area. The three lakes are Gangabal, Nandkul and Koulsar from right to left. Its now time to negotiate a steep winding descend from the Zach Pass to the plain meadow of Gangabal. In couple of hours from here, we reach our camp by the side of Gangabal lake. It is here where the marmots are excited by your presence and continuously teases you by calling. But when you go nearer, the swiftly get into their hidden home underground.

Accommodation: Tents / Gangabal
Meals: All Meals

Day 6From Gangabal Lake Side To Gangabal Lake Side, Via - Shoksar and Khushsar, Baribal sar

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Shoksar ( the lake of grief), Khushsar ( the lake of happiness ) are 2 lakes beside each other divided by a small mountain ridge. Its a straight climb up from our campsite besides the lake of Gangabal.

We first approach Shoksar and then cross over to Khushsar. From Khushsar, a straight long and a little rough walk take us to the lake of Baribal sar.

We return back to Gangabal to rest out the night. Evening here is just a wonderful place to be.

Accommodation: Tents / Gangabal
Meals: All Meals

Day 7From Gangabal Lake Side To Nandkul Lake Side, Via - Kalesar and Atmas , Poshsar

Quick Information:
  • Gangabal Lake Side: 3571 meters / 11785 feets
  • Kalesar and Atmas : 3979 meters / 13131 feets
  • Poshsar: 4007 meters / 13224 feets
  • Nandkul Lake Side: 3501 meters / 11554 feets
  • Approximate Time: 6 - 7 hours
  • Day's Activity: Trek, Explore
Brief Details Of The Day:

Previous day we explored the Northen lakes of the Gangabal lake, today we will explore the North Eastern Lakes - name Atmas, Kalesar and Poshsar by the locals

It involves climbing up a small hill straight in front of us following a stream. We then turn left where the Kalesar lake is. To the right is the Poshsar. At a little more distance, is the Atmas lake. We head back to Gangabal and if we make it to Gangabal in good time, we may also move to Nandkul lake and camp beside it, just for a change and rest out the night.

Accommodation: Tents / Nandkul
Meals: All Meals

Day 8From Nandkul Lake Side To Malish Meadow, Via - Koulsar

Quick Information:
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today, we might chose to end our trek by getting to Naaranag from Nandkul Lake and then to Srinagar, or we can extend it to witness few more beautiful lakes of the area and then the beautiful Malish Meadow. 

We pass by two besutiful lakes of Nandkul and Koulsar which we had seen from the top of Zach Pass.

Accommodation: Tents / Malish Meadow
Meals: All Meals

Day 9From Malish Meadow To Srinagar, Via - Chatragul, Kangan

Quick Information:
  • Malish Meadow: 3670 meters / 12111 feets
  • Chatragul: 1940 meters / 6402 feets
  • Kangan: 2000 meters / 6600 feets
  • Srinagar: 1585 meters / 5231 feets
  • Approximate Time: 6 hours
  • Day's Activity: Trek, Drive
Brief Details Of The Day:

Today, we trek down to the settlement of Chartagul, near to Kangan and then we drive further to Srinagar bringing an end to a beautiful trek.

Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Covid19 Safety Protocol For Himalayan Treks

Unnatural times call for an unusual response. We at Himalayan High are facing it with even more stringent safety measures to ensure our treks, trekkers, and the local support team are safe. The Covid19 Pandemic has completely changed the way we look at the World and do things. It has changed the way we trek as well. Here is a brief.

  • Small Groups of less than 15 members
  • No Fixed Camps at all. Use a single sleeping bag, mattress & sleeping bag inners throughout the trek without any mixup
  • Sanitized Transportation
  • Contactless Screening of Participants on arrival
  • Contactless Paperwork and Online Booking Procedure
  • Mandatory Sanitization Before Entry
  • Sanitized Accommodation, Linens, Sleeping Bags, etc
  • Sanitized and sun-dried Camping Equipment
  • Monitored Support Crew with extra protection of masks, gloves and frequent use of sanitizers
  • Social Distancing from other unmonitored groups
  • Daily evaluation of Health for Safe Mountain Health
  • Twin Sharing Accommodations on the trek
  • Single tent supplement available
  • Proper Dining Hygiene in Dining Tents
  • Dry Toilets in toilet tents.
  • Covid Hygiene Kit including personal Sleeping Bag Inner for free
  • Precautionary Quarantine Tents On Trek
  • Immunity-Boosting Food Menu and Drinks
  • Filtered, Boiled and Treated Drinking Water

Read more on the following link about our Covid19 safety measures to ensure a safe trek. Safe trekking in the Himalayas during COVID-19

With this protocol, we have resumed our Himalayan Treks.

** click to expand and read

+ Quick Info
  • Duration: 9 Days, Srinagar to Srinagar
  • Highest Altitude: 4180m
  • Grade: Moderate ( know trek grades )
  • Best Time: July, August, September
  • Terrain: Meadows
  • Activity Type: Trek
  • Trail Type: Different Entry Exit Point
  • Starts At: Shitkadi
  • Ends At: Chatragul
  • Region: India - Kashmir
  • Country: India
  • Nearest Airport: Srinagar
  • Nearest Rail Head: Katra, (KEA), Jammu Tawi ( JAT)
  • Travel Guide: Where and How To Reach Shitkadi
  • Mobile Network: BSNL, Airtel on pass tops.
  • Internet Option: No
  • Temperatures:
  • Is Cloak Room Available: No
  • Generic Food Menu: Indian, Kashmiri
+ Short Travel Itinerary

** click on the DayNumber to read detailed itinerary for the day

  • Day 1


    Arrival Day
    Arrive In Sitkadi (2429m ), Via - Ganderbal (1616m ), Kangan (2000m ). 3 Hrs. 76 Kms
    Overnight In: Sitkadi (2429m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Shitkadi
    Meals Included: Evening Snacks, Dinner
    Cost Of Transport Included: NO
  • Day 2


    From Shitkadi (2429m ) To Nichnai Pass Base (3350m ), Via - Shekdur (3400m ), Nichnai Riverside (3350m ). 5 - 6 Hrs. 10 Kms
    Overnight In: Nichnai Pass Base (3350m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Nichnai Pass Base
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 3


    From Nichnai Pass Base (3350m ) To Vishansar Lake Side Camp (3663m ), Via - Nichnai Pass (4050m ) . 5 - 6 Hrs. 12 Kms
    Overnight In: Vishansar Lake Side Camp (3663m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Vishansar Lake Side Camp
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 4


    From Vishansar Lake Side Camp (3663m ) To Gadsar Army Camp (3386m ), Via - Vishansar and Kishansar Lake (3820m ), Gadsar Pass (4180m ). 6 - 7 Hrs. 11 Kms
    Overnight In: Gadsar Army Camp (3386m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Gadsar Army Camp
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 5


    From Gadsar Army Camp (3386m ) To Maighandop (3571m ), Via - Satsar Army Camp (3679m ), Zach Pass (4050m ). 7 - 8 Hrs. 14 Kms
    Overnight In: Maighandop (3571m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Gangabal
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 6

    Trek, Explore

    From Gangabal Lake Side (3571m ) To Gangabal Lake Side (3571m ), Via - Shoksar and Khushsar (4052m ), Baribal sar (4156m ). 6 - 7 Hrs.
    Overnight In: Gangabal Lake Side (3571m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Gangabal
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 7

    Trek, Explore

    From Gangabal Lake Side (3571m ) To Nandkul Lake Side (3501m ), Via - Kalesar and Atmas (3979m ), Poshsar (4007m ). 6 - 7 Hrs.
    Overnight In: Nandkul Lake Side (3501m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Nandkul
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 8

    Trek, Explore

    From Nandkul Lake Side (3501m ) To Malish Meadow (3670m ), Via - Koulsar (3727m ) . 6 - 7 Hrs.
    Overnight In: Malish Meadow (3670m )
    Accommodation: Tents / Malish Meadow
    Meals Included: All Meals
  • Day 9

    Trek, Drive

    From Malish Meadow (3670m ) To Srinagar (1585m ), Via - Chatragul (1940m ), Kangan (2000m ). 6 Hrs.
    Overnight In: Srinagar (1585m )
    Accommodation: None
    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
+ Fixed Departure Dates
No Dates Create Yet ! Please request a custom trek by clicking the link Request Custom Trip Plan
+ Reviews & Testimonials

4.9 of 381 reviews

Excellent: 344
Very Good: 31
Good: 5
Average: 1
Bad: 0

You can read our reviews online on Himalayan High Google Verified Business Places Page

Read All Our Reviews Online

We keep our reviews gladly, transparently and boldly on Google unlike hiding it on our own website and showcasing only the positive ones. Heartful thanks and gratitude to all of our Trekkers who took the effort to review us after they completed their trek with us. We understand none is perfect, but with proper experience, intention and feedbacks, one can achieve perfection. Our reviews are a result of our hardwork and intention to serve with the best intentions.
+ Cancellation Policy

When Should You Book?

We typically get booked about 3 - 6 months in advance. It is advisable to book this much in advance as you get early bird discounts and also your travel costs like flights/hotels/trains etc are much cheaper and confirmed if you book well in advance.


(1st OCTOBER 2020 TILL 31st MARCH 2021 )

Considering the uncertainties during the COVID19 pandemic, we have eased our cancellation rules. 

  • Up to 3 days or more before the trek start date  - Full Refund of the total invoiced amount. No questions asked.
  • 2 days to 1 day before the trek start date - We will either issue you a trek voucher with a value of 100% of the trek fee or refund 85% of the trek fee if you want us to transfer the money back.
  • Transfer Of Seat to Different Batch/ Trek: No Loss Of Money, valid up to 1 year from Invoice date. It can be availed up to 1 day before Trek Start Date by sending an email.
  • Transfer of Seat to Friend/ Family: No Loss Of Money, valid up to 1 year from Invoice date. It can be availed up to 1 day before Trek Start Date by sending an email.
  • Validity Of The Covid19 Cancellation Policy: The above-listed cancellation rules apply only to bookings for which the trek start date falls between 1st October 2020 till 31st March 2021.

Find detailed info on Cancellation & Refund Policy

+ Contact Information
 +91 8017 216 725
 +91 7999 711 073
 +91 9434 062 849
Friday, February 19, 2016 5:02:00 PM Categories:
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