India blessed with the magnificent Himalayas and an astonishing beautiful platform for all the trek, travel, nature enthusiast to spend some of the most memorable and mesmerizing moments in the lap of Himalayas. Many states offer us a tremendous trekking experience; for newbies, it's the Manali region, for some thrilling adventures we have unpredictable Uttarakhand.
Comparing and choosing the best of the rest on bases of canvas serene and the mighty mountains, with a silent shadow reflection on the lakes at the bottom of massive hills, is unbeatable amongst all. The Kashmir great lakes are the prettiest trek in India. And when it's about which trek to do in Kashmir, its always the Kashmir Great Lakes. It's like everyone has their perspective to see everything differently, but when it's about nature and choices to trek Kashmir, it still points to the Kashmir great lakes as the grandeur of Kashmir is something that will take you by surprise the grassland the meadows and the lakes.
As of now, I was very familiar with my trekking family, which was Treks and Trails India. Being on second Himalayan treks and many more treks in Sahyadri's, I was very much firm on my decision to go hiking with them to Kashmir. I was traveling alone, but it was yet home for me these guys were good company, and we altogether were a family. As the best time to do this trek is between June and September. It was raining when we left Mumbai, but by the time we traveled through Jammu and then to Srinagar, the climate changed, and nature welcomed us with spectacular views. We reached Sonamarg by afternoon. After a long journey, we checked into our hotel rooms and rested for the day.
Instructed to wake up early and get ready for the practice trek. Practice trek is much needed for everyone to let your body acclimatize the surrounding. Body acclimatization is the most critical aspect of the trek. We woke up around six am in the morning, saw the sun rising with all golden rays spreading gradually around us with a bit pace of increasing warmth, which was a nice feeling early morning. We had our healthy breakfast had a good morning chat with our leads, and got to know some more of the trekkers who were with us on the same trek. After breakfast, we stepped out of the hotel for acclimatization run, and we got a glimpse of how these next eight days are going to be in Kashmir—boosted with the nature and the changing dramatic serene around us.
After this small trek, we were now familiar with all our fellow trekkers, yet we had an introductory session where we got closer to everyone and got to know more than their names. The next day we were all set to step towards the camp one of the treks, which was Nichnai camp. From Sonamarg to Nichnai camp is about 11 km and takes 8 to 9 hours to reach the campsite. The trek is decent enough, no steep climbs just gradual up and down walks throughout the trail. After partial climbing, we arrive at the tabletop, which is a flat land, which was the right place for us to have lunch.
We had our lunch rested for odd 10-15mins and then again began to move towards camp one. The trail ahead was quite interesting. It made us walk across streams with boulders in the path, which made the trail bit more adventurous. After an excellent trek of nine hours, we reached the campsite which was about 3570 meters high from the sea level, the climate was cold, and we sipped hot tea and soup at the camp which brought warmth within us. Loaded off our bags and were out to acclimatize and enjoy the sunset.
The next day it was raining when we woke up, Asked to stay in our tents only. We were served tea in our tents with Pakoda at breakfast. In no time, the weather was now clear, and we left for camp two, which was Vishansar via Nachnai pass. It was a 12 km trek, which took us around 7-8 hours to reach camp two. In this trial, we had to cross several streams while crossing the Nachnai pass. We were exposed to small patches of snow and glaciers now.
The water of the streams was so cold that we removed our boots and then crossed the stream if our shoes got wet, which may lead to severe cold and difficulty trekking for further days. After some seven hours of trekking, we reached our next campsite Vishansar. There is one more lake similar to Vishansar at about a walk of 45 mins from the camp known as Kishansar lake. It is nearly at the same altitude of 3660 meters. We were tired and decided to have tea and rest in our tents for some time. As the weather was not clear, we had no chance to see the sunset, therefore we relaxed and played some games with the family.
In the next days, we were heading towards the Gadsar, Satsar, Gangbal twin lakes, and finally to Narang. Every day was a long day for us in Kashmir, and it wasn't much tricky trail. It was just a bit long, and endurance was the most needed aspect of this trek. One should never underestimate any trail in the Himalayas. You should prepare for everything, and if you're not, you might struggle. While trekking in Kashmir, we have to keep in mind the conditions.
Kashmir trek is amazing; there is always something or the other going on. It kept us on our toes through the trek. Politically and on the news, Kashmir might appear to be in a volatile state. So do check that before making your travel plans. Always keep your backup plan ready to exit Kashmir if the political situation changes. Kashmiri people hospitality and the beauty of the state will make me keep coming. They make you feel safe and let you enjoy your trek at your own pace. We learned so many things on this trek, which helped us know the mountains better and one tick mark to the Kashmir great lakes trek. I will be going for Gulmarg Skiing coming January and returning to Kashmir soon.