Hidden Lakes of Kashmir

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Location               :   Kashmir Himalaya
Grade                   :   Moderate
Altitude                :   3500 Mts / 12870 Feet
Time                     :   Early May to October
Duration               :   10 Days  

This trek is one of the most popular in the Kashmir Himalayas, offering vantage points of some of the most beautiful mountain panoramas and jewel-like lakes.  We pass four high-altitude lakes offering spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, and camp in alpine meadows of flowers.  At Gang-bal Lake, the best trout fishing in the region is a pure delight.  From the beautiful hill station of Sonamarg, the trail follows ancient routes trodden for centuries by the gujjars, the nomadic shepherds of Kashmir. A physically demanding trek, this is ideal for trekkers with some experience of mountain walking and a taste for the remoteness of the Himalayas.

Day 01: Delhi to Srinagar: ( By air – 1½ hrs)

On arrival to Srinagar our representative will meet you at Srinagar airport and you will be escorted by car from airport to houseboat. Welcome drink on arrival at houseboat. The remaining day will be spent in exploring the Mughal gardens, Chashimi-e-shahi (The royal spring) ,Nishat (The garden of pleasure) , Shalimarbagh (Abode of love ) & Shankaracharya temple. In the afternoon enjoy shikra ride on Dal lake. ( Shikra ride on your own cost). and the. Dinner and overnight in houseboats.

Day 02 : Srinagar – Sonmarg ( 2800 Mts ) – 3 Hrs drive

The 3 hrs drive from Srinagar to Sonamarg (Meadow of gold )  is though  the sindh valley is yet another spectacular facet of country side in Kashmir, along with Nallah Sindh, the largest tributary of the Jehlum River in the valley of Kashmir. The route goes through the villages of ganderbal, kangan, Gund and kulan en route to sonamarg, which is the last large village in the Kashmir valley on the way to leh. Kangan is the point at which you will rejoin the srinagar road when you come down through wangat. Sonamarg is at an altitude of 2740 meters. We stay in camp in Sonamarg and take a short hike to the Thajwass glacier.

Sonamarg had historical significance and was a gateway on ancient Silk Road along with Gilgit connecting Kashmir with China and other Gulf countries. The Zojila pass lies 15 kilometers east and is one of the heighiest passes for road transport. It still is a base camp for Ladakh on NH 1D, and is strategically important for Indian army who holds control over this part of Kashmir.

Day 03 : Sonamarg ( 7800 ft ) – Nichinai ( 11500 ft )  via Shekdur  (15 km / 6-7 hrs trek)

We start our trek across the river and past the Shikari bridge and then it is a descent along the Sindh stream. From here it’s a steep climb up the Galwanbal, a forest – covered mountain, to the top at an altitude of 3109 meters. From here the trail climbs gently through the Hirmapathri meadows, to an altitude of 3658 meters, and the Nichinai Nar stream. The trail then follows the narrow, steep valley of the nichinai to the nichinai pass at 4080 meters.

On the east of the pass lies the Bushkapatri range, while to the west lies the Sahnai range, covered in glaciers and snow beds . The reward for hard work is uninterrupted views of the Baltoro Glacier in the region of K2. Tomorrows early climb to the Nichinai Pass is clearly visible from the campsite of Nichinai. overnight in tents

Day 04 : Nichnai (11,500ft) to Vishansar lake (12,00ft) -(13 km / 5-6 hrs trek)

Having your breakfast on time to start early to enjoy the panoramic view of meadows. Today’s trek is a long walk over the meadows with the scenery changing for the better all along as you approach towards the lake. Your first destination for the day is to cross the Nichnai pass which is a very gradual ascent from Nichinai . The trail descends from the pass and ends to the meadow flowers spring out next to your feet to Vishansar and Krishnasar lakes and hence it serves as a vintage point to view the lakes. Gangabal Lake is another panoramic view from the pass.  . The campsite of Vishnasar lake lies at the end of the valley. Overnight stay at tent / camp.

Day 05 : Vishensar lake

Vishansar Lake, located at an altitude of 12168 ft above sea level is 1 km long and 0.6 km wide. Located around 20 km from Sonamarg. During summers, this lake is surrounded by lush green grasslands but it freezes during winters. The Krishansar Lake and the glaciers are the main source of Vishansar Lake. This lake flows out through a small stream and further divides in two, of which one serves as a source to the Neelum River while the other becomes a tributary of the Nallah Sindh. Full day at Vishensar lake for fishing, and overnight stay in tents . Camp- fire in the evening.


Day 06 : Vishansar (12,168 ft) to Gadsar(11,808 ft) via  Gadsar Pass (13,800 ft)- (13 km / 6-7 hrs)

The very start of the trail climbs up on the right side of the Vishansar lake to Kishansar lake which lies just about ½ km away from  Vishansar. The Kishansar lake lies at the base of the Kishansar peak. It takes about 45minutes to reach Kishansar lake from the campsite.
We will catch the upper ridge of  Kishansar lake  side to the top of the ridge. It will take an almost an hour and a half to reach Gadsar pass – altitude 13,800ft . On your descent from Gadsar pass you will reach into the blue Iris area, you are almost at Gadsar .


The Gadsar Lake called as the lake of flowers is a picturesque, alpine high altitude lake situated in Ganderbal district of Kashmir valley at an elevation of 3600 metres. It has a max. length of 0.85 kilometres and max. width of 0.76 kilometres. Gadsar in Kashmiri means the lake of fishes, a natural habitat of trout and other types of fishes among of which is the brown trout. The lake freezes in the month of November to April and is mostly covered by snow during these months, the floating ice bergs are seen even in summer. It is surrounded by alpine meadows full of various kinds of wild alpine flowers, therefore the lake is also called as the valley of flowers. The lake is mainly fed by melting of glaciers. The Gadsar Lake outflows through a stream flows north westwards and joins Neelum River at Tulail.

Day 07 : Gadsar (12,000ft) to Mangandob (12,000ft) -13 Km  (13 km / 6-7 hrs)

After walking almost 2 km you will reach an army camp, from where you have to cross the stream and heads up straight to the mountain.  An hour and a half long climb takes you up to the ridge at an altitude 11,500ft . From the top the route bends round to the left and leaves the river valley. You are now on a flat trail surrounded by mountains on a meadow.

This place is  Mangandob.The entire landscape of the camping area is very captivating. Enjoy th eveining with camp fire and hot drinks .Overnight in tents.

Day 08 : Mangandob – Gangabal (11500 Ft) –( 9 Kms / 6 Hrs )

An 45 mins walk from the camp site of Mangandob will push you to the Satsar lake. Infact Satsar stands a collection of 7 lakes. Altough you may found only 4 or 5 lakes with water, depending on the season .Todays entire route is goes up and down . The terrain beyond the satsar lake is bouldery . After the last lake the trail starts to descend. Continue for half an hour on the main trail until you see the forest line ahead to your left. A total two hour ascent brings you up to the top of the ridge. From the top  you can see the twin lakes of Gangbal .The biggest amongst the set is the Gangabal.

The trail descends from here to the camping side Gangabal valley towards the Gangabal lake first and then down to the camping side at Nundkhul . It lies at the base of the Harmukh peak. The Harmukh glacier hangs on the the sides of the rocky edges of the mountain. MT Harmukh commands this area with its magnificent view. Overnight at the camp.

Day 09 :  Gangabal -11500 Ft

 

The Gangabal ,  is a lake situated at the foothills of Mount Haramukh , the highest mountain peak in the vicinity of Kashmir valley in Ganderbal district, north of Srinagar city in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is an alpine high altitude oligotrophic lake. It is also the  home of many species of fish, including the famous brown trout. The lake has a maximum length of two and a half kilometres and maximum width of one kilometre. It is fed by precipitation, glaciers and springs. The lake water outflows to a nearby small lake Nundakol . Full day at Gangabal, free – day for fishing, camp fire in evening time. Overnight at the camp.

Day 10 : Gangabal (11,500ft) to Naranag (7,450ft) – Srinagar

An hour trek from the campsite will push you to the Pine tree line . Here you will also observe the traces of civilization with the presence of a log huts . The onward trail for  another 6 kms  will carry on with the same altitude from where true descent begins.

The downward trail  is well trodden muddy one through the thick of the pines. Infact the  last 4 kms drops your altitude for more than 3000 ft. From Narang further 3 hrs drive to Srinagar . Night stay at house boat.
Day 11:- Srinagar-Delhi

Morning after breakfast check out from the hotel and transfer to the airport to catch the flight for Delhi . Transfer to Hotel at Delhi . Remaining day is free for local sightseeing & shopping in Delhi.

Day 12 :- Transfer to International Airport

After an early breakfast transfer to airport to connect flight for Delhi onward destination.

Tour and Services Ends.
FISHING PERMITS FOR GANGBAL IS INCLUDED:

Here In Gangbal We You can Have A Special trout Fish to Catch. Trout Fish is Very Famous and with Delicious Tast.Trout is pride of Kashmir.

•    Breakfast , lunch  , Evening Tea & Dinner ( Veg / Non veg Foods ).
•    High Altitude Trekking Guide kitchen staff would accompany the group.
•    Special Tents and Sleeping bags.
•    Porters / Mule : For carrying camping equipment, rations, vegetables and some amount of personal gear of the clients (one bag not weighing more than 14 kgs).
•    You can also Find some Speical Kashmiri Cuisines with Your Dinner& Lunch…

Special Non Veg-Kashmiri Cuisines Included: Wazwan

Wazwan, a multi-course meal in the Kashmiri Muslim tradition, is treated with great respect. Its preparation is considered an art. Almost all the dishes are meat-based (lamb, chicken, fish).Beef is generally not prepared in the Srinagar region,but is popular among the other districts. It is considered a sacrilege to serve any dishes based around pulses or lentils during this feast. The traditional number of courses for the wazwan is thirty-six, though there can be fewer. The preparation is traditionally done by a vasta waza, or head chef, with the assistance of a court of wazas, or chefs.
Wazwan is regarded by the Kashmiri Muslims as a core element of their culture and identity. Guests are grouped into fours for the serving of the wazwan. The meal begins with a ritual washing of hands, as a jug and basin called thetash-t-nari are passed among the guests. A large serving dish piled high with heaps of rice, decorated and quartered by four seekh kababs, four pieces of meth maaz, two tabak maaz, sides of barbecued ribs, and one safed kokur, onezafrani kokur, along with other dishes. The meal is accompanied by yoghurt garnished with Kashmiri saffron, salads, Kashmiri pickles and dips.
Kashmiri Wazwan is generally prepared in marriages and other special functions. The culinary art is learnt through heredity and is rarely passed to outside blood relations. That has made certain waza/cook families very prominent. The wazas remain in great demand during the marriage season (May – October). The essential Wazwan dishes include:

    Safed kokur or zafraan kokur
    Meth maaze
    Ristae
    Rogan josh
    Dhani phul
    Aloo bukhaar: chutney made with fresh plums, onions, sugar, lime juice and spices
    Gaade kufta
    Tabak maaz: Fried lamb ribs
    Daniwal korma: lamb in a yogurt-based gravy
    Aab gosht: Lamb curry cooked in milk
    Marcha-wangan korma
    Sheekh kabab: spicy ground lamb on skewers
    Gushtaab: Chopped lamb with spices cooked in oil, milk and curds
    kebab
    maach kebab

Special Horses with experienced Tour Guides..

You will be accompanied by some experienced Travel experts who have been living in Himalayas over the ages.These people are Known as Gujjars or bakerwalas…
Our Horses are Very Active, Neat, Clean& Healthy.

Transportaion:

You will be provided special jeep for your Transportation from Srinagar.Like jeep,Innova or Mhindra Thar.

About Culture Of Kashmir:

The social structure is based on the extended family. However the wider kinship network of biraderi and how it impacts on relations and mobilization is equally important. The extended family is of fundamental importance as a unit of decision making and with respect to the relations of its members with wider society. The institution of biraderi mdash; which loosely means brotherhood—provides a useful collective framework for promoting mutual well-being.This is achieved through help and co-operation in social, economic and political spheres and it reinforces a sense of belonging and collective self-assurance.

 

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