Kashmir is a land of lush green forests, snow-clad mountains, widely spread meadows and pristine lakes
Along with the undaunted beauty of nature, the valley of Kashmir has also emerged as a complete alley of adventurous activities like trekking, hiking and river rafting. With time as the mountain trails has been acclaimed as a safe destination, there has been a gradual increase in the number of adventurous tourists in the valley. Over the years trekking to the northern ranges of Himalayas have been a great attraction for the adventure junkies. The great lakes in Kashmir trek, Amarnath trek, Kolahoi Glacier trek are some of the famous trek routes of the valley. For an extravagant trekking experience, here are the 4 best trekking Places to explore in Kashmir which will certainly give you a real picture of the state’s beauty and the sedate your adrenaline rush.
Sonamarg is a famous tourist destination which is situated in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. This place is popularly known as the “Meadow of Gold” among the locals. It is a beautifull and nestled amidstthe mighty Himalayan ranges that attracts visitors world wide. Sonamarg gives rise to the beautiful Kashmir valley, famous as “Paradise on earth” for its unique beauty.
Sonamarg, because of its apt location imposed in the Himalayas,it is favored largely by mountaineers and trekkers wishing to explore the beauty of the mountain ranges, alpine forests and the mysterious lakes within. This place is the gateway to the great lakes in Kashmir trek which is experienced by many travellers every year. Perched in between alpine trees and luscious green meadows with the peaks of majestic glaciers in the backdrop, Sonamarg valley also leads to the Nichnai pass which gives a beautiful sight of the Vishansar and Kishnasar twin lakes. To enjoy the beautiful of the Gangabal twin lakes, the trekkers have to pass the Nichnai pass, Gadsar pass and Zoji La pass.
Thajiwas glacier is another major attraction resting at the vicinity of the Sonamarg. Located at a distance of only 3-4 kilometers away from the valley, it unveils the blanket of snow within the Kashmir valley. The valley also has a lot to offer to the adventure lovers and adrenaline junkies in the form of white-water river rafting activities from the beautiful Baltal valley to the Shutkari Bridge.
Sonamarg is also home to the famous Zoji-La pass, which holds great geographical importance in India as it serves as the only link between Kashmir valley and Ladakh. A ride through the Zoji-la pass provides breath-taking views of the Himalayas and also has been a place worth immense historical importance in Indian history, standing as an evidence of battles fought on its ground.The enchanting Sonamarg valley is a must-visit for travelers looking to unveil the magic of Himalayas!
Restingbetween the gigantic Himalayan ranges, in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, Pahalgam is a serene valley wrapped in snowy peaks and alpine forest with the Lidder River flowing beneath.
The valley attracts a lot of tourists round the year owing to its unparalleled beauty but what also sets Pahalgam apart is the holy Amarnath Yatra, an annual pilgrimage by the Hindus in India to Lord Shiva’s abode in the Amarnath cave situated at a height of approximately 12,756 feet. Lakhs of devotees take part in the trek to the holy shrine which originates from Chandanwari, a few kilometers away from Pahalgam.
The valley is also home to the famous Aru village which serves an ideal base camp site for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts as the Kolahoi glacier, famous for its raw beauty and Tarsar lake lie in the vicinity. Aru village and the lush green meadows, number of alpine lakes and peaks surrounding it also make for an ideal get-away for tourists.
The Betaab valley in Pahalgam, one of the most attractive tourist destinations is a traveler’s delight owing to the deodar trees standing tall against the Himalayan Mountains and the Lidder River which is a home to brown trout fish. The Sheshnag Lake, which lies in close vicinity to Pahalgam, apart from holding great spiritual importance according to Hindu mythology, is also a treat to the wandering eyes owing to its magical aura. Although the valley attracts a lot of visitors in the months of March – November, Pahalgam offers itself in its white mystique fervor in the winter season wrapped in snow and offers plenty of opportunities to ski on its frozen lakes and curl up in the tiny mountain huts to enjoy the Himalayan retreat in its full glory.
Gulmarg is a traveler’s paradise located in the Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. Nestled amidst the enchanting PirPanjal ranges of the Himalayas, the place is popularly known as the meadow of flowers. Gulmarg attracts a lot of tourists worldwide round the year and is an extremely popular skiing destination for adventure lovers.
For the enthusiastic trekkers, a trek to Alphather Lake is just a fascinating journey. Located at the base of the Apharwat peak, this triangular lake is situated 13km away from Gulmarg. Resting at a height of 3943m above sea level, this lake remains frozen for most of the time in a year. Walking past the trodden trail from Gulmarg to Apharwat peak, the lake is located little further from the valley across the ridge.
One can also catch a glimpse of the majestic Nanga Parbat from the serene Khilanmarg meadow, situated a few kilometers from Gulmarg. The meadow is a paradise in itself with flowers of all kinds and colors spread across like a beautiful cover. This winter resort situated in the lap of Himalayas is a dream destination for adventure enthusiasts, trekkers and those looking to unveil the magic of Kashmir valley.
Hidden in the lush meadows and towered by snowy peaks, the tiny village of Naranag in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir is a visual wonder with its tiny shepherd huts and lakes flowing beneath the alpine forests. The village holds great archaeological importance in the country and is also flocked by tourists looking for salvation in the holy Naranag temple devoted to Lord Shiva, a Hindu mythological God. Naranag is also a ski-lover’s paradise owing to the heavy amount of snowfall in the winter season, which turns the tiny village to a white serene beauty cradled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas. The village, due to its strategic geographical location serves as an ideal basecamp for trekkers looking to explore the holy Gangabal Lake and the majestic Harmukhpeak.
The Gangabal Lake is situated at a height of 3,400m above sea level, resting at the foothill of the Mount Harmukh. The trekkers travel from Srinagar to Naranag via Ganderbal from where it is a 15km ascent climb towards Gangabal Lake. The lake can also be reached by taking the route from Sonamarg, crossing the Vishansar Lake via Nichnai pass, Gadsar pass and Zajibal pass which is a 25km journey to the lake.
Kashmir is the paradise of nature on earth which gives the closure to the breathtaking alpine lakes, snow peaks of gigantic mountains and widely spread meadows. With the growing years, the state has become a hub of adventurous activities like trekking. The unparalleled trials of mountains and the magnificent lakes make the trekking experience of the adventurous junkies a memorable excursion. The trekking routes in Kashmir are unique because they take the trekkers close to the nature and the human settlement amidst the mountains. The Kashmir trails are usually moderate and give the perfect opportunity even to the beginners for experiencing the adventurous vibe of trekking. For the puzzled routes, it is good to trek with a local as they will have a knowledge of all the in and out routes of Kashmir.
Among all the famous treks to experience in Kashmir, these are the trekking routes of the 5 best treks in Kashmir which gives the chance to witness the real beauty of the valley.
Sonamarg - Nichnai Pass - Vishansar Lake - Kishnasar Lake - Gadsar Pass - Gadsar Lake - Satsar Lake - Gangabal Lake - Nundkol Lake - Naranag Srinagar
This trek starts from the valley of Sonamarg which is situated in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir. From Sonamarg it is a 9km walk towards Nichnai which consists of steep climb then turns into a moderate climb. After Nichnai the trek move towards Vishansar Lake resting at an altitude of 12,700 ft. which will come in sight after crossing the Nichnai Pass. Later the trek continues towards Gadsar pass from where one can view the Vishansar and Kishnasar Lake. The Gadsar and Satsar lakes lies at a 4 hour long walk from Gadsar Pass. The lakes excursion ends at the Gangabal and Nundkol Lake till reaching Zach pass which is the highest point of the trek at 13,500 ft. The trek ends at Naranag valley from where it is a 3-hour drive to Srinagar.
Aru - Lidderwat - Shekwas - Tarsar - Sundarsar - Marsar - Sonmasti - Sumbal - Srinagar
The trek begins from the basecamp of Aru which is 4 hours’ drive from Srinagar. Passing the Aru village the trek continues towards Lidderwat valley which is a 9km journey. Moving by the Shekwas, a 5km climb will lead to the Tarsar Lake. Crossing the Tarsar Lake, the journey forwards to the Sundersar Lake which is at a distance of 5km from Tarsar. As the trail move past the Sundersar, it leads towards Marsar Lake from where it is a 7.5km walk toward Sumbal passing by Sonmasti. From Sonmasti, Srinagar can be reached by road.
Srinagar - Naranag - Butsheri - Bodpathri - Trunkhol - Gangabal - Kolesar - Mahlish - Chaturgul - Srinagar
The Naranag Mahlish trek starts from Naranag which is a tourist village located at the Ganderbal district. Taking off from the village the trek will move forward to Trunkhol passing by Butsheri and Bodpathri. After halting at Trunkhol the trek will move towards the Gangabal twin lakes which the Gangabal and Nundkol lakes. The trek will move forward towards Mahlish via Kolesar Lake. Walking through the meadows at Mahlish, the trek will descend towards Chaturgul from where it is a 3 hours’ drive top Srinagar.
Srinagar - Naranag - Butsheri - Bodpathri - Trunkhol - Gangabal - Naranag - Srinagar
This trek towards Gangabal Lake starts from Naranag located at the Ganderbal district. From there the trek move forwards to Trunkhol passing by the Butsheri and Bodpathri on the way. Halting at Trunkhol, the journey will recollect towards Gangabal and Nundkol lakes. After passing by the lakes, the trek ends at Naranag where the same route is to be followed. From Naranag it is a 3 hour drive towards Srinagar.
Aru - Lidderwat - Dudhsar Lake - Kolahoi Glacier Viewpoint - Satlunjan
The trek towards the mystique Kolahoi Glacier starts from the Aru village which is located at the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. Passing through the Lidderwat valley which is a 10km walk from Aru village and Satlunjan, the trek move towards Dudhsar Lake. Climbing down 1.5km one can enjoy the view of the Kolahoi Glacier. Now as the trek ends, the walk will descend towards Aru village passing through the Satlunjan.