The Warwan Valley Trek also knows as Srinagar Warwan Panikhar Trek
Another beauty beyond words which we call as Panikhar, which is a village in Kargil district and a huge green expanse of the Suru valley. The Warwan Valley Trek also knows as Srinagar Warwan Panikhar Trek is that one treks which offers so many different and magnificent dimensions which will certainly have a long term in stay in one’s memory.
Kashmir valley is a home to many spectacular gems of India. Situated at center of Kashmir valley and on the banks of Jhelum River, Srinagar is the largest and the most populated city in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir with a population of about 11.81 million inhabitants. Srinagar is considered as the ‘Summer Capital’ of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. At a distance of 124 Km from Srinagar in the Kishtwar district lies the Warwan valley commonly known as ‘the Salt Route.’
Warwan valley trek is one of the most desirable treks among all the treks in Kashmir valley for some reasons. First is the inaccessibility to the place for about seven months of the year which makes people arrive there in the accessible months. Second and the surprising reason is that it connects the Ladakh Himalayas from Suru valley to the Kashmir Himalayas thus presenting a glimpse of Ladakh’s charm on one side and unfolds the beauty of Kashmir on the other side for trekkers and travelers.
Srinagar – Inshan - Achabal - Kokernag - Margan Top - Warwan valley - Sokhnai village – Hampet – Kaintal - Bhatkol Pass - Panikhar village - Kargil – Drass - Zojila - Sonamarg
The various means you can adopt to reach Srinagar are:
By Air: Major airlines like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Indigo issues daily flights for Srinagar.
By Train: Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar at a distance of 290 Km from where you can take a bus or taxi to Srinagar or even a flight if you face any shortage of time.
By Road: Srinagar can be approached via road through Srinagar-Leh highway from May to October and through the Manali-Leh highway from April to November.
The journey for one of the grandest trek of all will begin with your arrival at Srinagar. Our representative will be there to attend on your arrival and will take you to the houseboat for the stay. Houseboat, popularly known as,’Shikara’ is a result of an indigenous idea proposed by the British in the 19th when they hired these boats and turned them into their summer homes. The entire setting with the quiet lake, decorated houseboats and picturesque view seems perfect. If you wish you to, you can also explore in and around Srinagar. You can visit the Mughal Gardens; can have the taste of special Kashmiri salted pink tea known as the ‘Noon Chai’and have a visit to the market which proffers so many things famous in the name of Kashmir. The night will halt in the houseboat.
At a distance of 89 Km from Srinagar lies the village Inshan in Kishtwar district. Post breakfast, a 5 hour drive from Srinagar will take you to inshan. The village has a population of about 1,031 people and around 215 houses in total. So, it won’t be so packed like our metropolitan cities and you’ll get the opportunity to have the feel of nature at every moving step. Now you’ll take the Mughal road through Achabal where you’ll spot some sprawling Chinar trees, ornamental shrubs and gleaming fountains acting as an absolute visual treat. After Achabal you’ll move through Kokernag which is approximately 35 Km away from Inshan village. And then after covering a distance of 45 Km from Kokernag you’ll reach Margan Top located at a height of almost 3550 m from where you’ll get to see the pyramid shaped Nan-Kun peak. You’ll meet our trek staff at the Margan top for further trekking preparations and stay in a guest house for the night.
You’ll start your day with the trek from Marghan top toward Warwan valley, situated in the Kishtwar district which offers some captivating views with greenery, falls and blue skies. While the snow clad Zanskar range visible from the Warwan valley propounds an enthralling view, the dazzling ‘Dariya-E-Chinab’ streaming across the valley makes for some extraordinary views. You will end at the Sokhnai village and camp for an overnight stay.
No treks or climbs for the day. You’ll get a chance to explore the tradition and culture of Warwan valley. The nomads, the sheep’s, the unnamed waterfalls and the grasslands leave you wonderstruck. Though this place lacks electricity, its beauty and charm makes up for all. The night will be spent at the Sokhnai village again.
After having breakfast, you’ll start a 7 hour trek with a distance of about 19 Km from Sokhnai village to Hampet through never-ending meadows of alpine flower. The glimpse of waterfall over the grazing fields of shepherds is something which can’t be explained in words. For the night, you’ll camp at Hampet.
Kashmir is a home to many nomadic tribes. As you cross the meadow, you’ll see the way of life they lead and the very special attraction will be their nomadic style huts. Your 7 hour walk will end at the camp site at Kaintal where you’ll stay for the night.
One of the most difficult days of the expedition involves the trek to the highest point of our trek, that is, the ‘Bhatkol Pass’ (4380 m). Reaching to such a height is not an easy task. It will prove to be the real test of your strength. All you’ll see is the mountains covered with the sheet of snow. With a gradual and careful walk over a glacier, you’ll head towards Sumdo meadow for an overnight stay.
Following a 5 hour and 30 minutes trek of 15 Km from Sumdo, you’ll head towards Panikhar village. On the way you’ll encounter the Bakerwal huts. Bakerwal is a famous Gujjar tribe living in the state of Kashmir. Their huts are named on the name of their tribe. Panikhar village is situated in the Suru valley of Ladakh. You’ll stay overnight at the Panikhar village adorned with green grasslands. How surprising and satisfying it is to know that you’ll cover a trek from Kashmir to Ladakh.
You’ll be driven back to Srinagar in our car. On your way back you’ll pass through Kargil, Drass, Zojila and Sonamarg. This will be a golden chance for you to have a look at all those things you somehow missed when you depart from Srinagar. Be it Rangdum monastery in Kargil, or Drass valley and Zojila pass and beautiful lakes in Sonamarg. On reaching Srinagar, you’ll stay at the houseboat for the night.
This will be the last day of your trek. As you get ready to leave, relish the last day taking some long lasting memories on your way back. You’ll be taken to airport by our representative. As you say goodbye to Kashmir with the boarding of your flight, you’ll certainly take the best experience of your life with you.
All the equipment which is not possible to be carried by the staff and the trekkers will be loaded on to the horse’s back and will be taken by him to the camp site. However, you are still advised to carry a light bag to keep your necessary items during trek. Any item you don’t wish to carry along during trek, you can keep it at the houseboat or at our office and collect it later. The basic things you need to carry are mentioned below:
You’ll be able to complete the Kashmir trek only if you are a part of a heathy lifestyle and have an optimum level of general fitness. The minimum fitness requirements for the trek are as follows:
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