The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is unusual and divine in many aspects, and it takes place in Kashmir, a paradise on earth. KGL is known for having some of the most magnificent vistas of any trip, and it entails climbing three mountain passes to access a plethora of high altitude lakes, making it physically demanding but well worth the effort. This journey is dominated by the lovely blue colour of the lakes.
This article explains why KGL should be your next adventure.
1. Learn About Kashmiri Culture:
What better way to learn about a place’s history and culture than to engage with the locals? Enjoy bonding with the local guides, who have a wealth of stories to share about how Kashmir was dominated by Buddhists, Hindus, and then Mughals, leading up to its current Mughal influence. On the route, stop to chat with the locals and enjoy the hospitality of the shepherds. I’m sure the mountain discussions will be much different from what you’ll encounter while sightseeing in the city.
2. Take a walk around the Scented Pine Tree Forest:
Do you prefer descents to ascents? I am, but it took a toll on my knees and feet with this one. Although the descent from Gangbal to Naranag appears to be an unending walk, the view you receive along the way is one of the reasons to do Kashmir Great Lakes. In any of my previous journeys, I have never encountered such fragrant pine tree forests. The scent of the pine trees is so invigorating, and the valley is so serene, that your mind will be forced to return to its own thoughts. Things that are difficult to express and indescribable to experience are rare. This is one of them, believe me.
3. Physically and mentally demanding:
Everyone thinks the Great Lakes of Kashmir hike is easy. I’d call it a moderate-altitude hike, but the physical and emotional challenges it presents are entirely different. Normally, on other treks, you may look forward to three to four days of climbing followed by a descent, but Kashmir Great Lakes tests your mental strength by requiring you to ascend and descend a significant amount of altitude virtually every day. It’s as though one day you’re celebrating the pass crossing and the next day you’re fighting the climb to the next pass. KGL completion is something you may be proud of for the rest of your life.
4. From Gadsar Pass, look for the Five Lakes:
Yes, it is correct! When you get a bit further up on the Gadsar Pass, you can see the Vishansar and Kishansar Lakes on the left side, and three of the Gadsar Lakes on the right. Wildflowers against a contrasting background of snow-covered mountains are a sight to behold, but that’s not all. Many of these little lakes may be found on the approach to Satsar camp site. How many do you think you can count? Take a stop for lunch at Gadsar Lake, which is just over the glacier.
5. Dal Lake, also known as ‘Srinagar’s Jewel,’ is a must-see attraction in Kashmir. On the final day of the journey, arrive in Srinagar in the afternoon and retire to your boathouse to watch the sunset. Enjoy local cuisine at floating restaurants, taste ‘Wazwan,’ a multicourse dinner for non-vegetarians, and shop for gifts at the floating market.
These things are enough to inspire me to start this journey all over again, and hopefully they will inspire you as well. So, while you’re planning your trip to the Kashmir Great Lakes, you’ll know it’ll be much more than that.