Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Aru Valley

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All About It
  • 7 Days  6 Nights 
  • Difficulty - Moderate Hard
  • For 12+ years
  • Best Season - Summer (May, June, July) Monsoon (Aug, Sept, Oct)

We will not begin with anything less than saying that Kashmir Great Lakes is one of India’s prettiest, most scenic, and pristine treks. The trek is a Himalayan trek in Kashmir Valley and is commercially known as Sonamarg-Vishansar-Naranag Trek.

Kashmir, without a doubt, is a place of utmost beauty, simplicity, and untouched terrain. Add it with Kahwah tea, snow-capped mountains, glacier-fed rivers, blue-green lakes, orchards of apples, and all shades of colors; it turns into heaven on earth. Treks in Kashmir are not just a way to challenge yourself or become physically fit but also a means to find your life’s purpose: Kashmir Great Lakes trek is precisely made for this.

Starting from Sonamarg, this moderate trek on a seven-day succession (approximately 80 km) will take you through 11 alpine lakes, lush green meadows, movable flocks of sheep, giant mountains, lakes fed by glaciers, and multiple other unbelievable wonders of nature. Every day will be a blessing here – as you will cross different sections, you will get glimpses of Mount Harmukh, Gadsar Peak, Mount Vishu, Maple and Pine forests, various Himalayan animals like Common Leopard, Himalayan Marmot, Black Bear, and myriad varieties of flowers and trees.

Trip Highlight

- Meet fellow travellers and kick off your journey from Srinagar to Sonmarg
- Acclimatisation in Sonmarg
- 360-degree view of mountains from the Valley of Nichnai via a famous tabletop
- Learn the fine art of Camping
- Soak in the refreshing sunrise and sunset in the company of Pine and Maple forests
- You will probably spot bears in the Bear Valley; get to see a wide variety of flowers in the Valley of Wildflowers
- Kishansar and Vishansar Valley
- Reach the twin lakes in Gangabal Valley by crossing a boulder section



Day 1: Srinagar to Sonamarg   

Day 2: Sonamarg to Nichnai  

Day 3: Nichnai to Kishansar/Vishansar Valley  

Day 4: Kishansar/Vishansar Valley to Gadsar  

Day 5: Gadsar to Satsar  

Day 6: Satsar to Gangabal  

Day 7: Gangabal to Naranag  to Srinagar


  1. Please schedule your flights for the day before and the day after. Airlines frequently delay or cancel flights for operational reasons.
  2. Plan The Unplanned assists with air tickets. You can book your Flights, Stays through us 


Who should attend?



We will start our journey to Sonamarg from Srinagar. Trek Leaders will give a brief of the whole trip. Srinagar lies at the height of 1,585 m and Sonamarg at 2,377 m from sea level. It’s almost a 3 hours journey

At Sonamarg, we will stay for the night. Day 1 is for acclimatization; hence, walk around, enjoy the weather, make friends, have a good meal, and gear up for the next day.


From Sonamarg, we will go to Nichnai. But, first, have a healthy breakfast that the Plan the Unplanned team would provide and get ready for trekking for 9 km in around 7 hours: This includes 3.5 hours of steep ascent, 1 hour of descent, and finally gentle climb for 2.5 hours to Nichnai at an altitude of 3,505 m.

It sounds too much, but the panoramic 360-degree views of mountains from the Valley of Nichnai via a famous tabletop will make it easier for you.

On the way, you will see Thajwas mountain range and Bear valley. Interestingly, Thajwas valley is also known as the ‘Valley of Wildflowers’. Walking on the green grass amidst the Maples is an experience in itself. Set up your camp here with the help of trek leaders and enjoy the company of nature.


We will start from Nichnai to Kishansar and Vishansar Valley. It is at a height of 3,650 m, and it will take almost 5.5 hours to climb 13 km gradually. This valley is home to two gorgeous lakes. You can sit here for a while; dip your feet in the pristine greenish-blue water; lose yourself for a while and process the colors of trout fish that are floating peacefully in the lake; watch different flowers by the side of the lake.

Both of these lakes have a religious significance, and they drain themselves in the Kishanganga River that runs through the Gurez Valley.


From Nichnai Valley, we will cross the Gadsar Pass to finally reach Gadsar Valley at 4,200 m by trekking for around 14 km in 6 hours. From here, you can get a birds-eye view of both the Kishansar and Vishansar lakes. It’s a breathtaking view from there. As you will absorb that view, you will soon get captivated by the long wavy meadows

The Gadsar lake’s water is considered to have healing powers. If you believe in such things, you are open to bless yourself.


From the fifth day onwards, it’s a much more relaxing descent with mild ascents and descents. The trail is a bit challenging, with some deep craters on the way. From Gadsar, we will cover vast meadows with mesmerizing views of mountains and reach Satsar valley to finally come down at 3,600 m by covering 12 km in 5 hours.

Finally, you will reach the valley. It is the valley with the most lakes in the area. Set up your campsite and rest for the day.


Be vigilant during the first half an hour. It’s a steep climb with a boulder section. Via the Zajibal pass, we will go to Gangabal Valley, where twin lakes are silently waiting for you. The pass cuts Satsar Valley and Gangbal Valley. A small climb, then a descent, and a stream crossing leads to Nundkol Lake lying at the foot of Harmukh. Gangbal Lake is at a distance of 20 minutes from Nundkol Lake. You can reach it by crossing the stream: be wary of the flow and consult with the trek leads before taking steps. Both lakes are famous for Trout fishing

Till now, we have come down to 3,585 m by covering 9 km in 5 hours. So rest for the day and settle yourself in Gangbal.


This is the last day of the trek; so, the excitement to end the whole tour on a good note must be in the mood. From the Gangabal campsite, walk down along the stream. Look back from time to time; you will see that Harmukh Peak looks fantastic. Come to Naranag at 2,271 m. If the time permits, you can also go around and cover the ruins of ancient temples

Then give us a chance to say goodbye nicely. We are sure that these seven days give you the best memories. Plan the Unplanned team is always happy to see you again; Check out our other itineraries and call us soon. We will wait for your message. Till then, take care and rejoice.

Plan The Unplanned

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Plan The Unplanned

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What’s life without adventure? Isn’t the real purpose of life to travel, to experience new places, and witness the sunrise from new mountaintops? This thought is what united Jatin and Tarun over a cup of chai, in spite of being from two unrelated backgrounds (CA and IT). They knew each other since the time Jatin was helping Tarun learn the ways of the wilderness through weekend treks and outings with another traveling group. Their love for traveling and trekking together motivated them to start something of their own. Thus was born “Plan The Unplanned”, where travel goals come true. Under the Companies Act, Plan The Unplanned is incorporated as Unplanned Journeys Private Limited They started their journey on unsteady ground, much like any other company, but they shared an infatuation for travel and adventure with their customers, which amplified their determination, and thus, Plan the Unplanned family keeps getting bigger every day! Just about any travel idea can come alive with Plan The Unplanned…treks, adventure activities like rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, backpacking trips across the country, cultural outings, photo walks; everything that fellow travelers need, to explore the great outdoors together. Well now that the wanderlust has kicked in and you can already see a vacation in your nearest future, here’s what we have to offer!

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  • Accommodation in tents on triple sharing basis
  • Meals – All meals from dinner at Sonamarg on Day 1 to lunch at Naranag on Day 7 are included.
  • Camping Charges (All permission and Permits).
  • Trekking Equipment – Sleeping bags, Sleeping Mattresses, Toilet Tents & Kitchen Tents.
  • Staff – Trek Leaders, Cooks, and Helpers.
  • Safety equipment – First Aid Kit, Oxygen Cylinders, etc.



  • Accommodation at Srinagar.
  • Mandatory Adventure Insurance Cover for 7 Days ( Rs 650/-) - Please select while booking
  • Airport Transfers can be available at an additional cost
  • Offloading Charges – Rs 2800/person in case you wish to offload for the entire duration of the trek.
  •  Any kind of personal expense.
  •  Any expenses arising due to unforeseen contingencies landslides, curfews, government order, or natural disasters.

Note: If you require Single sharing tents.  An additional charge of Rs 2500/person



  • Trekking Shoes ( Do not carry sneakers/ sports shoes. Carry shoes that has good grip and ankle support)
  • Backpack (40 -60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for a backpack is essential
  • Daypack 20 litres: On the day of the summit, you’ll need a smaller backpack to carry water, snacks and your medical kit. Bring a foldable backpack.
  • Layers/Warm Clothes/Thermals
  • Trek Pants/T-shirts/Undergarments as per your convenience. Carry the actual number required and stay light
  • Sunglasses, Suncap, sunscreen
  • Hand gloves, socks 2 pairs and woollen socks.
  • Headlamp/LED Torch is mandatory
  • Trekking Pole
  • Poncho/Raincoat
  • Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. ( Mandatory )
  • Personal Medikit
  • Toiletries: moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes.
  • One 1 litre water bottle.
  • Plastic covers: carry a few extra plastic bags for wet clothes. Make sure you take them back and not litter the mountains.





Policy and Terms

Here’s the cancellation policy for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

  • If you cancel before 30 days – 90% of the amount will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 20 -30 days – 75% % of the amount will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 15-19 days – 50%  will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 7-14 days – 25 % amount will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 0- 7 days before the departure date – No amount would be refunded.


  • The booking fee to reserve the early bird offer is non-refundable
  • The ticket can be transferred to any friend/any person provided he/she is fit for the trek. The communication of the same has to be confirmed over email.
  • A rescheduling fee of Rs 2000 will be charged if you cancel the trek due to family emergencies and want to postpone your trek to a future date. Your ticket would be held as credits* ( Terms & Conditions apply )
  • We do not accept any cancellations on WhatsApp or call. Please drop a mail to [email protected]
  • PTU reserves the right to update the cancellation policy without any prior notice
  • If for a rare reason, PTU cancels the trek
    Plan The Unplanned strives to ensure that our treks are not cancelled or called off. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances or natural disasters such as continuous rain or snow, thunderstorms, snowstorms, landslides, floods, earthquakes, or any other calamity that could jeopardize the safety of our trekkers, or if there are unforeseeable circumstances like local riots, curfews, pandemics, lockdowns, government orders, or any such situations that make a safe trek impossible, we will issue a voucher equivalent to the amount paid for the trek. This voucher can be redeemed for any of our treks in the coming year. We regret any inconvenience caused by such cancellations, but our top priority is always the safety of our trekkers.

  • PTU would like to clarify that vouchers will not be issued in the event of trekkers having to come down from the trek for any reason. Our trek leaders may ask a trekker to descend due to reasons such as lack of fitness, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), blood pressure, turn-around time, health issues, or non-compliance with the trek rules such as smoking/drinking. Vouchers will only be issued when the entire trek is cancelled or called off by PTU. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
  • If PTU has to shift the trek: As stated earlier, weather conditions in high-altitude areas are highly unpredictable and can change without notice. Additionally, situations beyond our control such as natural disasters, political unrest, pandemics, and lockdowns may arise, making it impossible to continue with the scheduled event. In such cases, where we do not have direct control over the circumstances, we will make every effort to provide an alternative trek that is safer and more favourable for our trekkers. This means that your trek will be shifted to another trek to ensure your safety and provide an enjoyable trekking experience.
  • To compensate for any difference in cost between the original trek and the alternative trek, we will issue a voucher in such circumstances. This voucher can be redeemed at any time within a year from the date of issuance. It's important to note that a refund fee or difference refund is not applicable in these situations.


Terms and Conditions



Frequest Questions


  1. How many lakes do you see on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?
    There are as many as eleven lakes on the trek. But, to cover all these lakes, you will possibly have to stay for more than seven days.
  2. Is it safe to trek in Kashmir?
    Yes, it is mostly safe to trek in Kashmir. But at other times, like other places, it might get a little complicated. So here are some pointers to keep in mind when you are travelling from Srinagar:
    • If you plan to stay overnight in Srinagar, stay in touristy areas like Dal Lake or Lal Chowk.
    • In general, try to mix up with the crowd in terms of language, cultures and dressing.
    • Get a guide or travel with an agency. They mostly know about the place in and out.
  3. Can the trek be done solo or without a guide?

The trail is well-marked from Sonamarg to Naranag. Nomadic shepherds will give you directions on the way. Just go prepared with a trekking permit, food and your tent. 

  1. When is the best time to go to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?

July to September: This is the time of moderate climatic conditions. In all other seasons, the trails of Kashmir are covered in snow. 

  1. What is the temperature at the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?

During the daytime, the temperature can go up to 20 degrees, and at night, it can drop to 3 degrees. Therefore, make sure you carry adequate warm and light clothes. 

  1. How long is the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?

Approximately 80 km. You will cover the whole trek in 7 days.

  1. What is the level of fitness required to do the Kashmir Great Lakes trek easily?

The trek is a moderate one. There are steep paths, rocky terrain, slippery stretches, steep climbs, and straight sections of gradual ascend. To do this trek at ease, start with jogging/cycling every day; take stairs whenever you can; get acquainted with breathing exercises.

8. How is the Trip /Trek Organised?

For the proper organization of Backpacking Trips and Himalayan treks, Plan the Unplanned team is associated with a local experienced team Gulmarg Ski Club that’s registered with Jammu & Kashmir Tourism.

Moreover, we have been working with them for 4 years. Their highly skilled staff with 20+ years of experience, professional local guides and BMC certified trek leaders are the reasons for our continuing partnership with them. The team shall manage all operations, medical and mechanical backup starting from the base location.

Only when we have over 10 bookings from Bangalore, do we send our leaders from Bangalore.

Note: To properly utilize resources, a batch from PTU is clubbed with trekkers who originally book with the local team. This is how all trekking organizations manage their treks. An exclusive PTU batch is only formed when we have a majority of bookings ( over 10 and above ) from PTU



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