Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora-Trek

Introduction

The aim of Kashmir Mega Trek expedition is to trek from Sonamag to Bandipora via Nichnai Pass and Zajibal Pass. The Mega-Trek treks through over 50 high altitude alpine lakes situated at the foothills of different snowy mountain peaks. It crosses streams, plenty of colorful meadows and crosses four mountain passes.

Though trekking in Kashmir is not newest but still this expedition is no walk in the park. Arduous days, steep and rocky passes and altitudes approaching 4200m all collide to create a challenging trek in one of the most beautiful and serene Himalayas of Kashmir.

  • Duration

    11N12D

  • Best Time

    June-September

  • Highest Altitude

    Zajibal Pass (4180 Meters)

  • Group Size

    2-16

  • Price Per Person

    INR 29900 (Group size 2)

    INR 27600 (Group size 3 – 5)

    INR 25300 (Group size above 6)

Inclusions

What’s included in the Price?

  • All road transport by private ac cars (airport transfers/ from Srinagar to base camp and back).
  • Arrival/ departure 2 nights Deluxe Houseboat or Hotel accommodation in Srinagar (full board), unless specified.
  • 9 nights tented accommodation (full-board) mountain camps.
  • All trekking gear including tents, sleeping bags, mats, blankets, trekking poles.
  • English Speaking Kashmiri Local Guide and a Cook.
  • All cooking utensils including cooking LPG stove.
  • Horses to carry backpack (except day sack), group equipment (tents/ stoves/ fuel) to the higher camps.
  • Meal plan: All meals included (vegetarian meals including eggs and cheese, unless specified.
  • Trek/ Wildlife Permits.
  • First Aid.

Exclusions

What’s not included in the Price?

  • International or domestic flights
  • Visa.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Personal clothing and equipment.
  • Any medical costs incurred by you, or costs associated with a medical incident, such as your evacuation from the mountain and/ or hospitalization (for which you should have travel insurance).
  • Optional trips or excursions.
  • Tips for local staff and guides.

Itinerary

Day 1: – Arrival. Reception at Srinagar airport/bus station.
On arrival at Srinagar airport or bus station , our representative will receive you and transfer you to the houseboat at Dal Lake for an overnight stay.

Day 2: – Srinagar – Sonamarg – Nichnai (3 hrs drive/ 5 hrs trek).
After breakfast at houseboat we drive to Sonamarg “the meadow of gold’ along picturesque Sind river. At Shitksri we pack our load on horses and start our trek. Our trail a slightly steep, passes through the meadows and enters a pine/ birch forest at Shokdari before the vast and long Nichnai meadow which is our camping ground for an overnight stay.

Day 3: – Nichnai – Vishnasar – Krishansar Lake (6 hrs trek).
We leave Nichnai meadow and immediately start ascending one of the three passes of the trek the Nichnai Pass (4000m). We ascend it through long grazing pastures sheep. After crossing the pass we enter into the Vishansar Valley “the valley medicinal plants”, we descend gradually through the alpine flower valley and camp at Vishansar Lake for an overnight stay.

Day 4: – Krishansar – Gadsar (6 hrs trek). After discovering Vishansar Lake we head towards its sibling the Krishansar Lake which lies just over a ridge. We take its eastern shore to ascend the second pass of the trek the Gadsar Pass (4050m). On the top of the pass we have the aerial view of the whole Vishansar valley among it are situated the twin lakes of Vishansar and Krishansar “the source of Neelam River”. We descend through Gadsar valley and lakes and camp at Kustoor Kout for an overnight stay.

Day 5: – Gadsar – Satsar Lakes – Megandoab (5 hrs trek). We ascend Kostur Kout leaving Gadsar valley and enter the meadow of Rasbal. It’s the Rasbal where a flowing river disappears underground. We continue our trek through seven small lakes of Satsar and camp at Megandoab at the foothills of the third pass of Zajibal for an overnight stay.

Day 6: – Satsar – Gangabal lake (6 hrs trek). We ascend the last and the highest pass of our trek ‘Zajibal Pass (4180m)’. We forget all our tiredness when reaching atop because of the views, scenery it provides. We see Mount Haramukh (5300m) just standing at our face and at its footsteps lie the twin beautiful alpine lakes of Gangabal and Nundkol. We descend it to reach Gangabal Lake for an overnight stay.

Day 7: – Day at leisure. Stay at Gangabal Lake. Trout fishing, sightseeing or have a walk to the Kolsar Lake and around. Overnight stay at Gangabal Lake.

Day 8: – Gangabal – Kundsar lake (5 hours trek). Ascend on the right side of Gangbal lake follows by a gradual descend and 9 kms trekking will lead us to Kundsar lake. Overnight stay.

Day 9: – Kundsar – Sarbal Lake (4 hours trek). Leaving Kundsar through Shirsar 11 kms trek takes you to Minimarg and then descend to Sarbal. Overnight stay.

Day 10: – Sarbal – Poshpatri 2nd (5 hours trek). Through the meadows of Kundara village we leave for Poshpatri. Enroute are the shepherds, tribal Bakerwals with their folks of sheep and goat. The scenery is breathtaking with snow clad Harmukh and the green gorges with wild alpine flowers. Overnight stay.

Day 11: – Poshpatri – Arin (4 hours trek-Srinagar (3 hours drive). From Poshpatri along the stream of Arin we gradually descend and reach Arin village. We take our car and drive back to Srinagar for an overnight stay.

Day 12: – Departure. Our representative will drop you at Srinagar airport or at bus stand for departure.

What to Carry?

The trek is supported by horses. You will need to carry only a light sack, weighing about 4-6kg for your personal items like passport, money and camera gear. The following is a list of the items you should carry on the trek. If you have items which can not be used on the trek, you can store them at our houseboat or at our office and take them back after returning from the trek.

  • Duffel Bag 60 liters
  • One Pair Trekking Shoes
  • One Pair Trail Approach Shoes
  • Trekking Pants
  • Hooded Rain Jacket
  • Shade Hat
  • One Pair Sunglasses
  • One Pair Liner Gloves
  • Small Size Day-Pack
  • Two Pair Trekking Socks
  • One Pair Sandals
  • Extra Warm Clothes
  • Warm Hooded Down Jacket
  • Sunscreen Cream
  • Lip Balm
  • Any Personal Medication

Fitness

Kashmir Treks are achievable by anyone with a healthy lifestyle and a good level of general fitness. Team members should be willing to be part of a team working together to achieve the goal of the expedition. As a team member, you should have an adventurous and robust spirit. The biggest challenge on this expedition will be the many consecutive days of challenging trekking across alpine terrain, much of which at altitudes of above 3000m.

Minimum fitness requirements

  • Trek: up to 20km per day.
  • Daily activity: up to 7 hours’ trekking per day.
  • Carry: up to 5kg in a day sack.
  • Terrain: remote, uneven, snowy, icy, rocky, sometimes exposed terrain at up to 4200m.
  • Climate: Can be sunny in valleys and cold and windy at altitude. Averages are 3000m, 5 to 20C.
  • Swim: not required though there will be river crossings to make.

Preparations

Plan Your Trek

While planning your trek, as a beginner keep the following points in consideration:-

  • you feel fit enough to trek for hours.
  • you walk two or three kilometers daily.
  • you don’t have any breathing problem.
  • you are not scared of heights.
  • get advice from your doctor.
  • or chose trekking for few days instead.

Join Our Short Trekking Courses

The aim of our trekking courses is to make you familiar with the basics of trekking, adjust yourself with the climate and prepare you to ascend the altitude. We offer three different courses. Each course is designed in levels so that the best can suite you, instructed by our experienced trekking staff.

  • 5 days trekking course at Gulmarg..
  • 10 days trekking course at Pahalgam
  • 15 days trekking course at Sonamarg.