AdventureIndia

Get ready for the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Its the time of the year when trekking lovers should be ready for the two of the most beautiful treks in mid-Himalayan region- the ever popular Valley of Flowers trek and the newly popularised Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. When the major trekking season in Himalayan region takes a monsoon break in August-September, these are the two most sought after treks. Camps alongside the stream Kashmir Great Lakes trek, read: Thajiwas is the perfect acclimatisation There is still big difference between the two. Valley of Flowers is largely a single day trek, as there is no camping allowed inside the Valley. So, one has to start early morning from Ghangaria, do as much of trek inside the national park as possible (depends on individual fitness and capability) and return back to Ghangaria in t...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Kashmir, we know less about: Charar-e-Sharief

In the previous post on Kashmir, we travelled to Aishmuqam Dargah of Hazrat Zain-ud-Din Wali, who was principal disciple of Sufi saint Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani. Now we are talking about the shrine of the saint himself at Charar-e-Sharief. Well, name Charar-e-Sharief might not be as unknown as the Aismuqam, but its importance might be. Charar-e-Sharief shrine Also read: Kashmir we know less about: Aishmuqam Dargah Recent past Actually, being a journalist, the first time I heard about Charar-e-Sharief was all because of negative reasons, way back in 1995. It was then, when the shrine as well as the town was in siege for 66 days because of a stand-off between army and terrorists lead by Mast Gul. It all ended even badly when the whole town as well as the shrine were put to fl...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Kashmir we know less about : Aishmuqam Dargah

I visited Aishmuqam Shrine near Anantnag in Kashmir valley for the first time years before the Salman Khan starrer Bajrangi Bhaijaan was shot in 2015. This Bollywood superhit film did lot on its part to make people aware of this place. A very beautiful song sung by Adnan Sami was filmed here. The song was inspired from a very old traditional qawwali and it is said that it was for the first time that a film was granted the permission to shoot inside the premises of the shrine.  Aishmuqam shrine Mosque and shrine of commonly known as Saint Sheikh Zain-Ud-Din Wali at Aishmuqam is considered to be one of the most famous dargahs of Kashmir. One needs to climb 560 steps before you can enter the shrine which is located about 40 minutes away from Pahalgam. We came from the Pahalgam s...

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Khardungla might have lost the height but not the sheen!

Not so long ago everybody reaching here would be showcasing the photograph of testimonial to the visit as a badge of honour to have reached the highest motorable road in the world. Such was the glamour of being to Khardung La pass, also known as gateway to Nubra valley. It was one of the must-see destinations for visits to Leh-Ladakh. Off late owing to firstly, constantly opening of many other high roads around in Ladakh and other places of world and secondly, because of many challenges to its claim of altitude with better and actual GPS measurements--Khardungla has suddenly become from highest motorable road in the world to one of the top 10 highest motorable passes in the world. And few other claim that it is not even in top 10. Challenges to Khardung La's status have surfaced years b

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AdventureIndia

Pang : Thrill of being at highest transit camp in the world

Pang is a magical place. It brings you to an entirely different world, like the one never seen before. At an altitude of over 15,300 feet this is also claimed to be the highest army transit camp in the world. Army claims the altitude as 15, 640 feet. For a traveller- a biker or a driver, Pang is in midst of two entirely different terrains. While coming from Sarchu is the rough routes of Kangla Jal while on the Leh side is the super-highway of More Plains. Both worth a journey of lifetime. Establishment at Pang would have been come up as a place for stoppage for armed forces moving to and fro to areas bordering Pakistan and China. Being an open valley close to stream and less windy in comparison to Sarchu would have made it ideal place for transit. When adventurers starte...

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IndiaPhotogallery

Tulips blooming! Kashmir calling!!

Asia's biggest Tulip Garden at Siraj Bagh in Srinagar, Kashmir is now open for the year. Normally the garden opens with the start of April. But this year it has opened a week earlier owing to favourable weather conditions. We can also say that because the winter winded up a bit early and it brought the spring before time in the valley, hence the tulips also started blooming early. Hence the garden at Siraj Bagh on the banks of the Dal Lake was thrown open for the tourists on 25th March, a week earlier than last year. These are images from the park from the first day itself. Blast from the past: Tulip garden at heaven!Not all the bulbs have bloomed, still some to go. It would be full by the start of April. It is indeed once in a lifetime chance to see more than a million tulips of differ

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When getting down becomes the toughest part : Gangabal to Naranag

When it comes to last day of a trek, we often expect it to be a relaxed day, more so when it is all down hill. But don't think so when you are on Kashmir Great Lakes trek. To my surprise, last day trek from Gangabal to Naranag actually turned out to be one of the toughest day of the trek. Also read: Thajiwas is a perfect acclimatisation for Great Lakes Trek Weather has been perfect accept for the first night rain. It has been bright and sunny. Well, it was known before hand that last day has to be steep descent. But excitement of finishing the trek did overcome the challenge. Moreover we didn't expect it to be that tricky affair. Also read: Kashmir Great Lakes- First day trek to Nichnai This is one of the trickiest descent I had faced in all these years of trekking.

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Satsar to Gangabal : Photo journey to the climax!

After a satisfying fourth day, it was time to move towards the climax on the 5th day of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. It was supposed to be the last day of climb. Satsar campsite is at an altitude of 12,000 ft and Gangabal campsite is at a an altitude of 11,500 ft but on the way we have to cross the Zach pass at an altitude of 13,400 ft. How to prepare? Read: Thajiwas is a perfect acclimatisation for Great Lakes Trek So, lets travel through the day's trek in photos. Starting right from the first light of the day- Its early morning after a wonderful night of stargazing. You just can't imagine, how this sky looked like in the night. Its cold still, but all ready to move. Its getting brighter and campsite is buzzing with early morning activities. Also Read: Kashmir Great Lakes-...

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AdventureIndia

Rub your eyes to believe this amazing view!

How often we trek and come across some very beautiful natural scenes as we have never seen before. But then there are few scenes which will freeze in your memories for ever. What, if such a view comes in front of your eyes all of a sudden, in a very unlikely manner. That's how it happens when trekking from Satsar to Gangabal during the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, we have to climb three ridges one after another in a tough climb. And after three hours of energy sapping trek we reach to the top of Zach pass at 13,400 feet (also mentioned locally as Gangabal Pass), and all of sudden  a view opens up like a canvas- Harmukh peak right in the front and twin lakes of Gangabal and Nandkhol at its base. A perfect vista to fill ones eyes... so close, yet a bit far. What a fitting climax to a unb...

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A tale of seven lakes : Gadsar to Satsar

The best thing about six day Kashmir Great Lakes trek is that every day, you get a new landscape around and that prevents it from getting monotonous. Also read: Thajiwas is a perfect acclimatisation for Great Lakes trek Having already covered the first three day, we move ahead to the next campsite. Fourth day trek is from Gadsar to Satsar. First two days of trek were without passing through any lakes but next two days were all about lakes. Third day, we passes as many as five lakes on the way including big ones like Vishnusar, Kishansar and Gadsar. This fourth day was also all about lakes. Actually name of the next campsite is Satsar which means seven lakes. Also read: Kashmir Great Lakes- First day trek to Nichnai The altitude for the day hovered around 12K feet....

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