Nature has kept its best secrets in Kashmir. With the mystic views, gurgling rivers, breathtaking aura, sounds of nature, and hospitable residents, Kashmir invites everyone to its land. It is also a trekkers’ paradise. Gangabal Twin Lakes trek is an offbeat and peaceful trek starting from Naranag. In this panoramic land, you will find peace in its utmost simplicity. The trees and farms emanate a vibe that is too fresh to ignore; you will feel a sense of belongingness in the air. You will witness colorful farms tended by men and women. You will cross the Sindh river and keep on getting away from the crowded places into the peaceful hamlet Naranag – It is a Gujjar village containing just 100 houses. The Gangabal Twin Lakes trek takes an offbeat path through Pine forests, Nundkol Lake, and Gangabal Lake. Also known as Harmukt Ganga, the Gangabal lake holds religious significance to the Kashmiri Pandits and is considered the ‘Haridwar of Kashmir’. It is fed by glaciers on Mount Harmukh, precipitation, and spring. Being 2.7 km in length and 1 km in width, it feeds lake Nundkol further, which in turn empties into river Sindh. With that being said, Plan the Unplanned team invites you on a 4-day off-the-track trek. Check out the itinerary and book your next slot.
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Day 1: Commence the journey from Srinagar to Naranag. Acclimatization for the day.
Day 2: Trekking from Naranag to Trunkhol via pine forests and later camping in the meadows.
Day 3: Trekking to Nundkol and Gangabal Lake;
Day 4: Gangabal to Naranag descent and departure.
Srinagar Altitude – 1,585 m
Naranag Altitude: 2,130m
Time taken: 3 hours drive
All of us will meet in Srinagar. All the details regarding the time and meeting point will be shared with you in a mail. Naranag is our base camp for acclimatization. It lies 30 km from Srinagar on the road to Kargil.
Most of the Gujjars live here. As you might know, Gujjar is a tribe originally from Central Asia that shifted to Gujarat. Some of them have brought their culture, sheep, and goat, to this breathtaking location and have settled here in Kashmir.
This beautiful place has a Naranagh temple, an unknown river fed by a waterfall, and friendly villagers will invite you for a cup of gossip. It is going to be your home for a day, where you will acclimatize and stay overnight.
Altitude: 3,200 m
Time taken: 4 hours
This day starts with a power-packed healthy breakfast. Then, we begin the 4-hour Gangabal Twin Lakes trek. The trail passes through the pine forest till Trunkhol via Butsheri Top, which then opens onto a beautiful meadow Trunkhol meadow.
We camp at Trunkhol meadow that sits comfortably in the forest beside a bakerwal house made of mud and logs. The place is serene and gives the view of surrounding thick mountains of pine.
Altitude: 3,587 m
Time taken: 2 hours
This day we start with a mild trek that winds further into the Gangabal Valley. The walk is a beautiful one. Here we will cross the meadows of Budpathri. The plants are laden with flowers and lush greenery sitting on the foothills.
First, we get to see a calm and fascinating Nundkol Lake (3,505 m) just at the hem of Mount Harmukh. We see the mighty Harmukh standing tall in the valley with its glaciers that feed the lake.
On the same day, we trek for a short distance to see the beautiful Gangabal Lake (3,587m). Gangabal is one of the largest alpine lakes in India. The lake abounds with trout fish having varied colors and tastes. It empties into Nundkol lake, which further seeps into river Sindh.
Later, we will camp near Gangabal lake and cherish nature.
This is the last day of the trek. We will trek back from Gangabal to Naranag and then to Srinagar.
With that, the trip comes to an end. We will depart with hundreds of memories and views of the most beautiful state of India—“Jannat-e-Kashmir”. Here, at Plan the Unplanned, we focus on two aspects of travel: exploring nature and making meaningful connections. You will start as strangers, but you will leave with dewy eyes by the end of it. We would love to see you again—Check out our other itineraries and ring us soon. It would be a pleasure to see you again. Till then, take care and love life.
There is one more trek starting from Sonamarg—Kashmir Great Lakes trek that brings you here. But Gangabal Twin lakes trek takes a more offbeat route. You can check out the itinerary here.
How to Reach
Srinagar is the summer capital, which is between the months’ May and October. It is majorly connected to different parts of India via rail, road, and air. Please note that you will have to bear all expenses related to your travel to Srinagar from your place.
Sheikh ul Alam Airport or Srinagar Airport is an international airport. It is well connected, and airlines offer regular flights from Srinagar to Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh. The airport is just 15 km away from the centre of the city.
To reach Srinagar by train, one has to either go to Jammu Tawi or Udhampur railway station. The stations are well connected with different parts of India.
By road, you can reach Srinagar from major cities like Delhi (876 km), Chandigarh (646 km), Leh (424 km), and Jammu (258 km). There is good Bus service and Cab service available.
The Gangabal Lake is a lake situated at the foothills of Mount Harmukh in Ganderbal district, north of Srinagar city in Jammu and Kashmir, India.
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 traveling from Srinagar:
Plan the Unplanned considers Gangabal twin lakes Trek as an easy trek. Both beginners and avid trekkers can do this trek enthusiastically.
June to October is the best time to do the Gangabal twin lakes trek.
The trek is an easy one. There are steep paths, rocky terrain, slippery stretches, steep climbs, and straight sections of gradual ascents. To do this trek at ease, start with jogging/cycling every day; take stairs whenever you can; get acquainted with breathing exercises.