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Gangabal Twin Lakes Trek

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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. 

Trip Highlights

  1. Firstly, exploration and acclimatization in Naranag;
  2. Secondly, trekking amidst Pine forest and reaching Trunkhol via Butsheri Top opens onto a beautiful Trunkhol meadow.
  3. Thirdly, trekking to memorable sites: Nundkol Lake and Gangabal Lake.
  4. Fourthly, meeting Gujjars (people originally from Central Asia who settled in Gujarat in India) and talking to them.
  5. Photography amidst natural setting.

Photos

Trek Details

  • Pick Up & Drop: Srinagar to Srinagar
  • Region: Ganderbal District
  • Trip Start Point: Srinagar
  • Duration: 5 Nights, 4 Days

Cellular Network: Only POSTPAID Airtel/JIO Sim work. Prepaid Sims don’t work

Gangabal Lake Trek - A Overview

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.

 

IMPORTANT

  • Carrying a Covid Negative Certificate is Mandatory.

Price Inclusions

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner for all days
  • Activities – Hiking, Trekking 
  • Bonfire, Camping at Homestay
  • Tour Leads and Driver allowances
  • First aid kits, Oxygen cylinders, Infrared thermometer, Oximeter

Price Exclusions

  • Anything which is not mentioned in the inclusion
  • Beverages on all days
  • Personal Expenses
  • Insurance, including travel, health, and more.
  • Additional expenses added to unforeseen circumstances such as cancellation/roadblocks/landslides/strikes or any other natural causes would not be covered.
  • We would not be liable for theft/misplaced items.

Medical Declaration

  • All participants are required to submit a medical certificate approved by a registered medical practitioner prior to the trek.
  • Apart from this we highly recommend you having an adventurous spirit and willingness to undergo the joys & hardships of outdoor camping, in addition to good physical and mental fitness, to completely enjoy the trek. If you suffer from severe muscular, chest, heart or bronchial ailments, we advise you against participating since most treks happen in remote areas with limited access to medical services & hospital facilities.

Things to Carry

  • 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.

Advisory

Covid Guideline:

Health Screening

  • All passengers arriving into Srinagar are advised to be in possession of negative
    RT-PCR report of not earlier than 48 hours from an ICMR approved laboratory.
    Passengers not in possession of negative RT-PCR report shall be required to
    undergo RAT test upon arrival free of cost.
  • The above is not applicable for Defense Personnel arriving into the city of
    Srinagar

Safety

  • We take a lot of pride in providing the best safety standards to its trekkers while trekking along with supporting sustainable tourism.
  • Experienced Trek Leaders will be leading the group with a full-fledged first aid kit along with an oxygen cylinder. The Trek Leaders will also be carrying medication pertaining to high altitudes.
  • Our Trek Leaders are experienced mountaineers and we trust their judgments. If during the trek, the Trek Leader advises you against continuing on the trek, we request you to respect his judgment and follow his instructions.
  • Please be informed that trekking is an adventure activity and a lot depends on the weather conditions in the mountains. In case of bad weather or health issues of any trekker at any point during the trek, the trek itinerary will be changed by the Trek Leader after evaluating all the available options.
  • We make sure that our trekkers are informed at all the times and a common consensus be arrived after discussing with the participants, however, the decision of the Trek Leader will remain final.
  • Also, in case of any unforeseen circumstances like landslides or bad weather, we promise to provide services only for 7 days. It will remain the responsibility of the Trek Leader to get the trekkers back to safety irrespective of the number of days, however, the cost will be borne by the trekker themselves.
  • Please be clearly informed that we are committed to providing a safe, secure and a magical experience in raw nature and hence, smoking, drinking and littering is completely prohibited during the trek and on the campsites. People found to be indulging in any of the above activities will be abandoned from the group.

Gangabal Lake Trek - Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Srinagar – Naranag

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.

Day 2: Naranag – Trunkhol Meadow

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.

Day 3: Trunkhol – Twin lakes

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.

Day 4: Gangabal to Naranag

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 againCheck 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 SonamargKashmir 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

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.

By Air

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.

By Rail

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

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.

Notes

  • The minimum number of travelers required for the event to happen is 5. 
  • As most destinations in the itinerary are remote and isolated, the food options(especially veg options) will be limited. We expect your understanding regarding the same.
  • The itinerary is subject to change during the trip due to severe weather conditions, keeping your safety and accessibility to locations.
  • You can check the cancellation policy by clicking on the cancellation tab.
  • The camera entry fee to tourist spots is not included.
FAQ

Where is Gangabal?

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.

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 traveling 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, culture, and dressing.
  • Get a guide or travel with an agency. They mostly know about the place in and out.

What is the temperature at the Gangabal Twin 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.

What is the difficulty of the Gangabal Twin Lakes trek?

Plan the Unplanned considers Gangabal twin lakes Trek as an easy trek. Both beginners and avid trekkers can do this trek enthusiastically.

What is the best time to do Gangabal Twin Lakes Trek?

June to October is the best time to do the Gangabal twin lakes trek.

What is the level of fitness required to do the Gangabal Twin Lakes trek easily?

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.