Duration: 4 Days/ 3Nights

Altitude: 2130M to 3587M

Pickup: Srinagar

Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: 4 Days/ 3Nights

Pickup: Srinagar

Altitude: 2130M to 3587M

Difficulty: Moderate

Gangabal Lake Trek

Gangabal Lakes Trek is the best all-season trek in India. Unlike other treks in India, this trek offers a bouquet of lakes, lush meadows, thick jungle walks, and snow-covered peaks. The trek is famous for its many attractions. It has one of India’s largest alpine lakes (which is Kashmir’s largest alpine lake), Gangabal Lake, in its trail. The lake is fed with water by the glacier of Mount Harmukh – a legendary mountain considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva.

Mount Harmukh (towering at the height of 5142 meters) is known as the Eiger of Kashmir. It was from Mount Harmukh that Thomas Montgomery, a great trigonometric surveyor, first discovered the K1 and K2 mountains in 1865.

The trek has Trunkhol meadow, too, where the mud huts of the Gujjar community comfortably rest. The camping location is unique in this trek, it gives a panoramic view of mountains that circle the Gangabal Valley and hold more than six alpine lakes each within a day of distance. The trek has a religious significance, too, and is called the Ganges in Shaivism.

The first day of the Gangabal Lake trek is a drive from Srinagar to Naranag village. The drive goes through the national highway and the road runs parallel to the famous Sindh River. The drive is rewarding as you see the breathtaking mountain ranges of Sindh valley. The drive goes through the quaint and serene villages and winds upward till it reaches the Naranag village.

Naranag village is the base of this Gangabal Lake Trek. The first night is the stay is a homestay in this village. Naranag is the last village in this area and thereafter the trail to the Gangabal trek starts. On the first stay take an evening walk to the ruins of the ancient Shiva temple here in Naranag. The temple is a big one with Shivlings at different locations of the temple. The temple is an 8th-century temple and has a perennial spring located beside it. The first day hence is dedicated to acclimatization. Naranga village is situated at an altitude of 2130m.

The second day of the trek is an uphill trek toward the Trunkhol meadow. The trail starts from the base of Butshree mountain. The entire trail of this mountain is in the jungle. The pine and deodar jungle is thick and gives shade from the sunshine during summer.

The trail is an all-ascend until the trail opens onto the beautiful large meadows of Trunkhol valley. The meadow is wavy. The campsite is beside the tourist department hut at Trunkhol. There is a small population of shepherds here that live in the mud and wood houses on the hems of the mountains.

The third day of the trek is a walk through the wavy meadows. It is a delightful walk and gives the reward of seeing the towering peaks in the surrounding with the lush grass in the surroundings. There is a shimmering river stream that runs towards the right side of the trail. 

On this day, you will see the first lake of the trek i.e Nundkol lake.

Nundkol lake is a glacier-fed lake that receives its water from the Glacier of Harmukh mountain. This is the gorgeous campsite in the vicinity of Nundkol Lake. On the same day visit the beautiful Gangabal Lake. The lake is the largest alpine lake in Kashmir situated at the base of Mount Harmukh. The campsite will be at Nundkol Lake.

The fourth day of the Gangabal Lake trek is a descent to the Naranag village via the same trail. The day is an easy walk until the Butshree mountain top and then a sharp descent to the village.

Gangabal Lake

Gangabal lake is the biggest alpine lake in Kashmir. This is the best highlight of the Gangabal Lake Trek. Hence the trek is given its name after this gorgeous lake. The lake stands at an altitude of 3587m. The lake is situated at the base of Harmukh Mountian. It has a religious significance. The lake is considered the Ganges of Kashmir. Every year lot of Kashmir Hindus visit this lake for prayers and blessings.

Gangabal Lake is also one of the high-altitude lakes here in Kashmir which is very much famous for trout fishing. If you are interested in fishing you can spend a couple of more days here fishing. However, there needs to have proper permission from the fisheries department for fishing. Cliffhangers India arranges permission for fishing here.

Gangabal Lake Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Srinagar – Naranag

  • Altitude: 2,130m
  • Time taken:3 hours drive

A three-hour drive from Srinagar to Naranag base camp. This is a rewarding drive. The drive will take you through villages, orchards, and rice plantations. The day is spent in acclimatization. Once you reach Narang village, after evening snacks at the homestay, you will be taken on a walk in the evening towards the Dhumail region. The walk has the ancient ruins of a Shiv temple. The site is an archaeological site in India. You will see the best stone-cut temple here with the basic structure of the temple still intact.

The temple has a short flight of stairs and one can offer prayers here in this open temple. Beside it, there is a spring which also has small Shivlings near the opening of it. One can drink its water. It is the main water source for the local population.

Walk further towards the Dhumail area. The walk goes through the jungle and then ends at a confluence of two rivers. This is an easy acclimatization walk of around 3km. Return in the evening and spend the night at a homestay. You will be provided with a delicious dinner.

Day 2: Naranag – Trunkhol Meadow 

  • Altitude: 3,200 m
  • Time taken:5 hours

On this day start early after a hearty breakfast. The gradient of the day is moderate to difficult. The trail starts with an ascent and becomes a sharp ascent toward the top of butshree mountain. The entire trail of this ascent is in the jungle. On the way, one can see towards the other side, the towering snow-capped mountains. Butshree top is at an altitude of 3200m. You will have to ascend an altitude of 1000m until this top.

From Butshree top there is a gradual ascend of around 200m more along the wavy meadows. Take your lunch break at the butshree top and then head further towards the campsite.

Trunkhol meadow is situated at an altitude of 3400m. We camp at Trunkhol meadow that cozily sits in the forest beside a bakerwal house made of mud and logs. The place is serene and gives a view of the surrounding thick mountains of pine.

Day 3: Trunkhol – Gangabal

  • Altitude: 3,400 m
  • Time taken: 3 hours drive

On this day we start with a mild trek that winds further into the Gangabal Valley. The gradient of the day is easy. You will be walking through the lush grasslands of Gangabal valley. The walk starts with a fresh breeze that is mostly passing here in this meadow. After crossing a couple of mounds of grasslands one sees the breathtaking Nundkol Lake. 

The lake is calm and fascinating. The river streams come out of this lake dancing and go towards the Trunkhol meadow. Nundkol lake is just at the base of Mount Harmukh. You will see the campsite situated just in the vicinity of the lake.

Once you reach the campsite, explore the Nundkol lake. The lake has a variety of trout fish. Take a tour around the lake and reach the base of Mount Harmukh where you will see the glacier from where the water comes down to the lake.

After the hot lunch at the campsite, walk towards Gangabal Lake. The lake is just half an hour’s walk from the campsite. You will have to cross a small ridge and on the other side of this ridge is Gangabal Lake. This lake is the largest alpine lake in Kashmir. One of the best lakes in Kashmir, Gangabal is the Ganges of Kashmir.

This lake is wide and long and is abound of colorful trout fish. One can do fishing in this lake. However one needs to have permission from the fisheries department before doing any fishing activity here. The altitude of the lake is 3587m. This lake is also at the base of Mount Harmukh. It is from the glaciers of Harmukh, that this lake gets its water. The water is cold and clean. One can drink its water. You will see a large water stream coming from this lake.

After exploring this lake, return to the campsite at Nundkol lake. Spend the night here at this beautiful campsite.

Day 4: Gangabal – Naranag – Srinagar

  • Altitude: 2,130 m
  • Time taken: 6 hours

This is the last day of the trek. On this day descend to Naranga village. The trail follows the same route as you took for ascending. The trail first goes to Trunkhol meadow, then to Butshree top, and then to Naranag village.

The gradient of the day is easy to moderate. It has a sharp descent from the Butshree top to the Naranag. From Naranag village drive to Sringar. This ends our Gangabal Lake Trek.

How do I get to Gangabal Lake?

To reach Gangabal lake one has to reach the Naranag base camp first. It is a drive of around 2 hours from Srinagar. From Naranag it is a trek to Gangabal lake which takes around 3 days to reach a moderate pace.

How do I get from Sonamarg to Gangabal Lake?

From Sonamarg to Gangabal lake one has to get a cab from Sonamarg which will drop you at Naranag base camp. From Naranag base camp it is a trek of around 3 days to reach the Gangabal lake.

Gangabal Lake Trek Distance

Gangabal Lake trek distance is around 30 km to and fro. The trek has a sharp ascend on the first day of the trek and one covers a distance of over 11 km on the first day. The last day of the trek is tiring which one covers around 13 km from Gangabal to Naranag.

Best time to do Gangabal Lake Trek

The best time to do Gangabal Lake Trek is from May to December. If you want to explore this lake in the snow then December and November are the best months. In summer the best months are July, August, and September. 

How to reach the Gangabal Lake Trek ?

After landing in Srinagar, the cab from Cliffhangers India will ferry you to the base camp situated near Naranag.


gangabal lake trek