Khemsar Yemsar Lakes Trek
Khemsar Yemsar Lakes Trek is one of the fantastic, offbeat treks of Kashmir. The trek takes you to the surreal two beautiful lakes of Khemsar and Yemsar. The trail is lush and surrounded by vast meadows and goes via the jungle. The place is an ancient grazing place of the local shepherds and has remained so for centuries. The place is less traveled and less explored. This offers a unique opportunity for a trekker to see the complete offbeat trail that is all picturesque.
The trek starts from Kulan village which is a short distance from the famous Sonamarg. And around 35km from Srinagar airport. It starts with a bridge below which flows the shimmering Sindh nallah. The trail begins afterward from local mud houses and meadows. The meadow is lush and spans a long distance. It quickly blends well into the jungle walk. The jungles here are thick. Following the curvy trial and then passing a few mountain hems, it opens into an open meadow.
The meadow gives a panoramic view of the surrounding peaks and valleys. It then goes through a slanting trail that terminates in the famous Khemsar Lake. The next lake is just in the vicinity. The trail is over a small mound of a mountain. The Yemsar lake sits beautifully in the middle of the surrounding mountains The gradient of the trek is difficult. It is a climb all along. This trek offers an ethereal beauty to explore and cherish.
The trek reaches the highest altitude of 3750m. Adjacent to the lakes is the legendary Yemhar Pass. This pass has remained the go-to place for the local population. Shepherds use this pass to shuffle their stock from Lidder valley to Sindh valley or back.
Khemsar Yemsar Lakes Trek is a short yet rewarding trek. It is a fulsome trek package. It offers meadows, alpine lakes, jungle walks, and panoramic views. The gradient of the trek is moderate to difficult.
Mythology about the Khemsar Yemsar Lakes
Khemsar Lake is derived from the word root Khem which roughly translates to eat. Yemsar Lake is believed to mean the one who kills. Khem and Yem were two demons who used to have fatal fights. The blood would flow like two river streams. This continued for ages. And then their sister Jhamshidi struck a peace deal. The small mountain between the two lakes is what represents that sister. When the sister calmed them down, she turned into this small mountain. The brother became two calm lakes adjacent to their sister.
Itinerary of Kehmsar Yemsar Lakes Trek
Day 1 Srinagar to Kulan
The first day of your trek journey is a drive. The drive goes via Srinagar and reaches the Ganderbal District. Your drive will be parallel to the Sindh River. As you will start seeing the Sindh River, the mountain ranges will start appearing before you. The snow-covered mountains will run to both of your sides and will remain with you till the end of the drive.
The drive is around 3 hours and there are multiple spots on the way where you can stop at. Take photographs of the landscape. This landscape immediately makes you fall in love with the area. You start getting eager to reach the base camp.
Once you have reached the base camp Kullan, you will take your lunch. You will be crossing a bridge and then entering the meadow. This is your campsite for today. You can explore the surrounding meadow and see village life and shepherd houses.
Day 2: Kulan to Khemsar Meadow
On the second day, we will start early in the morning. The trail will start from the meadow. The trail is an ascend right from the beginning. You will have to take steady steps. As you will look forwards, you will see a thick jungle and mountain. This is where the trail will lead. Afterward, the meadow walk turns into a jungle walk. The jungle gives you shade from the summer heat, and you can enjoy the breeze this jungle has. The jungle offers varied animal species. You might be lucky to see a few strolling in the jungle. Your campsite will be just after this jungle walk in the open space of a meadow. Relax and enjoy your evening delicacies. The night stay camps. The altitude of the campsite is 3100m
Day 3 Khemsar Meadow to Lakes and back
Khemsar Yemsar Lakes Trek has breathtaking mornings. As the sunlight falls on the tents, you will see the birds in huge numbers flying in the sky. The weather in the morning is always pleasant here. Take your breakfast and get ready for the exploration of the twin lakes of Khemsar and Yemsar.
The walk is mild and goes via a slanting trail toward the lake. Shortly, you will reach the first of the twin lakes called Khemsar Lake. The lake is surreal and sits cozily amid the short mountain peaks. This glacial lake is blue and clean and reflects the surrounding mountains in it.
Afterward towards your left, you will see a trail that goes over a mound of the mountain and takes you to the other lake called Yemsar Lake. Sit and take some rest near this lake. Take photographs and videos and cherish these memories later on. The lakes stand close to an altitude of 3750m. There is a fascinating view of the surrounding mountain peaks. And then it has the legendary Yemhar Pass in its vicinity.
The age-old pass was used by shepherds to move from one valley to another. Reaching Pahalgam takes less time than a drive from the base camp down. However, we will be retracing our steps to the meadow campsite. Spend the night in the meadow campsite like the previous day.
Day 4 Khemsar Meadow to Kulan to Srinagar.
This is an all-descend day. You will be going through the same trail toward the Kullan base camp. However, you need to be extra careful. Descending is more challenging compared to the climb. Take your steps carefully as descent gives stress to your knees. Once you have reached the base camp Kullan, take a drive to Srinagar. This marks the end of the Khemsar Yemsar Lakes Trek.
How difficult is Khemsar Yemsar Lakes Trek?
The gradient of the trek is difficult. It is all ascent to the lakes and then all descent back to the base camp. You need to have a fair level of fitness to do this trek.
What is the best month to do Khemsar Yemsar Lakes Trek?
The best time for this trek is from July to September.