Pir Panjal Lakes Trek

The Most Beautiful Trek In India

Trek Difficulty


Trek Duration

8 days

Highest Altitude

13,715 ft

Suitable For

12-62 years

Pir Panjal Lakes Trek

Pir Panjal Lakes Trek is the trek of a blend of amazing landscape. The Pir Panjal range’s dense forests come first. Trekking takes place all day among soaring conifers, whose heady perfume permeates the atmosphere.

Then there are the lakes: there are seven lakes (and more are yet to be found), not one or two. Each lake is hidden inside a mountain basin, and snow patches delicately dangle into the water.

Not all the lakes are visible at once. When you do, the scene astounds you. You find it hard to believe a lake this lovely could exist in such a location. You next ascend a ridge and come upon another lake. This time around, you are amazing.

Then you see lake after lake in a series of spectacular trekking moments. Every lake differs in size and shape. Some are translucent, some are aquamarine, and some are turquoise. It is the most amazing lake spectacle we have ever seen.

When they get to experience the Pir Panjal Lakes excursion, hikers are in for a treat. Even the locals in the area are unaware of this aspect of Jammu & Kashmir. All information about this hike will be made available to our trekkers in this handbook by Cliffhangers India.

Book: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Trek Fee

Original price was: ₹15,000.00.Current price is: ₹13,000.00.

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    What are the Highlights of the Trek?

    Pir Panjal Lakes Trek – A Detailed Itinerary

    • Driving Distance: 125 km
    • Drive Duration: 5 hours.
    Shopian is a neighborhood that you pass through on the way from Srinagar to Behrangala. The famous Mughal route would be the main attraction of this drive. The Mughals connected the Pakistani Karokaram Valley and the Srinagar Valley through this historic road. The Pir Panjal range is traversed by this road. You must next travel to Chandimarh, a small settlement, from Behrangala. Chandimarh is a lovely location to wander about and includes a very modest market. One can sample the local fare, like the Fulka bread and butter tea, at the market. If you have additional time, consider seeing the Noori Chamb waterfall or strolling along the Chath Nalla as it flows through Chandimarh. You will spend the night at the Tourism Lodge Guest House where you will also meet the trip leader and the team for the registration and safety check-in procedures.
    • Trekking Time: 7-8 hours
    • Distance: 8 km
    • Altitude: gain of 5,804 feet to 9,368 feet 

    Trek difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Up until the Cheii villages, there was a combination of a gentle incline and a sharp ascent. There is another hard incline on the final stretch to the campsite.

    The day begins by traveling to the Noori Chmab waterfall from the tourist resort. To get to the roadhead, take the steady ascent. You will see a government school and a 400-year-old Shiva temple just up ahead. The majority of today is spent in this vast, untamed forest. It is a mixed forest with occasional fir and pine trees. Three kilometers into the trail, you reach the Cheii settlement.

    Aerially, Nandansar is about 7 km away, and the squad will likely trek for close to 14–15 miles on this day. As you make your way towards Chandansar and Handusar, you’ll pass by the lakes of Baranisar, Bhagsar, and Sonasar.

    Trekkers will either camp near Bhagsar or turn around and head back towards Nandansar, depending on what the team explores, their physical condition, and their attitude. The trail now ascends more steeply into the forest from the Cheii village. This forest abruptly changes into another environment. Now that you have some oak trees, you are surrounded by pine, fir, and juniper trees. Compared to the area preceding the settlement, this area has a different type of vegetation. You will be lost in birds chirping for another two kilometers, combined with a few clearings in this forest.

    Don’t forget to head to the sunset point facing left. The lush, soft meadow is accessible to bare feet, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see the floating clouds with the sunset in the background.

    • Trek length: 8 km
    • Time Required: 8 hours
    • Altitude: 9,368 to 10,900 feet

    Trekking incline: moderate. first, a difficult ascent to get to the wooded area, then a flat walk. 2.5 kilometers of gradual ascent is required to reach the Panjdhari army camp. a short distance to Khuan

    The Girjan Meadows is where the walk today continues. Although the connected meadow remains the same, as you ascend higher in this meadow region, the scenery changes.

    This meadow allows for rolling around, barefoot walking, and one of our favorite sections: a simple climb up a mound. From the Bada Tera viewpoint, you can see the Pir Panjal in its entirety. Additionally, water bottles can be filled here.

    • Trekking Distance: 9 km
    • Time Required: 9–10 hours.
    • Altitude: 9,690 to 11,720 feet

    Moderate-Difficult trek gradient. the high slope at first. 2 hours of gradual ascent on Boulder. gradual incline up to the clearing, followed by a flat 200-meter walk till you reach the lake and a 60-degree climb to Nandansar.

    For hikers, today is possibly the most anticipated day. The first alpine lake in Nandansar is visible only after a journey that includes sleeping near the lovely lake. But compared to the previous two days, this one also has a considerably tougher day. To climb these rocks, trekkers need to have strong legs and be agile.

    Don’t forget to look back after the boulder section is complete. You can see Khuan, the meadows, and the Panjdhari Valley. After the top of the boulder section and for the next 200 meters or so before the lake, you can take a little break.

    The main part is located on the trail’s left side. There are several stones, scree, and rough areas on the mountainside. Additionally, there are meadows and a valley vista to the right, as well as a flatter path.

    You can leave your main backpack behind in the evening and then go on a brief exploration to see some of the nearby lakes. The lakes in the area today are spread out over a distance of around 2-3 kilometers.

    The lake of Khaldachni is the first lake that may be visited. Walk a mile through Nandansar’s craggy terrain. The travel time to Khaldachni is roughly 30 minutes. Take a seat, pause for a moment, and sip some water.

    You can view all the other lakes from the 13,400-foot summit of Khaldachni’s ridge. The lakes of Katoriasar, Neelsar, Dingsar, and Sukhsar can all be seen at once. Spend an hour or two, then return to Nandansar to set up the tent for the evening.

    • Trekking distance: 10 kilometers
    • Time: 9 to 10 hours

    Trek difficulty scale: Moderate-Difficult. With a few stream crossings, the landscape is rocky and bouldery close to the lakes, with grasslands in between. The team’s re-exploration day is today, which is quite exciting.

    The team’s main goal or objective will be to investigate every lake up to Bhagsar before either camping nearby or returning to Nandansar after the expedition. It will be surprising what you get to see and record. There is a possibility that additional lakes exist than what is currently known or that a ridge connects the lakes.

    Aerially, Nandansar is about 7 km away, and the squad will likely trek for close to 14–15 miles on this day. As you make your way towards Chandansar and Handusar, you’ll pass by the lakes of Baranisar, Bhagsar, and Sonasar. Trekkers will either camp near Bhagsar or turn around and head back towards Nandansar, depending on what the team explores, their physical condition, and their attitude.

    • Trekking Distance: 9 km
    • Time Required: 9–10 hours.
    • Altitude: 11,720 feet to 10,664 feet

    The Trek’s gradient is medium.

    If the trip is ending at Chandimarh, the route from Nandansar to Panjdhari pretty much stays the same on the way back. There is a different way that leads to Pir Ki Gali. For hikers, this route is substantially more difficult.

    If the group is returning to Chandimarh, you will circle back through Khuan and set up camp at Panjdhari.

    • Trekking distance: 16
    • time required: 8 hours
    • Altitude: 10,664 feet to 9,368 feet

    This is your final day of hiking in Pooch before returning to the trailhead. Initially, the descent takes you along the hill and across the meadows. Later, you are entirely submerged as you travel through the forest portion till you arrive at Chandimarh’s Tourism Guesthouse.

    You can anticipate arriving in the evening.

    • Drive Distance: 120 kilometres
    • Drive Time: 5 hours

    By noon, you must arrive in Srinagar. So you may either make plans to fly later this evening or spend today exploring Srinagar. The cost for each cab (5-6 Seaters) will be Rs 7,000.

    Buffer Day

    Include a day of buffer in all of your trip plans to account for inclement weather or unstable political conditions. This all relies on the trek’s specific circumstances. You must include the buffer day in your schedule.

    You must pay us Rs 1,800 per day plus 5% GST if the buffer day is utilized. Only if we use the buffer day will the Trek Leader be able to collect the money.

    What are the Inclusions & Exclusions


    • All meals. Breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner. We provide nutritious veg food and try not to repeat the dishes. 
    • Camp stay on all nights in high-quality tents on a double-sharing basis. Sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, and dining tents.
    • Mountaineering experienced trek leaders, guides, and experienced cooks. 
    • All the mountain medicine includes first aid, oxygen cylinder, etc. 
    • Passes and permits.


    • Lunch on the first day. 
    • Personal expenses.
    • Anything not specifically mentioned in the inclusion list.

    If you wish to avail of our transportation service, then the extra cost will be 1800 per person. The transportation cost is to and fro. Offloading charges: In case you want us to carry your backpack, the cost per bag is Rs 2800/ per bag.

    The maximum weight allowed is 10kg. Please note that only a proper trekking backpack will be allowed to offload. No trolly or suitcase will be allowed to offload. We strictly follow to adequately place the load on our ponies. The maximum weight on each pony will be 40kg as recommended by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department.

    Essential Things to Know

    • Experienced Trek Leaders: We provide the best and experienced trek guides to ensure safety during the trek. Their knowledge can improve your trekking adventure and guarantee enjoyment and safety all along the way. All of our trek leaders are Medical First Responders.
    • Safety: Cliffhangers India is known for its emphasis on safety. We provide high safety standards, necessary equipment, medical support and well-trained persons to ensure emergencies are catered during the trek.
    • Well-organised Itinerary: We create the trek itinerary very well, taking into account the difficulty levels, acclimatisation, trekking routes and the breathtaking beauty. We make sure that everyone has a well-rounded and entertaining experience.
    • Good Quality Hiking Equipment: We provide good quality hiking equipment like waterproof tents, hiking poles, -15 sleeping bags and other trekking gears. Trekkers will have a more pleasant and comfortable journey through this.
    • Affordable Prices: We are transparent about pricing, describing the expenses and the contents of the package, this helps trekkers to travel according to the budget they have.
    • Customer Reviews: An important consideration when selecting Cliffhangers India can be the positive evaluations and testimonies of prior hikers. Many people base their assessment of the calibre of services received on the experiences of others.
    • Educational Appeal: We frequently include educational elements in hikes, giving details about the local flora, wildlife, and geography. This gives the walk a more instructive and rewarding element.

    Since this trek is the summer trek, July to September is the best time to do this trek. This is the best summer trek in entire India. During winters, owing to the snow the trek closes and remains inaccessible. After October, the temperatures drop and there are chances of snowfall which make it impossible for porters and ponies to cross the passes.

    However, if you want to finish this trek with some snow still on the passes and mountain tops, then do it in June. Cliffhangers is the only company that starts this trek in early June and ends it in mid-October.  

    This is what most of the trekkers ask. It should be noted that this is a moderate to difficult trek. It is not a beginner’s trek. This is recommended to only seasoned trekkers or fit beginners. During the rain, it becomes slightly more challenging. If you are living a sedentary/nonactive life, you need to hit the gym and prepare yourself for this trek.

    The trek has long days of walking. It passes over three mountain passes; the trail is a mix of ascends and descends all along. It has boulder and rugged sections as well where you will be hopping from one boulder to another, and you will have to cross the river streams – sometimes walking on the log bridge or fording the stream through it. 

    The most difficult ascend is the climb to Gadsar Pass. The ascend is sharp and is the test of stamina and endurance. Immediately after reaching this pass, it has a steep and long descent and then a long walk in the meadow to the campsite. 

    The most difficult descent is on your last day. There is a sharp descent of around 1000m which will cause stress on your knees, ankles, and toes. This gives a challenge to most of the trekkers as they are about to finish the trek.

    Kashmir Great Lakes trek gets more difficult during rain. The trail gets blurry and at times vanishes at all. The ascend and descend then gets tricky and you will have to be extra careful while putting your next step. However, you will be all safe as Cliffhangers India’s trek leader will guide you through how to walk and will help you cross the passes. You need to strictly follow his instructions.

    There are boulder sections. You just have to be careful here as well, as the fall in the boulder section can give you an injury. Especially it gets difficult during rainy days.

    One of the best attractions of this trek is its campsite. Here is the brief about the campsites of KGL. 

    Nichnai Campsite: This campsite is your first campsite after your first day of walk. The campsite is in the middle of a beautiful mountain landscape with snow-capped mountains surrounding you all the time. The grass is greener and lush. However, the campsite is small and gets crowded with the flow of trekkers. 

    Vishansar Campsite:  You will be camping beside the river stream and just below some meters of Vishansar Lake. The campsite again is beautiful. One way of this campsite leads to Gurez Valley. In the river stream, you will see a lot of trout fish dancing. 

    Gadsar Campsite: This campsite again is just near the river streams, in a small valley surrounded by mountain ranges. The campsite has some shepherd houses and in its vicinity is an army check post. 

    Satsar Campsite: This campsite is just down the Zajbal Pass and is enclosed by mountains.

    Gangabal Campsite: This is the prettiest and the expansive campsite of the Great Lakes of Kashmir. You will be camping by Nundkol Lake. From your tent, you will have a beautiful view of Nundkol Lake and towering Mount Harmukh. The campsite is quite expansive with a long meadow surrounding you. 

    By Air: Srinagar has an airport that has an airway service from all the states of India. The most convenient and short way to reach Srinagar is from New Delhi. 

    By Train: Kashmir doesn’t have a railway facility that connects to the other parts of the country. The nearest railway station is in Jammu. Jammu station is very well connected to the other major railway stations of the country. From Jammu, take a shared cab or bus to Srinagar. 

    By Bus: Srinagar has an NH1 highway that connects it to the rest of the places in India. There are regular bus and cab services from Delhi or Jammu. You will reach within a day from Jammu to Srinagar. 

    From Srinagar take the Cliffhangers shared taxi service to Sonamarg Campsite. 

    • Clothing: Wear warm clothing to protect yourself from the cold at night, such as fleece, thermals, and heavy jackets.
    • First Aid: Must have a first aid pack that contains all the prescription drugs and bandages that you will need for the walk, as well as medications for fever, headache, diarrhoea, cold, flu, and non-alcoholic beverages.
    • Hiking Shoes: For the hike, high ankle hiking shoes are a good choice because they offer the right balance of comfort and durability on a range of terrain and activities.
    • Woollen capes: Gloves and a woollen cap for the night.
      Sunscreens: Cold cream and lip balms.
    • Backpacking: To carry all your equipment, it is necessary to carry a good quality of backpack with a minimum capacity of 50-60 litres.
    • Electronic Equipment: Carry trekking poles which include torch, mobile phones, sunglasses, power bank, water bottle, Bluetooth, camera and some kind of music system.
    • Toiletry: personal toiletry which includes towels, toothbrushes, toilet papers, tissues, nail slipper, sanitary pads for female travellers, shampoo and your personal essentials that you utilise every day.
    • Sleeping Bags: Pack a sleeping bag that is small, light and appropriate for the temperatures you expect to experience on your hike.

    Make sure this list fits your needs before starting your trek by adjusting it for the length of your trip and the requirements of your destination. While preparing for your adventure, keep comfort, safety, and the least amount of negative environmental impact in mind.

    We often get this question from our trekkers, wherein they are apprehensive and want to know how safe it is to go for the great lakes of Kashmir trek. Here are some of the points that we have tried to explain to trekkers.

    At first, do know that this Trek is not easy. Its gradient is moderate to difficult. The trek is long and around 70 km, it has three passes and there are days when you will have to ascend a steep ridge and walk around more than 15km. Every day you trek till afternoon to evening.

    The Terrain: The landscape no doubt will give you everything that you can ask for in mountains – it has jungle walks, meadows, boulder patches, ascends, descends, mountain passes, river crossings, and lakes.

    However, to enjoy all this beauty you need to be prepared for tough trek days. There are boulder sections where you will have to hop from one boulder to another. Also, few river crossings, at times over a bridge, the log bridges and at times when the water level is high you will have to ford the streams by making a line.

    There are steep ascends. The steepest you will encounter while going up to Gadsar Pass, this is the most tiresome day both length-wise and ascend-wise. Immediately after ascending Gadsar Pass, it has a sharp and long descent and then a long walk to the campsite.

    Another pass that you will be ascending is the ridge of Zajibal Pass. This will take around 3 hours and then it also is followed by a long descent.

    The sharpest and hardest descend in on your last day. There is a steep descent that is very much heavy on your knees. This day you will feel the stress on your knees, ankles, and even toes while descending to Naranag.

    Altitude Gain: This trek has an altitude gain of around 2000m. You will expose yourself to altitude sickness in case you make your itinerary short. The ideal duration for this trek is 7 to 8 days. This has been developed to keep many things in consideration including altitude sickness. 

    The Kashmir Great Lakes trek starts at around 2700m, you are first made to spend the night at this altitude, and it is only after three days of the trek you will be gaining the highest altitude of this trek i.e. Gadsar Pass. By this time your body is well acclimatized to the altitude.

    However, you need to follow the instructions that your trek leader will provide to finish your trek without any hiccups. Take plenty of water, both while trekking and at the campsite. You need to take frequent water breaks even if you are not thirsty and not let yourself dehydrate. Take small steps and have a moderate pace.

    In case you feel a headache, nausea, or any altitude sickness symptoms, don’t ignore the symptoms and talk to your trek leader.

    The Weather: Since this is a summer trek, weather is mostly sunny. During the day you need to keep the safety against sunburn and sunstroke.

    However, it does rain at times mostly during July. In rain, the trail gets slippery and is quite risky. The most difficult is to ascend and descend and at some ascends the trail vanishes completely when it rains a lot. You need to be prepared for this.

    It is times like this when the trek becomes difficult. However the leaders at Cliffhangers India are expert and learned trek leaders, they will help you in traversing during the rain quite safely. If the roping is required, they will make sure that it is done. From your side, you need to follow the instructions that the trek leader provides you must have sturdy trekking shoes.

    Exit Points: In case you are feeling sick and feel you won’t be able to finish the trek, the best expert suggestion would be to exit the trek before going to Gadsar. You need to take a call till you are at the Vishansar campsite. It is a quick and easy evacuation from Vishansar or before that. However, if you cross over to Gadsar Pass, you reach almost the middle of the trek which makes the evacuation hard, although not impossible.

    Once you reach the base camp Shitkadi, the nearest hospital is just around 4km from there at Sonamarg market.

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