Trekking

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To be away from the cares of the world, high up in the mountains away from the snarl of the city, where pollution is an unknown word and where beauty unfolds in a never ending panorama --- such things are the joy of the trekker.

For trekkers, Kashmir is the ultimate paradise. The terrain from the Shivalik hills of Jammu to the rugged mountains of Ladakh is a geographer's delight. No where in the world can one see so much change in geography in such a small distance : flora and fauna ; Alpine pastures saddled among snow clad peaks with pure oxygenated air ; high altitude lakes of Kishensar Vishensar and Gangabal full of trout. Your constant companions would be the nomadic shepherds --- the Gujars --- the tough and sturdy mountain folk who can carry you on their back and still complete the trek in half the time and who claim to be descendants of Moses. One can go back – packing on one' own to take on a 'five star' trek in the Mughal fashion with camp cots, tables and chairs and bearers in waiting. A number of local travel agencies organise inclusive trekking. The prices range from $20 to $40 per head per day. For those who want to do it in real Alpine style, equipment is readily available in Srinagar, Pahalgam and Sonamarg, the main take off points. Choice provisions can be purchased in Srinagar. Mules and porters charging about $4 per day can be engaged through the respective tourist offices. One can hike for a day, or disappear in the mountains for a week, enjoy the tranquility and serenity, becoming one with the surroundings in a rare communion with nature.

For tougher treks, Ladakh offers the true rugged Himalayan adventure a mid high mountains, lofty peaks and endless glaciers. Treks range from four days to two weeks. In fact, if one combines some of the trails, one can go on exploring the mountains for months together. But one has to be cautious while trekking in Ladakh. The climate and terrain are more demanding, being almost a high-altitude desert with extreme temperature. One has to be self sufficient in food as the trekking season extends from mid May till mid Oct. Some of the more popular trails are :

Base : Srinagar

Srinagar - Aharabal – Kungwattan – Mahinag – Kounsarnag ( 5 days )

Srinagar – Erin – Poshpathri – Sarbal – Kundsar – gangabal ( 7 days )

Base : Pahalgam

Pahalgam – Chandaneari – Sheshnag – Panchtarni – Amarnath Cave – Sonamarg – Srinagar ( 7 days )

Pahalgam – Chandanwari – Sheshnag – Rangmarg – Humpet – Kanital – Lonivilad – Panikhar – Kargil ( 9 days )

Pahalgam – Aru – Lidderwat – Kolahoi Glacier – Yemher Pass – Khemsar – Kulan – Sonamarg – Srinagar ( 9 days )

Base : Gulmarg

Gulmarg – Khilanmarg – Apharwat – Alpather ( 4 days )

Gulmarg – Danwas – Tejjan – Tosha Maidan ( 4 days )

Gulmarg – Kantarnarg ( 4 days )

Base : Sonamarg

Sonamarg – Thajiwas Glacier ( 2 days )

Sonamarg – Nichnai Pass – Vishansar – Gadsar – Krishnasar – Satsaran Pass – Mangadub – Zojibal Pass – Narang – Srinagar ( 11 days )

Base : Leh

Leh – Lamayuru – Wanla – Ursi – Tar La – Mangyur – Saspol – Leh ( 7 days )

Leh – stok – Zachan – Rumbagh Pass – Gandala Pass – Shingo – Skiu – Shaluk – Markha – Nimaling – Longmaru La – Churkirmo – Shang – Hemis – Leh ( 14 days )

Base : Padam

Padam – Ichar – Fuktal – Purne – Thangse – Kargiya – Shingola – Zampo – Darcha – Manali ( 9 days )

Padam – Mune – Pupila – Thanges – Kargiya – Lakong – Zanskar – Sumdo – Darcha – Manali ( 9 days )

Padam – Pishu – Pidmu – Snertse – Linshat Gompa – Chumpado Gongma – Singila – Photoksar – Hanupata – Chila – Lamayuru – Leh (12 days )

Padam – Tungri – Ating – Huttra – Buswas – Machail – Athole – Galhar – Kishtwar ( 7 days )

Base : Kishtwar

Kishtwar – palmar – Ekhlala – Sonder – Sirshi – Hanzal – Yourdu – Sarkandu –

Inshan Margan Pass – Lahinwan – Daksum – Srinagar ( 13 days )

Kishtwar – Galhar – Shashu – Athole – Ishtiari – Dharwas – Kilar – Brindabani – Sach Pass – Satrundi – Bhanodi – Trele – Tissa – Chamba ( 14 days )

Base : Doda

Doda – Bhaderwah – Jai – Kansar – Gandho – Kilhotran – Kanti Dhar – Kanthi – Bhal Padri – Padri Pass – Bheja – Bhaderwah – Doda ( 12 days )

No permits are required for trekking anywhere in Kashmir or Ladakh in open areas


 

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