The Vishansar Lake is an alpine high altitude oligotrophic lake situated in the vicinity of Sonamarg . It is at an elevation of about 3710m above the sea level. Vishansar Lake is located at a distance of 20 km from the beautiful and colorful meadows of Sonamarg. In the local Kashmiri dialect, Vishansar means ‘the lake of Lord Vishnu’. This is why, the lake holds immense importance in Hinduism. The lake is fed by Krishnasar Lake and many glaciers. During summer season, the lake gets surrounded with lush green fields where one can see shepherds grazing their flocks of goat and sheep. The lake freezes during winter season. The attraction is a must visit for nature lovers and fishing enthusiasts.
The surroundings of Vishansar Lake consist of snow-clad peaks, glaciers, mountain gorges, green pastures and colourful alpine flowers, which make the entire scenery breathtaking. Brown trout fish are found in abundance in this lake, which make it a perfect location for fishing and angling. It is also a prominent attraction of the trekking circuit in Sonamarg, with many treks and hikes organised to its site.
You really can’t miss capturing the beauty of Vishansar Lake in your camera. Every photograph clicked at the attraction speaks of its natural beauty and serenity. Here you get a number of opportunities to capture a great view of snow capped peaks, breathtaking green surroundings and the sparkling lake. The perfect scenery and scenic beauty of this lake make it one of the most popular attractions of Sonmarg.
Reach Srinagar on your own and assemble with the rest of the team. From here you can book a vehicle straight for Gangangir by your own.
Start your day with a small drive to Shutkadi. It’s a drive of about 45 minutes to reach the starting point of the trek. From there, you ascend for a few hours to reach the tabletop. You need to keep your ID cards handy at all times. 20mins into the trek, you will reach the first army checkpoint where you need to halt for the general checks. Post that, you can continue your trek to reach Shekdur top/tabletop. Rest for a while, soak in the beauty and click some amazing pictures. Experience mind-blowing views of the Sonamarg valley along with Thajiwas glacier. There are tea stalls that serve Maggi’s along with tea and coffee on sunny days. After a short break, walk on flat terrain for about 15 mins to climb a steep patch of 150 to 200 meters. From here you will enter the dense forest of the Himalayan birch trees. Another 40 minutes of walking through this dense forest and you will reach the stones and boulders right at the water source. This running water comes from Nichnai and is termed as the Nichnai naala. Stop for lunch at this beautiful spot. Post lunch, follow the river and head up towards the Nichnai camp. After a couple of hours, you will reach Nichnai. You can camp here and look at starry night with your group of friends, your love or your family.
Start your trek early, as you cross the first pass of the trek – Nichnai Pass. It would take you 3 hours to reach the pass. Ascend for about an hour and a half followed by an additional straight walk for an hour and a half to reach the Nichnai pass. At 13,000 feet Nichnai pass is quite windy. From the pass, you can see both the valleys; the one from you came and the one you will be entering. In the early season of May mid onwards, you can slide on soft snow from the pass. Without snow, you can descend gradually and for about an hour and reach the even land. You will then hit straight at the boulders and towards your left, you will spot a beautiful waterfall. This spot is perfect to have lunch. After a hearty lunch with breathtaking views, you can continue your trek. There onwards it is a straight trek for about an hour before you get to a gradual ascend on your left. Right after the ascend of 15 to 20 minutes, you will spot your campsite. Reminisce about the beautiful views of the day and have a great sleep.
This day, You have a short trek to Kishansar lake which is just 30 mins from Vishansar lake. From Kishansar lake, you can see the Gadsar pass and its route. Spend some time there and return to Vshansar lake. This day is your rest day and an additional day to acclimatize.
This day is going to be a long day. Start from the vishansar lake to Kishansar lake and reach the foot of the Gatsar pass in about an hour’s time. On a day with clear skies, it takes about 2 and a half more hours to reach the Gatsar pass. This is a moderately steep climb with zig-zag routes to the pass. Spend about 15 to 20 mins and descend to the other side. From the pass, you can see a couple of lakes that are sourced from the melting ice patches on the left ridge. A steep descend for about 30mins followed by a gradual descend to reach to the Gatsar lake. Stop at the lake for lunch and enjoy the beauty. This is one of the most beautiful lakes of the seven lakes on this trek. Many times many bakerwals (gujjar nomads) can be spotted with their families, cattle and a shepherd dog. These dogs generally are aggressive in nature and we suggest staying away from them. Post lunch, continue your trail and after a couple of hours and a ridge crossing, you will reach the Gadsar army check-post. Your camp is very close to this check-post. Relax your mind to the beautiful environment and prepare yourself for the next day with restful sleep.
Today is one of the shortest days of the trek. Start post-breakfast at about 8.30 am from Gatsar. You will cross a small ice patch to climb the next mountain with a gradual ascent of about 35mins. From there, you have a small steep ascend of about 45mins and you reach the trail back. This trail is very beautiful and looks like a postcard. As you continue your way forward, you will approach the top where the surface is flat and you will cross a small patch of a running stream. Here, the winds are high and you will feel the cool and refreshing breeze. Another 20 minutes gentle ascend and you will reach the Satsar check-post. Enjoy your packed lunch for the day either here or after a 20-minute walk further from the Satsar check-post. The walk after this post is beautiful and that of a muddy trail and boulders. You will cross about 4 to 5 small lakes of the satsar before reaching the Satsar camp – Maingan top. You will reach by 3 pm and relax for the rest of the day. This campsite is extremely beautiful. Some of the locals say that during monsoon season, clouds rest over this cradled top and is a spectacle sight. Soak in the beauty, as you are sure to never forget this.
After a hearty breakfast, start your day early today. You will cross the small stream over stones and enter into a boulder section. This could be a challenging task as the boulders are big in size. About 45 mins trek over the boulders followed by a gentle ascend of 15mins, you will reach a tabletop which is right at the foot of the Zach pass. Ascend gradually for about 40 mins and reach the zig-zag route that leads straight to the pass. On reaching the pass, you will get to see the mount Harmukh right in front of you. Just below the Mount Harmukh you can see the Nandkol lake. Generally, the Nandkol lake is covered over with clouds adding to the beauty of the view. Towards the right you will see the Gangbal lake. Gangbal is the largest of lakes we spot on this trek. You can enjoy a 360 degrees view of the Pir Pinjal range which is a beauty. After spending some time at this pass, you can continue your journey forward. The route from Zach pass is that of gradual descend followed by a steep descend. About 2 hours and 30mins of a trek, you will reach the Nandkol campsite. After a challenging day, ensure a good night’s sleep to feel rested.
Start by 8am for your descend to Naranag. Start with a river crossing and trek down to reach a beautiful ridge. From this ridge, you will see a beautiful house in the meadows which is a perfect dream house. Reach this house with a gradual descend and continue trekking. You will then enter into the forest of silver birch and deodar trees and trek at a muddy trail. Halt at a small settlement for some tea before taking your final descend into the forests to reach Naranag. On reaching Naranag, stop for some light meal and take the vehicle down to Srinagar. Go back with a camera full of pictures and a heart full of memories.