Sign In

Verification mail has been sent.

Please check your mail to verify your account.

  • Experts Opinion

Is trekking in Kashmir safe?

Published On 31 May 2020 by Harshit Patel

Kashmir, the land of nature and a paradise on Earth are well known for its serene beauty and breathtaking landscapes. It was one of the most favored travel destinations before the 90's not only for Indians but foreigners too. It was after the 1990 clashes among Hindus and Muslims and the rise of several militant groups in the valley that made it into a feared land.




Tourism once used to be the biggest source of revenue for the Kashmiri?s. It was not only visited for enjoying the views of the gorgeous lakes and valleys but for the purpose of hiking and trekking amidst various beautiful paths formed by mother nature as well. There is surely a great decline in its popularity but the region can not be considered unsafe for hiking. Yes, there are disputed regions that one must avoid but in case you are planning your next hike in Kashmir, then do not hesitate and in return, Kashmir will reward you with views you've never seen. And when you are left gaping at those huge mountains, remember, ?we told you so?.




You should know about the places you will cover on your trek, the security arrangements on the way, the weather conditions, the terrain, etc and if by chance you end up in any unexpected or unplanned situation do not panic just take a deep breath and let you trek leaders take the lead (they have enormous contacts everywhere)! Despite the ongoing political disputes Kashmiris are very hospitable people and will never treat you harshly. The politeness in their voice and the respect they bestow will make you feel safe in a blink of the eye. The local folks will surely try to help you in every way possible. So in any such situation, do not hesitate to ask for help as well. You might come across instances of stone-pelting and curfews (if you are that unlucky) in Srinagar and Kangan. The best way to protect yourself in any such situation is to stop any movement until things get calm. Also, there are CRFF check posts at every hundred of meters to ensure your safety.




Other than that, the mountains in Kashmir are almost incident-free so there is a negligible chance of any mishap during the trek.




DOCUMENTS


You need to plan ahead of time for an expedition in the valley. There is a list of documents that you might not need all the time but in case of any crisis, it might save you from an unpleasant situation. Firstly, you must carry your original ID proof. A photocopy generally works but you might be asked to deposit the original, so it's better to have one and avoid any argument. It is also a good idea to carry 2-3 passport size photographs in case you get asked to fill some form.
For foreigners, carrying their passport and a photocopy of it is a must throughout the trek.




Acute Mountain Sickness


Before planning a trip to the mountains sufficient knowledge about the health problems caused due to the high altitude is a must. If your body isn?t used to high altitudes you might end up getting AMS, HAPE, or HACE ( in a rare condition) and if these problems are not treated on time it might even be the cause of something fatal.
AMS is the most commonly occurring problem out of all three. The common symptoms are fatigue, uneasiness, nausea, and dizziness. If you feel any of these symptoms do not wait for things to get worse but seek immediate medical attention.




Here is a list of the 5 most preferred and safe treks in the Kashmir valley.



Treks in Kashmir


Most of the treks in Kashmir are not for leisure hiking purposes. For example, the Kashmir great lake trek is a moderately difficult one and one has to cover around 10 km each day for 7 long days.
For trekking at such high altitudes with this level of difficulty, you must prepare your body beforehand. Regular exercise and stamina building will help in the long run.



Kashmir Great Lakes trek


This trek starts from the valley of Sonamarg which is in the Ganderbai district of Jammu and Kashmir and later on this trek will take you through the views of Nichnai pass, Vishansar lake, Kishnasar lake, Gadsar pass, Satsar Lake, Gangabal lake, Nundkol lake and end in Naranag.



Tarsar Marsar Trek


The trek begins from the base camp of Arru which is at a 4 hours distance from Srinagar. This will further take you to the valley of Lidderwat and then to Shekwas, a 5 km climb will take you to the Tarsar lake and from there you will continue your trip passing through Sundarsar, Marsar, Sonmasti and Sumbal ending back at Srinagar.



Kolahoi Glacier trek


The trek towards the mysterious Kolahoi glacier starts from the Aru village of Anantang district passes through Lidderwat, Dudshar lake, Kolahoi glacier view point to Satlunjan ending again at the Aru village of the valley.



Barafsar lake trek


One of the lesser-known treks of Kashmir the Barafsar lake was discovered by L Watts back in 1933 but came to limelight only in 2017. The trek explores the last inhabited place in Kashmir, the Sarbal village, which is known for its porters who accompany devotees for the Amarnath yatra. The Barafsar lake leaves you spellbound and makes you stand tall at a staggering height of 15,108 feet. The lake remains frozen almost throughout the years and hence suits its name, Barafsar.



Warwan valley


One of the most preferred treks in Kashmir, the Warwan valley trek passes through the valley of Kashmir and the cold desert of Ladakh. You will encounter a sudden shift in the landscape this trek has to offer as you slowly move towards Ladakh. The view goes from a lush green to a barren brown within days and you can't help but marvel. On one side you have the barren mountains of Ladakh and on the other, you have the lush green meadows of Kashmir. The trek starts from the Panikhar village in the beautiful Suru Valley to Sukhnai village at the height of 9,200 feet.




When to visit


The best time opt for a trekking expedition in Kashmir is during and between the months of June to September; i.e during summer and onset of Autumn. The paths are generally clear during this time but there is always a chance of a sudden heavy rainfall or a landslide in mountain regions. Therefore it is advisable to be prepared beforehand for any such situation. Since it is also a bit politically unstable zone so you must keep an eye on the conditions in the region for over a month.
An additional request for all the trekkers would be to respect and appreciate the wonders of nature that God has blessed upon us. As a responsible citizen do not litter anyway on your trek and also avoid using plastic as much as you can. If you are carrying your own snacks with you, do not throw the wrappers around. Also, the wet wipes we often use during our treks are also not biodegradable so it is suggested to use a basic toilet paper roll. If you still insist on using a Wet wipe, make sure you keep them in a zip long bag and discard them once you are back to the base camp.


  1. Harshit Patel : Co-Founder at Trekmunk. A certified Mountaineer, Skiier, has led more than 50 high altitude treks in the Indian Himalayas. He is an Engineer by profession but a traveler by passion. He has led treks in Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal. He is a NOLS certified First Aid Responder and has covered 185,000+ km on Motorcycle. A Poet, Drone Pilot and Videographer at Insane Traveller Productions.

Leave a Comment
Comment Post Successfully

RELATED BLOGS

Sikkims gem: Goechala
Goechala; a magical, electric and cinematic trek, is pretty much every adventure enthusiast?s much longed for and admired destination. It is unbelievably surreal
Travelling Safe 101: Opt for Offbeat and Customised Private Trek Batches
COVID-19 has left us all weary. With the country shutting down for months it?s no surprise that everyone is missing going out to different places. People are going jobless and there?s no assurance
Why an Incomplete Trek is considered to be a Complete Trek?
When we think about trekking, it usually involves choosing a suitable trek for yourself, finding the proper gear, and you are set to scale a challenging adventure, away from your monotonous city life.
Is Kashmir Safe for Trekking in 2020?
Planning your Tarsar Marsar, Warwan Valley, or Kashmir Great Lakes trek in 2020? Travellers have always been a little apprehensive about travelling to Kashmir, the abode of Himalayan trekking.
Hampta Pass Trek vs Hampta Circle Trek
Hampta Pass Trek Altitude: 14,100 ft. Hampta Pass Trek Duration: 5-6 days Hampta Circle Trek Altitude: 10,826 ft. Hampta Circle Trek Duration: 3-4 days India is blessed with an exceptional number of mountains to choose from to go on a trekking expedition. In fact, one may become overwhelmed because of the large number of options
Why Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Is The Most Beautiful And A Must Do Himalayan Trek
Cocooned in the divine landscape of Kashmir, commonly referred to as ?heaven on Earth?, the Kashmir Great Lakes trek is by far the most beautiful one in India. A trek that revolves around not one, not two, but a total of five alpine lakes. That is more than what most treks can boast. Before you?ve

RELATED TOURS

4 Days
USD 135 / INR 9850/-
Location : Kashmir
Difficulty : Easy to Moderate
Best time : May-July, Sept-Nov
13 Days
USD 810 / INR 59600/-
Location : Ladakh
Difficulty : Difficult
Best time : July-Oct
7 Days
USD 210 / INR 14750/-
Location : Kashmir
Difficulty : Moderate
Best time : July-Sept
8 Days
USD 750 / INR 55000/-
Location : Ladakh
Difficulty : Easy
Best time : Jan-March
10 Days
USD 400 / INR 30000/-
Location : Himachal Pradesh
Difficulty : Difficult
Best time : Apr?May, Sept?Oct
7 Days
USD 185 / INR 12950/-
Location : Kashmir
Difficulty : Moderate
Best time : July-Oct
5 Days
USD 400 / INR 25000/-
Location : Himachal Pradesh
Difficulty : Moderate
Best time : June-Oct
x
This website is using cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website More Info Accept

Hello there,
How can we help you ?

Say Hello!

Thank you for the mail. Our team will contact you soon.