When I first laid my eyes on this beguiling lake, my jaws dropped. I stood on the mountain peak opposite to the lake and was wonder struck by its beauty. It was hard to believe and I pinched myself to check if I was dreaming. I had never come across such a gorgeous water body in my entire life. It was stunningly scenic with mountains on one side and the sun shining bright. The sun rays were shimmering on the water making it look magnificent.
This was one of the most beautiful campsites.The Nundkol lake lies at the base of the Harmukh peak. The Harmukh glacier hangs on the the sides of the rocky edges of the mountain. Both the Gangabal and Nundkhol are famous for trout fishing. Several trekkers, trek up from Naranag side to camp at Ganagbal Twin lakes.
Tarsar is one of the brightest blues, if not THE brightest blue, I have seen in nature so far. Add to that the horses lazing and grazing on the meadow covered with cinquefoils, the whispering wind, the lake's crystal-clear water splashing on the rocks—the effect is hypnotic. It's not for no reason that the Tarsar-Marsar trek is also called the ‘Paradise Trek’. Trekkers, don't miss this one.
As we packed our tents and got ready everyone were drowned in their own thoughts. Few were anxious to reach the base camp and many more were saddened that the trek had come to an end. With mixed feelings we started our final leg of the trek. I bid one final goodbye to Mt. Harmukh which stood head high in all magnificence.The trail started with a small ascent and then it opened into meadows where we started to bump into people.The feeling of trek had passed and it was more like a walk through the forest. How mistaken I was to think this way! Post lunch the actual challenge began.The initial descent was steep and full of rocks with slippery sand. Many had their first, second and innumerable falls here.The trail got steeper as the time progressed and the knees were abused to glory. One was forced to descend without stopping as legs had started to shiver in agony. After four hours of descent we reached Naranag. It took a couple of minutes to adjust to the voices around and realize we were back into the civilization. An aura of accomplishment filled the room and everyone burst into loud cheers!!!
Dachigam National Park
16. Dachigam National Park, Jammu & Kashmir – Where a rare species is caught in the crossfireDachigam National Park is just 22 kms away from Srinagar and it is home to the rare Hangul (Red Stag) species of deer. According to a survey done in 2011, only about 300 of them live today. The political turmoil of the region has a lot to do with it. The locals graze their cattle in the Hangul's terrain which leaves less for the deer. On top of that, it is said that during the peak of terrorism in the region, the insurgents often hunted the deer for meat.
Day 7: Gangabal lake to Naranag. Drive to Srinagar and reach by 6.30 pm. Stay overnight at Srinagar
Key Highlights of the Day 1. The beautiful meadows with Harmukh peak looming in the background. 2. The interaction with local shepherds with family and livestock on the slopes.
Next stop on this tour with the two girls was Jamia Masjid.For those looking for a silent spot to spend a great afternoon, this sacred shrine in the centre of the city can be a great hideout. Even for those who don't believe in God, the aura of Jamia Masjid evokes a certain calmness and it would find a place in your travel recollections for years to come.
Day 1: Arrive at Srinagar. Depart Srinagar by 2 pm and drive to Shitkari base camp (4 hrs).
Shitkari Campsite is the most beautiful Base Camp imaginable to start a Himalayan Trek. The camping grounds next to a rivulet gives a beautiful setting. With Thajwas Glacier at the background, one does not feel like leaving the spot.