Kashmir – referred to as the paradise on earth by both tourists and adventurers alike – has dominated my list of must visit places. When I heard that there exists a trek in Kashmir that takes one directly to its most pristine interiors of mountains, forests, meadows and alpine lakes- the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek- I wished to experience it ever since.
I remember the day I got the confirmation for my inclusion in the Kashmiri Great Lakes Trek. I was both excited and nervous- given that although it came across as one of the most exquisite trails on the face of the Earth, it was also one that demanded a resolute will and strong body to complete it. As it turned out, I was fortunate to experience the beauty of the trail without succumbing to the physical demands that the challenging trail entailed. This is the tale of how the best parts of Kashmir embraced me and took me on an adventure of a lifetime. In this blog, I find myself unable to resist using grandiose descriptions and poetic language- if anything this language still falls far short of the real divinity that abides there. I encourage every friend not to pass this opportunity.
Towards the Golden Trail: As I arrived in Srinagar, I was greeted with a rush of fresh crisp air that seeped deep within; it seemed to re energize my core in a strange way. Perhaps this is what many travelers experienced as they arrived in this ancient abode of the mountains. As introductions went around my batch, the vibes made me feel as if I was well into the adventure I signed up for. I can’t begin to express how limited this perception was at that instant! We divided ourselves into manageable groups and began our commute in a jeep towards Sonamarg. The more we drove on the soothing steep roads of Kashmir, the more it felt as if I was walking into the open and nourishing arms of nature. Soon we reached a small village few kilometers before sonamarg where we were to camp for the night in valley beside the sind river. The next morning we were to officially begin the climb of our lifetime.