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Location : Northern Most Part of India
Three Main Regions : Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh
Languages Spoken : Dogri, Kashmiri, Hindi & Ladakhi
Best Time to Visit : Jammu - October to February
The Sonamarg Wangat Trek reaches an altitude of about 4191 mts and it takes typically 6 days to complete. However, the 81 km long, Sonamarg Wangat Trek can continue for more than 6 days during the Monsoon season, in the months of June and October. During the starting phase of the trek, the route follows a ridge on the western Himalayas named, Sogput Dhar, and the trail continues over that ridge for a few days. The first phase of the trek is pretty straight and there is no major diversion until you reach Nichinai. From Nichinai the track has several diversions. Within this same trek one can take a detour towards Erin and Bandipur.
The Trek Itinerary :
The trek starts from Srinagar and takes you towards Sonamarg. The first day of the trek will involve sightseeing at Sonamarg, which is also known as meadow of gold. The trail will take you across the villages of Gund, Ganderbal and Kalan. The route will also move across Sonamarg, which is the last village of Kashmir on the way towards Ladakh. Sonamarg, as the name implies, is a sumptuous village and is a major tourist attraction. The meadows of Sonamarg are covered with flowering plants and the village is enclosed by mountains making the valley more aesthetic. During the first day of the trek, you have the option of night camping.
On the second day, the trail moves further above of Sonamarg and after crossing Shitkari Bridge, the trail starts the climb. It finally reaches Nachinai, which is almost 910 mts above Sonamarg.
The third day is a 13 km trek from Nachinai to Kishangar. On the way you will pass by Vishansar, located at a height of 3680 m above sea level. The trek on this day is quite exciting as you need to cross a river at Hirampathri before arriving at Vishansar. The Kishangar camp is the ultimate place for camping as plenty of natural supply of water and fishes are available here. However, the only pricy material at this place is wood, sold by local people. You can enjoy trout fishing here, which is a great fun.
The next day is to travel towards Dubta Pani. The journey is quite adventurous as you need to cross a river after Razbal Gali. In this route you need to descend toward the Gadsar Lake in order to cross the river at Gadsar Maidan. Before reaching Dubta Pani, you need to collect fuel on the final ascent at 3280 m since at Dubta Pani no fuel can be found.
The Sonamarg Wangat Trek gives you the great opportunity on the 5th day when you reach Gangbal Lake. Here you can enjoy your entire day in fishing trout, watching the nomads of Kashmir who live nearby. You also have the option of night camping here that makes the day more exciting.
The next day or the 6th day is the final day of the trek as you reach your destination Wangat. At this place you can have a splendid time as Wangat holds interesting relics of two ancient temples. The trek from Gangbal Lake to Wangat is 19 km long.
The reverse trek gives an option of detour towards Erin. This trail will take you to different sites and ultimately brings you to Gangbal Lake. From Gangbal you can either move towards south to reach Wangat or can follow the route back to Sonamarg.
Such a wonderful journey into the interiors of Kashmir hamlets is a grand opportunity for any trekker. Plan for a tour to Kashmir and follow the trail to reach the peak of excitement.