I trekked down to Vishansar and Kishansar lakes around the middle of August along with my six friends. These lakes are above the Sonamarg valley. Plan a trek there next year somewhere between June and August. That is the best and only time to be there. Rest of the months are ice-cold.
At 9 am we were in Sonamarg. After some refreshments, we started off on foot. After a 2 km walk, we were at Thajewas glacier. We took a short rest, and then trekked a steep mountain up to Shokdari where from we could enjoy the beautiful view of the glaciers.
Despite the long walk, the scenic beauty of the place was immensely refreshing. We broke for lunch at this peak amidst beautiful landscapes.
Our next stop was Nichnai which is a shepherd’s valley. We had an overnight stay there. But as soon as we settled down in our camp it started raining. We somehow managed to defend ourselves against the cold, cooked food and played some games late into the night. In the morning we started ascending Nichnai pass (13579 ft). Then trekking forward, we reached Vishansar and Kishansar lakes after a walk of about 6 hours.
Around the lakes there are lush green meadows which are home to a variety of wild flowers. We decided to camp here for the night. We wanted to take a bath, but the water of the lake was very cold—almost freezing. But we did manage to catch some fish. As it became dark, we got down to making dinner. Then it was the usual late night gossip. In the morning, we packed up and began our return journey.
I clicked some shots of this beautiful and indescribably serene place. I look at the pictures and remember how refreshing and rewarding this trek was. You have to be there to know what it is like being there. Plan a trek next year. But before going, take advice from trekkers who have visited the place. I really long to be with the lakes again.
—Text & Photos: Azaan Shah