Silent Meadows Trek – Yusmarg, Kashmir
OVER VIEW –
Kashmir with its unparalleled beauty, postcard-perfect scenes and almost European vistas frankly need no introduction. The Silent Meadows trek from Yusmarg traverses some of the hidden jewels in the Kashmiri mountain-scape – the pristine alpine high-altitude lakes of Tosa Maidan. If you are looking for green meadows filled with colorful wildflowers, pristine color-changing water lakes, meandering streams and amazing Himalayan views from high passes, then the Silent Meadows Trek is the most highly recommended trek.
Starting from the popular hill station Yusmarg, the trail follows ancient routes taken by the Gujjars, the nomadic shepherds of Kashmir. Every day on the trail, trekkers are treated to breathtaking views of rugged snowcapped mountains, colorful grasslands, and trout-filled crystal-clear lakes. There is also a high pass to be crossed, the highest being at 13,700 feet close to Noonwan and rocky terrains to be navigated frequently. It is a physically and mentally challenging trek and would require the trekkers to be physically fit and to have a penchant for the Himalayan remoteness to enjoy this trek.
TRIP FACTS –
Region – Yusmarg, Kashmir
Temperature – During the day pleasant – Between 14 – 20 degrees
Evenings cold – Between 5 – 10 Degrees
Night colder – Between 0 – 5 degrees
Duration – 8 days (6 days of trekking)
Difficulty Level – Moderate to difficult
Season – July to early October
Accommodation – Hotel/Guest house accommodation & camping
ITINERARY OVERVIEW –
Day 1: Arrival & stay in Srinagar
Day 2: Drive from Srinagar to Yusmarg (1.5 hours) + trek to Barga valley via Dragtol meadows.
Day 3: Trek from Yusmarg to Astar valley via Liddermad and Dandair meadows.
Day 4: Trek from to Astar valley Duriem camp.
Day 5: Trek from Duriem camp to noonwan via Bodsar Lake, Navkansar.
Day 6: Trek from Noonwan base to Hafas camp.
Day 7: Trek from Hafas to Dhoodhpatri and drive back to Srinagar.
Day 8: Fly out of Srinagar
DETAILED ITINERARY –
Day 1: Arrival & stay in Srinagar –
All trekkers will arrive in Srinagar and be picked up from the airport in their respective groups. They will be driven to their hotel in the city. We spend the first night in a hotel in Srinagar and leave next day early in the morning for Yusmarg, our base village. While in the hotel, your breakfast (buffet) will be covered in your package. You can explore the place around or spend the time relaxing in your rooms. Lunch and dinner can be ordered from a-la-carte, which will be billed to the person directly by the hotel.
Day 2: Drive from Srinagar to Yusmarg (2 hours) and trek to Barga Valley (13 km : 8,389 feet)-
We will leave early in the morning from Srinagar, around 6 am, and aim reaching Yusmarg, our base village by around 8am.
This will be a group transport, in either a tempo traveler or bus, depending on the size of the group. The drive is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the traffic, covering a distance of around 50 Kms. It is a scenic drive and has a wonderful mix of grasslands, scattered forests and pine-covered mountains. Yusmarg is a small village, located in the Bagdam district of Kashmir. Surrounded by heavy stretches of green pastures, the valley is covered with snow clad mountains and meadows of Pine and fir.
Once we reach Yusmarg, we start our trekking journey for the day and start ascending towards Barga valley campsite on a Maple and Pine tree-lined route. Today you will be embrace beautiful views of Yusmarg and the meadows en route. We will slowly ascend and make our way into the Dragtol Village which is a Shepherd’s valley through the beautiful pine forest.
The total trekking distance we cover from Yusmarg to Barga valley is around 13 kms, depending on the pace of the group, we are expected to reach our campsite in the afternoon between 3 – 5pm. We spend the night camping at our beautiful site. Our team leader will will brief you for the next days plan at dinner table.
Day 3: Trek from Barga Valley to Astar Camp (11,500 feet : 12 kms) –
Today’s trek will comprise a moderate and gradual ascent to cross the Liddermad huts ascend towards the Dandair meadows and into the Astar campsite. Visit the small ridge situated 500 meters from the campsite. Nothing that we say or write can prepare you for the beauty of the Doodhpatri meadows from the top. Surrounded by mountains and being easy to access, the waters of the shaliganga river are crystal clear and change colour as the day proceeds. You are guaranteed to start feeling rejuvenated just by sitting and witnessing the meadows from the top and listening to the fluttering sounds of the wind and soaking in the scenic beauty. We are expected to get to Astar (our campsite) between 3 – 5 pm in the afternoon.
Day 4: Trek from Astar to Duriem (15 kms : 13,000 feet) –
Trek up gruelling 300 mts to the Astar top which is about 2 hours from the Astar camp. Despite being close in distance, the climb can be a little gruelling for beginners. Today will be a long day as try to cover Gurwansar, Patrisar and Pamsar lakes. There are long walks and some boulder sections that you need to traverse for the day. We will reach Duriem by late afternoon, and spend our evening along the beautiful landscape of the open valleys. After our high tea, we will have some time to rest and indulge in conversations until dinner is served. Post dinner, our team leader will brief you about the next day’s plan.
Day 5 : Trek from Duriem to Noonwan Base (10 kms : 12,500 feet) –
Today, you begin with a steep climb up the mountains. We would try and cover Bodsar Lake, Trastar Lake, Navkansar I, II & Damamsar Lake. It will be a physically and mentally challenging day as you cross rocky and boulder-ridden terrain, cross a few ridges, and climb mountains to arrive for a break on a ridge close to 13,000 feet. After a little break, we will keep going up to reach the final ridge. From here, you can view the lakes of Tosa Maidan, trek ahead, crossing a stream. The Tosa Maidan lakes are a collection of 3–5 lakes at a fair distance from each other. Fed by melting snow, a couple of these lakes dry up in the summer and autumn. You can witness the Tosa Maidan meadows from the top of Noonwan Camp.
Day 6: Trek from Noonwan base to Hafas camp ( 09 kms : 10,500 feet) –
Today is a comparatively shorter day and we also have lessor distance to cover in Kilometers. We leave our campsite around 7:45 am after having a good breakfast. What follows is a steep rocky descent, a few ups and downs, which we recommend you to take time to cross, as descends can be tricky. Post our descent we will be greeted by a beautiful sight of lakes that lead to the meadows of Hafas. Today you will witness and enjoy the endless meadows with views of Tosa Maidan at a distance.
Day 7: Trek from Hafas to Doodhpatri ( 9 kms : 8,957 feet) –
On the final day, we descend towards Kadalbal camp with the views of Tosa Maidan meadows in front of us from the top, towards the pine forest cover. We will follow the forest line for about 4 to 5 hours and descend into the Doodhpatri meadows. Once we reach Doodhpatri, we spend some time there, as the doodhpatri meadows are beautifully mesmerizing and deserve some exploration. You can order snacks/lunch here in the restaurants around. We spend about an hour in Doodpatri and then continue driving to Srinagar. This drive will take us around 2/2.5 hours, covering approximately kms. We spend the night at our hotel in Srinagar.
Day 8: Fly out from Srinagar –
Today we all fly out to respective cities. Our team will arrange breakfast buffet for you and organize your group drops to the airport. We leave Kashmir, with a heart filled with memories and immeasurable happiness!
COST INCLUSIONS –
- Group pick-up and drop off on arrival and departure in and from Srinagar.
- 2 night’s hotel accommodation in Srinagar – Day 1 & Day 7, on a twin sharing basis on Bed and breakfast plan (Breakfast on buffet).
- Standard transport to Yusmarg, the base village & start point of the trek and from Doodhpatri to Srinagar. These transports will be with the entire group together and will be arranged in a tempo traveler/bus depending on the size of the group.
- Full board meal while camping -with breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner. Along with 3 hot beverages. (Menu sample in additional information section have a look below).
- All camping equipment – sleeping tents, dining tent, pit loo toilet, western bio toilet, kitchen tent, etc.
- All support staff – guides, assistants, kitchen helpers, cooks, porters etc.
- Back-pack off-loading for each trekker. (Weight limit of 10 Kgs for your main bag. For additional weight, you can reach out to our representative for the charges).
- Coverage of Guides and Porters, their meals, insurance, transportation, and other necessary equipment.
- All necessary trekking permits.
- Drinking water purification drops.
- A basic medical kit.
- All government and local taxes.
COST EXCLUSIONS –
- Flights to and from Srinagar.
- Lunch, dinner & other a la carte orders made while in the hotel.
- Single occupancy in hotel or camping accommodation.
- Lunch in Doodhpatri on Day 7.
- Insurance covers, medical, emergency evacuation, loss, etc.
- Personal expense (shopping, snacks, boil bottle water, hot and cold drinks, Alcohol, extra porters, etc.
- Extra night accommodation in Srinagar because of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountain (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
- Additional costs or delays caused by out of management control, for example, landslide, weather condition, itinerary modification due to safety concerns, illness, change of government policies, strikes, etc.
- Tips and gratitude provided to staff.
- Extra travel, accommodation made if the itinerary is cut short by the trekker in case he or she is unable to complete the trek, due to any reason whatsoever.
PHYSICAL FITNESS PREPARATION –
Good physical condition is required to trek in the high altitude. Without some pre-trek training or a good level of basic fitness, it can be hard. We suggest running, walking, hiking on the hill, climbing stairs rather than elevators to prepare for the trek. Include swimming, rowing, biking in your daily base training.
Basic experience and strength required for Trekking
- One should be able to hike for 6-7 hours a day.
- One should be able to carry 4-5 kg themselves on a backpack for preparation.
- We suggest you walk daily for about 2/3 miles to facilitate your preparation. In addition, if you carry a backpack with some load on your back for 1 to 2 months, it will prepare you well and make your climbing much easier. Or alternatively use a treadmill for everyday running and walking.
- If you have an uphill location/mountains around you, then once a week you should go hiking with a loaded bag pack on your back. If you do not have mountains or hills in your vicinity, then use stairs to go up/down than the elevator.
- Regular swimming, biking, rowing is also a good way to maintain your physical strength.
Adventure Pulse as your trekking partner –
Airport pickups – We organize group pick-ups and drops to and from the Srinagar airport as part of our service. Upon your arrival, you are welcomed and greeted at the arrival gate by our representative member from a company, and will be transferred to your hotel in Srinagar. For departure transfer, we will come to pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport for your flight.
Accommodation – The accommodation arrangements will be taken care of by Adventure Pulse. On arrival you will be staying in Srinagar in a 3 star, standard hotel on twin sharing basis. In case you want a single occupancy room, you can avail the same on additional charges. During your hotel stay, your Breakfast and dinner will be covered in the package in the hotel buffet. Lunch can be ordered from the menu and cleared with the hotel personally by the trekker. Any item ordered, that is not part of the buffet meal will be charge to the trekker on actuals.
Once we check out from our hotel and start our journey, the next 7 days you will be spending at camp sites. Our campsites, are huge beautiful accommodation, in the middle of a lush wilderness. We will be providing you with
- sleeping tents on twin sharing basis. You can upgrade to a single occupancy tent on additional charges.
- Dining tent for eating all your meals and also chilling during the second half until dinner time.
- Foldable stools for each trekker, so you don’t have to eat your meals at the campsite sitting on the ground.
- Toilet tents: Our campsite will have 2 or 3 toilet tents depending on the size of the group. 1 pit-loo style tent, and 1 bio western toilet with a flush. Toilet tents will have fresheners hung in it and also a garbage collecting bag for your comfort and hygiene.
- Our team will have a kitchen tent where all your meals will be freshly cooked every single day.
Meals – On the trek, our staff will be carrying a kitchen tent with all the ration. They will accompany you for the entire duration of the trek. As you wake up in the morning, you will be provided with hot coffee or tea with some biscuits. It is important to stay hydrated in the mountains and the best way to consume liquids is in the form of hot beverages. Tea and Coffee will also be available for breakfast and in the evening’s.
For Breakfast, you can expect parathas, bread and jam, poha, oats and noodles. We will try our best to provide an assortment of food and avoid repetition. Lunch will be provided in the form of packed meals. At the start of the day, your trek leader will prepare your tiffin box with the meal prepared, juices, biscuits, chocolates and toffees. Sugar provides some much-needed energy while you are trekking. The Dinner Menu will include items such as fried rice, hakka noodles, biryani, Dal-Roti-Sabji-Rice among others. We will also provide soup and dessert before each supper.
Communication system –
In Kashmir only postpaid sim cards work. In case you do not have a post-paid sim, you can buy one from outside the airport, which will cost you around INR 600/-. Do not forget to carry your original ID and a passport size photograph to buy the sim. Networks like BSNL, Jio and Airtel have good connectivity in the region. In case you need to contact someone when you land before you step out of the airport exit area, you can also access the landline at the luggage belts and request them to allow you to make a call to your operator/driver as the case may be.
On the trek – The trek to the Silent Meadows is a complete black out in terms of network. You will not have any network from Day 2 onwards once you leave the base village of Yusmarg. In Yusmarg you will have connectivity if you have a Kashmir simcard, or a sim card like BSNL, Jio and Airtel. However, please be prepared for patchy network as Yusmarg is a slightly remote village and there may be times when you won’t have enough network to access internet.
To enter Kashmir, you need to make sure to carry your Identification card (Original Hard copy).
- Either Original Aadhar Card or Passport. (Hard copy)
- Visa in case you are a Non-Indian passport holder.
- Your other trekking documentation will be taken care of by Adventure Pulse once you have submitted soft copies of the same with the representative.
How much luggage can I take during the Trek?
The weight limit for your luggage is 10 kg per trekker. Two trekkers will be assigned one porter, and combined luggage should not exceed 20 kgs. We never overload our porters. However, you might need to carry your own knapsack or backpack (with valuables or anything important). Only carry the essentials. You can leave excess baggage safely, either at your hotel or at the Hotel or office store for free. We will recheck everything (luggage, equipment, etc.) during our briefing before starting the journey.
If you are carrying a suitcase or any extra luggage, you can leave that behind at your hotel in Srinagar. Please note – Suitcases or any other hard bound structure bags/ wheel bags will not be allowed on the trek, neither with the porter nor on the mules.
There is no electricity supply once you start camping. Please keep all your devices fully charged, before you set foot on the journey. We recommend you to carry fully charged power banks for your phone etc. to be charged. To be on safer side, always try to carry at least 2 fully charged power banks with you. The only light you have after sunsets, will be your head lamps, torches etc. and of course the beautiful shining moon up in the sky.
Tipping culture –
Tipping the staff has become an important part of the culture where it allows you to directly show your appreciation for the staff for the hard work, they have put in. These men & women, work tirelessly, not only trekking with you, but also ensuring your safety, and comfort for the duration of your stay. Tipping is not included in the salaries of your guides, porters, or crew and therefore tremendously appreciated when it comes directly from you. The recommended amount of tips to be paid will be part of the Orientation once you register for the trek.
Have any questions?
Please contact us on: Call/whatsapp +91-7823857531 Or write to us on [email protected]