Tulian Lake and Offbeat Kashmir Exploration: A Trek and Tour Combined Experience
“a pristine alpine lake in kashmir's unspoiled wilderness”
A one of a kind leisure-adventure trip in Kashmir that combines a multi-day trek experience with the joy of road trips. Go deep in the high alpine regions of south-east Kashmir, in search of Tulian, a remote, turquoise-coloured, glacial lake. Later, hit the road to uncover some of the fascinating stories of Kashmir’s past and explore a few lesser known treasure troves of our paradise. It’s a curated experience perfect for those who seek an active holiday: one that uniquely blends leisure and relaxation in nature with the challenge and thrill of a walking adventure.
- Trek to Tulian, a lesser-explored glacial lake located in Kashmir’s unspoiled wilderness
- Walk on some of the most picturesque meadows and one of Kashmir’s most scenic trails
- Meet the Bakarwal nomads on the way, learn about their practices and experience their way of life
- Camp under the stars in a beautiful clearing surrounded by pines and secluded from civilisation
- Explore the alluring natural beauty of Aru village and its surroundings, a photographer’s delight
- Visit the majestic Sun Temple of Martand: the oldest and the only one in Northern India
- Marvel at the spectacular Aharabal waterfall cascading and cutting the deep alpine gorges
Day 1-3: Trek to the Infinity Lake
Our journey starts towards the beautiful Lidder valley in south kashmir. We drive along the meandering Lidder river to reach the popular hill station of Pahalgam. Here we meet the guides, support staff and trip leaders and get briefed about the exciting journey ahead. Over the next few days, we venture out in the Kashmir wilderness on an offbeat trekking adventure. Our goal is an enchanting alpine lake surrounded by breathtaking mountains.
Lying amidst the majestic snow-capped mountains of the Zanskar and Pir Panjal ranges, the Tulian lake of Kashmir is a little-known and less-frequented high-altitude lake. The turquoise-colored glacial lake, located at an elevation of 11,000 feet resembles the unique shape of the infinity sign or the number ‘8’. It’s reached by a trek on a stunning hiking trail that weaves through sprawling lush meadows, gorgeous glades and dense coniferous forests. The difficulty of the trail increases as we ascend more and more with the steepest push at the end. Reaching the remote area and witnessing a wondrous creation of nature is a fulfilling experience in itself. The fairytale-like scenery and the pristine, unspoiled setting around the lake is mesmerizing enough to just let go of our worries and completely get reinvigorated.
The trek takes us three days to complete in a comfortable and a safe manner. We camp for two nights under the stars in a beautiful clearing midway on the trail. On the last day hiking down, we trace the trail back to Pahalgam and then travel onwards to the magnificent Aru valley, where we rest and relax after our walking adventure. The short and scenic drive besides the Aru river offers some splendid views along the way.
Day 4: Nestled in the deep
Today we explore one of our favourite regions of Kashmir, the Aru Valley. Situated upstream 12 Kms from Pahalgam, the village of Aru along with the Overa Aru Wildlife Sanctuary is located deep inside the west Lidder forest region of the Anantnag district. The quaint village surrounded by towering mountains serves as a base for many high altitude treks and expeditions.
Secluded from the busy, touristy streets of Pahalgam, the lesser trodden Aru provides the perfect calm and serenity in the lap of nature. We spend the day here resting, relaxing and exploring. We stroll around the village interacting with the locals, hike up on scenic trails to breathtaking viewpoints and explore the rustic hamlet’s captivating surroundings. Aru valley is a veritable treat for us nature lovers and its wide verdant meadows, pine-dotted hills, gurgling brooks and snow-laden peaks constantly vie for our attention.
Day 5-7: Offbeat Kashmir
It’s quite well-known that Kashmir is a paradise. Yet there are many gems of this paradise that remain out of the limelight which mainly fall on the more popular tourist areas of the valley. There are many wonderful places dotted throughout the region, yet most of these impressive sites are frequented only by locals. These places often get overlooked in most travellers’ itineraries. In the last few days of this trip, we set out for an offbeat Kashmir exploration: a short quest beyond the ordinary to uncover a few hidden jewels and some of Kashmir’s best kept secrets.
Over the course of these days, our journey takes us to underrated historic monuments, storied cultural landmarks, ancient heritage sites, and uncommon places of outstanding natural beauty. We visit Achabal-a lesser known and charming mughal garden with tinkling fountains, Daksum-a quiet, secluded canvas of immense beauty in the midst of nature, Martand-a grand ancient Sun temple: the oldest and the only one in Northern India,Verinag-the source of river Jhelum and a turquoise-colored royal spring, and finally Aharabal, the ‘niagara of Kashmir’-a spectacular waterfall where the Vishaw river gushes down boisterously, cutting the pine-covered alpine gorges. We witness some of these enrapturing sites and strive to unravel their rich past and glorious stories behind them.
From thick alpine forests, wide meadows and glacial valleys on the trek to travelling on scenic roads experiencing a slice of uncommon and unseen Kashmir, this tour will prove to be an unforgettable one. The last two nights of the trip are spent at a relaxing riverside stay in Pahalgam. On the final day, we pack and leave early to return to Srinagar where it all started. Here, we end this beautiful journey across our very own heaven.
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