- Altitude: 7,800 ft (Shitkadi Camp-site) to 11,948 ft ( Nichnai Camp-site)
- Distance & Time: ~10 kms and ~7 hours
After an overnight stay at Shitkadi (Read More here: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Day 1: Shitkadi Base Camp), we were excited to start with first day action of our trek to Nichnai. With every-one setting up things first time and a detailed briefing from our Trek Lead (Akshay) and Trek Guide (Javed Bhai), it took us some time and we left around 9:30 AM from Shitkadi camp-site.
Shitkadi to Nichnai trek starts with a 3 hour ascend followed by a 1 hour descent to a river stream and finally a gentle 2 hour ascent to Nichnai camp-site.
- Green meadow with Panoramic views of Sonamarg
- Walk on Grass Bed through Maple and Pine Forest
- Dhaba at Table Top (Valley Shekdur)
- Bhoj Patr or Silver Birch Forest – End of Tree Line
- Boulder Patch – A walk on stones along river stream
- Hike through Nichnai Valley: Shepherds and Sheep
- Nichnai Camp-Site: Tents overlooking mountains
(Go to the Top) Here begins your Kashmir Great Lakes Trek !! You start with a slow ascent through a green meadow overlooking Sonmarg and Thajiwas Glacier. Views get better as you walk up the meadow to reach first Army Check-Post on the trek.
(Go to the Top) As you walk up from Army Check-post, you pass through dense Maple and Pine forest. Walking on grass bed through dense Maple forest is an experience unique to Kashmir in India. Forest ends at at the edge of a ridge giving way to a vast meadow looking like a carpet of grass. This is valley Shekdur.
(Go to the Top) As you walk up the meadow of Shekdur, you reach to a flat top called Table Top. You will find a Dhaba here. Grab some snacks or eat Maggi/Omelette if you want. You will also see shepherds’ huts around which are uniquely built with mud on roof with wood support and grass growing on top of it making them a part of meadow itself.
(Go to the Top) As you walk up from Dhaba, you enter into Bhoj Patr Forest after a quick steep ascend. Javed Bhai helped us to get remove bark from few trees that we kept as souvenir from our trek. As soon as forest ends, also ends the tree-line (~11000 feet). You will only have grasslands (full of green grass, brown stones, mountains and river streams) from here to last day of your trek and no more forests. As soon as you feel loosing trees behind, a beautiful valley with a river stream welcomes you and uplifts your spirits.
(Go to the Top) Next, you descend down the valley tempted by the sound of river stream flowing right through the heart of valley. This was our lunch point too. We sat on boulders next to stream, had our lunch, took a nap lying on some flat stones, re-filled our bottles and again started walking to Nichnai valley.
(Go to the Top) Boulders slowly gave way to an almost flat valley. For rest of our day, we kept walking along river stream ( Nichnai Valley means Small Valley) till we reached our camp-site. Shepherds and their sheep were already there to extend us a warm welcome to this heavenly land.
Checking out for the day. See you tomorrow for our next day trek !! Read about our Day -3 Experience here. Please drop us comments in case you want to add more or require any additional information.