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The Kolahoi Glacier Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Worshiped as the Goddess of Light by locals, the Kolahoi glacier can easily find a spot as the eighth wonder of the world! This majestic Himalayan glacier is the source of life-giving perennial rivers like Jhelum and Lidder.
The trek to Kolahoi Glacier, at an altitude of 4700m, is worth every penny, not only because of the gorgeous view at the end. Trust me, the pleasant 6-day journey is no less than the destination! You will have sparkling lakes, winding rivers, spectacular waterfalls, and wide-open Himalayan valleys to keep you company. So you better keep your eyes wide open; there’s an extraordinary surprise at every step!
Starting this journey off at the idyllic village of Aru, 10 km away from the famous resort town of Pahalgam, this trek can be challenging. Still, luckily, you don’t have to keep ascending constantly. For a large part of this trail, we will pass through plain lands, surrounded by mystical forests of towering coniferous trees! Of course, the serene river of Lidder will make a special appearance here and there throughout the trek. It is safe to say there will not be one dull moment throughout the Kolahoi Glacier Itinerary!
Distance: 113 km
Time Taken: 4 hours (Drive)
Altitude: 2,414 m (7,920 ft)
The starting point of our trek is the scenic village of Aru. To reach Aru, we will start from Srinagar. It will be a 4-hour-long drive, filled with rural Kashmir’s rich culture and beauty – from apple orchards to saffron plantations and more! Since this is only the first day, we will take it easy and prepare our minds and bodies for the thrill of the upcoming days.
Get cozy and rest up in your tents in Aru village!
Distance: 12 km
Time Taken: 6 hours
Altitude: 3,049 m (10,000 ft)
We will start the next day of our Kolahoi Glacier trek Itinerary very early and get ready to reach our next campsite Liddervat. The gorgeous landscape of Lidderwat will leave you speechless. This beautiful campsite is 12 km away from Aru and will take approximately 6-7 hours.
While that may sound like a lot, trekking-wise, this day will be easy! No steep slopes are involved; it will be a very gentle climb. Besides, the gushing blue water of the Lidder River will soothe your mind. You might also come across some of the oldest Gujjar settlements of Kashmir in the Nandkei area!
After crossing a bridge over the Lidder, we will reach the vast Lidder Meadows. The seemingly endless expanse of green all around you will surely bring a smile to your face!
What is better than camping in a stunning location like the Lidderwat? The gigantic fir trees, the velvety soft grass, the royal blue skies! It’s like getting a warm hug from Mother Nature herself!
Distance: 8 km
Time Taken: 6 hours
Altitude: 3,840 m (12,600 ft)
On day 3, we crossover to the right side of the trail and make our way towards Dudhsar Lake, our campsite, for the night.
Today’s trek will be slightly more challenging than the previous day, as we will have to ascend to a height of 10,700 ft. You will come across boulders and rocky paths, adding to the difficulty.
But the sight of the milky-white water of the Dudhsar Nala will take all your fear away! As we continue walking along this unique stream, we will find ourselves in yet another picture-perfect location, Susrin! From Susrin, we will walk for another half kilometer and reach Satlunjan. Interesting name, right? It is called so because a mountain stream from Rohil, divides into seven tributaries in this exact location.
This is a sight you do not want to miss! As if that wasn’t enough, if you walk another kilometer or two, you will be met with the small but spectacular Chainbal Waterfalls. This is the perfect spot to catch your breath as you absorb the magical beauty around you.
Next, we will keep going forward, crossing the Kolahoi Base Camp and reaching the magnificent Dudhsar Lake. From this point on, the trail will become tricky to navigate. Riddled with rocks and boulders, this path is not everyone’s cup of tea. But with caution and guidance from your trek leaders, you will be good to go! After the rocky terrain, it is just a flat, easy walk to the lake.
Once you reach Dudhsar, all your hard work and physical strain will seem worth it. This crystal clear lake, reflecting the patchwork of green and white mountains around it, will fill your heart with joy and satisfaction! Camping by this lake for one whole night? A dream come true!
Distance: 7 km
Time Taken: 8 hours
Altitude: 3,404 m (11,200 ft)
The day we have all been eagerly looking forward to is finally here! The day when the Kolahoi Glacier will come into view! We will retrace our steps for about 600 m back to the valley below. After about an hour, we will reach Kolahoi View Point!
Fasten your seatbelts as right before your eyes, there will be a view more breathtaking than anything you have ever seen before! Enjoy the view from afar, but do not try to walk on the glacier. It is precarious, as the snow in the glacier is mostly hollowed out.
With a camera full of photos, and a heart full of glee, we will take the same route back to Satlunjan and retire for the night.
Distance: 14 km
Time Taken: 7 hours
Altitude: 2,425 m (7,956 ft)
The second last day of our Kolahoi Glacier Trek Itinerary will be the longest, as we will lose about 2,500 m in a single day. Now, that’s a huge difference, and we will have to be careful with the pacing of the trek to avoid any discomfort for the trekkers.
Luckily, the trail is not challenging at all! There are few steep slopes, and the rich mountain forests, milky white streams, and smooth grasslands will make the trek all the more pleasant!
On reaching Aru, we will tuck ourselves in for the last night of the trek!
Distance: 113 km (Drive)
Time Taken: 4 hours
Altitude: 1,585 m (5,200 ft)
Time to bid adieu to the awe-inspiring beauty of the Kashmiri hills and make our way back to Srinagar.
Saying goodbye is tough, but the fact that these 5 days have been nothing less than an adventure will indeed remain fresh in your memories forever!
From Srinagar, you will have to part ways with your trek leader and other trekking buddies! Until next time?