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Tulian Lake Trek is an enchanting journey that takes you through the pristine and unspoiled landscapes of Kashmir, India. This trek offers an unparalleled adventure that is both challenging and rewarding, providing an extraordinary opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the region.
Situated at an altitude of about 3,684 meters above sea level, Tulian Lake is nestled between the majestic peaks of the Pir Panjal and Zanskar ranges. The lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters that beautifully reflect the surrounding snow-capped mountains, creating a mesmerizing panorama that will leave you spellbound.
The trek to Tulian Lake starts from the popular hill station of Pahalgam, which serves as the base camp. The trail ascends through lush green meadows, and dense forests of pine and cedar, and crosses several small streams, offering glimpses of the diverse flora and fauna of the region. The trek also offers a unique opportunity to interact with the local Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes, who spend their summers in these high-altitude meadows, thus providing a cultural insight into their nomadic lifestyle.
As you continue on the trail, the scenic beauty of the landscape becomes more captivating. The rugged mountain terrain, the serene beauty of the lake, and the breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks make this trek an unforgettable experience. On reaching the lake, the sight of the azure waters set against the backdrop of towering peaks is a spectacle to behold, making all the exertion worthwhile.
Despite being a comparatively easy trek, it is suitable for both experienced trekkers and beginners who are in good physical condition. The best time to embark on the Tulian Lake Trek is during the summer and monsoon months from June to September when the weather conditions are most favorable.
Embarking on the Tulian Lake Trek is not just about reaching the destination; it’s about immersing yourself in the journey. It’s about experiencing the tranquility of nature, the thrill of the climb, and the joy of achieving a challenging goal. It’s about creating memories that will last a lifetime.
Distance: 89 km (Drive) & 2.5 km (Trek)
Time: 3 hours (Drive) & 3 hours (Trek)
Ganshibal Altitude: 2,160 m (7,087 ft)
Guriwar Altitude: 2,470 m (8,103 ft)
Welcome to the city of Srinagar, where your adventure begins! Located just 90 km away from Pahalgam, this charming city sets the stage for an unforgettable experience. When you join the trek with Advenchar, transportation to Ganshibal is already taken care of, so you can relax and focus on the journey ahead. But if you’re arranging things on your own, don’t worry! Shared vehicles are readily available from Srinagar to Pahalgam.
Ganshibal, a serene village just a short 2 km distance from Pahalgam, marks the starting point of your trek. It’s nestled on the right banks of the Lidder River and holds great religious significance. Local folklore tells us that Lord Ganesha rested here before continuing his journey to the Amarnath shrine. Devotees often pay their respects before embarking on their own adventures.
From Ganshibal, the real adventure begins. The trail to Guriwar is a gentle ascent spanning about 2.5 km, taking approximately 3 hours to complete. As you venture into the dense spruce forest, you’ll come across a clearing with local eateries (called dhabas) and a water filter plant. Crossing a small stream, a river captivates your attention, intriguingly originating from Tulian Lake!
Once you re-enter the treeline, you’ll enjoy a cool shade under the sparse pine and spruce trees for the next half hour, until you reach a wooden bridge. Just before the bridge, the trail splits. Choose the path on the right, cross the river, and get ready for breathtaking views of a valley unfolding before your eyes.
This valley, nestled between the mighty Pir Panjal and Himalayan mountain ranges, boasts unparalleled beauty. You’ll witness horses and cattle grazing leisurely in the sprawling meadows. And if you follow the valley, it will lead you to another picturesque lake known as Sorus Nag.
The final leg of today’s trek involves a 1 km ascent to Guriwar. This enchanting campsite, surrounded by coniferous trees, treats your eyes to panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Rest assured, no obstructed vistas here! As you set up camp amidst the lush green meadows adorned with vibrant wildflowers, take in the awe-inspiring views of Pahalgam. It truly feels like stepping into a dream.
As the day comes to a close, get ready to spend a night under the stars, with excitement for tomorrow’s adventures gently lulling you to sleep.
Distance: 6 km
Time: 6 hours
Tulian Valley Altitude: 3,247 m (10,653 ft)
As dawn breaks on your second day, the first rays of sunlight gently illuminate the scenic campsite at Guriwar. After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to lace up your boots and get ready for the trek ahead. Today, you’ll be heading toward the stunning Tulian Valley.
The trail from Guriwar to Tulian Valley is around 6 km and typically takes about 5-6 hours to complete. But don’t worry, this isn’t a race. The aim is to enjoy every moment, soak in the scenery, and pace yourself comfortably.
As you begin your trek, you’ll notice the terrain gradually ascending through rolling meadows dotted with wildflowers. The air might start to feel thinner as you climb higher, but take this as a sign that you’re making progress and getting closer to your destination.
Soon, you’ll find yourself amidst a dense forest of pine and spruce trees. The scent of pine needles, the rustling leaves underfoot, and the occasional birdcall create an atmosphere that’s both serene and invigorating. It’s moments like these that make trekking such a rewarding experience.
About halfway through the day, you’ll reach a vantage point out of the forest and you’ll find the Tulian Valley expanding before you. This spot offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and it’s an ideal place to rest, have lunch, and capture some memorable photographs.
Post lunch, the trail is gradual and brings you closer to the Tulian Valley. And trust me, the view that awaits you there makes every bit of effort worth it.
Upon reaching the Tulian Valley, you’ll be greeted by the sight of your camps. The campsite at Tulian Valley is nothing short of idyllic. With the tranquil Tulian Nala flowing nearby and the stars twinkling above, it’s the perfect spot to unwind after a day of trekking. The valley is also home to various wildlife species, so keep your eyes peeled. You might just spot a Himalayan marmot if you’re incredibly lucky.
As you settle in for the night, sharing stories around the camp, you’ll realize the true beauty of being in the great outdoors. Remember, trekking is not just about reaching the destination. It’s about enjoying the journey, experiencing the wonders of nature, and overcoming challenges along the way.
Distance: 6 km
Time: 7 hours
Tulian Lake Altitude: 3,684 m (12,087 ft)
Wake up to a serene morning in the Tulian Valley. As you step out of your tent, the sight of the majestic snow-capped peaks bathed in the soft glow of the sunrise is a sight to behold. After a hearty breakfast, it’s time to embark on the much-awaited part of your trek – the trek to Tulian Lake.
The trek from Tulian Valley to Tulian Lake is a short but steep climb. The trail, though challenging, is incredibly rewarding. As you navigate through rugged terrains, remember to take frequent breaks and hydrate regularly. It’s not about how fast you reach the lake; it’s about enjoying the journey and making the most of the experience.
As you ascend, the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains get even more spectacular. With every step forward, you’ll find yourself getting closer to the pristine beauty of Tulian Lake. When you finally catch your first glimpse of the lake, all the effort you put into the trek feels worth it.
Tulian Lake, nestled amidst towering peaks, is a sight to behold. The crystal-clear waters reflecting the surrounding mountains create a mesmerizing view that’s bound to leave you in awe. Spend some time here, soaking in the tranquil beauty of the lake. Capture these moments in your camera, or simply sit by the lakeside, immersing yourself in the serenity of nature.
After spending a few hours at the lake, it’s time to start your descent back to the Tulian Valley. The return trail is steep but offers some of the most picturesque views of the trek. Take your time as you descend, enjoying the beauty of the landscape that unfolds before you.
Upon reaching the camp, unwind and relax your tired muscles. As you spend another night under the star-studded sky, look back at the day’s journey with a sense of accomplishment. You’ve not only trekked to the beautiful Tulian Lake and back but also created memories.
Tomorrow we head back to civilization, so make sure to savor every moment of this enchanting experience!
Distance: 8.5 km
Time: 4 hours
As you wake up on the fourth day, savor the last morning in the Tulian Valley. The mountains that have been your home for the past few days are bathed in the soft hues of the morning sun, creating a mesmerizing landscape. After a nourishing breakfast, it’s time to pack up your camp and prepare for the journey back to Ganshibal.
The trek from Tulian Valley to Ganshibal covers a distance of 8.5 km and usually takes about 4 hours. While the descent is easier compared to the ascent, it’s important to tread carefully on the steep sections of the trail.
As you start your descent, take one last look at the stunning Tulian Valley and remember the thrill of reaching this beautiful destination, the challenges you overcame, and the memories you made along the way.
The trail back to Ganshibal retraces the path you took a few days ago, but the experience is far from repetitive. The views from a different perspective, the familiarity of the trail, and the sense of accomplishment make this journey just as exciting.
Remember to take frequent breaks, hydrate yourself, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the trail. As you navigate through meadows, forests, and streams, keep an eye out for any wildlife that you may encounter on your way.
Upon reaching Ganshibal, it’s time to bid farewell to the mountains that have been your home for the past few days. From Ganshibal, a vehicle will be waiting to transport you back to Srinagar. As you drive away, take one last look at the majestic mountains. While this marks the end of your Tulian Lake Trek, the experiences you’ve had and the memories you’ve created are just the beginning of many more adventures to come.
The Tulian Lake Trek is classified as a trek of easy difficulty. While the trail does involve some steep slopes and uneven terrains, it is manageable for most people with a reasonable level of fitness.
Prior trekking experience can be helpful but is not mandatory. It’s important to be prepared for high-altitude trekking and to acclimatize properly to prevent altitude sickness. As always, slow and steady pacing, regular hydration, and adequate rest are key to successfully completing this trek.
The requirements for participation in the Tulian Lake Trek include:
Physical Fitness: Participants should be physically fit and active. The trek involves steep climbs and long walking hours, so adequate physical preparation is necessary.
Age: Children above twelve years old who are physically fit and active can participate in the Tulian Lake Trek.
Medical Clearance: It’s recommended to get a medical clearance from a registered medical officer or institute before embarking on the trek. This is to ensure that you’re fit to undertake high-altitude trekking and can withstand the physical demands of the trek.
Trekking Gear: Participants are required to have the necessary trekking gear. This includes good-quality trekking shoes, warm clothing, a raincoat, a backpack, water bottles, snacks, personal medication, and other essentials.
Respect for Nature: Participants should respect the natural environment and adhere to the principles of leaving no trace. This includes not littering, not disturbing wildlife, and minimizing the impact on the environment.
Team Spirit: Trekking is a team activity, so participants should have a positive attitude and a spirit of cooperation. They should be willing to help each other and work together to overcome the challenges of the trek.
On the Tulian Lake Trek, you can expect to enjoy delicious and healthy meals prepared by experienced cooks.
Breakfast typically includes items such as bread toast, poha, upma, besan chilla, aloo paratha, pancakes, etc. Lunch usually consists of pulao, fried rice, rajma (kidney beans), kofta (vegetable balls), kadhi (yogurt-based dish), salad, and pickles. Snacks like pakora (fritters), pasta, and popcorn are also served in the evening along with tea or coffee.
In addition to these meals, it’s also a good idea to carry plenty of chocolates, dry fruits, biscuits, and other snacks for energy while trekking. Dried fruits, seeds, and nuts are great for instant energy boosts while dates and sesame seed-based food are ideal for colder temperatures.
If you have any specific dietary requirements, you can get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to accommodate them.
The Tulian Lake Trek is typically a camping trek, which means that trekkers will stay in tents along the trail. Accommodation will be in high-quality camping tents suitable for mountainous conditions. These tents are usually spacious and designed to accommodate 2-3 people. They are also waterproof and wind-resistant to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.
At the start and end points of the trek, in Ganshibal and Srinagar, there are a variety of accommodations available ranging from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. Trekkers usually stay in these accommodations before starting the trek and after finishing it.
Please note that all campsite locations are decided based on the progress made each day and can change due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances. All camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags, and mattresses is provided as part of the trek package.
As the Tulian Lake Trek takes place in a remote area, there are no medical facilities available on the trekking route. It is essential to bring appropriate medicines for personal use, such as medicines for altitude sickness, cold, cough, or stomach upset.
Advenchar’s trek leaders are wildness first-aid course certified. They are equipped with a first-aid kit along with an oxygen cylinder at campsites. You can be sure that you’re in safe hands on the trek.
However, if you have any ongoing medications or pre-existing conditions, it’s important to carry the medications and to communicate the same with the trek leader before starting the trek.
In case of a severe medical emergency, we will arrange for evacuation and hospitalization, and the participant will be taken to the nearest medical center.
Given the varying weather conditions on the Tulian Lake Trek, it’s important to pack clothing that can keep you comfortable throughout the journey. Here’s a suggested list:
Thermal Wear: Thermal innerwear is essential for cold nights and chilly early mornings. They provide an extra layer of insulation and help retain body heat.
Trekking Clothes: Pack full-sleeve t-shirts and trekking pants. They should ideally be made of quick-drying material that wicks away sweat. Avoid jeans as they can get heavy and uncomfortable when wet.
Warm Layers: Carry fleece jackets or down jackets for warmth. A lightweight but warm jacket is ideal for the evenings when temperatures drop.
Rainwear: As light showers are possible, carrying a high-quality waterproof and windproof jacket is recommended. A poncho can also be useful.
Accessories: Don’t forget to pack a good quality sun cap or hat for protection against the sun. Sunglasses with UV protection, a scarf or buff, and gloves are also necessary.
Footwear: Good quality, waterproof trekking shoes are a must. They should have good ankle support and a sturdy grip. Also, carry several pairs of socks.
Remember, the key is to dress in layers so that you can add or remove clothing as needed based on the weather and your level of activity. Also, all your clothing should be packed in waterproof bags to ensure they stay dry even if it rains.
Preparing for the Tulian Lake Trek involves both physical preparation and packing the right equipment. Here are some tips on how to prepare:
Cardiovascular Training: Start with regular cardio exercises like running, cycling, or swimming to improve your stamina. Aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio, 4-5 times a week.
Strength Training: Include strength training exercises in your routine to build muscle strength. Focus on leg and core strength which are crucial for trekking.
Flexibility Exercises: Regular stretching and yoga can improve your flexibility and balance which will help you on uneven terrains.
Altitude Training: If possible, try to spend some time at high altitudes before the trek to acclimatize your body to lower oxygen levels.
Equipment and Packing:
Trekking Gear: Carry a sturdy backpack, good quality trekking shoes, a trekking pole, water bottles, and a headlamp.
Clothing: Pack clothing suitable for various weather conditions including thermal wear, trekking clothes, warm layers, rainwear, and necessary accessories.
Medical Kit: Carry a basic medical kit with essentials like band-aids, antiseptic creams, pain relievers, altitude sickness medication, and any personal medication.
Snacks: Energy bars, dry fruits, and electrolyte powder can be helpful to maintain energy levels during the trek.
Remember, preparation is key for a successful and enjoyable trek. Hence, start preparing at least a month before the trek to ensure you’re physically ready and have all the necessary gear and supplies.
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