The Pir Panjal Trek -All you need to know

The Pir Panjal Trek is one of Kashmir’s most adventurous and spellbinding Trek. This is a moderate-level trek that you can complete in 7 days at the highest altitude13,330 ft. Therefore, many people choose to opt for the trek on weekends and enjoy the peaceful environment. The Pir Panjal Trek includes dense forests with Pine and Oak trees. This trek is known as the hidden gem of Kashmir. Moreover, along with Pine and Oak trees, you will be able to experience 14 lakes. This trek lets you spot and enjoy 14 different lakes with the most beautiful views. Every lake has its own enhancing beauty with separate scenery. 

Along with the outstanding view trekkers also get to see the rich culture of the Pir Panjal villages. If you are friendly and want to make the most of the Pir Panjal trek you can have the best local food. With these experiences, you will have a lifetime memory with you. In the trial of the trek, you will spot many different species of birds. The 14 lakes are massive, however, you can see the lakes from the ascend. Moreover, you will see that the lakes can change their colors which is a rare beauty. 

Highlights of The Pir Panjal trek

  • On the way, trekkers will run into different high-altitude lakes.
  • You can enjoy the view of numerous lakes on your route. However, the most noticeable lakes are Tarsar Lake, Marsar Lake, and Sundarsar Lake.
  • Many trekkers encounter 4 different meadows; Thera, Paindhari, Kuan, and Byad. you can cover these meadows within 6 days. 
  • You can try the local food such as Rogan Josh, and enjoy the traditional tea called Kahwa. 
  • While in The Pir Panjal, you will be able to encounter Himalayan bears (both black and brown), musk deer, and snow leopards. 
  • Along with the wildlife animals, you can find regional birds like the Himalayan monal, golden eagle, and bearded vulture. 

Journey of The Pir Panjal Trek.

  • We started our first day with a drive from Srinagar to Chandimarh. The duration of the drive was between 4 to 5 hours. However, the drive distance was about 125km. While travelling we went through the iconic Mughal Road. Chandimarh is your first village of The Pir Panjal Trek, hence it has a small market. On the first day stay you can visit the beautiful and famous waterfall named Noori Chamb. It is the tallest waterfall in the Poonch region. If you are fine and not tired you can visit the waterfall however, if not the waterfall comes in your way of trekking the next day. There is a reminder that the route includes an army checkpoint. Hence, it is necessary to have your ID with you. 
  • On your second day, you have to trek from Chandimarh to Thera for a duration of 8 to 9 hours. The distance of the second-day trek is 8km with an altitude of 5,184 ft to 9,360 ft. On your trek on 2nd day, you will catch sight of the Government school and Shiva Temple. Moreover, be careful as the temple is the base point also known as the patrolling point of the army. Therefore, you should provide them with information about the trek group. On your second day of The Pir Panjal Trek, you will mostly go through dense forest. In the trial, you will come across Cheii village and this village is unique. Hence trekkers can be attracted by the village. After trekking for about 7 km you will find a vast open valley known as Girjan Meadows. It is known that Girjan Meadow is the largest in the Poonch region. From your first campsite to Thera you will see many clusters of stepped Dhoks (huts). Moreover, the view of the overall day is going to ring a bell later for you. 
  • 3rd day is a trek from Thera to Khuan with a duration of about 9-10 km and a drive of 8 hrs. Moreover, the altitude of this day is 9,357 ft to 10,900 ft. Walking through the trail you are going to experience beautiful scenery that includes dense trees and butterflies revolving around the place. There is a viewpoint called Bada Thera and from there you can see the view of The Pir Panjal Trek. however, to reach the top you have to go through the zig-zag walk. After covering the last forest of the trek you will enter the tiny ridge. However, the ridge opens up the view of Pir Panjal mountain and the Tathakuti peak. Ahead you will come to a meadow called Paindhari which is just 2km away from the campsite. 
  • On the 4th day, you will trek from Khuan to Neelsar which includes a drive of 5-6 hrs. However, the duration of the trek is 5-6km. The altitude of The Pir Panjal Trek is 10,900 ft to 12,170 ft. The fourth day of the trek is known most mesmerizing one as you will trek and see the first alpine lake called Neelsar. Moreover, you will camp near the lake. Trekkers are also going to experience Griffons that are gonna be flying above your head. Here, on this day of The Pir Panjal Trek, you will see a beautiful Byad meadow. This meadow is very beautiful with greenery all over and you will cover the whole meadow with green carpet. 
  • Moving ahead on the 5th day you have to trek from Neelsar to Chandansar. The duration of the trek is 7km with 7-8 hrs. Firstly, you have to cross the Kaldachni Pass, and after passing the pass you have to trek towards Nandasar. On the fifth day of The Pir Panjal trek trekkers are going to bump into three beautiful lakes; Kaldachinisar, Nandansar, and Chandan. One of the largest lakes in the region is Nandsar, villagers also worship the lake. however, every day you will see that the lake changes its color which is a miracle in itself. After discovering all the views and lakes you will reach your camping location which is near Chandarsar Lake. 
  • 6th day is a trek from Chandansar to Nandansar via Handusar. It is a 7-8 hrs trek with a duration of 9 -10 km. Here you have to climb the second pass called Khabi ki Gali. This is the shorter pass however, you can face some boulders. After climbing the pass you will see another lake called Laksukhsar. However, after reaching Laksukhar you will be returning from Handusar. 
  • On the 7th day, you have to trek from Nandansar to Peer Ki Gali and then drive to Srinagar. The 7th day of the Pir Panjal trek is of 6hrs and 10km. This day is the last day of the trek therefore, you can relax a little bit. On this day you are going to see a small lake called Kalasar. The trail of this day is very mesmerizing and unbelievable so, at last, you enjoy each moment. 

The Difficulty of Pir Panjal Trek

Although it is a moderate-difficult trek, however, many hurdles can make The Pir Panjal Trek difficult. Each day you can gain about 2,500 ft – 3,000 ft. However, to reach to certain pass you have to climb, and while doing that you have to be careful and aware. As the amount of altitude gain is higher you have to be careful as you can suffer from AMS. Moreover, The Pir Panjal Trek includes many boulders that can be a big problem therefore just be focused on the trail. 

Moreover, during the winters the area is covered with snow so, you have to be careful as snow is unpredictable and it makes the place unprepredictable too. However, while walking near the lakes be attentive and take steps firmly. 

Best time for Pir Panjal Trek

From June to September is the best time to do Pir Panjal Trek. In June and July, the weather is pleasant. However, ice floats the bigger lakes and thus, it makes the lake more attractive. The day temperature is more warmer than the night temperature therefore, it’s best to cover the trek till evening. Moreover, everyone should avoid doing the trek at night. As there is no help from nature in the case of light and the probability of wildlife. 

However, in August the weather becomes beautiful, and the scenery changes because of the blooming of flowers. On the trail of The Pir Panjal Trek, you can find tiny flowers of different colors like violet, purple yellow, and white. This makes the trek more charismatic. Moreover, while moving forward from August to September you will see that the cold increases. The meadows start turning from green to golden brown. Due to the cold, the grass is no longer soft and green in color however, you will find a change in tone in the environment. Due to the cold many people avoid going in September, however, it’s one’s decision. This is not one of the most comfortable time to do The Pir Panjal Trek.