Tulian Lake trek
Tulian lake(3353m) is a wonderful glacial lake in Kashmir Valley, nestled away in the lap of Pir Panjal Range and the Zanskar range. The lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides, which remain covered in snow mostly throughout the year (Given the effects of global warming). The lake is popular among tourists, trekkers and the locals for its odd shape. The lake is actually shaped like the digit 8.
The trek starts from Pahelgam, situated 100kms from Srinagar. The total trek is approximately 42 kms and trek’s difficulty level is moderate.
DAY 1: Pahalgam to Baisaran (5 Kms, 3-4 hours)
The purpose of this day is to acclimatize and enjoy the beautiful valley. You would be walking through the forest on a path till Baisaran. We would be camping in Baisaran for the night. People from the “Bakkarwal” aka Shepard community would meet all along the way up to the Tulian Marag (Tulian Lake base camp).
DAY 2: Baisaran to Tulian Marag (11 Kms, 6-7 hours)
This day we would encounter 2-3 kms steep ascents twice during our trek to Tulian Marag (Tulian Lake base camp). We would be walking through dense alpine forests and a gentle FYI, that it is bear territory. So, people need to be careful and cautious. Coming from personal experience, the entire trek is very exciting and filled with visual surprises at every step of the way. Tulian Marag is a perfect camping site and very popular with the “Bakkarwals” and Himalayan Marmots. There was a time when Marmots used to freely roam in the valley in abundance and they are pretty territorial (not kidding) but, harmless.
DAY 3: Tulian Marag to Tulian Lake and Back (10 Kms, 6-7 hours)
The distance to the lake from the campsite is approximately 5 kms and takes about 3 hours to reach this majestic and oddly shaped glacial lake. It takes about 40 minutes to reach the top side of the valley and the excitement starts bubbling up again to get the first few glimpses of the lake. But one would need to really push themselves up the steep protective wall of boulders and loose rocks to get the first sight of the lake. That feeling is really refreshing when one finally reaches to the top and gets a clear view of the glacial water body. The water is glistening and the color of the water is blue and green, a breathtaking sight. After enjoying our packed lunch, the plan is to go to the other side of the lake. As, there isn’t any place to camp near the lake, we go back to Tulian Marag to rest for the night.
DAY 4: Tulian Marag to Kanimool (8 Kms, 4-5 hours)
A beautiful descent through the Alpine forest takes you through the thick fauna. It is a sensory overload, to walk through such a forest, due to all the smells and fragrances of wild herbs, bushes, shrubs and the trees. Until we reach Kanimool, a meadow, which is a famous camping place amongst the “Bakkarwals”. We too would be pitching our tents in Kanimool for the night.
DAY 5: Kanimool to Pahalgam (8 Kms, 4-5 hours)
A very relaxing descent through the forest and meadows to Pahalgam.