Perched 36,00 m above sea level, the beautiful Gadsar Lake located in the Himalayan Ranges is considered one of the highest altitude lakes in the Kashmir region. Gadsar Lake is situated at a distance of 28 km from Sonamarg among the snow- capped mountains. This lake lies on the famous trekking route that connects many high altitude lakes in this area. The pristine lake wears a splendid look with its waters changing colours as per the weather conditions. During clear day, it is dark blue and when clouds overcast, it turns into deep green. Witnessing sun rise and sun set here is the most mesmerizing experience.
Gadsar Lake in literal translation in Kashmiri stands for the ‘the lake of fishes’. As such, this lake is a must-visit for anglers and fishing enthusiasts for the famous brown trout fish that abounds in its crystal clear waters and can be easily baited. The Lake stretches up to 0.85 kilometres with a width of 0.76 km and remains frozen from November to April. Even the floating ice bergs are seen in summer as well when the temperature around the lake is not that freezing. During summers, the entire area surrounding the lake is bedecked with a wide range of wild flowers, consigning its landscape a stunning look. It is thus called ‘valley of flowers’ as well. There is plenty of space for pitching tents and one can enjoy its serene proximity for days together without any disturbance or interference.
There are two tracks leading to this pristine lake. One is from Naranag which is a 28 km alpine track and another is 41 km northwest from Shitkadi Sonamarg via Vishansar and Krishansar lakes that leads to the Gadsar Lake. During the trek one has to cross two mountain passes of Nichnai and Gadsar of an altitude, more than 4100 meters above sea level. The best time to visit is from the month of June to September when the snow is no more in the track, just topping the mountain summits and shadowy patches that only add to the charm of the place. However, while setting foot on this adventurous journey, keep warm clothes and rainproof jackets with you as weather can change mood anytime.