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The Complete Guide to the Danizab Meadow Trek

Jannat-e-Kashmir! Kashmir is often thought of as heaven on earth for its picturesque panoramas of snow-dusted mountains and expansive rolling green meadows. And for exactly this reason, the Danizab Meadow Trek is quintessentially Kashmir. 

The Danizab Meadow Trek starts from Yousmarg, a hill station and famous tourist destination in the Budgam district of the Kashmir Valley. Located in the Pir Panjal region, the Danizab Meadow falls inside the Yousmarg Forest Range and shares its boundaries with Heerpora Wildlife Sanctuary.

Danizab Meadow is famous for its enchanting carpet of greens and charming flower blooms. Over the years, it has slowly but steadily attracted the attention of intrepid trekkers and adventurers. 

Surrounded by the steep and jagged mountains of the Pir Panjal range, which are part of the Lower Himalayas, the Danizab Meadow Trek allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Kashmir. Lying in the backdrop of the awe-inspiring Danizab Meadow is the equally breathtaking Sunset Peak, known locally as Romshi Thong. 

The famous Romshi Nallah that flows through the meadow gets its water from the Sunset Glacier. Apart from the obvious reason of it being a good water source, trekkers prefer to camp here due to its stunning surroundings. 

The Danizab Meadow serves as the base camp for various trekking and climbing expeditions such as Sunset Peak, Trusar Lakes and Magrusar Lake. During June and July, the entire meadow is filled with wildflowers. The areas surrounding the fields are rich in flora, and you can spot flowers such as Potentialla, Sheed Khaar, Rheum Emodii, Wall. ex Meisn and Saussurea Costus quite easily. 

In terms of fauna, locals have reported black bears, leopards, snow leopard, and jackal sightings though few and far between. 

The trek is open from May to September, but if you want to see the meadows at the greenest and the flowers in full bloom, June and July are the best months to visit. 

The Danizab Meadow Trek is an easy-moderate level trek and is suitable for fit beginners and experienced trekkers.

Table of Contents:

  • Highlights of the Danizab Meadow Trek
  • Quick Itinerary
  • GPX File And Route Map Of The Trek
  • Know Your Trek
  • How Difficult is the Danizab Meadow Trek?
  • Is the Danizab Meadow Trek Safe?
  • Best Time to do The Danizab Meadow Trek
  • Weather And Temperature on the Trek
  • How to Plan Your Travel
  • What to Take on Your Trek
  • How To Get Fit For The Trek
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Nearby Places To Visit After The Trek

Highlights of Danizab Meadow Trek

1. Mesmerizing views of mountains and meadows from Danizab Meadow

Standing at 10,800 feet above sea level, the views from the Danizab Meadow are breathtaking.

The peaks of Mount Harmukh, White Needle, Brahma Sakili and Mount Kolahoi lie in the East. 

The flower-laden meadows of Lidermar and Diskel and the Ashtaar Valley lie on the West. 

This high altitude meadow offers panoramic views of the lush green forests of Doodhpathri, Yousmarg and Tosamaidan.

As you enter the Danizab Meadow, you will be rewarded with far-reaching views of Srinagar city, Budgam and some parts of North Kashmir as well.

Flower Carpet - Danizab Meadow - Indiahikes - Saliyah Ahmad

A carpet of flowers and majestic mountains welcome you to the Danizab Meadow. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

2. Sublime views from Danizab Meadow

The Danizab Meadows is best known for its stunning views of Sunset peak, Romshi Nallah and the Chienmarg waterfall. 

The golden glow during sunrise and sunset is absolutely magical and will create memories that will stay with you forever. The landscape serves as the perfect canvas for photographers and nature lovers. 

Lying in the middle of a vast expanse of undulating meadows and watching the stars come out one by one to create the Milky Way is an experience that needs to be felt.

Wildflowers, particularly Iris, Lavender, Himalayan Indigo, and Dandelion, are common around the Danizab campsite and add to the allure of the area. 

The view of the lush green Bargah meadow on the left side of the campsite adds an extra dimension of beauty to the Danizab campsite. 

Danizab campsite - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Surrounded by greenery and majestic mountains, the Danizab Meadows makes for an unforgettable campsite location. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

3. Trekking through the dense Dragdolan Trail

The Danizab Meadow Trek starts on the Dragdolan Trail made by the forest department and passes through a dense forest. Populated by pine and fir trees, a hike on this trail is a pleasant experience for your senses, with the scent of trees and the chirping of birds giving you company. If you are trekking from May to July, you will find this section of the trek filled with wild mulberries. 

The Dragdolan Trail is a bird watcher's paradise. You can spot various species of Himalayan birds such as the Golden Oriole, Pied Kingfisher, Rock Pigeon and more on the trail.  

You will be able to see huts belonging to local shepherd and nomad communities. You can even meet members of several nomad communities and get an insight into their culture and lifestyle.

Dense Dragdolan Trail - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Walking through the dense Dragdolan Trail is a great way to sensitize your senses to the sights, sounds and aromas of nature.Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Trail Information

Route Map

Danizab Trek - Route Map - Screenshot on Google Earth Pro

Route map of the Danizab Meadow Trek. Screenshot on Google Earth Pro

Quick Itinerary

Day 1: Srinagar to Yousmarg

Altitude:  7,110 feet
Distance: 48 km
Duration: 2.20 hours

The base of the Danizab Meadow Trek is Yousmarg which is about 48 km from Lal Chowk, Srinagar. You can take a nonstop shared taxi or hire a private cab from Lal Chowk or from the Srinagar International Airport to reach yousmarg. You can also take the public SRTC bus if you’d like but be aware that your travel time will increase. 

Day 2: Yousmarg to Danizab Campsite

Altitude Gain:  7,110 ft to 10,413 ft
Distance: 13 km
Duration: 7 hours

Trek Type: Easy-moderate. A moderate ascent through the mud trail will lead you to a wide opening where you can see the Doodhganga river flowing. A series of small descents and gentle ascents will take you through the Dragdolan Trail and to the Danizab campsite. Water sources are the restaurants and government drinking taps at Yousmarg and streams on the way to Danizab meadows. 

Day 3: Danizab Meadows to Chienmarg Waterfall and back

Altitude Gain and Loss: 10,413 ft to 11,126 ft, and back to 10,413 feet
Distance: 2 km
Duration: 3 hours

Trek Type: Moderate. Trek for one kilometre to the top of the waterfall for expansive views of nearby peaks and meadows of the Kashmir Valley. The waterfall will be your water source for the day.

Day 4: Danizab Meadows to Yousmarg

Altitude Loss:  10,413 feet to 7,110 feet
Distance: 13 km
Duration: 5 hours

Trek Type: Easy. A gradual descent from the alpine zone will take you to the forest line. Descend through the forest trail parallel to the Doodhganga river to reach Yousmarg. You can refill your water bottles at the small streams or from the river. 

Detailed Itinerary

Here’s How Each Day Looks

Day 1: Reach Yousmarg from Srinagar

Yousmarg is about 48 km from Lal Chowk, Srinagar and about 34 km from Chadoora. You can take a non-stop shared taxi from Lal Chowk or Srinagar International Airport to reach Yousmarg. 

A shared taxi from Lal Chowk will take 2 hours, 20 minutes and Rs.200 to reach Yousmarg. A private taxi will cost you anywhere from Rs.2,600 to Rs.3,500. You can also take a bus from the SRTC terminal at Lal Chowk to Charar Sharief, and then you will have to catch another cab or shared taxi to get to Yousmarg.

En route Yousmarg - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Tall trees line the roads leading to Yousmarg. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Tip: Make necessary phone calls before reaching Yousmarg as it is a no network zone. However, when you move to higher altitudes on your trek, you might be able to get some connectivity, though it is patchy. You will get Airtel and BSNL connectivity at the top of the Chienmarg waterfall.

Day 2: Yousmarg campsite to Danizab campsite

Trek Gradient. Easy to moderate. Trek through the forest trail. Quick ascent from Dragdolan to Danizab campsite.
Water sources - You can fill your water bottles before leaving from Srinagar or fill your bottle at any of the government water taps. You don’t have to take too much water because you will start crossing streams within half an hour of the trek.

Start your trek from Dam Point in Yousmarg. The trail, which enters into the forest zone, is visible to the east of Yousmarg. Ask any of the locals for the Danizab Trail or the Forest Department Trail, and they will point you in the right direction.

Once you are on the mud trail, follow the trail line through beautiful dense forest. You will take the same trail for more than half of your trek. After an hour of incremental hike, you will approach a wide opening point, and you will be able to see the Doodhganga river flowing across.

Clearing One - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

The trail opens up to this wide opening point with green views after the first part of your trek. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Trek closer to the river and fill your water bottles here, if needed. 

From here, the trail will follow the river until you reach another wide opening. The trail will now intersect with the Doodhganga river. Cross the Doodhganga river by walking across the wooden bridge. You will now be on the other side of the river.

Second clearing - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

The Doodhganga river cuts across the meadow - a beautiful sight to take in during your trek. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

You will see colonies of gujjar huts there. Follow the trail on your right side and this will take you to the top of the ridge. Once you are at the top of the ridge, you have reached Dragdolan.

View from Dragdolan - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

A 4-hour trek from Yousmarg will bring you to Dragdolan. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

The trail from Yousmarg to Dragdolan is muddy and gets slippery when it rains. 

Tip: Make sure you wear proper trekking shoes with good grip as well as ankle support. Carry at least one trekking pole for extra stability. 

Dragdolan Trail - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Trek amongst towering trees on the Dragdolan trail. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Once you are at  Dragdolan, you have entered the alpine zone. 

You will see a wide gully in front of you. Descend for 300 meters till you cross the gully. You will have to cross a small stream that flows across the gully.  

The trail turns grassy and quickly ascends to the ridge in front of you. The course is now moderate in difficulty level. You will see colonies of shepherds in and around the Dragdolan meadow. Take a break here and enjoy interacting with the local shepherds.

After a one-hour ascent, you will reach the sacred stone of Sheikh Noor Ud Din Noorani. It is believed that the sheikh used to pray on that holy stone. Nomads have covered this area with small rocks and bushes.

Sufi saint shrine - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Pause for a few minutes at the Pir kin, the sacred stone of Sheikh Noor Ud Din Noorani. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Trek along a gentle ascent of around 3 km to reach your campsite. It will be the last climb of the day. You are in the Danizab meadows.

Pro Tip: We recommend you camp in the middle of the meadow. It will give you close access to water, and you will enjoy a 360° view of the mountains and meadows.

If you are trekking in June or July, you will witness the entire meadow in full bloom. Seeing blooms of different hues against the backdrop of snow-clad mountains adds an extra dimension of beauty to the trek. Sometimes you can witness the entire central Kashmir under a thick cloud cover. This beautiful destination serves as a base camp for various treks and expeditions, particularly the Sunset Peak Expedition, Magrusar Lake Trek, and the Trusar Lake Trek.

Tip: Due to the altitude, the temperature drops at night and sometimes goes below zero. It is advisable to pack warm clothes for the trek.

View from Dragdolan meadow - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

The vast expanse of the Danizab Meadow will fill your heart and mind with wonderment and happiness.  Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Day 3: Danizab Meadows to Chienmarg Waterfall Top

Trek Gradient: Easy, one hour’s hike parallel to the waterfall.
Water Sources: You can fill your water bottles at the river or at the waterfall as you trek to the top.

After spending the night at Danizab you can start your trek to the top of Cheinmarg waterfall. There is no defined trail here. 

Follow the grassland parallel to the waterfall till you reach the top. The trek from the campsite to the top of the waterfall is not too demanding and will take about an hour.

Chienmarg Waterfall - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Trek over rocks to get to the top of the waterfall. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Chienmarg top offers a birds-eye view of the entire Danizab meadow and the Bargah meadow. The views from the top are spellbinding. Spend a good one hour at the top and take in the scenery that unfolds all around you before starting your descent. 

View from top of waterfall - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

A bird’s eye view of Danizab Meadow awaits you at the top of the waterfall. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

You can also do a side trek to Trusar lakes. These three beautiful alpine lakes are just 3 km away from the waterfall point. Himalayan herbs like Taraxacum Officinale, Saussurea Costus and Rheum Emodii, Wall. ex Meisn, Sheed Khaar are common around the snout of the waterfall.

Retrace your steps back to the Danizab meadows. Camp here for the night.

Herbal plant - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

The Sheed Khaar herb that is found near the waterfall. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

Day 4: Danizab Meadows to Yousmarg

Trek Gradient - A gentle descent makes the last day of this trek an easy one. Pace yourself and be mindful of your step.
Water Sources - You can fill your water bottle at the river and refill them at any of the streams that you will come upon during the descent back to Yousmarg. 

The last day of the trek is relatively easy and straightforward, as most of the trail is gradually descending. You will, once again, pass through the Dragdolan meadow.

It is almost a total descent, with only 300 meters of it being an ascent.

You will be trekking across lush grasslands and forest zones covered with pine, fir and deodar trees. Take breaks to hydrate yourself and take in the surroundings. 

Log bridge - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

You will get to experience multiple streams flowing through the valley on this trek. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

While descending, you can spend time with the local shepherds and nomads and observe their lifestyles. Friendly and welcoming, they will be happy to chat with you and share their experiences.

Gujjar huts - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Strike up a conversation with the local tribes and shepherds. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

How Difficult is Danizab Meadow Trek?

The Danizab Meadow Trek is an easy-moderate level trek. However, there are a couple of sections that might make it a little tricky for beginners.

Steep section - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

The trail from Dragdolan to the Danizab campsite is a steep yet short ascent. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

  • One of the sections where trekkers need to be mindful is the steep ascent from Dragdolan to the Danizab campsite.
  • The first section of the trek is of easy level as you will have to gain elevation of one kilometer till Dragdolan meadow gradually. The trail, however, is muddy, and when it rains, it can become slippery to walk on it.  Proper trekking shoes and trekking poles can make it easy for the trekkers to climb this section. 

The rest of the trek is an easy grade trek, perfect for beginner trekkers to enjoy hiking in the alpine zone.

The distance from the base camp to the campsite is around 14 km which is to be covered in a single day. While this might seem daunting, the easy gradient for most of the trek makes it a very doable and enjoyable task.

The trek has easy exits in case of a medical emergency. The nearest primary health centre is at Yousmarg, and the nearest police station is at Charar Sharief, 18 km from Yousmarg.

Is the Danizab Meadow Trek Safe?

Yes, trekking to Danizab Meadow is safe even though it lies in the alpine zone. The presence of friendly local shepherds and nomads who are always ready to lend a helping hand makes the trek even safer. 

Being mentally prepared for the trek is as important as being physically prepared to stay safe. It is crucial to have a clear mental picture of the expedition. Danizab Meadows share their boundaries with Heerpora Wildlife Sanctuary. You have to be vigilant because nomads have often spotted wildlife, particularly the Himalayan Black Bear, Leopard, and Jackal in the region. 

Note: The Gujjar tribes and local shepherds have very aggressive dogs. It is best to trek in groups of at least 3 to 4 people. If you are not in a group, avoid approaching gujjar huts without their permission.

Exit points on the Danizab Meadow trek

Medical Emergencies can strike on any trek, and the key to dealing with them lies in knowing your exit points. Learn how to get out and reach the nearest hospital quickly. The nearest exit point to Danizab meadow is Yousmarg. 

Closest hospital to Danizab Meadow Trek

In case of medical emergencies, head to the closest primary health centre located in Yousmarg. 

The nearest hospital to the Danizab Meadow Trek is the Charari Sharif sub-district hospital, 18 km from Yousmarg.

Nearest police station to Danizab Meadow Trek

The nearest police station is at Charari Sharif, 18 km away from Yousmarg.

Best Season to do the Danizab Meadow Trek

The best season to do the Danizab Meadow is Trek, from the end of May to September. Many parts of the trail remain under snow cover during the rest of the year. 

The best months to trek are June and July when the entire meadow is filled with flower blooms.

Due to its altitude, there is a high chance of rainfall and sometimes snowfall after September, so it is best to plan your trek during the above mentioned period.

Weather and Temperature on the Danizab Meadow Trek

Weather conditions are quite unpredictable at higher altitudes, and it is not uncommon to have a short rain spell at any point in time or month on the Danizab Meadow Trek. The Pir Panjal range is known for its frequent rain spells, and that, in large part, explains the refreshing green meadows of the region. 

There is a considerable difference in day and night temperatures on the trek. During the day, temperatures are above 15 °C, and at night times, however, the temperature can drop to sub-zero temperatures.   

How to Plan Your Travel

The Danizab Meadow Trek starts from the famous tourist destination of Kashmir, Yousmarg, which is 48 km from Srinagar city. Yousmarg is located in the Tehsil Charari Sharif of Budgam district of the Kashmir region.

A shared taxi will take 2 hours 20 minutes from Lal chowk, Srinagar to reach Yousmarg and cost you Rs.200. If you take a cab from Lal Chowk or Srinagar airport to Yousmarg, it will cost you between Rs.2,500 to Rs.3,500.

Reaching Yousmarg by your own vehicle

If you want to reach Yousmarg on your own, you can use Google Maps to set up this link

  • From Lal Chowk, head towards Chadoora via the Natipora flyover crossing. The distance from Lal Chowk to Chadoora is 14 km. It will take 35 mins to get there.
  • Once you reach Chadoora, cross the bridge towards Hospital road. Take the Charari Sharief route by looking at the signboard in front of you. The distance from Chadoora to Charari Sharif is 15 km.
  • Once you reach Nagam Chowk, take the left route for Charari Sharif. It will take 40 mins to get to Charari Sharif from Chadoora. 
  • When you reach Charari Sharif main chowk, take/turn left for the Yousmarg route. 
  • Yousmarg is 18 km away from Charari Sharif and will take you 30 mins to reach there. Charari Sharif is the last marketplace of your trek.
  • Remember, the route is hilly with blind curves, so keep your attention on the road and drive carefully.

Tip: Yousmarg is a no-network zone. Make all necessary calls before reaching Nagbal village.

Reaching Yousmarg by Public Transport System

Travelling to Yousmarg by public transport is slightly more tricky than using a private vehicle.

If you plan for public transport, start your journey as early in the day as possible.

You have two options for public transport - taxi or bus.

Taxi:

You can take a shared taxi from State Road Transport Corporation, Srinagar or the taxi stand at Lal Chowk. It will cost you Rs.100 and about 90 minutes to reach Charari Sharif. 

Bus:

Bus option is also available at the SRTC terminal. Take the bus that is headed towards Chadoora. Direct buses to Charari Sharif are also available based on public demand.

The bus takes 1 hour to reach Chadoora and costs Rs.20. The bus to Charari Sharief takes about 2 hours and costs Rs.50.

Once you reach the Charari Sharif taxi stand, take a taxi to Yousmarg. It will take 40 mins to get to Yousmarg and costs Rs.80.

Note: Direct bus service till Yousmarg is not available. You will have to travel via a mix of bus and taxi to reach the base. 

Note: Public transport is not available as per timing. Instead, it is based on seat demand. When the seats get full, the bus leaves for its intended destination. There may be a variation in timing given in the document due to traffic jams and seat demand.

If you have added a buffer day to your itinerary, taking a bus is a good option, and it is an inexpensive choice.

Pro Tip: During the peak season from June to August, you can take a direct taxi from SRTC SRINAGAR/Lal Chowk to Yousmarg.

Nearest Airport and Railway Station

Srinagar International Airport - 46 km

Srinagar Railway Station - 43 km

 

What to Take on Your Trek

Things to get for the Danizab Meadow Trek

Danizab Meadow Trek is a high altitude trek through the Pir Panjal range in Kashmir. The trekking gear you need to carry for this trek is a bit similar to our high altitude treks. So pay careful attention to this entire section.

– A list of everything you need for the trek

– A list of medicines for your trek

First, The Essentials. You cannot do the trek without these.

1. Trekking Shoes:

Danizab Meadow Trek requires trekking shoes that are sturdy, have good grip, have ankle support and can handle uneven terrain.

Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There really isn’t any necessity to buy the higher-priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.

2. Backpack:

For a trek like Danizab Meadow Trek, you need a 30-40 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. 

Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from.

3. Clothes:

Wearing layers is the mantra in the jungles. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes, you take off or put on layers as required. 

Base Layer:

2 T-Shirts:

Wear one T-shirt and carry one. Carry full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt or bitten by insects.

Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.

Buying Tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends, Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.

Protip If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space since you’re already carrying them. 

1 Outer Layer:

A padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t really need a water-resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.

Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket 

will do.

Note: Down/feather jackets are really not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.

One Trek Pant:

One pair of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Trek pants with zippered cut-offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon in case of small stream crossings/rain.

Buying Tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.

Track pants or trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trekking pants — so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup.

Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek. 

These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Danizab Meadow Trek without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first.

 1. Sun Cap:

A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sunstrokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance.

Protip Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks, and prevent sunburns in every possible way. Also, they are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide-brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way.  

2. Socks (2 Pairs):

Carry 2 pairs of sports socks to give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry. As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug at the night. If you cannot get woollen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well. 

3. Headlamp:

Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Danizab Meadow Trek, you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles.

Buying Tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you. 

4. Trekking Pole (A Pair):

Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Danizab Meadow Trek, there are a few steep ascents and descents. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India, we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.

5. Rainwear:

On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing.

Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are really not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.

6. Rain Cover for your Backpack:

Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes and your warm gear in your backpack. It is important that your backpack stays dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built-in rain covers. If your backpack does not have a rain cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover or (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic. 

Protip It’s good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.

Other Mandatory Requirements:

1. A Toilet Kit:

Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics - toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.

Protip Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.

Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like Pamsar Lake Trek.

For women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose of your sanitary waste.

2. Cutlery:

Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leakproof. You are expected to wash your own cutlery. 

Protip Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high-grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at its highest. Watch this video on why steel cutlery is better than plastic.

3. Two 1-Litre Bottles or a 2-Litre Hydration Pack:

Danizab Meadow Trek has a few long walking days. You need to carry two one-litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.

4. Plastic Covers:

Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.

Personal Medical Kit

Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times.  

1. Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain

2. Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one-half hour before the start of your road journey.

3. Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a Combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol.

4. Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS.

5. ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid-day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking.  Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.

6. Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.

How to get Fit for Your Trek

Cardiovascular Endurance

This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging every day. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for a strenuous trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.

Here’s a fitness routine that works:

–> Target completing 5 km in 40 minutes when you begin.

–> Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in less than 35 mins.

–> If you are 45 years old and above and are more comfortable with long-distance walking than jogging, then before you go on the trek, you should be able to walk at least 10 km at a stretch. Target completing this in 90 minutes.

If jogging is fine for you, your target should be completing 5 km in 45 minutes initially, and 5 km in less than 40 minutes before you go on the trek.

–> If you are somebody who prefers cycling over running, your target must be to cover 22 km in 60 minutes.

Working out indoors

If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long is the Danizab Meadow Trek?

The Danizab Meadow Trek is 28 km long, and it is an easy-moderate trek that is perfect for beginners. 

2. Where is the Danizab Meadow Trek?

The Danizab Meadow Trek is located in Yousmarg, in the Budgam district of the Kashmir Valley and about 48 km from Srinagar. 

3. Stay Options near Yousmarg 

The Yousmarg Development Authority has many hotels and huts around the region to provide you with paid accommodation.

If you want to pitch your tents near Yousmarg, specific spots have been designated for camping by the authorities, free of cost. 

However, some private hotels, such as Sharif Guest House, Kongposh Hotel and Sangarmal, also provide accommodation for tourists.

Tip: If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, stay in hotels or huts affiliated with the Yousmarg Development Authority, which will charge you not more than Rs.500 per night. 

4. Timings on the Danizab Meadow Trek

No official time restriction is mentioned for the Danizab Meadow Trek. However, it is best to start early from Yousmarg to have ample time to reach the campsite, which is 14 km away. 

The ideal time to start the trek is between 6.00 AM and 10.00 AM. 

5. Food and Water sources on the Danizab Meadow Trek

For Food Sources:

Many restaurants in and around Yousmarg provide vegetarian and non-vegetarian food for visitors. The Sharif Restaurant, a highly rated restaurant in the area, supplies all kinds of foods to customers. 

For Water Sources:

The Doodhganga river and many other springs and small streams serve as the primary source of water throughout the trail. 

Tip: However, if you are not comfortable drinking water from streams and springs, carry purification tablets or purification bottles to purify the water.

6. Emergency Contacts on the Danizab Meadow Trek

Hospital:

Primary Health Centre, Yousmarg

Sub District hospital Charari-Sharif - Contact No: 01951 253 336. This hospital is 17 km away from Yousmarg.

Sub-District Hospital Chadoora - This hospital is 23 km away from Yousmarg.

Sub-District Hospital Nagam - This hospital is 31 km away from Yousmarg.

Police Station: Police station Charari Sharief (01951-253223)

This is the nearest police station to Yousmarg.

Forest Department: 0194-2455027, 0194- 2483937

7. ATMs and Network Connectivity on the Trek

ATMs: Charari Sharif and Nagam Chadoora have the closest ATM services to the Danizab Meadow Trek.  

Mobile Networks: Yousmarg is a no-network zone. However, there are a few spots on the trek where you will find some network connectivity. The Chienmarg waterfall top has good Airtel and BSNL connectivity.

Note: Only post-paid sim cards work in Kashmir.

Places to Visit After the Danizab Meadow Trek

  1. Doodhpathri: Located 65 km from Yousmarg, this is a beautiful and popular tourist destination. It is also the base of the Pamsar lake trek. After your hike, you can spend a couple of days exploring the region around Doodhpathri.
  2. Mughal Gardens of Srinagar: Located in the heart of Srinagar around the shores of Dal Lake, the Mughal gardens are world-famous for their exquisite architecture.
Dal Lake - Danizab Trek - Indiahikes - SaliyahAhmad

Beautiful view of Dal Lake from Parimahal. Picture by Saliyah Ahmad

3. Gulmarg: This is, arguably, the most famous ski destination in India. You can try out a variety of adventure activities such as heli-skiing, snowboarding etc during the winter season.

4. Pahalgam: Pahalgam is a popular hill station located in the Anantnag district of Kashmir. It serves as the base for many treks such as the famous Tarsar Marsar, Kolahoi Glacier and Tulian Lake Trek.

Trek Contribution

Trek documented by - Saliyah Ahmad

Pictures by Saliyah Ahmad

Edited by - Gayathri Ranganathan

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