Tarsar Marsar Trek
The grass is always greener on the other side – and more so in Kashmir! Open grassy meadows, flowing rivers and enchanting mountains and valleys – trekking in Kashmir is a joy not to be missed out on. Add to this a couple of high altitude lakes with clear blue waters and the trek is even more alluring. The Tarsar-Marsar trek brings you all this and much more. Trek along the beautiful Lidder river, relax in the vast, open greens and up-close views of the grand Kolahoi glacier.
Why Choose This?
- New camping spot each day - The itinerary is designed such that trekkers are in new place every day during the trek.
Day 1: Arrive at Srinagar. Pick up from Srinagar airport and drive to Aru (2 to 3 hours drive).
Day 2: Trek from Aru (2400m) to Lidderwat (2800m) (3 to 4 hours)
Day 3: Trek from Lidderwat (2800m) to Shekwas (3350m) (5 to 6 hours)
Day 4: Trek from Shekwas (3350m) to Tarsar (3850m) (2 to 3 hours)
Day 5: Trek from Tarsar (3850m) to Zachmargi (3850m) (2 to 3 hours)
Day 6: Trek from Zachmargi (3850m) to Sonemasti (3300m) (4 to 5 hours)
Day 7: Trek from Sonemasti (3300m) to Sumbal (2100m) (4 to 5 hours) and drive back to Srinagar (2 to 3 hours drive).
Day 1: Arrive at Srinagar and drive to Aru (2 hours)
Upon arrival at the Srinagar airport, you will board a vehicle that takes you on a 2-hour drive to Aru, winding roads that take you through one of Kashmir’s famed tourist destinations of Pahalgam. Aru, our base camp for the Tarsar-Marsar trek, is another 12 km ahead of Pahalgam. Stay overnight in tents at the open grassy campsite at Aru.
Day 2: Trek from Aru to Lidderwat (3 to 4 hours)
We head out into the tree cover, visible at a distance from the campsite, leaving behind the green pen pastures. The trek starts with a gradual ascend for 2 to 3 hours through a beautiful pine forest trail. A short level walk along the Lidder river thereafter brings you to a tea stall. Another gradual ascend for 1 hour and you can see the Lidder forest rest house in sight. Cross a bridge and get to the Lidder campsite on the other side of the river.
Day 3: Trek from Lidderwat to Shekwas (5 to 6 hours)
The day’s trek starts with a moderate to steep ascent for 1 hour, followed by a level walk for another hour before we break for lunch, beside a gentle stream. We leave the tree line behind here and ascend gradually for 1 more hour to reach the Shekwas campsite. From here one can get a good view of the surrounding mountains and the path heading up to the Tarsar lake.
Day 4: Trek from Shekwas to Tarsar (3 to 4 hours)
A trek to the first of the lakes, Tarsar, is on the agenda today. We trek uphill from the Shekwas campsite, keeping the stream flowing down to our right. The views of the mountains get grander and more snow-clad peaks become visible all around us as we approach the Tarsar Lake. 2 hours of trekking and the beautiful lake reveals itself amidst imposing mountain ridges on 3 sides.
Day 5: Trek from Tarsar to Zachmargi (3 to 4 hours)
Today, we have to cross the ridge which surrounds the Tarsar lake. An hour's climb to the top of the ridge and then we descend into the valley on the other side. The view of the valley leading to Zachmargi on the other side of the ridge is simply breathtaking. Upon descending into the valley, we walk along the stream which drains from Sundarsar and camp at Zachmargi. Sundarsar is a brisk 20-minute climb from the campsite and can be visited in the evening.
Day 6: Trek from Zachmargi to Sundarsar and Marsar and onwards to Sonemasti (4 to 5 hours)
Sundarsar and Marsar, situated on the other side of an adjoining ridge from Tarsar and Zachmargi, are the lakes we are headed to today. Sundersar is about half an hour from the Zachmargi campsite. Walking around Sundersar, we trek up and over a saddle on a ridge located on the far side of the lake. Marsar is an hour's trek away from here. After relaxing at the lakes and soaking in the beauty of the surroundings, we turn back towards Zachmargi and then trek down for another 2 to 3 hours to the Sonemasti campsite. We are now headed towards the other end of the valley leaving behind the Kolahoi mountain massif.
Day 7: Trek from Sonemasti to Sumbal and drive to Srinagar (5 to 6 hours trek, 2-hour drive)
From Sonemasti, we will start our descent towards Sumbal, where our trek ends. The trek is entirely downhill, crisscrossing water streams along the way. We also pass a number of shepherd huts as we get near Sumbal. Be careful though – a number of shepherd dogs to be encountered along the way.
It takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the upper Sumbal settlement, where we regroup for lunch. A levelled walk for another hour and we get to the road-head that connects to Srinagar. Transfer your backpacks to the vehicles waiting for us and sit back and enjoy the drive back to Srinagar.
- Transfer by vehicle between trek reporting location and base camp/end point of the trek
- Good quality tents, sleeping bags, carry mats and crampons (if and where required). Tented accommodation will be on double/triple sharing basis.
- Safety equipment – first aid kit, stretcher, pulse oximeter, portable oxygen cylinders (where required, for use in case of emergencies only)
- All vegetarian meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner on all trek days) for the trek duration (from base camp onwards till end point of the trek)
- Trek leader, guide, cook and camp helpers and horses/ mules/porters as may be required for carrying the equipment
- Permits, fees and other charges imposed by local authorities, national parks, etc.
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