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There are some treks that tests your endurance and then there are some that are beautiful from the top, but Tarsar Marsar Trek is the whole other level of trekking altogether. A beautiful and fulfilling moderately difficult trek in Kashmir, Tarsar Marsar Lake trek where you get to trek next to some of the most beautiful alpine lakes and also camp aside two of them that is Tarsar and Sundarsar Lake. Trekking in Kashmir is very different from trekking anywhere else in India.


No only you get to camp along the lakes but also trek to Marsar, which is known as one of the most elusive lakes in Kashmir. Camping just beside the flat, grassy grounds with an endless view of such beauty makes the trekking experience in Kashmir special as such beautiful settings do not exist anywhere else in India.


The beauty of this trek is just not restricted to the lakes as the meadows of Kashmir are something to look out for as well. Each passing day in your trek would greet you with such exquisite meadows that you would not want this journey to end ever. The woods, clearings and forests surrounding these meadows would make them alive even more and when you get to move from one meadow to another through a patch of forest, it could not get any better.


Region :- Kashmir 
Max Altitude :- 13500 Ft. 

Approx Trekking Km :- 48 Km.


Brief Itinerary:-


Day 1 :- Srinagar to Aru base camp

  • Altitude:- 7,950ft

  • Depart Srinagar by 2 pm

  • Drive:- 4 hrs, Srinagar to Aru

  • Srinagar to Pahalgam 100 km to Aru 12 km

  • Transportation from Srinagar to Aru is included in the cost

  • Aru is on the bank of Lidder River

  • Since there are no shops around ensure that you have all that you need already

  • Please note that prepaid SIM cards do not work in Kashmir

  • Pahalgam is the last point where you will get mobile network

  • Last ATM is in Pahalgam

  • Stay in Tent

  • Don’t forget to carry your ID proof in original and 2 photo copies


Day 2 :- Aru to Lidderwat

  • Altitude:- 7,950 to 9,150ft

  • Trek:- 10 km trek, 6 hrs

  • Easy terrain, gradual ascent

  • Water can be refill from streams

  • Packed lunch on the way

  • Stay in tents


Day 3 :- Lidderwat to Shekwas

  • Altitude:- 9,150 to 11,000ft

  • Trek:- 5.5 km trek, 5 hrs

  • Moderate terrain, continuous ascent for first few hours

  • Enough water sources on the way

  • One river crossing just before Homwas

  • Hot lunch at camp site

  • Stay in tents


Day 4 :- Shekwas to Tarsar and explore Tarsar

  • Altitude:- 11,000 to 12,500ft

  • Trek:- 5 km trek, 4 hrs

  • Moderate terrain, continuous gradual ascent

  • Carry enough water, only few natural sources are available

  • In the evening explore Tarsar Lake

  • Hot lunch at camp site

  • Stay in tent


Day 5 :- Tarsar to Sundarsar 

  • Altitude:- 12,500 to 13,100ft

  • Trek:- 5 km trek , 5 hrs

  • Moderate to difficult terrain

  • Steep ascent in the beginning till the pass, followed by a descent and then a gradual ascent till Sundarsar camp site

  • Carry enough water, only few natural sources are available

  • Hot lunch at camp site

  • Stay in tent


Day 6 :- Visit Marsar and then to Homwas 

  • Altitude:- Marsar ridge 13,400ft, Homwas 11,500ft

  • Trek:- 9 km trek, 7 hrs

  • Moderate terrain

  • 50 minute continuous ascent to Marsar ridge

  • Gradual descent all the way to Homwas

  • Packed lunch on the way

  • Stay in tent


Day 7 :- Homwas to Aru and drive to Srinagar 

  • Altitude:- 11,500 to 7,950 ft

  • Trek:- 13 km trek, 6 hrs

  • Easy terrain

  • Continuous gradual descent till Aru

  • Many water streams are available on the way

  • Packed lunch on the way

  • Stay in Srinagar (not included in the cost)

  • You will reach Aru in between 2-3 pm

  • You will reach Srinagar in between 7-8 pm


* Please note that prepaid sim cards do not work in Kashmir.

Don't forget your ID proof in original and 2 photo copies.


Who can go

  • First timer can apply, should have some interest in trekking and mountaineering.

  • The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 30 minutes without a stress.

  • The climber should be able to carry a 10-15 kg backpack.

  • Heart problem, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.


Detailed Itinerary


Day 1 :- Srinagar to Aru Base Camp


Our first day destination is Aru on the banks of Lidder and Aru Rivers, situated 12 km off Pahalgam. A fairly developed tourist stop, Aru is regarded the main base for two well-loved treks—the Tarsar Marsar and Kolahoi Glacier Trek, the destination of the latter being the origination of the Lidder-Aru rivers.


We shall meet you at Srinagar and make a 3-4 hours short drive to Aru via Pahalgam. Since steady telephonic network by all network providers cannot be confirmed at Aru, you need to wrap up your communication with the rest of the world at Pahalgam itself.


At Aru, you will be welcomed at a river-side camping zone, off the touristy hub, by the sweet flowing Lidder. There are lots of activities around town at Aru—from trout fishing in the Lidder, the Aru Biosphere Reserve to horseback riding and heliskiing in the winters. You can explore and mark these for a later visit, because we will be reaching quite late into the dusk around 6 pm.


Day 2 :- Aru to Lidderwat


Today we shall be following the Lidder River upstream. After a 9-10 km walk up soft slopes, the trail enters a thicket of conifers. Revealing a sweeping view of the Aru valley left down below. We continue venturing through the forest shade and then come into a clearing filled with Gujjar huts. This is the Nandekai village inhabited by seasonal, migrating shepherd people, and agrarian, foraging Gujjar community. Here is a slice of idyll, picture perfect and a far call from life as we know it. We won’t be passing through the heart of the village but rather get a priceless deep view of the picturesque setting as we move uphill. A little after, we have now entered a tumbling meadow grassland, and the fir tree thickets have completely ebbed away. This is still part of the Gujjar village ecosystem and you are going to find horse -riding folks and cattle grazers.


The trail cuts across a couple of little valley streams next as we go. We soon come across a crude log bridge over the second brook. This is the spot to fill up our water supplies and take some rest, may be have the lunch carried from last camp. The Lidderwat locale is still an hour’s journey from here.


The trail here curves into another wooded area of gorgeous firs before coming out into the meadows of Lidderwat where the river flows clear watered. We can find quaint little Gujjar settlements that mark the valley locale. Thanks to tourist inflow in recent times, there are also Pahalgam District Authority Huts and food places established for comfortable stays.


Our camp would be at a quiet spot close to the stream. There should be enough time before sundown to walk around the peaceful fir tree shadowed Gujjar settlement and then lay out in the dying light on soft grass by the streamside to soak in the tranquil.


Day 3 :- Lidderwat to Shekwas


A trek, approx 5-hour long starts today, winding directly up from behind the PDA homes. In a matter of half an hour, you will be finding yourself inside a forest of pines, the Lidder River is now a distant shadow, and the meadows have ebbed away. The woods are not very thick and occasionally open up to wide clearings.


Soon, you will find the stretch of Lidderwat breaching to the aperture of a more vast expanse of merging valleys and snowy elevations rising straight from the rim of the valleys. There will be multiple clear water streams cutting across our path where you can stop to refill drinking supplies.


You will be directed towards Homwas, which is a little clearing inhabited by another cluster of Gujjar huts that falls on the other side of the now re-emerged river along our tracks. After crossing a log bridge, we are ushered into the locality of a few homes and tea shops. You will never fail to find warm hospitality with these villagers and despite the exhaustion of travels, this makes one’s day.


Hand in hand with the crystal waters flowing by our tracks, we now enter a different grassy landscape. As green as green can be, stretching in gentle folds to as long as the eyes can see, the meadows of Shekwas are breathtaking. Gujjar habitation and hospitality is ubiquitous in this area too and their little low roofed, leaf-thatched huts dot the lush landscape here and there. Our trail climbs pass the huts onto a slightly higher camping ground. A sweet night, a star peppered night falls over the meadows.


Day 4 :- Shekwas to Tarsar and Explore Tarsar


The green moors of Shekwas are best experienced bare feet. Try this as you set out for Tarsar Lake today. The trail moves through a silken lawn of nature for sometime before finally taking a lunge over a humpbacked hill and after crossing through a few ridges, opens to a little peek of Tarrsar’s magnetic blue waters.


It takes a total of 5 hours to reach Tarsar from Shekwas and after the ridge, it’s another 3 hours, the view of the Lake widening as we go down succeeding smaller ridges. You need to cross the stream, jumping from boulder to boulder adventurously before finally gliding into green veldt around the lake where we would camp the night. Sink your feet deep into the soft grass and watch how the almond shaped waters reflects the passing hues of the sky as the day rolls on. Time seems to come to a standstill midst of such beauty and silence.


Day 5 :- Tarsar to Sundarsar


Another 5 km trek commences today to the adjoining Sundersar Valley through the Tarsar Pass. We delve into a connecting stretch first which apparently joins the meadows of Shekwas and Sundersar Valley. Trekking through the Tarsar Pass is actually a time saving but comparatively more hectic plan than descending to Shekwas first and heading to Sundarsar from there.


You can actually test your stamina on this day’s trek after so many days of walking on gentle undulations. On the ascent to the Pass, the trail gets steeper but then mellows down to a gentler slope to Sundarsar. The highlight of this stretch comes with a view of Tarsar Lake from the other side of the Pass.


Next, we go down to a valley bed to be greeted by a nomadic shepherd clan settlement, that of the Bakkerwals. Proceeding, we follow a brook that gets collected at the feet of snow-melting elevations in the form of a beautiful lake. The entire way is wrapped in a green fold of luminescent softness. You will find an unearthly photo frame capturing sheep and horses bobbing along the green-scape as they graze lazily along the banks of this anonymous loch. Our trail takes us through a high pass exit from this grassland to the next vale, another vast patch of extensive pampas but this one sprayed bright with wildflowers. Later, a bouldered trail over the stream ushers us into the Sundarsar Lake side, a flatland where we can camp at the end of this remarkable day.


Day 6 :- Visit Marsar and then to Homwas


Today, we will ascent higher up through Marsar Ridge. Kilting our way around Sundarsar shores, we will be directed to a boulder smitten path. You can expect slippery snow patched in these rock crevasses, just like the partially white covered mountains at the end of the valley which we witnessed through our trek in the last few days. At midday, the snow will melt and it’s going to be tricky walk.


After covering a partly grass covered, partly snow sheeted rock trail over on the Pass, we slightly descend to a flatland that’s cut through by occasional water flows. The top of the ridge view reveals the translucent blue Marsar Lake lying somewhere down below. It has the same kind of almond shaped outline as Tarsar and almost as big. Snow shaded elevations happen to rise just along one fringe of the Lake, offsetting its blueness. The Lake happens to overflow on one side and go down in a sweeping glacial stream down to a valley below. The snowmelts from the white cliffs feed its waters on one side and on another, the Dachigam forests starts.


Now we descend back to Sundarsar camps and then to Homwas, trialing almost along the same way that we came by. The descent is full of nostalgia. Homwas is reached before nigh fall, slightly exhausted.


Day 7 :- Homwas to Aru and drive to Srinagar


Starting off early morning today, we descend from Homwas to Aru, sweeping over the same enchanting meadow lands we had experienced on the first days, and the same Lidder River, now to be followed downstream.

We will stop at Lidderwat to rest and lunch and then set off again, now Aru-wards, 10 km from Lidderwat to be covered over 4 hour approx.

Srinagar-bound vehicles shall be waiting for us at Aru. We can expect to reach station within 8 in the night.


How to Reach


By Air :- 
Most major air carriers like Indian Airlines (www.indian-airlines.nic.in) Jet airways (www.jetairways.com) and Indigo operate daily flights to Srinagar. Reaching Srinagar by flight from New Delhi is the most convenient way.


By Train:- 
Jammu is the nearest railway station to Srinagar, which is at a distance of 290 km. Jammu railway station is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.


By Bus:- 
Srinagar is linked by the National Highway 1A to the rest of the country. J & K state road transport operates comfortable buses from Jammu. The Journey takes about 10 hours to reach Srinagar.

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Where Kashmir
Duration 7 Days / 6 Nights
Difficulty Moderate
Capacity 15 Seats
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