The Chadar Trek or the Zanskar Gorge is a winter path over the frozen Zanskar River, which lies in the Indian union territory of Ladakh. It is the only means of travel in the area during the frigid winter months. The path becomes famous for domestic or internal tourists. The Zanskar River freezes in the winters and the entire river looks like an ice sheet that is why it is called Chadar in the local language. Chadar trek is famous to tourists for its frozen river and this trek is also done by professional trekkers from different parts of the country and the world. Chadar trek is in the beautiful landscape of Ladakh and it is one of the most adventurous and difficult treks in the country. Chadar trek is mostly completed by walking; trekkers may even have to climb icy rocks and big stones during the journey.
The scenery and breathtaking view of Zankar valley attract tourists and trekkers from all over the country and the world. It is mandatory for every tourist and trekker to take warm clothes because when we rest in the grotto during the night the temperature is very low and one will suffer freeze temperature in the body. Before going on the trip every participant is fully aware of the conditions that he will have to face during the trek one can prepare accordingly. Health measures and safety measures will provide the participant but they also take little measure for their own safety and health or otherwise they will cancel their plan to trek.
This whole journey trekkers walk on the ice sheet and cover the distance then they will rest in a grotto during the nighttime. In this campaign, a person has to face harsh and extremely cold weather it is advisable that every challenger fully understands the conditions that he will face ahead and prepare accordingly. Chadar trek is also very famous in summers because of its lower sections activities, tourists enjoy the river rafting campaign in summers, and in winters they experience the hiking session. The road of Zanskar Valley is closed due to snowfall in winters and this makes the frozen river the only way to enter the valley.
Chadar trek is conducted in groups of at least six persons and is led by a professional trekker who has completed the basic and advanced mountaineering course. These lead trekkers also certified in First Aid in order to ensure quick medical help during the campaign. For food cooks and other staff are also sent along on the campaign to ensure successful and helpful completion of the trip. The night stay in caves is the thrilling experience one can have with the minus temperature when your body freezes to the upmost level. It is advisable to do a medical check-up before you going to Chadar trek, if you are fit and you don’t have any medical history or breathing related history than you will go to the trek otherwise it will very difficult to you and your group on Chadar trek.
The journey of the trek starts at New Delhi from where the participants who are interested in the Chadar trek will be assembled and transported to Leh. This is followed by a visit to nearby monasteries or any local festivals that are happening at the point in time.
On the third day, all the participants will be taken on a full day tour of Phyang, Liker and Alchi for excursion.
On day four, participants will proceed from Leh to Chilling to Zaribago and cover the distance of 5 hours of the trek. Trekkers will spend the night in a camp or in a cave at Zaribago and in the morning they proceed to the next destination. On the fifth day, trekkers or participants will move from Zaribago to Deepyokma and cover four hours of the trek on foot.
Participants will spend the evening in Deepyokma and on the sixth day, trekkers will move to Nyrakpulu. It is four or five hours trekking only. On the seventh day, i.e., the next morning participants will trek for one hour from Nyrakpulu to Lingshed. On the ninth day, trekkers will trek through the icy ambient of Linghshed. After spending a day in the amazing environment of the Himalayas and the enigmatic Zanskar River, trekkers will trek for another four hours to Tsomopaldar i.e., on the tenth day.
On the eleventh day, trekkers move from Tsomopaldar to Tilatdo it is a five-hour trek. On the twelfth day, trekkers will trek from Tilatdo to Chilling it is a five-hour trek. On the last day i.e, day thirteen participants are transported from Leh to New Delhi. The whole journey is of 13 days and it is the best experience one can have in his/her lifetime. It is an amazing experience and a brilliant destination from all over the world. But if you are a first-timer so remember to do a medical check-up because this trek is done by professional’s trekkers from all over the world.
The month of January and February are the best time for trekking on the frozen Zanskar River. There are many reasons for trekkers to enjoy this incredible adventure experience. In the mid of January and February, most of the groups come out for trekking in Chadar Trek. The trek is certainly all about relish thrill in its tender form, as long as caution is considered.
It is always compulsory to be aware of the ice condition at all the times. There are several safety measure that trekker should not avoid when they come to visit Chadar Trek. Some safety and precautions are:
Suru Valley – The Suru valley is a valley in kargil District in the Union Territory of Ladakh in India. Sankoo is the most important part of the valley. This valley is famous for its beauty; there are many picnic spots in the valley. You can see horses, yarks and other variety of animals in Suru Valley. Heavy snowfall will be experience in Suru Valley in winters.
Tso Kar Lake – Tso Kar is a unstable salt lake known for its size and depth situated in the southern part of Ladakh in India. It is in high altitude and the temperature there is approximately -40 degree Celsius in winters. The coast side of Tso Kar is partly overed with a salt crush, which keeps flora away from the inflows.
Stok Palace – Stok Palace is located 15km from Leh. It is converted into a heritage hotel, museum and Temple. The interior of the hotel is antique with royal rooms. One can feel royal if you visit the palace. The palace is well-preserved traditional piece of the Buddhist cultural.
Tso Moriri Lake – Tso Moriri lake in Changthang region of Ladakh is one of the most beautiful, calm lakes in India. For Ladakis this lake is very scared with the high altitude. It is the highest high altitude lake in India that is in Indian Territory. Large number of flora and fauna found in the region. It is very near to line of control, so one can get inner line permit to visit Tso Moriri. It is multi shades of blue in colour and the view near this lake is very beautiful.
Zanskar Valley – Zanskar lies in the Indian union territory of Ladakh. It is one of the most wonderful places to visit in the Himalayan region. This valley is famous for its high snow capped mountains and beautiful landscapes. The clean rivers and pleasant climate make your trip a worth visiting. It is the most popular holiday destinations for those you want to explore Himalayas and are adventure enthusiastic.
By Air – The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh is connected to various cities like New Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai etc., by regular flights services.
By Train – Leh doesn’t have any railway station. Visitors can take trains at Jammu Tawi, Parhankot and Chandigarh. From there they can take buses and taxis to reach Leh as per their convenience.
By Road – Jammu & Kashmir state road transport and Himachal road Transport Corporation provide regular bus services to Leh. From Leh trekkers start trekking to Chadar Trek.