Tarsar Marsar Trek is arguably one of the best treks in India. It is unmatched in its scenic beauty and serenity in its ambiance. This trek is a traditional trek of Kashmir and has been in vogue since the 20th century.
The trek comprises exploration of two high altitude alpine lakes — Tarsar and Marsar — situated at an altitude of 12500 ft. The Tarsar Marsar trek takes you right to the heart of Kashmir — from the quaint village of Aru to the clearings of Lidderwat, from the rolling green mountains of Shekwas to the massive alpine lakes. Other than this, the trail is brimmed with green meadows, pristine rivers and enchanting mountains and valleys in Dachigam National Park.
Trekking along the lakes with lucid blue sky gives an amazing view and a chance to camp next to the emerald blue lake of Tarsar. The setting of Tarsar Marsar is such that it leaves you visually stunned for weeks. It is the best alternative to Kashmir Great Lake trek.
Drive from Srinagar to Aru. Aru is a small beautiful village outside 30 km from pahalgam. On the way one sees the famous Lidder and Jhelum Rivers and the town of pahalgam.Day 2: Aru to Lidderwat (9,131 ft).
The actual trek begins from Aru. It is a moderate trek with an initial 30 minute gradual ascent into a beautiful pine forest trail followed by a gentle undulating walk. A short level walk along the Lidder river thereafter brings you to a tea stall. Another gradual ascent for 1 hour and you can see the Lidder forest rest house in sight and descents leading to a beautiful camping meadow, Lidderwat. Cross a bridge and get on to the other side of the river. The trek runs parallel to the Lidder River.
Day 3: Lidderwat to Shekwas (11,154 ft).
The day’s trek starts with a continuously ascending trail for the first 2 hours followed by a level walk for another hour. The trek offers bakerwal shelters, meadows, many water streams where you can refill your water bottles. We leave the tree line behind here, and ascend gradually for 1 more hour to reach the Shekwas campsite On this day the trek walks through thick pine forest, crosses over water streams and has to cross a wooden bridge. A short 1 hour hike from the Sekhwas campsite will take you to the small yet charming Jadar Lake. Return to Sekhwas and rest for the night.Day 4: Shekwas to Tarsar Lake (12,449 ft).
This day takes us to the Tarsar Lake, an almond-shaped alpine lake. We trek uphill from the Shekwas campsite, keeping the stream flowing down to our right. Two hours of trekking and the trail passes through a few ridges which give a bird’s view of the area around and then the beautiful lake reveals itself. The lake is overlooked by mighty mountain peaks like Kolahoi peak. A wonderful opportunity to camp next to the turquoise blue waters of Tarsar Lake.
The beauty of the lake is that it changes colors depending on the time of the day, season and the angle from which one looks at the lake. Stay for the night.Day 5: Tarsar Lake to Sundersar (12,946 ft).
Today, you have to cross the ridge which surrounds the Tarsar lake. An hour's climb to the top of the Tarsar Pass and then we descend into the valley on the other side. The view of the lush green land soothes the eyes and is simply breathtaking. Upon descending into the valley, we walk along the stream which drains from Sundarsar. Set up camp at Sundarsar. Relax and admire the serene Sundersar Lake. Stay for the night.Day 6: Visit Marsar lake (12,946 ft) and go to Homwas (11,500 ft) via Marsar Ridge (13,201 ft).
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. The trail takes you to the Marsar Lake, which is almost always engulfed under clouds and mist. The Marsar Lake connects with Dachigam National Park and drains its waters through this park into the Dal Lake. The weather at this height turns bad fast and is unpredictable. So, after spending some time there, we turn back towards Sundersar. From here instead of taking the Tarsar pass, we trek for 2 to 3 hours to reach the campsite of Homwas and Stay overnight.Day 7: Homwas to Aru. Drive to Srinagar.
A two hours descent from Homwas will take you to Lidderwat and then the same route which we took at the start of the trek. Take some Rest at Lidderwat for some time before resuming your trek to Aru which will take about 4 more hours. Expect to reach Aru by 4PM and Srinagar by 7-8PM. Overnight Stay in Srinagar.
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