TARSAR MARSAR LAKES 4119 m (13500 ft)
“Twin Lake Trek”
Two glacial lakes in Kashmir Valley, nestled away in the lap of Pir Panjal Range. During the trek, you get to see Tarsar and Sundersar lakes; also, the very elusive Marsar Lake. One also gets to experience the beautiful landscape and grasslands in the Kashmir Valley. Also, the beauty of this trek is that we have some of the best and picturesque camp sites, these are some of the benefits of trekking in Kashmir.
The trek starts from Aru, situated 112 kms from Srinagar. The total trek is approximately 40 kms and trek’s difficulty level is moderate.
DAY 1: Pahelgam to Aru (12 Kms, 1 hour)
The clients will be picked up from Srinagar in a cab and the same cab would take you to Aru valley. We shall be spending the night in Aru valley, which is the famous base camp for 2 treks i.e. Tarsar and Marsar; and Kolahoi Glacier. The Aru Biosphere Reserve is a famous destination for horseback riding and heliskiing in the winters. The last point where you would be getting any network would be Pahelgam. Our camp site would be right next to the mighty Lidder river in the Aru.
DAY 2: Aru to Lidderwat (9-10 Kms, 6-7 hours)
This day we would encounter 9-10 kms of meandering trails of moderate incline through the thick conifer forest. After a 30-40 minutes hike we would be having a panoramic view of the entire Aru valley. We would encounter a lot of people from the Shepard aka “Gujjar” community especially in the spring and summer season. As soon as the thicket of Fir trees becomes a distant image, we will be entering a grassland meadow where there would be a lot of settlements of “Gujjars”. After a steep ascent of 2-3 kms we reach a makeshift log bridge to cross the valley stream. The camp site at Lidderwat is still an hour’s hike from this point. The camp site is situated in densely populated Fir tree and right next to the river which becomes a lullaby at night.
DAY 3: Lidderwat to Shekwas (5-6 Kms, 5-6 hours)
The trek basically starts behind the PDA huts near our Lidderwat camp site. The first 2-3 hours of the climb are quite steep and we shall see a lot of valley streams along the way. Until we reach Homwas, a quaint little village of “Gujjar” people living in harmony with the nature. One can’t really miss their warmth and hospitality. We cross another rudimentary log bridge at Homwas. After crossing the small settlement, we hike up to a higher camping ground and pitch our tents under the blanket of stars.
DAY 4: Shekwas to Tarsar, explore Tarsar and back (5 Kms, 4-5 hours)
On this day we move from Shekwas 11,000 ft to Tarsar 12,500 ft, most of our way is of moderate incline and would approximately take us 4-5 hours. We have to move up a humpbacked hill and cross a few ridges to have the first peek of the magical blue waters of Tarsar Lake. The entire hike up the hill is very exciting and everyone is walking in anticipation to have the first glimpses of the infamous Tarsar Lake. We would be camping right next to the outlet of the lake. We could spend the evening exploring the Tarsar Lake. You would be astounded by the sheer beauty and the tranquility.
DAY 5: Tarsar to Sundersar (5 Kms, 4-5 hours)
It would be a moderate to difficult climb from Tarsar to Sundersar Valley and we would be gaining an altitude of 600 ft. We would be crossing the Tarsar pass to reach Sundersar or we would descend to Shekwas meadows and then to Sundersar valley. The latter option is more time consuming but less exhausting. But, the way through the pass offers a breathtaking view of the twin lakes. On our way down, we would come across a lot of livestock grazing along the banks of the lake. We would also be greeted by people of the nomadic shepherd tribe colloquially known as the “Bakkarwals”. Finally, we reach Sundersar and pitch our camps near the lake. This entire day is just a visual overload and a perfect camp site to just process all the beauty this trek has to offer.
DAY 6: Sundersar to Marsar and then to Homwas (9 Kms, 6-7 hours)
This day we would be gaining more height in order to witness the infamous Marsar Lake known for a lot of spooky stories and fables. We start our quite tedious trek through the Marsar ridge (13,500 ft) and we would be facing some snow patches and rock crevasses on our way until we finally reach the pass. This is where we get the first glimpses of the blue colored Tarsar lake. Lake is completely surrounded by snow clad mountains and has an outlet from one side which ultimately reaches to the Dachigam Forest Reserve. One can even trek from there to, another unknown location Kashmir valley has to offer, Mahadev Glacier. Then we descend to Homwas where we camp for the night and rest after a tiring day.
DAY 7: Homwas to Aru (13 kms, 6-7 hours)
Finally, we descend down from Homwas and cross through familiar forests and trails. Our first stop is at Lidderwat where we have our lunch and then continue our descend to Aru.