Nature enthusiasts with a taste for adventure cannot miss out on the Tarsar Marsar Trek, found in Jammu & Kashmir’s Himalayan paradise. Explore the region’s untouched magnificence that surrounds the breathtaking Tarsar and Marsar, two stunning high-altitude alpine lakes located approximately 12,500 feet above sea level. Witness the true splendour of this hidden gem renowned for its glittering waters and pristine landscape.
The Trekking Route
Located around 12 kilometres away from Pahalgam, a well-known tourist destination, the scenic Aru Valley is where the Tarsar Marsar Trek kickstarts. People get the chance to sample Kashmiri culture in the village before starting their journey. Depending on a number of variables, including pace and how much time is spent admiring the surrounding natural beauty, one can anticipate finishing this walk in between 7 and 9 days.
Day 1: Pahalgam to Aru Valley
Beginning with a picturesque journey from Pahalgam to the peaceful Aru Valley, the trek begins. As you go, enjoy the scenery as you pass through forested areas, deep woodlands, and rushing streams. You can take some time to relax and acclimatise after you arrive at Aru Valley.
Day 2: Aru Valley to Lidderwat
The actual trek begins on the second day as you leave the Aru Valley behind and make your way to Lidderwat. This leg of the journey takes you through dense pine forests, offering glimpses of vibrant flora and fauna. The soothing sound of the Lidder River accompanies you throughout the hike. Lidderwat, with its sprawling meadows and campsites, is a perfect spot for a night’s stay.
Day 3: Lidderwat to Shekwas
As you leave Lidderwat behind, the landscape starts to change dramatically. You’ll ascend through a steep trail, gaining altitude as you move closer to the base of the mountains. The trail to Shekwas is dotted with colourful wildflowers, making it a picturesque journey. You’ll camp at Shekwas, a tranquil meadow nestled beneath towering peaks.
Day 4: Shekwas to Tarsar Lake
On day four, you’ll make your way to the first jewel of the trek, Tarsar Lake. The trail takes you higher into the mountains, offering panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. The surroundings change as you get closer to Tarsar Lake into a fantastical wilderness setting. The blue lake with distant snow-capped hills is very stunning. You’ll pitch your tent next to the lake and enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings.
Day 5: Tarsar Lake to Marsar Lake
The next leg of the journey takes you from Tarsar to Marsar Lake, another hidden gem of the region. The trek between the two lakes is challenging but incredibly rewarding. You’ll cross a mountain pass known as the “Tarsar Pass,” offering jaw-dropping views of the surrounding valleys and lakes. Marsar Lake, situated in a serene bowl-like setting, is a pristine body of water surrounded by rocky terrain. Camping by Marsar Lake is an experience that will etch itself into your memory.
Day 6: Marsar Lake to Homwas
Leaving Marsar behind, you’ll trek to Homwas, a picturesque meadow that serves as an excellent campsite. The trail takes you through undulating terrain, and you’ll witness the changing landscape once again, as you descend from the high-altitude lakes to the lush meadows of Homwas.
Day 7: Homwas to Aru Valley
On the final day of the trek, you’ll descend from Homwas to the Aru Valley, completing the circuit. The sense of accomplishment is palpable as you retrace your steps, reflecting on the incredible journey you’ve undertaken over the past week.
The Beauty of Tarsar and Marsar Lakes
Tarsar and Marsar Lakes are undoubtedly the crown jewels of this trek. With its eye-catching blue waters, Tarsar Lake is framed by lush meadows and snow-capped mountains. The mountains’ reflection in the pristine waterways adds to the area’s serene atmosphere.
Marsar Lake, on the other hand, is tucked away in a rocky amphitheatre surrounded by cliffs and scree slopes. The barren landscape surrounding Marsar creates a dramatic and almost surreal setting. The water of Marsar Lake is equally clear and inviting, offering a refreshing sight after the challenging trek to reach it.
Both lakes are a haven for birdwatchers, with a variety of avian species calling these pristine waters home. The melodious chirping of birds and the gentle lapping of the lake against the shores create a symphony of nature that is music to the ears of trekkers.
Ultimately, the Tarsar Marsar Trek is a journey that immerses you in the unspoiled beauty of the Kashmiri Himalayas. From the lush meadows of Lidderwat to the stark landscapes surrounding Tarsar and Marsar Lakes, this trek offers a diverse range of experiences. It’s a trek that challenges your physical endurance while rewarding you with breathtaking vistas and serene moments of solitude. Whether you’re an avid trekker or a nature lover seeking an adventure, the Tarsar Marsar Trek is a pilgrimage to the heart of Kashmir’s untamed beauty, a journey that leaves an indelible mark on your soul.