Chadar Na Kiya Toh Kya Kiya: Ritish Narrates His Chadar Trek Experience
Chadar Na Kiya Toh Kya Kiya: Ritish narrates his Chadar Trek experience!
Remember those childhood days, when your parents had to keep you from sliding from their sleeves every now and then whenever you took a prompt decision to explore the unknown? Be it an ice-cream van or going to the cricket ground every now and then. Remember how you devilishly put up the melodrama to go to your aunt’s house or grandparents who live hundreds of miles away, so that you can have a new place to explore and make your playground? Well, don’t you think we all left that zest to live a little in the mad hustle of urbanity?
The human tendency to charter the unexplored is primitive. We are simply not designed to be stationary. Even though we choose to settle, make money and save while giving up on travel feats, our heart races every time we see a magnificent photo of a mystic land, or when we come across a post our friend has shared of his trip to Ladakh!
Ritish: A Traveler who likes Solace
Ritish Talwar has the same story, but when he found his inner calling to scale the unscaled, there was no turning back! In his words, “I would describe myself as someone who loves to travel and explore new places. I prefer non-commercialized places and offbeat destinations. I seek to travel every other month to explore a new destination.”
To Chadar or not to Chadar?
In the budding new year 2018, Ritish decided to scratch off the prolonged itch to take on the magnificent Chadar trek. ” I always wanted to test my limits by going on a trek like Chadar. From the very first day when I saw a picture of the Nerak Waterfalls and the Chadar trek, I knew that I would be doing this one day. So, finally this year I decided to go for it. The pure magnificence of Chadar fascinated me!”
The Challenge: The First unexpected Solo Trek
Excited, he called and tagged a couple of his friend for the trip as well, but kismet had something else planned for him. On the last moment, all his friends dropped the plan and what started as a group trek converted to a solo challenge. “…so the decision to go solo was a bit tricky considering it was my first solo trip; but in the end, it was probably one of the best experiences of my life”.
For those of you who don’t know, which you should though, Chadar is one of the mightiest of the treks in the Himalayan region in India where you literally walk on the freezing river in the sub-zero temperature. The Chadar trek is loved across the globe and you can find Nat Geo and Discovery story on it readily on social media. Spread across 9 days, the trek gets you close to the soulful peace of Zanskar region while testing your mental and physical limits. One needs to be wary of their fitness and highly motivated to complete the trek, for the euphoria that awaits on concluding this feat.
With all the preps and will to take on the trek, Ritish boarded off from Delhi to reach the city of Leh, where he started his 9-day itinerary of the amazing Chadar trek.
The Chadar Trek
Ritish was excited to share his story and hence following are his own excerpts of the trip-
The journey started from the Delhi airport where I met one of my fellow tripmates who was coming from Bangalore, who eventually was my tent mate too on the entire trek.
Landing in Leh
I still remember the bone-chilling cold that I experienced the time I came out of the plane at the Leh airport. Boy, it was damn cold! Being my first visit to Leh, the mighty Himalayas from the aircraft, the airport and the landscapes surrounding it – all was just surreal!
From the airport we reached the guest house, where we met the other trip mates and took rest for that day.
Off to the Base Camp
The next day we began our epic journey to the base camp. On the way, we saw the confluence of Zanskar and Indus, which was one of the highlights of the trip.
The Scary Excitement
On reaching the base camp, everyone was excited to take their first step on the Chadar. It was an amazing experience. Many travelers returning back whom we met at the base camp kind of scared us, citing the bad Chadar condition, which made us a bit nervous.
The Final Prep
The first night in the tent at the base camp gave us a perspective of the things to come during the trek. We had ice on our caps, on our eyelids etc. It was cold but amazing!
And, the Trek Begins
Falling, slipping, sliding, like a small kid learning to walk we began our trek the next day. Learning how to identify the right Chadar to walk upon and how to avoid bad patches, from our amazing guides, we reached our first camp.
Over the next couple of days, we carried out our nomadic journey following the sleds, following the sunlight in the mighty cold, following our cooks for the lunch and the dinner.
Just to put it on record, the guides, the porters, and the cooks are the real heroes of the Chadar trek, who work selflessly to make sure that we have a safe and a memorable journey.
Reaching the Frozen Nerak Waterfalls
Finally, the day came when we reached The Frozen Nerak Waterfalls, and let me tell you that the mere sight of it was just WOW. Something that I could never forget.
The joy on the faces of all of us was the proof that what everyone felt about it. Like, little kids, everyone was busy clicking pictures, trying to capture the sheer magnificence of the Nerak Waterfalls.
To the Rendezvous
The next day onwards we took our journey back to the base camp. Playing, sliding, collecting memories for the lifetime we reached the base camp in the next 2-3 days.
Thankfully all of us returned safe, without even a minor hiccup during the entire trek.
The Daring Dip
Meanwhile, during the entire trek, I somewhere had in my mind to have the mighty dip in the Zanskar, because as per the locals, your trek is incomplete if you didn’t take the holy, mighty, courageous, stupid whatever you want to call it ‘Dip in the icy cold waters of Zanskar’.
Upon reaching our basecamp, I gathered all the courage and took the mighty dip in the icy waters of Zanskar. I still remember the minor blackout that I had during the dip, but it was one of the best experiences that I had in my life.
While narrating the whole trek, Ritish was sort of reliving those moments, which are now bonded with his life forever. They say that ‘One who takes the Chadar trek comes back with an out-of-the-world vibe, the positive one’.
Ritish also had few pointers for us at Thrillophilia to work upon to make the experience more exciting and we’ve already started working on them. And for the people thinking to visit the frozen trek here is a guide to know all about Chadar Trek
Shed the inhibitions, boundations, and chores for a while and take on your ‘bucket list’ trip – do it, this is the time. You will thank us later.