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    Chadar Trek -  The Frozen River Trek

    The Chadar trek route is from Kargil to Padum and is the only motorable road to arrive at Zanskar. Due to heavy snowfall, the area remains inaccessible for nearly 7 months. Visit some monasteries like, Shey Gompa, Thikse Gompa, Hemis in the first phase. Trek to Chilling from the Pishu village of Zanskar and visit coppersmith workshops.  

    During winter, when all the passes are blocked the only alternating route is the frozen Zanskar River, which has become a well-liked destination for winter hikers. This is generally known as the ˜Chadar trek". Trek up to Nyrakpuu and camp beneath the Nyarak village, near by a little stream. In order to give you a local feeling, local staff from Zanskar accompany the expeditions, all the porters and guide are also from Zanskar.

    This helps visitors to interact easily with locals, and monks. The get-together and camp fire in evening will be an experience to cherish. At some places sleeping in caves will be a once in a lifetime experience. First experience of the trek ahead, Chadar will lead us to intimidating gorges watched over by the Himalayan Trekking ranges.

    After moving in this surreal world you would proceed to Lingshed to experience calm, serenity, vastness of the landscape, which will offer you a much required breather. Visit Lingshed monastery, school for monks, explore the village. Trek up to Zangla. Reach at Zangla to visit the Zangla Gompa. The last leg of this trek will bring you to Chilling.

    Major attractions

    Lingshed monastery: The monastery of Lingshed places a little above the village; just below the sheer hillsides that overlook it. It is a Buddhist monastery in the Zanskar region of Ladakh.

    Thiksey monastery: Located 20 km from southeast Leh, Thiksey monastery is fascinating and an exquisite work of architecture. It is surrounded by colorful murals and walls. The top of this monastery houses a huge statue of Buddha. The monastery offers stunning views of surrounding landscapes.

    Zanskar River: Zanskar River is a remote Himalayan tributary of the Indus River, harbors one of the most spectacular navigable gorges in the world.

    Shey Palace: Situated around 15 km from Leh, Shey is a settlement in Ladakh. It has an ancient palace of the Ladakh kings. This old palace comprises of the largest golden Buddha statue.

    How to get there

    By Air: The Leh airport connects directly to important cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, and Srinagar. Major airlines like Indian Airlines, Jet Airways run regularly from this airport.

    By Road: Leh-Ladakh has very well network of roads to Srinagar and Manali. From June to October, the 434-km Leh-Srinagar road is operative, while the 473-km Leh-Manali road remains functional from July to September.

    By Rail: The prime rail head is Jammu Tawi in Jammu, about 690 km away and linked with several major cities across India.

    Best time to visit: Mid January to Mid February


    • Special permits are not required for trekking in the Indian Himalayas, with the exception of certain restricted areas.
    • This difficult trek can be reached up to 13,000 ft.
    • You need to be reasonably fit for this hike.
    • Get familiar with the climate first, and check your equipments before trekking.
    • Travel in group, do not move alone.
    • Carry boosters like juices and snacks while trekking. Do not forget to keep water bottle.
    • Do not leave pollutants while trekking in this area; they should be removed away from the camping site.

    Things to carry

    • Walking stick
    • Binoculars and camera
    • Sleeping bag
    • Hiking shoes
    • Woolen clothes, socks, gloves
    • Electric torch
    • Medical kit
    • A good compass
    • An extra pair of clothes

    Other Information

    Lamayuru monastery: Set at a distance around 127 km from west of Leh, this remarkable monastery houses 150 Buddhist monks. It also comprises of an affluent collection of Thankas and wall paintings.

    Leh palace: The majestic and the most visited, Leh palace is nine storied lofty building. The uppers floors were for royal family of Leh and Ladakh. The palace imparts panoramic views of Leh and surrounding regions.

    Basgo castle: Known for its castle ruin and the adjacent royal temples, Basgo castle is spectacularly set 40 km form Leh.

    Image Source: BobwitloxGauravManisholidayNwgal03Gmmewaa

Trekking in Ladakh