Chadar Trek Essentials: Complete List of Things to Carry for Trek

Next, to your stamina and endurance, the things you carry along will be your best ally on Chadar Trek. Considered you have tied up your laces well for this ultimate winter trek, are you even in the right shoes?

Deal of the Day:
 Adventurous Experience of Chadar Trek in Ladakh

Giving you more thrills you’ve asked for, this is a dream excursion for the adventure junkies. Forming a 105 Km thick ice trail over the furious Zanskar River during the winters, the Chadar Trek is an exhilarating, challenging, and toughest winter trek in India.

Start the packing for this bone-chilling experience with the underlying slogan - ‘Pack Smart’ and you’ll have it all well. Keeping in mind even the slightest confusion of what to keep and what not, stated below are all the essentials that would make you well-equipped for this unmatched grandeur.

What to carry for Chadar Trek?

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Chadar Trek 2020, Ladakh - Frozen River Trek Book @ ₹19,500
  • 9D/8N
  • Leh
  • 9D/8N
  • Leh
₹26,500 ₹19,500
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Available Group Departure for Chadar Trek 2020:
January:
SOLD OUT: 12,19,23,29, Jan and 1st Feb and 3rd Feb
Very Few Slots left:
10,13,18,24,25,26 in January
Open Slots:
11,14,15,16,20,21,22,31 January 2020 
2,3,7 February 2020

Quick Facts:
Temperature: -5 to -15 degrees (during the day) and -20 to -30 degrees (during the night)
Trekking Distance:  62 km
Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult 
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Chadar Trek Cost: Starting from ₹19,500. (Prices are Dynamic and are subject to availability of slots)

Highlights of Chadar Trek 2020:

- Ladakh has always captivated visitors with its magical charm and beauty. Be it the picturesque mountain peaks, azure lakes or the challenging trekking trails, this scenic valley is known for all. While during the summers, the region adorns the most vibrant colors of nature, during the winters it is embraced with heavy snowfalls that cut off the entire region from the rest of the world. Explore this serene place with our Ladakh Tour Packages and gift your loved ones a memorable journey that you can cherish for a lifetime.

- Nestled deep within the whirly passages of the snow-clad mountains, this frozen river also entices thousand of trekkers from different corners of the world. 

- Popularly known as the 'Chadar Trek' due to the formation of the thick blanket of the snow, it is considered as one of the challenging as well as tricky treks in the world. 

- In some places, there may be cracks in the ice and when this happens, the only way to continue with the trek is to hike through the snowy rocks and boulders beside the river. 

Thrillophilia Exclusive: (Available only to trekkers who have booked with Thrillophilia)
Option to change the tour plan:
Till day 3, if you feel that you can’t do this trek or the Govt. bodies declare you unfit for the trek, don’t get disheartened as the first 5 trekkers from the group can opt for an alternate package “Flavour of Ladakh” at no additional cost.
(To know more, hit the Send Enquiry button and get in touch with the Trek Expert)



About the Destination:

Ladakh is the home to numerous natural wonders, but the most precious gift bestowed upon this magical land is the Chadar Trek. The ultimate thrill of walking upon the frozen waters of Zanskar River in extremely low temperatures sets this trek apart in the list of extreme adventures. Adding grace to the beauty of Ladakh with its unique adventure experience, the Chadar Trek 2020 has the kind of charm that is second to no other adventure.

The frozen Zanskar River trek is actually a connecting link between the villages of Zanskar Valley and the town of Chilling in Ladakh and acts as the only and the most stable way of staying connected to the rest of world for the people here in the months of extreme winter. Passing through the deep valley, the frozen river is bounded by huge walls of mountains on both sides, making a person feel like walking amidst high castle walls. Frozen Waterfalls, flowing green river on the trek, the cold temperatures and the warm smiles of the local Ladakhis who are going by their normal day are the elements that make the Chadar Lake and in fact, all of Ladakh a beautiful paradise to visit. 

Located in the midst of two great mountain ranges of the world, the Himalayas and the Karakoram, the land of Ladakh is blessed with many of its own mountain ranges, like that of the Zanskar. And with all the amazing mountains, glaciers and rivers, one of them better served frozen, Ladakh is never short of surprises to leave you spellbound.

About the Chadar Trek:

Chadar Trek in Ladakh takes the element of trekking and adds its own element of extreme adventure in the form of walking on a thick sheet of ice. The river Zanskar freezes over in the months of winters in Ladakh, creates a kind of sheet of ice on it, hence the name “Chadar”. After arrival in Leh, you will be visiting the market of Leh for some shopping before getting checked by the government officials on your fitness for the rather challenging trek in the Himalayas. The adventure of Chadar Trekking 2020 is planned in such a way that you will be covering a distance of almost 65 kilometres by trekking. 

You will get a transfer to Shingra Yokma from Leh via Chilling and Tilad Do for your first taste of walking on the sheet of ice. You will also get acclimatized with the sub-zero temperatures here, as well as figure out where is the best place to plant your foot on the ice. The Zanskar frozen river trek has taken its form because of the extreme temperatures, and so it is extremely important that you take ample time and precautions here. The next day will be the last day for you to opt for the physical wild card exits. 

After this, the trek leads to several points on the way as you move on the Chadar Frozen River Trek, taking you to Tibb Cave, and the Naerak, where you will see the village and mighty frozen waterfalls, while the turquoise green water of the river flows right by you. As you turn around and make your way back, you will encounter Tibb Cave, Gyalpo and finally Shingra Yokma, from where you will go back to Leh and bring the experience to an end the next day. All the while through this trek, you have gone from a minimum elevation of 10,400 ft to 11,123 ft above sea level, and have gained a lot of more attributes on the way.

Who Can Go:
- Experience of trekking or good fitness level.
- The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 45 minutes without a stress.
- The climber should be able to carry a 10 kg backpack.
- Heart problem, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.

Tips for Chadar Trek:

1) Prepare your mind first: This is a difficult trek that comes with a lot of extremities. From the weather to physical requirement. Train your mind to expect and accept the sub-zero level. Do bear in mind that there is a life which exists there as well; for centuries Chadar is used as the only way to commute to Leh during winters. Your mental strength will signal your body to withstand the cold climb.

2) Be Warm: Next is to keep oneself warm as the temperature falls severely on this trek. To keep going and not be deterred by the weather conditions, use 4 layers for the Torso that includes a jacket and a wind sheeter which is waterproof and has a fleece lining. For the bottom, a base layer, thermal underpants and waterproof pants with a fleece lining, should suffice. Make sure your fleece and jackets have zips down the front so that you can unzip them as the day grows progressively warmer.

3) Keep a woollen cap and gloves (a must): Essentially you need to sleep well during the night to keep you fresh for the next day of the trek. Keep an insulating water bottle to keep your sleeping bag warm during the night. Use Silk liner inside your bags to keep it warm enough.

4) Footwear: Hiking shoes + Gumboots At occasions, trekking on the Chadar involves wading through knee-deep cold water. Though hiking shoes are highly recommended, gumboots help keep your shoes and feet secure from the icy cold water. It is practically impossible to dry anything at Zanskar trek in Ladakh, so gumboots are a compulsory and crucial addition to the footwear.

5) Expect sweet pain: The Chadar is a glossy, slippery sheet of ice and will never let you walk carelessly. But no matter how careful one is, everyone falls and slips more than once on the Chadar. If you fall, just get back up by rolling on your knees and keep walking with confidence. Gumboots might give you shoe bites, but you’ll get used to it as you walk.

6) Observe and keep moving: The locals can give you firsthand training on how to cross the lake on your foot. On closer observation, you would notice that they walk fast and take Penguin like strides on the ice. As you watch them, you will learn their ways of manoeuvring around on the ice blanket and learn when it is wiser to wait than to carry on or the reverse.

7) Keep your electronics warm: Extreme cold climate can ruin electronics. Hence keep them warm by keeping them safe by tucking them into your pockets closer to your body it will keep them warm and long-lasting.

8) Protect your fingers and toes: In sub-zero temperatures, fingers and toes are the most exposed and can be frozen resulting in bad pain when camping. Carry waterproof woollen socks and gloves. An extra pair of socks would help as they gather moisture while wearing gumboots.

9) Warming pads: Warming pads are very helpful for those who feel cold sooner than others. These are exothermic pads to be slipped in your gloves and socks. They release heat and keep you warm for up to 10 hours.

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Do's and Don'ts On Chadar Trek

Do’s of Chadar Trek

It’s always good to plan for an additional day to accommodate any unforeseen conditions like bad weather, broken bridges, flight delays, casualties that may arise.
- One should inform one’s family before coming for this trek, so in case of an emergency, they can come for help.
- The temperature extensively drops down in the region. Therefore, it is advisable to keep warm clothes and shoes at hand. The shoes must also be waterproof.
As there won’t be any pharmacies on our trek, please do carry required medications and a first aid kit, in case of any bruises or cuts
The area of this trek has hardly any shop to stop for food or drinks, hence it is advisable to carry water and energy giving food like energy bars and other eateries to be had at regular intervals. We also travel with plenty of water
- Always take note of the weather reports and avoid getting caught in any sort of natural ravages.
Trekking in the Frozen River is certainly a difficult task and thus, one should not try to be over-smart. Following the tips and guidelines is a must to carry out this trek safely.
It is advisable to consult an expert trekker before backpacking a heavy backpack might slow down your trekking speed.
- While visiting the monasteries and other religious sites, abide by the instructions and guidelines laid by the authorities.
- Abide by the instructions given by the trek leader or instructor in order to enjoy a safe and sound trekking


Don'ts of Chadar Trek
Since you will be trekking in an eco-friendly zone, make sure you do not litter the vicinity and carry your leftovers back.
Flowy and frilly clothing might hinder your movement. It is better to avoid such type of clothing.
- Do not rely on sports or casual shoes as they might compromise grip on the snowy surface.
The wonderful waterfalls should not be contaminated by the use of shampoos and soaps. Thus one should avoid using them. The local habitat tribes use this water for drinking purpose so one should keep it as clean as one expects its drinking water to be.
When meeting monks or other locals on the way, pinpointing is not advisable as they make take offence.
- Respect the serenity of the shrines and thus one should never disturb the monks or prayers in the monasteries on the route.
Avoid heavy meals during the trek as it leads to tiredness.
Avoid: Denim or jeans clothing, Soda and alcoholic beverages, Plastics of all kind, and Tobacco
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Chadar Trek Clothing Essentials

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Chadar Trek Clothing Essentials

To embrace the negative temperature of the piercing Himalayan winters, you must ensure that none of your skin is exposed to the chilling winds to feast. Do not let stress beads gather over your brows as we have commemorated the most basic clothing essentials for the plain-dwelling, budding adventure junkies.

Are you acquainted with the concept of layering? Layering is a strategy of wearing clothes one above the other so as to curate a heat-retaining system. Keeping in mind the insulating properties of air, the idea behind layering is to trap and keep the body heat intact within the layers.

For surviving the ultracold Chadar Trek, you must assure that you have four-five layers of clothing all through the journey. Taking up right from the head to the toes of clothing, let’s get started!

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Upper Body

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Upper Body

Headcover: As per studies, 60% heat of the body is lost from the head, so, it is necessary to cover the head properly to let no heat escape.

Balaclava: 
Exposing only the eyes and mouth, a balaclava ensures that your face is protected completely.

Muffler: 
Make sure you wrap a muffler around your neck and feel the warmth against your neck.

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Lower Body

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Lower Body

Tights: The closest layer to the skin, just as the upper body innerwear you must ensure that they are breathable and do not soak sweat. You would not like to invite any fungal infection or irritation during the trek.

Wool fleece: The second layer will provide you with enough warmth so that you can survive the negative temperatures.

Waterproof/ winter cheater pants: During the Chadar trek, there will be moments when you walk through water. In such scenarios, your winter cheater pants will be a boon for you as they will not let water seep in and dry quickly even if they get wet.

Quick-dry socks: Make sure you keep 6 pairs of quick-dry socks so as to change whenever they get wet.

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Footwear Essentials

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Footwear Essentials

Trekking shoes: Trekking shoes give you the right grip and help you climb the rocky and muddy areas. You must ensure that your shoes fit you right because they are the ones who can make you trip or break it!

Gum boots: You cannot think of going for the Chadar Trek without gum boots. Covering up to the knees, these save your shoes and socks from getting wet. You can also add microspikes to make your penguin walk easy.

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Toiletries Essentials

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Toiletries Essentials

Though maintaining hygiene during the Chadar Trek is a daunting task but with the right things in hand you can accomplish it easily.

Brush/ Toothpaste: The most necessary yet the most missed out essential out of the list! Make sure you carry only the required quantity of toothpaste along.

Tissue papers: Away from the luxury of running taps and toilet seats, there are only dry washrooms placed in the campsites in Chadar. Make sure you carry tissues to maintain your hygiene.

Sunscreen: The chilling winds and the direct rays of the Sun make it essential to apply sunscreen at least twice a day for the protection of your skin.

Moisturiser & Lip Balm: Chapped lips and dry skin are common in winters. Keep moisturiser and lip balm handy to keep your skin hydrated against the harsh negative temperatures.

Sanitizer: The thought of dipping fingers in the freezing water brings chills down the spine. Packing along a sanitizer would definitely bring you in a win-win situation -  clean hands without water.

Pantyliners or Tampons: Even if you’re just over with your periods, it is advisable to carry pantyliners, tampons, or pads as the high altitudes trigger your hormones sometimes. It is better to keep them handy to be prepared for the situation. Assure that they are disposed off responsibly.

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Trek Equipments

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Trek Equipments

Trekking poles: Though carrying trekking poles is not mandatory, it eases the pressure on the joints making the descend a little easier.

Sleeping bags: If you rent a sleeping bag, then do make sure you buy a fresh sleep liner for the inner layer. The inner helps keeping you warm and also including the hygiene issues.

Rucksack: A well fitted 6L - 9L rucksack bag will be enough for the Chadar Trek. Check the straps and grip over your shoulder while buying.

Day pack: You will need a small day pack to keep a set of clothes and snacks while you wander around.

Medicines: This trek is not easy at all. It is necessary to keep few medicines handy because bruises, cuts, and mountain sickness is very common. Make sure you carry general medicines for headaches,  the common cold, and upset stomach and Diamox for AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) after proper medical advice.

Remember to carry pain-relieving gels and antiseptic ointments for cuts and bruises. It is also advisable to keep ORS handy, in order to regain energy if you ever fall short.

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Others

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Others

Electronics: Carry at least two power banks and a lot of batteries for your camera so that you can capture the moments without any problem.

Headlight: Counting as one of the obvious things to carry, make sure you do not forget it in haste.

Pee funnel: An essential for women, it helps to maintain hygiene as well.

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What not to carry for Chadar Trek?

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Contact Lenses

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Contact Lenses
Avoid taking contact lenses as it is difficult to maintain lens hygiene at the extreme subzero temperatures, leading to chances of infection. You certainly don’t want that to happen! Also the lens solution freezes due to extremely low temperatures on Chadar Trek.

You can use  spectacles underneath the UV protected sunglasses used to protect you from snow blindness. 
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Plastic Bottles

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Plastic Bottles

The Zanskar river freezes due to the extreme temperature drop ranging from -10 to -30 degree Celsius. You definitely cannot expect the water in your plastic water bottle to stay in its regular state in such weather conditions. 

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Heavy Sweater

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Heavy Sweater
Let’s not increase an extra kilo for those cute looking hefty sweaters and stick to the body-warming liners and jackets.

These bulky sweaters take up a lot of space in your runsack and work against the concept of layering. Why not keep them for the post Chadar Trek celebration party!
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Alcohol

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Alcohol

Alcohol should not even be the last thing in your backpack. It brings down the temperature of your body, giving you the wrong impression of the warmth due to the increased rate of adrenaline.

Make sure you do not fall into the myth pit as the consequences include dehydration and hypothermia. It could cost you the enthralling trek experience and maybe your life!

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Denim

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Denim

Exclude the uncomfortable denims from you clothing to enrich the enthralling experience in your comfortable quick-dry trousers.

Denims are heavy, require longer duration to get dry, and make you feel uneasy anyway. Feeling uneasy because of the clothes is the last thing you should experience!

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Wet Wipes

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Wet Wipes

With everything freezing around, your frozen wet wipes will definitely not be something that you will use during the Chadar Trek.

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11 July 2019
Excellent
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.
12 July 2018
Excellent
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey.
12 July 2018
Excellent
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey. We passed through all the ranges of the Great Himalayas, starting from the Shivalik, Karakoram & Pir Panjal. The memories of “late night road journey from Jammu to Srinagar risking our life while crossing South Kashmir (Known for Terrorist activities), early morning (4 am) shopping at Awantipora, Dal Lake, Shankracharya Temple, Srinagar Market, Lunch @Lal Chowk, Eid Celebrations, Shalimar Garden, Noon & Kahwa Tea, Sonmarg, War Zone (Kargil, Drass &Batalik), Oldest Gompa Lamayuru, Rafting at World’s highest point (Zanskar river), Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Leh Palace, gruelling terrain & passes(Zoji La (3528 Mtrs), Namki La (3815 Mtrs), Fotu La (4108 Mtrs),World’s highest Motorable road – Khardungla (5359 Mtrs), Nakee La (4739 Mtrs), Tanglang La ( 5328 Mtrs), Bara-lacha (4890 Mtrs) & Chang La (5360 Mtrs)), Crazy bath in Pangong Tso lake (-4 °C), cute Marmot, Yak, Deer & Pashmina Goats at Changthang Wildlife sanctuary, snow-capped Karakoram Ranges, Sand dunes at Nubra Valley, Diskit Monastery, the Gata loops (22 hairpin bends) at 4190 Mtrs elevation on Pang – Sarchu road, Suraj Taal, Whiskey & Brandy Nallah, Picturesque Jispa, Hiking at 4350 Mtrs Himalayan ranges and driving alongside the rivers across the two states” are never gonna fade away !! Thanks to Thrillophilia for making this trip awesome & memorable one.
24 June 2018
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Your Destination would be a dream until you come out and step ahead to it and experience. Leh-Manali Bike ride is one such vibe which will resonate for many years to come. Here the journey was more scintillating then achieving those milestones and Thrillophilia ensured we had great time by organising it perfectly to last mile would like to thank Tarun and Chitransh. Tani and Amit who were our Tour Leaders were just amazing with their hospitality to the care taken through out the ride. Ride at Khardungla Pass, Gata Loops, Zing Zing Bar, Barlachala were just amazing.
Excellent
Such an amazing bike ride, challenging but with thrill till the end. Make sure that you are prepared to prevent the cold, the rough wind, the altitude sickness etc because even the symptoms of sickness will affect your trip. Khardung La Pass is quite a challenging one, also there are different shorter and longer passes throughout the journey. The service was also nice, not many complaints. The guides will know the place better because they are doing it for long. But still keep the track of the route before you start the trip. The guide was nice to us, keeping everything coordinated. The accommodation and food were also flawless to me.
The Thrillophilia team has surpassed all of my expectations! I was initially apprehensive about the Parang La trek because of the altitude and the difficulty, but Thrillophilia made sure I had no issue at all! Everything was taken care of, and the guide was just brilliant. For any further treks, Thrillophilia is my go-to website and the one I’ll always recommend!
17 November 2019
Excellent
Leh Ladakh's location had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ice sheet right in front of my eyes. but the most exciting part was that we were never complaining even under these extreme conditions. the food offered was very tasty. everything was perfectly planned by the thrillophilia team. Awesome experience !!
21 February 2019
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You will feel the true sense of the word FREEZE when you visit Pangong Tso. That said, the view you're experiencing is simply breathtaking. The sky and lake colors compliment each other absolutely. I saw so many shades of blue that day and the hue of the lake continued to change every hour. I think you might find the right words for a poet or writer to explain this phenomenon. Although no explanation is appropriate for this location, if you're fortunate enough, I'd suggest you'll have the chance to click with your camera on the ultimate images.
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Most magnificent Indian Lake.. Any adventure & nature lover must once in a lifetime visit this place. I felt like I was entering a fantasy land when I saw the lake from a distance. The lake surrounded by mountains that look perfect looks like painted picture. This lake has different shades of colors. Blue sky, white snow and vivid water combine to make you forget everything. The lake is so serene, the water is so pure that you'd be afraid to touch it, so it could get polluted. The more you marvel at it the more it becomes beautiful.
Excellent
I have traveled extensively in India over the last 1o years, and have always wanted to visit Ladakh. The scenic beauty is beyond words, it seems like the almighty chose this place to have it all, rocky crags, snow-clad mountains, rivers, hot springs and many more. And how can I miss Tso Moriri visiting this lake was a jaw-dropping experience when I reached there I was awestruck, Beautiful mountains, Sunshine, cool winds, and of-course the Lake. Mind-blowing experience. Thumbs up for the services provided in this tour by Thrillophilia.

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