If you're looking for the most picturesque hike in India, look no farther than Tarsar Marsar. We are quite picky about which hikes get this designation. Most notably when its tougher sibling trek, Kashmir Great Lakes, is factored in. However, the alpine lakes on the Tarsar Marsar trek take on a character of their own. It's not simply that you can pitch your tent next to crystal-clear, snow-fed lakes (something you can't do even at KGL). Or the fact that these campsites are rather isolated, which is a major plus in the modern hiking world.
The enigmatic Marsar is also out there, but it is usually obscured by clouds. From a vantage point 600-700 feet above the ground, we can see down on this lake. Because the sun rises directly over the lake, this is an ideal vantage point from which to take in its majestic beauty. Before clouds drift across the U-shaped valley and rest over the lake, it looks like this. Within seconds, the lake is no longer visible.
The Tarsar Marsar TREK is a fantastic way to see authentic Kashmir up close and personal. From Aru, a lovely town, to the open fields of Lidderwat. From the lush, undulating highlands of Shekhawas to the vast lakes of the Alps. Tarsar Marsar has a stunning environment that will leave you speechless for weeks.
1. Meet fellow travelers and kick off your journey from Srinagar to Aru
2. Acclimatisation in Aru
3. Watch a spectacular meeting point of the Lidder river and Kolahoi glacier at Lidderwat
4. Learn the fine art of Camping
5. Soak in the refreshing sunrise and sunset in the company of Pine and Maple forests
6. See three lakes on the whole stretch - Tarsar, Marsar, and Sundersar
Drive distance: 100 km
Duration: 3- 4 hrs
From Srinagar, we set out on our adventure to the Aru Valley. Trek Leaders will provide an overview of the entire journey. Aru is located at 8000 feet above sea level, while Srinagar is 5200 feet above sea level. The trip takes about 3.5 hours. We shall pass by the well-known Lidder and Jhelum rivers en route. Get a glance of the crystal-clear waters for now, and keep your excitement for the other day. When we journey, we'll even get to touch and stroll side by side to the Lidder river.
Day 1 is also for acclimatisation, so take advantage of it by getting some exercise, taking advantage of the weather, taking photos, and preparing for the next day before retiring for the night.
Trek Duration: 6 hours | Trek distance: 10 km
Max Altitude: 9,120 ft
Prepare yourself for a healthy breakfast that will set you up for the day by getting ready. We set out from Aru for Lidderwat, which is at an elevation of 9000 feet, to go camping. It's a straightforward hike with a gentle slope and descent that ends at a lovely camping meadow. It would take roughly 7 hours to complete. When you arrive at the camping site, you will immediately notice heaven all around you, but this is only the beginning. The Lidder River is on one side, while the Kolahoi Glacier flows down to meet the river from the opposite side. Lidderwat is made comprised of the words "Lidder" and "wat," which together denote "Lidder Mixture".
Enjoy a refreshing cup of tea while listening to the sound of water and taking in the lovely scenery. Then, as you peacefully float off into the night, take pleasure in telling tales of your journey.
Trek Duration: 5 hours | Trek distance: 5.6 km
Max Altitude: 11035 feet
Trail Description: Moderate in difficulty. The first two hours of the trail are a steady ascent, with only a few brief stretches of flat walking. Passing the river behind shortly before reaching Homwas, a steep climb awaits.
When you first start moving deeper into the valley. Enjoy the day as you travel from Homwas to Shekwas, crossing numerous streams with deep valleys and expansive fields on either side. Don't forget to see the sunset when camping here. The early portion of the season is good at the lake near Shekwas called Zadsar. In later August, it becomes dry.
Trek Duration: 4 hours | Trek distance: 5 km
Max Altitude: 12,435 ft
Trail Description: Moderate. Continuous rise, predominantly on gentle slopes.
Prepare to climb to a height of 12435 feet to take in the views of the almond-shaped Tarsar Lake. After a four-hour gentle ascent, you will view Kolahai peaks that overlook the lake. Cross a boulder- and rock-filled stream to reach a broad, open region with views of Tarsar Lake's turquoise waters.
Once there, establish a camp and take in the splendour of the natural world. You are free to explore however you choose.
Trek Duration: 5 hours | Trek distance: 5 km
Max Altitude: 13,140 ft
Trail Description: Moderate. The initial approach to the pass is steep, followed by a descent and a mild ascent to Sundarsar.
Wake up to the panorama - a classic dream come true. Then, get ready to go to Sundersar, which is at the height of 12900 ft. It will take around 5 hours for the whole hike.
Finally, as you cross the Tarsar pass, you will see a vast stretch of grassland that leads to Sundersar. The trek would soon lead you to Sundersar lake, equally clean and reflects the views of the surroundings. It's hard to imagine a better way to spend the day than in Jagmargi Plains. You just keep on going across the lovely plains, complete with streams deep enough for your knees and wild horses roaming free. The view of Sundersar, the moon-shaped lake, varies depending on where you stand. You shouldn't miss either the sunrise or the sunset because of how special they are. An additional eerie sensation occurs when you spend the night adjacent to Sundersar.
Trek Duration: 7 hours | Trek distance: 9 km
Altitude gain/loss: 12,945 ft to 11,300 ft via 13,165 ft
Trail Description: Moderate. Ascent to Marsar takes 40 minutes.The path then continues downward until you reach Homwas.
The day will begin with a climb to Marsar and end with a descent to Homwas, which is at an elevation of 11500 feet. The highest point of our entire walk is Marsar, which is located at a height of 13165 feet. With various hills, the trail is challenging. Because of its resemblance to Tarsar Lake, Marsar Lake is frequently referred to as Tarsar's twin sister. The Dal lake receives water from the Marsar lake, which is connected to Dachigam National Park. It goes without saying that the entire trail is brimming with stunning, unspoiled scenery.
We then make our way down and spend the night at Homwas.
Multiple Modes | (Trek, D)
Stay Not Applicable
Trek Duration: 6 hours | Trek distance: 13 km
Drive Duration: 3-4 hours | Drive distance: 100 km
Altitude: 11,300 ft to 7,960 ft
Trail Descritption: Gradual descending trail
The last day of our adventure is today. We descend from Aru via Lidderwat to Homwas. Therefore, compile any views you might have overlooked here. We will then return to Srinagar and spend the night here before saying goodbye.
Seven days of excitement, turmoil, and an unbelievable trek have come to an end. We are confident that during these seven days you will meet new people, have a great time in the wilderness, and put your future strength and endurance to the test. You will experience cramps throughout your entire body as you say goodbye to each other and head back, but don't worry—you've just completed one of Jammu and Kashmir's most popular and least travelled hikes. Bring smiles and memories home!
The crew at Plan the Unplanned always looks forward to your return; browse through our other itineraries and give us a call soon. We'll keep checking for your message. Till then, be careful and happy.
Here’s the cancellation policy for Tarsar Marsar Kashmir Trek
If for a rare reason, PTU cancels the trek
Plan The Unplanned strives to ensure that our treks are not cancelled or called off. However, in the event of unforeseen circumstances or natural disasters such as continuous rain or snow, thunderstorms, snowstorms, landslides, floods, earthquakes, or any other calamity that could jeopardize the safety of our trekkers, or if there are unforeseeable circumstances like local riots, curfews, pandemics, lockdowns, government orders, or any such situations that make a safe trek impossible, we will issue a voucher equivalent to the amount paid for the trek. This voucher can be redeemed for any of our treks in the coming year. We regret any inconvenience caused by such cancellations, but our top priority is always the safety of our trekkers.
We've divided out the travel based on the kind of transportation and the route you take for clarity:
TRC to Srinagar Airport
As you exit the Srinagar (Sheikh Ul-Alam) airport, the tricolour flag of India waves proudly in front of you. You must first travel to the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC), which is located 12 kilometres from the airport. But getting there is simple.There are two routes to the TRC.
1. Government Bus: This is the most convenient option. Every half hour, airport shuttles transport passengers to TRC. The ticket now costs around Rs.80. If you have time on your side, this is the most dependable, safe, and cost-effective method.
The second alternative is to take a private cab. As soon as you exit the airport, you will be bombarded with them. However, choose this alternative only if you are short on time because it is costly. The cab will cost you approximately Rs.600. Please keep in mind that while vehicles are available in Srinagar city, they are not available at the airport complex. To find an auto, you must walk about a kilometre from the airport. It is not recommended.
TRC to Aru Direct Route
After arriving at TRC, you will begin your journey to Aru. The road to Aru goes through Pahalgam. As a result, the first and most visible leg of your travel will be to Pahalgam. This can be accomplished in two ways. One travels along the four-lane Jammu Highway, passing through Anantnag. The second is on the other side of the Lidder river and takes the same length of time but is a little more scenic because of the apple and apricot orchards along the way. This is the path that leads through Bijbehra.Both roads meet three kilometres before Pahalgam. The entire route takes approximately 3.5 hours.
How to Plan Your Travel ?
1. When travelling to Srinagar, we recommend arriving a day early and staying in Srinagar. Staying in Srinagar allows you to get some much-needed rest for the night. Plus some additional sightseeing.Your journey concludes at Sonarmarg when you return. We once again organise transportation for trekkers to reach Srinagar. You arrive in Srinagar between 6 and 7 p.m.
Keep a buffer day aside for emergencies. Your journey will last 7 days, but add one extra day as a buffer. This is not part of the itinerary. On a trek, it is impossible to forecast adverse weather, landslides, or political situations. If you don't use the buffer day on the trek, you may always use it to explore Srinagar.
After including the buffer day in your itinerary, always reserve your return flight/train tickets.
2. Arrange your next flight/train trip
If you are flying from Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, or any other city, book your flights for Day Zero, which is the day before Day 1 on the schedule. If your trek begins on July 24, plan your flights to Srinagar on July 23.
How does Plan The Unplanned organize the trek?
The Plan the Unplanned team is affiliated with a local, knowledgeable team that is registered with the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department for the efficient organizing of Kashmir treks. In addition, we have been collaborating with them for a long time. We continue to work with them because of their expert personnel, knowledgeable local guides, and experienced trek leaders. The group will oversee all activities beginning in Srinagar. We only send our leaders from Bangalore when we have more than 8 reservations there.
A batch from PTU is combined with trekkers who originally make their reservations with the local team in order to properly utilize resources. All trekking organizations organize their treks in the same way. Only when we get the majority of reservations (over 8 and above) come from our end does an exclusive PTU batch get produced.
In conclusion, you are in capable hands. We're here to respond to all of your questions. When only PTU participants are in the batch, we create a WhatsApp group. However, you will personally receive all required information via email and WhatsApp.