Chadar Trek

Chadar Trek: All You Need to Know

If you are one of the experienced hikers and you want to experience the thrill of trekking, Chadar trek is definitely the one for you. During the winter of the Himalayan region, the Zanskar river in Ladakh forms a sheet of ice covering it and forms ‘Chadar’.

Traditionally used as the only means of travelling in harsh winters, now provides 105 km of adventurous trekking. You might have seen this trek covered in many documentaries and magazines where monks walk barefooted on the ice, making it one of the most glamorous treks in the world.

The Chadar trek requires you to walk on a frozen river at the highest altitude in mind-numbingly cold weather and is definitely one of the most challenging treks in India. Apart from the trek, you will see the iconic frozen Nerak waterfall, which is definitely a sight to behold. So why are you waiting? Pack your bags and book the Chadar trek at the earliest!

Fast Facts

  • Trek Distance: 105 km
  • Trek Altitude:  11,400 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Challenging
  • Best Season: January to February

How to Reach?

The only and comfortable way to reach is by a flight from your city to Leh. It is not only efficient but also an experience in itself, you will fly over some very stunning untouched regions of the Himalayas. The aerial view of snow-clad mountains will motivate you for your journey. There are several operators like Air India, Jet airways that provide at least one flight per day.

After getting down at Leh you would need to travel a distance of 64 km to Chilling, you can hire a cab or local transports available. Once you reach Chilling, from there trek a short distance up to Tilat Sumdo, the starting point of the trek

Where to Stay?

After you land in Leh, you need to dedicate three days to acclimatization. During this time, you can stay in luxurious hotels available near Leh market.

However, during the Chadar trek, there are no such hotels available. You will be camping in the caves that were traditionally used by Zanskari traders. These caves are still used by some of the locals and you will have the chance to explore them.

These are the specific camping sites that have been approved by the Lah District Administrations. You will be staying in your tents and have a layered sleeping bag.

Highlights of Chadar Trek

Tilat Sumdo:

This is the base of the Chadar Trek from where you will enroute the adventure. Sumdo with its literal meaning as ‘The confluence’ offers a splendid view of the range of the Himalayas among the small stream meeting Zanskar river.

Shinra Koma: 

On your third day, you will walk for about 10 km to reach Shinra Koma, the unparalleled beauty. You will walk on the mirror ice sheet and hear the sound it makes depending on the thickness of the ice.

Tibb: 

Trek from Shinra Koma to Tibb is long with a distance of 15 km but a rewarding one. You will start seeing small frozen waterfalls as you walk through the gorges. This is one of the beautiful days on Chadar Trek.

Nerak: 

The much-awaited Nerak falls come after the Tibb on your fifth day. The frozen blue waterfall of Nerak is approximately 56 ft high and mesmerising to look at. The wooden bridge known as Nerak pul is just ahead of Nerak falls and gives you eerie vibes as you cross it.

Gyalpo: 

This is a campsite for you to spend your nights at, you will encounter some of the surreal beauty of nature here. The sunset view is the epitome of nature in this region.

Dibyokma: 

Another campsite with a majestic Himalayan range as its background. The primary scenic view of the place is added with its tranquility.

Lingshed: 

Primarily famous for the age-old monastery of Lingshed, it is one of the oldest villages in Ladakh. The quaint little place is simple, peaceful and full of inspiring views.

What is the Cost?

There are multiple factors that affect the cost of the entire trip to the Chadar trek. The main things that affect the cost are the place of accommodation, type of trekking gear, tour operator and duration of the trek.

So, the average cost per person for the Chadar trek can be anywhere between Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. Although, some operators might charge up to Rs 50,000 because of the inclusive charges like permit grants, airfare etc.

When to Visit?

The only time you can do the Chadar trek is between the months of December to February as the upper layer of the Zanskar river turns into a sheet of ice, hence the name Chadar Trek. The temperature is always in the sub-zero range from -5 degrees Celsius to -35 degrees Celsius, so you should pack accordingly.

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