‘Ladakh, undoubtedly a peerless destination for adventure lovers to experience ecstasy. The adventure empyrean abodes some of the most mesmerizing trekking trails!’
The Himalayan range in Ladakh offers an abundance of trekking opportunities to the enthusiastic adventurers. Among these trails, Zanskar Frozen River or Chadar trek is among the wildest and most exciting treks in the world. Chadar (Frozen Sheet) trek has got its name from the fact that- it is undertaken over the frozen Zanskar river at the time of extreme winter season.
It is considered as one of the most unique and exclusive treks. It is an extraordinary adventure done on gleaming ice on the bank of the river Tsarap. The trail leads a tourist to a narrow valley filled with awe-inspiring vistas of unforeseen hanging icicles and snow-covered peaks. This breathtaking panorama draws the attention of the visitors in no time. The bonfire keeps a tourist warm and relaxed during his or her stay at cave camps in the night.
The frozen river trek goes from Lingshed and constitutes at Zanskar. For Chadar Ice Trek, it is very crucial to have a good guide along with. Trekking on ice is undoubtedly intimidating. At times the tourists have to walk along a narrow margin of snow, inhibited by the ravine wall on one side and deep water on the other.
The Chadar Trek, Ladakh allows the adventurers to penetrate the seclusion and examine some of the fascinating villages along the Zanskar River and, catch the glimpse of the lifestyle of Zanskar locales during the winter season. A tour to the prehistoric monastic edifices of Zangla and Karsha promises to uplift the visitor’s insight into the anonymities of Shangri-La. Shangri-La is an enchanting land that is located behind the walls of the Zanskar Mountains. Lingshed and Chilling are the significant villages that come across the route.
This trek is an ideal example of the ingenuity of the Ladakh inhabitants and their strong spirit even when they face many daunting odds. The name of this trek itself gives an indication of the whole experience that an adventurer is going to get. A large part of the Zanskar river, which is one of the largest rivers in Ladakh, freezes in the winter season and a vast part it gets covered by a large ice sheet.
This frozen sheet over the river is the only way to access Zanskar at the time of dead winters. The roads and the other caravan routes are blocked because of the heavy snowfall jamming the high passes during the winters. For hundreds of years, this route has been the traditional trade route for the Zanskari people. It is a seven to eight day walk from Chilling to Padum region providing the adventure bug an unparalleled enthralling experience. The picturesque panorama shows an immaculate grandeur at the time of the winter season and the trail enters into the ravine of Zanskar. At this place, the temperature may drop at the minimum of -30 to -35 degree centigrade.
Some facts about Chadar Trek
- Number of days: 10 to 18 days
- Highest point of the route: 3850 meters
- Grade: Moderate and Challenging
- Best Time to Visit: Mid January to the end February is the best period for this trek.
Zanskar is a mesmerizing destination renowned for its elating adventure activities. The hypnotizing journey of Chadar trek should definitely be visited once in a lifetime!
Zara is an active travelogue and professional writer. She loves sharing her experiences and rendering information about adventure travel and tourism related topic about India. She is always looking for new cities to add to her “visited” list and happy to make new contacts around the world.