Tarsar Marsar is undoubtedly India’s most beautiful hike. We don’t give treks this title lightly. Especially when it’s more difficult sister trip, the Kashmir Great Lakes, is involved. Then there’s the secretive Marsar, which is usually always shrouded in clouds. This lake is seen from an overhang 600–700 feet below. This is until clouds drift through the U-shaped valley and settle above the lake in clumps. The lake vanishes from view in a matter of seconds!
The Tarsar Marsar hike takes you deep into Kashmir’s heart. From the picturesque settlement of Aru to the Lidderwat clearings. From the Shekhawas’ sweeping green slopes to the enormous alpine lakes.The setting of Tarsar Marsar is so stunning that it will leave you dumbfounded for weeks!
Best time to go on the Tarsar Marsar Trek?
From the beginning of July until the beginning of September is the finest time to go on the Tarsar Marsar trek. The rest of the Indian subcontinent is experiencing its regular monsoon season, but things are different in Kashmir Valley. In the months of July and August, Kashmir receives only light rainfall. Not in the same way that it is in Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand. The Pir Panjal range, which blocks most rain clouds from reaching the Kashmir valley, is to blame.
It’s a blessing because it ensures a pleasant trekking trip. All other seasons are too cold to hike, and the route and meadows are mostly blanketed by snow. Tarsar Marsar journey changes appearance and color throughout the three months of July, August, and September, even if we only gaze at one season.
How Difficult Is It?
To be honest, the Tarsar Marsar walk, which reaches a height of 13,201 feet, is not particularly challenging. It has a moderate rating. That is due to the fact that hiking days are slightly longer. A moderate rating denotes slightly longer hiking days with a few of difficult hills (example: climb to Tarsar Pass). This makes it a little more difficult than treks like Kedarkantha and Dayara Bugyal, which are easy-moderate. The journey, however, includes easy exits and no challenging sections. Imagine covering 47.6 kilometers in 6 days to get a clear image. This trek gains about 5,243 feet, which isn’t too bad when spaced out over 6 days.
That means you walk an average of 8 kilometers every day. This covers ascents and descents that are gradual. It’s crucial because you’ll be trekking for four days at altitudes exceeding 10,000 feet.
A brief overview of the entire journey
Srinagar is the starting point of your journey. The overall trip is 112 kilometers, which takes 3 to 4 hours to travel by car. The apple orchards and alpine trees provide the nicest views along the journey. At 7959 feet above sea level, Aru is a lovely village on the banks of the Lidder River, where you will spend the first night of your journey.
On the second day, you must hike for 6 hours. This day’s adventure will conclude with camping at Lidderwat Valley, located at 9150 feet and close to the Lidder River.
The 5.5-kilometer excursion on day 3 begins in the Lidderwat meadow and ends in the Shekwas valley. It usually takes about 5 hours.
The trail follows the Lidder river and enters a pine forest from Lidderwat valley. A wooden bridge will transport you to the opposite side of the Lidder river, where you will find Homwas, a little dell, following a half-hour hike along the river.
After that, you’ll hike up a difficult rise through a forest of Bhoj trees and through several more valleys until arriving at Shekwas, another meadow at 11000 feet where you’ll spend the night in a tent.
On the fourth day, you travel from Shekwas to Tarsar Lake. Several ridges and mountain streams are crossed on the trek. The trek to Tarsar Lake, at a height of 12500 feet, takes 3 to 4 hours and covers a distance of 5 kilometers on this day. Tarsar Lake’s crystal pure water is crystalline blue at night, making it look like a dreamland amidst the snow-capped mountains.
On your way from Tarsar to Sundersar Lake on day 5, you will be surrounded by breathtaking splendor. The coveted Sundersar lake and the valley near to it may be explored in a 5-kilometer hike that takes 5 hours. The day’s trek concludes with camping near the lakefront at an elevation of 13000 feet.
The expedition requires you to cover 9 kilometers in 7 hours on this day (Day 6). Only after reaching the ridges can you see Marsar Lake. Marsar, Tarsar’s twin lake, is situated at a height of 13400 feet. The lake is illusive, and most of the time it is concealed beneath a cloud cover. On day 7, near the end of the expedition, you return to Homwas via Jagmarg valley, covering 13 kilometers in 6 hours.