The Tarsar Marsar trek is a superb example of what trekking in Kashmir is all about: terrific alpine lakes, wide open plains, endless grasslands and grand mountain views. Frankly, though we have other treks in the country very few can match up to the experience of doing the Tarsar Marsar trek.
So why should the Tarsar Marsar Trek be on your bucket-list?
1. Kashmir Trek
The Tarsar Marsar trek is located in Kashmir, and Kashmir treks are simply stunning. The vast meadows, pine forests, glades, sweeping landscapes and the stunning snow-capped peaks are all bundled together into the region of Kashmir!
Don’t get me wrong, trekking in the Himalayas is one of the best experiences, but the Kashmiri Himalayas have probably the grandest landscapes with scenic beauty that can only be compared with the Swiss and Austria Alps.
For any trekker, wanting to trek in the Himalayas, a Kashmir trek must always be on your bucket list.
2. Campsites of Tarsar and Sundersar
The campsites of Tarsar and Sundersar are special. The beauty of this trek is that you will be camping right on the glades around these lakes. Now this is a rare opportunity, generally our campsites are located a little further away from the lakes or overlooking a lake but in this case, we camp right on the banks of the lake. You literally wake up, unzip the tent flap and see the morning light sparkling on the blue waters of these lakes.
At the Tarsar campsite, there are cliffs on one side with snow patches feeding the lake, it’s a wondrous sight and you’re camping right next to it. It’s reason enough to do the trek! And add to that the fact that you camp at the Sundersar lake as well. Most of our trekkers say that this is our favourite campsite.
3. Jagmargi Grasslands
Any list describing the reasons to do the Tarsar Marsar trek is incomplete without mentioning the Jagmargi Grasslands. These grasslands located just before the Sundersar campsite are a sight to see. Expanding from the foot of one mountain to another, this flowering grassland is probably the most colourful bays of flowers you’ll ever come across (barring probably the Valley of Flowers). The Jagmargi grasslands exude a sense of calm on an otherwise thrill heavy trek. The flat valley with a stream gently finding its way through and abundant flowers and lush greenery form the perfect tonic for your weary mind.
These grasslands act as the perfect pit-stop to restore the energy reserves of all trekkers before reaching the Sundersar campsite.
4. Aru Base Camp
We’ve mentioned how Kashmir’s scenic beauty can be compared with that of the Swiss and Austrian Alps. This is also true for the Aru Base Camp, this small town is reminiscent of a small European town located in the middle of the Alps. The Aru base camp is probably the prettiest campsite we have, the cluster of cottages with slanted tin roofs and the occasional willow and poplar trees popping up in the middle. A clear stream runs through the village and finally, the village itself is surrounded by vast grasslands on three sides and a dense forest on the other. It’s almost too pretty to be true!
6. The Lakes
The Tarsar Marsar Trek is often compared to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek and rightfully so. Both these Kashmir Treks boast of beautiful lakes and true Kashmiri landscapes, however, the Tarsar Marsar Trek also boasts of an untouched Kashmir. This trail takes you through parts of Kashmir that even the most ardent Kashmiri might not have seen and this is what makes it so damn beautiful.
The lakes of Tarsar, Marsar and Sundersar too are extremely beautiful, with the Sundersar often being referred to as the prettiest.
While the Kashmir Great Lakes treks also boasts of some of the prettiest lakes, the Tarsar Marsar trek has one unique advantage. The trail is not as crowded. Now this might not seem like much, but imagine sitting on the banks of the Tarsar, Marsar or Sundersar and enjoying the beauty of the lake and it’s setting without a single soul around you (except for your fellow group of trekkers). This kind of solitude can never be felt while trekking the Kashmir Great Lakes trek as it is too popular.
Being able to sit alone or in a small group near the banks of these large marine blue lakes, sipping tea and wistfully looking up at the snow clad mountains is a feeling that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
7. Difficulty Level
Finally, the difficulty level. The Tarsar Marsar Trek is not really a difficult trek. Yes, it requires trekkers to meet certain basic fitness levels, but that is the same for any moderate difficulty trek. The fact that it is a moderate trek, means that anyone with decent fitness levels can do the Tarsar Marsar trek, even first-time trekkers. Completing a trek like the Tarsar Marsar trek as your first-trek will definitely get you hooked onto trekking for the rest of your life.
Since the Tarsar Marsar trek is a relatively easy trek and since it has so much to offer, I really can’t find a reason why it should not be on your bucket-list of treks to do.
In-fact, I think it should be the first trek to do in any trekking bucket-list!
If you have any questions, queries and doubts about this trek, feel free to drop in a comment. Also if you have any stories about the Tarsar Marsar trek, do share them in the comment section.