5 Stunning Highlights Of Tarsar Marsar Most Trekkers Fail To Notice

I have been talking a lot about how pretty the Tarsar Marsar trek is. Most treks in the Himalayas are pretty. Almost every trek comes with grand views, lovely streams, forests, good meadows. They are loaded with adventure. And then there is the Tarsar Marsar trek in Kashmir. It takes prettiness to such a high level that it leaves you visually stunned for weeks together!

Camping beside any alpine lake is a rarity. But camping on the grassy banks of a lake as pretty as Tarsar is a gift! And then our trekkers say, “Tarsar is nothing. Camping on the shores of Sundarsar is even better!”

Now here’s what gets my goat. While Tarsar is such a pedigree trek, I am disappointed most trekkers don’t take in everything the trek has to offer. So this year, while on the trail lookout for these highlights of Tarsar Marsar Trek.

Tarsar Marsar - Indiahikes - Ravindra Joisa - Tarsar Lake
The Tarsar Lake by Ravindra Joisa

5 Highlights of Tarsar Marsar Trek –

1. Glades of Aru – The Base of the Tarsar Marsar trek

Aru is almost European in its setting. The village is a cluster of lovely cottages with slanted tin roofs. Willow and poplar trees pop up amidst the cottages. A clear stream runs through the heart of the village. To add to its European looks, Aru is surrounded by lovely landscaped grasslands. So landscaped that it almost feels like an architect designed it. When you get to Aru don’t hang about near your campsite. Climb a bit and take a long circuitous walk around the village, hugging the pine trees that hover over Aru.

Tarsar Marsar - Indiahikes - Aru Village
Aru village – a cluster of lovely cottages amidst Willow and Poplar trees

2. The area around the Lidderwat campsite

Just outside our Day 2 campsite at Lidderwat, towards the Kolahoi glacier, is a tiny Gujjar settlement under pine trees. It is absolutely stunning to see such quaint settlements under such big pine trees. Do go up to the settlement and observe life from a different era. Take in the smell of the pines.

Speaking of which, I’ve noticed that trekkers don’t seem to be spending any time at the lovely grass meadows near the Lidderwat bridge. The pines there are probably the most beautiful and untouched as you can get.

Tarsar Marsar - Indiahikes - Lidderwat Campsite
Take a walk around Lidderwat to the Gujjar settlement

3. Climbing the ridge above Shekawas

There’s a grassy ridge that climbs just behind our Shekawas campsite. It is so grassy that you don’t need shoes to do this climb. Your barefoot will do – and the feeling is glorious. The climb is endless; it just gets higher and higher until your tents are just specks. As you climb, the valleys around Shekawas open up. If you are doing the climb in the evening (as you most invariably will), you also catch one of the best sunsets of your life. Don’t miss this.

Tarsar Marsar - Indiahikes - Shekwas Grasslands
Grasslands of Shekwas

4. Walks around Tarsar

There are two walks around Tarsar that are an absolute must-do. First, trekkers must walk to the far end of Tarsar, towards the other side of the lake. Tarsar is a lake that looks different from every angle you see. From the other side, it almost appears to be a new lake with different views. This experience is wonderful. Then there is the walk behind our campsite, towards Shekawas. It can go on for a kilometre or so, crossing lovely brooks on the way. It throws up a whole new light to the Tarsar camp area. You don’t see the lake but you see a Kashmir that you may have just missed. Keep the stream to your right as you walk away from the camp.

Tarsar Marsar - Indiahikes - Bird's eye view of Tarsar Lake
Birds Eye View of the Tarsar Lake

5. Spending time at the Jagmargi grasslands

These are the lovely grasslands that stretch as far as the eye can see, just before the final push to Sundersar camp. You don’t expect it at first. The grasslands are almost like a bay in the mountains. They are desolate, pretty – a sight that is rarely seen on treks. A lovely stream meanders through the grass, gentle as a lamb. In a hurry to get to Sundersar trekkers tend to rush through this stretch. That’s a bad idea. You don’t get spots like Jagmargi on treks.

Tarsar Marsar - Indiahikes - Jagmargi Grasslands
Blooming Flowers in the Jagmargi Grasslands

So there you have it. Five highlights that will make your Tarsar Marsar trek in Kashmir a superb experience.

What you should do now

1. If you’d like to register for the Tarsar Marsar trek:

Click on this link.

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15 thoughts on “5 Stunning Highlights Of Tarsar Marsar Most Trekkers Fail To Notice

  1. Dear Sir,
    Thank you for posting this, and a bigger thank you for starting this community.

    I haven’t trekked at all in my life, but I do jog and consider myself fit(ish). I did the ladakh tour on a bike last year and the mountains did its magic, and I am itching to get back on it. So, for this year, what would you think of as a good trek for me? Would the great lakes trek be more hectic and hurried than this? (I would rather enjoy my trek than push to reach a destination). If that’s the case, then I would like to go on this trek this year (I am almost certain that I will live another year and I can definitely do the great lakes later). And, which month would be the best (again, I am doing it for the views)?

    Could you please help me?

    Best regards,

      1. I am planning to do it during Sep 30-Oct 6 batch. How’s the weather at that time? Is it still like the photos posted in this article? They are truly mesmerising and I am itching to see those places.

        1. Hi Sainath, the mountain scenery will be just the same. The grasslands will have a tinge of orange and brown because of the onset of autumn though. It adds to the beauty! 🙂

    1. Hi Sachin,
      July has more rain compared to September. You are likely to see some snow or ice blocks floating on the lakes in July. September is drier. There won’t be any snow or ice but you will see various shades of green and brown in the meadows. August is a great time to see flowers in the meadows.

  2. Kashmir has always been painted as a picture with beautiful valleys, snow-covered mountains, lakes filled with ink blue water covered with pine and coniferous trees. To live a few days amidst this picturesque view, the Great Lakes in Kashmir trek is a choice you have to make whenever you visit the state.

    1. Hi Dinesh, Har Ki Dun is a great trek! But we usually recommend it to those who have done at least one trek because it is fairly difficult. But if you have the required fitness, then you could go for it. Here are details about the fitness required for the trek -https://www.indiahikes.com/har-ki-dun/#preparation

  3. Hii,
    Wanted to know how will the weather be in July end…..for Tarsar Marsar trek…..how will the rains be…drizzling or pouring……n would it make all the more difficult for trekking ?! Is it a good idea to take this trek while in rainy season….?!

  4. This post showed very good understanding and it was well-thought out work. I’m obsessed with reading any article for help I can find. Thank you for sharing.