Tarsar Marsar Kashmir Trek

Arguably The Prettiest Trek In India
Trek Fee : 11,950 + 5% GST
Difficulty
Difficulty
? Moderate treks may have steep ascents and descents. These can go upto 14,000 ft or higher and trekking hours can go upto 6 hours everyday. Easy exits are possible from a few campsites.
Moderate
Duration
Duration
7 Days
Altitude
Maximum Altitude
13,201 ft
Pickup point
Pickup point
Srinagar
Required Fitness
Base Camp
Aru, Pehalgam
Age
Minimum Age
12
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
Mid-June - September

Arguably The Prettiest Trek in India

Tarsar Marsar is arguably the prettiest trek in India. This is a title we do not give treks lightly. Especially when it’s formidable sister trek, Kashmir Great Lakes, is in the picture.  

However, Tarsar Marsar is a trek where alpine lakes take a life of their own. It is not just the fact that you get to camp beside these royal blue, snow-fed lakes (you don’t get this camping chance even at KGL). Or the secluded nature of these campsites (a godsend in today’s trekking scenario!). You get to circumvent the entire perimeter of Tarsar and Sundersar, offering you multiple perspectives of the very same lake!

The dreamy Tarsar Lake.  You get to circumvent the entire perimeter of  this lake, offering you multiple perspectives. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

Then there is the elusive Marsar, almost always hidden under a shroud of clouds. We see this lake from an overhang, sitting 600-700 ft below. It is a perfect spot to witness the grandeur of the lake, with the sun rising right above it. This is until dollops of clouds waft their way through the U-shaped valley and settle above the lake. The lake disappears from view within seconds!

The Tarsar Marsar trek takes you right to the heart of Kashmir. From the quaint village of Aru to the clearings of Lidderwat. From the rolling green mountains of Shekhawas to the massive alpine lakes. The setting of Tarsar Marsar is such that it leaves you visually stunned for weeks together!

Camping beside the Tarsar Lake. You see Tarsar in the distance. The secluded nature of these campsites is a godsend in today’s trekking scenario! Picture by Sudheer Hegde

What to Watch Out For

The Tarsar and Sundersar campsites

This trek presents a unique opportunity to camp beside two alpine lakes. This, by itself, is a rarity. Your tent flaps open to the view of glittering blue waters of the lakes. Throughout the day, you see the snow-fed lake change colours as the sun’s angle changes. The sunrises and sunsets over the lake, the precious silence of just sitting beside the lake — these are experiences you don’t get anywhere else.

Your tent flaps open to the view of glittering blue waters of the lakes. Picture by Brijesh Tiwari

The clearings before Lidderwat camp

You get to these clearings after a walk in a tall, dense coniferous forest. The smell of pine surrounds you as sunlight slants through these trees. You spot the clearing with a Gujjar hut, enclosed by these ancient trees. This setting is straight out of a movie set!

The grasslands of Lidderwat is a sett. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

The Jagmargi grasslands

Just before the final climb to Sundersar camp, you trek through the Jagmargi grasslands. These lovely grasslands sit almost like a bay between the mountains. There is a quiet stream gliding through the grass of this flat valley. Sprouting among the grassy bog are flowers of yellow, blue and white. Sometimes, the flowers are in so much abundance, you hop around the grasslands to avoid crushing them!

Wildflowers abound in the meadows of Kashmir. PC: Sandhya UC

Aru, the base camp

Aru takes the cake when we debate about the most beautiful base camp we have. (In fact, the only other base camp that gets a mention as being close to Aru is Jaubhari, the base camp for Sandakphu). Aru feels almost European. It is a cluster of lovely cottages with slanted tin roofs, with willow and poplar trees popping up in between. A clear stream runs through the heart of the village. Vast grasslands surround it. It is almost too idyllic to be true.

aru tarsar marsar kashmir trek
Aru is almost too idyllic to be true. Picture by Arjun Majumdar

Banner Image by Kishan Harwalkar


Trekkers often ask us these questions about the Tarsar Marsar trek:

These questions have been answered by Swathi Chatrapathy, head of the content team at Indiahikes. 

What’s the best time to do Tarsar Marsar trek?

The Tarsar Marsar Lake trek is one of the prettiest treks in our country, provided you time it right. The best time to do the Tarsar Marsar trek starts from July, runs throughout the month of August and ends towards the end of September. 

In July is when there are still some snow patches on the trek. Around the Tarsar Lake, you’re likely to see some snow patches on the surrounding cliffs and perhaps some floes on the surface of the lake as well. These are small additions to the view, but they can absolutely change the settings! 

In August, there won’t be much snow, but the trail is greenest this month, with wildflowers blooming throughout the trail. The Jagmargi valley becomes a delight to step in in August. 

In September, do the Tarsar Marsar trek for the colors. With the onset of winter, the entire trail takes on different hues. The lower sections are still beautifully green, whereas the higher sections are astonishing shades of orange, golden yellow, brown, purple and red! You’re also likely to face the clearest weather in the month of September.

The below video will give you an understanding of what the trail is like in these months. Watch it to make a better decision on when to do the Tarsar Marsar trek. 

Which is better – Tarsar Marsar or Kashmir Great Lakes treks?

This is a tough one! The treks are so vastly different from each other despite being in Kashmir. A basic way to make your decision would be based on your fitness. Kashmir Great Lakes is a lot tougher than the Tarsar Marsar trek. It involves crossing three mountain passes, long distances everyday and a longer duration of being in the wilderness. 

Tarsar Marsar is the easier sister trek of Kashmir Great Lakes. The trekking days are short and friendly, and you have long leisurely time at the campsites. So the trek is very beginner-friendly. “It’s the only trek where I’ve seen trekkers open a book, sit and read beside a blue alpine lake,” shares Sandhya, our co-founder. 

I would strongly recommend reading this article where Sandhya does a beautiful comparison of the two treks in terms of the sceneries, variety and difficulty. 

Kashir Great Lakes VS Tarsar Marsar

How many lakes do we see on Tarsar Marsar trek?

There are three alpine lakes on the Tarsar Marsar trek — Tarsar, Marsar and Sundarsar. “Sar” means lake in Kashmiri and you’ll see three of them on this trek. 

The most unique aspect of the Tarsar Marsar trek is that you camp right on the banks of two of these lakes — Tarsar and Sundarsar. 

Marsar, on the other hand, is a mysterious lake, which has drifts of fog coming in and covering the lake every few minutes. The mist disappears just as it came in, revealing the lake, only to come back again and cover up the lake. This hide and go seek is a delight to watch on this trek. 

Lakes on the Tarsar Marsar Trek

Is it safe to trek in Kashmir?

The Tarsar Marsar trekking trail is safe. It is in the remote mountains of Kashmir, where there is no unrest. However, the drive to the base camp of Tarsar Marsar, a village called Aru, is where there’s slight uncertainty during times of political turmoil. The route passes through a few of Kashmir’s troubled regions — Anantnag, Pampore and Tral. 

When the political situation is stable in Kashmir, the route is safe to travel on. We have taken hundreds of trekkers on this route. 

If the situation has been unsafe, we have re-routed trekkers to the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. The approach to the KGL trek is safe and goes through a more touristy side of Kashmir towards Sonamarg. 

Sometimes, we call off treks if the situation is too serious (for instance when Burhan Wani was shot and the political situation in Kashmir was out of control). Calling off a trek is a worst-case scenario and has not occurred too many times in the past. 

Keep in mind that if we are running the Tarsar Marsar trek, you can assume that it is safe. We would not compromise on anyone’s safety and run it during dangerous times. 

This video by our founder, Arjun Majumdar, will give you better clarification on the ground situation in Kashmir.

SHORT ITINERARY

Day 1: Start drive from Srinagar to Aru at 2.30 pm
We organise transport at 12 pm from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu Barbara Shah Chowk, Srinagar.
It costs Rs 3,000 per cab (5-6 seater). You have to pay the driver directly.
You will reach Aru by 4 pm.

Day 2: Trek from Aru (7,958 ft) to Lidderwat (9,131 ft);
6 hours, 10 km trek

Day 3: Lidderwat (9,131 ft) to Shekwas (11,039 ft);
5 hours, 5.6 km trek

Day 4: Shekwas (11,039 ft) to Tarsar (12,449 ft);
4 hours, 5 km trek

Day 5: Tarsar (12,449 ft) to Sundersar (12,946 ft);
5 hours, 5 km trek

Day 6: Visit Marsar (13,201 ft), go to Homwas (11,500 ft);
7 hours, 9 km trek

Day 7: Trek from Homwas (11,500 ft) to Aru (7,958 ft) and drive to Srinagar.
6 hours, 13 km trek

You are expected to reach Srinagar by 8.00 pm. Cost will be Rs.2,700 per cab (5-6 seater).

Important points to note:

1. It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

2. Your stay in a homestay at Aru. Rest on all days will be organised in tents (3 per tent).

3. Any meals during transit are not included in the trek fee.

4. It’s a good idea to stay back in Srinagar on the day you return. You could stay at a houseboat on Dal Lake.

Day 1: Getting to the base camp – Aru

Pahalgam is about 100 km from Srinagar and Aru is 12 km away from Pahalgam. Pahalgam is a more familiar place around Srinagar so if you are reaching on your own, take a shared vehicle from Srinagar to Pahalgam. It takes about 3 hours to get there. There are two lovely routes to Pahalgam; one through Anantnag and the other through Bijbehra. The Bijbehra route is a tourist trail where you will drive through excellent rural Kashmir scenery. What tops it is the abundance of apple orchards, walnut and apricot trees along the way. From Pahalgam, Aru is right across the Lidder River. It takes another half an hour to cover this distance. Today, after a 3.5 hour drive from Srinagar you reach Aru by 6.30 pm. There are plenty of places to stay at Aru, though they are a tad expensive. Indiahikes trekkers will stay in a homestay at the campsite.

  • Altitude: 7,958 ft (2,426 m)
  • Time taken: 3.5 hours drive. Pick up from Srinagar at 12.00 pm.
Aru Valley, the base camp of the Tarsar Marsar trek. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

Day 2: Aru to Lidderwat

  • Altitude: 7,958 ft (2,426 m) to 9,131 ft (2,783 m)
  • Time taken: 6 hours, 10 km
  • Trek gradient: Easy – moderate. Initial gradual ascent for 30 minutes followed by a gentle undulating walk.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill your water bottles from streams, a few hours into the trek.

It is a gentle but long climb from Aru to Lidderwat, covering a distance of 10 km in 6 hours. The trail to Lidderwat starts to climb straight out of the village, following the course of the Lidder River. Follow the wide trail past the agricultural department’s fence. Look back to take a commanding view of the entire region of Aru. The trail gets into a cluster of fir trees and continues to climb. Half an hour later, the trail pops out at a clearing called Dalla, near Gujjar huts. At Dalla, the trail is no longer a climb, but a gentle undulating walk through thick pines. 20 minutes later, a wide fork in the trail under a giant fir tree signals the diversion to Nandkei. Nandkei is a cluster of Gujjar settlements across the Lidder. Continue on the trail with the forest thinning out progressively. Half an hour later, the trail leaves the cluster of trees completely and threads through open grasslands. Spot Gujjars and their families criss-crossing the meadows on horse backs. The trail climbs over so gently that it is hardly noticeable.

Tarsar Marsar day 2 wooden bridge
Tarsar Marsar wooden bridge crossing

Another half hour later, the trail crosses two clear streams – the second one over a wooden bridge. The streams are clear and the water is safe to drink. It is another hour’s journey to Lidderwat from the bridge. Soon after the bridge, the trail climbs into another small cluster of pine trees. Sometimes, during peak season, there’s a tea stall on the right – it serves as a good place catching your breath over a cup of tea. Out of the pine trees, the trail gently climbs a mound, from the top of which is one of the most fascinating sceneries of the day. The Lidder River meets with the trail at the valley bottom, spreading out in springs. Next to the river are grassy glades where the trail runs. Beyond, the Lidder rushes out of a curve around more gorgeous fir forests. It takes about half hour to cross this lovely section of the trail and enter the cluster of firs once again. Across the forest and ten minutes later, are the superb meadows of Lidderwat. There are a few Gujjar huts that signal Lidderwat.

The grasslands of Lidderwat. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

A sensible option is to drop down to the wooden bridge, climb out of the meadows on the other side and camp anywhere. On the other side are lovely clear streams running across the meadows – this is vitally important if you are camping for the night. There are PDA (Pahalgam District Authority) huts for accommodation. There are also plenty of places to pitch camp. The PDA caretaker runs a private shop and there are quick bites to eat here. The Lidderwat camping site is a dream. Clear streams run across the meadows. Spare time to take long walks that stretch to either ends of the meadows. It is a delight that you will rarely come across.

Day 3: Lidderwat to Shekwas

  • Altitude: 9,131 ft (2,783 m) to 11,039 ft (3,365 m)
  • Time taken: 5 hours, 5.6 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Continuously ascending trail for the first 2 hours with a few short level walks. River crossing just before Homwas followed by gradual ascent.
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles at any of the several streams that you cross.
En route Shekhawas. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

The trail to Tarsar starts to climb right behind the PDA huts – following the course of the river flowing alongside. It leaves the river below and climbs very quickly into the pine forest above you. The trail is straightforward and does not pose any challenge.Continue to climb past clusters of pines and clearings for an hour and a half, until a stunning view opens up before you. The narrow valley of Lidderwat opens up to tracks of wide sweeping grasslands. The grasslands merge with the towering mountains, with snow patches in their folds. It is no longer a single valley but many valleys that converge together. The trail ahead converges upwards and to the left past the Bhakarwal shelters, sticking to the right of the river. Clear streams run down and cut through the trail many times. There are good spots to fill water. Avoid taking the upward trail. Drop down to the river and cross it, first hopping over a few boulders and then crossing a make-shift long bridge. Follow the river and continue to climb the trail. Half an hour later, the trail around a bend opens up to a wide clearing of Homwas. There are a few friendly Gujjar huts where you can stop for tea. It is a delight treading on the trail after Homwas. It is mostly on grass and feels lovely under your feet. The trail, now in a south westerly direction, enters a narrow valley with blue waters of the river as constant company. The climb continues to gain altitude. An hour later, you will pass a very old cluster of Silver Birch (Bhoj) trees,  and the view opens up to another stunning scenery. This time, a possibly wider grassland leads to two wide green valleys. It stretches out vastly in front of you. Undulating meadows on your left reach out for the sky. Beyond the meadows, tall, dark, snow-patched cliffs shadow the landscape. The trail climbs swiftly past a few Gujjar huts to the camping grounds of Shekwas. For those on the Tarsar trail, Shekwas is a logical and extremely pretty camping ground. It is a good break after the hard climb.

Day 4: Shekwas to Tarsar

  • Altitude: 11,039 ft (3,365 m) to 12,449 ft (3,794 m)
  • Time taken: 3-4 hours, 5 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Continuous ascent, mostly on gradual inclines.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill your water bottles at a couple of streams.

Past Shekwas, the trail again snakes its way through grass for a long while. The trail to Tarsar, meanwhile, climbs into a ridge that overhangs the stream. In a general westerly direction, the trail climbs rapidly towards a conical hill in front. The trail tops a few false ridges, each opening up to different wondrous sceneries.Two hours later, the trail finally gives you a narrow glimpse of Tarsar. Even the slight glimpse is a delight and it is a rush to reach the shores of the lake. Cross the stream over boulders and set your foot on the grassy glades of Tarsar. There are plenty of flat camping spots along the lake and pitching tents is not an issue.

The blue waters of Tarsar. Picture by Sandhya UC

The lake is a stunning display of nature’s capabilities. The waters are turquoise blue and in a cauldron surrounded by snow patches feeding the waters of the lake. If ever there was a place that could come close to paradise, then the camping shores of Tarsar are it!

Day 5: Tarsar to Sundersar

  • Altitude: 12,449 ft (3,794 m) to 12,946 ft (3,946 m)
  • Time taken: 5 hours, 5 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Steep ascent in the beginning to the pass, followed by a descent and then a gentle ascent to Sundarsar.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill your water bottles from a couple of streams dispersed along the trail.
Standing beside the Tarsar Lake. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

The view from the other side of the Tarsar pass is another terrific attraction. The grassy valley stretches out from your left to right in a never ending stretch of beauty that boggles the imagination. Even the anticipation of your walk on the valley floor is enough to set the heart racing. On a side note, this is the same valley that leads to the Shekwas meadows. Most trekkers descend down from Tarsar, until Shekwas, turn left and get into the Sundarsar valley. By climbing to the pass you’ve saved 3-4 hours of the trek.

Standing atop the Tarsar Pass. Picture by Kishan Harwalkar

Descend from the pass on the shepherds’ trail that leads to the bottom of the valley. Catch up with the trail that runs along the stream on the grassy bed of the valley. Move up the valley, to your left and continue on the trail. Ten minutes later, spot a few Bakkarval shelters on your left. Behind the shelter, the trail climbs over a short stretch of boulders to tap a knoll. What lies behind the knoll is something that poets reserve their best for. In a vast expanse of meadows, with a widening valley on your left, are the most lush grasslands you’ll ever see. Sheep graze gently on the meadows. Unmindful of your presence even as you brush past them. Horses munch on the same grass in gay abandonment. In the middle of the meadows, the stream turns into a large pond, fed by brooks from snow-melt of the surrounding mountains. Snow patches on the mountains offset the greenery of the meadows. This delight of nature takes about half hour to cross. Walk down the trails that lead to the end of the meadow. Towards the end, superbly laid boulders cover the stream. They are laid out so well that it appears as if they were constructed there. Hop along the boulders, climbing rapidly for another 15 minutes, until you reach the base of a ridge that separates the meadow from the valley above it. To get to the top of the ridge, the trail climbs through a narrow boulder-lined valley for another 15 minutes. Topping the ridge is another moment for the poets. Another meadow larger than the one you left behind sprawls out in front. Which is more beautiful, it’s hard to say. The settings are similar, almost identical. The valley floor is a vast bed of flowers. Far beyond is another ridge top – the exit route of the Tarsar trek. From the ridge top, look to your left and spot a grazing trail that leads into the folds of the mountains on your left. The folds lead to enticing snow-laden flanks of mountain sides. Follow the trail that climbs past the stream running down the slope. Briefly, the trail hangs over similar well-laid boulders over the stream. Ten minutes later, the trail magically hops over landscaped grassy mounds to land on the lovely shores of the lake of Sundarsar. To your right and behind, are big flat stretches for camping. Sundarsar is the perfect camping spot after the lovely trek from Tarsar.

Tarsar Marsar- Navneet Saxena - Sundersar
The Sundarsar Lake. PC: Navneet Saxena

Day 6: Visit Marsar and go to Homwas

  • Altitude: 12,946 ft (3,946 m) to 13,201 ft / 4,024 m (Marsar Ridge) to 11,500 ft (3,505 m)
  • Time taken: 7 hours, 9 km
  • Trail gradient: Moderate. 40 minute ascent to Marsar. Gradual descent all the way to Homwas.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill your water bottles from a couple of streams dispersed along the trail.
Sundarsar Lake. PC: Sandhya UC

From Sundarsar, skirt around the shores of the lake from the right to get to the far side of the lake. There are two logical passes that one can climb. Both lead to Marsar. The quicker one is over the boulder-laden trail on the left. Climb over the boulders and trace a path towards the pass. Snow over the boulders can make the approach tricky. An ice axe or a trekking pole helps a lot to gain firm footing. It is a half hour climb to the pass. The pass is a lovely grassy stretch that has clear trails leading to flatter grounds just below it. Get down to the flatter stretches and occasionally hop over lovely brooks that run along the trails. Keep to the trail that veers to the left and spot a ridge that climbs on your left and in front. Five minutes later, climb over to the top of the ridge for an amazing view of Marsar almost 600-700 feet below. Marsar is a hidden beauty, almost always engulfed under dollops of clouds and mist. Almost as large as Tarsar, Marsar is similar looking. Tall, snow-lined cliffs rise off the lake. On the left, the overrun waters of the lake run down a lovely green valley towards Traal. On the right, outer edges of the Dachigam reserve forest almost climb up to the shores of the lake. Head back the way you came up to Marsar and get back to Sundarsar in about 40 minutes of descent. At Sundarsar campsite, you have breakfast and start from Homwas. You retrace your steps to Jagmargi valley. Trekkers are extremely lucky to view these grasslands twice and from different directions. Instead of crossing the Tarsar pass, you take a different route to Shekwas. Roughly an hour of walking from Shekwas to Homwas.  You are expected to reach Homwas just in time for lunch. You camp at Homwas for the night.

Day 7: Homwas to Aru. Drive to Srinagar

  •  Altitude: 11,500 ft (3,505 m) to 7,958 ft (2,426 m)
  • Time taken: 6 hours, 13 km
  • Trek gradient: Easy. Gradually descending trail all the way.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill your water bottles from a streams on the trail.
Tarsar Exploration 1 (1024 x 683)
Huts at Aru

Today you take the same route that you had taken at the beginning of the trek via Lidderwat. The trail goes downhill and it is  a quick descent. It will take you 2 hours from Homwas to Lidderwat. The beauty of this part of your trek is that you will get to see all of those views that you had initially missed. The shrinking Kolahoi glacier is one of these sights. You will see the pine forests of Lidderwat that you had seen on day one of your trek in a whole new light. After getting some rest at Lidderwat, you head for Aru. It is a 10 km walk from Lidderwat to Aru. This takes around 4 hours to cover. Stop for lunch en-route, you are expected to reach Aru by 4 in the evening. Vehicles will be arranged from Aru to Srinagar. You will reach Srinagar between 7-8 pm.

Mobile connectivity and ATM point

Please note that prepaid SIM cards do not work in Kashmir. Pahalgam is the last point where you will receive mobile network. So ensure you finish your important telephone calls here. Inform anxious family members about poor connectivity during the trek. Pahalgam is also where you will find the last ATM in case you need to withdraw money before starting the trek.

Tarsar campsite. PC: Chetan

Plan Your Travel for the Tarsar Marsar Trek

It is great to see you going on the Tarsar Marsar trek, one of the most beautiful treks in India. While it is a great trek to do, you need to get your travel plan worked out perfectly. Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do next. Use this guide and nothing else to plan your travel.

Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do next. Use this guide and nothing else to plan your travel.  

1. Here’s a quick view on how to plan your travel


Day 0: Book your air ticket to Srinagar. If you reach in the morning, you can think about traveling to Aru on the same day instead of staying at Srinagar. Click here for more explanation. 

Day 1: Drive from Srinagar to Aru. The distance is 100kms and take 4hrs to reach. Transport will be arranged at 12 pm from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara  Shah Chowk, near Flourmill, Srinagar.  It costs Rs 3,000 per vehicle (shared between 5-6 trekkers) You will reach Aru by 4 pm.

Day 2: Trek from Aru (7,958 ft) to Lidderwat (9,131 ft); 6 hours, 10 km trek

Day 3: Lidderwat (9,131 ft) to Shekwas (11,039 ft); 5 hours, 5.6 km trek

Day 4: Shekwas (11,039 ft) to Tarsar (12,449 ft);4 hours, 5 km trek

Day 5: Tarsar (12,449 ft) to Sundersar (12,946 ft); 5 hours, 5 km trek

Day 6: Visit Marsar (13,201 ft), go to Homwas (11,500 ft); 7 hours, 9 km trek

Day 7: Trek from Homwas (11,500 ft) to Aru (7,958 ft) and drive to Srinagar. 6 hours, 13 km trek. You are expected to reach Srinagar by 8.00 pm. Cost will be Rs.3,000 per cab (5-6 seater).

Day 8: Book return flight ticket from Srinagar. Do not book plane tickets to your hometown from Srinagar on Day 7.

| Note:

  1. While getting to Srinagar, we recommend you arrive a day earlier and stay at Aru. If you are unable to stay at Aru, then stay close to the pickup location.

    Staying at Srinagar or Aru gives you a well-deserved rest for the night. Plus some bonus sightseeing.
  2. On your return, your trek ends at Aru. We again arrange for transport for trekkers to reach Srinagar. You reach Srinagar between 7.00 and 8.00 pm. 

It costs Rs 3,000 per vehicle on the way back from Aru. It is better to travel with the team when in Kashmir. If you are planning anything after the trek, kindly plan after reaching Srinagar. 

Tarsar marsar route Indiahikes

2. Planning your onward flight/train booking  

If you are travelling from Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai or any other city, book your air tickets for Day Zero, which is the day before Day 1 on the itinerary. If your trek start day is 24 July, book your air tickets for 23 July to either Srinagar. 

There are two options.

Option 1:
Fly directly to Srinagar. 

We recommend this as it gives you an added rest day at Srinagar. Srinagar is well connected by most cities. We recommend that you book your tickets in 2 sectors, keeping Delhi as the stopover/transit.
 There are airport buses around 50 metres outside the airport. They charge Rs 80 per ticket to Srinagar TRC – Tourist Reception Centre bus stop. Get down at Srinagar TRC bus stop and take an auto to Sathu Barbara Shah (Sheikh Feroze tours & travels) which is 2 km away

| Note: Srinagar Airport to Srinagar TRC buses are not reliable. They do not start until they are half full. 

Taxis are available from the airport to Sheikh Feroz tours and cost Rs 800 for a 5-6 seater vehicle.

Option 2:

Taking a train/bus to Jammu and reach Srinagar

If you are taking a bus to Jammu, then you have multiple options to take. There are two gates outside Jammu ISBT. You will get shared cabs from both these gates. 

If you are reaching the Railway Station, the share cabs to Srinagar will cost between Rs 700 to Rs 1000

| Tip: Shared cabs are more from the Jammu ISBT compared to the Railway Station. You can travel from Railway station to the bus stand. They call it as “Bus Adda”. Cost of bus will be Rs 10. Auto will charge around Rs 80 to 120. 

| Pro Tip: Go to Banihal and catch a train to Srinagar (Naogaon) (Reaching Banihal will be again via shared cabs, cost Rs 500 to Rs 700)
Auto from Sringara Railway station to Dal Gate, around Rs 150 to Rs 200 

This is faster than coming by cabs directly to Srinagar. 


3. Planning your return flight/train booking

 

Option 1: Flying out from Srinagar

Book your flight out from Srinagar on Day 8, Most metro cities are well connected with Srinagar.

Option 2: Taking a train/bus from Jammu

If you are taking the option of moving from Jammu, you will find shared cabs from Srinagar TRC to Jammu. The share cabs to Jammu will cost between Rs 700 to Rs 1000

| Pro Tip: Go to Srinagar (Naogaon) and catch a train to Banihal
From Banihal, you can take a shared cab to Jammu bus stand or Railway station. The cost will be around Rs 500 to Rs 700

4. Planning your hotel/stay

While booking hotels on your return, always book your rooms for Day 7 at Srinagar. Do not plan any travel out of Srinagar on Day 7 whether it is by road or flight. Book hotels where you may not have to transfer money in advance. In Srinagar, it is not difficult to find last minute hotel rooms.  

Hotel options at Srinagar

Hotel Shefaf is close to the pickup location. It is about 20 mins by auto. It has clean rooms with good amenities. The cost range from Rs 1200 to Rs 1700. 

If you are trekking with Indiahikes, then the cost will be Rs 1000 for a stay and meals (dinner,breakfast). Only for stay, it will cost Rs 500. 

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/y72bKVVQ8hEBk6Ha9

Contact Number: +91 9796522205, +91 9796522240, 0194-2507097, 0194-2507031

Email: [email protected]

Hotel Royal Samad is another hotel close by to the pickup location. 

If you are trekking with Indiahikes, then the cost will be Rs 1000 for a stay and meals (dinner,breakfast). Only for stay, it will cost Rs 500. 

Zostel is the famous chain of backpacks hostel. If you are trekking on your own, then this is a good option to consider. Do keep in mind this is not close to the pickup location and difficult to reach. You will have to take a cab or autos to reach the pickup  location.
The dorm room cost at around Rs 800 to Rs 1000. 

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/3RcnUbdXxFXRheSX9

Contact Number: 022-4896-2268


5. What if you miss the Indiahikes pickup? How to get to Janglik on your own.

If you miss the Indiahikes pick up from Srinagar, then you can reach the base camp on your own. But if it is post afternoon of 2 pm, it is going to be extremely difficult to reach the base camp. 

From the airport, walk outside for 800 meters to take an auto to TRC. Auto will cost you around Rs 250 which is a good rate to pay. They might ask for Rs 300. Take a cab if you are travelling in a group. A taxi/cab will cost Rs 600 to Rs 750.

Reaching Aru by shared cab from Srinagar

Take a shared cab from Srinagar to Anantnag, it costs Rs 80/- The distance is 58 kms and takes 1 ½ to 2 hours. Then from Anantnag stand to Pahalgam change to another shared cab, the cost is Rs 110/- distance covered is 45 kms in about 1:15 – 1:30 mins.

Change again from Pahalgam stand to Aru village, it takes about 30 mins to cover 13 kms. Cabs are frequent to Aru and easy to get, it costs Rs 20.

These shared cabs run throughout the day and are frequent but ensure you reach Pahalgam before 4pm to catch the last cab to Aru Village. 

Private taxis are also available from Srinagar to Aru but are costly and cost Rs 3000.

| Tips when going to Kashmir:

  • When travelling in Kashmir, always travel in as a team. Traveling solo is not advised. 
  • If you’re staying overnight at Srinagar, stay in touristy areas like Dal Lake or Lal Chowk.
  • Curfews are imposed if there is any tense situation, so don’t panic if there is a curfew. Keep calm and wait for it to pass. Army check-posts are common in sensitive areas.
  • Avoid going downtown areas.
  • Blend in with the crowd in terms of dressing and behaviour.

 How to get fit for the Tarsar Marsar trek

Cardiovascular endurance
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.

Here’s a fitness routine that works:

  • –>Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin.
  • –>Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in less than 37 mins.
  • –>If you are 45 years old and above and are comfortable with long distance walking than jogging, then before you go on the trek, you should be able to walk at least 10 km at a stretch. Target completing this in 90 minutes.
    If jogging is fine for you, your target should be completing 5 km in 50 minutes initially, and 5 km in less than  45 minutes before you go on the trek.
  • –>If you are somebody who prefers cycling over running, your target must be to cover 22 km in 60 minutes.

Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the Tarsar Marsar trek.

Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

Things to get for the Tarsar Marsar Trek

Tarsar Marsar  is a very high altitude trek. The trekking gear you need to carry for this trek is different from regular treks. So pay careful attention to this entire section.

First, The Essentials. You cannot do the trek without these.

1. Trekking Shoes:

Tarsar Marsar trek requires trekking shoes that are sturdy, have good grip, have ankle support and can handle snow. Here is a quick video on how to choose your trekking shoes.  

| Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There really isn’t any necessity to buy the higher priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.

| Rental: We have the Trek series and the MH series by Decathlon available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are already broken into and in good condition. Rental shoes are not dirty or unhygienic. This is how they are kept clean.

2. Backpack:

For a trek like Tarsar Mrasar, you need a 50-60 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. Here is a guide on how to choose a backpack.

| Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from.

| Rental: The 48 litre backpack by Adventure Worx is available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for our Himalayan treks. Rent them if you don’t have a backpack.

3. Clothes:

Wearing layers is the mantra in the mountains. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes in the mountains (as it happens every few hours), you take take off or put on layers as required. 

Base layer:

3 T-shirts:

Wear one T-shirt and carry two. Carry full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt. In the rarified air on the trek, especially at high altitudes, UV rays can burn you in no time.
Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.


| Buying tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends, Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.

| Cotton or Synthetic? As Indians, we love cotton. Down in the plains when the heat is a blistering 40°C it makes sense to wear cotton. But it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet. In the mountains, where it is cooler, synthetic is what you wear. They wick sweat rapidly and keep you dry. (But they do tend to smell quickly, so carry a roll-on deodorant with you.)

| Pro Tip: If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space, since you’re already carrying them. 

3 insulation layers:

The highest altitude you reach on this trek is 16,200 ft. At these altitudes it can get freezing cold even in the middle of summer. You will need at least 3 insulation layers for this trek.
You will need 2 light fleece layers, 1 full-sleeve light sweater. Do not get your grandma stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.

1 Outer layer:

A padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t really need a water-resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.

| Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket will do. This video here will help you to learn more about the difference.

Note: Down/feather jackets are really not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.

| Rental: Padded jackets made by Fort Collins are available on rent at the Indiahikes store. They are custom made for Indiahikes and trekkers find them terrific, even in winter.

Two trek pants:

Two pairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry two just in case it rains. Trek pants with zippered cut-offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon in case of small stream crossings/rain.

| Buying tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.

| Track pants or trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trekking pants — so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup.

Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek. 

These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Tarsar Marsar without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first.

1. Sunglasses:

Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. On a trek like Tarsar Marsar, especially in early July expect to walk on long stretches of snow. A small overexposure to direct sunlight on snow can lead to snow blindness (about a half hour’s exposure). That’s because fallen snow is like thousands of mirrors that reflect direct UV rays. So you need sunglasses with UV protection.

| Tip: Try getting sunglasses that wrap around instead of those that have openings on the side. Even peripheral UV ray exposure is not a good idea.

Wear sunglasses if the trekking day is bright and sunny (on open sections, meadows). On a snowy section you must absolutely never take off your sunglasses until the section has been fully crossed.

| If you wear spectacles: If you wear spectacles, you can get oversized sunglasses that you wear over your regular glasses (available at Decathlon). If that is cumbersome, photochromic lenses work equally well. Here’s a quick guide on managing sunglasses with spectacles.

| Contact lens users: If you use contact lenses, you can use them on the trek too. The lens solution will not freeze. You will also not face any problems in changing your lens in your tent. Just carry enough cleaning solution with you to clean your fingers well. Wear your sunglasses over your contact lens.   

 2. Suncap:

A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sun strokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance.

| Tip: In the mountains, the general rule is to keep your head covered at all times. During the day a sun cap protects you from the harsh rays of the sun (it is doubly stronger with naked UV rays). A sun cap keeps your body temperature in balance. In the evening/early morning, the reverse is true. Your head loses your body heat quickly. A woolen cap prevents heat from dissipating from your head.

| Pro Tip: Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks. They prevent sun burns in every possible way. They are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way. 

  3. Synthetic hand gloves:

On a trek like Tarsar Marsar you are going to be handling snow quite a bit if your trekking in early July You’ll need gloves to grip something or to steady yourself in snow. You also want the gloves to keep you warm. Get synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and a padded lining on the inside. If you find the combination difficult to get (not likely), wear a tight-fitting fleece hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove. Hand gloves are mandatory on this trek. These are also very useful when it rains to keep your hands dry and warm.  

4. Woollen cap or Balaclava:

Ensure these cover your ears. In the cold mountains, you lose maximum heat from your head, not from your hands, feet or the rest of your body. Which is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, a cold trekking day are when you must use your woollen cap.

Your ears are sensitive too, so a woollen head cap that covers your ears is absolutely essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woolen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. Do not get a woollen cap that only covers your head. 

5. Socks (3 pairs):

Apart from two sports socks, take a pair of woollen socks. Sports socks give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry. As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug in the night. If you cannot get woolen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well. 

6. Headlamp:

Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Tarsar Marsar trek you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles.

| Buying tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you. 

7. Trekking pole (a pair):

Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Tarsar Marsar trek there are steep ascents and descents. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India, we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.

| Rental: Imported side-locking trekking poles are available on rent on the Indiahikes store.  

8. Rainwear:

On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing.

Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are really not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.

| Rental: High grade ponchos are available on rent on the Indiahikes store.

9. Rain cover for your backpack:

Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes, your warm gear in your backpack. It is important that your backpack stays dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built in rain-covers. If your back pack does not have a rain-cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic. 

| Pro tip: It’s good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.

10. Daypack (20-30 ltrs, optional):

Some trekkers opt to offload their bags to a porter on the Tarsar Marsar  trek. While we do not encourage this practice, in case you opt for offloading, then carrying a daypack is mandatory. In your daypack you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, headlamp, some snacks and a warm layer. Your main backpack that carries most of your equipment is accessible only at the campsites.

A day pack is a smaller backpack that is usually of 20-30 ltr capacity. Laptop bags are not day packs. Do not get them.

Other mandatory requirement

1. A toilet kit:

Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics — toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.

| Pro tip: Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.

Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like Tarsar Marsar.

| For women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose your sanitary waste.

2. Cutlery:

Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leak proof. You are expected to wash your own cutlery. Trekkers often expect Indiahikes to wash their cutlery. When you allow Indiahikes to wash your cutlery, your cutlery becomes part of a mass washing system. You immediately invite germs, bacteria to settle on your cutlery. Incidence of stomach disorders rises exponentially.

| Pro tip: Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at the highest. Watch this video on why steel cutlery is better than plastic.

3. Two 1 litre bottles or a 2 litre hydration pack:

Tarsar Marsar  has long walking days. You need to carry two one litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.

| Rental: You could rent lightweight thermos flasks from the Indiahikes store

4. Plastic covers:

Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.

Useful videos to help you with your gear:

Personal medical kit

Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times. Do not take any medicine unless you have consulted your trek leader

  1. Diamox (1 Strip): Be on a course of a half tablet Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). Carry on the medication until you descend down to Homwas. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Tarsar Marsar  trek.    
  2. Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain
  3. Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one half hour before the start of your road journey.
  4. Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol. 
  5. Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS. 
  6. ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking.  Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.
  7. Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.

Our trek leaders carry a high altitude medical kit with them which also consist of Life Saving Drugs. If there is an emergency our trek leaders know how to tackle it. Meanwhile, contact your trek leader before consuming any of these medicines listed here.

| Pro tip: We find that these medicines by trekkers are rarely used. But you cannot do away with them. At the end of the trek please donate unused medicines to your trek leader. Some of these medicines get distributed to villages on the trek and some are added to the Indiahikes medical kit.   

Mandatory Documents to carry

These are documents required for legal purposes by Indiahikes and the forest department. Without any of these, you will not be allowed to trek.

  1. Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar card, passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.  
  2. Disclaimer certificate. This is a legal requirement. Download the PDF, read carefully and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during registration at the base camp – Download PDF
  3. Medical certificate. There are two sections in this. The first part must be filled by a practising doctor. The second part must be filled by you. Without the medical certificate the forest department will not issue permissions for your trek. It is also a requirement by Indiahikes – Download PDF

| Pro tip: Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack. This keeps them from getting wet.  

How safe is the Tarsar Marsar trek?

The Tarsar Marsar trek by itself does not involve any risks. Trekkers often worry about the safety of trekking in Kashmir. This article will help throw some light on that aspect.

On the Tarsar Marsar trek you go up to an altitude of 13,201 ft. You will be trekking and camping at altitudes above 10,000 ft on 4 days. It is possible that you could be hit by AMS on any of these days. If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitudes.

What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety

Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.

Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:

1. Fitness criteria before registration

Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Tarsar Marsar trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Tarsar Marsar trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.

2. Monitoring health on a trek

Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.

On the Tarsar Marsar trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.

  •      Oxygen Level
  •      Pulse Rate

Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.

This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.

Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.

3. High Altitude Medical Kit

Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.

4. High Altitude Trek Equipment

To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.

All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.

5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek

You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.

We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.

With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.

Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.

What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Tarsar Marsar trek

ams-symptoms-indiahikes

Acute Mountain Sickness:

At altitudes above 10,000 ft, the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness cannot be ruled out.

All the campsites from Lidderwat are at considerable high altitudes. However, we have noticed that trekkers are particularly prone to AMS at Sundersar (Day 5). This is something that you should be mindful of.

At any campsite, inform your trek leader about your condition immediately if you identify any symptom of AMS. If the symptoms don’t alleviate it is best to head down to a lower campsite.

This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognised before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours.And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognise any symptoms and nip them in the bud.

Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox

We strongly advise you to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps you acclimatise much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before your trek.

What to do if you have symptoms of AMS?

If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.

Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes will also tell you the protocol to follow when you see someone showing symptoms of AMS.

Exit points on the Tarsar Marsar trek

There are no exit points on this trek. If there is a medical emergency and you need to be evacuated, descending to Aru or Homwas, depending on where you are on the trek, are the only options. This could take up to a day or more.

Closest hospital

In case of a medical emergency, the closest hospital will be found at Pahalgam, which is around half an hour’s drive from Aru.

Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks

If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.

Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest you always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.

If you are trekking with Indiahikes, do not administer these to anyone without consulting your Trek Leader. If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.

Also ensure that you are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.

You can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.

We cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to communicate any symptom to your Trek Leader. Only then your trek leader will be able to take steps at the right time.

Acute Mountain Sickness

If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.

For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.

ams-manual-indiahikes-2-pages
Click on the AMS Manual to open and download

 

The Indiahikes Cancellation Policy 

We understand the pain of cancelling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that. 

Given that, we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies. 

Take a look at the Indiahikes cancellation policy below. This policy is effective starting January 29th, 2020.

In the event that you cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:

– Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.

– Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.

– Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher 

 

In the rare event that we cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:

We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, government orders, unexpected global health issues, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.

Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable once it has been paid for. 

If you cancel any rental gear from our store:

  • Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a monetary refund with 4% cancellation charges.
  • Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a voucher of the whole amount you have paid for the rental gear. This voucher is applicable on your future treks.

If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:  

The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge. 

If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee. 

Special Cases That Could Occur:

There are some special cases that could occur when you’re on a trek.

1. You may not be able to complete the trek because of bad weather, high snow conditions, or any natural calamity.

2. You may have to leave your trek abruptly (could be due to altitude sickness, abnormal BP, unpreparedness for the trek, any emergencies at home)

In the above two cases, you’re welcome to come back and repeat the same trek any time in future. You do not have to pay us for this. If you’d like to repeat your trek, get in touch with your Trek Coordinator and they’ll help you. 

Important note: Your offloading and rental fee will not be refunded in the above two cases.

3. You may not be able to report at the base camp at all (could be due to blocked roads / cancelled flights/curfews), we will try to accommodate you in the next day’s team (if we have one). 

In the third case, if we cannot accommodate you in the next day’s trek, we will give you a Trek Voucher of the entire trek fee (including your offloading and rental fee), which you can use on any Indiahikes trek within the next one year.

How to cancel your trek: 

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps. 

  1. Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link
  2. Find your upcoming trek on your home page. 
  3. Click on “Cancel Trek” 
  4. Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
  5. Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable). 
  6. Click on “Cancel Booking” 

How long does the refund process take?

After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.

If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.

What is a Trek Voucher?

Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.

Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable. 

How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?

If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek. 

Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount. 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Trek Coordinator. 

The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)

At Indiahikes, we can’t help but fall in love with a few trekking trails. And we love revisiting them, perhaps in other seasons, when treks take on a totally different hue. In such cases, we do not like the thought of having to pay for it. Our trekkers shouldn’t have to pay either.

So if you have loved a trek that you did with us and want to repeat it, you’re welcome to sign up for the trek. We will not charge you for this. (Many people think this is a rumour, but it’s true.) 

To repeat your trek for free, just get in touch with your Trek Coordinator. We’ll help you sign up with no charges. 

Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply for our international treks.

Your trek fee includes:

  1. Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 6 (Aru to Homwas). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
  2. Meals – All meals from dinner at Aru on Day 1 to lunch at Aru on Day 7 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
  3. Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
  4. Trekking equipment – You will stay in high quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
  5. Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
  6. Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic / advanced mountaineering courses.
  7. Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well trained guides, cooks, helpers and porters.

Your trek fee does not include:

  1. Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Srinagar and drop you back from Aru. This will cost approx. Rs. 2,700 per 5-6 seater vehicle one way. You will have to share this cost with the other trekkers
  2. Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to and from Aru.
  3. Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,500 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Aru  (Rs.335 per day +5% GST).
  4. Stay at Srinagar on the last day 
  5. Personal expenses of any kind
  6. Anything apart from inclusions
Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

In the event that you cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:
– Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher

Fitness

Fitness

A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important.

The trek has long climbs and steep descents on a daily basis. As a measure of your fitness, we require you to be able to run at least 5 km in 37 minutes by the time your trek starts. If you are 45 years or above, cover 5 km in 45 minutes.This is a minimum, mandatory requirement.

If you prefer cycling over running, then cover 20 km in 60 minutes

Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.

In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.

Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.

Backpack Offloading

Backpack Offloading

Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.

Backpack offloading charges – Rs 1,500 plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 335 +5% GST per day.
You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.

Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.

Transport

Transport

Transport from Srinagar to Aru and return from Aru to Srinagar can be arranged by us at an extra cost. A vehicle cost approximately Rs. 3,000, one way. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab. The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No GST is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.

Emergency during trek

Emergency during trek

In a trek a medical emergency or any other emergency may arise. If for any reason you are sent down from the trek then Indiahikes will make arrangements for your return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany you. He may not be a trained personnel.

Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (a sick person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with a team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, they are not doctors.

Registering for this trek is an understanding that you have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. You have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. You have taken efforts to educate yourself and you are in a position to manage your own altitude related emergency.

Accomodation

Accomodation

Stay is in a hotel at the basecamp Aru.
Rooms will be shared with fellow trekkers. Twin sharing is not possible.
The stay on all other days is in tents (3 per tent).
Males and females in separate rooms and tents.

Can I keep extra luggage at the base camp for this trek?

Can I keep extra luggage at the base camp for this trek?

Yes, you can keep your extra luggage at the basecamp at Aru and collect it after the trek is over.

Ensure you do not keep any valuables at the base.
Laptops, mobile phones, cash or any important items cannot be kept here.

 Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?

Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?

Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.

Backpack offloading charge for the entire trek duration is Rs.1,500 + 5% GST.
Partial offloading is not allowed.

Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading – Rs.335 per day +5% GST.
The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg.
No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.

Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.

Is there a mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?

Is there a mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?

You will get decent mobile connectivity only up to Pahalgam, on the way to Aru. So make sure you finish your important telephone calls before starting from there, and inform family members about poor connectivity during the trek. Prepaid SIM cards do not work in Kashmir, only post paid. While Aru has electricity, you will not have access to electricity charging points anywhere during the trek as you stay in tents.

 Is it mandatory for me to carry an ID card on the trek? Is trek insurance compulsory?

Is it mandatory for me to carry an ID card on the trek? Is trek insurance compulsory?

It is mandatory for trekkers to carry the original and copy of their photo and address ID for trek permission.
For all Kashmir treks taking insurance is mandatory.
Without this you will not be allowed to trek.

How is the stay on the trek?

How is the stay on the trek?

Stay is in a hotel at the basecamp Aru.
Stay is on sharing basis . Twin sharing is not possible.
The stay on all other days are in tents (3 per tent).
Males and females in separate rooms and tents.

 Why is a buffer day required for this trek?

Why is a buffer day required for this trek?

Include a buffer day in your travel plan at Srinagar. This is to accommodate any political instability that can happen anytime in Kashmir. This buffer day depends completely on the situation in Kashmir.

It’s a good idea to stay back in Srinagar on the day you return. You could stay at a houseboat on Dal Lake.

Here is what trekkers have to say about their experience at Tarsar Marsar Kashmir Trek

Meghana Krishnaswamy

Batch of
September 2018

The Tarsar-marsar trek was wonderful. The camp sites at Lidderwat, by the side of Tarsar and Sundersar gave stunning views of the lake. The trek leader Devang and all other people were very helpful and made the trek an awesome experience. The food was also good and the games, discussions initiated by trek leader gave us an opportunity to know trek mates and help each other when needed.
Overall it was an adventurous, safe trek and spiritual to the soul!! Loved the trek and carrying lots of wonderful memories :)

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Anand Vennam

Batch of
September 2018

Very well I would say.
Benchmarking the trek with my previous high altitude trek, Tarsar Marsar had many more experiences

Reasons why I liked the tarsar marsar trek
- greenery everywhere
- short trek time (we start in the morning, and are at our campsite by noon, giving a chance for us to explore the surrounding places)
- experiencing the white out and hailstorm
- delicious food
And of course 
The TEAM of co trekkers and IndiaHikes

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Prashant Vashist

Batch of
August 2018

Brilliant! It was my first time trekking with IndiaHikes and I absolutely loved my experience. From the delicious food, cozy tents, gorgeous scenery to the beautiful campsites, I loved all of it.

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Rajarshi Guha

Batch of
August 2018

I enjoyed the trek a lot. Considering the rocky terrain and the fact that the itinerary got altered a bit due to rains, there was an additional degree of challenge to the trek which I enjoyed. Way back from Sundarsar to Aru had some lovely views which made the whole experience worth it. 

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Sanjo Jose

Batch of
July 2018

It was awesome! We were in a situation where the trek leads could have even cancelled the trek because of heavy rain and bad weather, but they decided not to and motivated us to explore a different side of the valley altogether. The new track was very beautiful and amazing, I did not even feel for a moment that the trek was redirected. Kudos to Braham, Gawahar and Jayaram for being very supportive and keeping up the enthusiasm within the group.

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Vinit Ashar

Batch of
July 2018

This was my first experience with India Hikes having been on trek to Himalayas with other trekking companies and it was a memorable experience. 
As you would be aware that we were originally to go to Tarsar Marsar but it was raining very heavily at our lidderwat camp site and the route to Tarsar was diverted to Satlanjan from where we visited Hindalsar and bikewas lakes.
It was really very commendable for the team to spontaneously come up with an alternate itinerary rather that calling off the batch which was appreciated by everyone in the group.
I was really very delighted to see the other side of the valley which is unexplored by many trekkers and i believe we were the lucky ones as there may be thousands of people who would have seen Tarsar Marsar but only a select few who have been to other side of it. Having said that i would definitely come back with a hope of visiting Tarsar Marsar one day 
Most of the things were really good and up to the mark such as food, tents, sleeping bags, trek lead and local guides. 
Only one suggestion ice breaker activities on the very first day will help trekkers to know each other better and interact better on the trail rather that doing them on the second day at the camp site 

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Megha Shivaprasad

Batch of
July 2018

This was my best trek with India Hikes.

The route was breath taking, with a good mix of varied terrain.

The Trek lead, Ashay was a perfect leader firm and encouraging always, ensures that everybody got the best out of the Trek irrespective of the trekker's level

Assistant lead, Heera,  was a like a mountain goat running up and down the retinue of trekkers, helping out.  He also identified several flowers, plants and trees and told us about them.

The guide,  Abdul chacha, was wise, knowledgeable and considerate. His ever smiling encouragement gave us a boost.

The kitchen staff were skilled and accommodating,. The food was delicious, and they cooked a special meal of gruel and kichdi for those experiencing a bout of delhi-belly

I would like to make a special mention of Roohi from sheikh tours.  I had booked a late  flight and consequently missed the slot for crossing the checkpost at Pahalgam,. She tried every possible contact to get us across on the same day, but when that turned futile, she put us up at a pretty neat and cosy homestay, reasonably priced and ensured that we were on the way at the crack of dawn the next day.  We made it in time :)

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Varun Manjunath

Batch of
July 2018

This was one of those treks where the positives overtake the negatives by a huge margin. Nothing actually went wrong with the trek. Everything went perfectly. The whole team was very understanding and patient. They made us feel at home. No regrets whatsoever. Would highly recommend others to go for it. This might have been my first trek but definitely won’t be my last.

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Kumuda Srikantiah

Batch of
July 2018

I simply loved the trek. The saying that mountains call us to lose our mind and find our soul is absolutely apt. 

The trek, leader, guides n staff are very good and supporting. They have good idea about the trail and can judge the weather to make sure the trekerrs are safe. They also went extra mile to show new place that weren't in the itinerary

MORE

The Jannat on earth: Trek to Tarsar Marsar in Kashmir

The Jannat on earth: Trek to Tarsar-Marsar in Kashmir

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5 Stunning Highlights of Tarsar Marsar most trekkers fail to notice

The Tarsar Marsar trek gives trekkers a unique experience of camping between two alpine lakes, a feat that no other trek offers. Here, Arjun Majumdar lists out five stunning aspects of the trek that unfortunately, most trekkers fail to notice.

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Trekking with indiahikes - Tarsar Marsar - exhausted after a hard day - Arjun Majumdar_

How The Tarsar Marsar Trek In Kashmir Was Explored

Our founder, Arjun Majumdar reminisces the past and narrates the story of how the Tarsar Marsar trek in Kashmir was explored. Take a look!

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Kashmir Great Lakes Vs Tarsar Marsar – Which Kashmir Trek To Choose?

Our co-founder, who explored both Kashmir Great Lakes & Tarsar Marsar, helps you choose between the Kashmir treks by writing down their highlights and contrasts.

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Tarsar Marsar Trek – Through Heaven And Back

The mere mention of the name is enough to evoke a myriad of emotions in us all. A sense of wonder at the hidden natural treasures, a sense of despair for the things that could be, a sense of wanting to belong.

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The Cursed Waters of Tarsar Marsar

"Stay away from these waters or face a torrential downpour for the rest of the hike” announces my guide just before we sighted the ridgelines of the mountains.

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The Time Stood Still at Tarsar Marsar

A lovely poem inspired by the Tarsar Marsar trek.

Read full blog

 

 

Available dates

Jun July 2020 Aug

Click on available dates to Register

  • What the colours mean
  • Available
    Registration is on.
  • Waitlist
    The group is full, but cancellations are likely to happen. We have 5 waitlist slots for every group. You may register for the group. Waitlist slots confirmation chances are high if booked more than 30 days in advance.
  • Last 'x' slots
    Indicates the number of slots available in a batch.
  • Full
    Indicates the group is full. No further slots are likely. A full group has 18 members.

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2 thoughts on “Tarsar Marsar Kashmir Trek

    1. Hi Manish, depending on the situation in Kashmir next year we will decide when to open batches. We will notify you via email once we open batches.

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