Tarsar Marsar Kashmir Trek

Arguably The Prettiest Trek In India
Trek Fee : 12,950 + 5% GST See Inclusions
? 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.
7 Days
Maximum Altitude
13,201 ft
Pickup point
Pickup point

The Complete Guide To Tarsar Marsar Trek

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 its 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!

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!

Table of Content


What I Like And Don’t Like About Tarsar Marsar

As one of the veterans of the trekking community in India, here’s Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes, talking about the prettiest trek of our country.

Arjun Majumdar
Founder & CEO
I have to admit, the Tarsar Marsar is my favourite trek in Kashmir, even more than the Kashmir Great Lakes. I know I have to hear a lot of flak for this. So I’ll right away get down to why I like this trek so much.


What I like about Tarsar Marsar

1. Intimacy of the Lakes

I loved the intimacy of the lakes on this trek that I didn’t get on the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. I was right on the edge of the shores of the Tarsar and Sundarsar, my tent on the grassy glades of these lakes, watching the dark blue aquamarine waters being fed by snow patches.

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

The sight stayed with me. I went on long walks all alone along the shores of the lakes, my thoughts to myself. These were rare moments on a trek, which I didn’t get elsewhere. Tarsar always gives me these moments.

2. Marsar Lake

From Sundarsar there is a secret passage over a Col that led me to a cliff over Marsar. I timed it right twice, an hour after sunrise, to see something spectacular. Rushing down the valley that leads to Marsar, huge columns of clouds rolled in towards Marsar.

Sunlight glinted over the top of the clouds throwing wonderful shadows as they rolled in at an angle. The sight was so spectacular from my vantage point above the cliffs, that I almost wanted to applaud. Within fifteen or twenty minutes the clouds blanketed Marsar, taking the lake out of sight.

Tarsar Marsar trek-Indiahikes
The elusive Marsar lake caught on camera as soon as the clouds parted. The lake left me dumbfounded the first time I had a glimpse of it. Picture by Harisha N V

Even without the rolling clouds, the sight of Marsar took my breath away. Easily, it was one of the largest lakes with the deepest blue waters that I had seen in Kashmir.

3. Tarsar Lake

The sight of Tarsar as I climbed to the Tarsar pass is one of my favourite sections. I think the best photos of the lake come from this section. I just loved sitting on a ledge, high above the lake, watching the long stretch of blue waters of Tarsar as the morning sun catches it at its best. Every time I do this trek I take out those few minutes to do this. I think most trekkers enjoy this bit a lot.

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

4. The Plains of Jagmargi

My favourite top secret section of the trek are the plains of Jagmargi. You get them an hour or so before you reach Sundarsar. I suddenly found the rushing stream going dead quiet, forming giant crystal clear pools. On my left were vast grasslands, stretched out in a big oval arch.

Somewhere in the far distance, like a western movie, the grasslands touched the foot of rugged hills — a sight I have not seen on any other trek before — an entire big sweep like this.

Wild flower at Tarsar Marsar Trek Indiahikes
Wildflowers abound in the meadows of Kashmir. Picture by Sandhya U C

Sheep, horses grazed peacefully. As I passed by I caressed some of the sheep and they didn’t move an inch. But what stunned me were the flowers. It was a carpet of wildflowers, purple, white, blue and yellow, nurtured by the abundance of water. I couldn’t trek. Because every step I took would crush flowers under my feet. It took me a long while to cross this section.

5. Shekwas Campsite

Give me Shekwas campsite for a day and I will trade two campsites from any other trek. I just love the setting! Nestled in the junction of three green valleys (name another trek where you see three valleys intersecting — it is very rare!), a ridge climbs right outside the camp.

I remember I took off my shoes and climbed, and climbed and climbed on those soft grass. I climbed endlessly until the camp was a dot below, perhaps a thousand feet, yet the ridge had a long way to go.

From this viewpoint I saw what we call Kashmir, a heaven on earth! Sweeping mountains, great grasslands in the valleys and an undulating landscape that can only be made by a divine source. To top it each of these valleys had a river running through them with the sun setting on its glinting surface. I sat on a small outcrop of a rock for a long time until it was dusk.

6. The Variety of the Trek

For me, the Tarsar Marsar has tremendous variety everyday of the trek. They are closely packed and come one after another. Take the first day for example. I remember, we started the first day outside the pretty village of Aru, which till date is the prettiest mountain village I have stayed in.

Tarsar Marsar Trek Indiahikes
Aru is almost too idyllic to be true. Picture by Arjun Majumdar

Then I climbed into one of the loveliest coniferous forests, tunneling through to get into pretty grasslands on the other side. The green grasslands were dotted with the white blobs of sheep everywhere. The blue Lidder flowed next to me. Grey cliffs climbed from beyond the grasslands. The colour contrast was striking.

I trekked from one grassland to another, each uniquely different, some with clumps of forest on one side, others with hills rising out of them. There were times when I had to get down to the Lidder — its waters swishing around my ankles. Finally, I climbed a hump getting into the grand clearings of Lidderwat.

Tarsar Marsar Trek Indiahikes
The grasslands of Lidderwat. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

I could not believe my eyes. Here was a long grassy clearing surrounded by ancient coniferous trees. It was like a wide highway of grass with trees on either side. Sitting down at the camp I reflected. I had experienced all this in one day in under 11 kilometers. That’s how the whole trek is — everyday packed with tremendous variety.


What I don’t like about Tarsar Marsar

This is a hard one. In every trek I can pick flaws, but Tarsar Marsar is a trek that is absolutely flawless. It is not hard on the legs, it has a lovely drive getting to the base camp. The base camp is worthy enough for a few days of stay! The trek has tremendous variety.

It shows you Kashmir for what heavenly it can be. Plus three beautiful lakes, where you camp next to two of them! All in all it is a complete package. To me it edges out even the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. Not by a lot, but surely by a wee bit. 

I’ll give Tarsar Marsar 5/5 as a trek.


Best Time To Do The Tarsar Marsar Trek

The best time to do Tarsar Marsar trek is from the beginning of July to the beginning of September. It is the traditional monsoon season in the rest of the Indian subcontinent, but things are different in the Kashmir Valley.

Kashmir receives only mild rainfall in the months of July and August. Not at all like in Himachal Pradesh or Uttarakhand. That’s because of the Pir Panjal range which prevents most rain clouds from reaching the Kashmir valley.

It’s a boon because it makes for a comfortable trekking experience. In all the other seasons, it’s too cold to trek, the trail and the meadows are buried under snow for most part.

But even if we look at just one season, Tarsar Marsar trek changes appearance and colour throughout the three months – July, August and September.


Tarsar Marsar in early July

Trekking opens on the Tarsar Marsar trail in the first week of July. Until then the upper reaches are under heavy snow. The lower meadows open earlier.

When you trek in July you can expect to see remnants of snow by the highest lake on the trek – Sundarsar. You may even see melting ice floes in the lake in early July.

This setting offers a fleeting glimpse of how the landscape looks like for the rest of the year – buried under snow, punctuated with frozen lakes.

Sometimes, even if it’s not the best phase to complete the trek, the sight is spell binding.


Tarsar Marsar from mid-July to third week of August

After mid-July, Tarsar Marsar trek starts revealing itself in full glory.

Now, the snow has almost melted. And the trail is carpeted with bright green meadows, which are in contrast with the rugged, grey mountains rising at the fringes. The best part is, these meadows are densely dotted with so many wildflowers!

You experience this beauty, especially in the Jagmargi plains, as you trek over tiny flowers of colours ranging from violet, purple to yellow and white.

Frozen chunks of the alpine lakes have melted by now. Waters of Tarsar and Sundarsar are deep blue. Look at Sundarsar from the vantage point, it has this signature royal-blue shade that you see in most photos.

Rains — more like evening showers — pick up during this time.


Tarsar Marsar from the end of August to first week of September

Cold sets in as the season progresses to the end of August. The evening showers become frequent. But when the clouds part during this time of the year, you witness brilliant blue skies. Their reflection deepens the blue of the alpine lakes, especially of Sundarsar.

You will also see a change in the colour of the meadows. They look a bit roasted, just with a tinge of brown. Watch out for this as you camp at Shekwas. Also, on the day you trek from Tarsar to Sundarsar.

The grass no longer retains the soft, fresh green tinge. The flowers too wilt. And yet, there’s a beauty to this change of tone. You can see it in this image by Trek Leader Leo Saldanha.

Tarsar Marsar Trek in September
Tarsar lake in mid-September. Notice the change in colour of grass and accumulation of snow on the peak. Picture by Leo Saldanha

We usually stop our trek towards the first week of September, but some lone trekkers do attempt it till the end of September. So, it’s doable. But may not be the most comfortable time, given the cold temperatures.


Weather And Temperature On Tarsar Marsar Trek

On Tarsar Marsar trek, the weather or temperature doesn’t fluctuate much between campsites. But yes, there is a considerable change between the day time and night time temperatures.

That, combined with soft, evening showers on certain days make trekking to Tarsar Marsar a pleasant experience.

With that setting in mind, let’s dive into the details of weather and temperature.


From July to mid-August:

July and August are the warmest months of the trek. Day temperatures hover around 15 – 18° C when sunny. Expect cloud cover or rain to decrease this range by  4 or 5° C. Nights tend to be balmy around 1 – 3° C until the Shekwas camp.

Tarsar and Sundarsar camps see frost forming on the grass by morning indicating that the lows might have briefly touched zero or slightly lower.

July and August are not the traditional rainy months in Kashmir. However rains are never ruled out in the mountains. You can always expect an afternoon shower or a day on the trek with full rain.  As you move to August chances of sporadic rains increase. It is all easily managed on the trek with appropriate rain gear.

Temperature Chart

Click on the chart to see average temperatures on the Tarsar Marsar trek

From the end of August to mid-September:

The mountain valleys in Kashmir start getting colder by the end of August. September sees temperatures dipping by 3 – 4° C every week. Expect night temperatures of -3 to – 5° C at the higher campsites by the second week of September. This is when the flowers disappear and the meadows also turn golden.

Rainfall Chart

Click on the Chart to see the Average Rainfall at Tarsar Marsar



Is Tarsar Marsar Trek Safe?

Yes. Trekking to Tarsar Marsar is safe even though it lies in Kashmir. That’s because the trail is remote, away from civilization. Most of the time it’s just your group trekking on your own in nature.

But there are certain fears and misconceptions around trekking in Kashmir. We recognize them and have addressed them in this blog — Is Trekking In Kashmir Safe? — where team members from Indiahikes talk about how it feels to trek in Kashmir.

Coming back to the trail, being mentally prepared for the trek is as important as being physically prepared to stay safe. For this, it is crucial to have a clear mental picture of the trek. Quickly, here it is:

| Trek in a nutshell: 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 four days. It is possible that you could be hit by AMS on any of these days. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can easily survive at high altitudes.

To do this effectively, let’s break down and examine various aspects of Tarsar Marsar trek from the perspective of safety:

  • Safety while trekking in Kashmir
  • How difficult is Tarsar Marsar trek?
  • What you must know about AMS
  • Exit points on Tarsar Marsar trek
  • Closest hospital to Tarsar Marsar trek


Safety while trekking in Kashmir

While the Tarsar Marsar trek remains untouched during times of unrest, getting to the base camp involves traveling through populated towns like Bhijbera and Anantnag in the picturesque countryside of Kashmir. 

On your drive to Aru, be mindful of where you are going, how you are traveling and if your mode of transport is reliable.

| Thumb Rule:  Stay cued into news. Be curious about what’s happening around you. Keep a check of areas that are flagged red. Check if transport is getting affected and be forthcoming on enquiring about alternate routes.

Be aware, but do not worry or panic. Stay calm and keep the following pointers in mind when you are travelling in Kashmir:

  • If you’re staying overnight at Srinagar, stay in touristy areas like Dal Lake or Lal Chowk.
  • Blend in with the crowd in terms of dressing and behavior.
  • Avoid going to downtown areas. Stick to tourist spaces as they tend to be safer and well-protected during times of unrest.
  • Don’t panic if there is a curfew. Keep calm and wait for it to pass.


How difficult is Tarsar Marsar trek?

Honestly, Tarsar Marsar trek, which climbs to 13,201 ft, is not really difficult. It is rated as ‘moderate’. That too only because trekking days are slightly long. 

A moderate rating refers to marginally longer trekking days with a few steep climbs (example: climb to Tarsar Pass). This makes it a notch more difficult than the easy-moderate treks like Kedarkantha and Dayara Bugyal.

But the trek has easy exits and there are no technical sections.

To get a clear picture, imagine covering a total of 47.6 km in 6 days. You gain approximately 5,243 ft during this journey, which is mild when spread over 6 days.

That means, on average, you cover 8 km every day. This includes gradual ascents and descents.

That’s doable in a well-paced itinerary, like the one we follow for the Tarsar Marsar trek at Indiahikes. The key is to pace it out. It’s important because you consistently trek above 10,000 ft for four days.

But if you cut it short, say skip camping at Shekwas, then you are exposed to the risk of AMS. In such a situation, be very cautious for any discomfort in your body which may point to AMS. We will talk about this in detail in the next section.

Apart from AMS, be careful during the steep descent from the Tarsar pass. It is a short one, but can get tricky if you are descending during the rains. Wearing good quality trekking shoes with a great grip really helps here. (For details read: How To Choose The Best Trekking Shoes In India)


What you must know about AMS

As discussed in the above section, you are exposed to the risk of AMS when you cut the itinerary short. But if you are short on time and skip camping at Shekwas, pay close attention to your body. Stay alert for any signs of altitude sickness.

Attend to your uneasiness and take curative measures. Check oxygen levels, go on a curative course of Diamox, drink water and rest. If you do not feel normal after a few hours or overnight, do not proceed further on the trek.

To help you understand AMS better, we’ve put together a complete guide about it. This is a series a videos you must watch before you get onto any high altitude trek:

  1. What Is Altitude sickness? A Quick Look At AMS, HAPE And HACE
  2. How To Treat Altitude Sickness – AMS, HAPE, & HACE
  3. How To Prevent Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), HAPE and HACE
  4. 3 Life Saving Drugs You MUST Have To Tackle Altitude Sickness – AMS, HAPE and HACE

If you experience any symptoms of AMS, even in the slightest, start taking steps to treat the sickness.

At Indiahikes, our trek leaders are trained and equipped to take care of any emergencies related to AMS.


Exit points on Tarsar Marsar trek

Medical Emergencies can strike on any trek. The key to dealing with them lies in knowing your exit points. Know how to get out and reach the nearest hospital quickly.

On Tarsar Marsar trek, your best bet is to descend to Aru or Sumbal.

When you are deep into the trek — say at Sundarsar —  you easily take a day to reach the Aru exit. If you cannot afford that much time, check for the alternative route via Sumbal.

| Caution: The Sumbal route is 15 km long, has a stiff descent with a tricky river crossing. Nevertheless, it is a saviour if you are short on time. You can exit within 8 hours from here.


Closest Hospital to Tarsar Marsar Trek

In case of a medical emergency, the closest hospital is at Pahalgam. If you need serious medical attention, head to Srinagar for better facilities.


How To Reach Tarsar Marsar From Srinagar

To reach Tarsar Marsar trek you need to travel around 100 km towards south from Srinagar, going to Pahalgam. The base camp of Tarsar Marsar trek is Aru, a picturesque hamlet situated 12 km from Pahalgam.

For ease of understanding, we have broken down the journey based on the transport and the route you take:

From Srinagar Airport to TRC

The tri-colour flag of India stands tall right in front of you as you step out of the Srinagar (Sheikh Ul-Alam) airport. You will first need to get to the Tourist Reception Centre (TRC), which is 12 km away from the airport. But it’s easy to get there.

The TRC lies in the heart of Srinagar. It is a prominent landmark and is well connected, hard to miss as it has a football ground attached to it. There are two ways to get to the TRC.

1. Government Bus: This is the best way. There are airport buses every half an hour which take you to TRC. The ticket now costs approximately Rs.80. This is the most reliable, safe and pocket-friendly way, provided you have time on your side.

2. Cab: The next option is to take a private cab. You will get plenty of them immediately as you step out of the airport. But take this option only if you are pressed for time because it is expensive. The cab will cost you around Rs.600

| Note: While autos do ply in Srinagar city, you won’t find them in the airport complex. You need to walk a km or so from the airport to find an auto. We do not recommend it.


Direct Route from TRC to Aru

After you get to TRC, the next step is to begin your journey to Aru. The route to Aru goes via Pahalgam. 

So, your first, most prominent leg of the journey will be to Pahalgam.

There are two parallel routes for this. One moves on the four-lane Jammu Highway and goes through Anantnag. The second is on the other side of Lidder river, which takes the same amount of time but is a notch more scenic due to the apple and apricot orchards on the way. This is the route through Bijbehra.

Both routes converge three kilometers prior to Pahalgam. The entire journey takes around 3.5 hours.



Alternative: Break it at Anantnag

Go for this option if you are traveling on your own and want to opt for shared vehicles. You will find frequent shared cabs leaving for Anantnag from Dalgate taxi stand, near Jan Bakers on MA Road to Anantnag. It costs around Rs.80 for a distance of 58 km (1.5-2 hours).

Hop into another shared vehicle from Anantnag stand to Pahalgam. Expect it to cost around Rs.110 for a distance of 45 km (1 – 1.5 hours).

| Note: There are chances your shared/private vehicle may not go till Aru as some of them do not have permission to cross Pahalgam. Enquire about this with the driver.

Aru is 12 km from Pahalgam. Cabs to Aru usually leave from the non-touristy side of Pahalgam. Talk to your cab driver or locals to figure this one out. The journey is barely 20 minutes long.


With that, we come to the end of the ‘How to Reach’ section. Next, let’s talk about the things you need to carry for the Tarsar Marsar trek.

What To Pack For Tarsar Marsar Trek

Before you start shopping and packing for the high-altitude Tarsar Marsar trek, watch this video to get a clear idea about what you need to take along.


Complete Video Playlist: How To Pack For Tarsar Marsar Trek

What to take on your trek 
How to pack your backpack
How to choose your trekking shoes 
Trekking shoes vs sports shoes. How are they different?
How to layer up on a Himalayan trek
Why you need a trekking pole
How to manage sanitary waste on a trek


Mandatory Documents to carry On Tarsar Marsar Trek

Carry an Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar card, a passport will do.

You will need to submit your identification to the forest department. Without these, you will not be allowed to trek.

| Tip: Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack to prevent them from getting wet.

If you have registered with Indiahikes, you also need to carry the Disclaimer Certificate and the Medical Certificate.

For an exhaustive list of things to carry, click here.


Network And Connectivity On The Tarsar Marsar Trek

Last ATM Electricity Mobile Service Providers Network Hotspots
Pahalgam. But do not bank upon the last ATM, they too run out of cash. Withdraw cash before you begin your road journey to Srinagar. Base camp Aru has reliable electricity. Though there is no backup and if it goes it can take some hours to come back. There is no electricity at any other point on trek. Prepaid SIM cards do not work in Kashmir. You won’t find network on the trek. There are none.


Frequently Asked Questions About Tarsar Marsar Trek

1. Where is Tarsar Marsar?

The Tarsar Marsar trek is situated in the Pahalgam district. It is slightly towards the west of Kashmir. The trek starts from Aru, a picturesque hamlet, which is 12 km from the famous touristy town of Pahalgam.

If you see the map, notice how the trek moves along with the Lidder river and touches three alpine lakes – Tarsar (12,449 ft), Marsar and Sundersar (12,946 ft). Observe how the route climbs over the Marsar pass (13,201 ft), drops to Homwas (11,500 ft) and then comes back to Aru.




2. How to get to Tarsar Marsar?

To reach Tarsar Marsar trek, you first need to reach Srinagar. You may do this via flight or take a train to Jammu and then a 7-hour journey from Jammu to Srinagar.

Once in Srinagar, make your way to the Tourism Reception Center (TRC). This is in the heart of the city, very close to Lal Chowk. It’s a tourist hub and many shared/private transport routes branch out from here.

Choose a transport to reach Pahalgam. You have two options – shared cabs or private cabs. There are no buses.

There are two parallel routes, moving on either sides of the Lidder river. One is the Anantnag route, other is the Bijbehra route. We found the Bijbehra route a notch more scenic because of the apple and apricot orchards on the way. These routes are detailed in our “How To Get There” section.

From Pahalgam, maybe you’ll need to change the vehicle to reach Aru. You might find these cabs on the other rural end of Pahalgam where not many tourists frequent. So, enquire about the details when you are booking for a cab.


3. How many lakes do you see on Tarsar Marsar trek?

You come across three alpine lakes on this trek. Tarsar, Marsar and Sundarsar. Out of the three, Sundarsar is the largest lake. It is also the one that you see in most images of the Tarsar Marsar trek.

Lakes in Tarsar Marsar Trek

These lakes are fed by the snow and glaciers of the surrounding mountains.


4. Is it safe to trek in Kashmir?

Yes, it is safe to trek in Kashmir. Talking about Tarsar Marsar, while the trek remains untouched during times of unrest, getting to the base camp or onto the trail might raise concern in times of unrest.

So, here are certain pointers to keep in mind when you are traveling from Srinagar to Pahalgam and then Aru:

  • If you’re staying overnight at Srinagar, stay in touristy areas like Dal Lake or Lal Chowk.
  • Blend in with the crowd in terms of dressing and behavior.
  • Avoid going to downtown areas.Stick to tourist spaces as they tend to be safer and well-protected during times of unrest
  • Don’t panic if there is a curfew. Keep calm and wait for it to pass.


5. How long is the Tarsar Marsar trek?

The Tarsar Marser trek is 47.6 km long and you gain 5,243 ft in total on the Tarsar Marsar trek. The safest way to do this trek is to cover this distance in six days as it allows enough time for your body to acclimatize to the high altitude.  It’s easier and makes trekking more enjoyable.

Tarsar Marsar trek distance

Most walks are on green, undulating meadows. But as a chunk of this trek lies above 10,000 ft, watch out for signs of AMS if you cut the itinerary short.


DAY 1: Drive from Srinagar to Aru at 12 pm
It is a 3.5 hour journey from Srinagar. Transport will be arranged at 12 pm from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu Barbara Shah Chowk, Srinagar. You will reach Aru by 4 pm.
Cost of cab – Rs 3,000 per cab (5-6 seater). You have to pay the driver directly.

DAY 2: Trek from Aru  to Lidderwat 
Trek distance: 10 km | Duration: 6 hours
Altitude gain: 7,958 ft to 9,131 ft

DAY 3: Lidderwat to Shekwas 
Trek distance: 5.6 km | Duration: 5 hours

Altitude gain: 9,131 ft to 11,039 ft

DAY 4: Shekwas to Tarsar 
Trek distance: 5 km | Duration: 4 hours
Altitude gain: 11,039 ft to 12,449 ft

DAY 5: Tarsar to Sundersar
Trek distance: 5 km | Duration: 5 hours
Altitude gain: 12,449 ft to 12,946 ft

DAY 6: Sundersar to Homwas via Marsar 
Trek distance: 9 km | Duration: 7 hours

Altitude loss: 13,201 ft to 11,500 ft

DAY 7: Homwas to Aru drive to Srinagar.
Trek distance: 13 km | Duration: 6 hours
Altitude loss: 11,500 ft to 7,958 ft
It costs Rs 3,000 per cab (5-6 seater). You have to pay the driver directly.


You are expected to reach Srinagar by 8.00 pm. Cost will be Rs.3,000 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. 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 horsebacks. The trail climbs over so gently that it is hardly noticeable.

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.

Arjun Majumdar
Founder & CEO
In the evening, go down to the clump of coniferous trees you see on the map. There is a lovely Gujjar settlement there. You can get a peek at how life is in a Gujjar settlement. It’s unlikely that you will get such a close view of a Gujjar settlement on any other trek.

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.

Arjun Majumdar
Founder & CEO
Towards evening, take off your shoes and climb this grassy ridge just behind your campsite. Climb as high as you can and find a spot where you can sit and catch the sunset as it’s happening in the valley opposite to you.

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
Arjun Majumdar
Founder & CEO
Later in the evening, take a walk around the sides of the lake. Go to the far end of the lake, if possible. The view and colours of the lake from the other side are very different from what you see at the campsite.

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.

Arjun Majumdar
Founder & CEO
I have never seen something as pretty as the Jagmargi meadows. A big part of the meadow is flower-decked with a silent stream running through it. Sheep grazing and horses galloping. Such a setting can only be imagined in a fairy tale. It is wondrous to see it unfolding before our eyes. Whenever on Tarsar Marsar trek, I ensure to trek very slowly through this section. You don’t want to miss out on any part of the Jagmargi meadows by rushing through it.

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. Picture by 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. Picture by Sandhya U C

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.

Arjun Majumdar
Founder & CEO
On the return, you see the trek from an entirely new perspective. It’s like you are doing a brand new trek. That’s the most enjoyable part of returning to Aru.

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.
Huts at Aru. Picture by Arjun Majumdar

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.

Tarsar campsite. Picture by 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.  

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. 

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

 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.

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

ProtipKeep 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


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.

Click on the AMS Manual to open and download


The Indiahikes Special Covid 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.

This is why we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies.

This policy is effective for registrations starting January 5, 2021.

| Face no cancellation charges any time before the trek date

– Cancellation upto 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a complete cash refund (minus 4% transaction fee). The money is refunded to the same bank account, credit or debit card from where payment was made.

– Cancellation during the last 6 days before the start date of the trek, and not counting the day of the trek — Full refund with 100% of the trek fee in the form of an Indiahikes Trek Voucher. Valid for 1 year from date of issue. Can be used on any Indiahikes trek.

– Cancellation on the start day of the trek, or no show on the start day of the trek — Unfortunately, no refund.

Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable.

| In the rare event that we cancel a trek, this is the 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, or government orders, 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.

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

There are some thoughts and ideologies that we hold close to our hearts.

  1. As trekkers, there are times when we have to let go of a trek midway. Sometimes we fall ill, or get hit by AMS or at times simply fatigue pulls us down. At other times bad weather plays spoilsport, or the trail is blocked. It can happen that your Trek Leader sends you down due to a safety or health issue.
    At Indiahikes we feel terrible when such an event happens.
    Should such a situation occur that you have to drop out from this trek, we want you to know that we feel as bad as you do. You can always come back another time and finish your adventure. For this you do not have to pay Indiahikes any money.
  2. On the other hand, there are times when you fall in love with a trek. So much so that you want to do it again, perhaps see it in another season. If you ever desire to do a trek again, please do so. You don’t have to pay Indiahikes any money for repeating this trek. Just inform your Experience Coordinator who will guide you through a special internal process.

Our only request: Just register for your trek in advance – you know how it is with our groups – they get booked in advance.

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

If you cancel any rental gear from our store:

  • Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a full refund minus 4% transaction charges.
  • Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a voucher for the whole amount. This voucher is applicable on all our 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 sign up for the trek without paying any fee.

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 Experience Coordinator.

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.
  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. 3,000 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.350 per day).
  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



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. 350 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 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.



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.
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.350 per day
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.
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

Ali Asgar Canteenwala

Batch of
July 2019

One major lesson that I learned about myself is that we can reach any goal you set no matter how difficult it may look. Small steps at a time and a hardship can give you breath taking views on Mountains and in your life as well.
I dint expect at first that so many health measures are to be taken for a trek. Its India Hikes professionalisms that made sure our health was upto the mark for the trek.

For me the trek was amazing, thrilling and fun. Everything about seemed perfect and Hats off to the entire team of India Hikes . Our TL Himanshu Singla was great fun and professional as well and made sure completed our trek with utmost safety and also enjoy ourselves thoroughly.

Green Tails is a very innovative way to keep our environment clean.


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 :)


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


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.


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. 


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.


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 


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 :)


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.


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


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 We Explored the Tarsar Marsar Trek in Kashmir

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.

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Available dates

Face no cancellation charges any time before the trek date

At Indiahikes we follow a 31-Point Safety Protocol to ensure that you remain safe even as you trek during the Covid times.

Having said that, we are also aware that travel rules are dynamic and lockdowns are not always predictable.

To address this, we have a very trekker-friendly Cancellation Policy. This cancellation policy allows you to cancel or reschedule your trek till the last day without losing any money.

Read the Detailed Cancellation Policy Here

Jun July 2021 Aug
  • 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.

Dates not suiting you? Click here to see other similar treks.

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25 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.

        1. Absolutely Prateek, Tarsar Marsar is one of the best treks for beginners. Even if you have never stepped into any hills / mountains any time, you can attempt this trek. You only need good fitness levels and nothing else.

      1. Hi
        I was booking for tarsar marsar trek but starting date of trek for 18th july 2021 is not available for booking.
        Is there any specific reason?

        1. Hi Amitesha, that is because we have a private team trekking on July 18th. That’s why we don’t have another group on the same day. Won’t the dates around that suit you? We have groups on 17th and 19th.

    1. Hi Jamir, we will be announcing dates for July, August and September 2021 soon. It might take a couple of months, but that is when we will reopen this trek. You can keep an eye on this page and we’ll have dates out soon!

  1. Hi!

    I am interested in the Tarsar Marsar Trek. Anytime post-Diwali 2020 is suitable for me. I am a firs-time trekker and keen photographer.

    Please let me know about luggage assistance/ porter service as well.

    1. Hi Shailesh, the Tarsar Marsar trek is in Kashmir, and the season to trek here is only through July, August and September. After that, it starts snowing and quickly blocks off the trail. The trek will be opened next only in July 2021. If you’re looking for treks post Diwali, you’ll find some excellent treks here – https://indiahikes.com/upcoming-treks/

      Out of these I’d highly recommend Dayara Bugyal and Har Ki Dun for you.

  2. We are a group of about 6 to 8 friends who would like to do either the Tarsar Marsar or the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. Can you customise an itinerary just for us? We would like a completely exclusive and comfortable experience and don’t mind paying for it as long as the service provided is satisfactory. We’re all reasonably fit and do about two single day treks in a month.

    1. Hi Hardwardhan, we don’t usually take private teams on our treks, unless you have a group of around 18 trekkers. You’re welcome to join us on our existing groups. Our experience is the best you’ll get in the country and you’ll have the safest and most comfortable trek. You can rad what our trekkers have to say here – https://www.google.com/search?q=indiahikes&oq=indiahikes&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l3j69i61j69i60j69i65l2.1943j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x3bae17b192a0c961:0xeb9077106ac4952c,1,,,

      Given this, you’re welcome to join us!

    1. Hi Amruta, we will not be opening the Tarsar Marsar trek as early as June. Kashmir gets very high snow, and the snow takes till around early July to melt. There are 2 mountain passes on this trek as well, which will still be blocked with too much snow in June. That is why all our Kashmir treks will start only from July onwards.

    1. Not very high. Most treks in Kashmir have no connectivity, and usually in Kashmir, only post-paid BSNL sims work. It’s best not to expect or bank on mobile connectivity.

    1. Good to see you interested in Tarsar Marsar trek.
      Tarsar Marsar trek falls under moderate difficulty level. It will be great to have an experience of any easy high altitude trek before attempting this. I would strongly recommend first going for an easy-moderate trek like Kedarkantha, Brahmatal, Kuari pass or Dayara Bugyal. This will give you a good experience of high-altitude trekking.
      Considering an easy-moderate trek, you should be able to complete 5 km distance in less than 47 minutes.

  3. Hey! I’m planning on doing the Tarsar Marsar trek during mid-july. Considering the Covid pandemic situation, can you please enlighten me regarding the protocols followed at indiahikes for the safety of trekkers? Also, is it still 3 in a tent or reduced capacity coz of covid?
    I’m a solo trekker.. would you recommend this trek for me?

  4. Hi,
    Kind of a rare question. But does normal phone connect (3G,4g) work there for emails?
    Planning to book the august spot.

    1. Hi Karthikeya, there won’t be network on the trek. Moreover, only BSNL postpaid SIM cards work in Kashmir (where there is network). So I think you’ll have to leave your emails behind. (A good break, I’d say!) 🙂

  5. Hi, I am 23 years old. I have never done a long trek, I just booked this one as I really wanted to do one in July. Do you think I should maybe start with an easy-moderate level, and if so what are the refund/exchange policies (since I already booked it, there was only one slot available and didn’t want to miss that).

    1. Hi Malvika, you have nothing to worry about at all! I think this video will give you a lot of reassurance – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9f1rB6LHHM

      This is a wonderful trek for first timers. Just make sure you work on your fitness for at least a month before your trek. If you do that, you’ll be able to trek comfortably. 🙂