Tarsar Lake – 6 days of intense hike in search of tranquilty

Tarsar Lake is a paradise for nature lovers, one of the most beautiful lakes in India. Untouched, clean, crystal clear water, amazing landscape, no human activities around, and a perfect place for peaceful meditation. Even the locals consider the water at Tarsar lake to be holy. A perfect place for camping, for landscape photographers, for night photography to get those Milkyway and star trail shots. The hiking trail is known by the name Tarsar Marsar lake trekking trail.

Tarsar Lake is almost a kilometer wide and two kilometers long. The view from the nearby mountain pass is breathtaking. From here you can go further to Marsar lake which is another beautiful lake or hike to Kolahoi peak and glacier which is another breathtaking place.

Tarsar lake in India

Tarsar trek itinerary

How to reach Aru camp?

The first day is all about going from Srinagar to Aru basecamp and the drive that is a part of this lovely Tarsar trek. It’s a four-hour trip from Srinagar, including stops at the Saffron Farm and Apple Valley along the way. From Srinagar, there are two ways to reach Aru. The first is via Anantnag, which is the bus route, and the second is via Bijbehra/Apple Valley, which is a shortcut and where most cabs go to Aru. Read more on day 1 – Srinagar to Aru drive.

Hike from Aru to Lidderwat

The second day of my Himalayan trip to Tarsar was thrilling and adventurous, especially because it was pouring. The landscape along the walk was perfect for photographers like myself, with cloud-covered mountain peaks. I got ahead of schedule when I started from the Aru campground, but after rising for approximately a kilometer, the scenery surrounding me forced me to stop every five minutes and photograph everything. It was already dusk when I arrived at Lidderwat camping, and everyone else had already finished their meal. The scenery is breathtaking. Read more on day 2 – Aru to Lidderwat

Lidderwat to Shekwas - Tarsar Marsar trek

Lidderwat to Shekwas

From Lidderwat to Shekwas camping, the third day of the Tarsar trek is a moderate rise. From 9100 feet at Lidderwat to 10700 feet in Shekwas, you gain around 1600 feet on this day. For the first hour, there is a strong ascent, followed by a one-hour level stroll. There is a point when you must bridge a creek, walk beside it for a time, and then gradually rise until you reach a boulder-strewn area. The Shekwas camp location is located after crossing these massive stones. Read more on day 3 – Lidderwat to Shekwas

Hike uphill to the beautiful Tarsar lake

The fourth day of the Tarsar walk is a slow ascent from Shekwas to Tarsar, passing through grassland, valleys, streams, and stones. As you ascend higher, the breathtaking scenery surrounding you is simply breathtaking. It’s roughly a five-kilometer hike with a 500-meter elevation rise. Finally, you arrive at Tarsar Lake, a slice of heaven on Earth. Read more on day 4 – Shekwas to Tarsar

Ravindra Joisa, camping in the Himalayas

Exploring Tarsar Lake

Tarsar lake is one of the pristine lakes that you will find in the Himalayas. A day spent visiting Tarsar Lake and its environs is well worth the trek. The weather in the Himalayas changes by the hour, and it is impossible to forecast what will happen in the following hour. Snowfall, rain, bright sunlight, beautiful sky, mountains without snow, verdant meadows, and crystal clear water in the lake could all be seen in a single day. Read more on day 5 – A day at Tarsar Lake

Hike to Jarsar and back to Aru

Our walk took us from Tarsar Lake to Lidderwat through Jadsar Lake on the sixth day. If you intend on walking in this area, a day of camping at Tarsar Lake is a necessity. We didn’t have the choice or permission to continue our journey to Marsar, so we had to return to Lidderwat through Shekwas. To go to Jadsar Lake, we bypassed Shekwas and took the parallel path, which is slightly higher in elevation. It was a hard drop to Lidderwat after spending some time in Jadsar. Read more on day 6 – Tarsar lake to Liddderwat via Jadsar

It took 6 to 7 days to complete the Tarsar trek. Tarsar Lake is reached after a three-day climb from Aru in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. You might continue on to Marsar and Sonasar lakes before finishing your trip in Sonamarg. We had no choice but to return to Aru from Tarsar. A day in Tarsar was fantastic, with camping close to the lake and Kolahoi peak on the opposite side. Jammu and Kashmir feature some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes and lakes, in my opinion. The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek and Tarsar Marsar treks are a must-do if you’re planning a hike in Kashmir.

Here are some pointers. Always add a day at the end of your schedule as a buffer. The weather may change quickly, so having an extra day before and after is a smart idea. It should not take more than half a day to go to Aru. So, if you arrive early, circumnavigate Aru. Also, if you haven’t used your buffer day and get near Sonamarg on the highway, spend that day touring Sonamarg.

The availability of water is not an issue on any of these days. There are several Gujjar huts along the path, and if you come across one that appears to be abandoned, don’t hesitate to peek inside or even stay. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Once you’ve arrived at the campsite, I don’t advocate remaining in your tent. Make the most of your time here by exploring as much as possible.

This location is fantastic for night photography. There is no light pollution in this area. If you bring your tripod, you may easily get star trails and milky way photos. Expect high winds, chilly temperatures, and maybe snow at times. Before you go on a hike make sure to check this out – some of the Absolute mandatory Hiking Accessories to carry.

There are many trekking groups like IndiahikesTrek the Himalayas, and Youth Hostels (which are for Indian nationals and are cheaper) who can organize the trek or you can go on your own with locals. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.

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