Chadar Trek

Chadar Trek, Ladakh: Location, Price and Best Time to Visit

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Ladakh, the largest province in Jammu and Kashmir, is surrounded by the Karakoram and the Himalayan Mountains. From scenic valleys to majestic mountain ranges to beautiful lakes and adventure, Ladakh has everything to mesmerize travellers. Ladakh is also called a land of treks or a dream destination for trekking lovers. Chadar trek is amongst the most exciting and adventurous treks in Ladakh, allowing you to witness the surreal beauty of mountain ranges for as far as you can see. The breathtaking Chadar trail on the glorious frozen river of the Zanskar is an exhilarating experience of a lifetime for adventure lovers. This trek is unique as trekkers have to walk on the surface of a frozen river in Ladakh. While most treks go over mountains, old forts, valleys, and caves, the Chadar trek is completely a different experience where you need to walk over the frosted glass-like river.

With breathtaking mountains covered with snow on one side and a lake stream, freezing or melting on the other side, the Chadar trek is one of the most adventurous trekking places in India. Here is everything you should know about the Chadar trek.

Chadar Trek – Location

The thick layer of ice in the Zanskar River looks like a white blanket – called chadar in the local language. Thus, the trek is famous as the Chadar Trek among tourists. This exciting trek is must visit place for those who love challenges and have a flair for high altitude trekking. The location of Chadar Trek will allow you to experience the beauty of the Himalayas. The trek starts from a quaint village named Chilling, from where the gorgeous Zanskar River begins to freeze. On your way, you will cross Tilad and experience the Gurudwara Pathar Sahib – the holy place constructed in memory and honour of Guru Nanak Ji. The distance of this trek is 105 km, mostly covered by walking.

How to Reach

The easiest way to reach the Chadar trek in Ladakh is by air. The Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (IXL) is the nearest in Leh, connected with all major international airports in India. All major cities in India have some direct flights to Ladakh on a regular basis, and you can easily plan a trip to this beautiful place. Moreover, you will enjoy the flight journey as you will get to see an incredible aerial view of the mountain ranges and some untouched areas in Leh.

Chadar Trek Duration

It would take around 8 to 9 days to complete Chadar trekking – including the return from the place to Leh. This trek normally happens during January to mid-February as the lake is frozen, allowing you to easily walk over it. Winter is the best time to experience the ice sheets on the frozen river to be entirely stable. Remember, you should avoid planning to visit the Chadar trek at the beginning of January as the ice sheet is not firm enough to bear any weight that may cause serious problems. However, the best time to visit Ladakh is from April to June during summer and Mid-September to mid-October. It is wise to ensure that you get regular updates on the present weather conditions in the area.

Reasons Why You Should Visit Chadar Trek

Trekking is one of the best ways to relieve daily life stress, relax the mind and revive the spirit of excitement and adventure by accepting challenges and winning them. Also, the fun and excitement of walking on frozen snow and climbing on icy mountains are matchless. With frozen waterfalls, a frozen lake, and snow-capped mountains in its surroundings, the Chadar Trek route presents a different world for tourists away from city life. Here, you are going to walk miles of mountains, seeing and admiring the paradise-like ambience all around. The mesmerizing sight of the snow-capped mountains and the relaxed surrounding will give you a perfect break from your monotonous life.

Difficulty Level at Chadar Trekking

Visiting this place means you will be experiencing the toughest of challenges that you might have never faced earlier, which is a dream for snow and adventure lovers. Trekking in Chadar is recommended for people with good health and fitness as you have to walk a lot and that too through extreme weather conditions. As Chadar Trek is famous as a high-altitude trek, it is only recommended for experienced trekkers. Those suffering from any health problems such as asthma or breathing issues are not allowed to trek here. However, those who have some mild health issues but want to visit this place should contact their doctor and ask for guidance before taking further steps. Remember, you have to show a doctor’s certificate to verify your health condition and evidence of past treks you have experienced to become eligible for the Chadar trek. For some people, it may be difficult to walk on a frozen sheet of water. So, it is recommended to hire a skilled guide to complete the trek.

Chadar Trek Cost

The travel price for the Chadar trek may vary from individual to individual as per the number of people travelling, accommodation type available, alteration in government fee on entry, or taxes and activities. In addition, you have to spend on hiring or purchasing essential items needed for the trekking, including trekking boots, fleece jackets, sunscreens, insulating gloves, day size packs, stream crossing sandals, emergency first aid kit, and sunglasses.

Are Permits Required?

The Chadar trek is called an ecologically sensitive region, so government charges wildlife and environment protection fee from the trekkers. The permission and other related factors are managed by a trekking tour operator and included in the total Leh Ladakh tour packages. However, people who are willing to travel without any professional help need to manage the necessary permits in Leh. Tourists who are especially going for Chadar Trek need to spend 2-3 days in Leh for acclimatization to the weather condition.

Chadar Trek – Itinerary

The total distance of Chadar Trek is around 105 km. You will be expected to walk around 16-17 KM every day to finish the trek. Here’s the itinerary for your guidance and planning.

  • Day 1- Arrive at Leh
  • Day 2- Chilling and walk to Tilat Sumdo Camp
  • Day 3-Tsomo Paladar
  • Day 4-Trek to Dibb
  • Day 5-Naerak Pullu
  • Day 6-Walk from Naerak to Dibb
  • Day 7-Trail to Shingra Koma
  • Day 8-Trek to Chilling and get back to Leh
  • Day 9-Departure

Other Attractions near Chadar Trek and Leh

Nubra Valley

One of the most beautiful places in Ladakh, Nubra valley, lies 150 km north-eastwards of Leh. Nestled at an altitude of 3048 m above sea level, Nubra Valley is a perfect spot to see the confluence of Shyok and Siachen Rivers, shining streams, green quaint villages, white sand deserts, craggy mountain peaks, and double-humped camels.

Hemis National Park

Famous as the Snow Leopard Capital of India, the Hemis National Park was established in 1981. It is the only national park in the north part of the Himalayas, renowned for sheltering the biggest number of snow leopards in the world. The park is also home to 73 bird species, 16 mammal species, and many other wild animals.

Pangong Tso Lake

Perched at an elevation of 4350 m on the Indo-China border, Pangong Tso Lake is one of the best tourist places in Leh Ladakh. Also called Hollow Lake, Pangong Lake is just 160 km away from Leh city. One of the biggest saltwater lakes in Asia, Pangong Tso Lake, is blessed with crystal clear water that keeps on changing colour from blue to green and breathtaking splendour against the backdrop of huge mountains. The lake turns solid during winters and becomes the spot for the ice skating festival.

Shanti Stupa

Located 5 km from Leh, Shanti Stupa is one of the biggest attractions in Ladakh. Situated on a hilltop in Chanspa that was constructed between 1983 and 1991, Shanti Stupa is a white-domed Chorten. Overlooking the Leh town, Shanti Stupa is a perfect place to enjoy the serenity, experience the stunning views of the surroundings, and meditate in the Buddha hall.

In addition, you can also visit Royal Leh Palace, Diskit Monastery, Tso Moriri Lake, Namgyal Tsemo Gompa, etc., during your trip to Leh. So, if you are planning for the Chadar trek, make sure you include all major attractions in the Ladakh region.

With scenic views, tranquillity, and enthralling experiences, Ladakh is truly a paradise for all adventure lovers. Make sure you choose the best Chadar trek package that takes care of everything in the itinerary.

Chadar Trek, Leh Ladakh, Treks & Hikes

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