For The Adventure Travelers: A Thrilling Trek Through the Frozen River Zanskar!

Many adventure travelers hunt for the spots in faraway places that can satiate their exploration thirst. Here is one such miraculous and awe-inspiring spot, which leave them completely engrossed and mesmerized.

If the exhilarating mountaineering expeditions in high peaks fascinate you and you have the quest for exploring the most unexplored corners by challenging your own limits, then surely you are an adventurous traveler.

And the Frozen River Zanskar is the destination for you!

Now what are you waiting for?

Carry your backpack, put on the sporty look and head towards one of the most magical region of India, Uttar Bharat or North India.

Trekking is one of the primary attraction adventures of northern region of India; especially in the long belt of the mighty Indian Himalayas. For decades, it draws the attention of the adventure freaks throughout the globe.

Typically, northern India trekking zone comprises three spots including Ladakh Trekking, Darjeeling Trekking and Sikkim Trekking.

The Daring Act – Zanskar

Frozen river Zanskar is one of the most daring trekking voyages of Ladakh. Zanskar is formerly known as Chadar Trek. Chadar means a frozen sheet.

It was an incidental discovery of local traders.

They found this route when the main route got clogged due to heavy snowfalls in winters. It is a to and fro road from Chilling to Padum. Keeping the capacity of every trekker in mind, the expedition is further divided into two variations. The longer one lasts for 22 days where as the shorter one takes about 15 days.

Guided by the local Zanskari potters and well experienced guide and staffs, you can actually reach up to an altitude of 3850mt / 12,628ft high.  On an average one has to trek for 5-7 hours daily. The amount and condition of the ice on the Zanskar River can vary on yearly or even on a regular basis. Hence, the tourist has to have a flexible attitude for the trekking.

In general the night can be chilling up to maximum -30 Celsius. On the other hand the daytimes are warmer and pleasant.

Bottom line is Zanskar trek demands a sturdy physical and mental condition to overcome the unpredictable weather and tough ambience.

The Bonuses of Zanskar

Zanskar is not only about the adventurous thrill.

It has many other bonuses to offer.

The bravura beauty of the Zanskar can instantly make you overlook all the fatigues.  What could be more inspiring than a relaxing pause from a busy city life, through the chancy walk on the frozen river, sleeping in natural mountain caves, passing through narrow canyons, meeting inhabitants of remote villages who are isolated from the rest of the world? The blue skies contrasting the white river and spectacular deep canyons makes Zanskar trek a paradise for photographers. They create their masterpieces in this magical land.

Things to Remember

A word of advice for the trekkers! Your backpack must-have:

  • Food items containing larger amount of carbohydrates
  • A first-aid box
  • Heavy warm clothes
  • Sleeping bag
  • Trekking rope about 50 meters of length
  • An ice cutting axe  
  • Lighter
  • Swiss army-knife
  • Space blanket
  • Water bottle
  • A compass
  • Topographical map.

Getting There:

By Air

The nearest airport to Zanskar is at Leh. Leh is well connected to major cities like Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi with major airlines flying into Leh. From the airport, taxis are available and they charge you Rs 1000 to take you to the city center. You can also get to Zanskar from Srinagar as the latter has a well maintained airport known as the Sheikh- Ul- Alam Airport. From the airport you can go for shared taxis or buses to get to Zanskar Valley.

By Train

The nearest rail head is Jammu. After getting off at the railway station, one can take a shared bus to Zanskar Valley via Kargil.

By Road

There is a regular bus service from Jammu & Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation from Leh and Kargil for Padum with stops at various points in Suru and Zanskar Valley. The other option is by hiring a taxi or a motorcycle from Leh or Kargil for Zanskar Valley. You can also get to Zanskar from Srinagar. The distance between the two is somewhere around 192kms and it will take you around 5- 6 hours to drive down from Srinagar to Zanskar. A number of car rental agencies and bus services make it easier for you to commute.

Mid January to End February is the perfect time to visit frozen Zanskar!

Plan your trip now and get set for that thrilling adventure you have been waiting for!

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Travel Guide

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