LDV India

Chadar Frozen River Trek

Duration: 8 Nights / 9 Days
Route: Leh - Chilling - Campsite at Tilad Do - Shingra Koma - Tib Cave/Tibb - Naerak - Tibb - Shingra Koma - Chilling - Leh

Tour Description:

If you are adventurous and wish to get the thrill of adrenaline-rush, then Chadar trek is what you should be trying for. This will give you a chance to walk on the frozen Zanskar River. This activity is a huge favourite among Indians and travellers from abroad. Meant to be tried by seasoned professionals, Chadar river trek is about endurance, focus and fitness.

The beauty of this region attracts a lot of visitors, but its harsh and deserted environment is quite demanding. On a Zanskar Valley trek, you would meet the locals and understand their way of living in one of the most uninhabitable regions in the world. The journey will start from Leh and move towards Chilling, followed by a hike to Tilad Do, the starting point of Chadar trek. From Tilad Do, the group will proceed towards Gyalpo and then to Div Cave and the village of Naerak. The trail route from Div Cave to Naerak is considered the most picturesque one and will give you a great opportunity to click some wonderful pictures. From Naerak, the return journey starts that passes Tibb, Shingra Koma, Chilling and finally reaching Leh.

The Chadar frozen river trek is an experience for the brave-hearted and thrill-seekers. The weather and terrain might shake your confidence, but if you can surpass that then the journey to this land will be the most enrich experience of your life.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Leh (3500 m)

Leh, which lies at an altitude of more than 3500 metres above sea level, is the second largest district in the country. In winters, as most passes leading to Leh are closed, you will be flown to the Leh airport, which has the distinction of being the highest airport in the world.

As soon you land at the airport, you will be greeted by dry and cold air, but what will take all your attention is the lofty, snow-capped mountains all around; a sight that will remain with you forever. After completing the arrival formalities and picking up your bags from the baggage counter, take a taxi and proceed towards the pre-arranged hotel. Enjoy an overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 02: Leh to Chilling (3 hours by road) | Hike to Campsite at Tilad Do (3100 m) (02 km/1 hour)

Get up early in the morning and proceed towards Shanti Stupa, a sacred Buddhist stupa, from where you will get an opportunity to witness a beautiful view of the sunrise and a panoramic sight of the town of Leh.

Thereafter, drive towards Chilling – the beautiful village, and this ride turns bumpy as you pass by Nimu village, where the Indus and Zanskar rivers meet. Make a halt at Nimu and admire the beauty of the natural environs, besides clicking pictures of the scenic landscape. After spending some time at this place, continue your drive to the campsite of Tilad Do. The drive till Tilad Do is not for the faint-hearted as bumpy roads and hairpin bends are quite common on this route. The sight of the surrounding high mountains will give you a sense of awe. After a point, you will have to de-board from the vehicle and walk towards the campsite, the starting point of your Chadar trek expedition.

By the time you would have walked a little on the frozen ice, the dusk would be approaching. So, you will have to set up your tents quickly and get inside your warm, comfortable sleeping bags as the temperature here drops in a matter of minutes. Keep yourself warm inside the tents and get some good rest before the real journey starts on the following day.

Day 03: Tilad Do to Camp at Shingra Koma (3170 m) (05 km apprx/5 hours)

Get up in the morning and prepare yourself to walk for a distance of 12 km above the frozen river to reach Gyalpo. The leader of the group will give you advice on what to do or not along the way. The thickness of ice on the river is variable, so it would be best for you to follow things said by the guide. Proper hydration is required to keep the blood flowing in the veins, so on the way, you will be given soupy noodles for nutrition.

To reach the campsite in Gyalpo, we will have to trek past Shingra Koma, a huge camping ground. On reaching the campsite in Gyalpo, relax and soak in the views of the surrounding areas. This is the place where there are steep rock faces throughout the landscape and the river curves. Stay overnight at the campsite.

Day 04: Shingra Koma to Tib Cave/Tibb (3225 m) (14 km/8 hours)

After tea and breakfast in the morning, commence your journey for the day to Dib Cave. During the day, you will behold the breathtaking beauty of the region including ravines and gorges. You might not see sunshine properly as the steep cliffs in this area obstruct them. Once you reach Dib, you will see a large cave. This is the place where you will halt for the night and rest. Butter tea would be offered and we recommend you to try it. Enjoy overnight stay at the campsite.

Day 05: Dib Cave/Tibb to Camp at Naerak (3390 m) (10.5 km/7 hours)

Today, you will trek the most scenic part of the region and get a chance to witness the largest frozen waterfall and prayer flags. The bridge built next to the site of the waterfall is used in summers to reach Zanskar from Leh. Thereafter, you can proceed towards the village of Naerak to mingle with the locals and understand their way of living. Stay overnight at the village camp comfortably.

Day 06: Naerak to Tibb

On this particular day, start your return trip and proceed towards Tibb. The return trail would not be easy and the river quickly reacts to any change in the temperature. By now the frozen river might have taken an entirely new form. On the way back, admire the beauty of the region, click pictures and meet locals, who can be seen wearing traditional woolen Gonchas (robes). Upon Dib Cave, relax and stay overnight at the campsite.

Day 07: Tibb to Shingra Koma

In the morning, get ready to leave Tibb and proceed towards Shingra Koma, crossing Gyalpo. The trail today will give you a chance to witness high mountains and pug-marks of wild animals like snow leopards, ibex and foxes. If lucky, you just might spot a leopard; even if you do not, then at least be sure, you would be watched by them.

Day 08: Shingra Koma to Chilling | Chilling to Leh

Today, it finally would be the last day of your trekking excursion on the Chadar and so admire the undulated beauty of the Zanskar River. As you head towards Chilling from Shingra Koma, click some final pictures as memories. Finally, on reaching Tilad Do, it would be time to bid goodbye to the locals of Zanskar. On reaching Chilling, drive to Leh and stay overnight at the pre-arranged guesthouse.

Day 09: Departure from Leh

Today, the mesmeric journey to one of the finest scenic destinations of India will ultimately come to an end. The entire experience, we are sure, would give you an unmatchable feeling of achievement and satisfaction. In the morning, check-out from the guesthouse and depart from the Leh airport.

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