Kashmir’s pure natural splendour has earned the moniker “Paradise on Earth” for a reason. The valley of Kashmir, with its lush vegetation and snow-capped mountains, never fails to enchant the mind and soul of visitors. Alpine meadows, magnificent rivers, rushing waterfalls, lush pine and oak woods, and crystal-clear glaciers adorn the landscape. Kashmir has become known for its trekking routes and locations over the years, most notably the Tarsar Marsar Trek.
Locals claim that Yusuf Shah Chak, the monarch of Kashmir, was the one who discovered these two beautiful lakes. In Lidderwat, Tarsar Lake joins the River Lidder, and in the Aru region, Marsar unites with a river.
Kashmir attracts thousands of tourists every year due to its excellent trekking opportunities and picturesque landscapes. It brings trekkers and adventurers one step closer to Earth’s paradise. Sonamarg and Pahalgam are two of Kashmir’s most well-known hill stations, and they serve as the starting points for a variety of treks. The Tarsar Marsar journey is one of those adventures that fulfils the dreams of adventurers. Trekkers will come across the lifestyle of rural people and see a pastoral-agricultural ethnic group known as the Gujjar while hiking in the highlands. The Dachigam National Park is located in the Marsar Lake region.
The Tarsar Marsar journey brings you to a height of 4,100 metres, surrounded by the Kolahi Mountain’s peaks. It entails a lovely trek to the most beautiful twin lakes, Tarsar and Marsar, which are recognised for their almond-shaped shape. Surprisingly, they also flow in the reverse direction. The awe-inspiring exquisiteness and tranquilly of this walk are what set it apart.
Whether it’s summer, monsoon, or winter, Kashmir’s natural beauty is undiminished. This journey is undertaken by dedicated hikers throughout the year. The best time to go on the Tarsar Marsar hike is from April to October, when trekkers can see the most beautiful mountains. Golden eagles, musk deer, bar-headed geese, and brown bears are among the colourful birds and mountain creatures seen by trekkers. The average daytime temperature is 17°C to 20°C, while the nighttime temperature is 3°C to 4°C.
Lush Green Meadows:
The contrasting views of lush green meadows against massive mountains and sapphire blue sky will astonish you on every day of the walk. Exotic plants like gentian and poppy grow in the grassland, creating a scene reminiscent of Delhi’s Mughal Garden. The lush forest and herders’ shelters add to the beauty of the grassland.
The campsites are surrounded by lush greenery and towering mountains. The walk allows you to spend overnight at the most beautiful campsites in Shekiwas and Lidderwat, which provide breathtaking views of the snow-capped peaks and glittering sky.
The village of Aru is home to a variety of exquisite wooden homes nestled among the tall fir trees. The hamlet is the starting point for the Tarsar Marsar hike, and when you get in Aru, you may enjoy its beauty as well as the river stream that runs alongside the rustic village. You can meet the locals to learn more about their way of life, and if you’re lucky, you could even get to listen to some melodic folk tunes.
Have you ever considered hiking the trail without your hiking boots? No! After reaching Shekiwas on the Tarsar Marsar trekking excursion, there is a grassy ridge where you can go barefoot. A spectacular dawn can be seen from the top of this beautiful ridge. And this vista is not only pleasing to the sight, but also to the camera!
If you enjoy nature or photography, you must take a walk around Tarsar Lake. There are various views of the lake from the two opposing ends of the lake. The lake is unquestionably more beautiful at daybreak, when the sun’s rays turn the azure water an orange tint.
The Tarsar Marsar hike is ideal for novices because the majority of the track passes through lush green meadows. Because it is a modest hike, it does not necessitate a high level of physical fitness. Anyone over the age of eight can participate in the journey to see the grandeur of Kashmir and the twin lakes.
We initially encountered a cab driver after landing at Srinagar’s airport. He informed us that he had arrived to greet us and that he would transport us to the base camp. We took the cab and drove for three hours to Pahalgam, covering a distance of around 100 kilometres. We had lunch outside a wayside restaurant when the cab driver came to a stop. In one and a half hours, we arrived at Aru, which is 12 kilometres from Pahalgam. We hiked from the Aru road to the base camp.
The Bijbhera route was lined with beautiful walnut, apple, and apricot orchards. The breathtaking view of the base camp and Aru village caused our eyes to glaze over. For that one moment, I felt as if someone had wiped all of my previous memories and I had entered an universe where I just wanted everything to stop right then.
We awoke to the morning and the wonderful chirping of birds reverberating over the valley, and immediately prepared our luggage. After breakfast, we embarked on our trekking adventure. We gave the porters our bags so that we could easily climb the slopes. We discovered why Kashmir is known as the “heaven on Earth” when hiking through the gorgeous surroundings, which included verdant pastureland and mountain creatures such as sheep and goats. The ascent was strenuous, but it was also simple and enjoyable. We hiked along the Lidder River for about 4 hours, covering a distance of 9 kilometres.
I headed to Shekiwas with my companions and fellow trekkers after taking some amazing photos with my camera. We sang songs and discussed our trekking experiences with each other on the trip to Shekiwas. The terrain was initially less rocky, which helped us climb faster. However, there came a time when we were encircled by freezing winds that slammed into us.
Thankfully, the trail led us to a deep pine forest, which protected us from the gusts. In the forest, we also saw a deer and a variety of rare birds. We afterwards crossed a river and walked across a suspension bridge. As a result, we arrived in a valley with several Gujjar homes. There, we had a cup of tea and some pastries. It provided us with energy and aided our ascent to a high height. Moving on, it took us 4 hours to get to Shekiwas. It’s a lovely meadow with wonderful photographic opportunities. We enjoyed a campfire night under the stars later.
The walk brought us through gorgeous green meadows, waterfalls, and a river stream the next day. Later on, the trail led us to a ridge beside the Tarsar Stream. We went to a beautiful conical mountaintop with spectacular views of Tarsar Lake. The trek around the lake was thrilling and exciting for me. The place’s awe-inspiring splendour kept us half-awake the entire night. The majority of us remained looking at the lake’s glittering water, which provided a beautiful sight with the changing hues of the sky.
We had to cross Tarsar Pass, which was one of the most difficult days of the journey. We only travelled 5 kilometres in 6 hours, and the rise became even more difficult as it began to rain for a few hours. We arrived to Sundaresar after following a track through the deep forest. After a delightful journey from Tarsar, the shores of Sundaresar Lake welcomed us, and it was an ideal camping place.
After breakfast, we began a steady rise from Sundaresar to Marsar. After viewing Marsar Lake, our guide informed us that we would have to return to the base camp. We arrived in a valley ablaze with colour. Mountain sheep and goats were later spotted grazing on the lush green pastureland. We arrived at Marsar Lake in 3 hours and descended to the base camp via Sonmasti after taking several group shots and selfies.
We arrived in Sumbal from Sonmasti in 3 hours and went back to Srinagar after saying our goodbyes to our fellow trekkers.