Chadar Trek is all about trekking on the frozen Zanskar River when it’s completely covered in ice. Its name can be attributed to its resemblance to a bed sheet when it’s covered by an ice cover. During the course of the trek, you are greeted with amazingly beautiful sights. The trek takes you through grand canyons, narrow gorges and fascinating villages. Besides, you will experience the brilliantly hospitality of the local people and also enjoy the pleasures of camping. The itinerary also lets you visit the beautiful markets in Leh.
Meet on arrival after landing at the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport (KBR) at Leh in the morning. Get transferred to the hotel in the city. Enjoy a full day of rest to acclimatize to the high altitude of Leh. In the evening, you have the option of enjoying a short walk to Leh bazaar. However, in case of bad weather, you are advised to stay in the hotel and get a good rest.
This is followed by dinner and an overnight stay at the hotel.
This day is for you to get adjusted to the climate and weather of Leh. Those who are not acclimatized with the conditions here are requested to take it easy and get as much rest as possible at the hotel. Others can try some warm-up hiking around Leh town. Be sure to return to the hotel before sunset as it can get very cold afterwards. Check your trekking equipment for Chadar trek and ensure that you are equipped with all the necessary tools and accessories.
Stay overnight at the hotel.
After an early morning breakfast along with the rest of the crew, board a minibus to Tilat Sumdo. Enjoy the magnificent and gorgeous views along the way as the bus takes you past incredible sights such as the sangam of Indus and Zanskar Rivers and later on, along the frozen Zanskar river valley till Tilat.
After the ride begins the first day of the frozen Zaskar river trek. Along with the porters and guide, embark on a trek till Bakula Bago, which should take you around 3-4hrs. Being your first day of the trek, you should be cautious and steady at all times, until you get a hang of walking on the ice sheets.
This is followed by dinner and an overnight stay at the tented camp.
In the early morning after breakfast, trek along the river until you reach Dib Yokma. The trekking trail at several places runs along the edge of the open river, so you must proceed with caution. Enjoy the incredible sights and the picturesque scenery enveloping you as you trek along the frozen river.
However, you must also remember that the water in this section has the tendency of melting quite easily, so you may have to traverse the step rocks. On the way, stop for lunch on an open rocky area without any ice cover. Finally, arrive at Dib Yokma.
Spend the night at a tented camp.
On this day too, your trek will follow the path along the Zanskar river belt. The river valley becomes narrow, almost resembling a deep gorge with enormous rocky mountains on both sides of the river trail. The astonishing landscape meeting your eyes here really leaves you surprised. You will also be greeted with a gigantic frozen waterfall, and other incredible sights along the way. The marvelous sights will leave you enchanted, even as you will find yourself constantly challenged and thrilled.
This is followed by an overnight stay at the Neyrak Pullu.
The trek continues along the main portions of the frozen Zanskar River, and takes almost 4-5hrs. Arrive at the Lingshed village and enjoy the pleasure of sleeping at a family house at this beautiful village instead of a tented camp. This village is located in one of the most remote parts of Ladakh and remains completely isolated from the rest of the world for about six months. This is quite a unique experience as it will give you a glimpse of the local lifestyle and let you mingle with the local people. Lingshed is the main village which is home to a beautiful monastery. Its also an impressively large village with a monastery and solar school, along with a hostel built by an Austrian who also happens to be the caretaker of the school.
Enjoy your overnight homestay.
In the morning, bid goodbye to the first leg of the trek. This is followed by heading back to Leh with a stay en route at Neyrak Pullu. This delightful trek will take you almost 4-5hrs and enchant you with fabulous sights along the way. The way back is as enjoyable as the way in, with adventure and excitement in plenty. You will have to negotiate narrow passes, narrow valleys and other challenges put forward by nature, and enjoy every moment of the return trek.
This is followed by an overnight stay at the Neyrak Pullu.
On this day, you return back to Dib Yokma following the same route as before, along with the same amount of time, as before. Absorb the surreal beauty surrounding you and marvel at the beauty staring you at the face. You would be surprised as to how the same route appears so different when you pass through it yet again.
Newer details of it meet your eyes, leaving you astonished. On the way, you may also come across locals heading towards their own villages. Interacting with them gifts you with special memories.
This is followed by an overnight stay at Dib Yokma.
On this day, enjoy trekking to Padar Tsomo, following the same route and enjoying the amazing sights along the way. Even though you may be returning along the same route, it's worthwhile to remember that the return journey will bring before you various sights which you may have missed the first time. On your way back, observe the surroundings around you with greater detail. The incredible landscapes and ice vistas will throw you into a trance, while the beautiful waterfalls and frozen ice cliffs will work its magic on your mind. You will pass narrow gorges, and come across curious sights like the "bharals" or blue sheep, as you go along.
Overnight stay in camps.
Day 10 is the last day of the trek to Shingra Yokma. Savor every second of the trek and immerse yourself completely in the beauty surrounding you, as these images will stay with for a lifetime. At the end of the trek, there shall be a group photo to capture all the lovely memories of the trek. This is followed by a drive back to Leh. Enjoy the beautiful sights on the way.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Leh.
Enjoy your breakfast in the morning and get transferred to KBR airport to board your flight for your onward journey.
In the morning after early breakfast, transfer to KBR airport to board flight for onward journey.