The Tarsar Marsar Lake Trek encompasses a journey of two beautiful lakes situated at an altitude of 12500ft, surrounded by the peaks of the Kolahoi Mountains. The twin lakes, which flow in opposite directions, are separated by a mountain and known for their almond shape. Other than this, the trail is brimmed with green meadows, pristine rivers and enchanting mountains and valleys in Dachigam National Park. Trekking along the lakes with lucid blue sky gives an amazing view. The aim of Tarsar-Marsar Trek expedition is to trek from Sumbal in Sind Valley to Aru in Lidder Valley over Sonmasti Pass.
On arrival in Srinagar, travel to Aru, situated 12 km off Pahalgam. The drive takes about 3-4 hours drive to Aru via Pahalgam. Aru is regarded the main base for the Tarsar Marsar Trek. At Aru, you will be welcomed at a river-side camping zone, by the sweet flowing Lidder. There are lots of activities around town at Aru—from trout fishing in the Lidder, the Aru Biosphere Reserve to horseback riding and heliskiing in the winters.
Early morning we will start our trek following the Lidder River upstream. After a 9-10 km walk up soft slopes, the trail enters a thicket of conifers. This is the Nandekai village inhabited by seasonal, migrating shepherd people, and agrarian, foraging Gujjar community. We will now enter a tumbling meadow grassland. The trail then curves into another wooded area of gorgeous firs before coming out into the meadows of Lidderwat where the river flows clear watered. Our camp would be at a quiet spot close to the stream. There will be enough time before sundown to walk around the peaceful fir tree shadowed Gujjar settlement.
We will start our 5-hour long trek in the morning. In a matter of half an hour, you will be finding yourself inside a forest of pines. Soon, you will find the stretch of Lidderwat breaching to the aperture of a vaster expanse of merging valleys and snowy elevations rising straight from the rim of the valleys. There will be multiple clear water streams cutting across our path where you can stop to refill drinking supplies. You will be directed towards Homwas. Hand in hand with the crystal waters flowing by our tracks, we now enter a different grassy landscape of Shekwas. A sweet night falls over the meadows.
The trail moves through a silken lawn of nature for sometime before finally taking a lunge over a humpbacked hill and after crossing through a few ridges, opens to a little peek of Tarsar’s magnetic blue waters. It takes a total of 5 hours to reach Tarsar from Shekwas and after the ridge, it’s another 3 hours, the view of the Lake widening as we go down succeeding smaller ridges. You need to cross the stream, jumping from boulder to boulder adventurously before finally gliding into green veldt around the lake where we would camp the night. Sink your feet deep into the soft grass and watch how the almond shaped waters reflects the passing hues of the sky as the day rolls on. Time seems to come to a standstill midst of such beauty and silence.
Another 5 km trek from Tarsar will take us to the adjoining Sundersar Valley through the Tarsar Pass. Here we will be apparently joining the meadows of Shekwas and Sundersar Valley. Trekking through the Tarsar Pass is actually a time saving but comparatively more hectic plan than descending to Shekwas first and heading to Sundarsar from there. Next, we go down to a valley bed to be greeted by a nomadic shepherd clan settlement. Our trail takes us through a high pass exit from this grassland to the next part covered with wildflowers. Later, trail over the stream ushers us into the Sundarsar Lake side, a flatland where we can camp at the end of this day.
Today, we will ascent higher up through Marsar Ridge. You can expect slippery snow patched in these rocks. At midday, the snow will melt and it’s going to be tricky walk. After covering a partly grass covered, partly snow sheeted rock trail over on the Pass, we slightly descend to a flatland that’s cut through by occasional water flows. The top of the ridge view reveals the translucent blue Marsar Lake lying somewhere down below. It has the same kind of almond shaped outline as Tarsar and almost as big. The Lake happens to overflow on one side and go down in a sweeping glacial stream down to a valley below. The snowmelts from the white cliffs feed its waters on one side and on another, the Dachigam forests starts. Now we descend back to Sundarsar camps and then to Homwas, trialing almost along the same way that we came by.
Starting off early morning today, we descend from Homwas to Aru, sweeping over the same enchanting meadow lands we had experienced on the first days, We will stop at Lidderwat to rest and lunch and then set off again towards Aru which is 10 km from Lidderwat to be covered over 4 hour approx. Our vehicle for Srinagar shall be waiting for us at Aru. We can expect to reach station within 8 in the night.