The Chadar is one of the treks in the Himalayan range in Zanskar Valley of Ladakh region in Jammu & Kashmir state of India. This route is ideally the connection of Zanskaris through the valley to connect to rest of the world when the roads are covered with a thick white blanket. The word Chadar is referred to the thick sheet of Ice on River Zanskar which becomes the only mode of transportation for the villages in the valley of Zanskar. This route has been used as trade route for over centuries and today. The trek is considered as one of the most exciting and unique treks. The “Chadar” is a perfect example of this resourcefulness of Ladakhis and their indomitable spirit, in the face of such daunting odds. A road is currently being constructed out of the rock face above the river. The road will certainly be safe and more convenient than the river, but its completion will mark the end of an ancient local practise. The landscape acquires a pristine grandeur in winter as the trail enters into the gorge of the Zanskar, where temperatures sometimes drop to -30 to -35 degree Celsius.
Region Zanskar, Ladakh
No of Days Ex–Leh 09 Days
Trekking days 07 Days
Grade Difficult (Needs high fitness level)
Max Altitude 11,150 Ft
Type Himalayan Trek
|Day 1||Arrive Leh – Acclimatization day||11400 Ft||Cottage||L,D|
|Day 2||Leh – Tilad Do via Chilling||10390 Ft||Tents||B,L,D|
|Day 3||Tilad Do – Shingra Koma||10550 Ft||Tents||B,L,D|
|Day 4||Shingra Koma – Tibb Cave||10670 Ft||Tents||B,L,D|
|Day 5||Tibb Cave – Naerak Camp (Frozen Waterfall)||11150 Ft||Tents||B,L,D|
|Day 6||Naerak – Tibb Cave||10670 Ft||Tents||B,L,D|
|Day 7||Tibb Cave – Shingra Koma||10550 Ft||Tents||B,L,D|
|Day 8||Shingra Koma – Tilad Do – Leh||11400 Ft||Cottage||B,L,D|
|Day 9||Leh – Mumbai||B|
Day 01: Arrive Leh – Acclimatization day
Take off from the City hustle bustle and the thought of landing on a land of tranquility and gorgeous landscapes. As you start feeling heavy in your breath, the snow clad mountains below you, the clear blue skies and as you start seeing the rough brown terrain and mountains you have just arrived to the region of culture, ancient, tradition, high passes, high mountains and extreme conditions. Welcome to Leh (Keep your woolen and Gloves handy). The moment you land on one of the highest airports of the world, one can realize why it so difficult is travelling to Ladakh by road. You can feel the fresh and crisp air, and a drastic drop in the temperature. A last minute stroll in the Leh market for missed shopping could be done although a very few eateries and shops would be open as the winters have just arrived.
Day 02: Leh – Tilad Do via Chilling
Start morning by witnessing the sunrise from the Shanti Stupa, from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire town of Leh and its surroundings. You can also see the peak of Stok Kangri almost beckoning you to climb it. Today’s agenda includes a very picturesque and thrilling long drive to chilling. The hairpin bend ride takes along the Indus to the village of Nimu, where the Zanskar converges into Indus. After stopping at this confluence point to take in the view, the drive continues and the road begins descending right into the river valley.
Among these mammoth mountains, the feeling of insignificance of one’s being does not escape anyone. To reach the camp-site, you have to cross the frozen Zanskar; and this is when you take your first steps on the Chadar. It takes a while to get a hang of walking on the ice sheet. To get some exercise and keep warm, you can climb up the nearby mountains and get a good look at the frozen river. As the sun sets, it drags the temperature down with it, and the sleeping bags in the tents look quite inviting.
Day 03: Tilad Do – Gyalpo
The biggest challenge of this day, and all the remaining days, is to get out of the warm toasty sleeping bags and go out into the giant freezer outside; but the steaming cups of tea being served provide ample motivation.
Today is a long walking session, about 12 km, on the Chadar. The trek leaders from 3T give a briefing about the day, and give tips on how to walk on the Chadar. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can assume various forms. It can be a cold and hard surface of slippery ice, or it can have a dusting of snow over it, providing a good grip. The ice can be thick or thin, and its best to keep closely following the guide. The locals, it appears, have a sixth sense as to where exactly to step on the Chadar. Eventually you get used to walking on the Chadar, which looks like a cross between gliding and skating. Mid way to Gyalpo, the porter-cum-cooks prepare hot bowlfuls of soupy noodles for lunch. It is important to keep up a decent level of fluid intake. Nothing makes you adapt to the conditions faster than nicely circulating blood in your system.
After passing Shingra Koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo, where the tents have already been pitched by the porters. The Gyalpo campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock-faces which almost look man-made. All that is left to do is to soak in the views, have an early dinner and call it a day.
Day 04: Gyalpo – Tibb Cave
Have a good breakfast, as today is the longest walk of the day – almost 14 km. But that is nothing to worry about all the walking keeps you incredibly warm.
Today’s walk through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning. The sublime walls of the mountains on either sides of the river keep the sunlight away from the Chadar for most part of the day. There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than the others.
At Tibb, there is a big cave. This cave is the dwelling of all the porters, and they welcome you warm-heartedly in here. The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter-tea with them!
Day 05: Tibb Cave – Naerak Camp (Frozen Waterfall)
Today is the most spectacular of all days on this trek. Walking on the river you cross deep gorges and reach a point where Juniper trees are covered with prayer flags. The porters give you a twig of this tree tied with a piece of prayer flag as a badge of good-luck and good-health. A few steps away stands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls – a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide. You can see dozens of colors in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface. Right next to the waterfall is a bridge across the river which is a part of the summer-time road from Zanskar to Leh.
The Naerak village lies several feet above the river, a vigorous hour-long trek can take you to the village if you want to see the life of a Zanskari. The camp is set up close to the river.
Day 06: Naerak – Tibb Cave
Today you start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave. And if you thought that it was just a matter of retracing your steps back to Chilling, you can think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before.
On the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woolen Gonchas – some of them monks who are hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh, some of them young students accompanied by their parents returning to their schools in Leh after the winter vacation. Watching the locals negotiate the Chadar is a fascinating sight. They are suitably adept to the climate and seem very much at home in the sub-zero temperature and the biting cold winds. Nothing wipes the smiles off their faces and dampens the warmth of their spirit.
Day 07: Tibb Cave – Shingra Koma
Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo today. The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls. You can see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek – footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards. You would be lucky to view a snow-leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.
Day 08: Shingra Koma – Tilad Do – Leh
This is the last day of treading on the Chadar – the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river. Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good-bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries. The team and our porters will take good care of you and make this trek one of the most memorable experiences for you. Tonight you get to sleep in a warm cottage again.
Day 09: Leh – Mumbai
As this unforgettable journey gets over, you depart from Leh having a newfound respect for the Zanskaries who brave all odds and survive with style in their beloved land. This trek also leaves behind a tremendous feeling of accomplishment – one of having undertaken and endured an extraordinary and challenging trek. The Chadar trek will be a cherished memory for life.
Trek officially ends here.
- 08 night’s accommodation on triple sharing at the hotels & tents mentioned above or similar as per the itinerary.
- 02 nights in Cottage
- 06 nights in tent
- Daily breakfast, lunch & dinner as per the itinerary (08 breakfast + 08 lunch + 08 dinner)
- Sleeping bags and liners during trek
- Camping gears essential for Chadar trek
- Local Guides accompanying the group
- Staff: Guide, cook, helpers, trekking mules/horse or porters.
- Camping & forest fees etc.
- Medical first aid supply
- All transfers will be by non-air-conditioned transportation
- Road taxes, parking fee, fuel charges and state taxes.
- 24Hrs First Aid Kit
- Expertise and service charges
- Leader charges
- Trek Leader from The Tern Travellers
- Train fare/ Airfare to/ from Mumbai
- Additional / personal use of vehicle.
- Travel insurance covering medical evacuation, hospitalization, air evacuation, baggage insurance and trip cancellation.
- Extended stay due to weather conditions or any situation not in human control.
- Personal equipment like clothes, shoes, daypacks, personal medical kit etc.
- Entry fees to Museums, parks, etc.
- Any emergency expenses due to reasons beyond our normal control
- Any personal expenses, room service and special orders, mineral waters, non-alcoholic beverages, tips, phone calls, laundry etc.
- Any extra excursions or sightseeing apart from the above specified itinerary.
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- Anything Specifically NOT mentioned in includes.
|PAYMENT SCHEDULE (Per person)|
|At the time of booking||25%|
|45 days prior to departure||75%|
|15 days prior to departure||100%|
|Cancellation period||Cancellation Charges on Cost|
|21 – 35 days||25%|
|21 – 14 days||50%|
|14 – 07 days||75%|
|Less than 07 days or No show||100%|
Mode of payment
You may make the payment by the following modes:
You may hand over cash to us and we will be glad to send you a receipt against the payment.
You may use the electronic transfer facility to send us the payment. The following are the details
Bank Name: Union Bank of India
A/c name: Nabeel Ansari
Account type: Current
Account No: 318401010137546
IFSC Code: UBIN0531847
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
- It is assumed that the Guests booking the tour are medically fit to travel on tour and also that he/she is aware about the tour programme and the different activities that shall be undertaken during the tour. In case of any health related issues on tour, Guests are expected to be equipped to handle it on their own. Tour Manager can give assistance in such cases but it will not be possible to give complete attention.
- Payment of the registration amount only shows that the Guest is interested in going for the tour. All the services like hotel accommodation voucher, drivel details, etc. shall be confirmed only on receipt of the full and final payment.
- The Tern Travellers reserves the right to cancel and forfeit the paid amount in case of non-payment of full tour cost before departure.
- For any reason if The Tern Travellers bears any cost on behalf of the Guest, he/she must reimburse the amount to the Company within the designated time.
- The Tern Travellers reserves the rights to modify or alter the tour itinerary in case of force majeure conditions (Political reason/Natural Calamities). Changes shall be informed to Guests at the earliest. Guests shall pay any additional charges applicable in such cases. Other than force majeure for any other unavoidable circumstance, if the Company curtails or cancels a certain day’s sightseeing, refund for the concerned portion of the sightseeing/tour shall be given to the Guests. The Company will not be responsible for any other kind of refund.
- Transport provided for the entire tour is as per group size. Skipper has rights to allocate as per the group size.
- Twin sharing accommodation is provided at all locations. In case of Extra Adult, mattress will be provided.
- In case Guest misses any meal for any reason, no refund will be given.
- Tour managers will be assisting travellers throughout the tour and they will not be responsible for loss of any Guest’s baggage or any kind of personal belongings. Guests will be solely responsible for their bags and belongings. Guests should follow information and instructions given by tour managers. The Company is not responsible for the consequences that may result from not following such instructions.
- Alcohol and narcotics are strictly prohibited.