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Chadar Trek - All You Need to Know about Chadar Trek in Ladakh

  • Highlights

  • The Chadar River Trek is a frozen river trek in Ladakh

  • The Chadar Trek in the Himalayas lasts for 9 to 10 days

  • Being physically fit is a must to able to go on the trek

  • Opt for Trek Cover to get coverage for emergencies

The Northern region of India is home to the famous Zanskar River in Ladakh, which freezes in the winters forming a ‘chadar’ or ice-sheet. This glass-like sheet over the river creates a connecting route to the villages along the riverside and it is during these chilling months that the natives, Zanskaris, also conduct the unique, frozen river trek called the Chadar River Trek.

Here, you trek through the blue-white river stretch and explore amber Himalayan regions until the finish point for a whole of 9 to 10 days. So, if you are an avid trekker and can deal with sub-zero temperatures, then embarking on the Chadar trek should definitely feature on your bucket list.

Though it is a fascinating, one-of-a-kind trek, being aware of the route, accommodation and the travel time can help you make the most of your trip. So, before you embark on the Chadar trek in Ladakh.

Take a look at answers to a few frequently asked questions about Chadar trek’s difficulty and other basics.

Where does the Chadar Trek Begin?

You first need to arrive at Leh via a flight. However, you must bear in mind that Leh is bitterly cold at the beginning of the year and so, preparing yourself to weather extreme conditions is crucial. Once you land in Leh, the itinerary involves a drive to Chilling. From Chilling, it takes approximately 1–2 hours to trek to Tilat Sumdo, which is the first Chadar trek location.

Then on, the trek takes you through Tsomo Paldar, Dibb, Naerak Pullu, Shingra Koma, Chilling, and you end with a drive back to Leh.

When is the Best Time to Sign Up for Chadar Trek?

For those looking to embark on the Chadar trek, the best time to go is between the months of January and February, or latest in March. The trek usually commences in the second week of January as it is by then that the river’s surface freezes completely so as to create a walkway. However, the trek is considered to be the particularly difficult as routes and trails tend to get blocked due to the heavy snowfall, thus making it difficult to carry on. So, it is imperative to carry out thorough research on the Chadar trek location beforehand so that you know whether you’ll be able to make it or not.

What are the Necessities Required for the Chadar Trek Ladakh?

Necessities for this trek are different when compared to others and hence, you will need to pack with care. To get started, you’ll need a pair of trekking shoes, not sports shoes, with adequate grip and ankle support. These alongside sweaters, padded jackets, body warmers, gloves, thermals, sunglasses, and a sun cap are absolute essentials for the trek. Most importantly, you’ll also need a trekking pole to make it easier to navigate through the snow-clad region.

Additional Read: 5 Of North India’s Best Trekking Spots

Further, in terms of documentation, you need to carry identity cards and a medical certificate from an authorised doctor attesting to your fitness levels. You also need to submit a self-disclaimer stating your willingness to join the trek.

Is Chadar Trek Well suited to Beginners?

While there is no option such as ‘Chadar trek for beginners’ owing to Ladakh’s extreme weather conditions, even first-timers can have a memorable experience as long as they have high fitness levels. So, physically preparing yourself before you go Chadar trekking is absolutely key, and you can do so by working on your stamina, mobility and food intake. Similarly, you also need to improve your breathing in order to cope with the weather and you can easily do so by incorporating cycling, swimming and cardiovascular exercises into your regimen.

While the answers to these questions contain a handful of Chadar trek tips that are sure come in handy, dismissing the fact that this trip is a challenge is unwise. So, in order to cover all your bases, consider opting for Trek Cover by Bajaj Finserv to safeguard yourself against any unfortunate incidents. Offered under its Pocket Insurance and Subscriptions category, this policy offers a coverage of up to Rs.1.5 lakh against personal accidents and also provides emergency travel assistance of up to Rs.1 lakh if you’re stranded in India and Rs.1.8 lakh if stranded overseas.

Other features include a round-the-clock card blocking service in case you lose your wallet along with easy PAN card replacement as well. So, as you prep for this arduous trek, make sure to take every precaution and insure yourself as well. All you have to do is fill the online application form and pay an annual premium of Rs.699 only.

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