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Chadar trek : Alaska of India

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    Posted: 10 Jul 2012 at 11:11pm
I am always fascinated about many of the Himalayan treks. Chadar considered as Alaska of India is one such destination. Found this information on
Chadar Trek allows us to penetrate this isolation and also to examine some of the villages along the Zanskar River in the midst of winter and thus catch a glimpse of the lifecycle during this unique time of the year. The valley is at a height of 13,153 ft above the sea level and has an area of about 5,000 sq km. The route is famous for winter trekking among adventure lovers. A visit to the ancient monastic establishments of Karsha and Zangla promises to heighten our insight into the mysteries of this Shangri-la, a land and culture frozen in time behind the ramparts of the Zanskar mountains. Chilling and Lingshed are the only sizeable villages on this trek until Hanamur and Pidmo before Pishu and Zangla in Zanskar, all the rest are names of places and caves along the route. This geographical isolation together with the esoteric nature of Buddhism practiced here has enabled its some ten thousand inhabitants to preserve and perpetuate their cultural identity.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Leh (3500 meters). On arrival at Leh airport, we will meet the representatives and will be transferred to the guest house. Rest of the day is spent in acclimatizing with the conditions and low the oxygen levels. It is highly recommended due to high altitude. Stay overnight at the guest house.
Day 2: Indus Valley (Leh – Shey – Thikse – Hemis). On this day we will be visiting the attractions of some of the ancient monasteries of this area. Shey Gompa at about 15 km from Leh also used to be the summer palace of Kings of Ladakh. Many Stupas and Gompas are built around this historic palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17th century AD. Main attraction here is the 12 meters high Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa. Thikse Gompa, is about 17 km from Leh. The monastery is reckoned to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh. Hemis is about 45 km south of Leh. It is the largest monastery in Ladakh, and was founded in the early 17th century. The setting is perfect with the monastery situated in a scenic valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by high walls. By evening we will come back to Leh for an overnight stay in guest house.
Day 3: Sham Valley (Leh-Likir-Alchi-Leh). After breakfast we drive for full day, spending the day sightseeing in Likir and Alchi Monastery. Return to Leh by evening. Stay overnight at a hotel.
Day 4: Leh - Chiling (3200 meters). We start the day with an early morning drive to Chilling by a private vehicle. On arrival we will be introduced to the staff followed by a visit to the coppersmith’s workshop. Stay overnight at an inhabitant’s home in the village of Chilling
Day 5: Chilling - Zaribago (3250 m) [5 hrs of walk]. In the morning set out for a walk on ice of the frozen Zanskar river. Experience the Chadar, feel the thrill of adventure. Arrive at Zaribago and experience the night with the endless silence of the mountain which is disrupted only by the crackles of freezing ice. Stay overnight at the camps/cave.
Day 6: Zaribago - Deepyokma (3300 m) [4/5 hrs of walk]. By morning continue with trekking towards Deepyokma. Reach at the village and stay overnight in the caves.
Day 7: Deepyokma - Nyrak Pulu (3400 m) [5/6 hrs of walk]. In the morning, we start the trek going deep into an incredible maze of impressing canyons passing through frozen icefalls and find the human trace next to Nyrak Pulu. Stay overnight at the camps/caves.
Day 8: Nyrak Pulu - Lingshed (3800 m) [3/4 Hrs of walk]. By morning; begin trekking towards the magnificent valley of Lingshed visiting the great monastery. Stay overnight at inhabitant’s home.
Day 9: Rest day. Spend an entire day resting in Lingshed, one of the most remote villages in Ladakh. Visit monastery, school for monks and explore the village.
Day 10: Lingshed - Nyrak Pulu (3400 m) (5 hrs of walk). Early in the morning start descending towards Nyrak pulu from Lingshed. Stay overnight at camp/cave.
Day 11: Nyrak Pulu - Tsomo paldar (3300 m) [6/8 Hrs of walk]. By morning; continue returning to Ladakh and stay overnight in cave.
Day 12: Tsomo paldar- Tilatdo (3200 m) [6/8 Hrs of walk]. By morning, we will begin trekking towards Tilatdo where the valley widens. Reach at Tilatdo and stay the last night in cave.
Day 13: Tilatdo - Chilling - Leh (3500 m) [3/4 Hrs of walk]. By morning, we will start trekking back to Chilling. On arrival at Chilling; board the private vehicle which is already waiting for you and drive back to Leh. Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 14: Leh (3500 m). The day is reserved for any unexpected delay in the itinerary. Stay overnight at hotel.
Day 15: Flight Leh - Delhi. Early in the morning transfer to the airport to board a flight back to Delhi.

Small group adventure holiday
Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip, operator and how many others are booked on the trip) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places.

How this holiday makes a difference


We actively engage in environmentally responsible practices like keeping the group size as minimum as possible, use of eco-friendly toilets etc. This helps to minimize tourist impact upon the local habitat.

The clients are updated with the effective information so as to help them to identify and implement valuable ways to positively protect local nature and communities. The example could be use of biodegradable soaps or re-usable water containers. This philosophy is abided by each and thence can be passed on and abided by all, even after the trip has ended.

To reduce the effect on environment, the major travel from Delhi to Manali is done by public transport thereby reducing the congestion.


This trip travels beyond Leh and to the areas where tourism is less established and the population is inhabited. By hiring porters from remote regions and working with local restaurants and other suppliers, we are contributing to the growth of local economy.

To increase the employment opportunities long term, we do employ and train local guides, drivers and assistants on all our trips. This ensures that the local community is benefited and more people are employed. We always promote cross cultural communication and also educate the clients about the local communities. It is achieved by limiting tour group sizes, and which in turn will also help in minimizing any social and environmental impact.

It is always taken in to account that where and whenever possible our tours should unquestionably benefit the local community. We eat locally grown and cooked food, supporting restaurants/small eat outs enroute while at the same time providing guests with the freshest, most authentic tastes of the region.

The camps in Serchu are owned locally. The camp name is “Himalayan Saga”. These are eco-friendly camps and do not have electricity. The camps used in Pangong are also Eco-friendly. Martsemik camp is one such. Most of the hotels in Leh use either solar panels to heat water or locally installed boilers with minimal effect on environment.
See ya in the Hills of Sahyadri !!
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