After an exhiliarating, Sunday ride we left the city of houseboats, Srinagar to reach the beautiful Aru valley in Kashmir. It took us four hours to reach our base village for our Tarshar Marshar Lake trek. From here we were to began trek in the kashmir valley to reach the twin lakes of Tarshar and Marshar. Our trek guide greeted us at our pickup point. He brisked us to our homestay and to our respective rooms. The breeze was piercingly cold outside, but the Sun above was shimmering and was spreading all its warmth.
After freshening up we went to the rooftop balcony of our homestay. Sipping away, Kahwa an exquisite local tea, we passed the rest of the day bantering. The soft rustling sound of the cedar tree’s leaves was sweet to our ears.
The Begin Of Our Tarshar Marshar Lake Trek : DAY – I
Thanks to the cold nights and our comfortably warm beddings, we lazy codgers got a little late. It was at around 10am, after having a refreshing breakfast with tea we solemnly began our trek. As lazy as we could be, we began at a snail paced walk. And intermittently we were also taking heart full of breaks. Breathtaking scenic views , tall mountains and River Lidder gushing all along our way. Bantering all along, we clicked a lot of groupies, selfies and happily munching on our snacks.
Meadows of Aru Valley
The valley opened up to beautiful lush green meadows all around. Wild horses running around and far away the scattered mud houses were sooting smoke through their chimney. What a lovely sight for a perfect click. And just to capture the breathtaking granduer scnenery before me, I took a lot of pics, with my DSLR camera. Below is my favourite pics clicked at that very spot. Amazing !! We spent some more time clicking groupies, selfies and again happily munching on our snacks.
Common sight in the forested land
The meadows gave way to thick fir forests. The depth of the forest and the silence of the place was spellbounding. Few of the old fir trees would have been some 40 to 50 fts high,hiding the Sun above. We crossed few big log bridges. Those log bridges were created by felling few trees over a gap needing to be crossed and looked quite old.
Tumbling over few ledges, dragging our feets and prepiring we reached a small hut. The hut housed a small shop that provided us with a shade and a much needed break. Besides our halting place, River Lidder was flowing, soothingly with a roaring sound. We loosened our cloths and basked below the warm Sun.
Our Lunch boxes
After a while, of giving some rest to our tired legs and amply tanning ourselves, we had our packed lunch. Our humble lunchboxes contained sweet rice palao, pickle and sauted vegetables. With our hungry tummy finally stopped growling and soul revitalized, we resumed on our trek. Our aim was to reach the Lidderwat camp, which would take us some more 2 hours to reach.
Fantastic view all around
It was around 3 pm we finally reached our Lidderwat base camp. Lidderwat basically is the combination of two words i.e first word ‘Lidder’ and the second word ‘Wat’. ‘Lidder’ obviously referred to the River Lidder and ‘Wat’ is the local name for ‘Sangam’ or the confluence of two rivers.
Google Map of Lidderwat Base Camp
Our cook and his kitchen’s second in command were busy preparing us a hot tea. He soaked ourselves in the last remaining warmth of the setting sun. Bon fire was lit and we all gathered around to enjoy the hot tea and popcorn. An worderful day came to an end.
Evening Snacks at Lidderwat Base camp
Our first camp of Tarshar Marshar Lake trek-Lidderwat Base camp
Lidderwat River Valley
Today’s Stats of the Tarshar Marshar Lake Trek
Total Distance covered : Base village – ‘ARU’ to Lidderwat camp: 10 Kms
Difficulty Level of Tarshar Marshar Lake Trek : Easy-moderate.
Drinking Water availability : Throughout the trek
Altitude gain on Day 1 : 7,958 ft to 9,131 ft
Best Time To Do Tarshar Marshar Lake Trek
The best time to do this trek is during the mid August till late September. Any day before the month of August will be meet with Monsoon rainfall. And any plans later than September will meet with harsh cold. During the Day 2 and Day 3 of the trek, camping near to the banks of Tarshar and Marshar Lakes will expose you with extreme coldness. This adding with the lake’s remoteness and high altitude for some, would dampen the spirit and enjoyment of undertaking the trek may fade away.
How To Reach Aru valley for the Tarshar Marshar Lake
To reach Aru valley the starting point for the Tarshar Marshar trek , you have to hire a private cab from Srinagar. The cab has a fixed charge of Rs 3500 ( as of Sep 2021) to reach Aru via Pahalgam from Srinagar.
Distance Guide for Reaching Aru Valley
Places of Visit on way to Aru Valley from Srinagar
- Srinagar: Much have been written and known by everyone of the etrnal beauty of the Srinagar Town . Right from the famous Shikara rides to the Mughal Gardens. There are lot that one can expect from his visit , and beyond. One cannot describe it’s sublime beauty with mere words, of that he has to visit Srinagar.
- Martand Surya Temple : On way to Pahalgam from Srinagar, this fantastic archelogical site is of the Martand Sun temple. Its the only second other temple ( alas now in ruins) in teh country, dedicated to Sun god after the UNESCO world heritage site of Sun Temple in Konark in the state of Odisha. The Place has its our aura and the greatness of the archeitectural legacy can be seen in these last remaining sites of Hindu Temples in the state of Kashmir.
- Mattan Temple Complex : It is yet another hidden gem of Kashmir valley. It lies near to the Martand Surya temple. The temples in the complex are the last major temples in whole Kashmir valley where regular pooja are conducted. The temple complex contains temples of major Hindu God and Godesses and are quite ancient in their origin. Sadly it is also the last important Sanatan Dharm temples where Sanatan Dharamis can freely worship their deities. The temple has a natural spring fed pond which is considered to be holy. There thousands of fish swims in its cold torquise water. Touching the fishes in the tank or swimming in the pond is prohibited. The temple is very old so one must respect this and keep it clean.
- Pahalgam: Pahalgam is all about its beauty . WIth mountains all around and rivers crisscrossing, it is treuly a must visit for people who want a peaceful holidays away from the hustle bustle of Srinagar. Apart from it Pahalgam is also the starting point for the trek to the crystal Lake namely Tulian Lake trek. The other places of interest is Baisaran, which is famous as the switzerland of Kashmir valley.