Wo liegen die Malediven?
When you're thinking about best countries to visit in the world, #Bhutan may not necessarily be on your list. However, you shouldn't overlook it. It is a beautiful place and has a mix of natural, historical, and manmade attractions. So, you should plan your next vacation to Bhutan, and use your Superinternetdeals to research the best itinerary for you.
Bhutan is famous for having created Gross National Happiness as opposed to Gross Domestic Product based on four pillars of sustainable tourism, preservation and promotion of local culture and traditions. In few countries of the world is such great importance given to the local culture, conservation of the environment and good governance.
Why not travel to the happiest country in the world? Bhutan is home to a world of scenic Himalayan landscapes and rich culture. Entrenched in traditions while also embracing the changes in the world, Bhutan is known for its highly sustainable tourism, which protects its environment and its cultural identity.
With its unique Buddhist culture, pristine scenery and fresh mountain air and a country that still retains its medieval features and traditions, Bhutan attracts tourists by its original beauty, pristine, majestic, changing through each festive season with colorful folk, with movements of makeup, masks and unique dances.
You can explore the pristine landscape of the Himalayas, featuring traditional architecture, ancient Buddhist sites, visiting the happiest local lives, spectacular festivals, and dynamic rich wildlife. Soak in a bath after a long day of exploration, visit the monasteries, and even hike to Tiger's Nest. Pack your bags to unpack the secrets of this happiness!
Popularly known for being the happiest country in the world, its people will definitely make you feel that way. Bhutan is a country that strongly protects its culture and traditions. Some consider it to be the last Shangri La, with an impressive landscape of illustrated fairytale, where the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas rise over shady gorges lined with virgin forests, and dzongs that rise like majestic forts and monasteries.
The Buddhist state, despite its size, has extremely varied landscapes, from steep mountains to subtropical plains. However, you have to plan your trip quite extensively. In order to preserve local culture and traditions, Bhutan has some strict rules in place. You'll have to book an official tour with a government-approved agency and pay a daily visitor's fee on top of that. This can be quite expensive, so you need to plan your trip accordingly.
In addition, you need to respect local customs and dress appropriately. Make sure you wear loose clothes which cover your arms and legs. Once you have all these things out of the way, you can make your plans. While on a road trip, Phuntsholing is the official entry and exit points to Bhutan from India. Some people mainly visit Bhutan to see Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Here are a few places you should add to your itinerary on your Bhutan visit.
1. Paro Taktsang
Take a trip to one of the many monasteries that the country has, including one of the most daring treks to Tiger's Nest. This monk was the one who supposedly introduced Buddhism to Bhutan. The temple is spectacularly built on a cliff above 900 meters above the Paro Valley and 3120 meters above sea level. The trip to climb the Tiger's Nest takes around 4 hours.
It can only be accessed on foot or horse, after a long and intense road, but it is definitely worth it. The Tiger's Nest, called Taktsang Monastery, was built around a cave in which a monk named Padmasambhava meditated.
The Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger's Nest Monastery, is considered one of the most blessed sites in Buddhism. It is just outside of Paro and is quite beautiful. You'll have to trek a few thousand meters to get to this site, and then you can see the historical buildings clinging to the steep rock face. This monastery is functional, and you'll probably be able to spot a few monks out and about on their work.
2. Buddha Dordenma
In Thimphu, the great Buddha Dordenma, from the top of a hill, leads the whole valley. This is one of the newer attractions in the country. It stands at an imposing fifty-one meters tall and is quite a sight to behold. You should try and gaze at it from above as well. To do this, you’ll need to hike up a bit, and look at it from there.
The great thing is that there are various tents as well as camps behind the statue, and the locals there will welcome you there. You’ll really enjoy the experience and get to visit this beautiful statue overlooking the city of Thimpu.
3. Tashichho Dzong
Tachog Lhakhang, a small private temple accessed through a suspension bridge, and the Tashichho dzong, Buddhist monastery and fortification, imposing and harmonious, are essential visits. A Dzong is a fortified building which serves both administrative and monastic purposes. While there are many of these around the city of Thimpu, the Tashichho Dzong is the major one.
It is quite massive, and you'll see monks doing their regular activities all around it. In addition, it even has a changing of the guard ceremony. You can watch this ceremony if you time your visit correctly. Make sure you're there before 5 PM sharp, as that is when the flag dehoisting and changing of the guard ceremony will begin.
October is the best month to visit Bhutan to see Thimphu because the weather is moderate and, most importantly, the most popular festival of Bhutan called Mask Dances is celebrated during the month of October for three days in Tashichho Dzong.
4. Dochula Pass
Or head to Dochula Pass, from where one can see 108 shrines overlooking the gorgeous valley. This pass serves as a stopping point for buses going between Thimpu and Punakha. It is 3,100 meters into the mountains, and has over 108 shrines. Your journey begins with the stunning, clear view of the majestic Himalayan range. Try to pass by Dochula pass in the afternoon to witness panoramic view of 5 peaks of Himalayas on a clear day.
Usually, this place is covered in mist majority of the time blocking the view of Himalayan peaks. You can explore the monastery and pathways here to take in the beautiful views. When the weather is clear, you get gorgeous views of the Himalayas over the valley. In addition, there is even a lovely botanical park nearby, with tea shops, snacks, and a temple in the vicinity as well.
This is one of the underrated attractions of Bhutan, and you must experience it for yourself. Trek the Dochula mountain pass, with its 108 stupas and the temple on top of the hill.
5. Punakha Suspension Bridge
Bhutan's longest suspension bridge is only a few miles away from Punakha Dzong. It is 160 meters long, and spans the Po Chhu River. You should definitely try crossing it, and admire its unique beauty. There are prayer flags tied along its sides, making it look quite peaceful and attractive.
If you look down from this bridge, you'll also be able to see whitewater rafters, if you're lucky. This bridge connects the town of Punakha with the Punakha Dzong, and is worth the trip. Take a walk on the longest suspension bridge near Punakha Dzong, for some amazing photographic options.
6. Chimi Lhakhang
If you're a fan of unique art, then you have to see the fertility temple at Punakha. Chimi Lhakhang is also called the fertility temple, and is considered to be a place where miracles occur. Women suffering from fertility issues come here to receive blessings. While the temple itself is fairly standard, and quite beautiful, it’s the surrounding areas near Punakha which are truly fascinating.
Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility, is a beautiful traditional architecture and colorful decoration inside. The surrounding town has phallic imagery painted all over various buildings, and these are true works of art. With the increasing influx of visitors over the years, however, these symbols are slowly disappearing to cater to more puritan sensibilities. This is exactly the sort of thing Bhutan wants to protect, and why its tourism is so limited.
The best month to visit Bhutan is March. Then is the spring festival where you can find monks and locals celebrating the festival, together. This festival is commonly known as Tshechu in Bhutan. Tshechu is celebrated all around Bhutan on different months. During Tshechu, men and women are beautifully dressed. When Spring provides abundant colourful flowers and its freshness, it is the perfect time for the lower altitude treks in the north-central and southern areas of Bhutan.
7. Punakha Dzong
The Punakha Dzong fortress is the most impressive in the country and the second oldest.
8. Paro Airport Bird's Eye View Point
Bhutan has only one international airport that is in Paro, the third city in the country. Paro is 1 hour by car from the capital of Bhutan, Thimphu. It usually appears on lists of the most dangerous airports in the world, although there are no records that there have been accidents in it since 1950. Only two airlines fly to Bhutan and both are local with Druk Air and Bhutan Airlines.
9. Phobjikha Valley
Go through the Phobjikha valley and see the black-necked cranes that migrate from Tibet, one of the birds most valued by the Bhutanese.
The routes of Bhutan are physically demanding but at the same time very rewarding like Bumthang and Jomolhari and are ideal for day trips. Eastern Bhutan is rarely visited by travelers, and there is much to see on this side of the country.
For those people who visit Bhutan solely to trek, the seasons play a big part of when you can trek certain traits. Autumn, from October to November, is one of the best time to trek in Bhutan when Summer rains retreat, revealing glorious mountain views. The high altitude treks are best done in Bhutan.
The national animal of Bhutan is called Takin and is a interesting mammal that looks like a mixture between a goat and a cow. Adventurous folks can even enjoy white water rafting! A few hours away from Paro by the highest passable road in the country, the little frequented Haa valley houses magical hermitages nestled in the rock, ancient temples and charming villages.
Discover secluded valleys and nature reserves, experience night life in Thimphu by going at local club, pubs and karaoke. Try local made wine called (Ara), don't try doma, a combination of lime and betel nut, you will regret immediately.
As archery is the national sport of Bhutan, there are some really impressive archers there. You can visit the Changlimithang Stadium, and there are usually some competitions happening there. Even if there aren't, you can watch their archers practicing some truly remarkable feats. Just make sure you sit quietly and don't do anything to break their concentration.
After all, they have to shoot the target from 100s of meters far, so they need their full focus. The best part is, you can watch them without paying any ticket fees, and enjoy their athletic prowess.
To sum up, Bhutan is well worth the cost and effort. It is a beautiful and peaceful country, with lots to explore and really good food to eat.
Dwarka is one of the famous pilgrimage sites in India situated at the western part of Kathiawar peninsula in Gujarat. According to local mythology, the city was strongly associated with Krishna. According to legend, Krishna after leaving Mathura set up his capital here. The city is famous for its beautiful Gujarati artifacts which tourists can buy from the nearby markets.
Dwarka is well connected to all the major cities via a dense network of roads. The railway station in Dwarka connects to various cities like Jamnagar, Mumbai, Rajkot, Ahmedabad and several more. Tourists can visit this place throughout the year. However, the best time to visit Dwarka is during the celebration of Janmashtami.
Considered as one of the sacred cities of India, Dwarka is one of the four char dhams in India, being a pilgrimage destination for devotees and home to the colorful Krishna Janmashtami festival, as it is believed that here was located the first kingdom of Krishna. Around it white houses hugged by the mysticism of gods still seem to whistle among its streets.
Here are some places to visit in Dwarka in Gujarat for a cultural experience.
1. Dwarka Lighthouse
One can visit the lighthouse which is one of the best places to visit in Dwarka to enjoy the panoramic view of the surroundings.
2. Geeta Mandir
The Geeta Mandir is a marvellous temple located in the western part of the city. The temple's main purpose is to spread the principles of the sacred book, Bhagavad Gita. The temple is completely made of marbles. It was built by the Birlas in 1970. The walls and ceilings of the temple are full of carvings of hymns of Bhagavad Gita. Every word spoken out inside the temple echoes a lot which gives a strange feeling to the visitors.
3. Dwarka Beach
Other places to visit in Dwarka besides the holy temples are the relaxing beaches. The charming beaches make one forget all his tensions and is the best place to take a break from the busy city life.
4. Shree Dwarkadhish Temple
Another important temple is the Shree Dwarkadhish Temple. A monumental complex in the epic mouth of the Gomti River is famous for the presence of temples such as the Dwarkadhish, built 2200 years ago. The main temple of the region is Dwarkanath in honor of Krishna with 60 columns supporting the tall five storied building. There used to be 5 cities here which are now submerged under water.
The most famous Janmashtami festival is commemorated at this temple with complete enthusiasm. Devotees from all over the country come to worship Krishna on this auspicious occasion. The fest generally takes place in August or September.
The 2,500 years old temple of Dwarkadhish, also known as Jagat Mandir, is built on the north bank of the Gomti Creek. Said to be constructed by Vajranabha, the great-grandson of Krishna, the temple is made of limestone and sand. Sixty columns support the roof of the audience hall of the Jagat Mandir.
The main temple is five-storey high with the lavish carving of a 157 feet high conical spire. In the sanctum sanctorum, the one-meter tall, four handed black idol of Dwarakadheesh resides in its full glory. The temple has two doors. The north door is the Moksha Dwara and the south one, Swarga Dwara, leads to Gomti River. Apart from Krishna, there are a number of other deities also gracing the Dwarkadhish Temple.
One of the important Moksh Dhams of India, thousands of pilgrims throng at Dwarkadheesh Temple each year in their quest for Nirvana. So be sure to put the temple as one of your places to visit in Dwarka.
5. Bet Dwarka
In addition of being famous pilgrimage destination, Dwarka surprises nature and beach lovers with its spectacular stretch of beaches. The Beyt Dwarka Beach is one such beach, located about 30 kilometers from Dwarka and 148 kilometers away from Jamnagar. Tourists love to enjoy the ferry ride from Okha to the Island of Bet. The island is famous for its modern temples.
The Beyt Dwarka Beach's name came from Bet Island, famous for its white coloured sand and its beautiful coral reefs. The Island is also rich in marine organisms. During the low tides it is common to encounter the amazing sight of dolphins leaping out in the distant sea. Porpoise, sea turtles, octopus, starfish, sea urchins are some of the other inhabitants of these islands.
A variety of water birds add to the charm of the beach apart from some migratory birds which flock to the island every year. The temples near Beyt Dwarka beach is a perfect mix of spirituality, nature and fauna, pleasantly surprising travellers for what it has to offer.
6. Shri Nageshwar Mahadev Temple
Situated in the outskirts of Dwaraka, Nageshwar Temple or Nagnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of India. According to Shiv Purana, Shiva started to reside in this temple in the form of Jyotirlinga after killing the demon by name Daruka thus signifying the removal of evil from the face of the earth.
This holy site can be visited as a part of your Nageshwar Dwarka Somnath Jyotirling Yatra which will guarantee an extremely spiritual experience. The Shivalinga in this temple is unique as it faces towards the south and the Gomugam is on the east. According to a legend, people threw a devotee by the name Namdev out of the temple when he refused to move from the front of Shiva Idol.
To the astonishment of devotees, The Linga faced South with the Gomugam facing east from then. On the eve of Shivaratri, the temple witnesses huge a turnout of devotees which transform the entire temple complex into a melange of festivities. The imposing giant statue of Shiva inspires awe as well as devotion.
7. Shri Krushna Mandir, Tulamandir, Gomti Ghat
At the rear of Dwarkadhish temple, flows the sacred Gomti River, on the banks of which, there are many revered temples, where pilgrims have been offering prayers since ages. Apart from a Shiva temple there are also shrines of Rama, Krishna and Sudama around the Ghat.
8. Pandava Wells
Among places to visit in Dwarka, there is a place with five wells called Panchanand Tirtha which is believed to have been built by the Pandavas.
9. Samudra Narayan Temple
A temple of Sangam Narayan or Samudra Narayan is also nearby. Next to Samudra Narayan is Chakratirtha, a place of rocks with chakras. According to legend, it is the place where Vishnu cleaned his Sudarshana Chakra after destroying demons, hence the place got its name as Chakratirtha. It is a holy bathing centre to purify the soul.
You'll see devotees feeding fish here as a way to get wealth and prosperity. You can hire a boat to move across the river for a panoramic view of Dwarka.
Himalayas hold the unique proneness of charm that attract us towards them insanely. Mountains calling is a deep rooted desire in every trekker that keeps on proximating every now and then. But if you haven't experienced the unbelievable and if the sight of Himalayas hasn't kept you spellbound then it means you are still to witness the chadar trek.
Ladakh is nature's pristine piece of art. The bike rides to Ladakh are the most chanted and celebrated tourist getaway. There is an adventure trek called Chadar trek which you can attempt. When it is about trekking, Chadar trek is considered as the most astonishing trekking attraction of Himalayas. Chadar trek takes one week to complete and follows the paved frozen path and leads to the mysteries of frozen waterfalls.
The word itself means a blanket. Where else would you get to see an entire river frozen and turned into a blanket of ice? Not only see, but get to walk on it? It is one of a kind and once in a life time experience. It will be adventurous when you walk on or walk along with the frozen river.
This region has an altitude of around 12,000 to 13,000 feet and covers an area of 7,000 square kilometres. Between January and mid-February, this valley has desolated raw winters with very little direct sunlight. If ice skating is too conventional take advantage of the experience of trekking from another level in conjunction with one of the most dangerous roads in the world.
This trek is not for the weak-hearted as it's all about physical strength and zeal of survival in extreme conditions. Frozen lake trek should be in your bucket list because it takes you to a journey of Tibetan colorful cultural delights and rejuvenates you like never before. The aura of Ladakh and traditional values of the Tibetan lifestyle may inject new definitions of life in you.
The local inhabitants of Leh and Zanskar village are very heartwarming. It's just a matter of interaction and they would tell numerous tales about their culture and history of place. The whole journey is captivating and you would feel like capturing each moment of this trek in your eyes to memorize for a lifetime. Bonfire doesn't seem cozy until its really damn cold and camping doesn't seem fun when it becomes basic necessity.
The real thrill of this trek is to see the widespread frozen lake. This seven-day journey to frozen lake would add dozens of life experiences and zillions of memories. So, gear up yourself for this defining trek. Winters of Ladakh is a kind of experience in itself. When Ladakhi winters get camouflaged with chadar trek then it becomes an experience like never before.
The view of the frozen lake is magnificent and the whole trek worth life-time memory. Chadar trek gives you a good chance to soak yourself in the culture and tradition of Ladakh. The cold temperatures and fear of the fragile Zanskar river are nothing in comparison to the views you'll behold throughout the trek.
From the first stop at Leh, to Tsomo Paldar, followed by Tibb Caves till the final destination of frozen waterfall at Nerak, this trek is absolutely enchanting. It is one trek that no one should miss out in their lifetime. Chadar trek is for the adrenaline junkies who like to dare in extreme cold weather conditions.
Chadar Trek offers the adventure seekers a chance to walk on the frozen Zanskar River. The trekkers get to know about the locals and their way of living in one of the most uninhabitable places on earth. It is the trek from Zanskar to Lahaul through the passes. This circuit allows the traveler to discover little known valleys.
The diversity of the landscapes and the privileged meetings with the local population will fill those who already know about Zanskar and dream to discover the hidden face and its secret valleys like Paldar and Pangi valleys.
The crossing of Phe (Ating) to Bugian via Umasi La pass is a pedestrian link used by locals during the summer for those of them who wish to reach the Jammu region without having to follow the tedious road route that bypasses the Himalayan range through Kargil and Srinagar. By crossing this pass, they find themselves by the S side of the Great Himalayan Range and can in a few days reach the tracks that will allow them to go down to the cities of the South.
The Chadar trek is one of the most impressive treks in the world for several reasons. Its location, the conditions in which the expedition is carried out and the wild environment it transcends is for those who assiduously visit the mountains of the world in search of new challenges, of landscapes and authentic and indescribable sensations.
The Chadar Trek is also known as the Lower Zanskar Gorge and is a winter trail on the frozen river in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. This trek is known as Chadar trek because Chadar refers to the blanket as the Lower Zanskar River transforms from a fast flowing river into a white sheet or from the ice sheet during the winter. For lovers of Ladakh and Zanskar, there is a beautiful circuit that makes you travel out of time, out of the world.
Walk on the snow cover of the frozen Zanskar River through the stretches of snow-capped mountains. The magical charm and beauty of the snowy valleys are incomparable. The temperature of the region drops as low as -20 degrees Celsius at night. You may want to work on your endurance before embarking on this exciting journey.
Chadar Trek Specifications
Duration: 7 days
Starting point: Leh (Ladakh)
Maximum Altitude: 11,123 feet
Difficulty level: Moderate
Total trekking distance: 62 km (approx.)
Chadar Trek Itinerary
Reaching at Leh
Altitude: 11,400 feet
The base camp of this trek is Leh. The hassle-free way to reach Leh is by air, otherwise one can reach by road also. There is no railway station in Ladakh. There is direct flight from Delhi, Chandigarh and Srinagar to Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh. You can choose a road journey by following the Delhi-Chandigarh-Manali-Jispa-Leh route.
Don't forget to pack the woolens and trekking boots along with all essential luggage as the weather remains extremely cold during winters at Leh. Once you reach Leh, give yourself time to explore Leh and get acclimatized to its climate. Keep yourself hydrated and relax in the guest house.
Once you're acclimatized in Leh, and have sufficient protection against the cold, you will be comfortable. Know what's the best thing about trekking in -20C? - no matter how much you exert, sweat is hard to squeeze out - and the subsequent spoiling of clothes, the necessity to change at the end of the day, and bacterial growth, are all eliminated. Beat that! Everybody wants to tell everybody else to do this trek, once they're back.
The challenges on a walking on a temporary sheet of ice that lasts a mere month or two, and is always undergoing change, are different. You are likely to come across different hurdles on the Chadar on the way ahead and the way back. Despite being the same trail, it will feel like a new one. The trail is unpredictable to even the most experienced of Zanskaris, which means you live a new experience each time.
Day 1: Medical checkup and essential briefing
Trekkers have to report at the base camp in the morning for the medical tests. After the medical tests are done (Blood Pressure and oxygen) you will be guided with general instructions about the trek. The essential trekking equipments will be handed to trekkers. Submitting ID proofs and final listing of the trekking group will be done.
You may spend the evening by exploring the Leh market and trying out local cuisine. An ATM facility is there at Leh market.
Day 2: Leh-Zanskar-Gyalpo
Altitude: 11,480 feet - 10,500 feet
Trekking distance : 11 km
Time taken: 8 hours
Leh-Zanskar: 4 hrs drive
Zanskar-Gyalpo: 4 hrs trek
The journey would start from the base camp in the early morning after having breakfast. The trekking team will have go in a Jeep for 4 hours of drive alongside the Zanskar river. The serene views of Ladakh region, Gurudwara pathar sahib and conflux of Zanskar and Indus rivers will keep you engaged during this trip.
After a thrilling drive you will reach Zanskar village from where the real trek starts. This trek may seem difficult because the trail is not defined and you actually need to make your way through frozen course. The five hours of trekking would end up in our first base camp Gyalpo. The campsite becomes extremely chilly at night and experiencing such an open space at night amid snow-clad mountains is the real bliss of this trek.
You may face problems while trekking through the frozen and fragile trail. The conditions are unbelievably inhospitable. This includes extreme weather, the trail and the risks involved. Temperature ranges from -15 during the day to -30 degrees during the night, sometimes even lower. The ice can be very slippery to walk on initially. But your chadar experience is considered incomplete without falling at least once!
The trail is challenging as the slightest change in the atmosphere causes changes in the chadar. The formation is inconsistent. At some places it may be just fresh and at some places, proper and hard. Sometimes it is so fresh that you can actually see the water running beneath your feet. Sometimes you may have to climb up a little if chadar is not formed or broken.
Sometimes you may have to wade into ankle deep freezing cold water. And sometimes it is as easy as a breeze. If the trail is unique, the beauty will obviously be unique! And no uniqueness comes without challenges! The trail offers stunning landscapes and myriad never seen before views. Steep mountains, caves, frozen waterfalls, mountain goats and may be a snow leopard if you are lucky!
You will get to witness enormus shades of Blue, White and Brown. At some places the chadar will be crystal clear that you can see the stones laid under the frozen ice. At some places the river will be partially frozen which means you will be walking along side the flowing river! Though it is not all roses. Some people tend to get bored and find it all the same after a couple of days though it gets challenging with every passing day.
Some yearn for some colors around. Not everybody enjoys just the BWB combo. Some just get fade up of the cold. Some suffer from acute mountain sickness. Sometimes as you walk, you can hear the sound of chadar crackling with each step. It definitely sends a chill down your spine and leaves you wondering what if it breaks! Chadar is the beauty and the beast!
The most challenging thing about this trek is that you need to practice the balance with a stick on path and keep the journey going. Once you are sure about the stability of the path, only then take the step forward. It is recommended that you walk slowly and keep your backpack light.
Day 3: Gyalpo to Tibb Cave
Altitude: 10,500 feet- 10,800 feet
Trekking distance: 12 km
Time taken: 5-6 hours
Experience a chilly winter morning at the base camp of Gyalpo. Freshen up and have breakfast. The journey to Tibb cave starts through frozen waterfalls and beside the trail the emerald water of Zanskar flows. The serene beauty here is refreshing. There would be a mid-way halt where you will have the afternoon meal and rest for a while.
You can't do your ordinary stroll on the Chadar; all things being equal, you need to figure out how to do the Chadar Shuffle. It resembles a penguin walk, where you halfway waddle and slide to keep your equilibrium on the ice. You normally wind up slipping about right from the start, and will giggle and be snickered at.
During the day, the ice shapes are very thick, however it breaks and refreezes around evening time. In case you're fortunate, you'll will stroll over a stretch of frozen air pockets that look totally insane. At the point when you show up at Tibb Cave, it resembles a Chadar party is occurring. The base camp is Tibb Cave where you would reach by evening followed by dinner and camping for night.
There are enormous vessels of tea and maggi being cooked, cheerful flames are consuming, and everybody - doormen and adventurers - are unwinding and appreciating the vibe. Around evening time, every one of the tents of the various camping areas turn wonderful when lit upward, and you'll feel truly associated with everybody.
Around evening time, the stars and the moon seem as though they're extremely near the Earth. On account of the absence of light contamination, you can see very far around you. Seeing the frozen stream glancing smooth white in the evening glow, with quiet surrounding you, is a second you'll won't ever neglect.
Some of the time in your tent, before you rest, you'll hear the stream breaking noisily. It'll take you leap, and afterward snicker. Once in a while rises from the stream ascend under the ice and get caught, however they freeze in the ice.
Day 4: Tibb Cave to Naerak Camp
Altitude: From 10,800 feet to 11,100 feet
Trekking distance: 13 km
Time taken: 7 hours
This trekking trail is long and may feel tiring but the magnificent views of frozen Chadar lake and frozen waterfall are so enchanting that you would definitely get lost in the moment. You will be given a satisfying lunch-halt in the mid-way. The breathtaking views of the frozen lake and frozen waterfall at Naerak are those precious possessions that this trek is about.
Then there's the valley itself. With the Indus river flowing right below and towering barren mountains on either side, 'harsh' is the only word that comes to mind. The only people you meet will be fellow travelers (either locals or trekkers). You won't find some guy setting up a tea shop midway.
Ignoring the fact that this trek is a foaming river for most part of the year, the rocky and steeply rising mountains ensure that the region remains uninhabited. Through the day, you marvel at the play of light and the strange geographic features enroute. At the end of the day, you find your imagined solace.
For one, try counting, besides Chadar, how many adventures have to do with walking for days on a sheet of ice. None. You can claim to have walked/driven on land, skiied/boarded down snows, skydived/parasailed through the air, or swam/sailed through waters, but Chadar is a unique surface different from all these. The fact that it is a historic route connecting two seats of civilization - Leh and Zanskar - makes it even more unique.
Spend your night in nearby camping and capture the scenic beauty of nature’s best art. At Naerak the weather conditions become extreme and temperature may fall up to -30 degrees. Make sure you have enough warm clothing to combat the cold.
Day 5: Naerak to Tibb Cave
Altitude: From 11,100 feet to 10,800 feet
Trekking distance: 13 km
Time taken: 6 hrs
A reverse journey begins on the fifth day of the trek. After having breakfast, the trekking team heads back to Tibb cave. The best part of the beauty of this place is the shape of ice that breaks and changes color in the river every few hours. This trek is completely unique in terms of landscape, atmosphere, temperature and also changing Chadar.
The interactions with your expedition team are unique. The Zanskari porters and guides are cheery/helpful throughout, so much that by the end you bond strongly with them, and leave with a genuine appreciation and a generous tip. On the Chadar, sometimes the roles are reversed, as the terrain is always changing, and you can find yourself leading the porters or helping the guide.
Mid-way there would be a halt for lunch and the day-trek would end at Tibb Cave. You will spend the night camping and enjoying the chilly winter nights. Trekkers can also experience the beautiful ice from a bluish tint to golden yellow on a moonlit night.
The average temperature during the day is about 10 degrees below zero, which at night can reach 30 degrees below zero. However, with the right Chadar trek preparation and clothing you can enjoy the wonders that this trek offers with a river literally stopped with turquoise and deep blue colors, completely frozen waterfalls, vertical rock canyons bathed only by the sun the morning.
Day 6: Tibb cave-Gyalpo-Leh
Altitude: From 10,800 feet to 10,300 feet
Trekking distance: 18 km
Time taken: 8 hours
The journey back to the base camp is nostalgic. You are going to miss these majestic hills, barren trails and frozen lake views. The constantly-changing nature of the ice - it could be hard blue ice, or flaky powder, or crystals, or slush, all of which keeps forming and breaking right in front of your eyes, makes you feel like walking on a living mass - as if some mythic beast is heaving underneath.
The back route is simple and familiar so you can recreate the moments of trekking. After the trekking and drive you will be dropped back at Leh by evening.
Day 7: Signing off the trek
In the morning after having breakfast, a last trekking group meet would be there. After completing the signing off formalities of the trek, you can take the leave and head towards the departure from Leh.
So this is what Chadar Trek is all about. We all know that life in the mountains is hard but this trek will leave you with utmost respect for the locals. Also gives you a sense of achievement in terms of how far you can push yourself physically and mentally. The key is to prepare thoroughly and follow the instructions given by the trek leaders and guides.