Chadar Trek: Walking on Frozen Zanskar River in Winter

Have you ever come across videos of people gliding and sliding over frozen lakes and rivers? Does that not look extremely fun and adventurous? Do you also want to try it? Well, to your surprise, this is possible in India as well. Now the place that we are talking about is not full of people sliding and dancing over it, however, it does include wonderful views and an even amazing trek on it. We are talking about none other than the iconic and glorious Chadar trek.

In the northernmost part of our country, close to the mesmerizing Himalayas, is the land of Ladakh. We have all heard or seen pictures about the glory of Ladakh but in the winter season it turns into a real magical fantasyland. In the Zanskar region of Ladakh, you will find one of the most challenging and hardest tricks anywhere in the country or probably the world. During the months of January and February, the beautiful Zanskar River becomes frozen solid and creates the base for the infamous Chadar trek. The temperatures go down to as low as -30°C and only the ones with a very strong mind and a very determined heart can choose to go on this thrilling journey.

If you are someone who is bored with your ordinary lifestyle and you enjoy some adventure and thrill in your life, the Chadar trek is a once-in-a-lifetime event that you must definitely try with your friends. If you are on a trip to Jammu and Kashmir and want to add another dimension to it, we highly recommend you take a detour and head to Ladakh and try the Chadar trek. If all of this planning and organizing seems like a very hectic task to you, leave it all to Nitsa holidays. We have been planning multiple tours and packages for years and we can do the same for you. Our packages are all highly customizable, and reasonable and they include some of the best adventures not just in India but in international locations as well. Our packages are all family-friendly, and couples friendly and we also have some amazing group packages for you to choose from. Our amazing range of packages includes Jammu and Kashmir group tour packages from Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir family tour packages from Delhi, and Jammu and Kashmir couple tour packages from Delhi. Another thing that we can definitely suggest to you is for you to choose Nitsa Holidays as your travel partner and to include the Chadar Trek in your next plan. Now let’s learn a little bit more about it.

How to reach the Zanskar region for your Chadar trek?

The only way for you to reach this place is by taking a flight from Delhi or Jammu and Kashmir to the airport of Leh known as Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. The airport is just a few minutes away from the city and you can take a taxi from the airport to reach your accommodation.

Why should you go for the Chadar trek?

Now, of course, the Chadar trek can be an adventurous and thrilling journey, however, it’s not just that! Ladakh is a place that is a hidden mystery for a lot of Indians and on this trek, you will be able to witness views that you have never even seen in pictures before. Apart from the views, it will also be a cultural explosion for you since the trek is not just about getting from destination A to destination B. You will also come across a lot of Ladakhi villages where you will be able to interact with the locals and learn about their beautiful culture and lifestyle. The trek also exposes you to new ranges of emotions, and it helps you create an amazing bond with your travel buddies. Apart from creating a bond with others, you will also hit personal milestones since fighting -30° temperatures, surviving in a deadly environment, facing challenges, and fighting your fears definitely lead to some self-development as well.

How much does trekking in Chadar cost?

This entire activity can be covered for under INR 20,000/- per person which even includes a personal porter. However, we would like to tell you here that every single penny you spend on the Chadar trek will be worth it because no other trek or adventure in the entire country can match up to it.

What is the Chadar trek going to look like?

•  After you arrive in Leh, the first day would be for a medical test and a little bit of training about the entire trek. 

•  On the day of your trek, you will be taken from your hotel in Leh to Shingra Koma on a drive, which is a 2 to 3-hour long journey.

• This is where your trekking journey on the Chadar Trail begins, the first trekking day will take you from Shingra Koma to Tsomo Paldat. On your way, you will be able to cross some of the villages of     Ladakh where you can interact with the locals and experience their lifestyle and if they are friendly enough, you will also be able to try some of the local cuisines which are very different from the   mainland cuisine we find in India. Not to mention the most surreal views around will also be as enchanting as you can think of.

• You will be exposed to some of the most challenging routes and trails and bone-chilling temperatures. However, as you discover the uncovered gems and beauty of Ladakh, you will forget all about       the cold weather around you, and you will be captivated and mesmerized by the whole experience.

• On the second day, with a few breaks in the villages and some enjoyable times of cooking in the mountains and clicking wonderful photographs, you will be headed for a long 6 to 7-hour trek which     will take you to the Tibb Cave. This is a naturally formed overhang in the rocky cliffs of the frozen Zanskar Lake. This is one of the most amazing stops that you make during your track where the cave    will provide you shelter from the wind and the nail-biting weather and you can take some time to warm up, relax, and prepare meals in this shed provided to you by nature.

• On the third day, you will be taken from the Tibb caves to the Nerak Waterfalls. The Nerak waterfalls are one of the most unique waterfall sites that you can find anywhere in the world. Since the   temperatures are as low as -30°C, the waters will be completely frozen solid and appear as sharp sticks of ice stuck from the top and pointing the sharp peaks towards the bottom.

• On the fourth day, you will be brought back from the Nerak waterfalls to the Tibb Caves which will comparatively be a faster journey now since you are not headed upwards, but you are headed   downwards.

• On the last day, you will come back from the Tibb Caves to the Shingra Koma which was the initial point of your trek, and from there on you will be traveling back to your hotel.

What are some points for you to remember when you are going for the Chadar trek?

Do remember that the temperatures are going to be extremely harsh so be prepared for anything that is coming your way.  You will be provided with safety gear and all the necessary items along with your package. However, if there are any medications that you use regularly, remember to carry them along.


As we mentioned before, if you are on a trip to Jammu and Kashmir, apart from enjoying its beauty and its adventures, you should definitely take a detour and head to India’s most well-kept secret Ladakh. Everybody dreams of riding to Ladakh but not many know about the secrets, the mysteries, and the adventures it houses within itself. Zanskar River and the Chadar Trek is just one of those many, many wonders that Ladakh has, however, it is one of the most amazing ones that you can find anywhere else in the world. In the winter months of January and December, the Zanskar lake turns frozen solid, straight out of the movie frozen and it becomes the base for the amazing Chadar trek. The Chadar trek will not be any ordinary trek that you have experienced anywhere in the world, it is a week-long trek that will show you the cultural beauty of Ladakh. It will show you the most beautiful views of the landscapes and it will teach you how to survive the hardest conditions by the end of this trek, you will be feeling a sense of accomplishment that you have never felt before.

So please let Nitsa Holidays plan your next trip which includes the Chadar trek. We can ensure that your entire trip will be as beautiful and wonderful. as one can dream of. You will not only come back with good photographs, but you will also come back with the most cherishable memories, the widest smile, the clearest mind, and the strongest will.