15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Pooja Dhiman

Last updated: 25-02-2018

So, what does one of the coolest treks in the world really look like? Well, you are about to find out. 

I can boldly say that Chadar Trek is like no other trek in the world. I wouldn’t even personally classify it as a trek, Chadar according to me is an experience. It’s an opportunity to see a completely different world, tucked away deep within the valleys of the Zanskar region under a blanket of ice. 

The raw and untouched beauty you see on the trek is the main reason why people all over the world fall in love with it. 

Here are 15 gorgeous pictures of Chadar Trek:


One: A beautiful gorge

The mighty mountains on both sides of the Zanskar river form an awe-inspiring gorge. The sheer size of the rocks makes you feel insignificant. The time comes to a standstill here as you breathe in the life and silence around you.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Two: Beauty hidden underneath you

In here, the world above you is as beautiful as the world beneath you. Walking on an ice sheet with water flowing just a few feet below you makes your heart race out of disbelief and fear all at the same time.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Three: Honoring traditions

Falling on Chadar is a tradition you are going to have to uphold. It's inevitable. You will probably fall multiple times a day, and eventually start keeping a count of who fell the most in your gang. It’s all part of the experience. 

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Four: Ancient Trade Route

The frozen river stretching for a long 150 kms used to be an ancient trade route. Villagers would commute to Leh to sell Yak butter, copper utensils, goat skin and other handmade goods and bring back stocks for survival. It was, and still is, their only way to reach Leh during winters, until the Zanskar highway is fully constructed. Read up more in our article on The end of the beautiful Chadar Trek.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Five: The river brings life to the region

For villages in the remote Zanskar region, the river is the only source of drinking water and therefore is source of life.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Six: Your epic lunch spots inside caves

There are several caves along the river, that have been traditionally used by the villagers as shelters to survive the nights on their journey to and from Leh. Your team will cook a hot lunch for you in the caves.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Seven: The most alive and vibrant river 

The Zanskar river has a vibrant personality. It flows ever so quietly at times, almost like a distant whisper, giving you time to adore the landscapes, at other times, it gushes forward full force with all its strength making its presence known. It is the living soul of the trek, and it brings the entire valley to life with its ever changing colours.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Eight: The challenging terrain

However, the river is extremely sensitive to the slightest change in the temperatures. Ice forms and breaks every few hours as the temperature rises and drops in the valley. The terrain will transform every few kilometers and there is no knowing what challenges lie ahead of you on this trek

You might have to navigate your way through thick slabs for broken ice...

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Nine: The challenging terrain

...or walk for miles and miles in slush and dodgy thin ice. And all of that can happen within 24 hours. 

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Ten: Your 5 billion star hotel 

The campsites on Chadar may not be the most spaced out, but as the day comes to an end, watch the sky come to life with billions and billions of stars. You camp next to a frozen river, under a thick blanket of stars, to me, that's more than perfect. 

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Eleven: Frozen Waterfalls

You will come across multiple frozen waterfalls along the way, but hold your breath for the-mother-of-all-waterfalls at Nerak.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Twelve: The pride of Chadar 

Nerak falls will steal your heart. You will probably feel a range of emotions all at once when you see it for the first time. It’s hard to comprehend the beauty and the size of such a grand structure. The layers and layers of icicles suspended mid-air look surreal. 

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Thirteen: A birds eye view of the valley

You will get a view of the entire valley on your way to Nerak falls. Tap yourself on the shoulders, you made it this far and your heart will forever be bound to this region.

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Fourteen: Remote villages 

The first remote village you come across on the trek is Nerak. It is an hours hike from Nerak falls, and a total of 17 households occupy that village. You might see a few villagers near the falls guiding their domestic Yaks back to their villages. 

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

Fifteen: Peace. Love. Prosperity.

The spirit of Ladakh is unbound and unwavering. Its a land of respect and kindness, of sharing what little they have, of protecting age old traditions and celebrating this beautiful life. 

The world has much to learn from it's spirit. Only if we can make the time. 

15 Most Glorious Pictures of Chadar Trek

So, what do you say? Are you up for an adventure of a lifetime?

Better don't delay as the beautiful Chadar Trek may come to an end very soon.

And now that these pictures have won your heart, here is what you need to know next: How to combat the challenges faced on Chadar Trek.


P.C Nitish Pandey

Pooja Dhiman

I am a solo backpacker, a muay thai boxer and a mountain goat. I quit my job in April 2016 to go see Read more

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  • Mitesh Gohil | 09 April 2019

    Beautifully written!