The Chadar Trek is a winter-trail on Zanskar river. The walls on both sides are near vertical cliffs up to 600 m high and the Zanskar River is only 5 m wide in places. The gorge gets very little sunlight which is one of the reason for formation of Chadar. The Chadar Trek is the frozen Zanskar River which provides an access route to the Zanskar Valley and is used as a trail by locals . Chadar trek is one of the most thrilling and adventurous trek in India. In the local language “chadar” means blanket. During the summer months this river becomes a perfect location for river rafting expeditions and during the winters it transforms into an ice sheet on which this trek is done. The best time to do the Chadar trek is January to February, when the temperatures drop sometimes to -25 to -36 degrees.
Chadar Trek is a winter trek walking over the blanket of frozen Zanskar River. The 9 day trek goes through extreme weather conditions with snow all around. Walking over ice can be tricky due to uneven formation of ice. There may be places where there is no ice sheet formed. There you will have to forge a new trail trekking over snow embankments. The temperature in night falls down to -20 to -25 degree celsius sometimes. The conditions are harsh but not unbearable. The experience is unique in itself as no other trek can claim to have such conditions. Anyone wanting to experience extreme weather conditions along with rarest of views should do this trek.
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
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The trek begins from Leh in Ladakh. The best travel option around Leh is by air.
By air: Jet Airways, GoAir, and Air India provide daily flights from New Delhi to Leh. It is recommended that you make your flight bookings well in advance not only to save on the price but also for a confirmed seat. You can also take an alternate flight route to Srinagar. Fly to Srinagar from Delhi and then drive to Leh from Srinagar. The 10 hour road journey from Srinagar to Leh can be covered by hiring a shared taxi which will cost you around INR 3000-4000. The drive route from Srinagar to Leh is scenic. For coming back, you can either take a direct flight from Leh to New Delhi. Or take the same route via Srinagar. Flights from Srinagar to Delhi are cheaper than Leh-Delhi.
By road: You can take the route from Manali to Leh. Travel from Delhi to Manali by a HRTC Volvo bus. From Manali get a seat in a shared taxi (INR 2500-3500). If you are on a tight budget, There is also a bus from New Delhi to Leh (via Manali) with one side fare of INR 1365. The bus journey begins at 2:30 pm from Delhi ISBT reaching Keylong next day at 1:30 pm. After an overnight halt at Keylong, it reaches Leh the next day. The another route to Leh can be taken through Srinagar. There are shared taxis from Srinagar to Leh available at cost of INR 3000-4000. If you are an ardent biker, you wouldn’t mind taking a bike trip from Delhi to Leh and back.
There are so many enchanting places to visit in Leh-Ladakh. During your acclimatization period, you can roam around the town and visit the monasteries; Diskit Gompa, and Lamayuru Monastery. Drive up to the Magnetic Hill and experience the crazy magnetic phenomenon on the hill. The picturesque Nubra Valley will take your breath away. The green oasis villages, the monasteries, the ruined palaces- Turtuk and Bordang; there is a whole different culture in this place. It is 150 km away from Leh. you can take a shared taxi to this route. How can you leave Ladakh without seeing Pangong Lake, the sapphire blue lake. You can also visit Gurdwara Pathar Sahib and Leh Royal Palace.
BSNL has the best connectivity in Leh-Ladakh region followed by Airtel. However, you won’t receive any connectivity once you move further on the trek.