Loads of people travel to Ladakh in summers, but few ventures here in the winter season. Even fewer dare to undertake the challenging Chadar and Lingshed Village Trek, one of the most exhilarating experiences in this desert plateau. If you consider yourself adventurous and brave enough to give it a try, then pick this trekking package. Chadar is the name, given to the Zanskar River, once it freezes due to the bone-chilling cold. The experience of walking on it, past sky-touching cliffs covered by snow, will forever remain etched in your memory.
On the Chadar Frozen River Trek, you cover the route that traders from the small village of Lingshed have taken for ages to transport logs to Leh. But, before you start trekking, you get a day in Leh so you can acclimatise to the high-altitude weather. You may take this opportunity to visit the numerous Buddhist monasteries and stupas in and around the city. From Leh, you drive to the campsite of Tilat Sumdo for another day of acclimatisation. After beginning the Lingshed Village Chadar Trek from here, you travel first to Shingra Koma. There might be sections, where the river is not frozen, requiring you to cross them by hiking on mountains.
Next, you head to Tibb, where the camping spot will be a natural cave. While completing this stretch of the Snow Trek to Lingshed Village, you will see an unfrozen waterfall, which has a local legend attached to it. After spending the night in the Tibb Cave, you move towards Naerak Pullu, the site of a huge waterfall, completely frozen in an intriguing shape. Your next destination is Lingshed itself, and the final approach to here is via a narrow path, where the soil is loose. In Lingshed, you get a chance to visit the monastery and monk school; an overnight stay at a homestay gives you a chance to learn about the culture of Ladakhis. From Lingshed, you retrace your way to Tilat Sumdo via Naerak Pullu, Tibb and Shingra Koma.
Day 01: Arrival in Leh | Day at Leisure
On reaching Leh, check-in at the guesthouse, and rest. The administrative capital of the Ladakh region, Leh is a renowned holiday destination. Its predominantly cool weather makes it apt for those, who want to get away from the scorching Indian summers. Several monasteries and stupas give travellers tonnes of information about Himalayan Buddhism.
No activity has been scheduled for the day so you can relax and acclimatise to the regional weather conditions.
Day 02: Acclimatization Walk in Leh
Get up early in the morning and begin the process of acclimatization at high altitude. Proceed to walk towards Shanti Stupa, a sacred Buddhist stupa, from where you will get an opportunity to witness a beautiful view of the sunrise and a panoramic sight of the town of Leh.
Stay hydrated as you spend your first day of the trek in Leh.
Day 03: Getting a medical check-up at SNM Hospital
Due to the challenging nature of this particular trek, the government has made it mandatory for participants to acquire medical certification before they undertake Chadar trek. A clearance certificate upon a medical check-up will be issued by the Sonam Narbu Hospital. One will get a certificate only when adequately fit and acclimatized for the trek.
Day 04: Shingra Koma and Somo Paldar
Enjoy tea and breakfast in the morning and start your journey by driving to Shingra Koma. This ride is not for the faint-hearted as bumpy roads and hairpin bends are quite common on this route. The sight of the surrounding high mountains will give you a sense of awe. After a point, you will have to deboard from the vehicle and trek towards Somo Paldar campsite.
Your Chadar trek expedition starts here.
Day 05: Trek to Dib Cave/Tibb
Today, you will set out to trek to Dib Cave/Tibb. During the day, you will behold the breathtaking beauty of the region including ravines and gorges. You might not see sunshine properly as the cliffs in this area obstruct them. Once you reach Dib, you will see a large cave. This is the place where you will halt for the night and rest. Butter tea would be offered and we recommend you to try it. Enjoy overnight stay at the campsite.
Day 06: Dib Cave/Tibb to Camp at Naerak
Today, you will trek the most scenic part of the region and get a chance to witness the largest frozen waterfall and prayer flags. The bridge built next to the site of the waterfall is used in summers to reach Zanskar from Leh. Thereafter, you can proceed towards the village of Naerak to mingle with the locals and understand their way of living. Stay overnight at the village camp comfortably.
Day 7: Naerak Pullu to Lingshed (12 km | 7-8 Hours)
Leaving behind the fluttering flags and the frozen waterfall, today you will proceed towards Naerak. From this point, your hike will be a vertical climb and you will also be trekking on snow and ice. After a continuous hike of 2 hours, you will reach the convergence of Zanskar and Indus River. Stop here for a while to take photos, and once done, follow the tributary and reach the isolated village of Lingshed. You need to be cautious and focus while walking as the trail is quite narrow. After a walk of a few kilometres, you will reach the village. Hidden from the prying eyes of the world, the village is an unspoiled beauty, and resides in one of the most remote regions in the world. After settling in and relaxing for a while, take a stroll through the village. Explore the local monastery overseen by the Gelug sect of Himalayan Buddhism. A site for various temples and monasteries, pay a visit to the idols of Mahakala and Lord Buddha at the Lingshed monastery. Stay overnight at the village and get to experience the culture and food of the locals.
Day 8: Buffer Day
This extra day is meant for a buffer period if needed. It is usually used to extend the itinerary in exigency situations such as extreme weather conditions, injured team member, etc.
Day 9: Lingshed to Naerak Pullu
As soon as the morning unfolds, you will take your belongings to begin the return journey via the snow trek. After leaving behind the stunning village of Lingshed, you will walk past the beautiful Naerak falls. Click pictures for your Instagram feed if you haven’t clicked it before. On reaching the campsite, relax in your tent, or sit with your friends to get indulged in travel talks.
Day 10: Naerak to Tibb
Today, the day is set to begin the further journey to Tibb. However, you must know that the last trail will not be a cakewalk as the river breaks and forms due to changing climatic and temperature conditions. Keep your cameras handy, as you might spectacle a different landscape on your return journey. You will also encounter locals wearing woollen Gonchas, try to interact with these hospitable people. Upon reaching Tibb, relax overnight by your campsite.
Day 11: Tibb to Shingra Koma & Back to Leh
After the sun peeps out today, you will leave behind Tibb and proceed for the journey to Shingra Koma. The trail will be laden with snow-drenched mountains, scattered with wild animals like leopards, ibex and foxes. Keep your cameras handy, as you might spot leopard. In the evening after you reach back to Leh, you can spend the rest of the time at your leisure. You are free to relax in your room or with your friends as it will be the last day of your entire trip.
Day 12: Departure from Leh
Today, the mesmeric journey to one of the finest scenic destinations of India will ultimately come to an end. The entire experience, we are sure, would give you an unmatchable feeling of achievement and satisfaction. In the morning, check-out from the guesthouse and depart from the Leh airport.
In the morning, make your backpack ready as today you will bid adieu to one of the stunning destinations of India. You will be at peace after experiencing the majestic and heaven-like trek to Chadar aka frozen Zanskar River. After breakfast, you will check-out from the hotel and will depart for your flight to Leh Airport.
( We require a minimum of 08-10 passengers to operate this departure. In case the minimum group strength is not met , we have the right to cancel this departure and offer alternate trek . If the alternate trek is not suitable for you , we will refund the full amount. )
Maximum Altitude: 11,123 feet
Minimum temperature: -25 degrees
We recommend that while planning your travel for the trek, you plan for a buffer day. There could be various kinds of delays either in transit or along the Chadar where sometimes you will find that a section of the Chadar has broken away and you might end up waiting for a whole day for it to re-form. However the buffer day arrangements are not included in the package and will be charged additionally.
Tentative fee as per the 2019 season