(The Adventure Management Consultants)

Tarsar Marsar Lakes trek


The Tarsar Marsar Lakes trek passes through beautiful high altitudes alpine lakes situated at the foothills of the highest mountain peak of Kashmir Kolhoi Peak (5400m) which is located towards the north of Basmai. The trails on the trek pass through streams, plenty of colourful meadows and cross the Basmai and Sonmasti mountain passes. The trek from Sumbal in Sind Valley to Aru in Lidder Valley over Sonmasti Pass is among the most beautiful trekking routes in the Himalayas. The vistas and mesmerising beauty of Tarsar Lake, Marsar Lake and Sundarsar Lake will leave you with memories that would last a lifetime. The turquoise water of these high-altitude lakes shimmer like a precious opal set against the lush green of the mountain meadows and panoramic views that greet you as you reach the top of mountain passes is truly breathtaking.

Situated at an elevation of 4000 meters, Basmai is a cradle shaped hanging valley in one of the remote places in the Kashmir Himalayas. It lies in the Ganderbal and Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, sharing its boundary with Zanskar to the other side and is dominated by the majestic Kohlai peak. The valley surrounded by snow-covered peaks and alpine forest flora is a treat for nature lovers and bird watchers alike. Trekking towards Basmai Pass and Tarsar Marsar Lakes, one can find trees of Pine (Chir), Oak, Deodar, Bhojpatra, along with many species of fauna.

All in all, Tarsar Marsar Lakes trek is one of the prettiest treks in India and is a great alternative to the relatively popular Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

What to expect on the trek?

Tarsar Marsar Lakes Trek provides an opportunity to observe the daily lifestyle of the Bakarwal or shepherds and villagers in some of the remote locations in the state. It is interesting and heart-warming to observe their daily life in farms and modest houses with their ever-friendly attitude and smiles. You will be walking for average 6-7 hours (average 8 km) daily covering the total distance of approximately 50km over the period of 6 days. The maximum altitude on the trek is around 4000m. The trek involves some steep ascents and descents near the Basmai Pass and you are constantly trekking above 10,000ft for four days. You will be trekking through valley, huge grasslands, exceptionally gorgeous alpine lakes, rivers & streams and snow-capped mountain passes. Expect pleasant weather during the day with a slight possibility of heavy winds or rain as you approach the passes. Night-time temperatures could drop down to sub-zero on the higher camps.

What would the weather be like?

July to October is the best time to go for the Tarsar Marsar Lakes Trek. Kashmir receives mild rainfall around this time which makes it an ideal time to visit the lakes and the meadows covered in all shades of green. In the summer months of Mid-June to September, this is a moderate trek and a paradise for trekkers. A moderate snow cover in the month of June also adds to the virginal beauty of the valley! The daytime temperature is usually in the range of 13-18 degree and the night tie temperature is around 1-3 degree. The area receives a good amount of snowfall in winter and it is too cold to trek as the passes, trails and meadows are also buried under snow.

Who do we recommend the Tarsar Marsar Lake Trek to?

Tarsar Marsar Lake Trek is a moderate level trek and it can be taken up by amateur but fit trekkers or even some first-timers. Arduous days, steep and rocky passes and altitudes approaching 4000m all make it a challenging trek in one of the most beautiful and serene parts of Kashmir. However, prior preparation and training of at least two to three months are sufficient for anyone with average fitness and an active lifestyle.

Quick Facts

Best Time : Mid June to September

Duration : 08 Days

Max. Altitude : 4000 m

Commences At : Srinagar

Ends At : Srinagar

  • Arrival in Srinagar and drive to Aru. (3-4 hours drive, 100km)
  • Trek from Aru to Lidderwat. (Camping), (10 km, 6 hours trek)
  • Trek from Lidderwat to Shekhwas. (Camping), (5-6 km, 5hours)
  • Trek from Shekwas to Tarsar Lake. (Camping), (5 km, 4 hours)
  • Trek from Tarsar Lake to Sundarsar Lake. (Camping), (5 km, 5 hours)
  • Trek from Sundarsar Lake to Homwas via Marsar Lake (Camping), (9 km, 7 hours)
  • Trek from Homwas to Aru and drive to Srinagar. (13 km, 6-7 hours, 3 hours drive), Stay in a Hotel.
  • Drop at Srinagar airport. Fly out.


On Day 1, assemble at the base camp – Gagangir village. Pick up from Srinagar airport. Adventure-Pulse trek leaders will receive you at airport and then it’s a short drive to Aru. Overnight stay in Guesthouse/Homestay
Day 2 starts with an easy hike towards Lidderwat on the well-marked trail with towering pine trees. Don’t miss out on the breathtaking views of the valley alongside the gushing river. It is almost a flat and easy trail up to Lidderwat and you would encounter a lot of tourists making day trips to the place. Lidderwat campsite has a confluence of streams flowing from Kohlai Peak and Tarsar streams. Overnight stay in Camp or Gujjar Huts.
Today we embark on a long day towards Shekwass, the trail is well laid out. You would find many friendly shepherds on the route and it is a very beautiful valley, not much strenuous. Overnight stay in tents.
From Shekwass we move towards Tarsar Lake which is a gradual ascent, it would take us around 2 hours to reach Tarsar Lake. Tarsar is a huge lake and very similar to Gangabal lake on the trek from Naranag to Ganderbal Enjoy the turquoise blue waters of Tarsar for the day.
After the blissful stay at Tarsar Lake, we move towards Sundarsar Lake. It is a gradual hike in the grassy valley towards a small pass that leads to Sundarsar It should take us around 5 hours to reach the beautiful shores of Sundarsar.
We would make an early morning start to visit Marsar Lake just with our water bottles and snacks. It is an easy and short walk up to Marsar. Enjoy the pristine waters of Marsar Lake. Head back on the same trail to Sundarsar camp and start your way towards Homwas. The trail from Sundarsar to Homwas should take us around 4 hours.
Today you are on the last leg of the trek and start towards Aru. We take the same route that we had taken to reach Lidderwat. It should take around 5 to 6 hours to reach Aru.

Package Details


  • Transport: All ground transport in traveller/bus/4 by 4 vehicles from hotel to trek start point and back. Airport group transfers to and from Srinagar airport to hotel and back.
  • Accommodation: 02 nights Srinagar stay in a standard Hotel/Guesthouse on twin sharing basis and 05 nights tented camps (02 person double fly dome tents on twin sharing basis).
  • Meals: In Srinagar on bed and breakfast plan. During the Trek (All meals) Breakfast, Packed lunch, dinner, morning anf evening tea & coffee, drinking water.
  • All camping gear included (tents, sleeping bags, mats, dining tents, toilet tents (pit loo as well as western style, kitchen tents, stools, etc. 
  • Lead and assistant guides, cooking staff, campsite helpers. Horses for backpack off-loading upto 10 Kgs. 


  • Airfare 
  • Visa (For foreign nationals)
  • Travel/Trek insurance.
  • Personal clothing and equipment.
  • Any medical costs incurred by you, or costs associated with a medical incident, such as your evacuation from the mountain and/ or hospitalization.
  • Optional trips or excursions.
  • Tips for local staff and guides.
  • Lunch and dinner in Srinagar.
  • Any extra transport needed for private pickups or drops. 
  • Expenses in case of early arrivals or delayed departures for any reason. 
  • Single supplement tents or hotels. 

1. What are the staying arrangements for this trek?

This trekking format is often referred to as an expedition format of trekking prevalent in the Indian Himalayas. The entire trek will be self-sufficient with a separate Kitchen Tent and Staff, Dining Tent, Toilet Tent and 3- Man, Dome-shaped tents in which trekkers will be accommodated on double occupancy. On the first night, trekkers will be staying in Gagangir in a Guest House, and on completion of the trek, we will be arranging for a night stay in a comfortable hotel in Srinagar.

2. What kind of Physical shape do I need to be to undertake this trek?

You need to be in good physical shape to trek specially to trek over the mountain pass. Although, the altitude is not very high and there is no technical skills required to do this trek, long walking hours and the steep ascent and descent on the trek makes Tarsar Marsar Lake trek a challenging trek. The trek does demand good physical fitness and some bit of prior trekking experience. Please refer to our physical fitness document for more details on this topic.

3. What are the entry and exit points for this trek?

One needs to fly to Srinagar Airport for the Tarsar Martsar Lake trek. There are regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. On your arrival at the airport, you will be picked up and driven directly to Gagangir where an Adventure-Pulse representative will greet you. After the trek, we will arrange for transportation to Srinagar for a night stay in Hotel and the next day we transfer you back to Srinagar airport for your flight out.

4. Do I need any special equipment/climbing gear for this trek?

Tarsar Marsar Lake trek is a non-technical trek. Any kind of climbing equipment or gears is not required for this trek. For a list of other things and warm clothing to carry, please refer to our link - List of things to carry for the trek. You do need to make sure you have adequate warm clothes and very good rain gear as we do expect rainfall on this trail.

5. What is the communication system available on the way?

Regular phone and data services work in Srinagar. While on the trek, most days there is no network. One is disconnected on most days during the course of the trek.

6. What about high-altitude acclimatization?

We at Adventure Pulse consider acclimatization as one of the most important aspects of trekking/climbing a mountain and spend enough time to do that. We move up the mountain slowly giving enough time to our bodies to acclimatize. Each day, we monitor each trekkers SPO2, Blood Oxygen Saturation, with a portable Oximeter, to ensure they are acclimatizing well. Our senior guide will keep monitoring the team on a daily basis to ensure that there are no problems along the way.

7. What are the food arrangements?

Meals will be as close to home-cooked food as possible and is usually Vegetarian. Breakfasts will consist of bread, honey, jams, tea and Nescafe along with eggs, paranthas, etc. For lunch, there will be a variety of local food or a full packed lunch. Dinner will usually be soup followed by lentils, vegetable curry. Our endeavour will be to try ensuring a daily variation in the food that we prepare so we keep the group's appetite up along with their morale.

8. Will I be able to take a shower or bath during the course of the climb?

Regular shower facilities will be available in the hotel, but while we are higher up on the trek, the shower facility is not available for the trekking period.

9. What are the emergency medical precautions available for this trek?

The Adventure-Pulse staff and guides carry a fully equipped medical kit with necessary medicines and an Oxygen meter. As a standard practice, we check the oxygen levels of all our clients twice a day and take necessary precautions if any irregularity is found in the oxygen reading. In case the problem persists, the client is sent down with a qualified guide. In case of an Injury where the trekker is not in a position to walk down, a Pony is organized to the closest road head where a vehicle and a doctor visit can be organized.

10. What happens in case of bad weather on the mountain?

Adventure-Pulse usually plans all its treks during the most favourable season on the mountain, but having said that, the weather is always an unpredictable factor. We usually look at weather reports before leaving for the trek. In case the weather is unfavourable, we could delay it to the next day depending upon the Itinerary. A buffer day/s is always built in the itinerary as a contingency if we get hit by unfavourable weather conditions. In the worse situation, we may have to turn back midway, but safety is always a priority that cannot be compromised on.

Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to sun are certain factors which necessitate the need to for proper mountaineering and trekking equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.


  1. Trekking Boots / Shoes (preferably up to ankle length & water resistant)
  2. Multiple pairs of Cotton and woolen socks (at least 3-4 pairs of each)
  3. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided. (At least 2/3)
  4. Thermal inners and sweater/warm sweat shirt (1 each)
  5. Cotton T-shirts (3 to 4 minimum)
  6. Rain gear. Either a rain coat and trousers or a rain poncho.
  7. Warm fleece jacket.
  8. Wind cheater jacket 
  9. 01 Peak Cap + at least 01 Woolen Cap
  10. 01 pair of warm gloves with windproof outer layer.
  11. 01 pair floaters.
  12. Warm down jacket at least ranging between -5 to -10 degrees. 


  1. Air bag / Duffel bag (No Suitcases). Preferably water proof / water resistant.
  2. Day Back with rain proof cover. (25 to 35 ltrs)
  3. Drinking Water Bottle 1 Litre
  4. Lunchbox (compulsory) so that packed lunches can be provided by the team during the trek. 
  5. Trekking poles
  6. Torch + Batteries
  7. Camera + Batteries (if required)
  8. Knee / Ankle / Wrist Guards (if required)
  9. Nail Cutter / Pocket / Pen Knife
  10. Cold cream
  11. Hand sanitizer
  12. Chap-stick / Vaseline
  13. Personal toiletries (Tooth Paste / Toilet Paper / Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes etc.)
  14. Medical kit (With basic medicines for headache, upset Stomach, sour throat, water purification tablets/drops, band aids, painkillers & Moov/ Iodex , Vics Vaporub , D-Cold)
  15. Any personal medication (Individual specific)
  16. High energy snacks like Dry fruits, Bars of chocolate, Tang, Glucose etc.
  17. Good Quality Sun shades
  18. Sun block (SPF50+)
The trek to Tarsar Marsar Lakes via Basmai Pass can be steep & strenuous at some places, even though it does not require that you have any previous mountaineering experience in Particular, It’s important that you be in good physical condition and be able to hike at a comfortable pace for 5-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio-vascular conditioning and muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable. Our goal is to trek at max. Altitude of 4000 m and walk through beautiful meadows and glaciers leading to pristine lakes of Kashmir. You will spend 7 days in a land where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin. We recommend the following schedule to the participants:
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. WEEK ONE/TWO: The participants should be develop the habit of being able to get up in the morning and run / brisk walk  for a minimum of 3-4 Km at least 4-5 days a week. This would represent at least 20-25 minutes of cardio exercise. Though difficult at first, keep at it. You can stop and take breaks as well.  During the day, you should get into the habit of avoiding elevators and taking the steps. You should be able to climb at least 4/5 flights of steps daily. (Avoid going down steps too fast as this could result in some knee injuries). If you don’t enjoy running and are into some other sport like cycling or swimming, spend about 45 mins cycling or about 600 – 800 mts of swimming for at least 4 days a week.
  2. WEEK THREE/FOUR: Assuming you have successfully survived week one and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 5/6 kms per day and 5 times a week, you can additionally go to a gym. Avoid heavy weight training. Focus more on a core workout. These are your muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your posture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
  3. WEEK FIVE/SIX: In addition to the week two exercise, one additional feature you should add in Week three is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack on carrying 3-4 kgs. This could be 2lts of water, some snacks, a jacket etc. This will help strengthen your back and shoulders thus preparing you for the long hours of trekking. If you don’t want to just simply walk, also try increasing your time on climbing flight of steps. As compared to week one, you should aim to be able to climb 10-12 flight of stairs comfortably.
  4. WEEK SEVEN/EIGHT: Sustenance. Keep up the tempo, sustain the workout. Try avoiding doing anything very rigorous but be consistent with morning and evening walks/runs and climbing flight of stairs.
  5. WEEK NINE: Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable. Start doing an additional 10-15 mins of climbing stairs in the morning/evening with a daypack of 2-3 Kg; about 30-35 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and endurance considerably.

Please remember, consistency is the Key here. Do not do anything to exert yourself or something that will increase chances of Injury. Running/Brisk walking 4-5 kms for 5 days in a week is far better than running a 20 km on one day of the week and injuring your Knee/Ligaments in the process. If you can be consistent with above mentioned schedule, The Tarsar Marsar Lakes Trek, though physically challenging, will become a pleasant and enjoyable experience for you. Feel free to call us or mail us in case you want more details on how to prepare for this trek!

Contact: [email protected]

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