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Yusuf Shah Chak the 16th-century ruler of Kashmir wrote in his poem:

“When I remember the two tresses of the comely beloved,
Tears begin to flow from my eyes like streams from Tarsar and Marsar.
And that is the most well-kept secret of Kashmir the Tarsar and Marsar lakes hidden gems shrouded by clouds surrounded by peaks of kolahoi mountains!!
If I were to list the hidden gems of my land it would be these!”


The Tarsar lake trek is the most creatively rewarding and sensory experience of a lifetime bidding at every turn brilliant specimens of flora and fauna and rare species like Bar Headed geese, Choughs, Golden eagles, black bulbuls, musk deer, snow leopard, brown bear, and the golden marmot! The Marsar lake in local language means one that kills(perhaps due to the tough terrain which over the centuries has definitely easied up) and Tarsar means one that gives moksha (if you witness the colour changes in the Tarsar through the day from turquoise to blue to cerulean to green— well you will have attained nature’s nirvana definitely).


Clean resplendent and magical the Tarsar lake trek starts at an equally magical base of Aru village and takes you through twists and turns of nature’s reflections of beauty and hedonism of nature being that magical cradle for every kind of living breathing being of nature sharing its colours it’s transforming healing at every turn and corner of nature being supreme and serene at the same time!! You look at the still calm water you look at the snow-capped peak and the shrouding blanket of clouds and you take in the majesty of nature like a poem a simple poem as opposed to the capitalistic complications of your own life and you wonder why and how!!! I won’t say it’s an easy trek but definitely worth it! The amenities even at the base camp are absolutely basic and non-existent and the way you carved and uncharted but I guess that’s how it’s a hidden story ready to be discovered and still pristine and untouched!


Though the other contributing reason could be the popular myth which the local guides abundantly spread that spoiling and littering in the area of the lakes leads to torrential rains and could mar your trek! Whatever the reason be ready to be in touch with your natural side because on the trek the luggage due to the hard climb had to be minimal so no fancy food or toiletries or heavy tenting equipment – like I said basic but the reward of the picturesque view never ever beholden is worth it very well worth it! The lakes are unique because of their almond shapes and are separated by a mountain. These lakes look different from every angle you see and the possibilities of photography are infinite. Camping beside an alpine lake is something to experience in a lifetime. The Tarsar Lake is drained by an outlet stream that falls into the Lidder River at Lidderwat, 15 km to the east. Being the nearest seasonal settlement, Lidderwat is located on the trek route to the lake from Aru, Pahalgam. The Marsar Lake on the other hand drains out and flows in the opposite direction of the Tarsar Lake. But the size the shape the geography nothing matters when you open your eyes to the beauty of the leftover ice floating in the tarsar your senses are frozen by the inviting yet freezing water and the rejuvenation of the spirit with the soul of nature holding you from every angle!

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About The Author

Deepika Kochhar

Cliched totally— Traveller by passion Jewellery Designer by profession And A wordsmith by hobby😊

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