Day three of Tarsar trek is a gradual climb from Lidderwat to Shekwas campsite. You gain about 1600 feet on this day from 9100 feet at Lidderwat to 10700 feet at Shekwas. It’s a steep climb for the first one hour, followed by a flat walk for another one hour. There is a place where you need to cross the stream, walk along the stream for a while and then gradual climb till you reach a place full of boulders. One you cross these huge boulders is the Shekwas camp site.
If you have not gone through my previous two days of Tarsar trek, then check these out:
Lidderwat is a famous local place. Many visit this place as it is a one day trek and is considered as an ideal place for a nice weekend hike. There is enough place to camp here and also water source is not a problem at Lidderwat campsite. There are PDA (Pahalgam District Authority) guesthouses where you can stay. You can even request and stay in local Gujjar huts, maybe for a small fee, but is nice to stay in their hut to get that unique experience. This is a beautiful campsite surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks on all sides and stream on both the sides. Sunrise and sunset at this place makes it an ideal place for some time-lapse photography.
Soon after having breakfast we packed our bag and we were ready to go. It starts with a zig-zag climb up the hill right behind the PDA guest house. As you climb up don’t forget to turn around and see your campsite from above. The shadows on the nearby mountains fall on the mountain opposite to that and the sun rays or the godly rays of light are truly magical. As you climb further, is the pine forest. Continue further till you see the stream far below. Walk further all the way down and continue right next to the stream for another kilometer or two. You get to see few huts of local Bhakarwals, Gujjars and shepherd’s house. Right next to this is a place where you can cross the stream. It is ice cold and you can get yourself refreshed and have your packed lunch as well. Continue further parallel to stream and the trail next is a gradual climb right next to the stream.
Kolahoi Peak 17,799 ft high and Kolahoi glacier – source of Lidder river. View from Homvas near Tarsar, J&K, India. pic.twitter.com/XAO3jMCLZN
— Ravindra Joisa (@ravindrajoisa) January 14, 2016
This place is known by the name Homvas. As you continue further turn around to see the beautiful mountain peaks and the glacier. The peak that you see in the above image is the Kolahoi Peak which is 17,799 ft high. Right next/below is the Kolahoi glacier which is the source of Lidder river. If you have a telephoto lens then it’s a must to capture this peak. It’s far away and the view that you get to see is visible only for 10 to 15 minutes during your trekking trail. Many are not even aware of this as it is too far or always cloud covered and also, people don’t turn around to see the beautiful landscape around. Not sure why people are in a hurry to reach the destination or the camp site. Instead, I would say take your time (be with your group), enjoy the beautiful nature and landscape around. Photograph if possible so that you can always remember and see these places for rest of your lifetime.
Continue the trail which is a gradual climb till you reach a place full of boulders. To the right is the stream and to the left is the Silver Birch or Bhoj trees. Here you can either cross this river of boulders or take a different trail. These are huge boulders and can be difficult to cross. It takes longer time to cross and you have to be careful. You can avoid this crossing of boulders by climbing further. There is a Gujjar hut and a single lonely tree next to the hut. The view from this place is just awesome. It’s all green meadows, multiple streams, valleys and the huge snow covered mountain peaks. Spend some time enjoying the beautiful landscape around next to the hut. Continue to walk down for a while till you reach Shekwas. The weather can be very cold at night and cold breeze. Ideal place to get some galaxy shots at night. The campsite is next to the stream again, but the stream is few feet below your campsite so do not venture out at night.
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