Day 2 of my Himalayan trek to Tarsar was very exciting and adventurous, and camping at Lidderwat was an exceptionally wonderful experience. Cloud-covered mountain peaks and the landscape all along the trail were just ideal for photographers like me. While starting from Aru campsite, I went much ahead initially but after climbing for about a kilometer, the landscape around made me stop every five minutes and capture all of them. By the time I reached Lidderwat campsite, all others had even completed lunch, and it was almost evening. That beautiful landscape.
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How do I get to Lidderwat from Pahalgam?
If you have not gone through my previous post, then check out my day-one drive from Srinagar to Aru via Pahalgam. The journey via apple valley is beautiful, just like the valley right next to the Jhelum river.
How difficult is Tarsar Marsar Trek?
The trail from Aru starts with the initial few meters in the meadows and once you cross a small stream is a gradual climb. As you climb the trail, you get to see the entire Aru village, each house covered with a metal sheet on top. In between the tail, you get to see a few Gujjar huts and farmland. The place is all green with few pine trees and wild horse grazing in the meadows. We continued in the pine forest and gained altitude till we could hear the water flow from Lidder river. As you walk along the trail, you will find Bhakarwal nomadic people who stay on higher grounds during summer.
Comparing Tarsar Marsar to other Himalayan hikes, the difficulty is actually rather low. From the first day till the final, there is a very gentle rise. You only acquire a maximum of 1,500 feet or just about 1,000 feet of altitude per day, which is not much.
Hiking next to Lidder river
Continue to walk along the trail till you reach Lidder river. Take a small break and have fun trying to cross the man-made bridge made of just 2 or 3 tree trunks. Be careful as the water current is high and is freezing cold underneath. You don’t have to cross the river. But, on the other side of the river, you will find the Gujjar settlement, and this place is called Nandkei. Just continue to walk along the trail and you get to see a few remains of the older, collapsed huts.
After crossing this place, you enter the meadows. It’s a perfect place, green carpet. Looks like someone has well maintained it with proper care. You can take your shoes off and walk here in the meadows. Beautiful landscape around the meadows with Lidder river on one side, huge granite mountain peak next to that, green pine forest covered mountains around. We took a break, slept for a while, and enjoyed the fresh air and green meadows, under the pine tree’s shadow.
Soon after this, it was a steep descent to the Lidder river, where we had to cross the river. There is a proper government-built strong wooden bridge. We spent some time again over here photographing, after which we climbed up for another 10 minutes and we reached Lidderwat camp.
Camping at Lidderwat
Lidderwat is another beautiful campsite where there is enough space to camp and plays cricket as well. You will find a government guest house here. We preferred to camp outside, but can be a unique experience staying at this guest house. You can enjoy the evening next to the Lidder river or enjoy yourself at the Lidderwat campsite. The landscape around the Lidderwat campsite is beautiful, an ideal place to capture some timelapse of sunset and sunrise. The rays of light and shadows of the nearby mountains on another mountain appear well in timelapse videos.
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