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This was like a childhood dream coming true. A trip to Kashmir was long awaited.I had my air tickets booked via Air Asia but due to the unrest situation in Kashmir the plan was hazy. I was disheartened.I decided that I had to go and the day came when I picked my bags up and left for Kashmir.I booked my first night stay through Air BNB as it was comparatively cheaper than other hotels. The house owner came to pick me up at Srinagar Airport. I reached at his place, got myself freshen up and went off to roam around Srinagar.To be very frank, at first I felt that the Kashmir I have heard about and seen in movies is not what it looks in real. Srinagar was a little disappointing against my expectations.
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"How will you survive the minus temperatures, the extreme weather conditions and the strenuous off treks?", my dad asked.<br />"Don't worry daddy, the mountains will take care", is all what I said!<br /><br />*CHADAR TREK - THE EXCLUSIVE ONE*<br /><br />From the time you start planning for Chadar, many thoughts may occupy your mind regarding the extreme weather conditions. But believe me, it's ALL WORTH IT!! Because it's an opportunity you don't want to miss!<br /><br />CHADAR TREK is one of the most difficult and overrated treks of India, specially known for the 'Penguin style walk' on the frozen Zanskar river. It is situated in Leh, J&K, India, on the trail of the Zanskar river. Right from Chilling to the Nerak village you will be walking on the Freezed Chadar. Due to the minus temps, Zanskar freezes making it possible for you to walk over it. This trek is open only in the months of Jan-Feb.<br />Covering your body with 4-5 layers of clothing (thermals, overcoats, snowproof jackets, gumboots, etc), keeping yourself hydrated, camera and extra batteries is all what you'll need.<br /><br />~My Experience~<br /><br />On 23rd Jan 2017, I departed from the Mumbai airport with my other trek fellows to reach Leh. After arriving in Leh, a van was waiting to receive us to our Leh guest house for leisure and acclimatisation.<br /><br />25 to 31 Jan : This 7 days-no-network-trek was an adventure in every possible way, right from the landslides to the initial few days of heavy snowfall, from experiencing -10 to -32 degree temperatures to walking on the Freezing Zanskar, from breaking the ice sheets to climbing & sliding on the snow mountain, from eating the hot maggi with chai for lunch to having snowball fights with friends, from snowfalls to bright sunny days, from going through off treks to walking from the cold Zanskar river, from celebrating the 66th Republic day to reaching the Final Summit Point, from sleeping in moist sleeping bags to witnessing those zillion stars shining bright only for you! - #WeDidItAll. A ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE!!<br />Words fall short to describe the infinite beauty this trek holds and has to offer. You will always want to stay there. <br /><br />1st & 2nd Feb : Leaving behind God's most beautiful place eched in our hearts forever & biding Zanskar farewell we headed back at our guest house and the next day after visiting a few monestries and landmarks we departed for Mumbai! <br /><br />>> A big shout out to the LOCAL PORTERS for always being there for us right from the first day to guiding us at every juncture and carrying heavy loads on their shoulders. Also, for always serving us with hot meals, only to make our trek less difficult, enjoyable and safer! <br /><br />>> As Chadar trek is a bit different from the Himalayas Treks, it is not recommended for Begginers to enroll (Only because of the extreme conditions). <br /><br />>> Before registering yourself for chadar, make sure you're fit enough for the journey. By fit I mean, very fit! Many links and organisations provide you the training to undergo for chadar!<br /><br /><br />For more pictures, visit my instagram page - @naini_shah<br /><br />Thankyou, hope you liked it! :)<br />Happy Travelling! <br /><br />#trekking #trek #chadartrek #frozenriver #thrilling <br /><br />
One of the underrated and untouched beauty in Kashmir. The best part about this place is that it is not commercialised yet.The place was used by Indian Army for firearms testing.Now it has been evacuated and tourists have started pouring in.Doodhpathri is more or less 40 km away from Srinagar. From Srinagar you have to reach Budgam district. From Budgam you will reach Khansahib and then Doodhpathri.The road from Srinagar to Doodhpathri is not so smooth. Though it is motorable but a little tiresome ride.Entry fees in Doodhpathri was 20 INR per person.The moment I went through the gates, it was a different world altogether. Green meadows, rearing herds of sheep, clean blue sky. Trust me, I can't describe it in words.We spent the whole day roaming around the place. We did our lunch at a restaurant inside Doodhpathri. Clicked some picturesque photographs. After a few minutes of riding, we parked our bikes and halted near the river.I can wager one can't keep his/her legs for more than 30 seconds in that flowing water, it was chilling. From that point you can go for some treks further but it was not in our itinerary, we had different plans. We wrapped up from Doodhpathri, clicked amazingly beautiful pictures and rode back to Srinagar by the evening.Tip: Avoid travelling after dark. The place is entirely safe but one should avoid unnecessary risk of getting into trouble.Doodhpathri is a beautiful place to visit but the meadows are more or less same to Gulmarg. You can trek to further up the mountains from Doodhpathri. Contact a guide for that place in case you are planning to hike.