The Frozen Zanskar in Pictures

Trekking on the ice was intimidating. And such route is the Chadar trek, which connects the villages in the Zanskar valley. The term ‘Chadar’ means blanket. The route has been known for trade and transportation, and is most reliable in February when the ice is most stable. Walking on this frozen blanket or ‘Chadar’ is the only way in and out for Zanskaris in winter. The breathtaking beauty of the frozen Zanskar is worth an experience.

Photo courtesy – Dhritiman Mukherjee

Text- Ayandrali Dutta

Zanskar is one of the remote and unheard and isolated huge valley which offers one of the most adventurous and thrilling treks in the world. The landscape covered is snow looks like a pristine grandeur in winter. The at times drop to –30 to – 35 Degree Celsius

The entire Zanskar River draws several amateur and professional trekkers during winter. The distance that is covered on foot is approximately 105 km. All trekkers walk on the sheet of snow during the day while they cave up during the night time. The river is confined within a steep canyon

When National Geographic, New York Times photographer Dhritiman Mukherjee decided to go under the frozen Zanskar the results were breath taking. Even under the most challenging of weather conditions, he managed to click some of the most stunning landscape

As he spent days trekking in the Zanskar Valley with spectacular views of mountains cocooned within the thick ice and hanging icicles hanging the trek was a perfect thrill-seeker.

The trek also sees areas on the trek where the ‘Chadar’ is barely created only on the corners of the Zanskar, that forms narrow ledges where the trekkers need to be very careful while walking along that path. There are times when the sheet of ice “Chadar” can break and float away

Trekkers have to face the toughest of challenges, tread through chilly weather and landscape and sleep in caves during this expedition. The trek holds the secrets of the beautiful Himalayas and enables a person to enjoy the mesmeric beauty of the snow clad mountains

Treading through chilly weather and such rough landscape the scenic beauty of the Himalayas enables one to enjoy the mesmeric beauty of the snow clad mountains. This high altitude trekking path is the only pathway that’s connects the villages in the Zanskar Valley with Chilling during winter.