1. Chadar Frozen River Trek - Leh Ladakh, India
Encapsulated within the range of the Great Himalayan Mountains –with peaks as high as 7,000m – India’s Zanskar valley aka Chadar Trek has stayed isolated for centuries. But with boosted tourism in recent years in Leh and Ladakh, the Zanskar valley has garnered immense attraction from people all around the globe. After footage of school children walking 100 km to the study goes viral, now as many as hundreds of visitors go to Zanskar for Chadar trek every year. The journey embarks at the mountain town of Leh. The best way to reach Leh is by a flight, and honestly, a glimpse of snow-drenched mountains looks so surreal from the plane. The trek is over the frozen river of Zanskar, and it is a huge favourite among Indians and travelers from abroad. At just 11,078 feet, the walk on the frozen river feels like a small expedition to the North Pole. The ration is carried through sledges, tents and extra stuff by the porters and the kitchen wealth by the cooks. Due to its remoteness to the modern world, Chadar Trek is one of the most uninhabitable regions in the world, and also one of the World’s most beautiful place to see once-in-a-lifetime. The best time to take Chadar Trek is in January or February as the ice sheet is sturdy and solid to walk for long kilometers. The temperature, in general, is twenty degrees below the freezing point and sometimes goes even below. Due to the harsh circumstances on the trek, one finds refuge in the caves, life works on instincts, and camping on the river banks, make the destination ‘do before you die” trip. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a novice in trekking, Chadar Trek can be experienced by all. The extreme challenge of this trek is not the terrain but the extreme cold weather that tends to challenge people of all age. Proper clothing, trekking shoes, hydration and food is enough for your body to endure the challenging lifestyle of Zanskar that thrives in sub-zero temperature. The most rewarding sight of the trek is the spectacle of a frozen cascading waterfall called Naerak from a height. The formations of frozen water will give your eyesight a new perspective to visualize a waterfall. Most of the people get overwhelmed to see nature’s finest creations on the trek. The landscapes and overall experience will leave their imprints on your hearts forever. Lastly, the Chadar frozen river the trek is an experience for the brave-hearted that seek thrill through responsible eco-tourism. The weather and terrain might shake your confidence a bit but if you can surpass that then the journey to the marvellous and exhilarating frozen river trek will be the most enriching experience of your life.