CAPTION: The jubilant trekkers at the Marsar Lake at a height of 13,150 feet in Marsar, Pahalgam at Anantnag district, Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Rivers, Streams, Meadows, Deodar Trees, Sheep, Mules, Shepherds, Bhakarwals, trekking in copious rains and boulders — the blue lakes and soft shifting clay freezes our tired feet but rejuvenates our soul, leaving us sprouting new sense of life.
Where is heaven? It’s in Kashmir, it is said. Dr. Tanushree Jena, a Gynaecologist from Nanjangud taluk in Mysuru district, who is on her second trek in Himalayan ranges went for a trek from Sept. 3-11, 2022 to Tarsar Marsar in Pahalgam, Anantnag district in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, under the aegis of Tiger Adventure Foundation in association with Pahadi Adventures, Uttarakhand.
It was my first trek in my life to Himalayas and there were lot of butterflies in stomach — as to how will it be, the nature’s call, how to get into the sleeping bag, were all boggling in my mind and this type of expedition helps us to divert our minds from monotonous lives and changes the perspective of life, says Dr. Vidya Jeevan, a Professor from Raja Rajeshwari Medical College, Bengaluru.
Tarsar Marsar, the seven-day trek is of about 56 kms which starts from Aru Valley in Pahalgam and passes through six camps like Lidderwat, Shekwas, Tarsar, summit at Tarsar Lake and pass through Tarsar Pass, Sundarsar, Marsar and summit at Marsar Lake and descend down to Gulmarg river side camp and culminate back at Aru Valley. This trek was simply awesome, a way to rediscover ourselves and which rejuvenated us, says Dr. Sowmya Rajpurohit of Mahabubnagar in Telangana.
Rains: Anyone trekking in this ranges gets mesmerised with the beauty of the valley, river, flora and fauna and the blue lakes, but the trek amidst the rain from Lidderwat to Shekhawas becomes slushy. When the drizzle stopped, the nature really mesmerised again with the clouds just moving along with us and its said to gain something you got to pass through the pain and this pain was worth it. When we reached the Tarsar Lake, our first summit which is bluish in colour, just captivated our hearts, says Dr. B.N. Rashmi, an Assistant Professor from Department of Anatomy, Mysore Medical College, who was leading the expedition.
“The reason why this trek remains close to my heart is when you learn how a person can be so selfless and can sacrifice their dreams for others. Each trek is a great experience. It offers good and bad and it’s up to us to take the positive vibes and move on,” she adds.
Tough Part: But the trek from Tarsar to Sundarsar via ridge and to Marsar Lake via Tarsar Pass amidst the boulders was challenging one, says Daksha Gupta of Cochin from Kerala.
“Tarsar Marsar Lake, which is at a height of 12,500 feet to 13,500 feet, is one of the all-time favourite treks by Indians and other trek enthusiasts all over the world. It was merely a dream come true for me as I successfully accomplished both the summit. This trek has shot up in fame over the past two years and has almost become as popular as its sister trek, the Kashmir Great Lakes,” says Preethi Padaki, Dance Instructor at Mysuru.
“Though we have travelled to Kashmir twice, the true beauty lies in trek as we get to see the beautiful meadows, sheep grazing, music of the flowing river, tall pine trees, fascinates the trekkers,” says Dr. Shravan Pandit of Haveri.
The trekkers were enthralled at the summit of the Tarsar and Marsar and we could see the happiness on the face of the trekkers as they made the reels for the social media and hoisted the Tricolour on the Lakes, says Rekha Pawan Kumar, an IT professional from Bengaluru.
There were about 12 doctors and 5 other people in this expedition from different parts of the country like Cochin (Kerala), Mahbubnagar (Telangana), Bengaluru, Chamarajanagar, Haveri, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Nanjangud.
The team members were Dr. B.N. Rashmi (Team Leader), Dr. Tanushree Jena, Dr. Santosh Kumar Bennur, Dr. Shravan Pandit, Dr. Vaishali Pandit, Dr. Soumya Raj Purohit, Dr. Shravan Raj Purohit, Dr. U.V. Sangeetha, Praveen Gowda, Dr. G.S. Vidya, Dr. Nagesh Shanbagh, Dr. Smitha Shreesha, Daksha Gupta, K.L. Rekha, Pawan Kumar and Preethi Padaki.
The expedition was co-ordinated by DSD Solanki of Tiger Adventure Foundation, Gaurav Rawat of Pahadi Adventure, Uttarakhand, Dr. M. Swetha of Mysuru and R. Santosh, Hon. Secretary of Tiger Adventure Foundation.