Tarsar Marsar Trek vs KGL trek

PointsTarsar Marsar TrekKashmir Great Lakes Trek
DifficultyThe difficulty level of Tarsar Marsar lake is of moderate level but it can get a little bit challenging in some places and routes. While some places are well marked and trekking moves further gradually, trekking in rugged terrains is difficult and it tests your stamina and endurance. Weather in Kashmir is unpredictable, adding to the difficulty too. In Tarsar Marsar trek trekkers need to cross rugged terrains, dense forest, banks of rivers, steep inclines and all these require a different set of skills. Having proper knowledge about every element related to trek is mandatory before setting out on your Himalayan expedition. Kashmir Great lakes trek is very difficult comparatively. It all starts from your first day climbing to Nichnai Campsites where you trek around 12 kms. The trek also makes you hop over boulders to cross it and you need stable and strong feet to do this. Every day of this trek is full of long and far distances. Kashmir great lakes trek is not a bed of roses. It is full of challenges and requires great skills to complete it. It definitely involves some risk if you are not physically and mentally prepared.
Fitness LevelTarsar Marsar trek is physically demanding especially at high altitude, where your body needs to work harder to climb steep passes etc. you need good physical fitness to have a smooth journey. Physical exertion is quite obvious so remain hydrated throughout the journey. On a scale of 10, you should be at least a 7 in terms of overall body fitness including your cardiovascular health, stamina and endurance for Tarsar Marsar trek.In comparison to the Tarsar Marsar trek, you need a greater level of physical fitness for the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. Again, if we talk about on a scale of 10, you definitely need a 9-level fitness to do it. If you are able to cover 5 kms in half an hour, then you are good to go. Start working on your fitness prior to 6-8 weeks or more. An excellent cardiovascular health, good stamina and endurance is required for a smooth ride.
Distancetotal distance of Tarsar Marsar trek is approximately 40-45 Km. A 7-8 day well planned itinerary is perfect to complete your voyage including the camping and acclimatizing. Your itinerary is designed in such a way that you don’t miss anything. The trek starts from Aru which is 110 kms away from Srinagar and concludes at Marsar lake. You also witness some passes like the high point Sheshnag pass and others. Each day, you have to trek for 6-8 hours on average and trek ends in approx 6 hours. The two gorgeous alpine lakes- Tarsar lake and Marsar lake are set against the magnificent Pir Pranjal Mountain.You cover a total of 75 Km. in Kashmir Great Lakes trek which is much longer than Tarsar Marsar trek. On an average, you have to trek for 10-12 Km. daily to complete the trek in 7-8 days depending on the routes taken. Every day is tiring as long distances need to be covered. You trek for almost 7 hours continuously every day.
AltitudeTarsar Marsar trek starts from Aru which is at an altitude of 2400m/ 7950 ft. and finds its climax at Marsar lake (Sheshnag pass) situated at an altitude of 4100m/ 13165 ft. hence we gain an altitude of approximately 1700m. The altitude gain per day is not much varying from 150m to 400m maximum, lowering the risk of altitude sickness. Acclimatizing also helps in adjusting to the mountains.Nichnai is the starting point of Kashmir great lakes trek at an altitude of 3500m/ 11500 ft. after an altitude gain of 2000 ft. you reach the climax which is gangabal lake situated at an altitude of 13276 ft. in contrast to Tarsar Marsarlake, kashmir great lakes trek experiences fast altitude gain everyday, making the acclimatisation a bit harder and increases risk of high altitude sickness. It is higher in altitude and has much rockier paths.
Best TimeThe best time to go on Tarsar Marsar trek is in the summer season (July to September). Days are warm and the weather is not freezing, making it the perfect season, temperature ranges between 15-20°C. In late July and beginning of August, you might experience a little drizzling. Pack normal clothes in a waterproof backpack. The weather in summer is very pleasing, making the trek enjoyable and comfortable. Routes are clear due to the absence of snow. You see open landscapes with vibrant wildflowers all around.The best time to do Kashmir great lake trek is the same as that of Tarsar Marsarlake. It is in the summer season from july to september. The temperature varies from 15-20°C. You might think it will rain cats and dogs in July and august. Well , you are mistaken here because the situation in Kashmir in summer is very different from the rest of the Indian Subcontinent. Pir Panjal ranges of kashmir stop the rain clouds from entering the kashmir valley, hence very light drizzling is there but no signs of heavy rainfall. The whole Kashmir valley is full of vast open landscapes with vibrant wildflowers and beauty all around.
AdventuresIf you are a nature lover, Tarsar Marsar trek is a must. You explore the two magnificent alpine lakes- Tarsar lake and Marsar lake. Sundersar lake is another gift of the trek. While driving from Srinagar to Aru, you see apple orchards, walnut and apricot trees along the way. If you are planning to visit in the spring season, tulip festival is one the main highlights of the trek. You also witness the Lidder river and other clear streams when you move further in the journey. Snowcapped peaks of mighty Himalaya in the backdrop is the cherry on the cake. They are so dreamy that it would make you just stare at them.As the name refers, Kashmir great lakes trek is full of small and big but magnificent lakes of Kashmir valley such as Vishnusar Lake, Kishansar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, Gangabal Lake and Nandkol Lake. you will see Maple and Pine trees in your trek. Silver Birch trees and bhoj trees can be seen too.
CampsitesTarsar Marsar trek has various campsites each having its own beauty and serenity. Places which are mostly chosen to camp out are:

Lidderwat Camp: on reaching Lidderwat from Aru after trekking for 10kms, campsites at Lidderwat are set up. The atmosphere is peaceful, and you can relax for the night under the starry sky.

Shekwas: the second place where trekkers camp is Shekwas. Here you can enjoy the scenery and the beautiful sunset after trekking for 5 hrs.

Tarsar Lake: on reaching one of the two beautiful alpine lakes- Tarsar lake, we camp around it and take leisure walks around it and soak in all the beauty.

Sundersar Lake: sundersar lake contains its own tranquility and is a perfect campsite.

Marsar Lake: camping near marsar lake is surreal as the whole surrounding is gorgeous with snowy mountains in the backdrop.1
some of the campsites of Kashmir great lakes are as follows –

Sonamarg: you set out your first camp of the trek at Sonmarg which mesmerizes the trekkers with its beauty.

Nichnai Pass: Nichnai pass is chosen as the first camp by some trekkers according to their itinerary.

Vishansar Lake: Vishansar lake as a camping spot is perfect because of its surreal beauty.

Krishansar Lake: camping around the Kishnasar lake is the perfect way to relax for the night while enjoying the breathtaking views.

Gadsar Lake: Gadsar lake is another beautiful campsite surrounded by vibrant wildflowers in the vast meadows.

Satsar Lake: Satsar lake has a bunch of seven or more alpine lakes. So, you get various mesmerizing spots to set up your camps.

Gangbal Lake: Gangbal lake is one of the largest lakes of Kashmir great lakes trek hence is ideal as a campsite.
PopularityTarsar Marsar lake is less popular, making it a perfect trek if you don’t like too much crowd. You will rarely see any other trekking group when you visit Tarsar Marsar. Tarsar Marsar trek has the most amazing hidden gems throughout the trek.Kashmir great lakes trek has gained more popularity in comparison to Tarsar Marsar lake. But there is a negative side of this aspect as you will always find crowds when you trek. It has not remained a hidden gem as it was earlier.
CostTarsar Marsar trek costs less. Prices also depend on the trekking company that you choose, and things that get included like meals, transportation, etc. but Tarsar Marsar trek is definitely less- expensive.Due to its popularity, it costs more to do kashmir great lakes trek. It is rather expensive.

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