Tarsar Lake

The Tarsar Lake or Tar Sar is an almond-shaped, oligotrophic alpine lake situated in the Kashmir Valley, specifically in Aru, Anantnag district, Jammu and Kashmir, India.[1][2]

Tarsar Lake
Tarsar lake Aru
Tarsar Lake is located in Jammu and Kashmir
Tarsar Lake
Tarsar Lake
Tarsar Lake is located in India
Tarsar Lake
Tarsar Lake
LocationAru, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Coordinates34°8′24″N 75°8′53″E / 34.14000°N 75.14806°ECoordinates: 34°8′24″N 75°8′53″E / 34.14000°N 75.14806°E
Typeoligotrophic lake
Primary inflowsSnowmelt
Primary outflowsLidder River
Max. length2 kilometres (1.2 mi)
Max. width0.8 kilometres (0.50 mi)
Surface area2 km2 (0.77 sq mi)
Surface elevation3,795 metres (12,451 ft)
FrozenDecember to March


The Tarsar Lake is dominated by the peaks of the Kolahoi mountain some 20 km to the east. The lake is separated by a mountain with a minimum peak elevation of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) from another lake of the same nature known as Marsar Lake, which is in the vicinity of Dachigam National Park.[3] Together these two lakes are referred to as the twin sisters.[4] The 16th-century Kashmiri ruler Yusuf Shah Chak mentioned the twin lakes in his poetry, writing to his beloved:

When I remember the two tresses of the comely beloved,

Tears begin to flow from my eyes like streams from Tarsar and Marsar.[4]

The Tarsar Lake is drained by an outlet stream which falls into the Lidder River at Lidderwat, 15 km to the east. Being the nearest seasonal settlement, Lidderwat is located on the trek route to the lake from Aru, Pahalgam. The Marsar Lake on the other hand drains out and flows in the opposite direction of the Tarsar Lake.[1][3][5][6]

Flora and fauna

During the winter, the Tarsar Lake freezes and is covered by heavy snow; it has floating ice even in the summer. The basin of the lake is surrounded by a sheet of alpine flowers. The geum, blue poppy, potentilla and gentian are relatively common. Hedysarum flowers are found in late spring throughout the area around the lake.[7][8]

During summer there are breeding colonies of migratory birds, including bar-headed geese, lammergeyers, high-flying choughs, Himalayan golden eagles, cinnamon sparrows and black bulbuls. The basin of Tarsar and the adjoining Dachigam National Park constitute one of the most important habitats of the Kashmir stag (hangul), ibex, musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan brown bear and in the higher reaches, the golden marmot.[9]


The Tarsar Lake is accessible only during the summer preferably from June to Mid September; during the winter, the treks are closed because of the heavy snowfall. It can be reached from Srinagar, via a 102 km motorable road which leads through Anantnag and Pahalgam to the Aru trekking camp. The alpine meadow of Lidderwat lies at the halfway point of the two-day trek to the lake and happens to be mostly the basecamp for most of the trekkers. One could visit the lake and come back to his basecamp at Lidderwat in the same day.

An alternate route leads through Ganderbal and a trekking starting point at Surfraw in the Sind Valley. Due to the steepness of the trek, it is preferable to approach the lake by the Aru-Lidderwat trek and return via the Surfraw-Sind Valley trek. On this route, walkers may see the Uppar portion and Nallah of Surfraw (Soraf Raw) village.[5] Another accessible route to Tarsar and Marsar is a place called Nage-Baren via Tral.

The other route least tread is via Dachigam Srinagar. Trekking on this route leads to Marsar Lake first and then crossing a mountain of an elevation of some 4200m to the fish shaped Tarsar Lake.


  1. ^ a b Dr Shiv Sharma (2008). India—A Travel Guide. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. pp. 209–. ISBN 9788128400674.
  2. ^ Parmanand Parashar (2004). Kashmir The Paradise Of Asia. Sarup & Sons, 2004. p. 97. ISBN 9788176255189. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b S. Maqbul Ahmad (1984). Historical geography of Kashmir: based on Arabic and Persian sources from A.D. 800 to 1900. Ariana Pub. House, 1984. p. 155. ISBN 9788176487863. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b S. L. Sadhu (2004). Eng Hali (15). Sahitya Akademi. p. 28. ISBN 9788126019540.
  5. ^ a b Garry Weare (2009). Trekking in the Indian Himalaya: 30 great treks. Lonely Planet. pp. 96–98. ISBN 9781740597685.
  6. ^ "Pahalgam page JKTDC". jktdc.in. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
  7. ^ S. R. Bakshi (1997). Kashmir: History and People Volume 1 of Kashmir Through Ages. Sarup & Sons. pp. 6–. ISBN 9788185431963.
  8. ^ Michael Shaw (2008). In Search of Time Wasted: Peregrinations from Seil Island. AuthorHouse. pp. 117–. ISBN 9781434344434.
  9. ^ Valmik Thapar (1977). Land of the Tiger: A Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent. University of California Press. pp. 32–. ISBN 9780520214705.
Aru, Jammu and Kashmir

Aru is a tourist spot in the Anantnag District of Jammu & Kashmir, India. It is located around 12 km from Pahalgam, 11 km upstream from the Lidder River. Noted for its scenic meadows, lakes and mountains, it is a base camp for trekking to the Kolhoi Glacier and Tarsar Lake. The village lies of the left bank of the Aru river, which is a tributary of the Lidder river.

Doru Shahabad

Doru Shahabad (also written as Dooru Shahabad or only Doru) is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is also known as historical township in South Kashmir's Anantnag district. In 2010, a local resident, Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, invented a walnut-cracking machine that won a prize from the Indian government. In 2011 KAS selection list, the state's topper, Mr. Shafiq Ahmad Wani, also belong to Dooru.

Kashmir Valley

The Kashmir Valley, also known as the Vale of Kashmir, is an intermontane valley in the portion of the Kashmir region administered by India. The valley is bounded on the southwest by the Pir Panjal Range and on the northeast by the main Himalayas range. It is approximately 135 km long and 32 km wide, and drained by the Jhelum River.Kashmir division is one of the three administrative divisions of the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmir division borders Jammu Division to the south and Ladakh to the east while Line of Control forms its northern and the western border. The division consists of the following districts: Anantnag, Baramulla, Budgam, Bandipore, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Kulgam, Pulwama, Shopian and Srinagar.

Marsar Lake

The Marsar Lake is an oligotrophic alpine lake in Aru, Anantnag District of the Kashmir Valley in India. The lake is one of the several lakes dotting the Aru valley and is famous for its scenic beauty. The lake is separated by a mountain with a minimum peak elevation of 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) from another lake of the same nature known as Tarsar Lake. Due to their close proximity and similar physical characteristics, the two lakes are often called as the twin sisters. The site has over the years become a famous tourist destination. Tarsar-Marsar Trek is one of the highly opted treks of the Kashmir Valley. A stream emerges from this lake, which travels through the Dachigam valley and enters Srinagar near Harwan garden where it fills the Sarband reservoir.This stream (Dagwan Nallah) is joined by another stream which flows from Mount Mahadev near the Telbal village and from thereon it is called the Telbal nallah which is the primary source of Dal Lake.

Uri, Jammu and Kashmir

Uri is a town and a tehsil in the Baramulla district, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Uri is located on the left bank of the Jhelum River, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of the Line of Control with Pakistan.

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