Nestled at an elevation of 3795 meters, Tarsar Lake is an eye-catching alpine oligotrophic water body located mainly in the Aru valley of Anantnag district. It measures 2 km in length and around 0.8 km in width and has an almond-shape. Tarsar Lake is alienated by a high peak, which has a minimum height of around 4000 meters, from its twin sister lake, Marsar, which lies close to Dachigam National Park. Together, these lakes form a wonderful rocky trekking trail and provide great opportunities to explore the richness of Jammu and Kashmir tourism.
Thanks to its awe-inspiring surrounding beauty, Tarsar Lake is one of the beautiful tourist places to visit in Pahalgam. Travelers can access the lake, from Srinagar through a motorable road via Pahalgam and Aru Valley, only during summers as it generally gets enveloped with a white cover during winters. The other nearby settlement is Nage-Baren.
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.
The Tarsar Lake is accessible only during the summer; 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. An alternate route leads through Ganderbal and a trekking starting point at Sumbal 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 Sumbal-Sind Valley trek. Another accessible route to Tarsar and Marsar is a Place called Nage-Baren via Tral.
Distance from Pahalgam: 20kms
Reach by: Taxi upto Chandanwari, then Foot
Best time to visit: May – September
Closed in: Winters
Elevation: 3,795 m