Hiking to Kolahoi Glacier
THE LIDDER valley forms the north-eastern corner of the Kashmir vale. It has a pleasant and mild look and a calm and peaceful atmosphere is radiated from sober forest-covered slopes and woodlands which border this valley.
The word 'Lidder' is a corruption of lambo-dari which means a goddess 'long-bellied'. The main stream receives a number of tributaries from both banks. The first mountain torrent rises from Shisheram Nag and carving a deep gorge round the Pisu Hill, flows past Thanin or Tsandanwari on to Pahalgam. At Tsandanwari another tributary rising from Astan Marg- a stream of pure water mainly from springs- joins it on the right. Near Pahalgm a torrent rising from the snout of Kolahoi glacier, receives a tributary from the Sona Sar lake near the Kolahoi valley, the water from the Tar Sar lake joins it on the right at Lidderwat, and a stream from Katri Nag near Arau, enters it, the whole volume of water, swelling and flowing with rapidity to join another stream at Pahalgam. It is this stream rising from the Kolahoi glacier, which is called Lambodari. It passes through Lidderwat which means Lambodarwat (Lambodar's stone) where in olden days the god Ganish must have been worshipped, and it is also here that the tributary from the sacred lake of Tar Sar joins the Lambodari.
The Lidder irrigates a large rich tract of alluvial soil and for miles from either of its banks one can see a green sea of rice-fields during the summer. Occasionally, the white wings of terns in the fields throw the greens of the fields into bold relief. The aqueducts full of glacial water infuse life everywhere and we hear the rush and flow of water all along. Acanal has been opened from the Lambodari at Ganishpor to water the Mattan Uder (plateau). This canal is called Shah Kol.
PAHALGAM TO KOLAHOI GLACIER
This is the trekker’s favorite route and is one of the most extensively traveled one. This trek involves camping en route, as hotels etc. will be not easily available. Tents and other camping equipment should be got along. On the 1st day from Pahalgam, the route goes to Aru, a small village on the banks of the Lidder River.
Day 2 sees you at Lidderwat, a beautiful campsite with breath taking scenery. Here, the Glacier stream meets the stream from Tarsar Lake. There are a couple of rest houses around for those interested.
The 3rd day is to walk up to the lake and back to Lidderwat. The Glacier is situated at 4000 meters and is quite a steep climb.
Day 4 is utilized in walking straight back to Pahalgam, covering the whole distance in a one-day trek. One can extend the trek by a day by going to the Tansar Lake and back from Lidderwat. One can also go to the Kulan valley in Sonemarg, if there are a couple of days to spare.
Day 1 Pahalgam to Aru 12 km
Day 2 Aru to Lidderwat 12 km
Day 3 Lidderwat/Kolahoi GlacierLidderwat 13 km
Day 4 Lidderwat to Pahalgam 24 km
Day 5 Sekiwas to Khemsar 10 km
Day 6 Khemsar to Kulan 10 km