Photostory: Walking on a Frozen River

Zanskar, the largest tributary of Indus river in India, flows through deep Himalayan gorges. The rough, steep terrain makes it impossible for anyone to travel through this land…for most parts of the year. In winter, however, things change dramatically. With temperatures dropping to minus 25°C, the mighty Zanskar river gets frozen. The fearless local villagers, from kids to oldies and some adventurous trekkers, use the frozen Zanskar as a route to travel. While the top of the river is a sheet of hard ice, mostly thick enough to carry the load of walking humans (and often unpredictably thin for the job), the Zanskar flows below it. Occasionally, there are reports of people falling through the ice and meeting their death by hypothermia, or by getting washed away by the turbulent river. This route over frozen Zanskar is called the “Chadar trek”. The Chadar route remains open in January and February.

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One Response

  1. The photos tell the story so beautifully! The frozen waters, the gruellng life of the inhabitants – everything comes alive.

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