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Photostory: Walking on a Frozen River

Stunning photos from Zanskar, a remote Himalayan territory much favoured by trekkers and climbers.
Photos from Zanskar
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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.

Anindya Majumdar is a trekker, photographer and travel writer since early ‘90s. His travelogues are regularly published in leading Bengali travel magazines. He has won more than 30 photographic awards and been conferred with international photographic distinctions like Associate of Royal Photographic Society (ARPS) from Royal Photographic Society, Great Britain and Excellence FIAP (EFIAP) from Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique, a partner of UNESCO. His website is

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