One of the most beautiful Himalayan tourist destination and the home of some remarkable trekking routes is Kashmir. The Marchoi Trek is accessible all year long, but the winter months are when the area transforms into a snowy wonderland, making it the ideal location for a quick winter trek in India. The trail-head of the trip is a popular picnic destination for both locals and visitors from other countries because of its spiritual significance to Buddhism and Hinduism. The total trek distance is 18 km and consisted of a total elevation gain of 1000 m (from 2200 m to 3200 m). You reach Dumail, a small valley where two pernnial rovers converge, by walking parallel to the Wangth river and then through a stretch of jungle. The walk offers up-close views of pine trees, tiny glaciers, and snow gullies. Dumail onwards is when the trek’s major ascent begins. The surrounding valley known as Marchoi Valley, which is located to the northeast of the trek’s summit point, gave the Marchoi Trek its name.
As spring approaches, the Kashmiri lowlands’ hilly regions turn from white to green, yet snow still covers the region over 3000 m. Only a small number of places in the Valley are appealing all year round. The Naranag Valley is home to a very well-liked trekking and camping area that is available all year long but is primarily used in the summer. Icicles and frozen gullies join the trail during the core winter season only. A stay at Dumail Campsite immerses you in nature because it is flanked on all sides by diverse valleys. The hamlet serves as the starting point for a number of day hikes and multi-day treks, including the Marchoi, Gangabal Lake Trek, Naranag Gurez, and Kashmir Great Lakes hikes. The area was frequented by early Hindu pilgrims, and the Department of Archaeology in India has taken steps to preserve the area’s Shiva temple remains.
The major part of the Indian Himalayas is located in Kashmir, which has hundreds of valleys. With its distinctive hiking tracks that are unique of anywhere else in the world. Kashmir has enormous potential for trekking and climbing. The Marchoi Valley hasn’t been one of the valley’s top trekking locations in the last 30 years, but it has been on the trekking map for more than a century and has only been visited by foreign tourists and locals. The increased number of hikers heading for the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek offered hikers a better understanding of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Marchoi Valley was found to be the ideal location for a quick, simple hike through less populated Kashmir. From spring until autumn, the Valley is encircled by snow-covered mountains, which turn fully white in the early winter. The area is known for its trout-fishing beats in addition to hiking and camping opportunities, and during the summer, Bakerwals and Shepherds of the Valley use it to graze their herd.
Latitude 34.3889756T , Longitude 74.92755083333334
Every mountain is reachable if you keep climbing, and the same is true for short and long-distance treks. The Marchoi trek is not a difficult trek, but rather an easy-moderate winter trek with a simple route; however, we always focus to provide trekkers with quality information that will help them to understand the trek better. The route is divided into two main stretches, and a night at basecamp is required to acclimatize for this winter trek. Total distance of Marchoi Trek is 18 Km only inlcuding return. The first 3 kilometers of the Marchoi trek from Naranag to Dumail is the easiest part with a flat trail parallel to the Wanght River. The second section of the Marchoi Trek begins with a gradual ascent through pine forests and becomes sneaky after 2 kilometers. The remaining 4 km are steeper than what we left behind and will require a little more effort to reach the summit. Trekking must begin early, especially on sunny days, to avoid becoming slippery when hard snow softens. The trail ends when you reach the Shadimarg, which is the local name for this beautiful meadow surrounded by valleys on all sides.
There is only one commercial airport in Kashmir, and direct flights are available from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jammu, Chandigarh, and Delhi (DEL). All flights to Srinagar (SXR), Kashmir, originate in various regions of India arrive via Delhi.
There are public and private bus connections to Jammu from Delhi and other Indian cities. From Jammu on, you have a choice of the state government’s bus service or a tourist taxi to Srinagar. There will be simple access to tourist taxis, public transportation, and UT Government Bus Service from Jammu to Srinagar.
The train services are only available connecting Jammu and Banihal. There will be simple access to tourist taxis, public transportation, and UT Government Bus Service from Jammu to Srinagar. The 270 km journey from Jammu to Srinagar typically takes 6 to 7 hours.
Note: Before the trip begins, trekkers are urged to be in Srinagar on time. Our timetable doesn’t include a buffer day, but trekkers must add one to guarantee their departure. Sometimes bad weather makes it necessary to wait until the following day to get back on the road.
On the first day, the tourist taxi will be dispatched at a predetermined hour, and we will travel 45 kilometres to reach the trailhead. The Naranag Village and Archeological Site will be the focus of a short, one-kilometer trek on this acclimatization day. We’ll spend the night at the 2200 m elevation Naranag Campsite or Guest House.
Trek distance: 3 km
Time Taken: 2 hours
Altitude gain: 200 meters
Trek type: Moderate walk over the flat straight route to Dumail Campsite which is Gateway of Marchoi Valley.
Trek distance: 12 km
Time Taken: 6 – 7 hours
Altitude gain: 819 meters
Trek type: The Marchoi Meadow’s actual route, known locally as Shadimarg, begins from the Dumail Campsite. Six kilometres of steady elevation followed by an equal-length descent through tropical dry deciduous forests.
Total distance: 50 km
Time Taken: 3-4 hours
Altitude Loss: 700 meters
Trek type: 2 km of walk to Naranag main market and where our taxi will be ready to pick you up.
Marchoi Trek is located to the northeast of Kashmir Valley in the Western Himalayan range. It can take up to three hours to travel 45 kilometers from Srinagar to the trek’s base camp. Traveling along the banks of the lovely Dal Lake before entering the Sindh Valley through Kashmir’s District Ganderbal. The trail head is accessible via a 14-kilometer hilly road that connects to the Srinagar-Kargil highway at Kangan and Preng. This mountain Village is well-known for camping, trout angling, and short and long treks, with a number of other attractions around. The first-night stay will be at Naranag Campsite at an altitude of 2200 m. Due to the winter season, acclimatization plays an important to remain fit for this short winter trek.
The group will assemble their luggage for an adventurous day after having breakfast at 8 AM. The trek starts at the stunning Naranag Archeological Site and continues into the Wangath Forest Conversation Zone. Following a partially frozen river and through pine forests while enjoying a breathtaking view of sharp mountain peaks from the North. Marchoi meadow is visible from the beginning of the trek even a clear view after completing half of the walk. The adjacent Gujjar tribes use mountain houses known as Doka or Kotha as summer residences.
Wild Life: Numerous wildlife species, including the endangered Hangul and Himalayan Black and Brown Bears, are part of this forest zone of Wangath and Naranag. The Marchoi trek is completely safe for groups and very rarely any wildlife animal is spotted by trekkers. Being a sensitive habitat so each person should leave it in better shape by picking up any rubbish they find.
A beautiful day on mountains always begins with a beautiful sunrise. Entering the Marchoi meadow route from Dumail Camspite right after the breakfast at 7 Am. Wild Walnuts trees are covering the starting part of the hiking trail with few small springs and boulders. After a small traverse the altitude gain starts and ends in the lap of cedar and pine trees. As you get higher the view of surroundings valleys fill the hike with epic natural scenes. The trail get sneaky at the altitude of 2700 m through the left over of burnt forest cover. The Shadimarg meadow covered by mountain ranges by all sides and most epic is Mt. Harmukh 5142 m from the western side of meadow.
Harmukh Mountain 5142 m: Mt. Harmukh’s station peak (4700 m) was first climbed by Thomas Montgomerie during the Great Trigonometric Survey in 1856. The mountain has an important exploration history of the world’s big mountains. The climbers sketched the two tallest peaks, K1 (Masherbrum) and K2, about 130 miles (210 km) north of Mount Harmukh. For the first time in history, the highest peaks of the Karokaram range were observed and recorded.
The core winter season in Kashmir lasts from December 21 to January 31, so icicles and frozen gullies are common on the Marchoi trek during this time. For the third night, we can either go camping or stay at the guest house; both options are available. The backdrop of Marchoi meadow contains a series of sharp ridges and spiky peaks, the majority of which are virgin pinnacles rising above 4500 to 4700 m. The Kashmir great lakes Gadsar Lake and Gangabal Lake is also accessible from Churnar via Dumail, followed by a ridge and a pass. Starting the final day of the trek from Dumail to Naranag takes about an hour, but we will spend that time exploring Manasbal Lake while getting to Srinagar.
The Marchoi trek is one of the popular and trending winter treks of India and is located in the valley of Kashmir. The distance from Srinagar City to Marchoi trailhead is 45 Km through Srinagar Leh national highway. The last village from the northeastern side is Naranag which serves as a basecamp for Kashmir great lakes trek and also for Marchoi and other short treks. There are a number of Attractions on the way to Naranag starting from Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens, Manasbal Lake, Naranag temple and a few more. Marchoi trek is a beautiful part of the western Himalayas with its rich biodiversity and religious significance to Hinduism and Buddhism.
Marchoi Valley is part of Marchoi Trek which is 6 Km from Naranag, Kashmir and 4 Km from Dumail Campsite. The trail towards Marchoi Valley starts from Dumail, parallel to the Marchoi Nallah. The route is a little rough but doesn't include steepness compared to Marchoi Meadow locally known as Shadimarg. The mountain trail is beautiful and satisfying during every season so remains busy with trekkers, bird photographers and locals too. Marchoi Valley is part of our 4 days Marchoi trek which covers Marchoi meadow and Valley too. The first part of the valley is located at an elevation of 2500 m.
The distance from Naranag to Dumail is only 3 kilometres if you take the flat mountain trail that runs parallel to the Wangth river in the opposite direction. The location is an excellent camping and easy hiking destination in the Kashmir Valley that is open all year. The distance between Naranag and Dumail is easily covered in an hour or more. The altitude gain during this 3 km walk is 90 m, and this is the trail's easiest stretch.
Tarsar Marsar lakes are located in the lap of the Pir Panchal mountain Range of Lesser Himalayas. The area comes under District Anantnag of Kashmir (UT). It takes 4 to 5 hours from Srinagar to reach the trailhead of the trek which is Aru Village. The Aru is 94 km away from Srinagar and 12 km from Pahalgam. The trek is surrounded by dominating mountain peaks including Mt. Kolahoi Getting an awesome adventure experience in the wilderness of this green Himalayan region is an adventure of a lifetime.
The Naranag is a popular tourist and hiking destination in Kashmir, located in the UT district of Ganderbal. The hamlet is located in the western Himalayas, northeast of Srinagar City. Naranag is easily accessible all year by travelling 30 kilometres from Srinagar to Kangan, followed by a 14-kilometer mountain road from Kangan to Naranag. At the end of the village, where the road also ends, there is an archaeological site and a Shiva temple. Camping, day hikes, and short and long treks, such as the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek and the Mt. Harmukh Valley Trek, are popular in the mountain village.
From Spring to Autumn, there are numerous trekking options in Kashmir. The majority of summer hikes lead to breathtaking alpine lakes via connected valleys, meadows, and passes. The drop in temperature to 5 degrees Celsius over 3000 m at the end of September and -5 degrees Celsius in October at high altitudes makes the treks too difficult and effectively ends the summer trekking season. Most long treks in Kashmir, such as the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, Tarsar Marsar Trek, and other popular treks, close at the end of September. However, the trail-head of all of Kashmir's popular treks also give birth to amazing short winter and snow treks. Marchoi trek is one of the best options in Kashmir for a winter and snow trek.
Shadimarg is the local name for a meadow that serves as the Marchoi Trek's summit. The meadow is located northwest of Naranag Village and is accessible via a 7-kilometer hike from Naranag via Dumail. The Shadimarg is open all year and is located at an elevation of 3200 m. The Marchoi trek consists of two distinct trails and destinations, Marchoi Valley and Shadimarg, also known as Marchoi Meadow. The trail offers fantastic camping opportunities on the banks of a snow-fed river and is ideal for easy treks in all seasons.
Naranag, Kashmir is one of the most important archaeological sites across the country. As per historians, the Shiva-dedicated temple was built in the eighth century AD by Lalitaditya Muktapida of the Kayastha Naga Karkota Dynasty. The Gangabal lake is considered sacred in Hinduim and is one of Shiva's dwellings. Aside from that, Kashmiri Hindus participate in an annual pilgrimage known as the Harmukh-Gangabal Yatra. Harmukh Mountain has an important climbing history as well, Mt. Harmukh was first climbed by Thomas Montgomerie in 1856 as part of the Great Trigonometric Survey and discovered highest mountain peaks of Karokaram range for the first time.
The location where two snow-fed rivers meet is known as Dumail. Dumail, Naranag is a fantastic hiking destination in the Kashmir valley that offers trekking and camping opportunities all year. In comparison to Sonamarg, which is located in the same range, this location is well-known and less crowded. When it comes to the most popular and beautiful treks in Kashmir, the Kashmir Great Lakes trek and Tarsar Marsar are at the top of the list, but both are long treks that take at least a week. Many adventure seekers and trekkers are looking for a simple, less crowded camping and hiking destination, and the Dumail and its surrounding mountain trails are ideal.
Having travel insurance is an important protocol all trekkers should follow. The cost of the trek doesn’t include any sort of insurance. Trekkers/Travelers travel insurance must cover accidents, injury, illness, and death medical expenses including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, emergency repatriation including helicopter rescue and air ambulance where applicable, and personal liability.