What is ‘Chadar’ used for?

“Chadar”, (veil of ice/bedsheet) as they call the zanskar river which is partially frozen during the winters, is the only road-way for the zanskaris living in padum or lingshed to go to Leh or from Leh(town) as other passes are closed during the winters due to heavy snowfall.

1:)*Trade with the outside world : As there is no other means of transport the locals have to take this risk which becomes a part of their lifestyle so to survive and make money they use the frozen river called Chadar to reach Leh

zanskari man carrying food on the sledge

zanskari man carrying food on the sledge

2:)*Take kids to School: The main school or should I say schools are in Leh and most of the remote villages in Ladakh don’t even have schools and even if there is one then it is without teachers. The locals use this risky route to take their kids to the school.

daddy walks with his boy on the frozen zanskar  river

daddy walks with his boy on the frozen zanskar river


Kids studying inside the Lingshed Village Solar School

Kids studying inside the Lingshed Village Solar School


3:)*Visit Sacred Places in Winters : The zanskaris believe a lot in what the monks say and they visit them regularly to ask questions to them of different nature so they use this route to visit the monasteries of Leh where the monks live as they usually abandon other monasteries during the winters.
ancient scripts (monks share the knowledge with outsiders as well)

ancient scripts (monks share the knowledge with outsiders as well)


4:)*Now To Earn as a Porter/Guide/Cook: Over the years this route has become a source of regular income for many zanskaris as they get the job of porters or guides during the Chadar Trek season. (frozen zanskar river trekking which is now famous worldwide).
porter and cook inside the cave during chadar trek

porter and cook inside the cave during chadar trek

Note : “Earlier there were few jobs during the winters for the people of Leh.”

Shutterbugs List for Chadar Trek : http://wp.me/p1ZkSF-1E


Rohit Khattar
khattarrohit@yahoo.com

Himalayan Explorers Club

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20 thoughts on “What is ‘Chadar’ used for?

  1. Great stuff. Didn’t actually know about the chadar’s uses, even though had heard about it on numerous occasions. This definitely is a good example of adaptability.

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