The most coveted trek of India is probably going to see an end in the coming year. Chadar Trek may soon be in the books of history for many keen trekkers in India and abroad, as soon as 2020. The reason behind it’s closing down is Global Warming, majorly on account of unchecked human traffic. If this sustains for a longer run, the famous frozen Zanskar River might disappear from the face of the region in a span of just 2 to 3 years!
The Chadar route, which is basically a frozen river was mainly used by the natives to fetch their basic supplies and also to sell local wares like copper utensils, goatskin, Yak butter etc. to earn a living during those spine-chilling winters.
The frightening cold temperatures that even the locals bar themselves from making the 105-km-long trek extremely attractive for adventure-seekers. As a result, many people have been paying a visit to the region for day trek, overnight camping etc., thereby disturbing the ecology and the sanctity in the valley. With as many as hundreds of visitors making it to Zanskar for the trek every year, a lot of human waste, litter, and other stuff has been found on the frozen Zanskar river taking away it’s scenic beauty.
According to news reports, Chadar Trek might be restricted for visitors to sabotage the existing peace and sanctity of the region, although the decision is not yet finalized. This might also be a warning call for tourists and trekkers making their plan for India’s Himalayan region to embrace sustainable tourism practices for maintaining the neatness of the destination. There are many such ways to maintain such as carrying stainless steel water bottles that can be refilled rather than the mineral plastic bottles. Also, taking along disposable bags to keep all your litter is a good practice.
Still, we feel after the court banned camping on the Kheerganga region in Himachal Pradesh following the increased commercialization and deterioration of the environment, checking excessive human activity in the Zanskar Valley might be better decision ones again.
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