Chandershila Trek In Garhwal Himalaya - India
This is an easy four day trek to Chandershilla which can be a great experience for amateurs. Chandershila top is the only place from where one can get a perfect 360 degree view of the Himalayas. It begins from a small village on the road head known as Sari and the following trail takes us to a beautiful lake- DeoriTal, which gives perfect sightings for mountains of Choukhamba and Kedarnath- one of the prime pilgrim spots of Hindus. It's a small trek, full of easy, relaxed walks in which you don’t have to put much vigor into is what you’re looking for then this is the perfect trek itinerary for you.Book Now
Our trek begins from the town of Rishikesh. Morning, after breakfast we drive for a good 7-8 hours to reach Sari. The drive, though long is beautiful as we drive along the Ganga, Alaknanda and Mandakani rivers. Enroute we stop at Devprayag which is another important Hindu site, known for the confluence of two distinct colored Bhagirathi and Alaknanada Rivers, which then flows down as the Ganga. Once in Sari, we trek for a short while to the beautiful Himalayan Lake, Deorital. This trek does not take long but is steep, often giving a good view of the surrounding villages. While you trek up, we carry your gear ahead of you so that you find your camps ready at the bank of the lake. You can take the day off to explore the area around and then retire to your cozy tents after a good, wholesome dinner.
The mornings in the Himalayas are one to look forward to. Wake up early to catch the first rays of the sun on the snow covered Himalayas. The orangish hue of the mountains is one to keep as memory in your cameras! Once we have fed you with an energy giving breakfast, we set forth to Chopta. This is a gradual trek and takes 5-6 hours to complete, which however pass relatively quickly as you pass through the dense, cool forests and beautiful alpine meadows dotted with wild flowers. Arrive at Chopta and camp at outskirts. Meals and Overnight stay in Tents.
Our target today is to reach the summit of Chandrashilla in time so that we can catch the panoramic view of the high Himalayan peaks in good light. The trek is mostly a gradual ascent through the maroonish-reddish dwarf rhododendron bushes. At the summit, take in a good look at the prominent peaks surrounding you from all directions. Almost every prominent peak of the Garhwal Himalayas can be spotted from here. To one side is Nanda Devi (7817Mtrs-the highest peak of Indian Himalayas), the other side is Kedarnath, Trishul, Banderpoonch etc. Each peak offers a spectacular view and finds its mention in the myths and folk tales of the plains below. Explore the area and then trace your steps back to the camp at Chopta. This downward journey is far easier and we finish it in good time to camp again at Chopta.
Morning after breakfast board our waiting vehicle and drive back to Rishikesh. Tour terminates upon arrival in Rishikesh.
Surya Top-Dayra Bugyal Trek
Here is a trek which is not only easy to do but also offers an amalgamation of everything a Himalyan trek has to offer. Surya Top, situated at a height of 4200m offers great view of the upper Himalayan peaks such as Bandarpoonch (6350m), Dropdikadanda (6420m), Srikanth. The trek also offers an opportunity to experience firsthand the life style of the people of the village of Barsu and Agoda. You also get to walk through lush Deodar, Oak and Rhododendron forests as well as a high Himalayan meadow- Dyara before finally reaching the summit of Surya Top. What more! You can also catch a Himalayan black bear, musk dear or even a leopard while on your up through the forests. Worry not, these animals are more or less used to trekkers and are of no danger.Book Now
If you have a knowledge and fondness for birds and/or wild flowers then this trip with its rich variety of Monal pheasant, eagles, butterflies etc is an idle trip for you.
As for most Garhwal treks, our starting point is at Rishikesh from where a drive (via Uttarkashi) of 6-7 hours brings us to village Basru (2250m). Here we pitch our tents at Bugyal Sarai for lunch. The afternoon is yours to explore the nearby village and understand and observe the culture of these self sufficient villagers. Overnight at camp.
Packing for a trek can take quite a bit of time so we start our day early, finish breakfast and get ready to trek up! The schedule is as such that today we trek from Bugyal Sarai to Dayara Bugyal(3150 m) which is a walk of about six hours with a good view of the Himalayas all around. Thrilled but tired enough to hit the sacks immediately we camp overnight at Dayara.
This is an interesting day of trekking. The entire 5 hours from Darya Bugyal to Syari Bugyal is spent walking on the ridge of the mountain. It is a thrilling experience to actually walk with hundreds of meters of cliff below you! However, our guides are prepared to take care of you lest any danger prevails and you have not a thing to worry about. Exhilarated with the slight adventure, we camp below Syari Bugyal for the night.
Early the next day, we finish breakfast and start our trek to Surya Top, which is a summit offering an almost 360 degree view of the Himalayas with prominent peaks such as Bandarpoonch (6350 m), Dropdikadanda (6420 m), Jaonli (6600 m), Srikanth, Gangotri I,II,III etc. clearly visible. Our guides will be able to point out accurately the name of the peaks for you and you can store away the memory in your cameras. This is perhaps the best walk of the entire trek. From Surya top, we walk back on the ridge and divert to our camping at Kornkutta.
The walk is through a nice oak, cedar and rhododendron forest and finally a pretty much downhill walk to the Agoda village. We camp for the night just below the said village, which consists of 20 to 30 houses, double-storied, slate roofed and each with a stone courtyard.
It is now just a 2 and half hours walk down to the awaiting vehicles which will take us back to Rishikesh.
Yamnotri To Dodital Trek
Dodital is a freshwater lake in Uttarakhand, India, situated at a height of 3,024 metres (9,921 ft). According to one of the popular legends Lord Ganesha chose this place as his abode. There is also a temple devoted to Lord Ganesha here. Another name for this lake is 'dhundital' meaning ganesh ka tal or lake of Ganesha. We approach Dodital trek from Human Chatti which is in Yamnotri valley. Being close to Yamnotri, we spend 2 nights at Syana Chatti which is a peaceful place compare to Janki chatti which is a starting point of the walk to the pilgrimage of Yamnotri. We take one day excursion to Yamnotri. Yamunotri is the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the Goddess Yamuna in Hinduism.Book Now
It is situated at an altitude of 3,293 metres (10,804 ft) in the Garhwal Himalayas and located approximately 30 kilometers (19 mi) North of Uttarkashi. It is one of the four sites in India's Chhota Char Dham pilgrimage. The sacred shrine of Yamunotri, source of the river Yamuna, is the westernmost shrine in the Garhwal Himalayas, perched atop a flank of Bandar Poonch Parvat. The chief attraction at Yamunotri is the temple devoted to the Goddess Yamuna and the holy thermal springs at Janki Chatti (7 km. Away).
In the morning after breakfast drive Rishikesh to Syana Chatti via Mussoorie which can take 8-10 hours as it is 208kms. Overnight stay and meals at Hotel Kalindi.
We drive in the morning from Syana Chatti to Janki Chatti which is 14 kms by jeep, and then from there we start our walk of 6km to Yamunotri by trek. Visit the shrine of Yamunotri, situated at an elevation of about 3,235 m is a point of paramount religious importance for Hindus and an essential pilgrimage.Return to janki Chatti and walk across the bridge to visit Kharsari village. It is 1 km away from Janki Chatti and is the last village in the region. This is the village where most of the people including the idol move to and from Yamunotri during the winter season. There is an old temple to visit. It is a three-storied temple and has carved stones on the walls. It is a Shiva temple dedicated to the Lord in the form of Someshwar, the God of the intoxicant Soma. The intricate woodwork here is also noteworthy. In the evening back at sayna chatti and overnight stay and meals at the Hotel.
We get on our vehicles to drive us (30minutes) to the starting point a little ahead of Hanuman Chatti (7920 ft) passed a little hydro electricity project over the hanuman ganga River. We start our walk while horses are being loaded, cross the bridge to get on the trail which will lead us to Dodital . Trail is all up hill with zig zag walk through forest and up to Seema, our camping place. The trail takes us through a village called Nishni where there are about 80 families living. We will spend little time in the village and interact with the villagers. It takes about an hour or 2 to get to the village and after the village we head up to Seema (11550 ft approx) which is a nice meadow just little above forest. This meadow is great for camping as water is close by and it is flat for camping. It takes about 3-4 hours. Over night and meals at Tented camp.
It is a long day but worth your effort. Day starts with an up hill for an hour and then it gets bit flatten for while. Mountains come in the view as soon as you finish with uphill trek. Most of day we will have the view of all the mountains of the area which includes Bandarpoonch (20955 fts), Dropdikadanda (21185 fts), Jaonli (21780 fts), Srikanth, Gangotri I,II,III and many other peaks. After the Darwa top (13629 ft) there is a 5Km of downhill walk all the way to Dodital (10913 ft): The crystal clear lake and the surrounding dense forests create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. Explore the surrounding areas. Campfire dinner at night. Overnight in Tented camp.
Easy morning as we won’t be in hurry. The walk today from Dodital to Bevra is all down hill almost all day with few patches of flat land. It is about 16km and takes us about 4-5 hours to get to this small village of Bevra (7269 fts) and a camping place by the river where people can wash. Over night at Tented camp in Bevra.
We meet our awaiting vehichle at the road which drive us to Rishikesh via Uttarakashi. Trip finishes at the arrival in Rishikesh.
This is basically a shorter version of the main Kuari Pass trail which begins at the Ghat and goes all the way up to Joshimath and takes 6 days to complete. This , North face trek however is an easy trek only categorized as moderate if one wants to climb one of 5000m trekking peaks; However this expedition adds an extra day to the itinerary. The trail gives you a view of the highest peak of the Himalayas in India- The Nanda Devi! In all, the view on this trek is so that no matter how many times you may gaze up at it, you will never get tired of it. This trek has been popularized by Lord Curzon when he was the viceroy of India. A story goes that the party had been trekking here for some days when they were attacked by a swarm of bees just below the Kuari Pass.Book Now
The trek was abandoned but the Kuari is often referred to as Curzon Pass as a token of the respect the local held for the viceroy. The Kamet peak which comes along this way had been coined ‘The Valley Of Flowers’ by noted British mountaineer and botanist Frank Smythe.
Rishikesh is located at the foothills of the Himalyas and to reach the base of our trek at Joshimat we need to drive for about 10 hours. The roads are steep and tricky at places and it's necessary that we finish this drive in daylight. Spend the night at hotel in Joshimat.
After breakfast at Joshimat we drive for an hour to reach Auli (2500m), which is a small settlement which recently has developed into a thriving ski resort and also supports a sizeable army camp. From Auli we begin our ascent up on foot and walk for about 3-4 hours, covering a total ascent of 700-1200 m, finally to halt for the day at a camp location we choose is the best for the day. This trail from Auli lets you appreciate Nanda Devi at the head of the sanctuary as it heads up the hillside, beyond the ski lift, before reaching a small Oak and Holly forest.
Today we walk up to Kuari Pass. This walk is through the forest and then a ridge takes us to a wide open meadow and a final climb to the Kuari pass. The pass is basically a small Col in a grassy ridge. Looking south from this pass, there are impressive views across the forest ridges. The initial steep 200 m descent of this trek are the only hard part especially so if it's wet and icy. There is a choice with our trekkers here to choose if they would like to climb greater heights at this point. Once we have had our fill of this wonderful pass we head back to our camp at Khulara. The staff will be waiting for you with the tents set up and a hot, fulfilling meal before we retire for the night in our tents.
Breakfast, yet again is provided to you before we start our trek up to Pangerchulli peak, which takes a good 4-5 hours. Frank Smythe, who came this way in 1931 en route to Kamet (25,443ft/7,757m), the second highest mountain in this region, summed it up beautifully. "We breasted the slope and halted, silent on the path. No words would express our delight. The Himalaya was arrayed before us in a stupendous arc". Some of the mountains seen here are Kamet, Nilkanth (7,141m/23,425ft), Dunagiri (7,067m/23,182ft) and Changabang (6,864m/22,516ft), with even Nanda Devi herself visible if you walk along the ridge for a while. The blinding vision of snow peaks make all the effort worthwhile, for it is often said that this is one of the greatest mountain views in the world.
A long day of 4 to 5 hours of walking, mainly downhill as we reach Tapovan. Tapovan at 2000 m is incidentally also on the way to base camp to Nanda Devi and is a very pleasant surprise. It is a large meadow complete with bubbling streams and wild flowers and camp sites set beneath the imposing peak of Shivling (6453m) with the Bhagirathi peaks also forming a backdrop it is of little wonder that sadhus choose this spot for extensive meditation. Here you will be greeted by vehicles waiting in to take you back to Berahi, where you can check into a hotel and wash away all that fatigue and dirt with a hot shower.
Back to Rishikesh it is, with lunch given on the way.
Kuari Pass Trek
Kauri Pass has been a favourite with many mountaineers. Mr. Shipman in his book- Nanda Devi writes about crossing this pass with these words, "The top of the pass was reached by 7 o'clock (am) of a clear, cold morning and we were privileged to see what must be one of the grandest mountain views in the world." In spite of the view this trek promises to offer, it is a fairly moderate trek, which offers most enchanting mix of the Himalayan life with a look at village life, culture, pristine wilderness, wild life and great Himalayan range. On a clear day one can see mountains like Nanda Devi (7816m), Dunagiri (7066m), Kamet (7756m) and many more. Ask for details for longer version of this trek ‘LORD CURZON TRAIL,Book Now
Drive to Nandaprayag and to Ghat and then to Chefna (the starting point of the trek). We camp for the night at Chefna.
Finish with breakfast and then devour on this nice walk next to the river followed by an ascent through coniferous and mixed forests. The walk by a wooded ridge takes us to a village called Ramni (2550m). It is a typical Garhwal village with friendly people and attractive houses with heavy slate roofs and paved alleys surrounded by fertile fields. It is very commendable to see that this entire village is mainly run on solar power. Night stay and meals at camp at Ghuni.
This is a long but rewarding day. From the campsite you climb steeply for 1,000ft/300m on a zigzagging track to emerge on an open, grassy, grazing meadows. Snow peaks begin to emerge above the forest to the north. The path continues up through forests of rhododendron, pines and oaks with more pastures for summer grazing with shepherds huts. Flocks of sheep and goats are there to keep you company as you keep moving along the track. The highest point, reached in 2¼ hours from the camp, at 3,064m/10,053ft, is the Ramni Pass, also called Binayak Top. From here it is possible to make out the Kuari Pass, which we will cross on Day 8. From now on there may be a chance to see the multi-coloured monal pheasant but they are very shy, being hunted by the locals for pot. The trek is now gentle, mainly through open pastures into forests of horse chestnuts and walnut trees complete with fairy tale waterfalls. Lastly, a zigzag downward trail will bring you down to the overnight camp at Semkherk.
Day starts with a descent to the colourful village of Jhinjhi. The trail carries on down past small farms, through some woods to the spectacular suspension bridge at 1,840m/6,037ft across the Birehi Gorge, which currently is inhabited by a large number of monkeys! From here however it’s a very steep climb up to 7,382ft/2,250m, where the track eases only after arduous ascent of 1 ½ hour. After this though you can relax a bit as the path becomes almost flat and you can pass under the cool shade of the rhododendron forests with long tailed magpies flitting about. There are many streams and waterfalls as the route contours round many deep ravines. If you look down to the deep gorge below you can see the landslide and the Gauna Lake, which burst and flooded the whole of the Ganga Valley down to Rishikesh in 1898. After going round the head of a horseshoe valley you reach two lovely rivers cascading down under the path. From here there is a short climb to a spot called Kaliaghat, which is a good campsite near the village of Pana. It is here where we camp overnight.
This is another long but spectacular day. The route traverses above the village and then starts a steep climb up into a rhododendron forest. It is a broad, well made track and after a number of small summits a Col is reached at 9,842ft/3,000m. The path now descends gently, traversing along the valley to open meadows with views across the Kuari Pass. We continue downhill through the valley along several streams, before it plunges down a very steep and loose section, much of which has been washed away by the monsoons. At the bottom, you will see that the river has cut through a deep rocky, dramatic gorge to your right showing just how naturally scalped the entire region is. From the river, it is a very steep climb of about 3,000 feet (900 m) with a small break about half the way up to cross a large stream. A final climb brings you above the tree-line to the campsite on the large pastures where sheep and goats graze in summer, with the Kauri Pass towering above. Camp overnight.
It is a short day today meaning that you have enough time to take breaks on the pass to simply stare at awe at your surroundings. The thrill of standing at such a height, with the cold wind hitting you across the face is a feeling that cannot be surpassed. We aim to cross this pass today so that you will have the benefit of the clear early morning the following day. For this we have to walk a bit more to gain more height, with the highest point of the trail being at a cool 4000 m high and is just half an hour from the Tali Pass ahead. Once, we have had our fill of the mountain view (which is highly unlikely) we walk down to our camp which has been set up for you across a small stream.
For those among you who are willing to give up a few more hours of sleep to catch a rare glimpse of nature, we suggest you wake up before dawn and make your way to the top of Pangarchulli peak to catch the dawn view of the Himalayas. The way, the navy blue mountains slowly turn an orange hue to a brighter yellow to finally white is a sight you will not want to miss. Frank Smythe, who came this way in 1931 en route to Kamet (25,443ft/7,757m), the second highest mountain in this region, said something along these lines about this view, "We breasted the slope and halted, silent on the path. No words would express our delight. The Himalayas were arrayed before us in a stupendous arc". Some of the mountains seen are Kamet, Nilkanth (7,141m/23,425ft), Dunagiri (7,067m/23,182ft) and Changabang (6,864m/22,516ft), with even Nanda Devi herself visible if you walk along the ridge for a while. The blinding vision of snow peaks make all the effort worthwhile, for it is often said that this is one of the greatest mountain views in the world. We walk back to camp for hot lunch and over night in tents.
Most of summer treks finish in Auli and early summer/early winter treks finish in Tapovan because of the icy conditions on the trail to Auli. It is a 3-4-hr walk to either place. It is a gradual descent to Auli down through woods and pastures and we meet our car waiting for us at Auli to drive us to Joshimat. Auli, although having none of the elegance of its sister hill resorts, does have a charm and beauty of its own. It is the site where the famous Adiguru Shankaracharya attained enlightenment before beginning his campaign for the unification of India and the revitalization of Hinduism. There is a temple here called the Na Singh where the statue of Na Singh involves a legend that when the arm of the idol finally breaks, the road to Badrinath will be blocked. Interestingly, the statue’s arm has been getting smaller every year. Auli is also the centre of the Indian ski scene, and the cable car up to the resort of Auli starts in the middle of Joshimath.
We stay overnight at a hotel in Joshimath to wash off the fatigue and get a comfortable sleep.
Back to Rishikesh it is, with lunch given on the way.
Source Of The Ganga Trek
The Ganga in India has a legend, a story and a belief attached to it at every other step of its course and its source at Gangotri glacier is no different. Gaumukh (Cow’s mouth) from where the Ganga originates too has a pilgrimage value and a legend attached to it. It is said that King Bhagirath got the Ganga down here from the heavens so that salvation could be bought for his sons. True or not Gaumukh with its icicle Gangotri glacier is a challenge for every trekker and adventurer, most of who like to go beyond the Gaumukh point to camp right at the base of Shivling peak from where one also gets to see a magnificent view of Bhagirathi peaks.Book Now
The day begins with a drive to Uttarkashi – which is small but busy town in the Garhwal hills on the banks of the Bhagirathi River. This place is famous for its temples, including the Vishwanath temple just to the north of the town as well as the famed Nehru Institute of Mountaineering which is placed right above the town. The drive is for 6-7 hours along which you will also pass the famed Tehri dam which holds the Bhagirathi River to form a reservoir of almost 22 Km. This dam is quite essential for the production of electricity in India. In addition, you also get to see the Bhagirathi Mountains from a distance, increasing the anticipation of seeing them up, close and personal.
Making a way out of the town, we stop on the outskirts at a Monal Guest house where we will check for the night. If we arrive early enough, you can take the rest of the day to explore around Uttarkashi.
The drive to Gangotri will take us 4 hours, which we begin immediately after breakfast. Once here, we check in into a hotel for another night. Do make sure to visit the Ganga Temple here – it one of the prime pilgrim locations for the Hindus and the temple comes with its stories to share. Just beyond this temple there is a series of concrete steps leading up to the main trail which we will be taking up to reach Bhojbasa the following day.
The day begins with an uphill walk with fairly defined Kilometer marks through dense deodar forests and then opens into a wide unfrosted valley, through which the walk is pretty much gradual till we reach an isolated pine forests at Chirbasa before finally making it to Bhojbasa. After the first 4 Km there are some dhabas for a bite to eat, where a tributary flows into the valley. Bhojbasa has a small temple there and this used be full of Birch tree but unfortunately for us it is not there anymore. Here we camp for the night after completing almost 15 Km in a period of 5-6 hours.
Continuing along the grassy hillsides, the trail then curves, to unfold a breathtaking view of meadows studded with wild flowers and crowned by the Bhagirathi group of peaks. We set the camp for you at a sandy beach at Gaumukh, where the Holy Ganga gushes out of the snout of the Gangotri glacier. The Shivling at 6450 m sits looking like an old learned man, while the Bhagirathi I, II and III tower above. The trail leaves its way through the terminal moraine before cutting across the Gangotri glacier and climbing steeply up to the grassy slopes to the vast ablation valley of Tapovan- here the Bhagirathi peaks are almost within touching distance. It is a pleasantly surprising and green meadow with bubbling streams and wild flowers and camp sites below the Shivling. Trek time : 4-5 hours covering a distance of 9 km.
This is the second day at Tapovan and is set aside especially for you to just relax and take in as much as you can of the white panoramic giants above you. If you feel adventurous enough then you can walk up to ridge to have a look at Meru glacier or instead take a full day walk to the Kirti Bamak glacier reaching till the base of peaks “Kedarnath Dome at 6850 m”, Kirti Bamak at 6500 m’ and catch a classic view of Shivling from the east.
We find our route back to Cheerbasa to spend a relaxed night here after completing 13 Kms of distance in 4-5 hours. You will notice here that to the south the peak of Bhrigu Parbat (6041m) looms high above the valley as well.
We walk back to Gangotri and board our vehicles to drive to Uttarakashi. Overnight stay at an Uttrakashi Hotel- pretty mundane after the natural habitation you have just left behind.
The expedition comes to an end once we drive back to Rishikesh.
Roop Kund-Mysterious Lake
This high altitude lake has a past shrouded in mystery- What we find here are numerous, partially decomposed skeletal remains of human origin embedded in the ice around the lake. Stories in plenty float this site; most believable of course is that an entire unit of a small army perished here albeit under mysterious circumstances. Some however says that pilgrims here were buried here as a result of a nasty avalanche as early as in the 14th century. The region is dominated by Mount Trishul (7120m) and makes for another pilgrim for the faithful Lord Shiva devotees, on the walk up to the lake we camp at the Himalayan meadows of Badni Bugyal & Auli Bugyal and cross the Roop Kund ridge which is a an extension of one between Sutol and Wan and forms the divide between the catchments of the Badni Ganga and the Nandakini River.Book Now
After breakfast, we drive to Kaldu Bugar which is about 5 Km after Karanprayag. On the way we first cross Devprayag, site where the Alaknanda meets the Bhagirathi to move ahead as Ganga. The road then follows the Alaknanda River up to Karanprayag. On arrival we check in to a hotel by the river and run by The Garhwal Vikas Nigam (GMVN).
At around 7am we begin our 5 hour journey drive to Loh Jung and then follow the Pindar River up to Tharali. The road conditions are good until Karnprayag, thereafter which there are often rough sections to Mandoli- but we don’t have to worry too much about these conditions as soon we start trekking down into Gyan Ganga valley. For the initial two hours, this walk will take you through rhododendron and oak forest with a steep downhill road by the side of the river after we which we climb up to Didana to set up our camps for the overnight stoppage.
Today starts with a serious uphill section through the forest. In about 3 hours you will reach the tree line from where if the weather allows you will be able to catch a spectacular view of the Chaukhamba and Nilkanth peaks. At this point we are on a grassy ridge leading to the meadows of Bedni Bugyal. This high meadow is the main area used for camping by travelers on the great pilgrimage to Roop Kund which takes place every 12 years. It is a beautiful and interesting place dotted with shrines and temples and the alpine camp here rivals the best in the Himalayas as well as the wildflowers in the meadows remain in bloom until mid September and are also magnificent during the monsoon months of July and August. In the morning there will be a tremendous view of Trishul above the Shilasamudra glacier, as well as Nilkanth to the north-west. Overnight camp after a strenuous trek of 5 - 6 hours.
We take this day for acclimatization for which we trek higher for almost 5 hours and then drop back to the camp at Badni Bugyal meadow. You will feel much more comfortable with the air once you have finished this drill and can comfortably end the day at the camp.
The 5 hour trail crosses a hump to reach Bistola and then climbs up to Bhugu Basa- an improvised stone shelter that is generally used by local pilgrims. Frankly compared to the beauty of Badni Bugyal it is hard to imagine that this coarse stone structure made as makeshift shelter points could exist in this close vicinity the lower alpine meadows. Nevertheless we stop here for an overnight camp.
If the weather is clear in the morning then you will be lucky enough to get a good view of the Trishul peak and the other mountains around. An arduous trek of about 3 hours gets you to Roop Kund. At Roop Kund, if the snow is not too deep, the mysterious skeletons and remains of human beings and horses can be seen, as detailed in the books of Shipman and Tilman. There are also great views of the surrounding glaciers and high peaks. The lake in itself is very scenic and peaceful and is worth following the trail which is often snow covered till early June, making route finding a problem. Even post monsoons, there are some steep, rocky sections which may require a bit of scrambling. We hike another 30 minutes or so up to the ridge above the lake to explore the area and return back to Bhagu Basa for an overnight camp.
The route from here is different than the standard trek to allow a shorter itinerary. Our day begins with a 3-hour return trek to Badni Bugyal - a long steep descent through a fine forest of firs and rhododendrons and across a beautiful clearing. After another drop down, we reach the river which is a good place for lunch.
The latter part of the day is another 4-5 hours of walking and is spent in climbing upwards to reach the main valley, and onward to Wan village which lies at the head of this valley. We camp above the village on a wide tree lined terrace with the sacred grove of Latu just above us. Latu, again is another one of the local devta (spirit) here and his temple is built right under one of these huge Deodar trees. You will be pleasantly amused to see that the villagers at Wana have not lost their traditions and still wear the brown, home spun Garhwali wool blanket across their chest. This is just one of the many Garhwali traditions you will get to experience firsthand during this expedition.
A well built road is connected to the village Wan from the other side and we simply have to walk down for roughly 4 hours to the vehicles lined there to drive (10 hours) back to Rishikesh, which marks the end of this trek.
Har ki Dun Trek
This is an easy trek in which you may occasionally encounter rare Himalayan birds like the Paradise Fly Catcher, Fork Tail Fly Catcher and Monal; it is indeed one of the most popular treks in Garhwal. The trail passes through villages with traditional buildings and lush green terraced mountain fields. You will witness villagers working in their potato fields, herding their sheep in to the jungle, in their traditional dresses, which is a rare and wonderful sight in our modern age. This Valley is also known for its polyandrous family system- where two or more than two brothers can have one common wife.Book Now
Drive 275 kms from Rishikesh to Sankri/Saur through the Yamuna and Tons valleys across the Yamuna bridge, Nainbagh, Nowgaon, Purola, Jarmola (Jarmola is one of the biggest and most beautiful pine forests in Asia), Mori and Netwar. Trek to a tiny market in Sankri, a few wooden huts serve simple yet delicious food. Dinner and overnight stay at the GMVN (Garhwal Mangal Vikas Nigam) rest house or the Forest Department’s rest house or perhaps in tents.
We have to trek for 12 km nonstop today. So we offer you breakfast and make each of you carry your own packed lunches so that you can rest and catch a bite at your own convenience- perhaps at one of the tiny waterfalls lining this route. You can also appreciate the wild roses and irises, chestnuts, sycamore and deodar trees and bamboos which line the trail. Hot dinner and cozy tents will be waiting for you once you reach the camp, a Km from the Taluka village.
Another 12 km to cover today so we take in packed lunch again. From Taluka the trail descends to the river valley and continues through the forests on the left side of the valley. The river valley continues winding through some fields as well as apple orchards until it reaches Osla (2560m), we however do not divert at Osla but continue till Seema. You could either opt for the steep climb of Dhaatmeer village, which is a path with beautiful views, or just trek along the Karmanasha stream. Both the routes meet at Gangaar village. Dinner and overnight stay in tent.
Har ki Dun is known for its vast valleys and huge waterfalls as well as an excellent view of the mountains above and is present just beyond the confluence of two beautiful alpine meadows. A trek of roughly 11 km after fueling ourselves with breakfast and carrying packed lunch will get us to our destination. The area is home to a number of rare species of Himalayan birds and flowers, and is full of birch and spruce. After the last steep climb of approximately 200m, you have the grassy field of Har-ki-Dun divided by the clear and calm Karmanasha stream. The beautiful Swargarohini stands tall overlooking this Valley of God. Dinner and overnight stay in tent. A full moon would be an added bonus.
It’s now time to head back but who says that you cannot enjoy the downhill as much as the uphill? Just before we trek down, we take a short climb of 2 km to Jaundhar glacier. Trekking back then first to Har ki Dun and then to Seema, where dinner and camps await us.
The walks now are a reverse of what we experienced while climbing along the same way. For today it’s further down as from Seema we gear ourselves with packed lunch and a full breakfast to trek back to Taluka.
Breakfast and trek back to Sankari, with packed lunch and you can relive your stop at the tiny waterfalls and rivulets as you walk down the same path. Walking down off course is easier so this time you get to appreciate the beauty more with the loom of tiredness. Dinner and overnight stay at Sankari await you for your last night in the hills.
Drive from Sankari to Rishikesh is the last leg of this trek and we finish it well in time for you to head back to your homes.
Nanda Devi East & Minam Glacier Trek
This moderate trek starts at Munsiyari (2290M), a small beautiful hamlet with a scenic array of waterfalls and home to the Johari Tribe who are famed for their ayurvedic medicines and woolen shawls. One gets breathtaking views of the Panchchuli peaks from here. This trek takes you to the base of Nanda Devi east peak and to Milam Glacier which offers great views of Trishuli, Hardeol and Rishi Pahar peaks.Book Now
Unlike most of our treks which are based in the Garhwal region of Utarakhand, this one takes you to the lofty mountains of the Kumayun district. The easiest way to get till the base of these mountains is by taking an overnight train from Old Delhi Railway station to Kathgodam.
It’s with the early morning mist that you arrive at Kathgodam, our vehicles will be waiting for you here to take you through a picturesque drive (covering Almora, Bageshwar, Chowkri and Tejam) to Munsiyari. You shirk off the journey here by getting a sound sleep either at a tent or a rest house.
Most part of the day is spent in getting some paper work ready to get necessary permits from the local administration. The evenings however are free for you to see around the very beautiful village.
From Munsyari, a 10 km drive will take you to Selapani from where we begin our trail up the hill. This easy 7km walk will take only 2 ½ hours and you will find yourself in Lilam in good time to halt at the tiny rest house for the night.
From Lilam the trail enters a spectacular 25 km long gorge. Etched into the cliff face above the Gori Ganga, the hillsides above are covered in dense bamboo thickets and mixed rain forest. After the junction of the Ralam and Gori Ganga rivers the trek climbs to a tea shop at Radgari, and then goes to a small rest house at Bugdiar (2700 m). Here, there is a memorial which laments the loss of life of villagers and army personals in the avalanche of 1989- Today only a few houses remain on the edge of a waste land-Perhaps a very horrid reminder of what nature’s fury can do to civilizations. Overnight stay in tents/ rest house.
The valley opens up after climbing quite steeply to a huge overhanging cliff, which shelters a local deity. The route then enters progressively drier terrain, but there are two waterfalls of about 100 m, one of them opposite a tea shop at Mapang, where you can rest your weary limbs and take in the limited available refreshments. Further trek uphill brings you to Railkot (3200 m).
The land is now almost arid and the villages in passing are nearly deserted till you get to Burphu village which is backed by the Burphu peak ( 6300 m ). The eastern side of Nanda Devi east comes in to view here while you reach up to Ghanghar village (3300 m) where only three of the farmers of 60 families remain and the carefully walled fields below are also deserted. In spite of the eeriness of this town it is interesting to note the beautifully carved wooden doors and windows.
A steep narrow trek leads into the Pachhu valley, dominated by the north face of Nanda Devi East 35,00m above the Pachhu glacier. Dwarf rhododendron and birch, with anemones and the Primulas below line the first section of the trek before it emerges into alpine meadows below the debris of the glacier itself. Tom Longstaff came through this valley in his unsuccessful attempt to climb Nanda Devi East in 1905 before trying the parallel valley to south of Pachhu via what is now known as Longstaff’s Col. There is a camp site (39, 00 m) 3 km from the base of Nanda Devi with both the Col and the summit clearly visible; Provided the weather is clear.
Returning via Ghanghar at Burphu, the trek crosses the Gori Ganga on a wooden bridge then climbs to the former staging post of Milam village(3,300 m). Now, this village where we will stop for an overnight camp was the home of a number of renowned Pundit explorers and is also the last major settlement before Tibet. However, in spite of the vicinity to Tibet most villagers here trace their ancestors to the Rajput clans of the desert state of Rajasthan.
This excursion (3km: 1 hour) is possible from the Milam village to the Milam Glacier (4,100 m). The path can be slippery due to clear ice uncovered by debris from earlier treks and one needs to be careful while crossing the left bank of this glacier.
The trail passes through meadows dotted with sage, Junioer, miniature gorse and briar roses high above the terminal moraine. At the head of the glacier the peaks include Rishi Pahar (6992m), Hardeol (7151m) and Trishul (7075 m) while the peaks around the north rim include Kholl (6114m) , Nanda Gond(6315m), Nital Thaur( 6263m) and Nanda Pal (6306m).It is fascinating, just sitting here and noticing how three distinct tributary glaciers join together to form this main Milam glacier. After taking a fill of the glaciers we return to the camp at the village. Warning: one needs to be more careful of the slippery ice while climbing down
We now start tracking back on our earlier steps, starting with getting back to Railkot from Milam.
This day is another repeat of our earlier days- Day 5 to be specific and we return back to Bugdigar today making our way once more through the deserted village of barely 3 farmer families.
This day is a repeat of day 4 and we pass once more through the bamboo thickets and dense rain forests, which we did while climbing up to Bugdigar.
We return back to civilization to Munsiyari. Checking preferably into a guest house/hotel or maybe another camp for reminisce sake as we make the end of a wonderful and exciting trek.
The atmosphere while we drive back to Almora from Munsiyari is saddened by the thought of leaving an enchanting landscape behind. The early thing to cheer you up are the rare pink-purplish flowers blossoming on the Cherry Blossom trees around Almora. We take a break from our long journey by stopping for the night at a hotel at Almora.
The drive to Rishikesh takes about 10 hours. Trip finishes at arrival at Rishikesh.
Auden's Col Trek
Auden's Col is a less frequent trekking route in this region of the Himalaya compared to the Khatling Glacier and Gangotri Trek. Auden's Col is a mountain pass situated in the central Garhwal region. It connects the mountain peaks Jogin I (6465m) and Gangotri III (6580m) and is at a height of around 5242m. Auden's Col binds two glaciers on either sides - Khatling glacier on the south and Jogin Bhamak on the north. A little distance lower to Jogin Bhamak is the Gangotri III glacial system. Auden's Col is approachable from Gangotri and one can trek up to Kedarnath following Auden's Col and Khatling glacier. Auden's Col gets its name from J B Auden, a famous British geologist. He first explored the region in the year of 1939.Book Now
Rishikesh to Uttarakashi: 07 Hrs
The day starts with a drive to Uttarakashi which takes through mountain road of garhwal. It is a spectacular drive which views Bhagirathi valley. Bhagirathi river is dammed at Tehri and it forms a reservoir of 22km behind the dam. It takes us 6-7 hours to reach Uttarakashi. Uttarakashi is a big town of this valley which supplies essential stuff to the villagers of nearby areas. This place can be very busy during May and June as it is the main hault place on the way to Gangotri, one of the major pilgrimage. We drive little off the main route to Gangotri and arrive at beautiful and peaceful place called Monal guest house where we stay for an over night. After arrival, we check in to our room and the rest of the day is spent in exploring the surrounding. Over night at Monal Guest house.
Drive to Gangotri: 04 Hrs
After breakfast, we start our drive to Gangotri. It will take us about 4 hours to get to Gangotri. We check into our lodge for an over night stay. In the evening visit the famous temple of river Ganga. Gangotri is one of the major pilgrimages for Hindus.
Gangotri- Nala Camp: 06 Hrs
By walk along the Rudugaira Ganga. Initially the trail climbs steeply in the jungle and then crosses the river over a log bridge. Move with the river on your left. Cross a big waterfall coming from your right and camp at a suitable place. Watch out for stone fall by sheep's and keep watch of your stuff from Gaddi's. Stay in tents.
Nala Camp-Rudugaira BC: 06 Hrs
By walk with steep climb of 200 m followed by gradually climbing trail which is again followed by another 300 m steep climb. The climb for the day is over. Move ahead to the camping site seen opposite and camp. Stay in tents.
Day for acclimatization: We take this gently and go for the height gain in the morning for acclimatization for the pass. Rest of the day is to relax. Overnight stay in Tents.
Rudugaira BC- Col BC: 06 Hrs
By walk. Cross the nala coming from right and then start moving towards Patangini dhar direction. You have to cross a couple of streams coming from right. No bridges. On crossing a high ridge you see a open space with sand. Get down there, but don't camp. Keep moving towards the gully along the main glacier and you will reach a camp site. Fresh water may be available nearby. If possible camp as near to the Pass as possible. Stay in tents.
Col BC- Khatling Glacier Camp: 06 Hrs
By walk. Now one has to move over snow and Ice so be careful. Look for crevasses and walk roped up for safety. Reach the col, keeping to your right. Top has sufficient space. Move to cols left and you can see the steep gully going down to the glacier. A crevasse runs along the base and so be careful. Fix rope for safety. Once on the glacier walk with care as the glacier is massive here. Move forward keeping in mind that you have to be near the left side of the glacier. Right is too bad, so you can't move on that side. Camp at a suitable place. Stay in tents.
Khatling Glacier Camp- Waterfall Camp: 07 Hrs
By walk Keep moving along the glacier keeping watch for the crevasses and reach the moraine. By afternoon you will reach the place where there is ice on the right with steep fall and there is a waterfall visible on the left side. Move towards the waterfall and camp just before it next to a water source. Stay in tents.
Waterfall Camp- Chowki: 07 Hrs
The walk today involves moving along the trail behind the first waterfall and then negotiating the broken slanting rock with all the care they deserve. Fix a rope. Thereafter cross the second waterfall also with care using a rope. Move on to the glacier and start moving down and also moving to the right of the glacier. Crossover to the other side before water starts from the glacier. Move down with the intention of reaching the trail next to the river. Keep moving and cross the huge boulder section. In the distance you will site a raised green section. Aim for that and camp at the further end near to the water. Stay in tents.
Chowki- Kharsoli: 07 Hrs
By walk. Move slowly as in the initial stage the trail may not be that clear. Thereafter you are on a good enough trail and keep moving with the river flowing on your left. The trail moves into deep jungle and finally you reach a big stream coming from your right. Cross it over a log bridge and you sight a small temple. Camp here for the day. Stay in tents.
Kharsoli –Gangi: 07 Hrs
By walk. The trail is well marked and there is no problem following it. At one place the wider trail moves up. Follow it and moving along it in dense jungle for 45 minutes takes one to Kalyani, from where you get good views of the kush kalyani bugyal. Rest a while and then take the trail moving towards the left (where the river flows) and you are on the right trail. Moving along it pass the village of --- and by evening you will be at the village of Gangi. Stay in Tents.
Gangi- Ghuttu: 07 Hrs
By walk. The trail is a good one. The village of Reeh is visible from high up the trail and before it is the GMVN's TRH where you can have breakfast/ lunch as the case may be. One does not have to go to the village and can reach the main trail from the TRH itself. By late afternoon you reach Ghuttu. Stay at GMVN TRH just outside the village
Ghuttu –Rishikesh: 06 Hrs
Drive from from Ghuttu to Rishikesh via Ghansali. Stay in Hotel.
Kalindi Khal Trek
Now, this is a trek, which is not made for the weak hearted. A strenuous trek covering a total of 99 Km is not viable for amateurs or families and children. One needs to have experience in trekking and have a zest and thrill for adventurous trips such as these. If you have what is needed for this expedition, then there is nothing quite like the Kalindi Khal trek. During the course of this trek we would pass through Gangotri (3048 m), Gaumukh (3892 m), Nandanban (4500 m), Vasuki Tal (5300 m), Kalindi Base (5590 m), Kalindi Khal (5948 m) and then descends to Arwa Tal (3980 m) till Badrinath (3100 m). The route takes you through breathtaking view of the greater Himalayan peaks in the Garhwal region - Bhagirathi, Shivlinga, Basuki, Chandraparbat, Satopanth and many more.Book Now
We drive to Uttarkashi- a district in northern Uttarakhand, often referred to as northern Kasi due to its location on the right banks of River Bhagirathi which is popular for its temples dedicated to Rishi Parasurama, Datatryea, Goddess Annapurna Devi, Goddess Kali, and Bhairon. Incidentally there was a time when there were a total of 365 temples in this town. Overnight at Hotel / Guest House / Deluxe Camps.
Gangotri is one of the major 4 Hindu pilgrimages of Uttarakhand with stories of Bhagirath bringing the River Ganga from heavens from this point in earth. The elaborated version is such that Goddess Ganga - the daughter of heaven, took the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Bhagirath's predecessors, following his severe penance of several centuries. Lord Shiva received Ganga into his matted locks to minimize the impact of her fall. Not surprisingly, this small town is centered around a temple of the goddess Ganga, which was built by the Gorkha General, Amar Singh Thapa in the early 18th century. The temple is closed on Diwali day every year and is re-opened in May. During this time, the idol of the goddess is kept at Mukhba village, near Harsil. The Source of Ganga, Gomukh is 18km further upstream from Gangotri. The trek to Gomukh is gradual, and several pilgrims undertake the journey to pay homage to the river at its known source. Overnight at Guest House.
After breakfast we start our trek to Cheerbasa. It’s an easy climb and the route is filled with breathtaking sights as the magnificent scenery unfolds itself at every step. We have lunch on the way and reach a small isolated forest of pine at Chirbasa where we camp for the night.
The day starts with a small uphill walk to the main trail and then the trail gets gradual up to Gomukh. It’s about 9km walk and takes about 4-5 hours to reach Bhojbabsa. Bhojbasa has a small temple here which used be full of Birch tree but unfortunately you cannot find it anymore. Nevertheless- the sites around are peaceful as well thrilling as they promise of more to come. Even though we camp right here at Bhojbasa, it is advisable that we take the uphill route and back to acclimatize ourselves to the sudden decrease in oxygen level.
After Gomukh, the trail is not so well defined and is such that one often has to walk over boulder to boulder over the icy glacier. After crossing the moraine and glacier, we finally reach a point where we have left the Gangotri glacier below and take a steep uphill climb to Tapovan from where rises the Shivling Peak (6543m) flanked by Meru (6630m) and Kedar Dome (6808m). You can see the peaks of Bhagirathi & Sudershan from here and there are various other unnamed mountains around. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
One needs a day just to acclimatize and get used to the cold.
We descend down to Gangotri glacier to traverse around and then traverse along the Gangotri & Chaturangi glaciers. This trek combines the experience of mountain and rock climbing besides boulder hopping and glacier traversing. Break for a quick brunch at the junction of the two glaciers. Further a 1 hour climb takes us to Nandanvan which a small grassy valley of exquisite beauty, literally surrounded by snow peaks – Bhagirathi II, III & I, Kedar-dome, Karchakunda, and Shiblinga.
Today we shall leave the meadow of Nandan Van and get the opportunity to view Bharal (Mountain Goat). While walking through high ridges & Lammergeyer, we arrive at the Vasuki Tal “not so big” glacial lake in the serene surroundings of Chaturangi Bhamak. Left of the lake is Bhagirathi Bhamak, leading to the Bhagirathi group of the peaks. Overnight in Tents
Another day simply for acclimatization and relaxing.
A 6 hour trek to Khara Pathar is definitely worth it as today you get to view one of the only two 7,000 m high mountains-Satapanth of the Gangotri glacier. Dinner and overnight in camps.
Today we walk about 10 Km to reach Sweta Glacier, which disappointingly isn’t the best place to camp as it is quite moraine and full of rocks and boulders but going further on this day is not advisable and one needs the short trek to acclimatize as we keep going higher.
Once we have a spent half of the earlier day acclimatizing we should be now ready to move forward to cross the Sweta glacier. Crossing many boulders you will finally reach the Chatrungi glacier, which basically is a major tributary of the main Gangotri glacier. Chatrungi as a word means four colors and you will see how the moraines over the glacier range from Pink to yellow to brown. With Chandra Prabat at 6728 m towering above us, we get to the Kalindi Bhamak camp, in close vicinity to the Kalindi glacier’s snout. Up ahead lies the Kalindi Khal (5940 m), which is a deep gap between Avalanche Peak (6413 Meters) and Kalindi Peak (6102 Meters).
Climbing the Kalindi Khal is not the easiest of tasks and we suggest making an early move. It is a pity that even though the summit camp for the Kalindi Peak is right below this Pass, we cannot in any condition attempt to climb it as for this expedition one requires not only much experience and a climbing fee but a prior permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation as well. However, once on the pass you can make do with a spectacular and almost at reach views of Mt. Kamet (7756 m), Mt. Mana (7272 m), Abi Gamin (7355 m) and Mana Parbat (6797 m). Bonus point when on a clear day you get a view of the Tibetan plateau across the Mana Pass (6728 m); Also seen are the mountains of Gangotri Glacier; Chandra Parbat (6728 m), Vasuki Parbat (6792 m), Bhagirathi Parbat (6512 m).
We shall now descend and cross the glacial terrain before reaching the camp of Raj Parav.
We leave Raj Parav early morning and trek to Ghastoli via Arwatal. Trail is all through moraine fields of the Arwa Glacier. The army bound and inaccessible Mana Pass on way to Tibet border lies exactly northwards from this Tal. We follow the Arwa stream till we reach down to the river and see the dramatic change in the terrain right before our eyes as the glacial moraines give way to the glacial streams and small patches of vegetation starts to appear as we reach closer to Ghastoli. Ghastoli has a big grass ground which is idle for camping and is a great site for eyes and feet sore and tired of just grey glaciers and moraines.
As we continue our gradual descent downwards, the terrain changes further and the route is now a dirt road which is under contraction and follows the River Saraswati down stream to Mana and Badrinath. If we are lucky, we can hitchhike an army truck as they come often to drop some food supplies at the army camp at Ghastoli and if not it is a good walk until we meet our awaiting vehicles at Mana to drive us to Badrinath for hot lunch and to visit the famous temple there. Badrinath is one of the four dhams of the Hindu devotees and you are sure to get a feel the high of the devotion of the pilgrims that make their way here in hordes. Just above Badrinath is the spectacular conical Mt. Nilkantha (6596 Meters), literally meaning “Blue Throat” one of the 1008 names of Lord Shiva. Later we drive to Joshimath for Overnight stay in a hotel.
Nothing more to do than drive back to Rishikesh, which is the ultimate end of our gratifying and absolutely thrilling trek.