Damodar Kund and Saribung Pass Trek
Among the high altitude trekking trails in Upper Mustang region of Nepal , is pass which is apple of eye for the trekking community, the newly discovered trekking route in 2006. It is challenging and very popular trekking trail with beaten track and demanding pass. Saribung is situated in isolated part of Mustang region of Damodar Himal, close to the border of (Tibet). The trail is rugged, cutting high into cliff sides and passes villages that have changed little over the centuries. Saribung Trek can be done in anti-clockwise for which the trek start from Nar - Phu “a hidden valley” and then ascend to Saribung pass and enter in the Mustang " known as little Tibet in Nepal". After paying respects to lord Vishnu at Muktinath the trek start from Jomsom and follow Upper Mustang trail and descend to Nar-Phu valley and Besisahar to end.
Overcoming many passes with ice and creases in between the Damodar Kund region and Nar-Phu valley. Damodar kund is a high Altitude Lake situated in high up in a rain- shadow area of the Himalayas north of the famous Annapurna range of the upper Mustang region between Kagbeni and Muktinath. The elevation of the Damodar Kund is 5400 meters. River Kaligandaki has its source in Damodar Kund and throughout its flow to south right up to Indian border carries a manifestation of lying lord Vishnu with Damodar kund jeweled as His auspicious Head and with Muktinath as the mouth, Shaligram Chakra as chest Ru Ru Kshetra of Palpa district as the waist, Devaghatam as the Knee and lastly the auspicious feet of lord Vishnu goes to the credit of Gajendra Moksha devadham, Nawal Parasi. Such a beautiful elaboration of the lord, one may find starting from the auspicious lakes of Damodar Kund. The trek starts from one place to another with great sceneries, cultures, religion and geographical variations. And so trekkers can enjoy the fantastic and picturesque views of diversity in this region. Visit to Monastries at Lo mathang for religiously inclined and caves in Choser add to adventure. Saribung trekking and expedition will start from one region and end another trekking region by enjoying scenery, religions, geographic elevation and will cross the challenging pass near Saribung Peak situated at a altitude of 6346m. The trekkers and climbers really enjoy its fantastic and pleasing views of Himalaya and beyond. During the trekking, trekkers meet different villages, monasteries, culture and religion of Tibetan style every day in Upper Mustang and Nar Phu area.
Borasu Pass Trek
One such pass among the many passes that cross into Himachal from Uttarakhand is Borasu.Situated at an elevation of 5450 m or 17,880 ft is challenge for season trekkers too . It connects the Tons river valley with Baspa river valley. The pass is open only for a few months before monsoons and then post monsoon before the winter sets in. It is a high but practical traverse into the great Kinnaur Valley, takes 5 -6 days from Har Ki Dun valley to Ranikhanda further into the Baspa Valley. From Har- ki - Dun the trail heads north along the Maninda Gad popularly known as Morinda Tal. Beyond that the ascent eases to Rathadu campsite 4000 m with a distant view of mountains and thereon the path winds up for 5km through a flower strewn narrow valley offering you a breathtaking diversity of landscapes and the trek is the perfect blend of lush meadows, riot of flowers such as Geranium , Bistorta etc Moraine path finally reaching Sauni Beda camping grounds.A steep climb on the rocky patch from here brings to Lamjoonga makeshift campsite.
After Lamjoonga campsite with a glacier to further up, climb strenuously, beware of crevasses in post monsoon on the either side of pass for about 4 km to the pass, one will be surprised and awestruck to see Nilkamal flowers in full bloom on the rocky patches along the pass and descent along the 60 -70 deg rocky slopes reaching Zupke glacier.The route through boulders requires some careful footing and proper balance.Beware and watchful of rockfalls and boulders coming down and there on further down to the Baspa river bed. The loose rocks and rockfall pose a danger, avoid attempting the pass in bad weather, during post monsoon.Cross the river by a bridge and reach the and Doaria camping grounds. From Doaria the trek to Chitkul is very easy on the legs. This trek is one of the best ways to get a feel and experience the Himalayan culture of Garhwal region and Kinnaur region respectively.
Crown of Spiti Valley
Region : Spiti valley
Among the High altitude passes in the Himalayan region of Spiti valley Manirang Pass is regarded as the most remote and hard even today. It is located in Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 5355m above sea level. This pass is reckoned to be one of the least explored mountain passes in the Indian Himalaya. Mount Manirang Altitude: 6593 mtr. / 21625.04 ft known as the crown of the Spiti is the valley isa challenge for Mountaineers. It connects the Kinnaur to Lahaul & Spiti region and was the ancient route of trade before it became motorable.
The whole region is situated in the rain shadow area and more or less lies dry other than winter.
The undulating terrain is very harsh comprising of boulders, marine and difficult to access without a proper guide due to sheer remoteness.
Considered as one of the remote treks and is now regarded as the shortest route from Gangotri to Kinnaur, which was first crossed by Greek-British author and mountaineer Marco Alexander Pallis in 1933. He with his team succeeded in making the first ascent of Leo Pargial (22,280 feet) peak.The trek can be done from either side. The beautiful route takes you through some of the most remote areas of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, like the Jalandhari valley that is covered with flowers in post monsoon. The snow in the early season could impede your progress. Harsil is famous for Wilson's Cottage built in 1864. Gangotri is a short drive from Harsil, while Chitkul is the last village in the Baspa valley and meeting point of many treks in the valley.
Kag Bhushandi Tal is an ablong sacred lake at an altitude of 4730 m, near Kankul Pass (4960 m), in the high Himalayan region of Uttarakhand in INDIA. This is a small oblong lake (Almost 1 Kilometer in Length) cradled at the bottom of Hathi Parvat is an explosion of technicolour. Its water are striking emrald green and its banks are overrun by blooms in various shades- pink, mauve, orange, purples, periwinkle blue, crimson, ochre, rust and greens. Myriad blossoms decorate its banks during the season, a wildest profusion of colours make the trekker forget the hardships and the exhaustion of the trek. The area comes under the
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, a UN world heritage site for natural diversity.
Set in the lap of Hathi Parvat (6730 mts.), the lake can be approached either from Bhyundar village, near Ghangria, or from Govind Ghat/Vishnu Prayag (which is also the starting point for the Valley of Flowers and Lokpal - Hemkund Sahib Trek). The trek from Bhyundar passes through thick bear-infested, forests and stretches of stinging nettles. In this trek route one has to face big shrubs, rivers, glaciers, passes, moraines and over slippery rocky area.
Above the Kagbhusandi Lake, two huge irregular shaped rocks can be seen sitting on the spur of the Hathi Parvat. According to the local folklore, they are the Kaga (crow) and Garuda (Eagle) who are having a heated discussion on the affairs of the universe. Yet another version narrates the crow as actually being a learned Brahmin from Ayodhya having been unfortunate enough to incur the wrath of the sage Lomasa who lived near the lake, the Brahmin was cursed by the sage and turned into a crow.
Kinnaur kailash Parikrama
Kinnaur is the most scenic but less known district of Himachal Pradesh, located on the Indo-Tibet border. It is surrounded by Tibet on the east, Garhwal Himalaya trek on the south, Spiti Valley on the north and Kullu on the west. The Sutlej River, which rises on the southern slopes of Kailash Parvat near Mansarovar in Tibet flows through the Kinnaur valley. Due to the proximity of Kinnaur to Tibet, the life style and religion of its inhabitants had been influenced by Buddhism, mostly in the northern and central regions, although the majority of the people practice Hinduism.
Set within the Trans Himalaya belt it boasts of the highest mountains in Himachal Pradesh. Some prominent peaks in the Kinnaur Kailash range are Jorkaden Peak (6,474 metres), Kinnaur Kailash Peak (6,500 metres), Phawarang Peak (6,349 metres) and Saro Peak (6,080 metres). One of the prime attractions here are Baspa Valley (Sangla Valley). Close to the border with Tibet, entry to Kinnaur was restricted even for Indian nationals till 1993 and foreigners still have to register themselves with Inner line permit. Kinnaur valley comprises of the lower valley of Spiti and Satluj gorge, the two rivers race through valleys of The Satluj and The Spiti. Sutlej river which has its origin (common to the Indus and Bhramaputra rivers) in Lake Mansarovar beside the holy Mt. Kailash in Tibet. Kinnaur holds three of the world's grand mountain ranges - the Zanskar, the Greater Himalaya and the Dhauladhar, Mount Kinner Kailash (6'050 m) dominates this region, it has religious significance for a huge Monolithic pillar " the representation of Lord Shiva which is a 79 feet vertical rock formation that resembles a Shivalinga and changes color as the day passes. This is one of the mythical abodes of Lord Shiva.
The circuit around the whole range attracts many pilgrims every year. The Parikrama or circumambulation begins from Kalpa via Triung valley and back to Kalpa via Sangla valley. Drive up to Thangi and the actual trekking begins from here.To reach this forbidden land, India's northern tip, before July, we travel through the Hindustan - Tibet highway, the ancient silk route following the Satluj. The Spiti river joins the Sutlej from the west and runs parallel with the Great Himalayan Range, the natural boundary between India and Tibet (China). In July it is possible to enter Spiti from the north, crossing Rohtang Pass (3980m.) into Lahaul and Kumzum La (4550m).
Pillar of Faith
Hills and mountains have special significance in Himalayan region. Mountains have traditionally been regarded as abodes of gods. Mountains are also held sacred due to their association with deities, mythology and legends..
It is believed there are total seven Kailash mountains. The well known Mansarovar Kailash in Tibet, Adi Kailash in Pithoragarh district of Uttrakhand, Amarnath Kailash in J&K, Kinner Kailash in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, Mani Mahesh Kailash in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh,Sri Khand Kailash in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. Seventh is believed to be Boorha Kailash and is yet to be located. one
Sri Khand Mahadev is one such revered mountain peak in Himachal about which not much has been written and is a holy pilgrimage place for Hindus. It is believed that Shrikhand Mahadev is one of the abode of Lord Shiva. Shrikhand Mahadev is natural rock-made shivalingam on the great heights of the mountains in the Himalayas. The shivalingam is 70 feet high and stands at the mountain top around 18,500 ft altitude.
Auden’s Col is a High altitude pass connecting Rudugaira valley and Bhilangna valley, named after John Bicknell Auden, a British Geographical Survey officer, who first discovered it in 1935 and crossed it in 1939. The pass is at 5490m altitude and connects the ridge coming from Gangotri III (6580m) peak on the north-west and the ridge coming from Jogin I (6465m) on the east, and also binds a glacier coming from Jogin I on the north side of Rudugaira valley, and deadly Khatling glacier on the south side of Bhilangna valley.
Rudra ganga stream or Rudragairu (gairu means deep) or Rudugaira gad drains Rudugaira glacier and eventually flows into Bhagirathi (Ganga) river near Gangotri, and Bhilangna river originates from Khatling glacier and meets Bhagirathi near Old Tehri.
Kalindikhal Trek is an extremely challenging expedition-style traverse of the Kalindikhal Pass (5967m) in spectacular Garhwal Himalayas. The route involves a trek over rough glaciers, rocky screens and crevassed snowfields. At times we need to roped up and require the use of ice axes and crampons. Kalindi khal trek takes you half way round Garhwal from the Bhagirathi Valley to the Alaknanda Valley. Although prior climbing experience is not required, this trip is one of our most demanding treks suited to only those who want to join a reconnaissance style expedition.
The trek starts from Gangotri and takes you through Nandavan, the base of the Bhagirathi peaks, a place that offers an unparalled view of the Shivling peak. After gaining suitable acclimatization we ascend to Vasukital Lake, a stunning place to camp surrounded by towering snow-covered peaks. From here we climb on to Sweta Glacier and begin the challenging crossing of the Kalindikhal Pass. A tough climb from where you feel that there is little else left to be see. It is as if you are a part of this majestic setting of snow peaks. The trail then descends to Arwatal and to Mana the last village on the Chinese frontier. The trek fittingly ends at Badrinath with a visit to the holy temple and then travel via Rishikesh to Delhi.
Retracing footsteps of Franksymthe
Tucked away beyond the Valley of Flowers above Rataban glacier.Crossing glacial moraine, high valleys snow fields.The Passes came into light after Successful Expedition led by British Surveyor general sir Gardiner and Frank Smythe in year 1930.The valley of Flowers...known as Eden to nature lovers is gateway to both passes.
Bhyundar khal situated at an altitude 16700 ft above sea level is above the Rataban icefall and later crossing vast ice fields approaching Bhuyundar Icefall.Later on leads amritganga valley.The glacial moraine region in crevasse zone with huge boulders...crossing one reaches a ' T ' junction called Eri udiyar. To the left leads to Bhandkund lake.Nilgiri icefall.ratapahar,ukhi Pahar...are the prominent peaks visible along the trek.Above bankund lake the lateral moraine leads...to another vallley crossing the Bidhan,Khagbushand icefall one reaches bankund icefall.
Crosssing the Bankund glacier carefully one approaches huge icefields.
The views of Nilgiri parvat Mana South face, Deoban peak, Mandir Parvat,Bidan parvat is feast to eyes.Walking whole day one reaches gad camping ground.A vast snow field with spell bounding views of snow clad peaks in the background.Walking on the vast snow field in the shadow of Mana peak one reaches a end with huge..snow wall rising to 300 ft.The cornices above the wall pose danger to climbers.Climbing the wall cautiously reaches Gupt khal 19140 ft.The 360 degree views of snow clad peaks is feast is eyes.
Walking cautiously on snow field traversing on snow slopes....climbing down with ropes to reach snow fields is a herculean task indeed.The 60 - 80 degree pose danger of fall.After Negotiating the curve and reaches vast snow field. Peaks Nilkanth , Arwa tower , Chaukamba, Parvati Parvat, Mandir and Nar - Narayan peaks...some unknown peaks dot he landscape. A two day walk on the snow fields...glacier fields cautiously crossing the icefall and boulders.Walking paralleling to Alakananda river brings to Legendary small hamlet Mana.The view of water cascading from cliffs and sudden appearance of a flock of Bharal - Mountain Goat here is soothing to eyes.