In the Abode of Devi
Annapurna base camp trek is famous for trekkers. The principal peaks of the western portion of the great Annapurna Himal, including Hiunchuli, Annapurna South, Fang, Annapurna, Ganagapurna, Annapurna 3 and Machhapuchhare, are arranged almost precisely in a circle about 10 miles in diameter with a deep glacier-covered amphitheater at the center. From this glacier basin, known as the Annapurna Sanctuary, the Modi Khola knifes its way south in a narrow gorge fully 12,000 ft. deep. Further south, the gorge opens up into a wide and fertile valley, the domain of the Gurungs. The middle and upper portions of Modi Khola offer some of the best short trekking routes in Nepal, and the valley is located so that these treks can be easily combined with treks into the Kali Gandaki region to the west.
In spite of the great heights of the surrounding peaks and ice walls, the valley floor between 12,000 and 14,000 ft. can provide comfortable camping spots in good weather.
Thousand lakes trek & sightseeing
Dagala is the name in general for the mountains lying between Thimphu and Dagana. These complex and mosaic of mountains are indeed paradox that there is a saying in Bhutanese, ‘even by the time the Djop (nomad) dies of old age, he won’t have understood Dagala’. Dagala is also known for having so many lakes, hence the name Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek. It is a moderate trek with mostly short trekking days, but includes a few steep climbs. The route follows ancient path between Thimphu and Dagana. In ancient days, the Daga Penlop would be seen frequently travelling this route with a caravan of retinue as he paid his monthly or quarterly visits to his superior in Punakha or Thimphu. At every halt, legends surrounding lakes, mountains, stones and cliffs abound that you may wonder whether you have become Alice in Wonderland, adorned with a multitude of pristine, crystal clear lakes. As you walk amidst the shimmering lakes you’ll be treated with stunning views of the entire Himalayan mountain range and some of the world’s highest peaks including Mt. Everest, Jomolhari, Masang Gang, Jichu Drake, Gangche Ta and many more. During the trek an entire day will be dedicated to visiting some of the more picturesque lakes, fishing and resting. The trail also takes you through several Bhutanese villages so you can get a good idea of traditional Bhutanese village life as you make your way back from the lakes.While this is a somewhat strenuous trek, it is well worth the effort because of the tranquility and beauty of natural landscape that you will enjoy during you visit.
Everest Base Camp
For the glimpse of the Magnificient..!
To know the Magnificience of a mountain you should maintain distance - is a saying related to mountains.It is a dream of every adventure enthusiast and a mountain lover to have a Glimspe of worlds highest peak Eve- Rest - 8898 M .Everest base camp trek traditionally is a route normally following the Hillary footstep which starts with a few hours’ drive to Jiri, but time and development of infrastructures has benefited this trekking region and thus has provided opportunities for people with limited time to trek this EBC trekking trail with a flying to Lukla.
The trekking route in the sherpa region of Everest base camp trekking is a feast to eyes and a endless view of mountain surroundings with curiosity over dramatic landscape. The trail, whether you take a shorter version with a flight into Lukla or the classical trek from Jiri, it all follows the same course of Dudh Kosi river as you gain altitude trekking through forests of rhododendron ( Buransh ) and magnolia into almost arctic conditions when you walk the Khumbu Glaciers into Everest base camp. This trek is even more challenging doing almost a circuit with a trek into Gokyo, crossing the Chola Pass or doing 3 passes or Gorakshep to Kalapathar and EBC or vice versa.
To be frank , to see the highest point on earth “Everest” from close quarters. The mystery of this trek is that one cannot get to see the Everest at close range as you get to see it from Kalapathar. However, the trek to base camp itself is sensational, an over whelming feeling that captures your heart mind and soul.A mountain journey with each step ; each breath worthwhile and experience to cherish for a lifetime..!
Kang Yatze situated at elevation 21,000 ft is a mountain located at the end of the Markha valley in the Himalayas in the Ladakh region of Himalayas. The mountain has two main summits, the lower western peak (Kang Yatze II) is easier (Alpine PD) and more frequently climbed, although lower at about 6200m. The higher eastern peak is the true summit (Kang Yatze I) although less frequently climbed as it is across a technically difficult knife-edge traverse. An alternative is to climb the North East ridge then directly up the steep snow face (Alpine AD+/D-).
Kang Yatze (6401m) is the highest peak in central Ladakh and centre of a range of interesting and accessible 5000m and 6000m summits. Ladakh is one of the premier trekking destinations in the Himalaya, a land of stark and stunning beauty. Its jagged peaks and richly coloured rocks are punctuated by valley oases filled with green willows and hilltop monasteries. The climate is generally dry and the mountains lie in the rain shadow of the greater Himalayan range, so are rarely affected by the monsoon.
On the mountain we offer two routes: Kang Yatze I (6401m) is a challenging alpine climb of AD (Scottish grade II/III) standard with slopes to 55deg and some pitched climbing, suitable for mountaineers with previous technical experience in the Alps. Kang Yatze II (6245m) is an easier trekking peak, physically demanding but suitable for trekkers and novice mountaineers. The trip is pitched to suit a wide range of experiences and interests, and is an ideal first Himalayan Climbing venture.
Gar Firdaus rōy-e zamin ast, hamin ast-o hamin ast-o hamin ast
If there is ever paradise on earth, it's here, it's here, it's here! This famous Parsi Couplet of Aamir Khusrau quoted by Mughal Emperor Jahangir hundreds of years back, at the exotic beauty of Kashmir. Francois Bernier, the french physician during his visit to Kashmir fascinated by it called it paradise on earth, but indeed Kashmir outstands all the stunning places on earth even today. Srinagar, set around the infamous and magnificent Dal Lake, has house boats, Shikaras,surrounded by snow clad mountains, still stands Synonymous and truly , albeit the time and age. Kashmir Valley is the beautiful crown adorned on top of India of the tourist attractions in Kashmir. Hence, Kashmir makes the idlest place for trekking.
Trekking in Kashmir gives the trekkers a feeling of sheer joy and pure calmness. Kashmir has many astounding lakes which gives an additional beauty to the valley. Few of the lakes frequented by the trekkers are Dal, Nagin, Anchar, Ganbar, Wular, Manasbal Lake and the twin Lakes Vishansar and Krishnasar.Kashmir Great lakes is considered by far the best trekking one can experience. The trek is a walk in garden with Kaleisdioscope of colors.The season to enjoy the trek is from June to August since the places will be filled with lush greens and covered with beautiful flowers.
A spiritual Journey within..!
Mt. Kailash the striking peak standing in the remote south-west corner of Tibet in the Himalayan Mountains. Rising to an elevation of 6638 m (21778 ft) it is one of the highest parts of the Himalayas and serves as a source of some of the longest rivers in Asia. Known as Gang Tise or Gang Rinproche in Tibetan it is a precious and prominent symmetrical peak. Made up of black rock Mt Kailash is a wonderful diamond like shaped mountain that is surrounded by beautiful landscape which is rugged and dry.
Mount Kailash is known as one of the most sacred mountains and has become an important pilgrim for four faiths : Buddhists, Jains, Hindus and Tibetan religion of Bon. Every year thousands of people from all over the world make pilgrimage to this place. Followers from various beliefs have been visiting Kailash from thousands of years and have been circumbulating this holy mountain on foot. It is believed that visiting Kailash and following this tradition would bring in good fortune and wash away sins of ones lifetime. However the journey of 52kms/32miles on foot in a single day is not easy and one needs to be strong both physically and mentally to complete it. Generally people take 3 days to finish this walk. The Hindus and Buddhists pilgrims walk around in a clockwise direction but the Jain and Bön followers walk around counterclockwise.
According to Hindu legends, Shiva, the god of devastation and rebirth, resides at the pinnacle of this famous mountain named Kailasa. Mount Kailasa is considered in many sects of Hinduism as heaven, the ultimate destination of souls and the holy center of the world. The narrative in the Puranas, Mount Kailash's four faces are made of crystal, ruby, gold, and lapis lazuli. Refereed as the pillar of the world that rises 84,000 leagues high. From it flow four rivers, which stretch to the four quarters of the world and divide the world into four regions.
Tibetan Buddhists trust that Kailash is the home of the Buddha Demchok who symbolizes supreme harmony. They also state it was on this sacred mountain that Buddhism relocates Bön as the primary religion of Tibet. According to myth, Milarepa, winner of Tantric Buddhism, arrived in Tibet to challenge Naro-Bonchung, who was the spokesperson of Bön. The two magicians engaged in a great sorcerous battle, but neither was able to gain a crucial advantage. Buddhism in Tibet known as the religion “Bon” believes Mount Kailash as the abode of the sky goddess Sipaimen.
In Jainism, Kailash is known as Mount Ashtapada and is the place where the creator of their faith, Rishabhadeva, attained freedom from rebirth.
Places of Interest during visit to Holy Kailash
Tirthapuri, positioned northwest of Mount Kailash in Western Tibet are intimately associated with Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche). It is one of the interesting places near Kailash, pilgrims particularly come here after completing their kailash pilgrimage. They bathe in the pools fed by the holy springs and also pay a visit to the cave and monastery which is connected with Guru Pinpoche and has his footprints. The barren landscape around the Tirthapuri hot spring is filled with steam and colorful prayer flags stretched across the river gorge makes this spot a scenic & magical view for all.
Gauri Kund, a water body that is also known as the Lake of Compassion, lies on the way while going on downwards from Drolma - La (Drolma la Pass). This steep descent from Dolma Pass is a wonderful lake which is at an altitude of 5608m. As per Hindu mythology, there is a fascinating tale about Gauri Kund and has been described in legend “Shiva Purana”. The lake is also famous as “Parvati Sarovar” as this was the place where goddess Parvati had acquired her son Ganesha (Elephant headed God). Goddess Parvati had formed an image of Ganesh from the soap lather on her body and breathed life into it. She placed Ganesha at the entrance of her home as her janitor to prevent anyone from entering while she was bathing. Now Lord Shiva happened to return at this point of time and was stopped by Ganesha. Offended by this disrespectful act from Ganesha, Lord Shiva cut off the boy's head. Pravati was grief-stricken by seeing it and insisted that the boy needs to be brought back to life. Lord Shiva took the head of a wandering elephant and placed it on the body and life was restored and Parvati had her son back.
Yam Dwar is situated in Tarboche which is approximately 30 minutes drive from Darchen. The exact meaning of the Yam Dwar in Hindi lingo is “the gateway of the God of Death”. It is the initial point of circumambulation of Mount Kailash. Known as Chorten Kang Ngyi which means two legged Stupa in Tibet.
Located at a height of 17000 ft, Asthapad is the bottom of Mt. Kailash and one of the main holy places for the Hindus and Buddhists. It is also considered a major Jain Tirths as the first of the 24 Jain Tirthankara “Shri Adinath Bhagwan” had attained salvation (Nirvana) at this place. The literal meaning of Asthapad is “Eight Steps” as Astha means Eight and Pad means Steps in Sanskrit and that’s how the place derived its name.
Just around 2 hours walk from Deraphuk Gomba situated on the way to Dolma – La is Siwastal. Many pilgrims visit this place as it is known a duplication of the magical funeral ground at Bodh Gaya. Pilgrims here experience ritual death and enter into the dreadful presence of Yama, before being reborn on top of the Drolma La. One can easily notice the ground which is laid out with unbelievable collection of clothing, shoes, and bags along with terrible things like bones, hair and even blood. These things are mainly the offerings which are made by the people who pass from here. Above the burial ground is a red foot print of Milareppa (Tibetan yogi & poet) on the surface of a rock.
Tarboche flagpole, is one of the most important aspect of Tibetan spirituality. On “Saga Dawa” which is an impressive and capturing annual festival of Mt. Kailash this giant flagpole which has numerous prayer flags on it is brought down and replaced. This annual festival or one can also mention it as a carnival attracts Tibetans from all over along with other tourists and pilgrims. This ritual is performed every year on the full moon day of the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, to celebrate Sakyamuni's enlightenment”. During the flagpole ceremony as the poles tip is raised and pointed east towards Gyangdrak Monastery, monks of that monastery carry out a special ritual. A cacophony of music from long trumpets, conch shells and other instruments welcomes the rising flagpole. It is like a magical event that captures one’s senses. People gathered there attach there prayer flags and help in making the pole rise again. The flagpole should be standing in a perfect upright position or it is believed that things will not be good for Tibet.
Holy Mansarovar Lake
Lake Mansarovar situated about 2000 kms from Lhasa is world’s highest freshwater lake. Known as Lake Manas Sarovar in Sanskrit and Mapham Yutso in Tibetan this huge lake with the mirror like image of snow capped mountains in its crystal clear waters is just fabulous. The lake is located at the southern foot of Mount Kailash, stretching up to 55miles (88kms) in perimeter it goes 330 feet deep and about 120 sq mi of total area. Lake Mansarovar has exceptional beauty that varies from crystal clear blue water near the shores and a deep emerald green colour at the center. There are a few monasteries on the shore of the lake and most striking of all is the ancient Chiu Gompa Monastery, which has been built right onto a steep hill.
This holy lake is one of the important pilgrimages for Hindus and Buddhists. It attracts thousands of tourists and religious people towards itself every year from various parts of the world, but mainly from India, Tibet and its neighboring countries. The best to visit the lake is during springs as it is during this time the lake melts and allows people to bathe in its holy water. As believed by bathing and drinking this water one becomes fortunate and clears all his sins. Many travel agencies have annual pilgrimage group tours to this place and are often known as “Mansarovar Yatra”.
As per the Hindu mythology it is believed, Lake Mansarovar was formed by Lord Brahma, who is the creator god. He found it to be an appropriate place for religious rituals. Hid 12 sons, who were also holy men performed rituals and austerities on the dry land at the site. And to give them a more appropriate place to earn value, Lord Brahma created a wonderful lake which today is known as - Lake Mansarovar. And as per Buddhist religion, they relate Mansarovar with Anotatta Lake. It is said that Lord Buddha was conceived at this very lake, as stated in the legends Lord Buddha's mother was brought on the lake by the gods and as she bathed in the sacred waters of Mansarovar her body was purified. Later she saw a white elephant running to her from Mount Kailash and Lord Buddha entered her womb
A Trek to the Himalayan Mystery Lake
Roopkund is situated in the Chamoli district of Gharwal at a height of 5029m and is set beneath the towering summit on the lap of Trishul massif (7120m). Here you can find over 300 mysterious human skeletons and remains of horses which are more than 500 years old.
Hence, this area is usually referred to as the ‘mystery lake’. Various theories have been proposed about the skeletons. One of them goes as a group of pilgrims en route to Hemkund to worship Nanda Devi, lost their footing and tumbled down to the icy depths of the lake. The trek of Roopkund passes through lush green grassy lands and coniferous forests clinging onto the slopes of hills. The trek thereafter winds its way along the Pindar River. The highest Point is 4620m in Roopkund trek. Come to witness the mystery unfolding before your eyes.
Himalayan Mystery Lake
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." -John Muir
The word ‘Roopkund’ illustrates images of a beautiful frozen lake amidst snow clad mountains and rock-strewn glaciers of Himalayas. With a perfectly stunning setting of dense virgin forests, lovely campsites, endless rippling meadows, crooning brooks, pretty lakes and views of ice and snow found among the rich folklore, Roopkund is a pulsating destination for tourists and adventure enthusiasts. This high altitude glacial lake in the state of Uttarakhand is truly a natural wonder. Imagine what it would be like to climb about 5,000 metres of a snow-bathed mountain and experience the chilling shiver of your adrenaline. Adventure trekkers breathe to find a location and setting as mind-numbing as this and the location cannot get any better for beginner trekkers.
The lake is approximately two metres deep and is frozen during most months of the year. It is during summers that the sun melts the lake and invites trekkers and pilgrims from all around the globe to the revered beauty of Himalayas. The sacred festivity of Nanda Devi Raj Jat takes place once every yearto worship the divine Goddess Nanda and throughout this stretch, pilgrims visit the region in a massive number.TheYatra is held during the months of August and September and itbegins from thevillage of Nauti near Karnaprayag and continues from Roopkund to Homkund. If you plan your trek well, you might get to participate in this traditional festival.
Roopkund is locally called as ‘Mystery Lake’and ‘Skeletal Lake’ because of human skeletons found at the bottom of the lake. When the ice melts, the skulls from these skeletons are easily visible creating an invincible mystery in the minds of the by-standers. What is it that is so gorgeous yet so mysterious about this lake? In the year 1942, a ranger from Nanda Devi game reserve H K Madhwal, was the first person to discover these skeletons. But the mystery of who are the people buried and why were they found in this gorgeous yet cursed lake still remains unravelled. Along with the skeletons many objects like rings, wooden artifacts, iron spearheads and leather slippers were found in this lake. There are numerable theories about these skeletons,most of them dating from to 9th Century A.D. to 19th Century A.D.
A visit from the team of NGC led to a series of investigation from scientists across the world. The mystery continued until it was discovered that the skeletons belonged to a group of unfortunate pilgrims who were trapped in a hailstorm. Since there were no physical damage or injuries relevantly found in these skeletons, the injuries on the skulls pointed fingers at hailstones as big as cricket balls subsiding on the shelter-less pilgrims.
This trip to Roopkund begins on your arrival to Kathgodam which is a small town in the district of Nainital. The enchanting trek that starts from Lohajhung paves way towards the River Neel Ganga or Neel Dhara that flows with tranquillity through the valleys of Kulling. The wildlife and flora of this place is immensely beautiful. MonalPheshant or MonalTragopanare the state bird of Uttarkhand and are quite commonly found in this region. Mountains goats or Bharals are also a frequent sight. The trails of the endless dense forests of Rhododenderons, oaks and pines are covered with brown leaves welcoming trekkers to this royal Lake.
The ageless green meadows that last for miles greet your way before gracefully merging with mountain sides. The small and big streams in the Bugyal region is a refreshing sight and you can fill your water bottles and take a relaxing bath here. Lush oak forests provide a golden pathway bewitching you to the very core. The weather changes as you gain new heights and ascent towards thin air often causing breathlessness and fatigue in trekkers. It is very necessary to slow down in such times and give enough time to get adjusted to these changes in the weather. You will soon see patches of snow coming your way close to the Lake. Towards the end of the trek, hard and slippery snow can be very consuming. During adverse conditions, you will need to carry ice-axes to cut steps in the snow especially if you are travelling with a smaller crowd.
The enriching experience of trekking in the serenity of Himalayas will heal your senses for a very long time making it the trip of your lifetime. You will see nature’s generosity at a whole new level and appreciate every ounce of it.
In the abode of Devi
The Himalayan Mountain Ranges in India are known for beholding spectacular beauty. Millions of visitors from all over the globe come to catch a glimpse of this wondrous land where heaven feels to be at home. Himalayas start at that majestic altitude where the rest of the mountain ranges in the world come to an end. There are thousands of magnetic regions in the Himalayas that are located by travellers, trekkers, adventure tourists and government which has no written record of but the footprints they leave behind stand as an attest. The beauty and natural bliss that abodes here has spread throughout the world. One lifetime is not enough to catch a glimpse of the entire Himalayas. Even so, there are many Himalayan peaks and valleys that have remained less known and meagrely explored by human population. One such stunningly beautiful valley located in the Kumaon region of the Uttaranchal Himalayas is the valley of Sunderdhunga. Sunderdhunga is also known as the “Valley of beautiful stones”. These beautiful stones shine like hundred splendid starts making it a very appealing sight for by-standers.
Sunderdhunga is an eye-catchy region gloriously resting among the Himalayas in Uttarachal. The criss-cross trails of this location brings you to the magnetic villages of Song, Dhakuri (located at a height of 8,860 feet), Dhakuri Khal (located at a height of 9,520 feet), hamlet of Loharkhet (5 kilometres from Song), village of Khati (8 kilometres from Dhakuri), Jatoli (located at a height of 6,500 feet) and Kathelia (located at a series of Bugyals). The rivers that flow through the route are Pindari River, Wacham River, Khati River, Karrni River and Dau River. On these rarely trodden pathways lies the true essence of Himalayas.
In the blissful valley of Sunderdhunga, resides a cosy yet breathe-taking lake of crystal clear waters called as Devikund. Dwelling at a majestic altitude of 14,500 meters and surrounded by magnificent mountains is the Lake of Devikund. Devikund is an exotic medley of colours coming from a huge variety of blossoming rich flowers, alpine meadows, snow bridges, enticing waterfalls and rich range of mountains. The popular mountain peaks of Mrigthuni, Maiktoli, Simsaga and Nandakot are visible from close quarters while standing at this glorious height. The enticing valleys of Pindari, Khafni and Sunderdhunga can also be seen from Devikund. The green patches of mesmerising and endless Himalayan grasslands will sooth your senses. The dark night sky crowded with tiny starts is clearly visible while you lay in your tents at night. While camping in these lush green lands, you will come close to nature and its spell-binding beauty. Devikund is named after the “Devi” or the “Goddess” that is believed to be residing here. The rich history of this place also attracts many people to this land.
The watch the first sunray touch the feet of majestic Maiktoli peak and climb towards the Bulanu top will be an enchanting experience. To the east of Maiktoli peak is the gorgeous Mrigthuni peak, the tallest peak in the region. The Bhanoti peak, Durga Kot, Tharkot, Tent peak (which is also known as Simsaga mountain range), Panwali Dwar (also known as ‘cream roll’), Nanda Kot and Bailguri peak are all visible at close quarters during your trek.
When you set out to explore mountain ranges in Europe and United States of America, mountain peaks are located at an altitude of 13,000 feet and 14,000 feet high. Whereas, when you arrive at Himalayas for a trekking adventure, your basecamps will be set up at that height. Your trekking begins from an altitude of 14,000 feet. Your trail takes you through journey that will alter the definition of holidays for the rest of your life. Passing through the beautiful ridges and delicate bridges will help you cross small streams and rivers as a part of your exciting adventure. The beautiful hills lay alongside the serpentine roads passes through the mountains and valleys parallel to the legendary Saryu River. You can take a dip in this river during your trek. Setting up camps in the banks of River Saryu is another unforgettable experience.
The rich traditions and cultures of the local hill folks are very interesting. You can observe and learn their attire, lifestyle and entire belief system in this short trip. They are friendly and warm people wanting to help those who come here to quench the thirst for peace and glory. The combination of remarkable humans with an abundant of wildlife, flora and birds will be a nerve-calming experience. These forests are a home to a wide variety of bears, langurs and deers. The oak forests of this region form your pathway during your trails. You will be leaving your footprints behind on some of the deep and dark trails where the sunlight has never been shone. The adrenaline thump of exploring this land where not many have been before will bring to you the experience and glory of accomplishment.
On the opium trail
This is a very popular trek in Kullu Valley. This trek takes you through pine forests, alpine meadows and stunning Himalayan scenery to the ancient lost village of Malana. There is a beautiful pass called the Chandrakhani Pass on the third day of the trek. The pass is shaped like a crescent moon and hence is called “Chandrakani”.This is an ideal trek around Manali for tourists who have only a few days and prefer shorter hikes to longer treks.
About Malana Village: Malana can be reached from Parbati valley crossing over the 3180 metres Rashol pass and from Naggar over the 3600 metres beautiful Chanderkhani pass.
This village is a small cluster of around two hundred stone roof houses. Its inimitable culture and the temple of Jamlu distinguish the village. The village consists of around 1500 inhabitants and has an impeccable system of administration with a higher and lower court guided by the spirit of village god Jamlu. Malana stands out as an autonomous self-sufficient unit whose inhabitants claim Greek ancestry. Some stories refer to the village as "a little Greece" as the inhabitants are said to be descendants of Alexander’s Soldiers who settled here centuries ago.
The unique geographical location of Malana has enabled it to preserve its biodiversity and it is an ecological haven. For the outsiders, there is a long list of do's and don'ts to be followed in the village. The people are friendly but outsiders are told to keep distance and not to touch anything in the village.
Malana is divided into two - upper malana (dharabeda) and lower malana (sorbeda). Kanashi, the language of malana, does not resemble any of the dialects spoken in its neighborhood but seems to be a mixture of sanskrit and several tibetan dialects. Two important festivals are celebrated in malana. One called badohmela is celebrated in august and the other called fagdimela in february.
From Malana the trek continues along the Malana Nala through dense forests and meadows (called Thach locally). One crosses the Chota Grahan Thach, Mota Grahan Thach and ascends to Khiksa Thach. Along these Thach’s one will encounter many Gaddi Shepherds. As one reaches the KhiksaThach one will be surrounded by mountains on all sides and one can see the Malana Glacier from which the MalanaNala originates. We will spend a day exploring the glacier and the beautiful meadows in these regions before we retrace our path to Malana.