Shrikand Kailash

Pillar of  Faith

Overview

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.

A detailed Video log of the Holy Kailash Manasarovar Yatra by Ananda Kumar Chandran in three parts ... 

  1. Part 1 : Delhi to Takalakote
  2. Part 2 : Takalakote to Darchen
  3. Part 3 : Mansarovar and back to Delhi

In the Abode of Devi

Mt.Annapurna I Custom

 

Bandalu ko Ghumto lay.Annapurna Maa chopida Mailay
Sablai bir Siyachhu timilai Samjudha.

[ If the Mountain Annapurna (the goddess of plenty) is covered completely by Clouds and not visible for a long time then not seeing her, in her memory I forget to remember the entire world.]

It was snowing continuously since 48 hrs with piercing cold and temperature being a good ten below zero .I was patiently waiting for the clear weather in Annapurna base camp at 13800 ft. Covering my shivering body with wollen clothing an early morning at 5:00 Am , I carried my camera equipment from my tent to a particular location in the hope of taking good pictures.Even our local porter Raj Sharma was shivering thanks to the cold climate.
 

The entire Annapurna base camp area was covered with mist.Previously the photography location was absolutely clear proudly displaying a 360 degree view of the snow clad mountains namely Machapucchure ( 7535 m ) , Gangapurna ( 7455 m ) , Annapurna South ( 7937 m ) ,Annapurna I ( 8091 m), Annapurna II ( 7575 m), Annapurna III ( 7535 m ) , Annapurna IV ( 7219 m) ,Himchuli ( 6441m) and some unnamed peaks.
 

Usually in the Himalayas ,the snow capped peaks glow with the golden touch of the first rays of the sun. But I thought luck was not with me.I closed my eyes for a few minutes gazing the sky and sincerely prayed to Mother Annapurna to have mercy on us and bestow good weather.
I think the goddess heard my prayer and when I opened my eyes to my dismay within minutes an unbelievable event had taken place. Exactly at 6:00 am only the tip of Annapurna I cleared and glowed in the sunlight giving me divya darshan.Then the clouds in the valley moved away and soon the entire valley opened up slowly and was clear for the whole day.
After taking the necessary permit from Annapurna Conservation Area Project Office at Pokhra.We started trekking from a place called Nayaphool which is the last roadhead about 40 km away from Pokhra town.
 

After crossing the check post near the metal bridge over Modi Khola ( khola – river ) at Birethanthi , the confluence of Modi khola and Bharungdi Khola.Walking uphill more or less parallel to the Bharungdi Khola we reached a hamlet called Ulleri (2607m) in the evening. The base camp trek is popularly known as a tea shop trek.Basic food and accomodation is available along entire trek route.
 

The next morning we started early after having parathas, walking continuously for about 5 hrs .We reached a place called Ghorepani (2872m) in the evening.Since food and shelter was available on time, I personally did not find walking carrying big packs strenuous at all!.The star studded sky in the night indicated good weather next day.We slept early after an early dinner.
Next morning we started early after having hot lemon tea at 4:00 am to reach Phoon hill(3194m).Walking uphill amid Rhododhendron bushes ( Rhododendron arboreum the National flower of Nepal ) we reached the tip at 5:30 am.Situated at an altitude Phoon hill is the highest vantage point in the route which offers fabulous views of snow clad mountains in a semicircle from close quarters. The sky was absolutely clear.The snow peaks Dhaulagiri (8167 m) , Nilgiri (6940 m) ,Tukuche (6920 M) , Annapurna massif, Himchuli , Machapuchure were visible and glittering with the first rays of sun and were a feast to the eyes.Retracing the path upto Ghorepani after having a quick breakfast of Apple Porridge we hit the path to reach Tadapani before dark.The route was little tough with steep descents and ascents.The path was almost through Rhododendron forest with thick velvet green moss and evergreen rich forest.In winter the whole trail is a Kaleidioscope of colours.The gushing streamsand waterfalls that dotted the route was really a feast to eyes.After crossing the log bridge we reached Tadapani late evening.We were dog tired and after having a vegetable soup and tasting Nepali cuisine ‘Dhalbath’ ( Dhal – Lentils and bath – Rice) for dinner we slipped into our sleeping bags.
 

The snow capped peaks visually appeared to be very close amid Deodhar and pine trees.Next morning after having a quick breakfast and walking for 6 hrs through dense forests of oak, bamboo,Rhododendron which gave to Millet pastures and cultivated fields. We reached Chomorong (2050m) in the dark.The small hamlet is a Permanent settlement in the valley and is the meeting point of all the trek routes and gives a fabulous view of the valleys.The panoramic view of Annapurna, Himchuli and Machupucchure standing high was spell bounding.Annapurna region in the Nepal Himalaya is a hotspot for nature lovers.Trekkers across the globe come here during the season.
 

Descending the stairs and after crossing the Modi Khola over a hanging bridge and passing through small hamlets Sinuwa , Bamboo we reached Dovan in the evening.A hot shower followed by dinner and going early for bed was seemed relaxing.The enchanting view of Machupucchure peak from Bamboo was memorable.Locals call it Fish Tail because of its appearance.Machu – Fish and Pucchure – Tail. It is still virgin and locals worship it as a sacred peak.From Dovan after passing through resting points Himalaya , Deurali (4313m), and Machupucchure base camp(3703m) ( Though climbing permits are not given to climb Machupucchure Peak) along Bhoj Patra forest amid the mountains which stand like sentinels guarding the valley.Almost parallel to the swift flowing Modi Khola , peaks Annapurna III and Gangapurna stand high in the end watching us.The stretch between Deurali and Annapurna Base Camp is an Alpine meadow with a riot of colours.The sound of the gushing streams,perennial waterfalls, the sweet smell of honey suckle flowers which grow profusely here.The chirping of Rose Finch in the bushes is soothing for the tired body,mind and soul.After Hinku Cave which serves as a natural rest place for trekkers, crossing series of streams carefully in between the huge ramparts of Hinchuli and machapucchure eventually we reach an awesome amphitheatre ‘ ‘Annapurna BaseCamp’ in the evening.
 

Due to unprecidented bad weather we are forced to stay in the Base Camp for almost 2 days.Inspite of the cold we are determined to stay and wait there till we get good weather.
Next morning I was up early.I braced myself against the icy breeeze and ran to the viewpoint to capture the sun’s very first rays illumininate and heat the cold icy landscape.The prayer flags thangkas at the memorials who laid their lives in climbing were fluttering.It was still dark and the faint lines of the Himalayan range could be seen under the few late night twinkling stars that I thought were defiantly standing to prove their existence in the vast sky.Indications of getting good weather lurked in mind and through the grace of almighty had a fabulous view of mountains encircling me.
 

As the eastern sky lit up and the first rays of the sun kissed the Annapurna I and surrounding peaks, each one of them at the back remained like a dark horizon.With the valley below and the Base camp still bathed in the dark cover,the illuminated expanse of the Himalayan range was truly a memorable sight indeed!.As the entire valley lighted up,the temperature started rising ,the rising snow plumes and peaks started glowing with the sharp rays of sun.Our joy knew no bounds and we had no words to express our happiness indeed! Mesmerised I watched the creators magnum opus unfold itself.The Poetry in Nepalese at the beginning expresses it all.!
We commenced our return journey though the long arduous trek had taken its toll on the body, the success at Base camp was providing us with the adrenaline to carry on.Retracing our route upto Chomorong and after that we changed the course of our trek and reached Jhinuthanda by evening.The birds view of Modi Khola ,Ghadrunk hamlet which is home for one of the ethnic tribe called in Nepal.,Annapurna and Himchuli was pleasing.A dip in the natural Sulphur hot water springs situated next to Modi Khola was soothing to the body.A casual easy walk along Syauli hamlet brought us to Nayaphool finally, the starting point of our trek.After an hour drive we reached Pokhra by afternoon exactly after 12 days we had left.
We felt we’d experienced a slice of heaven – the magnifient scenery was etched in our memory forever.


Text and Pictures by : R.Vishwanath.

Markha Valley - Part 4 of my solo trek

10 Aug : Leh (~3500M) to Spituk (~3300 m)
After a well needed rest at Hotel Changlo  Chan (a budget hotel) on the old Leh Road in Sheynam I got up to search and book hotels (more luxurious ones) for the period from 20th Aug to 25th Aug when my wife would join me at Leh for the "tourist trip" of Leh.  I was able to get reservation @ Hotel Grand Dragon for the 20th & 24th Aug.  Given that this is peak tourist season it was not possible to get reservations for the intermediate days.  I thought those could be arranged later.  I also decided to leave some of my warm clothes  (rain cut, down jacket, thermals, t-shirts) behind at the Grand Dragon as the weather in Leh and through the first 3 weeks of my trek had been pretty warm.  It reduced the weight of my backpack by nearly 2 Kgs.  I also bought provisions to last me a week on the trek (maggi / pasta / coffee packets).  I had been wrestling last night with the itinerary for the next phase of my trek.  Should I do :-
  • Hemis to Sarchu crossing the Kongmaru La towards Nimaling and then to Sarchu via Lun/Dat, by crossing the Zalung Karpo La, Yar La and Maralang La 
  • Markha Valley trek from Spituk to Shang crossing the Ganda La and Kongmaru La
The first would have been a 7-8 day remote trek, where I would most likely have not met anyone for at least 4-5 days.  This would again have to be followed by a day's bus journey from Sarchu to Leh.  This route would have completed the trans-Himalayan trek as I had originally planned.  However, I had to be in Leh by 18th at the latest (given that my wife was coming on 20th) and in case I ran into bad weather I might default on the 18th target - not a very welcoming thought.  Besides, the thought of another 10-12 hour bus journey did not appeal to me.  So, I decided on the Markha valley trek, a more popular trekking route, where i was sure I would meet a lot more tourists.  The Markha valley trek can be done as a homestay trek with each homestay costing Rs 400/- per person per night (inclusive of night stay, dinner and breakfast).  However, the homestay was not an option for me.  My tent was my home and I preferred making my own coffee/maggi.  There are parachute tents along the way so in case I felt lazy on any day I could just opt for dinner at these parachute tents.  After the adventures of the previous 2 weeks I felt it was ok for me to pamper myself a bit, so I decided to go on the Markha Valley trek.  The first route would have to be taken up next year I guess.  
I left the hotel by about 3-4 p.m, as I did not want to stay in Leh for another night, and took a Rs10 bus-ride to Spituk. In Spituk I asked around for the trail to Zingchen and I was helped by the locals in the right direction.  It was evening and there was a strong wind blowing.  I approached the point on the roadhead from where there were would be no further houses.  The road then cuts through a typical Leh terrain, dry, barren and rocky
As it was close to 6 p.m I was thinking if I should pitch my tent, when a person near the last house on the roadhead emerged and asked me to enquire inside the house.  The house was a pretty large one, the only one with a 2nd storey in Spituk.  The lady of the house welcomed me to stay in the house for the night.  There were huge apple orchards, and apricot orchards behind the house.  Apparently, this Ladakhi family was very rich and owned land "as far as the eye could see".  I feasted on the apples and the apricots, which followed the hot cups of tea. The 22 year old lad who asked me to enquire in the house, was a Nepali boy, who spoke fluent Ladakhi, was an employee (helper) at this house. He had left his house in Nepal 3 years back at the tender age of 19, in search of employment. Had worked in some labour jobs before he got employed here in this household a couple of years back.   He takes care of the finances of his brother, who is studying to become a lama in a monastery in Mysore.  When on the trek there are many such interesting conversations one hears which made me realize what a privileged life and upbringing I have had.  After some interesting conversation, especially with this lad (I don't remember his name) I was served a sumptuous dinner.


11 Aug : Spituk (~3300 M) to Yurutse (4160 M)
After a shower and a hot breakfast of Ladakhi bread I was ready to leave by 8:00 a.m.  The hospitality shown by this family was such that it felt awkward even asking them how much I had to pay them.  They asked me to pay Rs 200 and I had no change (only Rs 1000) or Rs 160.  They ended up taking Rs 160.  Throughout this trek, all the time I have been on the trail,  I have been extended such help, warmth and courtesy by the locals, that is difficult to imagine in the cities.  After bidding goodbye to the family, I marched along a dirt road, which is by the Indus River all the way upto Zinchen.  Most trekkers take a shared jeep from Leh along this jeep track upto Zingchen (would cost about Rs 200/300 per head).  Walking on the road when there are jeeps passing you by, kicking up a storm of dust is not a pleasant experience.  However, there are still good views to be hand enroute 

At Zingchen (~3400 M), which I reached after nearly 4 hours, there are a number of campsites.  Most trekkers decide to camp here.  This is the last point on the jeepable track and after this one wont find any vehicles (thank god...).  The trail then criss-crosses a stream flowing through a gorge.  Initially there is a wooden bridge to cross the stream to the left of the gorge.  Further up (say about a 100 m or so) one has to move to the right and this involves stream crossing (wet boots).  This is not a dangerous river crossing like the crossing of the Zara / Lingti Chu or Tokpo Gongma.  At the stream crossing I met a young Spanish guy, who was a school teacher teaching chemistry in Madrid.  He too was travelling solo and planned to do a solo hike to Stok La as he had to be back in Leh by 13th Aug.  He would be my companion on this route upto Rumbak (~3850 M).  We talked on a number of interesting topics including bull-fighting which I thought was a favourite sport in Spain.  He educated me that there were a number of people, including himself, who did not like the sport and incidentally only yesterday (27th Sept) I read a report in the newspaper which said that bull-figthing has been banned in Spain.   For a change, one can find some trees along the route to Rumbak. 
Reaching Rumbak takes around 3 hours from Zingchen.  About 20-30 mins before the Rumbak village there is a parachute tent.  Heading along the left of it one reaches Rumbak, a village with about a dozen houses.  There are plenty of homestays in Rumbak.  I ended up going to Rumbak, along with my Spanish Friend.  There are grand views of the snow-capped peaks of the Stok Ranges from Rumbak.  Later on the villagers told me that if I wanted to get to Markha valley trek I need not have come here.  I should have taken a deviation to the right towards Yurutse from the parachute tents.  As Yurutse was not too far off I descended from Rumbak towards the parachute tents, took a shortcut on a ridge overlooking the parachute tent in the direction towards Yurutse.  En route it started raining.  As you can see (in the pic below) there is not much place to take shelter in this this glacial valley terrain.
There is a small wooden bridge across a stream which flows in the centre of the pic above.   
Then one heads up on the valley on the right.  It is a 300m climb 
from the parachute tents to the village of Yurutse which has 1 house.  I camped beside the lush green barley fields in front of the house
It was about 6 p.m by the time I pitched my tent.  The wind was so strong that when I was pitching my tent it was blown away a few feet and I had to run after it and catch it It reminded me of a story i heard in 2009 during my Zanskar trek where a trekker's tent was blown and washed away in the river.  Luckily i did  not have to face any such adversity.  There were a couple from Austria (spoke German) who had pitched their tent next to mine.  they were doing the trek by themselves, sans guide/horses.  Most other trekkers I saw on this route were doing "sahib style" trekking and a few opted for the "homestay style trekking".  These folks were to be my companion in another couple of campsites as well.  I may be travelling solo but I was not going to be alone in this trek -:) .
Another fact that will hit you both in this trek and the Zanskar trek is that Indian trekkers are conspicuous by their absence.  The only Indians that you see on the trek route are either locals, guides, cook, helpers and horsemen.  The pre-dominant trekking population is mainly European - French, German with a few Englishmen and Israelis.  In Leh you would find internet centres with Hebrew keyboard.  (Am not sure  you would find one with Hindi keyboard -:) ).  I did not come across a single Indian trekker in my entire route.  The local guides too confirmed this fact.  My only reasoning, knowing about the trekking community in India, is that Indian trekkers probably lean more towards the Garhwal area.
A sumptuous self-cooked dinner of soup/maggi and pasta followed some hot cuppas of coffee in the evening, before I called it a day.


TIP (for trekkers):  If your body is not well acclimatized you could consider breaking up the journey from Spituk to  Yurutse into 2 days.


12 Aug : Yurutse (4160 M) to Skiu (3435 M) via Ganda La (4950 M)
I was feeling very lazy when I got up at Yurutse.  Knowing that there was a parachute tent at the base camp of Ganda La I decided to skip making breakfast.   Started around 7:30 a.m.  There is a gradual ascent of about 250M to the base camp.  This was one of those days where my walking speed was so low (given the fact that I did not yet have breakfast) that a number of trekkers overtook me.  As soon as I got out of Yurutse I came across a huge colony of marmots in the nearby fields.  There is something about these creatures that makes one feel like lifting them in your arms and cuddling them.

Reaching the parachute tent at the base camp I had a good breakfast.  After taking rest for 30 mins I decided to move on.  From here one has a clear view of the initial trail to Ganda La and there are breathtaking views of the mountain ranges.
There is an indescribable splendour to the clear blue skies, dotted with tufts of white cotton clouds, kissing the stark brown mountain landscapes.  For oldies like me this reminded me Mukesh's voice lilting the song "Yeh Kaun Chitrakar Hai" and in particular of the lines (in Hindi)  :-
...tapasweeyon see hain atal ye parawaton kee choteeyaan
ye sarpa see ghoomeradaar, gheradaar ghaateeyaan
....

ye kis kawee kee kalpanaa kaa chamatkaar hai
ye kaun chitrakaar hai.. ..
...

kudarat kee is pawitrataa ko tum nihaar lo
is ke gunon ko apane man mein tum utaar lo
chamakaalo aaj laalimaa, apane lalaat kee
kan kan se zaankatee tumhe, chhabee wiraat kee
apanee to aankh yek hai, us kee hajaar hai
ye kaun chitrakaar hai.. "


There were a number of other trekkers who were also admiring this "kavee ke kalpana" (poet's imagination) savouring the views of the Ladakh ranges and the ruggedness of Zanskar ranges.  Amidst the various trekkers I met on the pass there was an English group with a porter carrying "Oxygen Cylinder".  Now, I have seen many "Sahib Style" groups but an "oxygen cylinder" being carried by a porter along with the trekkers, was a first for me.  Just in case you dont know what "Sahib Style" trekking is picture a trek where
  • Your load is carried by mules, porters 
  • You have a guide to show you the route, hold your hand on difficult stretches and sometimes carry you across the stream on his/her back
  • Staff who will pitch/un-pack your tent / sleeping bags 
  • A cook with his kitchen staff (usually some helpers) to cook hot meals for you before you leave for the day, and they usually ensure that hot cup of tea/coffee is waiting for you when you arrive (along with biscuits). 
  • A 3 course meals with a soup, main course and dessert is served to you in a dining tent, which has tables / chairs and requisite cutlery. 
  • There are gas cylinders, carried on mules, for the cooking in the kitchen tents
  • Extra comforters are provided (in addition to sleeping bags) to keep you warm in your tent
  • A separate "toilet tent" is pitched for the group...
and you will get an idea of what a "Sahib Style" trek is.  
Getting back to my trek, after allowing myself to be captivated about 30 mins in the mesmerizing beauty of my surroundings I descended along the well laid out trail.
towards the village of Shingo.  En route to Shingo I  passed another English trekker, travelling solo, who was completely spent.  He was hardly able to walk and he mentioned he suffered from serious headache - definitely a case of AMS.  I stopped by to enquire and check if he needs help.  As I descended I kept a watch out for him for some time to see if he was making progress.  It took about 2 hours to reach the first parachute tents in the village of Shingo - a place for a welcome tea/snacks break.  I informed the shop owner that there was an Englishman coming and that he was in bad shape and asked them to keep some food ready for him.  And in case he does not come here in the next hour to go up and look for him.  I hope he made it.  There are homestays in the village too in case one wants to halt here.  I decided to go on further, following the stream, Shigri Nala, (and crossing it a few times) which flows through a gorge, to the village of Skiu.
There is a quaint little monastery at Skiu (affiliated to Hemis). 
Skiu is situated at the confluence of the Shigri Nala and Markha river.  The views of the mountain landscape from the Skiu monastery is breathtakingly beautiful.
The atmosphere in Skiu, with the darkness setting in, the lengthening shadows of the mountain, the sound of the Markha river thundering by, is such that it evokes a feeling of romanticism in you.  There was a soft mellowness to the beauty of this evening.   


Tip (For trekkers) : One can trek along the Markha river till its confluence with the Zanskar river and then trek further upto Chilling along the banks of Zanskar river.  This route can be used if one wants to avoid the Ganda La pass.


13 Aug : Skiu (3435 M) to Markha (3770 M)
Set off after a nice breakfast after 8 a.m.  I was surprised to see beautiful flowers growing in the garden of houses in Skiu.  The pretty sight of a lady among the sunflowers was a nice way to begin the day's trek.   This just furthered my belief that Skiu is definitely is a place for the romantics.

Today was one of those rare days in the trek where one could see some green, with the poplar, willow and thickets along the banks of the Markha river, for most portion of the trek.  
The trail is pretty well laid out and is generally along the river interspersed by a few short ascents/descents (say about 50 M) where one cant walk along the banks.  In some places you would find the direction marked by "bharal"horns. 
You will cross the settlements of Narding (3540 M), Zara (3560 M) and Chalak (3610 M), each having parachute tents, serving some refreshments. There are a number of chortens and mani walls along the way.  
Beyond Chalak, which is set amongst sprawling green barley fields, one reaches a point 
where there are huge mounds of bharal horns.
This is one stretch of the trek whose beauty is enhanced by a number of colourful birds one finds along the way.


If you thought that this stretch was going to be easy one just needed a rethink.  Just before Markha valley campsite I had to cross the Markha river.  It was around half past two and the river was raging and the water levels were moderately high (upto thighs), without being outright dangerous.  
One of the benefits of trekking in areas where there are other trekkers is that you can find someone to whom you can give your camera to take some photographs.  This is the only photo of my stream crossing though there were a number of streams, and more dangerous ones at that, I had crossed in the past 3 weeks.  As usual I had garlanded myself with my boots, had already forded the stream once to check if it can be forded, armed  with a stick  to check the depth, and crossed the icy cold waters barefeet.  Then I waited and helped another couple of german & austrian couples across the river before I resumed my trek.  It was another 30 mins before I reached the beautiful campsite at Markha.  The lush green campsite in the valley is in stark contrast to the majestic mountains that sandwich the valley on both sides.
After a hot cuppa, I visited the Shanmunatha monastery set atop the hill.  This monastery is in such idyllic surroundings that it is hard to describe the inner calm & peace one feels when one enters these monasteries. 
There were 2 caretaker monks residing in this monastery.  This monastery, like the one at Skiu is affiliated to the Hemis Monastery.  These monks were the most smiling lads I have ever seen.  They had a radio, one of the rare electrical/electronic gadgets I heard after a long time and what did I hear -  The misery of the Indian Cricket team losing its 3rd test to India (heard the commentary of the last 2-3 wickets falling).   I shamelessly asked them if they had any food/dinner.  They invited me and cooked a dinner of "Cabbage/Paneer Momos" - the most delicious momos I have ever had.  Believe me after having satiated myself with 15 Momos I returned to my tent for a good nights rest 


14 Aug : Markha (3770 M) to Thochuntse (4150 M) (via Hankar (3980 M) )
Today was going to be an easier day's walk, with the trail following  the course of the Markha river.  After leaving the Markha campsite at around 8:00 a.m I had to cross two streams, before I reached the Tacha monastery in about 30-45 mins.  The streams were glistening in the morning sun and painted a very pretty picture.

Combine the glistening stream with the majestic mountains surrounding it and you would 
have a landscape which aptly fits the description "picture perfect".


While crossing the first stream I went through the oft practiced ritual of removing my boots.  A few mins later I had to cross the second stream.  I did not now have the patience to remove my boots so I just marched across the second stream with my boots on.  With soggy boots I trekked along till I reached the Tacha monastery to be greeted by the lama who had cooked me dinner yesterday.

Perched atop a jagged rock spire and in the backdrop of an even more jagged rock faced mountain ,the Tacha monastery looks more apt as a spot for an "Eagle's Nest" than a site for a monastery. 
Whilst I allowed my boots to dry, I was chatting with the lama for about half an hour.  I then bade him goodbye and was on my way.  The scenery enroute seemed to be from god's picturebook.

If you kept your eyes open there were beautiful birds to be seen along this route

Reached the main village of Hankar (3980 M) at around noon.  There is a satellite phone in the village from where I was able to call home.  From Hankar there is a short steep ascent to the camping site at Thochuntse (4150 M).  En route to Thochuntse one catches the first views of Kangyaze (6400 M).  I was offered food by another camping group once I reached Thochuntse - so did not have to cook.  Meanwhile one German girl had fainted during the short steep ascent to Thochuntse from Hankar.  After drinking some water she was helped on her way to Thochuntse by her boyfriend.  As the girl continued to have a headache at Thochuntse, her boyfriend was very worried.  Spent considerable sometime talking to him about AMS, fatigue and its effects.  The boy was really worried and understandably so.  After consultation with a number of folks he decided to take a call the next day as to whether to proceed to Nimaling depending on how his girlfriend felt.  Incidentally, the next day they did make it to Nimaling.  
Just a side note on some of the guides in the Leh/Zanskar region.  A number of these guides are college going students who part time as guides during their annual vacations to earn some pocket money (Rs 900/- a day is not bad).  Such guides usually would have done 1-2 treks along the same route as a cook/helper before they become guides.  These guides do not have any hard core technical mountaineering experience.  So, when they are caught in adverse situations, like the one above,  where they have to provided counselling/guidance to clients on aspects like AMS they might not be well equipped.  However, the demand for guides during the peak trekking months of June-Sept in Leh is such that these college kids will continue to be  used as guides.  So, folks arranging treks through agencies need to be aware of the kind of guide these agencies provide.
As I had reached Thochuntse by around 3:00 p.m I spent the rest of the day relaxing.  


15 Aug : Thochuntse (4150 M) to Nimaling (4730 M)
Today was supposed to be a short day(2-3 H) of trekking to Nimaling.  However, the mountains (and yours truly) have a mind of its own, which makes what should have been a simple straightforward walk into an exciting adventure.  Having whetted your appetite with the promise of adventure let me proceed to tell you that the day began with very clear skies.  So, I lazily packed up my tent and started my walk at 8:00 a.m.  About 15 mins down the path the trail forked.  The trail to the left was the main trail and there was a side trail (or what seemed like a trail) to the right.  I went on the trail to the right.  After about 10 mins I realized that the main trail was the other one.   But I continued on the trail to the right.  The trail ascended gradually and offered magnificient views of Kangyaze and the valleys behind me.  I suspected that this trail might be leading to the Kangyaze base camp.  About an hour and half up the trail I spotted a "Dhoksa" (cowherd encampment).  The views  from here are spellbinding.  The clouds playing "hide and seek" with the mountains made the viewing even more magnificent.




 I walked past the encampment asking directions from a lady who was tending to the flock of yaks.  As I ascended the views were breathtakingly beautiful.  After another hour or so of climbing I spotted a goatherd in the rolling grassfields on top.  I went upto him and asked him about the directions to Kangyaze base camp.  As he was pointing me the general directions to Kangyaze base camp it started snowing.  The snowing was so heavy that visibility was reduced to a few metres.  Kangyaze, which was visible a few moments ago, could  no longer be seen.  There was nowhere to take shelter.  I could either take out and pitch my tent or make a run for the dhoksa.  Bitching a ten would take me another 10-15 minutes.  So, I decided the best thing to do was to run back downhill to the Dhoksa.  The way it was snowing it was clear that this was not going to abate soon.  I reached the dhoksa dripping wet and cold.  Requested for some tea which the hosts readily obliged.  After some cups of hot tea I was feeling much more warm.  It was another 30 - 45 mins before the intensity of the snowfall eased up.  It did not seem like a good idea to go Kangyaze base camp any longer as with this snowfall there was no clear trail to it and there would also be no good views given the "whiteout" higher up.   When folks talk about "fickle mountain weather" this is what they mean.  It was clear some time ago and in a matter of minutes there was heavy snowing, whiteout and almost no visibility.   I asked my hosts the directions to Thochuntse.  There was no trail in the direction they pointed.  So, I clambered up rocks/boulders for the next hour or so in the general direction they had pointed.  I could guess that the river was between the ranges where I was standing and the next mountain range which was visible and the campsite was along the river.  After about an hour or so I could spot folks walking along the main trail in the distance.  One of the lessons the mountains teach you is to trust your "mountain instincts" and to follow the lay of the land.  In about an hour or so I reached the Thochuntse campsite by around half past one.  It had begun snowing again.  So, I immediately pitched my tent, wore my down jacket and jumped into my sleeping bag to regain some warmth.  Just before this leg of my trek I had decided to leave my thermals in Leh as the past 2 weeks the weather had been warm -:).  The campsite of Nimaling is in a broad valley and is completely exposed to strong winds.  The green of the valley had soon turned to a complete white carpet.  It snowed relentlessly for the rest of the day and the rest of the night.  It was difficult to even get out of ones tent and go to the next one.  The tough part about solo trekking in such times is that one cant cook even if one has the rations as my tent is too small to cook (not a bottomless kitchen tent -;) ) and the snowing was so heavy that  cooking in the open did not seem a wise proposition.  After 2-3 hours of catching some sleep in my tent I went into the kitchen tent of the adjoining group.  The cook welcomed me and provided me with tea/biscuits and dinner for the night.  I went to bed thinking if it continued snowing so heavily trekking solo and crossing the Kongmaru-La would be difficult.  Thus went my independence day - a memorable day in white surroundings.  


16 Aug : Nimaling (4730 M) to Shang Sumdo (3730 M) via Kongmaru La (5150 M)
It snowed through the night and when I got up in the morning it was still snowing.  Through the night I had to ensure that the snow was shaken off the tent at regular intervals (lest the  tent caves in under the weight of accumulated snow).  The colourful tents managed to break the monotony of the white carpet which shrouded the entire plains and the surrounding mountains.

This Independence day surroundings reminded me of this year's Republic Day Surroundings in Chadar trek.  Seems like God had decided to bless the India that I witnessed, on these 2 national holidays, showering his blessings in the form of snow.   Had my breakfast at the  parachute tent.  Packed my tent, sleeping bag, mat and handed it to the horseman of the neighbouring group who had offered to take these on horseback  - as it was the end of the trek a couple of the horses was devoid of much load.  A wet tent, like mine was, weighs twice as much as its original weight (3 kg).  So, you could understand how relieved I was at this good fortune.  I started off around 8:30 p.m.  By the time we started the snowfall had abated a bit and I could even spot a sliver of blue in the sky - an indication that the weather might clear up.  I crossed an enclosure from which smoke was emanating.  This was full of sheep.  I do not know what the fire was for...
It was a 2 hour walk to the top of the pass, again marked by numerous prayer flags.  There were a number of trekkers going up along the trail.  Since a few horses had already passes along the trail the route was now well walkable.  On the way up I had beautiful views of the snow-clad mountains...
By 10:30 a.m I was at the top of the Kongmaru la (5150 M) marked by the numerous colourful Buddhist prayer flags. 
There is airtel network connectivity at the top of the pass.  So, called up home from there.  After enjoying the views for half an hour I decided to descend as it began to snow again.  The initial descent was slightly slippery because of the melting snow and slushy mud.  
After the initial 500M steep descent the trail follows the course of the stream which meanders its way through a narrow gorge.  One has to cross the stream at multiple places.  There are ways to avoid the stream crossing if one is prepared to climb the trails high above the stream.  Half way down this narrow gorge I found an Israeli girl, who had lost her way, and hence wanted to accompany me so that she would not miss the route again.  It was good for me too as I also would have company to talk.  Interestingly, she had been travelling around the world (after the usual stint serving in the Israeli Army & some months of working) to places like Burma, Mongolia and China.  There is a settlement with couple of parachute tents called Chuchurmo (I might have got the spelling wrong..) about 3 hours from the top of the pass.  Stopped there for tea/lunch and a bit of rest.  The Israeli girl also met her friend there.  Well, here is an interesting fact about Israeli travellers - they do not necessarily travel together.  But when they come to a place like Leh they know where to meet other Israelis and they do team up and usually they do this for company as well as for budget travelling.  What amazes me is that for such a small country the number of Israelis whom you meet while trekking is really high.  Amidst the interesting conversations neither of us (the Israeli girl being the other person) missed the grand mountain views.  


There is something magical about these mountains.  It casts a spell on you while you are there and leaves an indelible impression that is etched in your memories forever.  As I was coming towards the end of this trek I tried to answer what is it that addicts folks like me to come to these mountains  
  • Is it the sheer indescribable natural beauty 
  • Is it the physical/mental challenge that such treks present
  • Is it the simplicity/large-heartedness of the folks who live in these mountains
  • Is it the sense of peace/the inner calm one experiences amidst these surroundings
As I came to Sumdo (3730 M), the last point of the trek, I knew I did not have answers to these questions and I wish I never have.  I do know, that god willing, I will come to the mighty Himalayas again and return with even more questions, than answers.  But these are questions which have left me humbler, happier and have left me with a deeper appreciation of Nature and its Creator.  Himalayas do give a different perspective to life.
As I boarded the jeep for my 2 hour journey to Leh, at 6:00 p.m, I hoped that a lot more Indians (as opposed to the abundance of European trekkers) would come and see this paradise which our country has to offer.

Exploring Parvati Glacier/Valley


Summary :We initially set off for Pin-Parbati Pass. The initial route is from Barsheni (roadhead which is 2.5 hours from Bhuntar)upto Kheer ganga via Rudra Nag, which has a waterfall of such intensity that one shudders to imagine what would happen to anyone falling in it, is through nice pine forests. One would find several tourists making their way upto Khir ganga. The route continues along the Parbati rive, crossing Tunda Bhuj, where one would find several "gujjars" with their cows/buffaloes. The route is through alpine meadows and undulating landscape. The one comes across an interesting spot called "Thakur Kuan" which one has to cross in a trolley (tougher than it seems & imagine crossing it when the pulling string on one end is broken -:). After, Thakur Kuan then next big and unmistakable landmark is "Pandav bridge" which is essentially two huge boulders wedged across the river. Believe me when it rains crossing this slippery "Pandav Bridge" can be a challenge for some. After this one walks to Mantalai, a holy place, where few of the more adventurous tourists come to. Mantalai is well marked by the presence of a shiva temple. The route upto Mantalai is well marked (though by no means easy esp when one is carrying a 25-30kg backpack). Beyond Mantalai is the glacier zone and the route disappears. Here one needs a good guide else it is almost impossible to tell the route. WE crossed Mantalai and into the snout of the Parbati glacier, and it was here that we made a huge mistake in route navigation (we realized later when we started using the GPS). Instead of veering to the left from the snout of the glacier we actually covered (cut across) the whole Parbati Glacier, which most people would not have done so. Upon traversing to the head of the parvati glacier we could see the origins of the Parvati river. After crossing the parvati glacier (which looking back now seems hazardous) one crosses a huge snowfield, flanked on both sides by various peaks (5000 - 6000 m range). The frontal view is blocked by a massive glacial wall of ice. Once across the snowfield as one turns south east there is another gentle slope, which is heavily crevassed (though they had not opened up), which rises up another 200M. At the end of this is a pass with a steep descent to a valley on the other side. One can't cross on the left side of this pass as it is heavily covered with ice & broken at several places. Towards the right of the pass is a steep descent across snow and boulder field. Since the descent was steep, and with heavy backpacks some of the group were not confident of getting down. Also, pitons and 50-70MM rope would have been handy (we had about 25 M of rope) in crossing this pass. The views from this pass are simply breathtaking. There is a plethora of snow clad peaks to be seen and on the descent of this pass one can see waterfalls which feeds the stream/river originating on the other side. The stream flows westward on the other side through the valley, which seemed to have greenery, in contrast to the snow clad slopes on this side of the pass. I have to explore this path a bit more on the maps but I think this heads into the Bhaba valley (via Nestal and Sawak). Since we were not 100% sure about where this route would head, weighing the risks, and keeping in mind the saying that "Discretion is the better part of valour" we decide to, by majority vote (I was outvoted -:) )to retrace our path. By this time we had our GPS working and we knew our navigation error and while retracing our paths we knew how to go across to the Parbati pass. However, due to circumstances we decided to head back the way we came. (Am trying to keep the summary short -:) ). Overall it was a satisfying 10-day exploratory trek.

A more interesting and erudite description by my trekmate can be found here :-
http://www.indiamike.com/india/trekking-and-mountaineering-in-india-f89/exploring-pavati-valley-t170722/

Itinerary of the Trek

  1. 27th June : Bhuntar to Barsheni (road). Barsheni to Niara Th (via Kheer Ganga)
  2. 28th June : Niar Th to Pandav Bridge (via Tunda Bhuj and Thakur Kuan)
  3. 29th June : Pandav Bridge to 1 hour before Mantalai
  4. 30th June : 1 hr before Mantalai to Snout of parbati Glacier
  5. 1st July : Snout of Parbati Glacier to head of Parbati Glacier (& exploring the pass to bhaba valley)
  6. 2nd July : Exploring the pass leading to Bhaba Valley and back to snout of parbati glacier
  7. 3rd July : Snout of Parbati Glacier to 1 hour after Mantalai
  8. 4th July : 1 hour from Mantalai to Thakur Kuan (via Pandav Bridge)
  9. 5th July : Thakur Kuan to Rudra Nag (via Tunda Bhuj & Kheer Ganga)
  10. 6th July : Rudra Nag to Barsheni and Barsheni to Bhuntar (by Road)

Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara Lake Solo Trek

Itinerary
Dec 3rd to Dec 5th : Bangalore to Delhi by Train
Dec 5th : Delhi To Dehradun by Train & overnight stay in Dehradun
Dec 6th : Dehradun to Sankri (Trail head) by bus and stay @ Sankri
Dec 7th : Sankri to Seema
Dec 8th : Seema to Har Ki Dun
Dec 9th : Har Ki Dun to Seema with Recce to find route for RuinSara Taal
Dec10th : Seema to Ruinsara Tal
Dec 11th : Ruinsara Tal to Ganghar
Dec 12th : Ganghar to Sankri
Dec 13th : Sankri to Dehradun by Bus and stay at Dehradun
Dec 14th : Dehradun to Delhi by Train
Dec 14th to Dec 16th : Delhi to Bangalore by Train

Summary & Highlights : It was a solo camping trek upto Har Ki Doon. I lost my way to Har Ki Doon (though it is well laid out) enroute Seema to Har Ki Doon. I had taken the lower track instead of the higher path. I realized this when I came to the confluence of the Ruinsara Gad & Har-Ki-Dun gad. I asked a few shepherds present there and climbed a hill to get back onto the track to Har Ki Doon. It snowed heavily in Har Ki Doon the next day and so had to beat a hasty retreat. I took a diversion to Ruinsara Tal. For Ruinsara Tal one has to cross a Bugyal and then there are 2 routes - 1 upper into the forests and the lower ones to a bridge and onto the trail for Ruinsara. I knew I had to find the lower route from the bugyal but unfortunately could not spot it and went a fair distance on the upper route. As I could not find a suitable campsite and it was late evening I headed back to Seema and reached it in the dark (6:00 p.m). BTW, because of winters it gets dark by 5:30 p.m. Also, the day breaks only about 7:00 a.m and by the time you are done with breakfast and packing it is well beyond 9:00 (often 10 a.m). So, the walking times were only 6-8 hours a day. I hired a local at Osla (main village across the from Seema) to guide me to Ruinsara Tal. The walk to Ruinsara Tal is spectacular with majestic views of Swargarohini, Black Peak and BandarPoonch. The are numerous landslides along the way to RuinSara Tal. These landslides are short stretches but still dangerous so one had to be careful. Stayed a night @ Ruinsara Tal campsite and headed back the next day and reached Gangar ( a village with Satellite phone). While retracing the path from Ruinsara the guide took me through a shepherd trail - a shorter route. However, that was slightly more dangerous. There is a very short landslide section where I lost my footing, luckily for me though there was a firm bush outgrowth on top which I was holding onto which prevented me from falling. The following day I headed back to Sankri.

Dehradun to Sankri
I took the 5:30 a.m bus from near the rly stn to Naugaan. From there I took a bus which went to Purola and more(i). From Mori you should get plenty of jeeps to Naitwar. From Naitwar I took a local bus to Sankri. You can even get jeeps to Sankri (if you are lucky). From Sankri to Taluka to you can get jeeps. Overall the cost for this travel from Dehradun to Sankri would be around Rs 200. Travel time overall is around 10 hours.

Sankri to Dehradun
On my return I took a direct bus which leaves Sankri at 5:00 (actually 5:30 a.m) in the morning and reaches Dehradun by 3-3:30 p.m in the evening.

Distances between major points on Dehradun to Sankri:-
Dehradun to Mussoorie : 30 KM
Mussorie to Damta : 50 KM
Damta to Naugaon : 30 KM
Naugaon to Purola : 30 KM
Purola to Naitwar : 47 KM
Naitwar to Sankri : 12 KM


Background of this Trek
I had a grade 3 ligament tear on my right ankle when playing badminton on Oct 7th 2011. My right ankle was in a cast for 5 weeks till Nov 11th 2011, when the cast was removed. After that for the next 1 week (say upto Nov 18th) I experienced pain while climbing up/down the stairs and I had to get used to walking normally without a cast. Slowly, I started walking & started doing slow runs over the course of the next 2 weeks (Nov 18th - Nov end). As soon as I could start running again the one thought plaguing my mind was whether I would be able to trek again. Walking/Running on an even surface is one aspect and walking in the mountains with a weight on your back is a totally different proposition. So, I decided that the only way I would know it is if I tested it out by going on a trek. Being Dec I was not sure what would be a good trail. On some research I narrowed it to either Kuari Pass or Har Ki Dun. Enroute to delhi (on the train) I decided that it would be Har Ki Dun.


Dec 6th : Dehradun to Sankri :
The views on the serpentine path from Dehradun to Sankri are spectacular. The green forest cover is a sight for sore eyes, used to the grey dullness of the city. The fresh air blowing against your face is a refreshing change from the pollution laden air inhaled in the city. The sights and the smell still can't completely obliterate the discomfort one feels while journeying over the pot-hole ridden roads from Dehradun to Naitwar. For the imaginative, the road may remind you of a voluptuous and curvaceous woman, but the curves, though attractive, are definitely not easy on the stomach. Though the sights are jaw-dropping the churning stomach may cause your jaw to drop for an altogether different reason. Braving the road journey, I reached Naitwar, where I got the permits to enter the Govind Ghat wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. As I encountered the bone shaking bus journey, where the bus driver searched for the road amidst the craters, I realized how comfortable the journey from Dehradun to Naitwar had been. It was late evening when I reached Sankri. Walked the half kilometre stretch to the village of Soud and camped in the YHAI camping ground. The children from the village helped me pitch my tent.

Itinerary

Reaching the trailhead
31st Aug - 2nd Sep : Blr-Delhi & Chandigarh by Train
2nd Sep - 3rd Sep : Chandigarh to Manali and resting at Manali & organizing the provisions for the trek.

Bara Bhangal trek

  1. 4th Sep : Manali to Gayachi (via LamaDugh)
  2. 5th Sep : Gayachi to Nullah beyond Niyasi
  3. 6th Sep : Sathya's wandering after getting lost in forest and return to start point. Trek to Riyali Thatch
  4. 7th Sep : Riyali thatch to Sagor Dug (3900 M). Kalihani base camp is 1 hr from here. Spent a couple of hours before a Gaddi pointed us in the right direction.
  5. 8th Sep : Crossed Kalihani Pass (4700M) and reached the base of the pass on the other side.
  6. 9th Sep : Base of Kalihani Pass to Dev Ki Marhi (3400 M).
  7. 10th Sep : Dev Ki Marhi (3400 M) to Dhamari Thatch (3850 M)
  8. 11th Sep : Damari thatch (3850 M) to Bara Bhangal Village (2450 M)
  9. 12th Sep : Bara Bhangal to Glacial Lake before Thamsar Pass (4200 M)
  10. 13th Sep : Glacial lake before Thamsar Pass to BaraGaon (roadhead) via Thamsar Pass, Panhartu and Palachak

Returning from trailend

  1. 14th Sep : Reached Hoshiarpur in the morning. Hoshiarpur-Chandigarh and Chandigarh to Delhi
  2. 14th Sep -16th Sep : Delhi to Bangalore by Train.

 

References
Bara Bhangal Trek Maps :
Survey of India Maps (Scale 1:50000) : OSM Sheet Nos I43W15,I43W16,I43X3,I43X4,I43W12

Summary : This is a long,strenous and remote trek of ~10 days to and from the remote village of Bara Bhangal through some stunning landscape and mesmerising natural beauty. The one question which remains in my mind after the trek is "How did a village get established in such a remote and seemingly inaccessible corner of the world ?". As there are no places to replenish your food supplies on the way one needs to carry rations for about 10 days with you. This meant that if you are doing this trek alpine style, like my friend and me, you would be carrying about a 25-30KG bacpack, which often feels (is ??) much heavier in the rains. Add to this the challenge of route-finding in the unpredictable elements - with rain, hail, snowfall, whiteouts - raging rivers, turbulent & slippery streams, glacial stream, walking on slippery ice and snow, possible bear attacks (we had taken a few crackers to scare away the bears) and the number of times one gains and loses elevation in this unforgiving and unrelenting terrain, and we have the perfect recipe for a challenging trek.

 After a well deserved rest we started off from Manali around 8:00 a.m, after seeking the divine blessings at the Hidimba temple. The route ascends just beside the temple. The drizzle, which started around 10:00 a.m, made the muddy route, through thick forests and dense foliage very slippery. After a quick stop en route for a snack of apples/oranges we were on our way to Lama Dugh. Just as we reached lama dugh it started raining and we pitched our tents and had our packed lunch and coffee. When the rain eased off a bit we decided to proceed further. We had hardly gone about 30 mins when it started pouring heavily. With nowhere to take shelter we soldiered on in the rain. It was about 6:00 p.m when we decided to halt at a place, we later came to know (looking at the maps) as Gayachi. Overall it was a satisfying first day of the trek and we had covered more distance than most people do on the first day (normal camp at Lama Dugh). We began thinking that we might do this trek faster than was outlined in guidebooks -:)

 The next day we started early. We had studied the map, and there isn't a mule-track indicated on SOI (survey of india) map from lama dugh to riyali. I think there was a foot path indicated (not sure - would have to look at the maps again..). As we thought the obvious path seemed to be leading in the wrong direction as per the map, we spent a lot of time recced the area to find the right path. This continued till about 2-3 p.m in the afternoon. This reccee was tiring and it left both of us frustrated. We were contemplating if we should abandon this trip and go for a different trek (Kang-la) or approach this trek from different route (Patli Kuhl). As a last resort we decided to reccee the path (which seemed to be leading in the wrong direction) once more. Luckily for us we found a couple of gaddis (shepherds) who pointed us in the right direction. Once they pointed us, it seemed so obvious that I was thinking why did my friend not spot this in the morning, when he recceed (it never is as easy as it seems -:)). This is a strenuous ascent for an hour and half to 2 hours to reach the top of the ridge. This is followed by a steady descent which traverses the mountains and cuts across several nullahs/side streams. As it was late in the evening we decided to pitch our tents on a flat piece of grassland besides one of the streams/nullahs. We we hoping for a better day tomorrow.

 On 6th Sep we again started after having figured out that we needed to go downstream along the nullah and then turn west (right) to reach the mule-track marked on the map. My friend walked ahead and I was supposed to follow him. However, I decided to walk along the ridge as I thought that would be a shorter route. Initially I was able to see him from the ridge, walking along the stream. However, soon the ridge veered off to the right and I went along the path assuming it would descend somewhere to the stream. Soon, I had gone into dense Pine and birch forests with a very steep descent. I decided to explore a bit and descended along the trail. I came to a spot from where I could see a huge waterfall and when I checked my gps (which was not working in the intermediary stages because I was in a valley with very thick tree cover and hence it could not attain sufficient signal) I found I had come to far down south instead of west/south-west. I decided to retrace my steps, and the steep ascent was way tougher than I had imagined. As I went back I decided I will take a shorter route and went along the ridge-line. Soon, there was a whiteout and I could not see on either side. While I walked along the ridge I found that the descent on either side is almost impossible. When the clouds opened out intermittently for a bit I saw some horses in the distance and decided to get down that side of the ridge though I knew that I should ideally get down on the other side (this side seemed far too dangerous ). After 4-5 hours of walking and knowing that one is lost the mind does not work as sharply. I chose the wrong option of going down a dangerous and deadly slope, where rock faces were cut, and moreover one could not see these sudden cut in the rock faces as the slope was covered with thick foliage (say upto my waist/chest). I had also run out of water. I slithered down the side of the mountains, often on my back and holding onto the foliage for support, as opposed to walking down. I fell down a couple of times, sometimes a few feet, somersaulting 3-4 times, luckily landing on my backpack and having no broken bones. Once even the 30kg backpack came off over my head (like removing your t-shirt). Anyway somehow I managed to get to a nullah alive. The good part about it was that I could fill the water bottle. I then again made my way up along the nullah. I found a gaddi and he told me that I had to go across the ridge and descend on the other side to find the way to Riyali thatch (I had figured out the general direction as much). It was 3 in the evening. Mustering all my strength I made my way up to the ridge line (once again), this time following a small trail and as I descended the other side I found that my partner was waiting on the other side. He was infuriated as he had gone back a few times to see how I missed the track. Also, he along with another gaddi had waited for me and had almost given up hope. Anyway both of us walked for another couple of hours before we reached a gaddi enclosure at Riyali Thatch. We decided to stay in the gaddi's "dera" instead of pitching the tent. We had to fix the "dera" so that it did not leak during the rains at night (and it did rain in the night) with stones and with the help of the ponchos and raincover. I was dead tired after my session of "Dead or Alive".
On 7th Sep I got up a bit late (by 6:00 a.m) and hoped for a less adventurous day. By the time we started after breakfast at around 8:00 a.m the skies were clearer. The route was well marked and continued high above the river. After following it for the next 2-3 hours, there was a fork in the route. One route descended to the stream and the other continued further and probably crossed the river over a snowbridge (glacier). My friend,who had gone ahead, had descened and forded the stream and I followed suit. After a bit of an ascent I caught up with him and saw him coming down. It seems he had signalled to me (and I did not notice it) that he had taken the wrong path and when he had ascended further he could see the "right track" on the other ridgeline. So, we descended again, forded the stream again and started the ascent once again. This whole "missed route" had cost us upwards of an hour. This ascent, though zig-zagged, is pretty steep and tiring and leads upto Sagor Dug. It was about 2 p.m by the time we reached this place and we had just about entered a "dera" when it started raining/hailing. We thanked our lucky stars that we were inside the shelter having some lunch and warm coffee, that we prepared. When the rain eased off after an hour or two, my friend decided to recce. WE decided to go further. We would have gone for about 30-45 mins. The trail was no longer as clearly visible. We were about to cross another glacier when we saw/heard a flock of sheep. We called out to the "gaddi" and we could hear his response but could not see him. There was a whiteout slightly higher up. However, after 10-15 mins while we were crossing the "glacier" I could see the "gaddi" coming down. I wanted to catch him before we lost him and so I immediately took off my pack and kept it on the glacier and before I could turn off it (the pack) went sliding down 20-30 feet before it stopped (luckily). HAd it not stopped it could well have gone down all the way into the stream -;) and even more luckily my backpack was not broken/torn in any way. Luckily, the gaddi came towards us and when we told him we wanted to go to kalihani pass he said that the route we were taking was wrong. The right way was above "Sagor Dug". He walked 15 mins back with us and pointed in the general direction and gave us directions as well. However, there was complete cloud cover and nothing much could be seen in the direction he was pointing to. So, we decided to call it a day. We asked him whether we could spend the night with him at his "dera". The "gaddi' made us some rotis & rajma - heavenly feast for the famished. The stay turned out to be a very wise decision as it rained "cats and dogs and its cousins" that night. The "gaddi" dogs did bark on numerous occassions that night and the "gaddi" went out 3-4 times that night. However, to his dismay the next morning he found that one of his sheep had been eaten by the "bear", Only its head remained and he duly cut it off and procured it and kept it outside his "dera" so that he could inform the owner. Normally, these "gaddis" have licensed a 12mm bore rifle (to scare away the bears). He did have one such rifle. But because of the noise of the rain he could not hear the dogs barking on one occasion and this led to the loss. Sometimes the presence of sheep is a boon to trekkers (in a perverse way) as this prevents the humans from being the target of "bear" attacks. An oft asked question "What can be done when you see a bear ?". I asked this to the shepherd and the answer was "Say your prayers" as you are most likely not going to survive if you come face-to-face with a bear.

 Today (8th Sep) was the big day - where we had to cross the KaliHani pass. The shepherd had shown us the way the previous day. His instructions were pretty simple - climb along the nullah, coming down the mountainside, until the point you see the snow then traverse right. Beyond that you would see a trail with stone markings. The pass is marked by "prayer flags". There is not much of snow so you should be able to cross easily in about 3-4 hours. Well it was easier said than done. We started early at around 7:30-8;00 a.m as soon as the rain had subsided and the skies cleared. The climb along the the nullah was an arduous one and after that we had to do a bit of reccee before we got onto the trail. The trail was marked by cairns but posed another arduous climb before we hit the snowline. By the time we got to the snowline the weather was turning bad and it had started to snow. So, we traversed the last 30 mins on snow before we could see the flags at the Kalihani pass. By the time my friend reached the pass he was shivering. After the customary prayers and photographs we decided that we should move down quickly., By this time the weather had turned really bad - it was snowing heavily -, there was a whiteout and we had limited visibility. There was huge snowfield in front of us and during the brief period when we had some visibility we had seen the general direction of the "glacial lakes" , which was supposed to be the direction we were headed. The snowfield was crevassed but we decided against roping up as that would slow our progress. My friend was not looking in the best of shape. We descended quickly. There was about 3 ft wide crevasse which we jumped across. In normal circumstances that is not much but with a 30kg wet backpack jumping seems a more onerous task. There we a few more crevasses (none too dangerous) which we negotiated, while we walked down the snowfield down to the glacier. By this time it was raining heavily. As soon as we reached the start of the Kalihani nullah I pitched the tent (around 2 pm) got my friend into it. He got rid of his wet clothes and got into his sleeping bag. The cold, combined with the rain and wind chill had taken a toll on him (despite him being very very fit and resilient). After about half an hour to an hour's rest, and draining some hot soup he was back to his ebullient best. Given the rains we decided to camp here for the evening.

 After a well deserved rest, on 9th Sep we descended along the Kali Hani Nallah, starting the day early at around 7-7:30 a.m, sans breakfast. The views of the glacial lakes and the valley views here are wonderful. After about 2 hours downhill, where one crosses numerous side streams, we reached another "gaddi" encampment where we found some locals who were trying to collect "jadi booti" here. We cooked our breakfast here and after an hours break we resumed our journey. Here one can walk along the river or traverse across the side of the mountains along a well laid mule track. The track sometimes descends to get along the river and then ascends back along the side varying from 50M-100M above the river. Another 3 hours of walking we reached a place known as "Dev Ki Marhi", marked by a small temple and shrine on the side of the hill. There we met a few "gaddis" who said the stream had to be crossed and they would help us cross it. As we reached the stream, we took out our rope and the "gaddi" tied it around his waist and tried to cross the stream, which was say about 10M wide. At 2:00 p.m in the afternoon the stream was raging. The "gaddi" had gone about one third of the way when the water was upto his thighs. It was only another 3-4 steps before he could reach a spot where the water level would be lower. However, the current was so strong and the underlying rocks so slippery that these few steps was frought with danger. He retraced his steps to the saftey of the shore. My friend, not wanting to give up also tried. He ventured even less than the "gaddi" before he retreated. I saw the depth and had made up my mind that it would be more prudent to cross the stream the next morning, a sentiment echoed by the "gaddi" shepherd. However, he also mentioned that it had been raining for the past few days and so the current of the stream had been no less in the morning. Anyway for the present he showed us an abandoned "gaddi" shelter and we parked ourselves there. After having lunch my friend decided that he wanted to reccee the side stream, flowing down the hillside, to see if there is a possibility of crossing it. He returned after 2 hours at around 6 p.m, with the news that if one climbs another 200M the side stream splits into 5 and hence is easy to cross. Well, I thought to myself that I would rather cross the stream below than go up 200M and descend to the same elevation after an hours (or to) of grind -:).

 We started off by 7 a.m on 10th Sep and could cross the stream without too much difficulty as the current was lesser compared to the previous day and the water level was upto the thighs. We continued traversing the side of the hill well above the Kalihani nullah, till about 8:30 a.m, when we decided to stop for breakfast by a side stream. It was a beautiful place as one could witness the whole valley, imposing rock massifs with its serrated edges on the other side of the nullah. We resumed after breakfast. Well no part of the trek had been as easy as it seemed and the trend continued. We had to cross some landslide areas where the path was dangerous, especially considering that the heavy backpacks did not help our balance. We continued till about 1 p,m along a fairly well marked path and suddenly the path disappeared. We went forward recceed and came back. We were pretty famished so we descended towards the river so that we could have water to cook our lunch. While having lunch and coffee we were thinking to our ourselved "Oh no not again - we have to break this 1 p.m jinx". We were asking ourselves "Is the route along the river or along the same path from where we descended". Luckily, like a godsend, we spotted a horseman at the same spot from which we descended (about 30 mins away) and my friend packed quickly and ascended again to the same spot, by which time the horseman had left. As we had recceed forward & back, down the only spot left to go was up. Soon we found the track ascending up. This is a 150M-200M steep climb followed by an immediate steep ~100M descent to a side stream, which drains into the Kalihani nullah, followed by another 200M ascent till we reached a "thach" on top of a hill. It was about 5.30 p.m and we decided to camp at "Damari Thatch" right beside a flowing water stream. This is one of the most beautiful campsites as the views of the mountain ranges from here are spectacular and out of the world.
Starting off around ~7:30 a.m on 11th Sep I continued on the well marked track with the intention of reaching Bara Bhangal in the afternoon. The walk is on undulating terrain marked by several short ascents and descents. However, the majestic beauty of the surroundings makes one forget the tiredness in your limbs. After an hours stopover for breakfast by a side stream at 9:30 a.m, I resumed my trek, savouring the beauty of the surreal environs. There is a steep descent of nearly 500M before one reaches the village of Bara Bhangal, which is at the confluence of the Kalihani nullah, thamsar nala and Ravi River. I reached this quaint little village, set amidst jaw-dropping surroundings,at about 1 p.m - right in time to have lunch (dal bhaat) in a small hotel. The village has electricity and a satellite phone. The electricity is there only in the evenings after 6 p.m. Once the electricity is there, the battery gets charged and the satellite phone becomes operational for a couple of hours, from 7 p,m - 9 p.m . This enabled us to make a call to our homes. There is a beautiful forest guest house in Bara Bhangal and we stayed there. Had dinner (lovely phulkas + rajma) at the guest house chowkidar's house. The guest house has a kitchen/dining and has vessels. So, if you have your own supplies it is an ideal place to relax and chill out for a couple of days. The satisfaction of successfully completing the first part of our trek and a nice (and overdue) bath at the guest house gave a feeling of renewed energy in our tired bodies.

 We left at 7:00 a.m on 11th Sep and ascended along the Thamsar nala (right of stream as you look upstream)). After about 2 hours we stopped for breakfast. A quick breakfast and we were on our way again. One has to cross the stream and continue ( left of the stream as one looks upstream). While ascending we saw a rock fall from high above the mountains. We saw a flock of sheep right in its path and as the rock hurtled down I wondered (and feared) which one of the sheep was going to die. The shepherds looked on with consternation as well. As fate would have it just above the sheep there was a boulder which the rock hit and jumped right over the scared and bleating sheep and into the nullah. We continued till we came across a majestic waterfall which is bound to leave an indelible mark in every trekkers mind. Just above the waterfall there are places suitable for camping. We stopped here for lunch and met some shepherds here who were having a barbecue of lamb - another one that had been killed by a bear last night. We continued our ascent post lunch till we reached a huge glacial lake in the evening (around 5 pm). Along the left bank of the lake there was place to pitch 1 tent (2 maybe possible) and we duly did so. The glacial lake surrounded by the mountains on all sides is an unbelievable atmosphere. On the right bank of the lake we could make out the outline of the track leading to the Thamsar pass - our next big challenge.

 We started next morning at first light. Luckily for us a few "gaddis" with their flock were also crossing the pass that day. After 3 hours of constant ascent we reached the snow/ice field. This was more of an ice-field (50-60M) than a snow field. Approach from a different route might have resulted in crossing more snow than ice. I slowly made my way through the ice field. Slipped twice. The first was a minor slip (just a few feet) and the second was when I was close to the edge of the ice-field and had almost made it onto the rocks. As I had "almost made it" my concentration slipped a bit and down I went sliding on the ice slope for about 20 feet (and also scaring the sheep in the process). Slowly, I got back to my feet and made my way back again. Once across this stretch it was a short walk to the top of the Thamsar Pass. One can catch a glimpse of the Kinner Kailash peak, along with other mountain ranges here. There is a small shiv temple here. We offered our prayers and after the customary photographs, we descended down to a glacial lake on the other side, where we had our belated breakfast at 11:00 a.m. Another 2 hour descent led us to the first hotel at Panhartu where we had lunch. Resumed after lunch around 2 pm, onto Palachak and it was about 6 pm by the time I was crossing the bridge to Bara Gaon. As luck would it have it began pouring and there was no place to take shelter. However, I started running and covered the remaining distance to BaraGaon in about 45 mins. Surprised myself on how I found the energy to run at the end of 10 days of trekking and on a day in which I had already walked nearly 10-11 hours. It was a satisfying feeling to complete the trek independently. From Baragaon we boarded a truck and reached Hoshiarpur the next morning.


Related reading
An erudite version regarding the summary of the trek by my trekmate can be found here :-

http://www.indiamike.com/india/trekking-and-mountaineering-in-india-f89/bara-bhangal-trek-undulation-unlimited-t177010/

 

Itinerary
Reaching the trailhead

  1. 14th Nov - 16th Nov : Blr-Delhi by train and & bus to manali
  2. 17th Nov - Bus to Manali

Chanderkhani Pass trek

  1. 18th Nov - Manali to Puling via Nagar(1840 M) and Rumsu (2135 M)
  2. 19th Nov - Puling to Base camp of Chanderkhani pass (~3400 M)
  3. 20th Nov - Base camp of Chanderkhani pass to Malana(2652 M) over Chanderkhani pass ((3541 M)
  4. 21st Nov - Malana (2652 M) to camp after Chota Grahan (by Malana Nal)
  5. 22nd Nov - Camp to Khiksar thach & Malana Glacier and camp between Chota Grahan & Khiksar thach (3660 M)
  6. 23rd Nov - camp back to Malana (2652 M)
  7. 24th Nov - Malana to Jiri (trek) and bus to Kullu
  8. 25th Nov - Day trek to Bijli Mahadev
  • Returning from trailend
  1. 28th Nov - Kullu to Delhi by bus
  2. 26th Nov to28th Nov - Delhi to bangalore by train (hopefully)

References

  1. Lonely planet - Trekking in the Indian himalayas.
  2. Survey of India Maps (Scale 1:50000) - OSM Sheet Nos I43X4,I43X8
  3. LeoMann Maps - Sheet 4 (covering Kullu Region)

Most of the trail is well marked so one can do without the maps. Ask the locals. However, a compass and gps are very handy to be used with the SOI maps

Summary : Overall this is a scenic trek and a good trek for folks wanting an introduction to trekking in the himalayas.

On 18th Nov I met my fellow trekkers Karan and Prayag at Manali. After breakfast at Manali we took a bus to Nagar (1840 M). From Nagar it was a walk along a jeepable track to Rumsu (2135 M). From Rumsu we continued on a well marked trail to Puling and beyond it to a place where there is a good flat clearing amidst the tall trees which was suitable for camping, with a good water source close by. We decided to camp here at around 3 p.m. With plenty of dry wood we could even light a bonfire for the night.

Though most of the trail is well marked we initially lost the way from Camp after Puling. Instead of going "straight up" after Puling we took a trail which veered to the left. We then met a person along the way who told us to return. During our return we met another person who told us to climb "straight up" so that we can intersect the "main trail". The climb "straight up" was a steep one and it took about 3-4 hours, especially after losing our way in the forests for 2-3 hours. We reached the base of the camp at around 5:00 p.m after walking for about 7-8 hours. However, at this time of the year we were not able to find any water source there. There was a bit of snow and we melted it for water that evening. During the season there would be a canteen at the place where we camped. However, in November all the "gaddis" had all returned and the canteen had wound up and there was not a soul to be seen during the trek.

The next day after walking about 10-mins further on the trail we found a water spot -:( en route to the Chanderkhani pass (3541 M) which we reached in about an hour. Chanderkhani pass (3541 M), marked by several cairns and a small temple, stretches along the ridgeline for a few hundred metres. This is a place where we decided to rest for an hour savouring the 360 degrees views of the mountain ranges. Towards the south one gets to see the valleys in the distance and how the settlements have developed in the foothills of the mountains. It is really a heartwarming experience. After offering our prayers we decided to head down to Malana. Continue on the well marked route, which gets on to the eastern face of the ridge line and continue till one sees a clearly marked trail which descends steeply for about 4 km to reach Malana, which is in a south easterly direction from here. One can see prominent cairns (atop small hills) marking this route. IF one looks towards the north (before the descent) one can see the Chandarkhani Dhar extending all the way north, with the Malana Nala emanating from the Malana Glacier, flowing like a silvery streak at the base of the Chandarkhani Dhar. The descent, through thickly wooded forests, would take 3-4 hours. There is a prominent "nala" which one can see on your "right" which will accompany you through the descent. As it was November, the local folks had started collecting wood from the forests to last them through the winter and also to build houses. It is an impressive sight to see how the huge logs of wood are thrown/rolled down the steep hillsides, to be transported to Malana. While you descend the village of Malana is not visible, and it comes into visibility only in the last 10-15 mins as the trail crosses the nala and veers to the right, exiting from the valley. The village is a cluster of 200 houses or so set on the side of the hill high above the Malana River. We reached the "Hotel Dragon" guesthouse at Malana (2652 M) about 5 p.m

If you scour the net a lot has been written about Malana and its unique customs. I will just recount a few. Malana is pretty isolated and the folks of the village still believe in caste system. One is not supposed to touch anyone from the village. If you do touch them they go and "wash their hands" to cleanse themselves. The story is that the villagers of Malana are direct descendants of Alexander. Well, the facial features of the Malana villagers are very different from that of other locals. Maybe there is some credence to the theory. Also, there is a temple dedicated to Jamadagni rishi. Outsiders are not allowed to photograph or touch the temple. This elicits a substantial fine (Rs 2500) and the visitors are advised to stick to the stone roads. However, what Malana is most famous for is "Malana Cream" - hashish and is supposed to be the "Best in the world". One is freely approached by villagers selling "hashish" as soon as you reach there. That is why this place is a have for backpackers and one would see a lot of Israelis (and other westerners) here during the season. Also, as a cautionary note a number of tourists have gone missing in the Malana-Parvati region (around Kasol and Manikaran) - so please be careful.

The next morning my friends decided to head back to Kasol & then back to Delhi while I decided to push forward towards Malana Glacier. Malana village is about an hours walk (climb) from the road. After exiting Malana Village, I descended further for some time. Then there is a fork in the path. The right path goes all the way down to the bridge across Malana Nala while the left one traverses high above the nala and gradually descends down to the Dam construction site, which is nearly a km upstream. The emerald green water accumulated behind the dam is a pretty sight. It takes about an hour to reach the dam. The route continues further along the left bank of the Malana Nala, often traversing about 50M above it. For the first hour or so (from the dam) of walk one can see a few huts distantly spaced but after that there are none. The trail sometimes passes through thick forests and sometimes through "thaches" and undulates a bit. The camping site I was supposed to reach was called "Chota Grahan" thach (3355 M). However, I went beyond it to where the trail descended to beside the river. Though I reached here by about 2.30 p.m I decided to camp early today.

One of the realities of trekking in winter is that the first light is very late, after 6:30 a.m and by the time one crawls out of the sleeping bag to brave the cold it is 7:00 a.m. Cooking, cleaning and wrapping up camp takes about 2 hours. It is usually around 9:30 a.m before I start trekking. From my campsite the path ascended for about 1 hour and then it gradually veered away from the Nala, gaining height. It is a good 3-4 hour climb before one reaches Khiksa Thach (3660 M). This is an excellent campsite with numerous water sources. As one climbs further along the trail beyond Khiksa Thach towards Malana Glacier (3840 M), one is completely surrounded by peaks on all sides. Khiksa Thach has plenty of lovely campsite. This is a place where one should camp and explore the region further. During the season there would be plenty of "gaddis" (shepherds) all over this region. However, all of them had returned to their villages by now. Once I reached the top of the ridge I decided to take of my backpack and explore the area towards Malana Glacier for the next hour or so. In addition to the close-up views of the glaciers, peaks surrounding you the look back into the valley (Where I had just come from) is also very picturesque. As it was bound to become very cold at night I decided to head back. One can go further to a place called "Girvo Koti" but that would involve walking on glaciers or walking on unmarked trails. Beyond "Khiksa Thach' the route is stony/bouldery. The descent back was relatively easy and by 5 pm I had crossed "Khiksa thach" and was about an hour away from the place I had camped yesterday. As it was getting dark I camped on a small "thach" right beside the stream.

On 23rd Nov I headed back leisurely to Malana and reached "Hotel Dragon" for a warm shower, and comfort of a bed, rajai and heater. Most of the hotels in Malana had shut down as it was likely to snow anytime. As if on cue, it snowed that night (though not much). But that light snow was enough to cover the rooftops with a nice white sheet. Even the "Dragon guest house" owner was planning to close shop in a day or 2 and return before the snowfall. When snow falls here it might snow about 4-6 feet according to him and the roads get blocked and even getting out becomes difficult. I was contemplating whether to trek to Kasol over "Rashol Jot" the next. However, with the snowfall I decided that it might be better to head back to Jari.

On 24th Nov I trekked back to Jari. This involves a steep descent from Malana Village, taking the route towards the right from the Malana public school. After that it is a 2-3 hour walk, along the road, crossing the security checkpost of the Malana Electric project and onto the village of Jari. From here one can get a bus to Kullu.

On 25th Nov, along with my friend Amar , I walked to Bijli Mahadev temple (2438 M) from Kullu town. Started from my friends home at around 10:30 a.m and was back by 5:00 p.m. It is a nice day trek through beautiful forests. The views from the Bijli Mahadev temple are spellbinding. One has unhindered views of the Parvati and Kullu Valleys. If one searches on the net one can find interesting stories regarding the Bijli Mahadev temple.

Himalayan Trek Calendar

The Himalayan Offerings

Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
1

Chang Bang & Bagini Glacier

Moderate On Request
May-16,23,30, June-06,13,20,27, Sep-05,12,19,26 Haridwar to Haridwar
2 Devi Kund & Sundherdhunga  Moderate On Request
June 08, 11 Kathgodam to Kathgodam
3 Roopkund Trek Moderate On Request

May 21, 28,
June 04, 11, 18, 25

Kathgodam to Kathgodam
4 Dodital Moderate On Request

Sep-01,08,29

Oct-06,13

Sangamchatti to Sangamchatti
5 Dayara Bugyal Easy On Request

May-16,23,30, June-06,13,20,27, Sep-05,12,19,26

Haridwar to Haridwar
6 Satopanth Taal Hard On Request 

On Request

Haridwar to Haridwar
7 Valley of Flowers Moderate On Request NA

Govindghat  to Govindghat

 

8 Rupin Pass Moderate On Request June 04, 08, 11, 25

Dehradun to Dehradun

 

9

Har Ki Dun & Ruinsara Tal

Moderate On Request May 21, 28,
June 04, 08, 11, 25
Dehradun to Dehradun
10 Kanasar Lake Moderate On Request June-27, July-11,25, Sep-05,19,26 Dehradun to Dehradun
11 Bhuyunder Col & Gupt Col  Strenuous On Request  Jun-01 Joshimath - Joshimath
12 Kedar Tal Moderate On Request

May 21, 28,
June 04, 08 11, 25

Haridwar - Haridwar
13 Kalindi Khal  Strenuous On Request  Jun-01

Uttarkashi to Haridwar

 

14 Auden Col Moderate On Request  August-14

Haridwar to Haridwar

 

15 Across the Five Cols  Moderate-Hard  On Request

Jun-01

Badrinath to Kedarnath
16 Longstaff Col Moderate-Hard On Request  On Request

Kathgodham - Kathgodham

 

17 Kag Bhushandi Tal Moderate-Hard On Request June 11

Haridwar to Haridwar

 

18 Traill's Pass Hard to Challenging On Request On Request

Kathgodam to Kathgodam

 

19 Borasu Pass Trek Hard On Request On Request

Dehradun to Chandigarh

 

20 Maldaru Lake Moderate-Strenuous On Request June 10, Oct 7

Dehradun to Dehradun

 

Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
21

Chandarkhani Pass & Malana

Easy On Request

Sep-29

Oct-05,13

Naggar to Jari
22 Indrahar Pass Easy On Request 
Jun-01
Delhi to Delhi
23

Hampta Pass & Baralacha La

Hard On Request          

May-30, June-06,13,20,27, Sep-05,12,19,26 

Manali to Manali
24 Bhaba Pass Trek Hard On Request

Jul-07,14,21

Kafnu to Mudh

 

25 Pin Parvati Trek Strenuous On Request June -21

Kaza to Manikaran

 

26 Bara Bhangal Strenuous On Request Sep-01

Manali to Biling

 

27 Mantalai Lake Moderate-Hard On Request Sep-14,21

Manikaran to Manikaran 

 

28 Animal Pass Moderate On Request

May 23,31 

June 13,27

 

 Manali to Manali
29 Jotnu Pass & Manimahesh Kailash Parikrama Moderate On Request On Request

Pathankot to Pathankot

 

30 Saraumga Pass Challenging On Request June, September

Manali to Manali

 

Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
31 Namdapha Trek Moderate On Request Nov-15,22,29, Dec-06,13, Aug-30,Nov-07,14,21,28/2015, Dec-05,12/2015 Dibrugarh to Dibrugarh
Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
32 Goecha La Trek
Hard ₹16,000

May-30, June-06,13, Oct-03,10, Nov-07,14,21,28

Jalpiguri to Jalpiguri
Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
 33 Zanskar Circuit Trek Strenuous 20,000 Aug-03 Darcha to Kilang Sarai
 34 Stok Kangri Expedition Challenging ₹18,000

JUL-04,11,18, Oct-03,10

Leh to Leh
35 Chadar Moderate ₹21,500

Jan-17,24,31, Feb-07,14

Leh to Leh
36 Marka Valley & Kanga Yatze  II Peak Strenuous ₹16,000 June-06,13,20,27, July-04,11,18,25, Aug-01,08 Leh to Leh
Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
37 Shrikand  Kailash Moderate-Hard On Request

June - 28
September - 05

Delhi to Delhi
38 Charang  ghati   Pass Moderate-Hard On Request   Delhi to Delhi
39 Lamkhaga Pass Strenuous On Request On Request

chandigarh to Haridwar

 

40 Buran Ghati Pass Moderate On Request On Request

chandigarh to chandigarh

 

41 Manirang Pass Moderate-Hard On Request On Request

Manali to chandigarh

 

Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
42 Kashmir  Great  lakes Moderate  On Request

JUL-04,11,18,25, Aug-01,08

 Srinagar to Srinagar
Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
43 Makalu Base Camp Strenuous On Request Oct-06

NJP to NJP

 

44 Kanchenjunga North Base Camp Strenuous On Request Oct-27

NJP to NJP

 

45 Everest Base Camp Moderate - Hard ₹ 52,000 April 23
May 6, 20

Katmandu to Katmandu

 

46 Everest Base Camp Gokyo - Ri Moderate - Hard ₹ 75,650 April 8, 22, 29
May 6, 20

Katmandu to Katmandu

 

Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
47 Dagala Trek Strenuous ₹63,000 to₹53,000
March 25, Nov 18

Bagdogra to Bagdogra

 

Sl No.
Name
Grade Cost Dates
Remarks
48 Holy kailash Mansarovar Moderate On Request

Jun - 06,20
Jul - 05,08 
Aug - 09,20

 

Bangalore to Bangalore
49 Kailash Inner Core  Moderate-Hard On Request

Aug-19

Katmandu to katmandu
50 Kailash Inner Core Full Moderate-strenuous On Request

August-20

Katmandu to katmandu

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Phone Numbers

  • Vishwanath : +91 97403 60365
  • Sathya : +91 98453 48250
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Address  :
Summiters Adventures,
#16, Adarsh Vista, Basavanagar Main Road,
Vignannagar, Vibhuthipura,
Banagalore - 560037

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