The path to heaven – Swargarohini

Himalaya a closely knit subject with Hindu mythology and so is with the Mahabharata. One can find innumerable mention of the Himalayas in various divisions (referred to as Parvas) of the epic.

One such famous and very sacred place in the Himalayas is “Swargarohini”. As a traveller or trekker you may get confused as there are two different entities named Swargarohini in the Himalayas. Even more when both falls inside Garhwal division of Uttarakhand. So here are the two “Swargarohini” which are famous in Indian Himalayas.

Satopanth and Swargarohini glacier – From Badrinath:

When we refer Swargarohini in context to heaven , i.e. Swarga, this is the legendary path. The path to heaven is through Satopanth meaning “Satya ki pantha” i.e. the way to truth. Pandavas tried to follow their way to heaven, although only Yudhisthira made it to heaven.

Geographically this is an area east of Badrinath town approached from Mana village. The area is in between Bhagirath Kharak glacier and Panpatia glacier and guarded by Chaukhamba peak. In reality this is the glacier coming down towards Satopanth lake.  Due to natural glacier structure it looks as if steps going high up when you see it from a distance around Satopanth lake.  So this is what “Swargarohini steps” are!

satopanth-swargarohini-area
Satopanth lake, Chaukhamba peaks and Swargarohini steps
swargarohini-steps-and-chaukhamba-mountain
Chaukhamba peak and Swargarohini steps on glacier

The only place to see these steps is the area surrounding Satopanth Tal. To reach here you have to follow the Satopanth lake trekking trail and camp at different places. The major references to Mahabharata include Bhim pul, Saraswati River, Laxmivan, Sahasradhara, Chakrateertha. However going further from Satopanth is clearly NOT an option as per forest department permit as well as mythical perspective.

satopanth-lake-and-swargarohini-glacier-steps-in-one-frame
Satopanth Tal and Swargarohini glacier steps

Now below is the second Swargarohini in Garhwal Himalayas, although quite a distance from the first. Some locals do claim this is the one which Pandavas took, but without any reference. Although there are reference to Mahabharata or mythology in the surrounding like Duryodhana temple at Osla village.

Swargarohini mountain and peaks:

This is the other Swargarohini which is often referred, especially in trekking and mountaineering.  This is a mountain massif adjacent to the Bandarpunch range and has 4 spikes or peaks, namely Swargarohini I, II, III & IV. These peaks are prominent from popular treks like Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun. Bali Pass trek offers spectacular all round views of the peaks and surroundings. You can see the peaks from now popular small pahadi village called Sankri.

Location wise this is western Garhwal division in Uttarakhand and on the north east side of Uttarkashi district. The area is under Govind National Park and needs permit. Hikers and mountain lovers often explore this region.

swargarohini-peaks-as-seen-from-kedarkantha-trek
Swargarohini group of peaks as seen from Kedarkantha summit
swargarohini-peaks-from-odari-camp
Swargarohini group of peaks

We hope that now you don’t have any confusion in case you had any.

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I would like to ask if you have any recommendations for a 5 to 6 day hike between 11 and 18 April for four persons in Uttarakhand or Himachal Pradesh.

We would come from Delhi on 10 April and return to Delhi on 19 April

Before suggesting trail(s) we would like to know the following:

1) Do you prefer to have a private tour or join any of our fixed departure? Prior will have more route choice, like adding or modifying an itinerary as per your need. Pricing depends primarily on the number of persons and the chosen route.

2) Are you experienced hikers? We would like to hear about your prior hiking experience(s), in case any.

3) Mid of April will probably have a lot of snow around ~ 4000 m/13000 ft. Himachal seems difficult for a multi-day camping trek, and Uttarakhand seems a better destination in our opinion.

Please feel free to revert for any queries or any inputs which you may like to share.

Thank you for your quick response. We have experience with multiple day hikes camping in the Alps, Pyrenees in Europe and in Ladakh. We are interested in a private tour wherever possible. Thank you very much.

It’s great to hear that you have considerable experience of hiking. It will certainly give you more options to explore the possibilities.

During mid April, you may consider all the winter/spring trek routes like KedarkanthaHar Ki DunWinter Kuari Pass and few others. Note that these are popular routes and may have other groups visiting around the same time. Campsites are limited even if you are on a private tour.

Alternatively, you may consider Bedni Bugyal trek or Dodital trek (possible to add with Dayara Bugyal) which are less frequent during your travel time.

All of the above treks are of camping in nature and requires heavy logistics arrangements, when arranged for 2 persons.

You may also be interested in this budget friendly Eco tour to Osla and Har Ki Dun in homestay that we have designed.

Hope this gives you a fair idea about the possibilities. Please feel free to revert for any queries or suggestions which you may need.

Reading your email below, we found the Osla and Har Ki Dun homestay tour appealing for mid of April. However we would like to spend more time in the area and possibly hike some more before returning to Dehra Dun. Would it be possible to prolong this tour with a few extra days?
Hope to hear from you soon, regards.

Yes, we can certainly increase the itinerary for couple of days, hiking and staying in homestays, expanding to 8/9 days, Dehradun to Dehradun. Osla to Har Ki Dun and return will be your only strenuous day of the hike.

Note that the homestays are simple, serving local diets, daal, chawal, sabji, chapati meals or paratha in breakfast.

Guide for the trip will be a local person, having understanding of basic English sentences and words. He will definitely have a sound understanding and knowledge of the area. Note that we don’t send English speaking soft skilled trek leaders raised in cities!

How many people are there in your team?

Please feel free to revert for more queries on your plan.

Hi Namasté, thanks for your reply!
Could you make us an offer for the homestay trip Osla to Har Ki Dun? We are a group of 4 people but only 2 want to prolong to 9 days, 2 people want the original 5-6 day trip. Will you please include the drives from Dehradun up the mountains?
We could depart around April 8.
Looking forward to hearing from you, all the best

Namaste & good evening from India.

So following our earlier discussion 2 of you (say team A) will be following our usual Osla Har Ki Dun homestay trek.  Osla and Har Ki Dun HOmestay trek itinerary. Remaining two members (say team B) will split and spend additional 2 nights in the region. Team A will trace back their steps to Sankri whereas team B will approach Dhatmeer village via Dharkot.

The itinerary extended trip will be:

Day 1 (9th Apr): Dehradun to Sankri – 200 Km by bus – 10/11 hours. Twin sharing lodge
Day 2: Sankri to Taluka village – 11 Km by car – 1 hour – Trek from Taluka to Gangar – 9 Km – 4/5 hours. Homestay. Explore the village in the afternoon.
Day 3: Trek to Osla – 5 Km – 2/3 via Powani village. Homestay. Explore Osla village and temple after lunch.
Day 4: Early morning trek to Har Ki Dun – 11 Km – 5 hours – packed lunch – Explore valley and return to Osla – Total 10/12 hours, approximately 22 Km. Homestay at Osla.
Day 5: Trek to Dhatmeer, 3-4 hours. Homestay at Dhatmeer.
Day 6: Post breakfast trek to Leka Top. Back for lunch. Homestay at Dhatmeer.
Day 7: Trek to Taluka, 5 hours, by car Sankri – 1 hour. Twin sharing lodge.
Day 8 (16th Apr): Drive/bus to Dehradun – 200 Km – 10 hours.

On top of the opposite Ridge of Gangad village is Dharkot. The climb to Dharkot is quite steep but not very long thankfully. From Dharkot two to three hours of gradual ridge walk will reach you the point from where Dhatmeer is only half an hour of descent. From Dhatmeer you will attempt to summit Leka Top for a compelling 360-degree view of the majestic western Garhwal. Also below are few photos of this additional region including Dhatmeer. These snaps are from peak winters, and for indication purpose only. Remaining trails photos and cultural insights are already in our Osla Har Ki Dun homestay trek details page. Hope you’ll find it helpful.

gangad-village-on-the-other-side-of-the-valley
Steep climb to Dharkot
dharkot-village-upper-tons-valley-towards-har-ki-dun
Dharkot village
dhatmeer-village-in-winters-after-snowfall
Dhatmeer village during peak winter
temple-at-dhatmeer-village-tons-river-valley
At Dharmeet village
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Corona effect on travellers and trekkers in India:

Update on 24th March: India under “complete locked down” for 21 days starting from 12 am midnight of 25th March. Don’t plan any trek till April end. We hope that from May onward situation will be favourable to plan anything in future.

By mid of March entire world is moving towards a partial lock down, if not fully, almost like one of those science fictions! Countries shutting down their borders due to new virus SARS-CoV-2 and its disease COVID-19 is a reality now.

To fight against this new coronavirus, deciding against any travel is the best prevention we can think of right now. Governments and local administrations have already taken actions restricting public movements and social gatherings. Like many other countries things have changed very fast in India since a week or so. Containment is the key to combat the spread, unless we have a “solution” for this. Self travel impose and isolation along with social distancing look plausible interim actions for a while. Although we don’t know how long!

Quite naturally economy has taken a back seat, we being Tour Operators in the front line. However Public health and interest are our first priority and we have decided that:

All our treks in the Himalayas will remain closed from 17th March 2020 to 14th April 2020. We will review the conditions in mid April and update accordingly.

However our back office staff are working from home and available for any queries and future trek planning as usual during office hours. Mon to Sat: 10 am to 8 pm, available over phone, email and chat.

How travel restrictions are implemented starting from March 2020:

Various Indian states adopted different techniques as precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the new virus. However the measures are mostly by preventing travel and entry for the tourists. Either being a foreigner or an Indian you can’t enter as a tourist in many states as of now.

5th March: Issuing of Inner Line Permit to foreigners in Sikkim got a stop. This doesn’t specify any end date. Check the order issued by Home Department, Govt. Of Sikkim.

11th March: All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure. Keep updates from Bureau of Immigration, Govt. Of India or the current restrictions. As a result all of the non Indian trekkers have to postpone your travel and revisit as the time progresses.

16th March: In Sikkim, entry of domestic tourists shall be stopped w.e.f from 17th March 15th April 2020, or till further orders. Here is the press release from Information & Public Relations Department, Govt. Of Sikkim. This along with the earlier notice concludes that all tourist including domestic and foreigners will not get any entry permit to Sikkim up to 15th April or till further orders. We recommend you to wait until mid April for trekking in Sikkim.

17th March: Entry to all forest and national park inside Darjeeling district including Singalila National Park will be closed to tourists from 17th March until further notice. Check the order issued by the DFO, Darjeeling Wildlife Division. We recommend you to wait until end of March and decide your your next plan of Sandakphu or Phalut trek.

Other Himalayan states like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh has also declared the epidemic in the state and restricting travel and social gatherings. Schools, colleges, cinema halls are already closed. However we didn’t get any order from these states yet. We strongly advice you to revisit your travel plans by the end of this month for all Uttarakhand treks or Himachal Pradesh treks that you have booked and avoid any nonessential travel.

18th March: Local administrations inside Uttarakhand started issuing order of closing forest and national park regions for trekking. One such order inside Uttarkashi Forest Division is stored here which says that the treks will remain suspend till 31st March 2020.

18th March: The government has announced that no commercial international flights will be allowed to land in India from Sunday, March 22 for a week as cases of Coronavirus continue to rise in the country.

What to do apart from waiting in this uncertain times?

  1. Simply follow as govt and experts tell to do or suggest. Avoid non essential travel or don’t travel if there is a workaround. DON’T go out if you are sick.
  2. Probably next two weeks will be crucial for India as from the virus containment perspective. We must not facilitate and prevent any community transmission of the virus and do our part.
  3. Remember hand and general hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water and practice for not touching your face with hands. Break the possible chain of any infection.
  4. Stay updated for Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public by WHO.
  5. Keep yourself updated with NOVEL CORONA VIRUS status by Department of Health and Family welfare, Govt. Of India. Additionally check your state and local health department advisories, do’s and don’ts.
  6. Verify any information which you may have received via unknown sources before passing to others.

If you have already booked your tour starting between 17th March and 15th April, then we recommend you to not plan anything but wait until mid of April. We will review and reassess the situation. Your deposited money remains as is with us. You can use it in any trek with HT in future. We will keep you posted here.

As we care for people around us so lets not go outside unless absolutely essential. Let us also encourage all around us to do so. This is the best that we can do our part as a common man. Stay healthy and keep people healthy around you.

#StayHomeSaveLives

We will be back with the update by mid of April.

All the best,
Team HT

Important Note: Our back office staff are working from home and available for any queries and future trek planning as usual during office hours. We are available over email, phone and WhatsApp.
Mon to Sat: 10 am to 8 pm

9163283000/9831112469
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We are a family of 5 with kids having 7, 9 and 10 years old and:
Looking for a trek in Sikkim of almost 5 to 7 days by end of April.
We are all good trekkers and would like to see rhododendrons and big mountains.
We will reach Bagdogra airport with daily flight from Hyderabad.
Accordingly to your experience and planning, which treks will you suggest ?

We would be more than happy to arrange a family trek for you in Sikkim. It’s wonderful to know that you all are good hikers .

Late April is spring/summer time in Sikkim/Darjeeling area and known for its Rhododendron and Magnolia bloom. Expect cloudy and misty weather, especially in the afternoon, which is a speciality of this area. Morning are normally clear with fantastic mountain views.

Let us understand the following things from your end:

  1. Is you window i.e 25th April to 1st May includes Bagdogra to Bagdogra? Note that you will require a day each to reach trek base and return from trek end point to Bagdogra for any trek in Sikkim/Darjeeling area.
  2. Do you prefer Tea House style trek or like to go for a camping trek? Any preference on this?
  3. Can you please write your prior hiking experience(s) with respect to high altitude? We wish to double check for the kid of 7 years as well.

Please feel free to revert with all your queries and any input which you may wish to share.

We have kept days for travel as following:

– 24/04 for travel from Hyderabad to Bagdogra, plane reaching at 9:55 am
– 02/05 for return with plane at 10:25 am
We can eventually take a later plane and or extend to Sunday 03/05.
If the trek is shorter, we will consider 1 or 2 days in Darjeeling.
We have no preference for tea house or camping. We will mostly focus on the trek, then it will be decided accordingly.
Regarding experiences, I do not expect to walk a lot with children: probably not more than 600 m drop per day. And we don’t need to bring them in altitude: 4500 m is probably a maximum with prior acclimatisation.
Don’t worry: having personally being at 6000 m (Annapurna and South America) I will not take any risks for my children.

Thank you very much for your detailed response. This really helps in moving forward.

Here are my understanding and inputs for you to decide:

Duration: You have a total of 10 days stretching from 24th April to 3rd May (say an afternoon flight) at maximum. This will accommodate a trek plus couple of days of relaxation options in both Sikkim and Darjeeling.

1) In Darjeeling, the trail which fits your ambition is our all time favourite Singalila Ridge trek, a.k.a Sandakphu trek. Indeed this trek inside Singalila National Park delights trekkers of all age and form all corners of the world! We can modify or extend as suits you. E.g. you may stay an additional day at Sandakphu and explore the area more. Half day hike after breakfast from Sandakphu on the Phalut road is lovely opportunity to get the grand views of the “big mountains”. End of April should be good for blooming on higher altitude ~ 3000 to 3500 m. Staying in homestay gives an angle of looking into local culture and lifestyle in this trail. After the trek you can always visit Darjeeling, Queen of the hills. Relaxing here for a couple of days and strolling around is itself a good option. Also there are options of staying in Tea Estates bungalows.

2) In Sikkim one option to see mountains really close is to walk on famous Goecha La trail. We have one alternate option on this trail, upto Dzongri on a relaxing pace. You may consider our Dzongri trek itinerary, although it will be a bit tight. Being foreign national you need to spend an additional day inside Sikkim to process the PAP (Protected Area Permit)/Trekking Permit before you can start the trek. Do check more about different permits required to enter and trek inside Sikkim. You should get good flowering from Tsokha to Dzongri stretch during your visit. Darjeeling tour is not a possibility within this tour duration.

3) A more feasible option inside Sikkim is our very pristine and serene Phoktey Dara trek. Geographically this is close to Singalila ridge and offers the same view as that of Sandakphu or Phalut. Being north of Darjeeling, this trail is closer to Kanchenjunga and other Sikkim peaks and produces same ‘Sleeping Buddha”actually closer. If you like forest, then this must be in your bucket list. In my understanding Rhododendron full bloom occurs every alternate or in 2/3 years depending on various conditions. However Barsey and the sanctuary are wonderful opportunity to see Rhododendrons and some Magnolia. You can see some more idea and picture of Barsey here. Note that you need to stay an additional day at Okhrey village homestay as we need it to process your permits. It’s a nice village to explore a day around with a good homestay. After the trip there is a chance to relax a day in Darjeeling as well. It will take 6/7 hours from trek end point Uttarey to reach Darjeeling via Melli, as foreigners are not allowed to take the shorter route from Jorethang to Darjeeling.

I hope that now you are good to decide on your trek :-). Please feel free to revert for all queries or suggestions you may need

We would like to consider Sandakphu trek from 25 to 30/04. Will it be possible with probably one horse for 2 backpacks? Please make a proposal considering that we are 5 and will not let a kid alone in a room.

Please note that Family Room with 5 beds is not available at all the lodges. We will try for them at Tumling and Sandakphu. Elsewhere, 2 rooms. This area is damper than the western Himalayan routes and it can rain in spring so waterproofing is a must. Furthermore there is no electric heater or any kind of heating source in the rooms. Keep adequate warming layer(s) as per your comfort.

Regarding backpack offloading, we can arrange a porter who will take 2 medium size rucksack not weighing more than 18 Kg.  One horse is generally not available for rent.

Brief Itinerary:

25th Apr: Darjeeling to Manebhanjan by car – 40 Km – 2 hours. Reach by 9 AM. After permit procedure, trek to Tumling – 12 Km – 6/7 hours
26th Apr Trek to Kalapokhari – 12 Km – 6/7 hours
27th Apr: Trek to Sandakphu – 6 Km – 3/4 hours
28th Apr: Witness sunrise, after breakfast, hike on Phalut road for 5-6 Km to enjoy magnificent views of Sleeping Buddha and Everest group of mountains. Return by Lunch.
29th Apr: Witness Sunrise. Trek from Sandakphu to Timburey via Gurdum village– 15 Km – 7/8 hours
30th Apr: Walk 1 and a half hours to the Srikhola road head and drive to Darjeeling town ( 90 Km, 4 hours). You will reach Darjeeling by 2 pm. We recommend at least 2 days in Darjeeling to properly see the sights and enjoy it without making it too hectic. There are many points of interest in and around the town.

I confirm we will go for this trek. Anyway 2 rooms/cabins are OK when no other solution.

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Planning a 2 weeks vacation which should include a trek in Sikkim or Darjeeling area and a later trip to Bhutan spanning 2 weeks.

Below is the email conversation which enabled the prospective trekkers to take right decision as per their choice and expectations. Read trekkers enquiries in GREY and our response in BLACK. Thank you for reading with patience!

My husband and I are planning a trekking tour in Sikkim in April and are seeking your guidance on our draft itinerary and are looking forward to your proposal.
We would like to trek from Yuksom to Dzongri La in 4 days.
The itinerary is the following:
Very early morning pick up in Darjeeling by car and drive to Yuksom. Start walking in Yuksom around noon to reach Tsokha in the evening.
2nd day – Tsokha to Dzongri / Dzongri La
3rd day – return from Dzongri La to Tsokha, start around noon to reach early evening.
4th day – walk Tsokha – Yuksom (5-6 hours) and drive by car to Gangtok where we spend the night.
5th day explore Gangtok and area by car/foot
6th day leave Gangtok to be in arrive in the evening in at border to Bhutan, stay there for night. Include monastery and other sightseeing in the 7-8 hours drive. Next morning cross border with Bhutan travel agency.

Thanks for your feedback, we have a good fitness level and like hiking. Fully aware that the 1st day of the trek is a tough day with more than 1000 m in altitude.
We don’t mind driving in the dark and getting up early if this is OK for the driver.

Greetings. Thank you for reaching out to us, HIMALAYA TREKKERS (HT). We would be more than happy to plan your trekking trip to Sikkim.

However at first glance, your schedule looks hectic, and can be pretty tiring. It’s always tempting to fit more places/things to see within a short schedule, but can be at risk as well.

Regarding permits for Non Indian nationals in Sikkim: We have broken down the Permit Requirements here in detail. In brief, to enter Sikkim you need one RAP ( Restricted Area permit) or previously known as ILP ( Inner Line Permit). It would be issued free of cost when you enter Sikkim or you can get it from Darjeeling. You can visit all the tourist places with this permit. To trek, however, you need  another permit called PAP (Protected Area Permit). You can not trek solo in Sikkim if you’re a foreigner. PAP is only issued for at least two foreigners. It can only be issued by a registered travel agency from the Tourism and Civil Aviation Dept of Gangtok(capital of Sikkim). We charge an additional 3000 as a Permit Processing Fee to the foreigners. We’ll include this in the package for you.

Note: You can get Sikkim entry permit from their office in Darjeeling also. However we need another day to process your Trekking Permit/PAP from Gangtok (meantime you complete Darjeeling and reach Yuksom).

Although it is not impossible to complete your itinerary (assuming you are fairly fit persons), although you have to be careful about the following:

1) In April, it is possible to start in the early morning, say around 5 am from Darjeeling. However the drive to Yuksom will take around 6 hours. Then there will be some permit procedures before you start your hike to Tsokha. It gets dark in Sikkim by 6 pm around mid April. (Sikkim is in eastern India and we have only one timezone).

2) You should be get acclimatised very well during the trek. In two days, literally you will be gaining an altitude of ~ 2000 m, to reach Dzongri. I hope you have not faced any acclimatisation issues in the past, while rapidly gaining altitude.

3) Dzongri La, i.e. Dzongri Pass is quite a distance from Dzongri. It takes ~ 5/6 hours for a round trip from Dzongri. You need to skip this on in the given itinerary but only Tsokha to Dzongri that day and camp.

4) Note that Yuksom to Gangtok is also around 6 hours of drive.

Please feel free to revert for any queries or any inputs which you may like to share with us.

Thanks for your feedback and advise, much appreciated. We trust your input as you have the knowledge and we only can assess our abilities from past experiences. 

Please see below our comments and questions. We would appreciate if you can provide us with an itinerary and cost for the trip. does your company also offer trips to Bhutan? We would love to have support from one travel agency for our whole trip. From Bagdogra to Paro, which we will leave on the 18th around noon.

  1. We are OK to start at 5 am and spend if necessary the last hour walking in the dark of safety is not compromised. We can bring headlamps.
  2. No, we haven’t.
  3. Oh, we weren’t aware. In other itineraries we read it felt more like 1 hour. Obviously, as this is the reason why we are going there, we would need to spend sufficient time exploring the area.
  4. We are aware and OK to do so if the driver is OK to drive in the dark.

As I read your email, following are my suggestions:

Regarding Bhutan travel: Recently last November we did a recce trip to Bhutan including Thimphu, Punakha and Haa valley (we skipped Paro due to shortage of time) with a self driven car. As of now travelling to Bhutan has permit relaxation for Indian tourists. We recommend that you book through a registered Tour Operator from Bhutan. HT can only take “bookings” from you, but has to arrange through only a local tour operator. We say many foreigners travelling to these places with good quality Bhutanese Tour operators.

If you are running short of time, you may consider getting a flight from Bagdogra (IXB) to Paro (PBH), though not operated daily. On the other hand if you travel by car then you go to Jaigoan border in India and Phuentsholing on the other side in Bhutan. During this drive you will cross some nice stretch of foothills forests (localled called Dooars) and tea gardens.

About Dzongri and Sikkim trip: In my opinion you may consider stripping the idea of travelling towards the capital region, i.e. Gangtok. It’s mostly a concrete city with hotels, as I have seen it.

On the contrary West Sikkim has also beautiful and pristine monasteries, around or on your way to Yuksom. Check our monastery circuit trail in West Sikkim to get an idea. Also it’s worth to stay a night and sleep at Yuksom before you have a fresh start to Tsokha.

I will be able to suggest an itinerary catering most, if you may share your arrival to Bagdogra and leaving out to Bhutan.

Also we can arrange all car transfers starting at your arrival at Bagdogra and till Bhutan border including Darjeeling and Sikkim.

Please feel free to add anything which comes in your mind.

This is good advice! Let’s try to strip out Gangtok and spend more time in West Sikkim and check option to fly from Bagdogra to Paro or by car. 

We will land in Bagdogra on the 5th around noon and would like to stay 2 nights in Darjeeling and surrounding just to overcome the jet lag and explore this beautiful area. 

We have already booked a flight from Paro to Delhi on the 18th around noon. Latest on the 14th we want to be in Bhutan because otherwise it’s too short. I like your proposal for Bhutan including Thimphu, Punakha and Haa valley and no Paro. Which tour operator do you recommend – really interested in knowledgeable guide who are able and willing to introduce us to culture and ways of living in Bhutan and design a peaceful and insightful journey other than taking us to the tourist places. Culture and nature are our key priorities.

We also looked at the monastery circuit trail you mention in your mail and find it very appealing. So I was considering that as an alternative to the Dzongri trek especially because it might be less visited.On your homepage I found a suggested itinerary. Does it make sense to combine day two and three in one so we can save one day? If we do that, porters and horses might be an interesting option.

What about the Singalila Trek? Would it be possible to hike only a part of it or is it a circuit itinerary you have to do completely?

Here I first summarise my understanding on your proposed trip(s)/tour(s) as of now :-). Please correct me if I am wrong.

  • You have approximately 2 weeks, 5th April noon landing at  Bagdogra and 18th April noon flying out from Paro.
  • It is a must to include both India & Bhutan within the travel.
  • Some hiking option(s) with a local cultural quotient in it within your travel.

Now certainly one would like to get the most out of an itinerary, based upon their particular preferences and liking. I would like to know more about your expectations from the tour.

A note: Sikkim/Darjeeling area in eastern Himalayas, is known for its dampness and prolonged monsoon. Afternoons are cloudy, prepare for pre monsoon rains, even in early April. Mornings are clear on high altitude and normally produce reasonable good views of the high mountains. Mid April will rarely produce clear mountain views like one may get in Late Oct/Nov (Autumn). On the contrary during mid April, i.e. spring time,  it is Rhododendron/Magnolia flowering season inside misty jungle and very charming in its own.

Below I will try to elaborate about various hiking options:

1) Dzongri trek: A moderate  hiking trail, however, reducing duration makes it strenuous in nature. Trail offers splendid Kanchenjunga views and other high mountains above 6500 m, from a very close distance. Once you start walking there will be no village monastery etc. However there will be other hiking groups camping around. This you should consider if your focus is more on going to high altitude and somewhat serious hiking exercise. Here you will get required information about Dzongri trail which you will cover:

https://www.tourmyindia.com/treks/dzongri-trek.html

2) Monastery Circuit trail: This is more of a very relaxed low altitude hike, who are particularly keen on staying in simple homestay, 3/4 hours of leisurely hike, spending more time in villages around and last but not the least, visiting pristine and holy monasteries. If hiking is your main focus, you may still visit Dubdi and Hongri monastery and return to Yuksom in a day’s hike. Here is the details link:

https://himalayatrekker.com/tours/sikkim-monastery-trail-homestay-trek/

We may suggest a part of the above with Dzongri trek within your itinerary. This covers two main essence of Sikkim, its high mountains and some off the route cultural essence as well.

Suggested itinerary:

5th April: Around noon arrival at Bagdogra. Around 3 to 3 and a half hours drive to Darjeeling.

6th and 7th April: Around Darjeeling, various sightseeing (HMI/Zoo, Tea gardens etc). On 7th April after lunch (by 1 pm) drive from Darjeeling to Yuksom. 5/6 hours. Your ILP for Sikkim will be processed at Melli check post (around 15/20 minutes time). Homestay accommodation e.g. Limboo Homestay (they serve organic vegetarian food only).
8th April: Explore Yuksom and around. After breakfast visit Coronation Throne site, Kathok Lake, local monastery. Later hike to the Sikkim’s oldest monastery Dubdi. This will be around 3 hours round trip. After lunch we may visit Gufa Dara village, around 30 mins hike. We can explore the small village and local community. Night stay at Yuksom. We process your Trekking Permit/PAP today from Gangtok. Alternatively after breakfast you may have a day hike to Dubdi and then further to Hongri monastery and return in the afternoon.

9th to 13th April: Trek to Dzongri and back. 5 days/4 nights , Additional night at Dzongri to explore the area and Dzongri La/Lampokhri lake side. If we start early from Tsokha on 13th then we will reach Yuksom in 5 hours. Then we can drive from Yuksom to Bhutan border at Jaigaon on Indian side. 250 Km drive, should take around 8 hours. (meet your Bhutan tour representative here). Night stay at Jaigaon, India.

14th to 17th April: Enter Bhutan Phuentsholing (permit/visa process at immigration office), Bhutan Thimphu, Punakha, and Paro. Essentially a sightseeing tour, though roads are better than Indian Himalayas!

18th April: Flight around noon from Paro to Delhi.

3) Singalila trek: This is probably a perfect blend of some fantastic high mountain views along with staying in homestay/lodge and getting some local cultural insights. You will already be in Darjeeling, it’s easy to reach the trek base and start hiking. This trail is inside Darjeeling, India and very often going inside Nepal. Most of the homestays are in Nepal side. Flavour wise this may resemble to Tea House treks in Nepal. Here is the route details link:

https://himalayatrekker.com/tours/sandakphu-trek/

There are advantages and disadvantages of this tour! Main disadvantage is that literally you will be left with no time for Sikkim. On the other side, spending more time in Darjeeling area and Bhutan is the main advantage. Maybe you can keep Sikkim for your next visit (may ? (Ethnically and culturally Sikkim and Darjeeling area have many things in common)

Suggested itinerary:

5th April: Around noon arrival at Bagdogra. Around 3 to 3 and a half hours drive to Darjeeling.

6th and 7th April: Around Darjeeling, various sightseeing (HMI/Zoo/Natural History museum, Tea gardens, Toy train ride, etc) and certainly enjoying the old colonial remnants of the Chowrasta/mall area, nice walks around. You may skip day tour of “many sightseeing” by car and instead walk comfortably at your own pace and explore the town and around.

8th April: Have your breakfast early, start by 7/7:30 am and drive to Maneybhajung, ~ 30 Km, 1 hour or so. After processing entry permit we will hike to Tumling, 12 Km 6/7 hours. Initial steep climb to Chitrey (please check our usual itinerary, I am hence modifying and fine tuning it). Lodge/homestay.

9th April: We will club Day 3 and Day 4 of usual itinerary and directly reach Sandakphu skipping Kalapokhari. From many past experiences we have seen European hikers including kids were comfortable doing this. ~ 18 Km, 8/9 hours. Sunset views from Sandakphu. Hotel accommodation.

10th April: Explore Sandakphu. Witness sunrise views, after breakfast walk on the lovely Phalut road. On a clear day You will literally walking straight towards Kanchenjunga and Sleeping Buddha, on flat gentle track. Return for lunch, 4/5 hours round trip. Evening sunrise for Hotel rooftop.

11th April: After breakfast trek down to Timburey. A very friendly homestay in the village.

12th April: Start early morning and walk an hour or so to the Srkhola bridge, motor road head. From here we will drive to Jaigoan, around 240 Km, 8/9 hours. Meet your Bhutan tour representative here. You may even stay on the other side of the border, i.e. Phuentsholing (much cleaner and calm place than Jaigaon).

13th to 17th: 5 days Bhutan tour. In my opinion choose Paro (Taksang Monastery etc ) instead Haa. Thimphu and Punakha.

18th April: Flight around noon from Paro to Delhi.

Regarding your Bhutan travel part:

As I wrote earlier, its better to book directly through a local registered tour operator. As per their govt policy they maintain their motto of “high value and low impact” tourism. This has empowered local operators to provide high quality services to international tourists. You will get good quality accommodation (similar to 3 start) and transfers in SUVs (e.r. Toyota Landcruiser/Prado) in their suggested fees.

There are trails in Bhutan as well. However to get an essence of the high and interior Himalayas, one should probably take on the longer duration hikes, like one From Paro to Gasa/Laya, some 10 days of trek. To visit Tiger’s Nest monastery (Taktsang, Paro) you may have a short half day hike.

We have some reference of Bhutan Tour operator(s). We may try to check, if you think you may need some help on this.

Suggesting a right itinerary for the right person(s) is most important in my opinion. I will look forward for your further inputs. Also feel free to edit, remove, add any part of any itinerary, if you like so.

We looked at your option 3 and like it a lot. There are only a few questions- when reading more about the trek, I learnt that a street has been build to Sandakphu. We were wondering how this impacts the experience – what are your thoughts?

When reading this paragraph we were asking ourselves – how much it might rain in the afternoon and if this would be the same for Dzongri ( we assume so). Nevertheless we understood that you recommend doing the trek as it holds various beauties- correct? What kind of equipment do we need ? 

Regarding the night at the border. We are aware that Jaigaon is less favourable but want to avoid paying 250$ Fee only for staying the night across the border. Do you have any idea if we can circumvent this? My husband is living in Bangalore but not an Indian National. 

Please be so kind and recommend agencies in Bhutan. We really like the way how you develop the program for us and trust you.

I am glad that you liked the option 3, i.e. Darjeeling with Sandakphu trek (a.k.a Singalila Ridge trek) for your India trip part.

Below are some facts and my opinion for your enquiries:

Yes there is a motor road to Sandakphu , if you call so! Initial half is a narrow concrete road, rebuilt a couple of years back. Last half is gravel dirt road. Trekking trail till Sandakphu will have some common portion with the road almost half, but it is so for 15 years or more. There will be many shortcuts, detours and walks inside Nepal also. This should not be much of an issue, despite movement of noisy old Landrovers. Note that your descent from Sandakphu to Srikhola via Timburey is through pristine forest mostly and no motor road in the vicinity. 

You are correct, Dzongri and Sandakphu trail should behave very similar, weather wise. If it rains or snows on one, most likely the other will very likely get the same. 

Four things are a must for any Himalayan Trek and are your personal equipment.

  1. a) A Trekking shoe – mid/high ankle rubber sole, waterproof membrane
  2. b) A Rucksack (40-50 L)
  3. c) A Warm jacket – can be synthetic, fleece or down jacket
    d) Windproof & Waterproof jacket/clothing – outer layer.

As a general guide here is an article on what type of equipment you should get and a elaborative list of things to carry.

Indeed your time of visit i.e. spring is recommended for Singalila trek. There are fantastic mountain views, both from Tumling and Sandakphu. Also your tour has an additional day at Sandakphu. Hopefully you will get good sunrise or/and sunset views. Spring brings life to the forest. Be it flowers or birds or butterflies. I personally like to walk inside misty and foggy forest, which is a spring speciality.

I enquired with a Bhutanese Tour Operator today, whom I met at Phuentsholing last November. He helped us to book one night of hotel at Thimphu and the road permit of our Indian car, the minimum mandatory things we needed. Here is a summary of our conversation:

  • Tour Fee for foreigners is non negotiable and USD 250 per person per day. Surcharge is USD 30 per person per day on the top of minimum daily tariff, i.e total of USD 280 per person per day, as you are 2 persons. This will include all accommodations (3 star quality), breakfast and dinner (lunch during sightseeing on your own), all transfers/sightseeing inside Bhutan in SUV like Toyota Prado/Hyundai SantaFe. A standard tour guide/escort will be there apart from the usual driver.
  • Visa Fee for Bhutan i.e. USD 40 per person is to paid separately.
  • Once you confirm/pay a tour with them, they will send an invitation along with options/range of hotels. Once you choose, they will inform Bhutanese authority. Then you apply for a Visa with USD 40 as fee. Their representative and tour guide will meet you at Jaigaon and carry out the immigration process.
  • They can help in a workaround for an accommodation at Phuentsholing. The Immigration Office remains open till 9 pm, so they can get your visa upon your arrival. Then you can pay the usual hotel fee (maybe ~ INR 3000 to 4000 for a standard room) instead paying USD 280 * 2 persons for that night.

Did you check with any direct Bhutan agencies?  What information could you gather?

Good morning and thank you very much for the additional information. The Trek sounds great and exactly what we are looking for. 

May I ask you for the price and if you could supply porters too? I am not sure if I want to carry the big backpack all the time 😉

Concerning Bhutan we are in contact with 2 – 3 agencies. We are trying to get an impression about the opportunities there because we are looking for a mix out of a bit of trekking, some culture and some spiritual experiences like meditation.

To check these things before pricing:

Do you want us to add anything extra, car transfers airport etc or only TREK FEE? – I.e. Manebhanjan to Srikhola along with one porter (He can carry up 2 no of rucksacks/similar up to 17/18 kg)? I assume the trek high standard quality accommodation and upgrade meals with a decent English speaking local guide. Anything more you would like to specify here? e.g. car transfer by Toyota Innova etc.

Did any of the agencies in Bhutan shared something interesting apart from usual itineraries? I see a potential about an itinerary starting from Phuentsholing – Thimphu – Punakha Dzong – Gasa – Laya – Gasa – Paro, tight, but possible. Our recce plan was this, but only “foreigners” can go to these places (Gasa and further to Laya) not the Indians! This may give you something really untouched in the Kingdom of Bhutan :-). You will get very limited information through Googling. It’s worth a research from your end in my opinion.

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Like last few years, Har Ki Dun is closed for the tourists/trekkers during this winter again. This came as a notice from the office of Govind National Park, dated 26th November 2019. Here is the summary of the order:

  1. Starting from 1st December 2019 until 29th February 2020, Har Ki Dun trek will remain closed to visitors.
  2. Other high altitude treks inside this nation park will also remain closed to trekkers. These treks are Borasu Pass, Ruinsara and Bali Pass, Devkyara, and Rupin Pass.
  3. Kedarkantha remains unaffected due to this notice.

Below is the photocopy of the notice issued from Deputy chief’s office, Govind National Park, Purola Division.

har-ki-dun-and-govind-national-park-closed-for-tourist-in-winters
Notice photocopy issued on 26th November 2019

The notice states “security” being the reason of the above order.

From 2016-17 winters, every year a similar notice issued before winter. We anticipated this and didn’t plan any Har Ki Dun trek in winters, although many did and had to cancel later on.

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Be it Kedarkantha or Brahmatal, surely both will make its place among the best winter snow treks in India. But what, if you have to pick any one of these two? Is one better than the other?

The question is simple but the answer isn’t! Neutrally speaking, you need to visit both before reaching a conclusion.

Let us quickly go through some facts about these two treks. There are quite a few similarities between these two trails, both suitable for beginners during winters. Yet, we need to choose one, right?

Kedarkantha versus Brahmatal – Stats
Attributes Kedarkantha trek Brahmatal trek
State Uttarakhand Uttarakhand
Duration 6 days 6 days
Grade Easy Easy
Physicality 5.5/10 5.5/10
Maximum Altitude Kedarkantha peak (3820 m/12500 ft) Khamila Top summit (4000 m/13120 ft)
Altitude Gain Sankri to Kedarkantha peak, ~ 1880 m/6165 ft Lohajung to Khamila Top ~ 1660 m/5445 ft
Trail Length 25 Km 30 Km

 

The above really doesn’t help to pick one, but justifies you can choose any one, due to their similarities in varies aspects. It is really difficult to decide which one is harder or easier, isn’t it? Moreover, terrain variety wise these are quite similar due to their similar altitudes.

To decide between Kedarkantha and Brahmatal trek, the answer mainly depends on:

1. Kedarkantha or Brahmatal: When to go for which trek?

Even as both are winter snow treks, the amount of snow varies to an extent on these trails. You need to plan any of these trek, according to its expected snow conditions. Otherwise you may end up trekking on snow less trail or too heavy snowy conditions. Now we will discuss which one probably better to visit at a given time.

Mid of November to mid of December: Kedarkantha normally receives early snowfall comparing to Brahmatal. If you wish to get some snow, you would surely be inclined towards Kedarkantha during early winters.

Mid December to end of January: In the course of this stretch, usually Brahmatal gets 2/3 snowfalls. Whereas snow on Kedarkantha steadily grows. You may choose either of the trek. No clear winner here.

February to early March: During late winter snow condition is harsh and challenging. Often Kedarkantha remains buried under heavy snow and indeed pretty  difficult to summit. Brahmatal is a wise choice this time.

Mid March and late April: Residual snow on Kedarkantha makes it a clear choice during spring.

May & June: No clear winner this time around the year. Both trail will turn green in summer.

2. Which of these things you like more in Kedarkantha or Brahmatal?

Although it is tricky to assess which of the following is your priority, but may be helpful for favouring one to another. Take a look here:

Kedarkantha versus Brahmatal – Attractions
Kedarkantha Brahmatal
Major attractions An alpine lake Juda Ka Talab, a summit with abundant panoramic views, charming campsites and forest walk. 2 alpine lakes – Bekhaltal and Brahmatal, walking on a stretch of alpine meadows, close view of high mountains and a summit.
Prominent peaks Swargarohini, Black Peak, Bandarpunch. Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Mrigthuni, Chaukhamba, Hati Ghoda, Nilkantha.

 

Hopefully by now you are clear on which trek is your next one 😎 and why . In case you need further drilling or help, don’t hesitate to call us @ +91 9831112469/9836133166/916328300 or drop an email to [email protected].

Also you may like to write your opinion or questions in the comments. You are most welcome!

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2019-20 winters | Kedarkantha update and news

It is natural to be curious about latest updates and current conditions of Kedarkantha if you are in planning phase. Even more so, if you have already finalised your travel. Here is your much awaited updates of Kedarkantha trek, with latest photos from the trail. Whether you will get snow or not, if there is already existing snow then how much that is? So here is it:

  1. Its an exciting news that winter has already set in the Himalayas by early December and Kedarkantha trail is no exception.
  2. As of early December Kedarkantha received multiple snowfall starting from early November, latest one being on 3rd December.
  3.  Kedarkantha base camp has around one foot of deposited snow already.
  4. Judatal lake is fully frozen and campsite has scattered snow. Forest between Judatal and Kedarkantha base camp is also snowy.
  5. Kedarkantha peak has ample snow on its summit.
  6. In a nutshell, Kedarkantha trail become a fun filled snowy land 😎 .

Kedarkantha latest photos:

Some fresh photos of Kedarkantha shot during first week of December 2019. Fresh snow covers more than 50% of the trail. From Judatal to Kedarkantha summit and back has pretty decent 6 inch to one foot of snow.

deposited-snow-early-december-2019-towards-kedarkantha-summit
Early December 2019: Towards Kedarkantha summit

You can see the difference before and after the snowfall from the following pictures. After the moderate fresh snowfall during first week of December, deposited snow increased to a considerable amount. Forest around Judatal and Kedarkantha base become winter wonderland for the time being!

kedarkatha-trail-fresh-snow-update
Before the latest snowfall
kedarkantha-base-after-snowfall-early-december-2019
Kedarkantha base: After snowing in early December
judatal-camp-site-after-snowfall
Juda Ka Talab campsite just after moderate snowing

Forecast and snow expectations:

One important factor for Kedarkantha being the most popular winter trekking destination in India is Walking on ample snow. You normally get easy access to snow, at relatively low altitude and easy terrain.

  1. Chance of snowing intensifies during late December to January. As of now, weather forecast predicts precipitation chance of 50% around Christmas.  This in turn should result into snowfall as already temperatures comfortably going below freezing.
  2. This is only early winter season and early to predict snow conditions in January. Although walking may be challenging and indeed strenuous during late winters. The trail may receive 2/3 numbers of moderate to heavy snowfall during late December to January.

You can check current weather forecast of Kedarkantha trek base Sankri and get an estimate of the coming days for your planning pupose.

PS: All photos are shared by HT staff.

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HIMALAYA TREKKERS

Civilisation, as it progresses, brings along with it the hazards of environmental endangerment in the absence of a symbiotic implementation. The exploitation of the Himalayas, its people, and nature bear testimony to this unpleasant but stark truth. Over the years, unregulated tourism, over-consumption of natural resources and non-enforcement of environmental regulations have taken their toll of the pristine highlands. People in this already poverty stricken region have been forced to shun their traditional ways of life and serve interests of outsiders, at the cost of their own environment. This has led to unsustainability. Dawn follows the night. Such sorry state of affairs has evoked strong reactions across a few quarters who have come out to help restore the balance. And a few more, who are facilitating the process by not adding to the existing disorder. We, at Himalaya Trekkers (HT), probably belong to the second group, and aspire to work our way up to the first. Himalaya Trekkers (HT) support and encourage Sustainable Trekking. The focus is on - Awareness & Engagement - Creating environmental awareness and earning opprotunities among local population by ensuring their participation in sustainable, environment friendly eco-tourism. Conservation & Symbiosis - Living off nature without causing harm, minimizing carbon footprint, endorsing local products and business. These steps may seem insignificant, but no more than the span of human history is - compared to the age of the earth. We request all the trekking and mountaineering communities, agencies and individual nature lovers to preserve and protect the Himalayas and its natural diversity, to respect the age-old culture and traditions of the hill people and give back to them as much as we take. LIVE GREEN, TREK GREEN, TEAM HT
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Swargarohini glacier or the peaks? Which one is the legendary path that Pandavas took to their pursuit to reach heaven?

#himalayatrekkers #LiveGreenTrekGreen #HTtreks
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There is nothing fun like playing an outdoor game and advantage of staying healthy.

Coronavirus surprised us all in some ways which we never been on April fools day!

Stay healthy even you are indoors. Stay safe, and stay home.

Photo: A football match in the afternoon at Yuksom, early spring time
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During this lock down, people are craving for blue sky, open air and a bit of wilderness.
But safety is important. We urge you to stay put for the time being so that the situation gets under control soon and we can again access the places we hold so close to our hearts.
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You can utilise this time to write down the blogs that you are thinking of finishing for ages now. We'll be waiting for your blogs. Mail us at info@himalayatrekker.com.
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The Magical Valley.
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Textures brilliantly captured by Soumya @aymuos
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All our treks in the Himalayas, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Uttarakhand will remain closed from 17th March 2020 till we review the conditions on 31st March 2020.

If you have already booked your tour starting between 17th and 31st March, then we recommend you to not plan anything but wait until end of March. We will review and reassess the situation. Your deposited money remains as is with us. You can use it in any trek with HT in future. We will keep you posted here.

Stay healthy and keep people healthy around you.
Team HT
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Highlights:

 
Location: Chamoli district, Uttarakhand , India
Geo Coordinates: 30.1769929 N,79.5871179 E
Altitude: 3240 m/10630 ft
Major Attractions: High altitude lakes, major Himalayan peaks and panorama, alpine meadows, snow in winters
Destination Type: Trekking & Hiking (Easy grade)
Suggested Tour Duration: 6 days (from nearest rail station or airport).
Best Time to visit: Winters – December to March;
Spring/Summer – April to June;
Autumn – October to November.
Expected Temperature: Minimum: – 10° C to -15° C in December & January;
Maximum: 25° C to 30° C in May June.
How to reach: Via Brahmatal trek route.
Where to reach: Lohajung, Uttarakhand; Trek base on motor route.
Nearest Rail station: Kathgodam is 220 Km from Lohajung.
Haridwar is 280 Km from Lohajung.
Nearest Airport: Delhi – 480 Km from Lohajung.
Dehradun – 275 Km from Lohajung.

About the place:

Brahmatal is an alpine medium size lake at 3240 m/10630 ft.  This captivating trekking destination is a on a hiking trail from Lohajung and measures around 25 Km, to and fro. The lake remains frozen and often filled with snow during winters. The approach to this lake is a charming walk with fantastic opportunity to see high Himalayan snowy peaks among which Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Mrigthuni, Chaukhamba, Nilkantha, Hati Ghoda are notable. Significant portion of the trail is full with thick forest cover of Rhododendrons. During summer and post monsoon alpine meadows on this area remains rich in green. Due to many takeaways Brahmatal is a growing popular trekking destination in India at present.

reaching-brahmatal-lake
Snow filled Brahmatal trail (PC – Divya Ramkrishnan)
walking-on-meadows-to-brahmatal-lake
Walking on sprawling meadows with magnificent Himalayan peak views
brahmatal-a-rectangular-shaped-alpine-lake
Brahmatal in early winter
brahmatal-in-summer
Brahmatal amidst greenery in summer
Check our best in class and safe Brahmatal trekking tour package

brahma tal trek
5.00 / 7 reviews
per person
6D/5N
Easy
5.5/10

 

What people sayabout our tour package

Vanji Nathan Subramani
Vanji Nathan Subramani

Brahmatal Trek

We went to brahmatal trek with HT and needless to say it was a wonderful experience. HT team was so friendly and helpful right from the person who attends your call to the person who accompanies you to the trek. The team including Aritra, were so patient to answer our queries and give all details we needed. The local team at Lohajung headed by Mr.Dev Singh was amazing. They were so friendly people and were ready to help us at any time. You ask and they get it done. The way they guided and accompanied us throughout the trek, we are so grateful to them. Their food was simple yet awesome. We found nothing to complain in all the 5 days. Thank you HT for giving us a lifetime experience with this Brahmatal trek. Hoping to do more with HT in the future. I would recommend any trek lover to team up with HT.

Gyan Prakash
Gyan Prakash

Brahmatal Trek

I went to Brahmtal trek from 22-27 December 2018 with HT. All their arrangements were very nice. Excellent guide Pradyumn ji, great cook Sher Singh Danu and Pradeep and other staff members. Thanks to Rhik for patiently answering all my questions before the trek. I look forward to having another trek with them

Vishal Jain
Vishal Jain

Brahmatal Trek

I am a beginner trekker and before this trek have done 3 treks, but this trek changed my perception towards trekking, earlier i used to believe that one has to leave all the comforts while in trek but entire staff of HT changed this thought. Food provided during trek was awesome and co-operation and service of entire staff was incredible. Mr. Dev Singh and Mr. Mahipat Singh Ji are best at their field and Aritro Da was cherry on the cake. All the other trek mates were way more enthusiastic than my expectation. I had an awesome time with best people. Thank you HT and all trek mates for wonderful experience and memories.

Shruthi Tembad
Shruthi Tembad

Brahmatal Trek

Plan zeroed in Jan 2017 with Himalaya Trekkers to Brahmatal. We, a group of 12 opted for a customized trek with HT. Being the first time trekkers in Himalayas, we were all excited and was looking forward for safe and fun filled trek. HT was patient enough to answer all our queries, though we raised the same queries over and over again. Recommendations and instructions flowed down to our team from HT to ensure that we were all geared up for the trek. The team accommodated all of our needs, and helped us throughout the trek. Team was very humble and co-operative.
Food – Served very well
Guidance- Heard a lot of stories all along the way
Service- Would say, expectations were met
We lived like a family though it was just for a very short time. Team HT and all of us exchanged experiences and smiles. Looking forward for many more memorable journeys with HT.
Cheers to all the good memories that we had with the help of team HT ! Thank you guys 🙂

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Brahmatal snow update for 2019-20 winters:

Some of you have already booked your winter trek to Brahmatal or maybe finalising soon. Here is the latest update from Brahmatal trek trail as per first week of December 2019. This will surely help you to decide and choose your desired date for this exquisite winter trek.

  1. First snowfall of the season occurred on 27th November 2019. This is usual first snowing time in this region.
  2. During first week of December 2019, you will get some snow at or above 3000 m/10000 ft.
  3.  Between 4 to 6 inches of snow deposited on stretches of meadows to Brahmatal and the lake itself.
  4. Thin snow blanket towards Khamila Top also referred to as Brahmatal Top.

Brahmatal trek latest photos during December 2019:

Below are the pictures of Brahmatal trail between 1st to 4th December 2019 that you can get first hand Brahmatal snow update for winters of 2019-20. As a result of late November snowfall, trail already has deposition of some scattered snow around Brahmatal lake and surrounding meadows. Whereas the lower altitude of the trail from Lohajung to Bekhaltal and approach to Brahmatal remains snow less.

brahmtal-winter-snow-trek-december
Brahmatal route as of early December 2019
brahmatal-in-early-december-2019.
Brahmatal: Early December, around 6 inch of snow deposited
brahmatal-campsite-scattered-snow-2019-december
Bramhatal campsite inside forest cover
sunset-time-brahmatal-camp
Sunset time
walking-from-bekhaltal-to-brahmatal
Beautiful clear weather during the trek

Forecast and snow expectations:

  1. This year winter arrived on time in the Himalayas. Temperature is already plummeting below freezing on or above 3000 m/10000 ft. Even Lohajung is attaining a minimum temperature of 2°/3°C on a regular basis by early December.
  2. As its sunny in daytime, some amount of already deposited snow on trail will melt in coming days. However there should be additional snowfall as well. We expect another one or two snowfall by later half of December. In such condition, you will get moderate level (6 inch to 1 foot) of snow blanket on Brahmatal trail during Christmas New Year time.
  3.  Apart from days during snowfall, weather should remain clear for fantastic view of the high mountains.
  4. Usual sunny days accompanying cold nights. Prepare for -10°/-12° C as minimum outside temperature at Brahmatal during early hours of morning.

You can check the current readings by clicking weather forecast of Brahmatal trek base Lohajung.

Note: Check with us for in case you need any latest weather update directly from base camp Lohajung.

PS: All photos are shared by HT staff.

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