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Kaliheni Pass Trek - Following an ancient Shepherd's Trail

Upcoming Summer Treks to Kaliheni Pass:

Trek Code KLP17S1 – 17th Jun (Day 1) to 24th Jun’17 (Day 8)
Trek Code KLP17S2 – 24th Jun (Day 1) to 1st Jul’17 (Day 8)

Cost : Rs 13500 (Manali to Manali)+ 9% Service Tax

(Book for 3 persons and get a discount of 5%; Book for 5 or more to get a 10% Group Discount)

Download PDF Brochure FOR BRIEF ITINERARY, COST INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS.

To Book Click here

Fixed Departure Trek: Please see the “Fixed Departure Treks” link for entire schedule of the year or click here.

Customised Trek: We are pleased to offer customised tailor made trekking trips to Kaliheni Pass and Bara Bhangal  for small group of people according to their preferred dates and service.

The Trek Highlights:

Length: 7 days; Manali to Manali . 6 days of trekking. Walking from Manali to Kaliheni Pass and back to Sangchur, around 70 km.

Access: Manali is well connected by bus from New Delhi and Chandigarh. Frequent bus services from Delhi Kashmiri Gate ISBT. Overnight Volvo service to and fro Delhi.

Highest Point: Kaliheni Pass ~ 4800m/15750 ft

Grade: Moderate (Strenuous); Steep sustained descend to Sangchur.

Seasons:  June,  September and October; Best in Sep/Oct

Further Option : After crossing the pass trek to Bara Bhangal village in 4 days and another 2 days to cross Thamsar Pass and reach the road near Bir in Kangra district.

About Kaliheni Pass trek: Kaliheni pass (also pronounced as Kalihani Pass), traditionally known as the Senghor Jot, is the highest pass in the shepherd route from Kullu valley to the remotest Bara Bhangal area in Kangra. Kali-Heni which means black snow, is rightly named as ancient glaciers with very old ice formations are observed both in the approach and at the pass. The pass itself is glacial. The route to Kaliheni and back to Sangchur village takes 6 days and 70 Km of trekking through Alpine forest inside Manali Sanctuary, splendid rolling Meadows and glacier moraine zones. The hidden lush pastures are traditionally known to the “Gaddi”s (local name for the Shepherds) and while crossing the pass grazing opportunity extended between Kullu and Kangra valleys. On the first and last day of the trek, bird’s eye view of spread out Kullu valley is spectacular to watch. Lama Dugh area is known for its wild flowers during summer and monsoon. From Khanpari Pass/base of Khanpari Tibba, the view of Pir Panjal range (Deo Tibba, Indrasan, Indra Tilak, Ali Ratan Tibba etc) is a trekkers delight. To the north-west Dhauladhar Range (Hanuman Tibba) is close by. Very few trails in Himachal produce similar kind of vast expanse of the sprawling meadows. In jest, this interior high altitude mountain pass between Kullu and Kangra is a unique Himalayan trail of its own kind with unexplored wilderness. For experienced trekkers this trek provides an opportunity to see Pir Panjal & Dhauladhar ranges of Himalaya together and should be in to do list.

Access to Manali (The trek base): You need to reach the trek base Manali of your own.

Ample choice of bus, ranging from regular, luxury and Volvo operated by both Govt. and private agencies from New Delhi and Chandigarh to Manali.

1)From Delhi (Kashmiri Gate ISBT) the buses normally start in the afternoon and reaches Manali next day by noon. Depending upon the service it may take 14 to 16 hrs. Distance is around 550 Km.
2)From Chandigarh ISBT there are regular bus services for Manali, starting in the early morning. It may take 8 to 10 hrs depending upon the bus service. Distance around 320 Km.
3) While returning Volvo service from Manali to Delhi starts at 4:30/5 pm in the afternoon. The last bus operated by HRTC starts at 9:30 pm for Delhi. Regular buses operate throughout the day time starting in the morning.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON REACHING MANALI CLICK HERE

Day 1: Reach Manali (~ 1950 m/6400 ft) by noon/afternoon. Our guest house is at a place called Vashisht, which is 3 Km further up from Manali town. This village is acclaimed for its hot baptize springs and temples of Vashisht Rishi and Aristocrat Rama. Accustomed hot sulphur springs with two abstracted bathing tanks for gents and ladies are consistently abounding of tourists.  In the evening go for a walk to Jogini falls, one and half Km from the temple. Accommodation in rest house/home-stay.

A clearing in between

A clearing in between

Initial steep climb

Initial steep climb

Lama Dugh campsite

Lama Dugh campsite

Shrubs and undergrowth on the way

Shrubs and undergrowth on the way

Day 2: Today morning our trek starts. We take a small ride in the car from Vashisht to reach the opposite side of Beas river cutting Manali town. The trek starts from the upper reaches of  Manali (7000 ft) behind the Hadimda Temple. The PWD road transforms into a narrow foot-route which vanishes into the jungle. There is a DPS school and a water supply ‘nal’ where one can refresh oneself before taking on the 10 km long steep walk which lays forward. Initially the trail moves along Manali Sanctuary within the dense and beautiful forest with overwhelming large trees like the Deodars, Walnut, Maples with steep up rise having only a few intermediate reliefs. The condition of the path may vary based on weather and in rainy season it can be treacherously muddy. About three hours of uphill march one reaches a distinct clearing, more like a field with a few stones scattered around. Take lunch break in this serene place surrounded by forest all around and having glimpses of the faraway Kullu valley we left beneath. The next stretch of the trek starts with considerable steepness for the next 2/2 and half hours. Slowly as one gains altitude, the big trees gives way to man-height shrubs with occasional clearings from where one suddenly have head spinning view of the beas valley which have been left far below. At the last couple of kilometers stretch, the slope eases out and walk continues through dense forest with mosses and lichens all around. Here we encountered a strange challenge, indeed never thought about before. The trail meets an approx 2 ft diameter supply water pipe and for some distance (around 400 – 500 m) the trail goes along the pipe. Be careful while walking and avoid stepping on it. At last after crossing couple of humps, one emerges into a large bowl shaped clearing with a abandoned remnant of a trekkers hut in the middle. Herein the place, Lama Dugh(~ 3050m/10000 ft), to camp for the night. Total distance is 10 Km and may take 6/7 hours.

Rohtang and Pir Panjal range

Rohtang and Pir Panjal range

@ Khanperi Pass

@ Khanperi Pass

Riyali area

Riyali area

Riyali Thach camping ground

Riyali Thach camping ground

Day 3: The trek starts early next day and gradually ascends on the stony trail with the receding tree zone around. Stunning view appears soon after the walk starts where the distant snowy Chandra Bhaga (CB) ranges sprung up in the north-east. As one gradually approaches the Khanpari pass (13200 ft), view of the prominent massifs of the CB range, Indrasan, the spikey Aliratani Tibba, Indra Tilak, Deo Tibba are all seen towards the right. Close to the trees are all gone with extensive high altitude meadow region all around and the steepness becomes harder. Looking back one can see amazing view of the zigzagging road to Rohtang Pass exposed like canal duct! The spur on this ridge leading the peak called Khanpari Tibba rising ~300m/1000 fit above. The view of the Dhauladhar range, Hanuman Tibba being the highest peak, and the Manalsu Nala and its surrounding glaciers to the left creates an amphitheatric bowl. The pass itself at the end of Tree Line and denotes the starting of Alpine meadows, (called “Thach” locally as compared to “Bugiyal” in Garhwal & Kumaon). Looking ahead from pass the meadows of Riyali encompass the vista. A gentle walk and followed by a steep descend of one and a half hours and later by a kilometer of relatively gentle trail – the last one gives some relief to the weary walker! No trace habitation in the route except for couple of stone guarded shepherds hut. One reaches end of the Riyali Thach (~ 3400m/11200 ft) in the afternoon to camp for the night. Total distance is 10 Km and can take 5/6 hours. The beauty and the variety of the day’s trail will leave one ruminating in the night.

Walking over the ridge

Walking over the ridge

River crossing

River crossing

A view from base camp

A view from base camp

Approaching base camp

Approaching base camp

Day 4:  The trek starts off early next day and immediately leaves the Riyali area and descends into a zone of trees. Soon after a km of up and down walk, openness of the Bugiyal  comes once again and the glimpse of the  Kaliheni Pass (Sanghor Jot, as it was known traditionally) can be seen far away and up above in the front. Rocky ranges accompany in the left with old grayish glacial fans prominently visible. The path descends slightly again and soon comes to the first river crossing. The river is fast flowing here and balancing on the stone is optional only if one reaches here early (when the water is still less). Otherwise best is to take off shoes, take support and wad through the icy water. Crossing this and just taking the right is the next crossing, the stream here is flanked by amazing old glacial edges jutting out with black ice visible underneath. Immediately after the crossings, an arduous climb follows on grassy mountain slab and with a ridge walk, which takes the trekker to the other side of the mountain. Once the ridge is finished we can see the base camp area a Kilometre ahead. Foggy undercover may prevail here in the afternoon. In a semicircular arc we cover the remaining flattened trail to reach the base camp (~ 3950m/13000 ft). Total distance is 10 Km and may take 5/6 hours. Reaching the Base in the afternoon feels cold as the place is generally windy and exposed to the pass in the front. The intimidating trail towards the pass and the approach over the glacial destruction- moraine zone is all visible in the front and reminds one about the next day’s effort. Camping has to done here overnight. A good rest and sleep is required to undertake the next day’s attempt.

Stsrting from base camp ( The pass is behind the ridge in front)

Starting from base camp

On the moraines

On the moraines

Snow field before pass

Snow field before pass

At Kaliheni Pass

At Kaliheni Pass

Day 5:  The trek should start early morning to leave the entire day to reach Kaliheni Pass and back to base feasibly. The walk starts over the immense rocky destruction zone, trampling over the big and medium sized stones strewn all over. One clearly has to concentrate on the feet as the stones compel the ankle twist and turn to every possible angle! However the toiling is immediately rewarded with the stunning view of the range containing the Sanghor Jot standing like an immense wall and guarding the route to Bara Bhangal. Movement is really slow here and steepness is considerable. The atmosphere also gets rarefied fast as one gains height. Finally, reaching on the top of the ridge, the other side comes into view with breathtaking ice fields. The breadth also goes off as one soon realizes (as also from the guide’s prompting) that this is not the pass, one has to go even further, climb up in the front and then right to reach the pass.  The area is completely ice and rock here and astonishingly smooth plate – like stones dominated the rocky bridges between the ice fields. Kaliheni Pass (~4800m/15750ft) itself on the glacier, with a distinctly beautiful opening of about 50m between two steep rocky ridges. The pass has a crevasse in the middle. The view on the other side is arctic; breathtaking ice fields gently roll down the three glacial lakes down below. Far away in the front – right, sharp snow clad peaks juts out of the white desert like a perfect picture. One can spend some time on the pass but should get off early and starts the descend downwards and the weather here is treacherous and could become foggy, leading to snowing in the alter half of the day. Retracing the ice and rock zones and steep downward descent one comes back to the moraine zone. Crossing it over is never simpler (rather difficult) in descent rather than ascent. Exhausted after the day’s hard toil, one reaches the camp shelter with a day’s trek worth remember for life. Total distance is 12 Km and may take up to 8 hours.

Walking inside the gorge

Walking inside the gorge

Returning via riyali thach

Returning via riyali thach

Day 6: Trek starts leaving behind the Kaliheni Base and retracing the same path all the way to the Riyali Thach camping ground. After 10 minutes we take a detour from the main trail ( the trail through we came) and take the trail right of us. Our campsite can be located from here but will take couple of hours from this place. A ~200m/650ft of descent takes us to the bed of a stream. We gradually follow a stream down and cross to its left bank. The gorge is narrow and colourful rocky cliffs clinging with lichens and moss. After the crossover the trail is somewhat long but rewards with the beautiful expanses of the sprawling meadows at Dor Nallah, and the camp site (~ 3200m/10500ft) is itself at the top of a round Thach/Bugiyal. Total distance is 15 Km and may take 6/7 hours. Rocky walls jut out in our front like ancient Stonehenge. Night falls with emerging of a breathtakingly starry sky as if like viewing from space.

Wide spread Kullu valley

Wide spread Kullu valley

Sangchur village

Sangchur village

Day 7: The trek starts and we traverse the meadows on the last day of the trek, back descending towards Sangchur. Beautiful meadows gently descend and we could see Lammergeiers, Griffons and Golden Eagles circling in the sky high above us, as we slowly go down. After couple of hours, we reached the tree line distinctly marking the edges of the meadows. The trail turns narrow and the steep descent starts through the bushy and shrubby undergrowth. After an hour of descent, one can suddenly see a fantastic view of vast stretch of Kullu valley, from Manali to Kullu town with the meandering Beas in the middle, an unforgettable bird’s eye view. As one descends, the valley rises up and gets more distinct. At the end, we will negotiate a steep and muddy (at places) descent marked with high stepping stones. The sustained lower gradient continues for more than an hour. Entering in the Sangchur Village (~ 2150m/7050 ft) brings again a relief and joy of seeing a habitation after a break in wilderness. We take a pre booked Jeep from here to Vashisht, 30 Km via Patlikuhl. Stay overnight at Vashisht, Manali.

Day 8: This is an additional day and is MANDATORY within the itinerary. In a strenuous high altitude trek like Kaliheni pass there are days which can take even 8 hours or more in the above itinerary. As per case to case our guide will decide how to include this additional day within the trail to reduce the per day distances. Also this is important considering the unwanted weather conditions which is always a possibility high on the Himalayas. Hence Manali to Manali is 8 days itinerary for Kaliheni Pass.

P.S.: The altitudes and distances in the details are approximate and may not be exact.

CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF THINGS TO CARRY IN Kaliheni PASS TREK OR DOWNLOAD PDF BROCHURE

CLICK HERE FOR REGISTRATION AND CANCELLATION POLICY OR DOWNLOAD PDF BROCHURE