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- Winter Treks
Upcoming Brahmatal winter snow treks from December to February 2020.
There are indeed similar routes like Brahmatal trek (pronounced as “Brahma Tal“) in the Himalayas when comparing beauty but definitely found at much higher altitude. Brahma Tal trek is an easy to go winter trek offering almost all you can think of a winter trek destination. Due to its very scenic trail, Brahmatal trek is getting popular rapidly.
Never ending ridge lines, sprawling and delightful alpine meadows/Bugyal, high altitude lakes and majestic peak views are compelling proposition for choosing this trek. In addition to scenic beauty, fresh snow on the trail will surely keep Brahmatal winter trek in your bucket list 😎 .
Brahmatal is medium size lake (Geo coordinates: 30.176878°E, 79.589449°N) beneath the ridge and you can only locate this while getting down from the ridge. As per legend, Lord Brahma meditated beside this lake. The other lake on this trail called Bekhal Tal is Brahma remains hidden inside deep forest. Your guide will probably point it to you, as many of you may just miss it. Both the lake
The peak view from the route is captivating, from east to west you can see the High Himalayan ranges. On the right towards eastward direction you can see Mrigthuni, Devtoli and Maikoti peak of Kumaon. Straight to your north Trisul massif and gigantic Nanda Ghunti are breathtaking. Bethartoli Himal and Nandaghunti. On the left westward side we can see the massive Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, Kamet, Hathi and Ghoda peaks. This is just the opposite ridge of the famous Roopkund trek and offers a Birds-eye view of the route including Ali Bugyal, Bedni Bugyal, Roopkund and Junargali including far poised famous Ronty saddle.
The best season to explore this trail is either winter or in the springs. During winter weather normally remains clear and panoramic beauty of the surrounding is unmatched. Adequate amount of snow is another reason that this is getting popular in recent years. In Spring the trail is bountiful with Rhododendron blossoms while the last patches of snow start melting. For you who want a longer duration camping trek may combine Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal trek to complete a circuit around Lohajung.
Finally, it would be an unjust, if we don’t mention about our trek base Lohajung here. This small business town at an altitude of ~ 2320 m/7600 ft, comprises a one strip bazaar, few basic restaurants to eat and handful of lodges. However the views of Nanda Ghunti mountain and sunset on the southern valley side are just enough to start the beginning.
Brief itinerary for Brahmatal trek:
Day 1: Drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung – 220 Km by car 10 hours. Lodge
Day 2: Trek to Bekhal Tal – 6 Km – 4/5 hours. Camp
Day 3: Trek to Brahma Tal – 6 Km – 4/5 hours. Camp
Day 4: Brahma Tal to Khamila Top/Jatropani and back to Brahma Tal camping ground– 8 Km – 6/7 hours. Camp
Day 5: Trek down to Lohajung – 12 Km – 6/7 hours. Lodge
Day 6: Drive from Lohajung to Haridwar – By car – 280 Km – 12 hours
- You need to reach Kathgodam on Day 1 latest by 7 am and will return to Haridwar on Day 6 evening by 8 pm. Arrange your tickets accordingly. We can arrange a car pick up from Kathgodam and drop to Haridwar. You will share with fellow trekkers.
- Last ATM at Dewal, 25 Km before Lohajung, though often without cash. Withdraw well in advance in Kathgodam, Almora or Kausani.
- All major mobile networks including BSNL, Airtel, Vodafone. Idea work at Lohajung. You will not get any network ahead of Lohajung.
Altitude and distance profile graph for Brahma Tal trek:
Why Brahma Tal is most scenic winter trek?
Yes the trail does take you through dense Rhododendron forest, stretch of alpine meadow and two lakes. Though, we think only the peak views from this trail is the very reason that you will not think twice to choose. If you don’t believe, here is the aerial satellite views of Brahma Tal region and the top referred to as Khamila Top/Jatropani. In winter weather remains clearer and you get good amount of snow on the trail to enjoy 🙂
Also it will be an unjust to the Brahma Tal trek route If we don’t mention the mesmerising sunrise and sunset colours here. You will witness surely stunning dawn and dusk colour, from Lohajung as well as Brahma Tal camp. Check on your own 🙂
Clothing and expected temperature during Brahma Tal trek:
It is important to carry proper clothing in winter as the campsite temperatures are sub zero in winter.
Winter: From December to February during winter the daytime temp remains cool and nights are cold. Late night/early morning temperatures at Lohajung, Bekhal Tal and Brahma Tal can be around 0° to 2°C, 0°C to -2°C and -5°C to -10° C. Though inside tent the temperature will be 10°C warmer but still can be freezing.
Three layers of clothing is mandatory in the campsite while outside tent.
a) A thermal base layer (warm woolly-cot material).
b) A warm jacket (double layer or Fleece jacket ) as middle layer.
c) A windproof cum waterproof with hood as the outer layer.
Summer & Fall: Day time weather remains warm and pleasant. Night/early morning temperatures at camp sites can be from 10°C (lower camps) to 2°C (higher camps)
You will not require the thermal base layer from May to October.
Don’t forget to check and download the “list of things that you need to carry during Brahmatal trek“
Access to trek base Lohajung:
We will arrange a pickup from Kathgodam railway station to Lohajung and drop from Lohajung to Haridwar. This will be shared equally by the trekkers. You pay directly to the driver. The fare is following:
Kathgodam to Lohajung: ₹ 5500 for a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Bolero (5 to 8 may share) and ₹ 9000 (12-13 seat) for Tempo Traveller.
Lohajung to Haridwar/Rishikesh: ₹ 6000 for a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Bolero (5 to 8 may share) and ₹ 10000 (12-13 seat) for Tempo Traveller.
Here is a road map with major points enroute from Kathgodam to Lohajung and return return to Haridwar/Rishikesh.
To reach the trek base Lohajung independently or by public transportation check the details in GETTING THERE TAB
Updates from 2018-19 season:
As we update this on 5th March 2019 Lohajung has leftover snow here and there, specially under shades. The trek base Lohajung received at least 3 major snowfall of 1 foot or more deposition in three occasions. First one during 22nd Jan, then one followed in mid February and last one in the end of Feb, 26th & 27th Feb.
Usual winter season started by mid of Dec 2018, with little snow, as expected. Groups received patches of snow towards top. Around mid January weather was conducive for heavy snowfall. 3 major snowstorms hit the area, one is Jan and two in Feb. Intermittently it snowed frequently throughout February ranging from 2/3 inches to 5/6 inches, depending on altitude covered during Brahma Tal trek.
The following picture is just to assure you all that Brahma Tal trail will remain snow covered till end of March for sure. Also it is not uncommon to snow around 3000 m/10000 ft, even in March, which possibly will remain as late as mid of April 2019.
Snowfall update on January/February 2018
This winter, snowfall deposition was pretty low in Uttarakhand and Himachal stretching a large region as late as mid of January. Brahma Tal trail suffered this as late as January third week. with just one initial winter snowfall in first half of December. On 23rd January we had two groups (10 person’s in each) camping at Brahma Tal – one after the summit to Khamila top and another coming up from Bekhal Tal to Brahma Tal. Around 6 p.m it started to snow and in four hours it snowed around one and half feet. Below collage is taken by our staff while coming down from Brahma Tal on 24th Jan. This should remain around 15 days and another snowfall may occur in February.
On 12th February it snowed again on the trail for around 6 inch and now again it covered with snow. As this year’s snowfall is rather late, we expect another one probably in February or beginning of March.
Why treks with HT?
|Expertise:||10 years on ground experience|
|Support staff:||Qualified local & office staff|
|Group size:||Small groups up to 15|
|Insurance:||Travel insured trek and tour itinerary|
|Easy Bookings:||25% Booking Deposit|
Duration: 4 days of trek; Kathgodam to Haridwar in 6 days.
Prerequisite: Ideal for beginners/first Himalayan trek.
Highest Point: Khamila Top ~ 4000 m/13120 ft.
Trail Length: 30 Km
Seasons: March/April (Spring/Snow), October/November (Post Monsoon/Fall), & December to February (Winter/Snow)
Further Option: Trek via Kukina Khal and Kanol to Kuari Pass (10 days)
Access: Trek starting point (trek base) is Lohajung, 220 Km from Kathgodam.
Rail station: Kathgodam (STN Code: KGM); Haridwar (while return, STN Code: HW)
Upcoming scheduled dates for Brahma Tal trek:
- You can check the scheduled Fixed Departure dates in the calendar available inside Booking Form or inside REGISTER NOW form. Tour starting Dates are highlighted as per our itinerary (Day 1 of 6 days itinerary).
- At present BOOK NOW functionality is disabled. You can get all the information in your email by submitting the REGISTER NOW form.
- If you are a group of people and available dates are not matching then you may select Custom date mode (by clicking the Select your custom date) and fill in the displayed form.
- You can also check all the available dates at a glance in our TREK CALENDAR.
- Trekkers need to reach Kathgodam on Day 1 morning (latest by 7 am). Return to Haridwar on Day 6 late evening (8-9 pm). Arrange your tickets for inward journey and return accordingly.
|DEPARTURE LOCATION||Kathgodam railway station|
|REPORTING TIME||7:00 AM for a prompt departure to Lohajung (Day 1)|
|RETURN TIME||Approximately 8:00/9:00 PM (Day 6)|
How to reach Lohajung (The trek base):
Nearest Rail station: Kathgodam (Station Code: KGM)
Nearest Airport: Delhi
We will arrange a pick up and drop from Kathgodam to Lohajung and back. This will be shared equally by the team members on actual basis. You pay directly to the driver/transporter. The fare is Rs 5500 for a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx one way. These can accommodate 6 to 8 people. Similarly a Tempo Traveller charges Rs 9000 which can accommodate 12 people. This is NOT included in the TREK FEE and to be payable directly to the driver/owner.
If you wish to reach our Trek Base Lohajung on your own by public transportation:
- From Kathgodam there is no direct bus or shared car service to Lohajung. Reach latest by 6 am to Haldwani (The city, 4 Km before Kathgodam) and take a shared Jeep service to Deval. This is is 25 Km before Lohajung. From Deval you may get another shared service to Lohajung or you may have to hire one.
- If you travel from Haridwar side, then reach Rishikesh on the previous night (Day 0, 25 Km from Haridwar) and board the bus for Mandoli/Lohajung at 5 am next morning. This private bus takes 12 to 14 hours to reach Lohajung. As this is a privately operated bus so may not operate during the high demand of Chardham yatra season. The route is via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karanprayag, Tharali and Deval. 260 Km.
- From Lohajung the bus to Rishikesh starts early in the morning by 6 am and reach by 6 pm .
How to reach Kathgodam:
For the treks in Kumaon or in the bordering area of Garhwal, one has to reach Kathgodam/Haldwani normally. Lal Kuan is just 20 Km and Haldwani is 5 Km before Kathgodam. Bus, shared taxi and private cars are available.
You can fly or by train reach New Delhi as per your convenience from any part within India. Reach Delhi accordingly that you have enough time for transit withing Delhi.
There are direct trains from Kolkata to Kathgodam(KGM)/Lal Kuan(LKU)
BAGH EXPRESS – Train No. 13019 (ONLY book when you stay the night at Kathgodam, DON’t book this train when you plan a long onward journey immediately in the morning)]
HWH LKU EXP – Train No. 12353 – Lalkuan Express (runs only on Friday, you need to stay at Kathgodam for the night, only 20 Km away)
Avoid booking wait listed (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berth and hence much better chance to get confirmed.
You can reach KATHGODAM/HALDWANI EASILY FROM NEW DELHI BY TRAIN OR BUS (~ 6/8 HOURS) AND IS AROUND 270 KM.
Following trains are good to reach Kathgodam and run daily.
RANIKHET EXP – Train No. 15013 (best option, runs overnight, arrives KGM early morning @ 5 am. Board from Delhi(DLI)/Old Delhi Junction station)
UTR SAMPRK K EX – Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti Express – Train No. 15035 (good option when you stay the night @ Kathgodam and travel next morning)
ANVT KGM SHT – Anand Vihar Kathgodam Shatabdi Express – Train No. 12040 (Arrives KGM in the morning @ 11:40 am, alternate choice when you stay the night in Kathgodam and travel by car next morning)
Always avoid booking wait listed (WL) tickets in AC classes (1A/2A/3A) or Chair Car (CC). Book Sleeper class (SL)/Second Sitting class (2S) tickets which have normally more seats/berth and hence much better chance to get confirmed.
Haldwani buses are more frequent than that of Kathgodam. Its easy to reach Kathgodam from Haldwani which is only 5 Km away.
Govt. Road Transport (Roadways of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana etc) buses are frequently available in day time and night from Anand Vihar ISBT Tickets are available on board for these regular type buses. Some of the state transport companies offer online reservation for Volvo/A.C Luxury buses. Check these Govt. operated state bus services for online booking:
From Delhi Airport or Station you can reach ISBT Anand Vihar via Delhi Metro service (http://www.delhimetrorail.com/metro-fares.aspx).
For privately operated bus, you can book online from different portals (http://www.redbus.in). Select a boarding point suitably. Overnight Volvo/A.C/Push back bus service.
For night stay in Kathgodam:
Trekkers reaching on the previous day before the journey to the actual trek base need to stay the night in Kathgodam. There are few options in Kathgodam for spending a night while staying in Standard accommodation.
State run KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) operates Tourist Rest House at Kathgodam just opposite to the railway station (beside Bus stand). This is a reliable and a decent choice for Standard accommodation. Check the following for reservation of the above
There are privately run hotels/lodges near Kathgodam railway station & Haldwani Bus terminus.
Return from Kathgodam:
Normally you reach from trek base to Kathgodam by 5/6 pm in the evening. You can take any train after 7 pm or regular bus service as mentioned above to reach Delhi or directly to your homeward journey.
Drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung: 220 Km - 10/11 hours
Pickup from Kathgodam in the morning and reach Lohajung (~ 2320 m/7600 ft) which is 220 Km away. The journey may take around 10 hours with a break or two. The road is through the Kumaon region and mostly goes along wide spread valleys of Shivalik Himalaya. We cross Almora and Kausani on our way. From Gwaldam onward the road enters in the Garhwal administrative region and the road is gradually winding and goes through the conifer forest.
The last stretch of the journey from Deval to Lohajung has considerable height gain. Lohajung has one GMVN tourist lodge, one Tourist Rest House and few private hotels. All the major mobile networks have connectivity here. The sunset from Lohajung needs a special mention indeed. Warm colours on Nandaghunti massif is bound to make you speechless. The night accommodation in Tourist Rest House/Lodge.
Trek to Bekhal Tal/Khopdalia campsite: 6 Km - 4/5 hours
Our trek starts today. We walk gradually up on the ridge starting just beside Lohajung and walk on a gentle gradient up encircling the mountain. On the route we see magnificent view of Didna village and Nandaghunti mountain while pausing and looking back. In contrast fascinating ridge lines forms and Mandoli village in front captivates our view.
The walk is mostly inside the jungle of conifer, Cedar, Oak and Fir. We gradually climb the ridge and for an hour or so. From here we walk along a ravine which is canopied by dense vegetation. Sunlight hardly enters here and probably you will get deposited snow here, if not already 🙂 After a while we take a left and reach an opening suitable for camping. This lovely camping ground is called Khopdalia (~ 2950 m/9670 ft). Total distance is 6 Km and can take 4/5 hours. We camp for the night. Bekhal tal is only 10 minutes from here. You may visit in the afternoon with your guide.
Trek to Brahma Tal: 6 Km - 4/5 hours
Today morning after breakfast we take the main trail from campsite and get inside the canopy of forest, once more. The forest is a mix of Rhododendrons and Conifers. In spring the forest blooms in pink and red. In next 10 minutes we reach Bekhal Tal (~3000 m/9840 ft). This medium size rectangular lake has a small temple at one of the edge of the it. Normally it starts freezing in December and remains frozen till March.
From here we have to climb the ridge which is a sustained moderate climb for one and half hours. We continue our hike inside the forest with occasional breaks. After completing this climb we reach the edge of the “Bugyal”, the high altitude meadow of the Himalayas. This fringe of the forest is residing place for Himalayan Monal during winter. From here onward the view on our right, i,e, the north-east side unfolds with extended panorama. Peaks of Kumaon like Maiktoli, Devtoli to Mrigthuni, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti, one by one. We walk along the ridge and witness one of the most enticing panorama of Garhwal.
After about an hours of fascinating walk we leave the ridge and descent on the left slope to reach the lake Brahma Tal (~3250 m/10660 ft) surrounded by the slopes of mountain. This is a medium sized longitudinal lake , with few last remaining trees on this altitude. The lake is hard to locate from far but one needs to be close enough to get the glimpse of the dark turquoise water. We set up our tent on a suitable ground around Brahma Tal. Distance is 6 Km and may take around 4/5 hours.We camp for the night.
Optional: In the afternoon climb up the ridge to witness magnificent sunset. Changing hue on Trishul, Nandaghunti and Mrigthuni will surely spellbound you. A round trip should take 2 hours from camp site.
Trek to Khamila Top and back to Brahma Tal: 7 Km - 6/7 hours
Today we will attempt the summit of the top which we see to our north west. This is actually the crest of the ridge which we followed yesterday before descending to the camping ground around Brahma Tal. Its a moderate climb to the top of the ridge for 3 to 4 hours. You need to start by 6/6:30 am in hthe morning to reach top by 10 am. Two peaks, higher being the west one (Khamila Top, also called Jatropani at 4000 m/13120 ft) and the east one a few hundred feet lower. Initially we cross the meadow and take the ridge towards the summit. The peaks westward to Nanda Ghunti uncovers from this trail as we go more towards the top.
The last stretch to summit is boulder strewn. The view from top is truly a panorama of more than 180°. From here you can see peaks of Badrinath valley, from west Chaukhamba, Neelkanth to Hati Ghoda to our north east Nanda Ghunti, Bethartoli Himal, Ronty, Trishul, Mrigthuni to Maiktoli, Devtoli in east.
After spending half an hour we start descending our camp at Brahma Tal. You will get a birds eye view of the camp site and the valley beneath. Total distance is 8 Km and may take up to 6/7 hours.
Trek down to Lohajung – 12 Km – 6/7 hours
Today we descend to Lohajung retracing back our route. Another chance to witness the panorama if you have missed while reaching.
This should take 6/7 hours. In the evening if you have interest try to see the sunset on the valley side, i.e. towards Deval/Gwaldam. Walk 10 minutes from Lohajung bazaar down to any suitable bend. Surely you will be amazed by the colours of the sky. Accommodation in lodge.
Drive to Rishikesh/Haridwar - 250-270 Km - 10/11 hours
Today morning we start our return journey and this time to Haridwar. We follow the same route till Tharali and turn right towards Karnaprayag following the turquoise Pindar river. From Karnaprayag we follow Alaknanda river till Rudraprayag where another tributary Mandakini meets. Following the river valley at Devprayag, two main sources Alaknanda and Bhagirathi river form the holy river Ganga. Rishikesh is another two hours journey from here. Finally we reach Haridwar completing our journey. Trip ends here.
Note that it is also possible to return to Kathgodam like you reached Lohajung.
P.S.: Distances and altitudes are approximate and may not be exact.
TREK FEE: ₹ 7950 (Lohajung to Lohajung) + 5% GST
Book for 5 persons or more and get flat 10% Group Discount on TREK FEE
2 night’s accommodation at Lohajung (Day 1 & Day 5) in lodge on sharing basis and dinner.
All meals during the trek. Regular Indian style nutritious vegetarian food during the trek (including occasional eggs), breakfast packed/hot lunch (depending upon the time you reach a campsite), snacks, dinner along with coffee/tea/soup.
Excellent Trekking Guide, who will be a local to this particular area and has profound knowledge of the trekking trails around.
Specialised Cook, Support staff, Porters/Packed Animals for carrying the central logistics of the trek.
Stay in tents (3 persons dome or ridge shaped tents) on sharing basis during the trek.
Camping equipment like Sleeping bag, Carry mattress, Gaiters, Micro spikes/Crampon. (Bring your own sleeping if you have a high altitude specific personal Sleeping Bag. This is always better for hygienic reasons.)
Kitchen tent, dinning tent and toilet tent as required during the trek.
All permit fee, camping charges, forest levy required for the trek.
Basic Medical & First Aid kit.
Travel insurance cum Accidental Insurance Policy covering high altitude trekking tours (For Indian nationals it is included in the TREK FEE, up to 60 years of age). It covers your trek as well as Kathgodam to Haridwar, for a duration of 7 days.
Transportation from Kathgodam to Lohajung and back to Haridwar. ₹ 5500 for a Tata Sumo and ₹ 9000 for a Tempo Traveller, one way. Approximately ₹ 2000 per person for pick up and drop. You pay directly to the driver, sharing equally.
We assume that you will carry your personal Rucksack/Backpack with all your personal belongings. If you want to offload your Rucksack and be carried by our Pack Animal/Porter then you need to pay additional ₹ 1200 for the entire duration of the trek. The Rucksack should not weigh more than 10 Kg.
Any tip/gratuity to the HT supports staff.
Anything is is NOT mentioned in the “Inclusions” or personal in nature.
- We assume that you have read and understood our “Terms & Conditions” (https://himalayatrekker.com/terms-and-conditions) before Booking a trek/tour.
- To reserve your place in a scheduled Fixed Departure trek or a Customised/Private trek pay 25% of the TREK/TOUR FEE as the initial “Booking Deposit”. You can pay by Net banking/Draft/Cheque/Credit/Debit/AMEX cards. This will ensure your participation in the desired trek and we will reserve your place in the scheduled date. You need to pay the remaining amount at least 15 days before Trek Starting Date.
- If you book a Trek/Tour before 14 days or less from Trek/Tour Starting Date, you need to pay the full TREK/TOUR FEE.
- “Booking Amount” i.e.25% of the TREK/TOUR FEE is Non-Refundable at any stage.
- If in case you are not able to make it due to unavoidable reason(s), we provide you avery flexible choice of Shifting to another trek within next one year. One year is counted from the starting date of the trek/tour you booked initially with us.
- In case you postpone your trip you need to informminimum of 15 days before the trek/tour starting date. (Though we suggest to inform us earlier if known)
- In case you postpone a trek/tour before 15 days of the scheduled Trek/Tour Starting date or prior, you may shift to another group of the same trek/tour scheduled in the same season or within next one year. You may shift to another suitable route also. For changing any, you need our approval first. Your request must be in written communication through your registered email with us.
- If you cancel/postpone a trek/tour from14 days to 8 days before tour starting date, your Booking Amount is Non-Refundable. We will not take any request of shifting dates. We will charge 50% of the amount as Cancellation Charges and process refund of remaining 50%. You may also shift to another group within next year but 25% Booking Amount will be deemed as Cancellation Charge and the rest amount will be transferred to the shifted group.
- If you cancel a trek/tour 7 days (i.e. a week) before Trek/Tour Starting Date or later, there will be NO REFUND.
- In case of any unforeseen incident including but not limited to natural calamities like flood, earthquake, landslide, forest fire or any political unrest, if we are compelled to cancel the trek/trip, you will be entitled to redeem the full amount for the same/similar kind of trek/trip within next one year.
If you need more clarifications write in to [email protected]