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Roopkund Trek

Region : Garhwal & Kumaon Himalayas
Duration : 14 / 16 Days.
Altitude : Max.. 4650m
Grade : Moderate
Best Season :May / June / July / September / October.

Departure Dates : May 12th - 2010  :  Trip Cost :  Euro 750 /  900

Today after breakfast, long drive(240kms) along the crushing Alaknanda River to Joshimath (1890 m). . The entire drive toady is along the Ganga and Alaknanda river. We stop at Devprayag to visit the confluence at the beginning of the Ganges. Arrive Joshimath and transfer to hotel. Eveing visit the hill town. Dinner and overnight hotel. 

Gradual climbing to Gairson 1 hour in meadow and hour in forest and than meadow. From Auli you will have your first views of the mountain goddess-Nanda Devi , Neelkanth, Kamet, Hathi parbat, Hathighori, Mukut, Dronagiri and Nanda Devi. From the Tali lake, You can find the panoramic enchanting view of Mt. Dronagiri shadow in the crystal clear lake at Tali. the trail continues through a mixed pine and oak forest for two to three kms, before a short descent to the meadow at Chitriganta ( 3310 m). Today we camp inside a dense forest.Dinner and overnight in tents.

Today is a gladual and sleepy mix climbing till to kunwari pass, from kunwari pass descending to Dhakwani meadow. Today we ascend the ridge above Chitriganta and just below the ridge, the trail leads through a large meadow offering spectacular views of the Himalayas and Zanskar ranges. We then cross over the Kauri pass (3640m ), a small col in a grassy ridge. From the Pass we have beautiful views of Nanda Devi (7816 m) and Nanda Devi East Summit (7434 m). From here the route leads along the right side of the gorge past a small shepherds encampment to a clearing at Dakwani. O/N - Camp. 

Today we have a trek about 5 / 6hrs in rich forest of OaK , rhododendron steep climbing and steep descending till we reach to Pana. There is a tiny beautiful village near by where we Camp. O/N - Camp.

Today in beginning first we 2 hour the trail commands descending and later 2 and hour or 3 hour steep climbing in the forest of Deodar blue pines. After crossing a small wooden bridge over the river which flows through the Kauri Pass , we reach up to our beautiful camp side a flat meadow Sem Kharak. O/N - Camp

We will continue trekking up through the forest for 450 metres to Brithi Ganga. First 1 and hour climbing in the forest there are some small patches of medow on the way. Chechani vinayak (pass) view of Trishuli, around 2 hour gradual descending in the meadow. Ghuni is near by village named Ramni. Explore the village at evening and overnight Camp.

Today we follow a well defined trail which leads high above the river along the true right side of the Nandagini valley. Easy but long walking In between 5-6 valleys, sutol last village in the confluence Nandakini - Roopkund. We stay overnight in tents at an excellent campsite beside the Nandagini river, just beyond the village

Day 08 : Sutol /Kunol (2286m 13 kms Trek) -
Morning after breakfast with packed lunch trek 5 to 6 hrs, to Kunol, ascending through thick forests and this day you will see the Trisul peak. PM visit Kunol Village for meeting with the local family. Overnight stay in tent.



Day 09 : Kunol /Bhuna (3661m 9 kms Trek) -

Morning after breakfast with packed lunch trek 5 hrs to Bhuna through the dense forest. Overnight stay in tent.



Day 10 : Bhuna /Bagubasa (4100m 10 kms Trek) -
Morning after breakfast with packed lunch trek 5 hrs, to Bagubasa today you will see the beautiful panorama view. Overnight stay in tent.

Patar Nachawani- Bhagubasa to Roopkund is easy walking in the flat but in morens hour climbing with same view as last day. During month of August to October the valley is full of fragrance of Saussurea Obvallata flower, locally known Brhma Kamal. This flower acquires specila importance to make offerings to Gods, especially to Lord Shiva and found only in certain places in high altitude.After touching the flower by hand, the smell lasts for hours. The Roopkund lake is surrounded by rock strewn glaciers and snow clad peaks, is magnificent and enchanting. This lake is usually called the 'Mystery Lake' since human skeletons and remains of horses were found here. After enjoying views at Roopkund we step back to Kaluka Vinayak (pass) descending till to patar nachwani. O/N - Camp.

The best view of Chaukhamba , Neelkanth and Nanda devi , Trishul and also the peak of the Northern Garhwal enlarge the beauty of Bedni Bugyal. Bedni Whole trek is in meadow.
Bugyal means meadow in Garhwal dialect.

Steep descending 2 and hour and 1 hour climbing in rich forest of rhododendron, Oak camping in small medow of wan with the view of trishuli. O/N - Camp.

Easy walking gradual decending around 3 hour and 1 and hour steep climbing to Lohajang pass whole day in rich forest of conifer rhododendron etc. view of trishuli from lohajang pass. Arrive and camp . Our coach / jeep will be waiting for us. O/N - Camp.

DAY 15. MUNDOLI / ( Shivpuri 15kms up river from Rishikesh ) RISHIKESH DRIVE 9-10 HRS. Overnight HIGH BANK Himalayan Retreat On the Ganges Morning after breakfast drive to Shivpuri . Check in to HIGH BANK Himalayan Retreat On the Ganges . Rejuvenate your self with a complimentary Ayurvedic( Traditional Indian ) Massage. Camp fire BBQ followed by dinner. Overnight at the retreat.

Or  we can start the trek from  mundoli to auli as well.

Day 1 : Drive DELHI to ALMORA (5,432 ft/1,646 m) - 363 km - 10 hours
 A long drive via Ghaziabad, Hapur, Gajraula, Moradabad and Haldwani gets you to the small township of Almora, which lies in the Kumaon hills. Almora is renowned for its rock slate, used for roofing and the pathways all over the region, as well as for its chocolate sweets, known locally as baal mithai. Almora offers good views of Nandadevi and adjoining peaks. Overnight at a simple and neat hotel.
 Day 2 : Drive ALMORA to DEBAL (4,020 ft/1,218 m) - 136 km - 6 hours
 Start early in the morning to Deba l. You begin by driving downhill for about 45 minutes to the Kosi river and, following its true right bank for about two hours, climb steeply uphill to the beautiful summer retreat of Kausani, a small hill station popular with the British and the Nehru family. Kausani offers much better views of Nandadevi and its adjoining peaks than Almora. After a brief stop drive down for about 45 minutes to the big village of Gurur.
 Another two-hour uphill drive gets you to the large valley of Gwaldam, situated at the top of the ridge, overlooking Tharali village situated by the Pindar river. Drive for an hour downhill to the village where you cross the Pindar river. The river originates from the Pindar glacier, located at the base of Nandakhat (21,598 ft/6,545m), 120 km north east of Tharali village. Continue on to the village of Debal where overnight camp is set. Debal is a small cluster of huts with a population of 700 to 800 people, situated in a sloping narrow valley covered with terraced fields of barley, wheat and potato with the Pindar river flowing below. The village has a high school and a college. Camp is set by the Pindar river on an open grassland.
 Day 3 : Drive DEBAL to BAGRIAGAD (5,429 ft/1,645 m). Trek to LOHAJUNG (7,045 ft/2,134 m) - 4 to 5 hours
 Drive along the Pindar river on an unmettled road to Bakrigad.
 The Pindar river turns east after the village of Debal at its confluence with the Kail river. Follow the Kail upstream, driving along its true right bank through the villages of Haripur and Mander.
 The first day of the trek is kept short in case you have to walk more due to landslides. Pack ponies and porters will be used to carry equipment and personal baggage. The trek begins with a steady steep hour's climb from Mandoli on a loose but well-defined trail which leads to the top of the Lohajung Khal (7,045 ft/2,134 m), overlooking the villages of Didna and Wan to the north and Debal village and the Pindar valley to the south. There is a small Shiva temple at the pass, with the village to the left. Overnight camp is set up behind the Tourist Bungalow and the Forest Rest House. One can hike for four hours to the nearby Icing Top, a beautiful pasture on top of a mountain, offering excellent views in all four directions.
 Day 4 : Trek LOHAJUNG KHAL to TOLA PANI (8,800 ft/2,667 m) - 7 hours
 A strenuous day. You will be descending about 1,000 feet (303 m) and ascending about 2,700 feet (820 m) in total. After breakfast descend through thick oak forests with mixed vegetation to a small clear stream. Cross over a bridge and gradually climb towards the north for about an hour and a half to the beautiful open meadow called Meldhar. To the left is the village of Kulin, perched high above to the right, the winter home of villagers from Didna. Descend about 200 feet to another stream, crossed over by another "pucca" bridge. Another 30 minutes of gradual walking will bring you to a small cluster of four to five huts. This is the winter settlement of the villagers from Wan where they grow potatoes and green vegetables. Walk another ten minutes to Neel Ganga, coming from Bedni Bugayal, a fairly large stream with a wooden bridge. Climb steeply for an hour and a half to the small village of Didna (7,500 ft/2,273 m) with barley, wheat and potato farms and a junior school. After a brief stop continue climbing through thick forests of pine, rhododendron and oak for another hour and a half to the pasture of Tola Pani. Villagers from Didna camp here from June to September and use it as a summer grazing ground for their cattle and sheep. Camp is set up on a clear patch, away from the grazing animals.
 Day 5 : Trek TOLA PANI to BEDNI BUGAYAL (12,000 ft/3,636 m) - 6 to 7 hours
 A most beautiful day with excellent views of the Western Himalayas. Climb for an hour and a half through thick forest and reach the crest of the ridge and an open meadow called Taula Pani, offering excellent views to the south and to the far north. Cut across to the left from the meadow towards the north following the ridge, from where you get spectacular views of Didna and Kulin villages in the foreground and the Jaturpani range (13,500 ft/4,091 m) with the Brahm Tal and Bhegal Tal - two beautiful alpine lakes at its base. Keep following the ridge through the forest, with a gradual one-hour ascent to the alpine meadow of Khurtal, situated at 11,000 feet (3,333 m). The entire Neel Ganga valley opens up right in front of you, with spectacular views of Chaukhamba, Banderpunch, Neelkanth, Kedarnath and other upper Ganga valley peaks to the north west; the villages of Didna, Kulin and Wan below and Lohajung Khal and Icing Top to the south.
 Climb further through rhododendron forest for about 500 feet to the beginning of Ali Bugayal, a most magnificent open grassland some 3 to 4 km long and half a km wide. Locally it is known as Dev Bhumi - the playground of the gods. From here you have even more spectacular views of Nandaghunti, Ronti, Trishul and Hathi Parbat. Continue on for about two hours to Bedni Bugayal. Camp is set near the Bedni Kund (pond).
 Rest day. Relax in camp or walk towards Patal Nochni ridge at 14,300 ft (4,303 m) to get even closer views of Trishul, Nanda Ghuti and Chaugabang.
 Day 7 : Trek BEDNI BUGAYAL to WAN (8,045 ft/2,437 m) - 4 to 5 hours
 A short day with downhill walking. Descend sharply through thick oak and rhododendron forest with bamboo undergrowth. The track follows the curve of the mountain towards the west, hitting the upper Neel Ganga which originates from Bedni Kund. Crossing over a "pucca" bridge, climb about 200 feet to the crest of the ridge, when the semi-bowl-shaped Wan Valley suddenly opens up in front of you, with the Wan village to the right.
 Another gradual walk for some 45 minutes through the village brings you to the Forest Rest House and Tourist Bungalow. Camp is set up near the Rest House. Wan is the biggest village in the Neel Ganga Valley, having a cluster of houses spread around the valley with Lohajung Khal to the left and Kokin Khal to the right. The village has a middle school, a government provision store and a dispensary.
 Day 8 : Trek WAN to KUNOL (7,545 ft/2,286 m) over KUKIN KHAL - 5 to 6 hours
  An easy day. Start wit h a climb through barley and potato fields. Leave the village boundary after an hour's walk and climb gradually towards Kukin Khal (10,300 ft/3,121 m). Just before the pass, some 2 km from Wan, is a beautiful pasture - an excellent camping ground for big groups. Climb steeply about 400 feet to the pass which is a beautiful open meadow. Descend steadily for an hour and a half to the village of Kunol - an enjoyable walk through open grassland. Depending on the season, camp is set either in the premises of the Forest Rest House in Kunol or half an hour before the village, on an open ground next to the stream.
 Day 9 : Trek KUNOL to BORA (8,550 ft/2,591 m) - 8 hours
 A long day's walk through forest, a number of villages and open slopes with gorgeous views of the Himalayan peaks. Start with a gentle climb through the pine forest for about an hour, keeping Kunol village to the far left below the trail. Arrive at an open patch in the forest, where you take a right turn and follow an ill-defined trail which descends steeply through the forest for some 30 minutes, until it joins up with a proper well-defined trail which circles the mountainside.
 Another half-hour's walk gets you to the confluence of the Nandakani river, originating from Homkund and Shila Samundra - the western glaciers of Trishul - and Roopkani, a comparatively smaller stream which originates in the legendary and sacred Roop Kund. From the gorge, the icy western face of Trishul looms high. Crossing the Roopkani over a wooden bridge and then the Nandakani over a steel bridge, the trail passes through the village of Sutol, some 15 minutes climb from the bridge. The trail climbs gradually along the mountain face overlooking the Nandakani river to the left. Cross a stream and climb sharply through forest and open patches for about two hours to the village of Panna Chowk. From the crest of the village magnificent views of the Nandakani Valley open up. A gradual descent for another 45 minutes leads to Geri Dhar stream, with watermills used for grinding barley and wheat. Climb steeply for 45 minutes to a hump called Dekhna Dhar, offering excellent open views of Nandakarni Valley to the left. Take a right turn and walk gradually for some time, the trail zigzagging its way up along the mountain.
 An hour's walk brings you to the village of Ala. Since the trail is on the south eastern slopes, it is quite exposed to the sun during clear days. From Ala descend gradually to a clear stream called Ala Ka Dhar. The trail again zigzags up the mountain, leaving the Nandakani river far below to the left. An initially gradual and then a steep climb for an hour and a half takes you to the top of the ridge to the beautiful meadow of Bora, overlooking Pandergaon to the north. Camp is set up either at Bora further down among the fields near the stream of Pander Ka Dhar, a 30-minute walk from Bora.
 Day 10 : Trek BORA to PANNA (8,078 ft/2,448 m) via CHECHNI BINAYAK - 9 to 10 hours
 Another long day, involving a lot of up and down walking through dense oak and rhododendron forests, villages and river valleys. Descend and then climb for 45 minutes to the village of Pander. Cross the fields and start climbing steeply for a good three and a half hours through dense forest till you reach the top of the ridge called Binayak (a junction where three or more trails meet). Descend for about 10 minutes to an open meadow where local villagers camp with their cattle. A further 10 minute descent leads to another meadow where a well-deserved rest stop is made. You get your first distant view of Kuari Pass in the north from here. A steep two-hour descent through dense forest brings you to the village of Jhinjhi (7,095 ft/2,150 m) - a neat village with whitewashed houses. The villages of Panna of Irani are visible across the Beheri Ganga river on the other side of the mountain from Jhinjhi. Descend for half an hour through forest to the Beheri Ganga, crossing it over a steel rope bridge. The river drains the western slopes of Nanda Ghunti. Climb steeply for two and a half hours to the crest of the ridge through open grass slopes interspersed with thick forest. Enter the semi bowl-shaped valley of Panna, leaving the trail which leads to Irani village to the right. Walk for another 45 minutes to a waterfall. Camp is set some 10 minutes away.
 Day 11 : Trek PANNA to SHARTOLI (11,300 ft/3,424 m) - 3 to 4 hours
 A short day. Climb for about an hour towards Shartoli ridge, leaving the trail that leads to Panna village to the left. It is a pleasant walk through open pastures with views of the Beheri Ganga valley to the left. A steep climb through dense forests for two and a half hours brings you to the top of the ridge. Walk along the ridge to the right in the forest for some 20 minutes. Descend gradually 200 feet to reach the pastures of Shartoli, an open ground on the northern side, surrounded by thick forest. The Kuari Pass and Dhakhwani - your next day's stop - is just across the valley towards the north. Shartoli is full of shepherds and villagers with their cattle from July to September. The campsite has to be cleaned before tents are pitched for the night. In the months of May and June, water is usually not available at the campsite and has to be fetched from a stream some 45 minutes walk from the campsite.
 Day 12 : Trek SHARTOLI to DHAKWANI (11,700 ft/3,545 m) - 6 hours
 Descend gradually for about 45 minutes towards the east through thick forest till you reach the hump from where a cup- shaped depression and a waterfall are visible below. Descend sharply through rubble and broken trail for about 20 minutes to the waterfall. It might take much longer for the pack ponies. Cross the stream over rocks and climb steeply through the forest for about two hours, taking the left curve of the mountain with views of Shartoli to the left. Continue descending to Dhakhwani Nallah, which drains from Kuari Pass. Cross over the rocks and climb steeply for 3 hours through rhododendron forest to the open grasslands of Dhakhwani, the base of Kuari Pass where shepherds camp with their sheep, goats, cattle and horses.
 Day 13 : Trek DHAKWANI to KUARI (13,530 ft/4,100 m) over KUARI PASS - 5 to 6 hours
 The trail taken depends on weather conditions. If it is raining the trail could be tedious and tricky. Kuari Pass used to be a grassland all the way up from Dhakwani. However, erosion and landslides have changed the shape of the pass which now consists mainly of loose rubble and rocks. Leave early in the morning in time to see the sunrise.
 A steep climb of two hours takes you to Kuari Pass (14,084 ft/4,268 m). Take a right turn and walk along the grassy slopes full of shepherds. Cross a small tricky stream coming from Kuari Top. Camp is set up near the stream. Stop for a while at the campsite before starting the hour and a half steep climb to Kuari Top, from where you get magnificent panoramic views for which Kuari Pass is renowned. Arranged in a stupendous arc lie the Himalayas - from the gorges of Trishul to the peaks of Kedrnath, Kamet's pyramid of granite, Nilkanth, the square- topped summits of Gori Parbat and Hathi Parbat and in the far east, the icy crest of Dunagiri gleaming in the sunlight.
 Day 14 : Trek KUARI to TAPOVAN (6,517 ft/1,975 m) - 4 to 5 hours, drive to JOSHIMATH - 1 hour
 The trail circles around the curving meadows to the left and descends gradually to the lower parts of the grazing grounds. Then descend steeply for about four hours through rhododendron, oak and pine forests to the village of Kulari. Cross Kulari Nallah and walk gradually along it, bypassing a number of villages and their fields.
 Walk for another 30 minutes along the small canal jutting out of Kulari Nallah, taking a right turn till you reach the hump overlooking the Dhauli Ganga valley, with Dunagiri right across the river and the village of Tapovan, known for its hot sulphur springs, right below, next to the road. Descend for another 30 minutes to the roadhead where vehicles are waiting to drive you to Joshimath for overnight stay in a simple basic hotel.
 Day 15 : Drive JOSHIMATH to RISHIKESH - 245 km - 10 hours

 Drive along the Alakananda river through Pipalkoti, Karanprayag, Srinagar and Devprayag where the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alakananda forms the Ganga. Overnight at a simple clean hotel.


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