This is a trans-Himalayan trek in the heart of Kumaon Himalayas. Nanda Devi
of course, needs no introduction. The second highest peak in the Indian
Himalayas and touted by many as one of the most beautiful peaks in the
world. The trek is through the Jauher valley the center of ancient Indo
Tibetan trade route. Once upon a time this was one of the most important
commercial center with a throbbing civilization influenced by the Tibetan
culture in so many ways.
At 2290m Munsiyari is on the arterial water body of the Goriganga, which
emerges from the Milam glacier system of the eastern flanks of the Nandadevi
sanctuary, fed also by the Kalaband glacier and Panchchuli from the east.
The Jauher valley is on the outer rim of the Nanda devi sanctuary. Apart
from the spectacular views of the famous peaks such as the Nanda devi and
Nanda kot, the trek is along the river Gori Ganga through ancient villages
and rolling grassy meadows.
The Martoli village, one of the centers of the Jauher valley, represents the
ruins of the history of the Indo - Tibetan trade. Once a big village, one
can clearly see in the ruins stories of a mighty commercial center Martoli
was long time back in the heart of Himalayas.
Departure from old Delhi Railway station for Kathgodam (the railhead) for an
overnight journey. This day we travel for Almora for obtaining Inner Line
Permit for entring in Nanda Devi Region. Night Stay at Almora.
Day 1: Almora - Munsisiyari by jeep.
The first day's drive is through the pleasant Kumaon countryside including
the Almora Township. Our destination Chaukori is famous for the tea gardens
and splendid views of the snow covered Himalayas. A good halt for
acclimatization. Overnight in tourist guesthouse.
Day 2: Munsisiyari-Lilam
A fairly easy walk brings us to Lilam the winter home of the Milam
villagers. Most of the residents have become permanent though a few houses
continue the tradition of migration to Milam during the summer months.
Overnight in tents/village
Day 3: Rest Day
Day 4: Lilam - Bogudiyar (1850m) 12 km trek
In the thick forest of Utees trees, the Ralam rivulet meets the Gori Ganga.
After a steep uphill climb one reaches Bogudiyar where the Poting River
meets the Gori Ganga. Overnight in tents.
Day 4: Bogudiyar - Rilkot (3200m) 12 km trek
This is truly the Trans-Himalayan region. En route one can divert to the
Laspa village and further to northern glacier of Nanda Kot. Rilkot village
is situated above the river and one can visit the ruins of old Rilkot.
Overnight can be in a camp set up near the river.
Day 5: Rilkot - Ghangar (3319 m)
13 km trek One gets the view of the Martoli peak soon after Rilkot and the
valley really opens out into the typical trans-Himalayan terrain. The walk
through the sunny meadows is very enticing to the ancient village of
Ghangar. Here we are entering into the Pachu valley which leads upto the
Nanda devi base camp. Ghangar village is also exciting in terms of the
typical Jauhar houses with woodcarvings and an ancient temple.
Day 6: Ghangar - Pachu Glacier (3880 m) 7 km trek
The climb is rather strenuous from Ghangar. And the 7 km would take
approximately 5 hours. The view just keeps getting better with Nanda devi
looming closer with each step. The rolling High altitude rhododendron with
the pink and white flowers and the fresh green birch forests make the trek
an ultimate experience. We reach an open alpine meadow with varied flora and
at the head of the Pachu Glacier emanating from the northern face of Nanda
Devi. Overnight in the tents.
Day 7: Exploring The Base Camp
We spend the day walking up along the glacier towards the peaks and get real
close up views of Nanda devi. Overnight in tents.
Day 8: Rest Day
Day 9: Pachu
Glacier - Martoli 17 km trek.
Today we trek mostly downhill only the last bit is up. Martoli is one the
very important destinations from the ancient Indo-Tibetan trade route. The
exquisite wood carvings on old houses speak stories about how this was the
commercial center once upon a time. From Martoli you also get fascinating
views of the Nanda devi (East) and Nanda kot. Overnight at a village house.
Day 10: Martoli
- Rargari 18 km trek.
Again we return towards Munsyari Fairly easy downhill. Overnight in huts.
Day 11: Rargari
- Munsyari 14 km trek - Chaukari 98 km by jeep.
Back to our roadhead. We stay overnight at the guesthouse /tents.
Chaukari - Kathgodam 198 km by jeep
Drive back starting early from Chaukori to reach Kathgodam by the evening to
catch the overnight train to Delhi from Kathgodam in the evening. Arrive in
Delhi early morning the next day.