There are myriad landscapes in India that make for a perfect trekking experience. From north to south and east to west each region has something distinctive and awe-inspiring to share. The state of Himachal Pradesh is blessed with spectacular trekking trails and is quite popular among tourists from around the globe. It is gradually becoming popular amongadventure junkies due to its rugged terrains offering numerous trekking trails with varying difficulty levels. Himachal trekking trails offer panoramic views of the snow capped mountains. Take a look at these 8 mesmerising trails mentioned below :
KALIHANI PASS TREK
Although the trek is limited to Kullu valley in Himachal, this trail is used by Gaddi shepherds to access the veiled pastures which have been concealed in the unexplored terrains of Himalayas. The trek will take you to the higher planes encompassing the Pir Panjal range, upto the Kaliheni-Pass. Known as the gateway to Manali from Bara Bhanghal the word Kaliheni, according to the legends, have been derived from two words, Kali means black and heni means a glacier. Therefore it means the pass of black glacier. Resting at an altitude of 4000 m, Kaliheni can be a tricky situation passing through ice, snow and moraine. A beautiful small glacial lake shall greet you on descent. The trek offers mesmerising views of Hanuman Tibba, Indrasan, Deo tibba among others. The trek is full of stunning views of pastures on both sides. A cross over towards Manali, one can see the beautiful Beas valley from the top. The last section of this trek will take you through the dense forests. Myriad birds can be spotted on the way which is a good opportunity for all bird lovers.
Thamsar Pass trek is one of the most exciting and challenging trail in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It’s a maximum of 12-day trail elevated at a height of 4665 m, which begins from Bir. Stroll through the mesmerizing scenic beauty of lush green meadows, striking coloured flowers and several waterfalls with the magnificent Pir Panjal range forming a perfect background, to set the mood of every trekker. The two lakes on either side of Thamsar pass further enhance the appeal of this trail. What makes this trek special is that it enables the trekkers to enjoy the splendour of the majestic Himalayas coupled with opportunities to experience the unique lifestyle of the locals. The trail passes through several villages which gives a glimpse inside the challenging living conditions in such rough terrains.
Kugti Pass in Chamba district of Himachal falls under the Pir Panjal range located at an altitude of 5,050 m. It is a perfect destination for trekkers to experience the enchanting beauty of Himachal. By climbing uphill in this region, trekkers can reach up till Duggi plain which is an ideal place for camping, showcasing the splendid panorama of the mountains. Towards the summit the trekkers will be greeted with a surprise view of majestic Mani Mahesh Kailash Peak, splendid Dhauladhar ranges and distant view of snow-capped mountains beyond theLahaul Valley. Explore Leah cave at the base of the pass. The trek route for Kugti Pass starts from Brahmaur which further leads to Hadsar, after which the ascending and descending trail takes the trekkers to Kugti village. The trekkers can also drop by Keylong and Goddess Murkula Devi temples on their way to Kugti Pass. From the temple, climb through the alpine meadows and reach Duggi camping ground. This vast rocky grassland is located at the confluence of Budhil River and Duggi stream.
Jalsu Pass is a crossover pass towards eastern side of Dhauladhar between Chamba andKangra valleys, elevated at a height of 3900 m. It is comparatively an easy trekking route which is extensively used by the himachali gaddi tribes, especially residents of the valley who find this trek more convenient to reach Kangra District instead of a bus. Even local people walk through this trek in a day from Nayagram to Baijnath. The route is not as popular among the tourists as other passes, which makes this trek worthwhile. It is an experience in itself. Stroll through the undulating grasslands, deep rhododendron bushes, the magnetic yellow grass flowers which offer an experience very few trails can match on Dhauladhars. The trek is slippery due to regular passage of livestock. There are vast green meadows at the top of the Jalsu Pass which makes it a beautiful place for camping.
Baleni Pass Trek, also known as Minkiani Pass, is situated at a height of 3730 m. It is located at the foot of Dhauladhar range, between the Kangra and Chamba district in Himachal Pradesh. It is known as traversing path between the two districts. On the other side just below Baleni is a glacial lake called as Kareri Lake, which makes the landscape spell bounding around the pass. The top of the pass offers the captivating and exotic scenic views of Pir Panjal and Chamba Valley. The trekkers can also explore a giant rock cave edified by the Gaddi shepherds. The trek trail passes through the alpine pastures, forests, sparkling streams and magnetic landscapes, which finishes at McLeodganj.
Referred to as one of the most difficult treks to reach Lahaul Valley, Kalicho Pass is quite popular among adventure junkies. It is named after the local goddess Bhadrakali. This transit is commonly used by Gaddi shepherds to reach Lahaul Valley from Bharmour. A noticeable contrast in the geographical region is visible as one crosses over two valleys. The difficulty level of the trek is ascertained by the steep gradient, even the most experienced and skilled localites respect the grade of this terrain. It is said that anyone attempting this trek has to take permission from goddess Bhadrakali, the temple of whom is erected in village Banni. According to local belief the goddess bless them, and act as a saviour for the people attempting this trek. Shepherds sometime sacrifice few sheeps at the temple to make goddess happy. If someone has not got the permission to cross the pass, they have to spend next six months near the Banni ranges. The maximum height of this trek is 4950 m and it takes atleast 4 days to complete this journey. Only 3 batches are allowed to cross this pass every season. A single batch may consist of 3 different groups but they all have to cross this pass within a defined time frame.
Chobia Pass is among the second highest altitude pass in the Pir Pangal range located at an elevation of 4966 m. The pass connects Chamba with Lahaul across the Pir Panjal range, which is located between the two peaks—Tent Peak (6133 m) and Barakanda Peak (5877m). Chobia Pass is more of an acclimatization trek before the trekkers attempt the arduous Kang La Pass in Miyar Valley. From the pass, the trekking trail will take you to Chenab Valley. Chobia pass trek will surprise you with the enchanting ancient trails of Gaddis, the shepherds. Visit the hamlet of Bharmour, encircled with the majestic Dhauladhar range. Get a distant glimpse of Manimahesh Lake at foot of the 5656m Manimahesh Kailash peak, which is believed to be an abode of Lord Shiva. The trek ends in Mcleodganj.
LAM DAL LAKE
The Dhauladhars range is home to around 22 pristine mystical glacial lakes which are considered to be an abode of Lord Shiva and Shakti. Many pilgrims and local residents throng the area during monsoons to take a holy dip into the lakes. Dal means lake in the local language and 7 out of 22 lakes are accessible and can be trekked easily. Lam Dal and Nag Dal being the most prominent ones. Many lakes have already been visited by the local shepherds during migration with their flocks to Kangra Valley. Situated at an elevation of 3900 m, Lam Dal is reachable from 3 passes that are Minkiani Pass, Indrahar Pass and Gaj Pass. It is apparently the largest and deepest lake in the area with a circumference of about 2.5 km. One can notice small caves around the lake which are mostly used by local shepherds called Gaddi. Campingaround the lake is bound to leave you mesmerised. The trek to Lam Dal Lake begins from the captivating region of Bharmour. Trekkers then reach Barie through train from and then reach Drakund, which is a 10-km trek, thereafter it’s a 12-km trek to Lam Dal.
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