Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek
Duration : 12 Days.
Altitude : 4250 m/13940 ft
Grade : Moderate to tough
Season : July - Mid October
A classic trek that retraces the pioneering steps of Shipton and Tilman through the Garhwal Himalaya. The Nanda Devi basin must surely be one of the most legendary regions in the entire Himalayan chain. The mountain itself, revered since time immemorial by all those who live in its shadow, has long attracted the attention of the pioneering mountaineers and explorers, mystics and spiritualists, writers and everyday travellers who have visited the area.
Everest may well be the highest peak in the world but the beautiful peak of Nanda Devi must surely be the most fascinating. The area first came to the attention of the Western world as a result of the 19th century explorations by Trail, Graham and Long staff but shot to fame in the 1930's when Shipton and Tilman forced a route into the Inner Sanctuary. Nanda Devi is the highest mountain situated completely within India and is surrounded by a ridge wall of nearly 6000m. The only break in this wall is the Rishi Ganga, a wild and seemingly impenetrable gorge.
This classic trek takes us across the picturesque meadows and valleys that border the western edge of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. The route we follow was used by Shipton and Tilman on their amazing journey to the Nanda Devi basin. During the trek there are many views of the surrounding peaks and the Kuari Pass (3658m) itself has an unrivalled panorama of the Great Himalayan peaks including Nanda Devi (7816m), Changabang (6864m), Doonagiri (7066m) and Kamet (7756m).
This amazing feat of endurance and determination was capped when Tilman later returned to conquer the peak itself. Sadly, the mystic of the area led to an excess of expeditions and ecological damage and the Sanctuary was closed in the 1980's. Investigations are currently underway to assess the recovery.
Day 01 : Delhi Arrival
On arrival at Delhi airport meet our representative and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02 : Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh (230 kms/6 hrs)
This day we will drive to Rishikesh via Haridwar. On arrival check into the hotel. Evening explore the religious town of Rishikesh, which is considered as town of saints and Sadhus. There are several ashrams and temples that add to a distinctive flavor of the town, The Ganges aarti at ashrams is really worth it. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 03 : Rishikesh - Joshimath (270 kms/8-9 hrs)
The drive to Joshimath comprises of hilly landscape as a whole. Enroute we will visit the much revered confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag. This is the place from where the river is named as "Ganges". As Uttarakhand is abode of gods there are another three holy prayag (confluences) Rudraprayag, Karanprayag and Nandprayag which are a real site to see. Arrive to the hill station of Joshimath followed by checking into the hotel. Evening explore the town of Joshimath. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 04 : Joshimath - Lata Village (2317 mts/7599 ft) (2 kms/1 hrs)
After Joshimath we will leave the national highway and drive on real mountain road. The drive from Joshimath to Lata is of 28 km and takes approximately an hour. Enroute you will see a big thermal hydro project at the village of Tapovan. Lata is our starting point and you are introduced to porters and trekking team. The trek to the village of Lata is a steep walk through fields and cluster of abandoned houses. After a series of switch backs arrive to the village of Lata. A warm welcome at the village house is totally a unique experience. Inhabitants of Lata are considered as friendly and renowned for hospitality. Evening visit the Nanda Devi Temple and explore the village. Overnight in the village.
Day 05 : Lata Village - Lata Kharak (3689 mts/12099 ft) (9 kms/7 hrs)
The trail from Lata village is distinctive and climbs gradually through forest of Oak, Rhododendron and Pine to a ridge followed by a traverse to cross a side stream. After this the trail again climbs over another ridge and continues to another side stream. After crossing the side stream the trail now becomes more incline, with a series of switch backs to the campsite at Lata Kharak. The walk of the day is challenging at times, but the peaks i.e. Hanuman, Hathi Godhi cherishes the spirits. The campsite is an open space on ridge top with Himalayan peaks i.e. Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Dronagiri, Hathi Ghodi and Dev Sthan all around. Overnight in the tents.
Day 06 : Lata Kharak - Semi Kharak - Lata Kharak
This day is a specialized for exploration. This day you will trek to Semi Kharak, on a path of boulders. Semi Kharak is famous for viewing Nanda Devi and Rishi Ganga River. The area of inner line adjoining Nanda Devi can be seen vividly. This is a walk of approximately 6 Kilometers both ways and it's a process of approximately 4 hours. Return to camp and enjoy lunch. Evening at leisure and relaxation. Overnight in the tents.
Day 07 : Lata Kharak - Dharansi Pass (4250 mts/13940 ft) (10 kms/4 -5 hrs)
The trail from Lata Kharak climbs steeply to reach to Jhandi Dhar. There is a bifurcation to the village of Tolma at this point. From Jhandidhar the trail traverses for about 1.5 kilometer before it becomes steep for 500 metres to reach Bagfyana Pass. From here trail continues to ascend and descend through the narrow gorge of Satkul to reach Dharansi Pass. The stunning view of Nanda Devi is venerable amongst the many. Other Himalayan gems visible from here are, Nanda Ghunti, Chang Bang, Dronagiri, Hathi Ghodi and Dev Sthan Over night in the tents.
Day 08 : Dharansi Pass - Tolma Village
The day's trek is a long descent to the village of Tolma. You start the reverse trek on same trail till Jhandidhar. From here follow a new trail which descends down a ridge continues to descend further through the forest of oak and Rhododendron finally to the village of Tolma. Another warm welcome to village house is really appreciable, followed by welcome tea. The houses in the village are typical village houses made of stone and mud and inhabitants are known for hospitality. Overnight in the village.
Day 09 : Tolma Village - Surai Thotta - Karanprayag (1890 mts/6199 ft) (8 kms/3-4 hrs)
The trail from Tolma descends through fields to reach Surai Thotta. It's time to bid farewell to the porters. Board the vehicles and start driving towards Karanprayag via Joshimath and Nandprayag. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 10 : Karanprayag - Rishikesh (170 km/ 6-7 hrs)
The drive for the day is of 170 kilometers and will take approximately 7 hours.Enroute visit the confluences at Rudraprayag and Devprayag. Arrive and check into the hotel at Rishikesh. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 11 : Rishikesh - Haridwar - Delhi
In the morning after breakfast drive to Delhi via Haridwar. On arrival transfer to hotel for relaxes. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 12 : Delhi Departure
Transfer to international airport according to your flight schedule.
Trip & Services Ends Here.