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Kinner Kailash Trek

All you need to know about Kinner Kailash Trek

All you need to know about Kinner Kailash Trek

Kinner Kailash trek distance- Approx 70km
Elevation Gain – 5240 mtrs
Difficulty Level – Extremely Difficult (90% steep slopes, 5% normal and 5% rocky and hard climbing)
Min. days required – 4 days

Best Time to visit Kinner Kailash Trek  – August and September are the best times

How to reach the base – For Peo, we have direct buses
One leaves from Chandigarh around 2:30 AM (Delhi-Peo), 4:50 AM (Chd- Peo – Ordinary), (5:45 AM, Chd – Peo – Semi Deluxe). The journey from CHD to Peo is around 14-15 hours.
Route: Chd>Shimla>Narkanda>Rampur>Jeory>Peo then Peo>Tangling

About Kinner Kailash Trek – Performed by both Buddhists and Hindus, a parikrama second only to that of Mt. Kailash.

Trek starts from Tangling with stairs and then crossing the village. you will find apple trees along the way. After walking around half km trek starts with steep slopes but yeah nature and mountains towards both sides.

You can have your first meal here and head towards Ganesh park. this place is around 6 km from the 1st 2 food points you will find on this trek. you will cross a small stream and then again a steep uphill leading to a mesmerizing view of the peo city and satluj river.

The inclined rocky patches on the trail are very difficult

It will take around 4-5 hours to reach Ganesh park and even more sometimes. At Ganesh park, you can find small food points where you can have tea, Maggi or food. Even you can stay here for the 1st day in tents or you can continue your journey to caves where you can stay by the end of the day.

 

One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that there is no food point after Ganesh park so one can get his/her food packed for the night and the next day as well or if you have your own utensils you can prepare there as well.

After Ganesh park the slope declines a little bit but yeah you have to keep moving uphill till the time you reach a point where you will find a steep downhill of some hundred metres. After covering another 4-5 km you will find the site for camping (in case you have your own tent and sleeping bags) or you can stay in caves as well. Again sleeping bags must be carried.

Staying inside the cave

We reached Ganesh park around 2 Pm and had our lunch done over there and started moving towards the caves. Reached there around 6 pm in the evening and stayed in caves and sleeping bags.
We started our journey the next day in the morning around 2:30 AM and reached Parvati Kund around 6 in the morning this could have been reached earlier if we had not lost our way when we started our journey from the caves.

 

From the caves, the path is well defined for another 1 Km and after that, the rocks start where the path is marked by stones kept on one another (Please do not touch those stones). This way will lead you to the Parvati Kund.

 

Try to carry less luggage on this trek or after caves don’t carry your tents and sleeping bags or anything extra. We hid our backpacks in between the rocks at Parvati Kund. Carrying heavy luggage won’t allow you to climb the rocks after Parvati Kund because the way is like doing rock climbing without any tools. Shoes with good grips will be the best.

From Parvati Kund, it took around 2 more hours to reach Kailash. The way was full of big rocks and to reach the top you had to climb the rocks. there was no other way and one has to complete it and has to be cautious while climbing.

 

Amazing views at Kinner Kailash

While heading back it will take again another 7-8 hours (approx) to complete the journey till Tangling.

 

Alternate Itinerary for Kinner Kailash

Trek begins at Thangi (Thangi is a Village in Pooh Tehsil in Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh State, India. It is located 23 KM towards the East of District head quarters Reckong Peo. 18 KM from Pooh. 157 KM from State capital Shimla) on the right bank of the Tedong, about four hours by road from Reckong Peo. It is 10 kms. to Lambar (2950 m.), all along the steep Charang khad. The initial trek is stairs and then after crossing the village, you will find apple trees along the way.

Day 2 takes one 20 km. to the larger village of Charang (3400 m.), situated just above the confluence of the Charang and Shurtingting streams. There is a rest house here and a gompa where pilgrims receive blessings before moving on.

Day 3(13kms.) involves crossing the high pastures of Charang and ascending up a stream to Lalanti (4300 m.), camping on its left bank.

Day 4 (27 km.) is the most difficult, ascending more than a thousand meters, over immense rockfalls, past the snout of a glacier on the right, and then clawing one’s way up a steep, scree slope to the Charang Pass (5240 m). The view from the top is awesome. From the saddle, it is a steep descent of almost 2000 meters to Chitkul (3400 m.), the last village in the Sangla valley and the road-head. Across the Baspa river, one can see the huge, verdant pastures known as “kandas” which offer infinite trekking and camping possibilities themselves. High above is the Rupen Pass, guarding the western flanks to the remote Dodra Kawar valley. Conclude the trek by worshipping at the temple of the Chitkul Devi and offering thanks. Incidentally, beyond Charang one is prohibited from plucking any wildflowers or shrubs by an edict of the Devi! One can stay at the rest houses in either Chitkul or Sangla, 24 km down the valley. From there it is a fantastically beautiful drive down to Karcham, and on to Shimla.

Kinner Kailash | Photo by Pankaj Sharma

Things to keep in mind before attempting Kinner Kailash Trek.

  • there are limited shops on this trek that too till 6-7 km after that you won’t find even a single shop where you can have something to eat. Suggest you to prepare yourself accordingly.
  • Carry all essentials for the trek.
  • People with problems of high altitude sickness and asthma are not suggested to go
  • If you are hiking in rain it’s better to carry a big umbrella or rain poncho.
  • Mobile network is not available on most of the trek.
  • Trek is very challenging and you may need to prepare for this in advance

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Gadget Rental India. Gadget rental india is a rental company in Chandigarh from where you can rent Camping and hiking gears like camping tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mattresses etc.

Author | Pankaj Sharma

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Shiv Dhank Trek - Trekking near Chandigarh - Shepherdtrail3

All you need to know about Shiv Dhank Trek | Day hike near Chandigarh in Solan

If you are around Chandigarh and looking for a quick day hike then Shiv Dhank Trek is one of the best options available near Solan.

Shiv Dhank Trek Information

Shiv Dhank trek distance- Approx 3 km
Difficulty Level – Easy Hike (Suited best for a day hike)
Min. days required – Can be done in a single day

Best Time to visit Shiv Dhank Trek  – Avoid during rains

How to reach the base – The Shiv Dhank trek starts from Patta Ghat in Solan. While coming from Chandigarh at Kumarhatti take the road on left towards Barog. 2-3 KM before Barog you will find a road on left going towards Patta Ghat (best to ask locals). When you reach Patta Ghat you will come across a fresh ground water tank. You can start your journey for the trek from here.

About the hiking experience to Shiv Dhank Trek – We started our trek in the afternoon. The initial trek is inclined though the trail is clearly visible.

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The trail can be divided into three sections. The first section is till “Shree Nagarkoti Shaktipeeth” and then till The Shiva temple and at last at the cliff top.

After hiking for approx half a km you will come across Shree Nagarkoti Shaktipeeth temple from where the peak is clearly visible. The temple is very beautiful and has a campground and Sarai wherein devotees stay during their religious pilgrimage.

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From the temple, you need to exit from the gate on the left on the temple ground. From there you will find 2 ways to go upwards you need to take the way on the left.

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2 trails emerge after Temple right beside this water storage tank. You need to take the trail on left.

 

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Seems like a Samadhi though we could not verify.

Stay on the trail on left and after a few minutes, you will see the temple which is visible. There is a Shivling at the temple cave. Right above the Shivling you will see a white rock and if you tap it will sound like a pellet drum.

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The entry point to the Lord Shiva Temple

Once you reach the temple you can find ground water storage (Bodi) there.

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Water storage tank besides rain shelter right above the temple

From the shelter, you need to follow the path on the right to reach the cliff top which hosts another small Shiva Temple. The path is filled with Pine, Cheed, and Devdar tree. Once you reach at the top you have a 360-degree view of Solan and Shimla valley.

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The view from the top

While we were going towards the peak we lost our way and took a right turn from the water tank and ended up right below the rocky peak.

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Snacks time on the trail

We literally had to make our way to the top and frankly speaking, that experience filled us with an adrenaline rush. At the top, you will find another cave with Shivling inside the cave and also a rain shelter (not manmade), a typical rocky alignment which is being used as a rain shelter and stay place for the night. We could see fire remains below the rocky shelter.

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Our group at the mountain top

Things to keep in mind before attempting Trek.

  • There are no tea stalls on the trek. Carry all essentials for the trek.
  • If you are hiking in rain it’s better to carry a big umbrella or rain poncho.
  • Mobile network is available on most of the trek.
  • There is Sarai at the temple however it was locked when I visited the trek.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.
  • If you are doing this trek during winter please carry trekking and snow gear.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Gadget Rental India.

2 Person Camping Tent MH100

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A quick guide to the Pin Parbat Trek

A quick guide to the Pin Parbat Trek

Pin Parbat trek distance- Approx 175 km. 
Elevation Gain – 2500 mtrs
Difficulty Level – Extremely Difficult
Min. days required – 8 days

A trek takes one from the Parbati valley in Kullu to the Pin valley in Spiti across the 5319-meter Pin Parbat pass, from the lush temperate forests of the former to the barren, cold desert landscapes of latter. One must be extremely fit and really well prepared for this trek as there’s absolutely no habitation along its entire length. Trek commences from Gwacha, a small hamlet high in the Parvati valley, past Manikaran. From there the route follows the Parbati river upstream for 3 days with night halts at Khir Ganga (hot springs), Pandupul (steeped within the Pandava mythology) and Mantalai. One passes through amazing forests of Betula( bhojpatra) and walnut, and makes some risky river crossings on wire-suspended baskets! The only persons you’ll now meet are the migratory Gujjars and Gaddis.

Treeline is crossed just before Pandupul. Mantalai is a huge glacial lake at 4116 meters. It’s the source of the Parbati. It’s an awesome sight with glaciers flowing right down to it from all
sides. From here it’s another two days of hard climbing to the Pin Parbat pass. The saddle of the pass is roofed with a permanent ice field and must be crossed cautiously because it is crisscrossed with crevasses. The fifth day’s campsite is much below the pass, on the banks of the infant Pin river at 4200 meters.
 
It takes two more days to reach the first village on the Pin side-Mudh. The whole stretch from the pass to Mudh is within the Pin Valley park which provides a haven for several rare species- snow leopard, Spiti wolf, ibex and ghural.
 
A road has now reached Mudh, 12 km beyond which are Sagnam/ Mikkim (3600 meters) a twin village located at the confluence of the Pin and also the Paraiho. From here it’s a spectacular drive of 35 km to Kaza, so on to Manali over the Kunzum and Rohtang passes.
 
 
Kumara Parvatha | South India's Toughest Trek

Kumara Parvatha | South India’s Toughest Trek

Kumara Parvatha | South India’s Toughest Trek

Being a traveller and trek lover I always wanted to try Kumara Parvatha which is located in Subrahmanya, Karnataka, India. It’s called south India’s toughest trek. I’ve done Karnataka to Kashmir by a walk by road. But that was walking. But Trekking is different.

So after completing K2K by walk I got a DM from a trek team. They told me that they wanted to host the next Kumar Parvatha Trek. I was so down I cancelled all the other plans over that date and went for it. This is how it all started. It was around 150 km from Subrahmanya from my home. I still remember I didn’t know a single person in that group, by the way, it was 40 people’s batch that day.

I reached the starting point and the guide Jagadish Kulal who had done KP 6 times explained about the Kumara Parvatha Trek and water points and tips. So we started from the starting point like 2 pm and the first day it was around a 7 km trek.

We reached the first destination which is Bhattara Mane. Bhattara mane is the only place and house where he will give food and you can camp nearby for food he charges 150Rs per meal. This is where it gets interesting. There was a pooja at Kumar Parvatha so the previous day there were around 1500-2000 people were there at the pooja out of which some stayed and some left.

As I said that is the only place where food is available, imagine there are only 10-15 plates at that place and after completing the first day of trek everyone was hungry also I’ve seen people cry when they got their food.

Forgot to mention in this trek you will come to know about the food’s importance.  This was about the first day
We stayed in Bhattara mane and there are camping sites also available. We got like 3hours of sleep and morning we woke up like 3 am and headed to the camping point

And after explaining about the day 2 trek we started at 4:30 am but there was a long line to the KP Trek.

There are fees for the trek it’s around 250-500 per person I don’t know exact and they take the plastic count over that place and according to that you have to pay some amount and when you head back you’ll get that money back. We wasted around 1-hour standing and plastic counting. We started our trek like 5:30 and it was a bit late but nothing can be done at that point.
On the way, we had a great talk and got to know about the team

And we reached KUMAR PARVATHA around 11:30 am and which was around again 7 km trek
The view from the there was amazing

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As I said this was 40 people’s batch and only 20-25 people completed KP.


And we took around 30-45 min rest and had some snacks and we stared but its trek downtime. We reached Bhattara mane like 3 pm and had lunch and again continued towards the starting point
And it was a 28 km trek up and down on a single day we reached base around 6 pm

And oh boy this is the most difficult time!

You have to say goodbye to your trek partners
Who knows you might see them again or not
But the friendship which is made over there
They were there for you when it was hard and you for theirs

But finally, everyone was there
We said our final goodbye and started our ride home

But to be frank I’ve done like 10-15 different treks and this is one of my best and most memorable trek of all time

And i want to thank Jagadish Kulal, Bharath Beltangadi, Sowmya Stetty 🙏🏽❤️

Kheerganga Trek - Vishwa - Shepherdtrail Blog 2

Feeling Low? Go to the mountains! | Kheerganga Trek

Feeling Low? Go to the mountains! | Kheerganga Trek

After a weary workday, I got a call from my friend we were sharing glimpses and he came up with the Kasol tour plan. I wanted to escape from the routine so I didn’t check anything about it and without any hesitation, I said let’s go. And that’s how we ended up on this trek.

It was a companionless journey from Chennai to Delhi to join my friend at Delhi airport we were about to kiss goodbye to the bus that we booked. We could catch the bus at the last minute, met strangers on the bus who were planning to trek Kheerganga. After staying in Kasol for two days, on the pleasant morning of Day 3, we reached Bharshaini Dam to witness the beauty of nature.

 

I think there are certain moments which people will never forget, like All the firsts when the first tide touches your feet, first snowflake, first love, first kiss!! That’s how I felt after seeing the snow-capped mountains.

From there we started the 12Km trek, on the way we met a few students rushing to schools in the mountain terrain and walked through the villages to experience the completely unknown culture of Himachal on the way to reaching  the base camp

After trekking for 7km we reached the base camp of Kheerganga trek called Rudranaag amidst the white-capped hills, where we saw the poster stating reward for finding the person who lost in the trek and realized it’s all fun and games until you lost and cease to exist.

 

We were a team of 7 members and accompanied by a local guide in Rudranaag not to miss the stray dogs, who stayed with us from start to end of the trek. From base camp, we crossed the Parvati valley to climb the mountains covered with slippery snow. Trekked almost 3 hrs to reach the kheerganga camp at 13000 ft above sea level, where one could embrace the mighty Himalayan ranges.

On top, we found one hot spring, At that moment I felt “God is a great artist but we are luckier than him to live on his finest art!!”

Barefoot we walked in the snow to reach the hot spring, the warmth given by the hot water, Oh, God!! That was heaven in real-time.

After a long trek, we camped at Kheerganga that night, amidst the Himalayas and clear night sky showing its beauty, next day we started our return journey. Trekking downhill on a slippery surface is not an easy task. I would personally say the return journey was difficult and one should be mentally ready to face the fear because while trekking uphill we will be facing the mountain but in the case of downhill, it is the valley. With the help of a veteran guide, we made it back to Rudranaag.

The trek hasn’t only given us adventure but shown us the culture of Himachal. You may not remember their names, you may not meet them again but you will always remember their quick laughs, quiet smiles, small chats, and great gestures, you will cherish them forever.

 

Some people say that unplanned trips are the best, I don’t know how far it’s true but the Kheerganga trek was unplanned, which will stay as a core memory in my life.

 

P.S: Find all information about Kheerganga Trek here.

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A Photowalk to Kedarkantha Trek

I recently went to Kedarkantha Trek. To say the trek was magical is a small word. Being on this trek has helped me realise that the saying  ” Be the change you wish to see in the world” is true,

Juda Ka Talab - Kedarkantha Trek

Juda Ka Talab – Kedarkantha Trek

A skill that I learned was how to pack your backpack, and how to handle the trek poles.

I also was observing how the guides almost like gazelles just glided through the paths when I was struggling to understand where to place a step, I realised the whole body posture helps in playing a role

Taking part in GreenTrails was a beautiful experience. It reminded me that in spite of the beauty and majesty, the mountain ecosystem is still fragile. We need to be much much much more careful with how much of a footprint we’re leaving behind.

The climb, the views, the freezing weather.. it was all worth it once we got to see the peaks in all their glory from the top.

The skies were clear and we got to spend a quiet 60 minutes on the summit after a long day of trekking.

One word, PRICELESS. We also got to experience snowfall on our last day and it was amazing to see how everything around us felt surreal!!

With that, this is Vaani on Kedarkantha Trek ! Keep Hiking! Live your life.

 

 

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 Kheerganga- My First Trek – By Bisheshwar Das

 KheerGanga- My First Trek

Whether listed down on a paper or not, everyone has a bucket list- a list of things they want to experience before their soul leaves the body. No matter how beautiful one’s city is or how upgraded and techie one’s room is, the pleasure of enjoying nature is unmatchable.

A frustrated engineering mind from exams wanted some refreshment. The evening after the last exam, our group of Nepali students studying at Thapar University sat down and started thinking of going on a trip. We certainly didn’t want to visit any cities but to go to nature. I have always wanted to go on a trek, so I suggested a place my friends had recently been to, Triund. Later we found out about Kheerganga Trek and decided to go there. We planned on leaving the following evening, and so we did. We left Patiala at around 7, we reached Chandigarh, and as there was no direct bus available for Kasol, we had to go on the bus to Manali and stop at Bhuntar. We arrived at Bhuntar early in the morning and then sat on a bus and we were off to the base of trekking, Barshaini. We then had some lunch and started our trek.

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Trekking to Kheerganga

I was very excited about this trip, my first trek. I can still feel that feeling putting my first foot on the inclined hilly small path with a tripod in one hand and a helping stick in the other. We reached the top around 4 pm. There was no network, just nature; Gosh, that feeling is fantastic. My legs were hurting, but my soul was pleased to reach the camp.

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Our group at Kheerganga

We then had mango juice(maaza), and then we went for a hot spring bath. We then went to the Shiva temple beside the hot spring (Parvati Kund). After that, we returned to camp and had Maggie noodles. Later, we enjoyed dancing to music. After that, we all went for a bit of rest, and then we all gathered for a campfire. We played Etymology (antakshari) in a group of two and danced. Some people from other groups joined us as well. Though from different regions, we were certainly united by the music. After that, we had dinner, and then some stayed by the campfire, and some, including myself, went to sleep.

 The following day, while most of us were asleep. Four of us went up the hill with determination to reach the snow point there. We went through bushes and rugged paths, but eventually, we got to the snow point, enjoyed it for a while, captured some photos, and returned.

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Reached the snow point

After we reached the camp, the rest of the members were awake as well, and thus we had our breakfast, and then we set our backpacks to return. We captured group photos and then got back to our journey. We ended up on a different way around with no intention, which was a little tricky but more fun trekking. This path passed through a beautiful village as well.

 We had planned to spend some time in Kasol, so we didn’t spend much time in Barshaini. We got there fresh, had some chips and cold drinks, and sat on the bus to Kasol. We reached Kasol by around 3 pm. Then we had some evening snacks, momos and chowmein.

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Beautiful Kasol market

We then booked our tickets to Chandigarh. The bus was at 10:00 pm. So we decided to spend time by the riverside, and so we did. We went to the nearby riverside and spent the evening there. We took some photos and piled up rocks as a pagoda.Kheerganga - My first Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 5 We later brought some cold drinks and snacks and enjoyed singing. After that, it was almost dark around 07:30 pm. We returned to the city and roamed through the local market. We went to the bus stand at the respective time, reached Chandīgarh by morning, wandered a bit there, and returned to the hostel by noon.

 Have you ever been into addiction? The addiction of tick marking the list, the list you make of things that makes your soul relaxed and happy. This trek was on my list, and I walked every step with excitement, like, yay, I am doing this. This trek was a wholesome pack of excitement and happiness to my soul. The more the uneven and uneasy path, the more keen my heart was to cross it.

त्रिउंड की एक अनप्लैंड ट्रिप - ShepherdTrail Blog 7

त्रिउंड की एक अनप्लैंड ट्रिप की कहानी!

आखिर एक अनप्लैंड ट्रिप कितना अनप्लैंड हो सकता है?
मैं बताता हूं कितना 😂
तो मैकलोडगंज की एक सुहानी धूप भरी सुबह में मन हुआ की चलो त्रिउंड के मैजिक व्यू कैफे तक चढ़कर एक चाय मैगी खाकर शाम तक वापस चले आते है, थोड़ी ठंडी हवा का वहम था तो एक लेयर जैकेट अपने डे पैक में डाला। एक पानी की बोतल, अपना कैमरा, 2 फ्रूट केक और छाता ताकि बाय चांस बारिश हो गई तो ठीक रहेगा। मुझे पता है ऑलरेडी काफी प्लांड लग रहा होगा, लेकिन ऐसा नही है। 😂

मैं अपने मित्र (जो की हॉस्टल में ही मिला था) के साथ चल पड़ा। मैजिक व्यू 10 बजे सुबह पहुंच गया तो लगा की Triund अब कोनसा दूर है, चल लेते है, आने में तो वैसे भी आधा टाइम ही लगेगा (ओवरकॉन्फिडेंस सूंघ पा रहे हो? 🤣)

 

चल पड़े भाई, गानों की धुन और वक्त पर लौटने की धनक ने 12 बजे Triund पहुंचा दिया। कसम से क्या मौसम था, सामने मूनपीक की खूबसूरती के तो क्या ही कहने। यहां में सच में पिघल गया था 😍

 

यहां मेने अपने दोस्त से मसखरी में कहा, क्यों अरुण भाई, क्या लगता है और पास से कैसा लगता होगा ? अरुण भाई ठिठके और बोले यहां तो बढ़िया लग रहा है, पास से और बढ़िया लगेगा । मेरे अतिउत्तेजित चहरे को भांप कर मैगी परोसते हुए दुकान वाले चाचा बोले “स्नोलाइन भी 1 घंटा ही है यह से”

मां कसम यही में दूसरी बार ओवरकॉन्फिडेंस में आगया था 😂

 

“अरुण भाई देखो अगर स्नोलाइन जाकर आए तो 2 घंटे और सही, 2:30 बजे उतरना शुरू करेंगे वापस यहीं से और 5 बजे तो हॉस्टल” ये सब में सादे में बोल रहा था 😂😂
विज्ञान के अवकलन समाकलन के जोड़ अपने जीवन में इतनी तेजी से नही किए थे की ये कर रहा था 😂
खैर मैगी सुड्डक के चल दिए, ऊबड़ खाबड़ रास्ते से झूमते झामते कुदरत के नजारे लेते हुए भी मूनपीक के प्यार में पागल होते हुए सोच रहे थे की पास से कितना सुंदर लगेगा 😂
खैर हम 1:15 बजे स्नोलाइन पहुंचे ।

 

आए हाए नजारे आगए, शांति के अलावा स्नोलाइन इसलिए भी पसंद है की शाम में बैठ कर मूनपीक के चहेरे पर वो सुनहरी चुनर देखने को मिलती है, सूरज की किरणे अपने सुनहरे रंग की आखिरी आभा में उस पहाड़ को इस ढकती है जैसे किसी दुल्हन के चहरे का घूंघट 😍|

 

खैर, वहां पहुंचते ही अपने ये विचार दिमाग में दही की तरह फैल चुके थे। चाचा से एक गरम चाय ली। 2 मिनट तक उस पहाड़ को अपने अंदर झांकने दिया ( और क्या, इतना करीब से और भी अद्भुत था की अब मेरी क्या औकात की मैं उसमे झांकू?)
चुस्की लेते हुए चाचा से पूछा “टेंट है?” 🤔
“आखिरी बचा है”
अब अरुण भाई पहले भी ज्यादा शक की नजर से देख रहे थे 🙄
मैं बोलता उससे पहले से ही तपाक से बोले “2:30 बजे नीचे उतरना शुरू करना है?”
मेरे की अब जाने का मन था ही नही 🤭
मेने अरुण भाई के बजाय चाचा को जवाब दिया ” वो ऊपर वाली साइड में सनराइज फेसिंग करके लगा दो 2 लोग के लिए” 😂🤣
में और अरुण भाई जोर से हंसे। 😂
“तू ठंड से मरवाएगा आज” बोलकर अरुण भाई चाय सुडकने लगे।
“अब नया प्लान सुनो” मेने सीरियस होके बोलने की कोशिश की।
अरुण भाई का चेहरा देखने लायक था 😂
“अभी सनसेट देखेंगे, सुबह 6 बजे लाका ग्लेशियर चलेंगे, 11 बजे वहा से निकलेंगे और 3-4 बजे तक नीचे” 🤔
लगा अरुण भाई से उनकी आत्मा मांग ली 😂

मैं चुपचाप चाय सुडकने लगा 🤭

अब लग रहा था कुछ ज्यादा ही अनप्लैन्ड हो रहा है।

वो अलग बात है की कैसे इसी ट्रिप पर पजामा टीशर्ट पहने एक पतले जैकेट के सहारे इंद्रहार तक कर आए 😂🤣
आगे की अनप्लैंड कहानी कभी और 😂

हां ये पीछे लाका ग्लेशियर ही है और वो मूनपीक का साइड पोज ( मेरा भी 😂 😅 🙌)

 

 

Chopta Tunganath Chandrashila Trek through my lens

Chopta Tunganath Chandrashila Trek through my lens

Having a bucket list is good but getting started with living them is great. I always wanted to have a Himalayan trekking experience. So, I chose the Chopta Tunganath trek which is said to be an easy-moderate trek as compared to other Himalayan Treks.

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Confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag

We boarded a bus from Delhi at midnight and reached Rishikesh at 5:30 am. There we witnessed a serene sunrise and a cool morning breeze. From there, we started in a cab arranged by the Snowclad team who had also arranged our stay, food and trekking guide for the trek. On our way to Chopta, we were fascinated to see the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi at Devprayag that makes the Holy River Ganga.   We reached our base camp by afternoon. After reaching Chopta, we had a great time playing with colours by the side of a river stream just below the camp, as it was the occasion of Holi. Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila - ShepherdTrail Blog2We stayed in Swiss tents which had basic things like bed blankets and a washroom.

The next morning, we had a light breakfast and carried packed food for our trek.

The path towards Tungnath is cemented. This beautiful route is surrounded by Rhododendron bushes all around. On our way, we could see views of the mighty Himalayan Mountain ranges. One would never fall short of views throughout the trek. The mountains allow us to pause and be in awe of the world’s natural splendour.

Tung Nath is the world’s highest Shiva temple at an elevation of 12073 feet. It is a Panch Kedar temple located 4 kilometres from Chopta. After slaying their cousins in the Kurukshetra war, the Pandavas are said to have embarked on their quest to find Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva, however, was enraged by all the killings and wanted to avoid them, so he transformed into a bull and vanished into the ground, his bodily parts scattering in various locations. The place carries an amazing vibe with it.

Another climb of 1 hr leads us to Chandrashila peak. Chandrashila translates to “Moonrock.” The path from Tungnath to Chandrashilla was difficult as it was covered with a thick layer of snow and it was slippery. So we had to be very careful in choosing our steps. On reaching the top we had an experience like never before. I felt like I am on top of the world! We could have a breath-taking 360-degree view, including the Himalayan ranges like Nanda Devi, Kedar Peak, Chaukhamba Peaks, Trisul, and BandarpunchBeing in the mountains reminds us how insignificant we are on this magnificent planet. Making us feel excitingly vulnerable while emphasizing how much we still haven’t seen.

On our way back, we could see a beautiful sunset. The sun, with its warm colours, painted the sky and made the place an enchanted world.

We returned to the comfort of our tent yet it felt like we had been cast a spell that made us go back to those mountains in our thoughts. My heart was full of the moments, views and experiences. At night we had a bonfire and a great time getting to know other trekkers in the camp there.

Although the trek is over now, we are left with a lifetime of experience and memories to cherish!

You can read more experience about this trek here.

 

 

Never Ending Voyage - Lessons learned from Trekking

Never Ending Voyage – Lessons learned from Trekking

Blue, green and brown were my most used pastel colors all through my childhood not knowing that these colors will forever leave firm imprints on my life. I am a total hill person. I love anything and everything about mountains, clear blue skies, vast green meadows and dense forests. I don’t remember what kick started this love but it’s there now for a while and one thing that I am sure of is that it will last till my legs give away. Mountains have given more than have taken from me. Here are my life lessons or  things I learned from my trekking experiences –

You can’t succeed if you don’t try. You could only fail if you didn’t try .

 I have been a soft corner for nature since childhood and was automatically drawn towards mountains and their beauty. Often times reading several adventure series and travel books made me wonder if I could also embark on such journeys! What would it be like treading difficult paths like these amazing men did? I used to underestimate myself thinking I can never scale such heights till I made up my mind one day to give it a shot and there hasn’t been any stopping since then. My first trek to Kedarkanta was not only strenuous but also painful.Never Ending Voyage - Lessons learned from Trekking1

My body did not expect hardships that I suddenly hurled on it and neither was I mentally prepared to hike more and more. But more I trekked along, pushed myself ahead, ignoring the pains and sickness, the easier it got for me to walk ahead. I slowly began to see things differently beyond the hardships and discomforts that nature bestowed upon me. I started to observe more, feel more and see the beauty of things around. That was the first time I realized how many other things I was capable of doing if only I tried. There is no point in letting the fear of failure hold you back from doing something you want to do or capable of doing. Just start with venturing out, see how far you get, improve your abilities and keep going!

Rise above yourself, there is a bigger world ahead that awaits you.

We are so engrossed in our own world, with our own little problems that we have lost all our capability to look beyond ourselves. It’s only when we are exposed to rough terrains wherein we are cut off from civilization and see local tribes with bare minimum necessities to live on, yet never complaining and living in harmony and complete submission with nature, that we wonder whether the Glass is half full or half empty? Mountain life is tedious and difficult. Hill people live in wooden houses with basic amenities and in areas that are always prone to natural calamities, bear tremendous cold weather, walk for miles to fetch water or woods from the forests. Kids with cracked red cheeks that hurt all the time, often walk for hours to attend school yet you will always find the locals hospitable with whatever little they have, ever smiling at you when met enroute. Sometimes they lend a helping hand or just pass a good luck smile and move on. In contrast, we the urban city life dwellers always live a life of tension and stress – we have loans to repay, our salaries are always too less, loved ones who never reciprocate, we love foods which we can’t intake as we have the growing obesity issues seeping in to our lives. We are constantly put under the scanner of society with people analyzing our every step. But if you manage to break free of this cluttered city life every once in a while you will come across people who care, and who bond with strangers with no high expectations.

A trek develops a sense of gratitude to things and people around.

Trekking makes you ponder over how many people and things came together to make your success possible. You instantly feel thankful about it. A monsoon trek to Deomali helped me realize “how many things” and “how many people” have contributed to our well-being.Never Ending Voyage - Lessons learned from Trekking2

Trekking gives us time for reflection, which promotes clarity. Clarity significantly improves decision making abilities.

There are many things about trekking that simply make you think. It could be the alone time, the view, the scale of the mountains, anything. But it promotes thinking and often gives you clarity. Walking alone in mountains is a great experience. Trails cut between mountains and run by the riverside. I get this opportunity mostly in my Himalayan treks. There are miles and miles of mountains in front of us and miles behind us. I feel minuscule among the mighty mountains. It is here I start wondering about the purpose of our existence. Have we found it yet? Do we even know that we need to find it? What are our primary and secondary duties in life? What are the factors derailing us from our duties?

Never Ending Voyage - Lessons learned from Trekking

These questions are not tricky ones. Sometimes on a trek, we get answers that are extraordinarily impactful on our lives.

Trekking helps you realize that true happiness is not a product of amassing things.

On the Bramhatal trek in the December of 2021, we walked past some beautiful forest and mountain passes. In my opinion, they were the the best seven days I have ever spent. Now let us look at it the other way. We were walking with a backpack, eating simple food and having “the best time”? How can someone be having the “best time” when they are deprived of basic necessities of a comfortable bed, car and sophisticated restrooms? What does happiness depend upon then? “What” and “how much of it” do we need to possess to be happy? How much mental baggage do we absolutely need? What I have said afore is by no means a complete cover of my experiences, but it gives you an idea of my biggest learnings. Never Ending Voyage - Lessons learned from Trekking3While some of my learnings are universal, learnings from a trek is also a subjective experience.

 

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How I Met Me – A Trek Date – Tunganath and Chandershila Trek

How I Met Me – A Trek Date

At times, all it takes is just that 1 trip, 1 destination, 1 moment, or 1 experience to see through oneself.

For me, that was my 1st Himalayan Trek to Tunganath and Chandrashila (12,500 ft) in Uttarakhand. A trek that made me see life with a new lens. This blog is more about that lens than the logistics of the trek.

The Trek (Tunganath and Chandrashila)

It was a 5-day trek from Sari Village – a beautiful hamlet at an elevation of 6500 ft in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, around 200 KM from Rishikesh.

The trek had actually begun days before reaching Sari. There was a lot of prep work that went in, starting from cardio exercises, weight training, a few breathing exercises, shopping the trekking gear, making a packing checklist, first-aid kit, etc.

And finally, I reached Sari – the base camp for my Trek. Reaching the base camp was a Trek in itself😊.

First, Fly from Hyderabad to New Delhi. Then take an overnight train from New Delhi to Haridwar. And then comes the 7 hours long road journey from Haridwar to Sari.

Tunganath and Chandrashila Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 1
This has been always the same in all my treks. It’s like getting you prepared for the real trek 😊.

The next 5 days were absolutely thrilling and exciting filled with memories of a lifetime. Of course, it was very tiring for a beginner, but it was equally relaxing around gorgeous campsites as you can see.Tunganath and Chandrashila Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 2

Each day was full of scenic views of Mt. Chaukamba, Rhododendron forest trails, idyllic glens and meadows, beautiful Himalayan birds like the Yellow-billed blue magpie, and Uttarakhand’s State Bird – The Monal.Tunganath and Chandrashila Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 3

It was all about how you keep going and push yourself to complete that 1-day target, instead of thinking how to reach the summit, as the saying says – One step at a time.

No matter how far or high is the summit, if you just focus on today’s target, push yourself to achieve that one thing today, that’s how you reach towards your summit.

The Summit

“One day, the mountain that is in front of you, it will barely be visible in the distance. But the person you become in learning to get over it? That will stay with you forever. And that is the point of the mountain.”― Brianna Wiest

This is exactly what happened to me in the trek. I am an entirely different person after the trek; I am more of a minimalist than a materialistic, confident, adventurous, living life to the fullest, respectful and mindful of the power of Nature more, valuing Living over Existing. Impossibilities are sometimes the gates to new possibilities. Exploring one’s fears and limitations opens such gates that we never imagined.

This is what standing on the summit felt like – That eureka of accomplishment; that gush in self-confidence, self-motivation, and seeing a totally different world up there – a different power of creation that I never realized even existed. A moment of nothingness which was also a moment of wholesomeness.

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You are out of thoughts – that blank moment of life when all you have are those mighty peaks, those high swirling birds, that soothing chillness of the breeze, You, and your heartbeat. That’s all is your World there.

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That moment of stillness when you find yourself pondering over – Who am I? What is your Life about? What is this creation about? Are you Living or Existing? What’s your purpose on this Planet? Universe has the mystical power to show you what you are seeking.

The Fears

I am a very fearful person 😊. I am claustrophobic, aquaphobic, minor acrophobic, and cynophobic.

I was never aware of these phobias so strong within me until this trek. The moment I went into the sleeping bag in my tent that night, I couldn’t breathe. I felt suffocated, anxious, increased heartbeat – I was just unable to sleep inside the tent. In the entire trek of 5 days, I could sleep a total of 8 hours only. That’s when I faced this phobia head-on – that was the moment I realized this is so strong within me. Every night I used to try different ways to put myself into sleep –mountain pictures, music, staring at the moon and stars in the sky, keeping the tent door slightly open, etc.😊At times, I just walked around the campsite like a zombie 😊. That made me witness some amazing twilights and star-lit skies though.Tunganath and Chandrashila Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 6

This was very difficult during my 1st trek, however, the subsequent treks were a bit better and now I’m able to sleep at least 5 hours every night on a trek 😊.

My next phobia was fear of dogs. Due to a not-so-good encounter with an angry dog in my childhood, I have been very scared of dogs all my life. I met a couple of mountain dogs on my trek and I bonded very well with them, as you can see😊 That’s the 1st time when I really petted a dog. This guy was with us for the entire trek – he followed us from Base Camp to the Summit, like a true companion!

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Anyone who has been to the mountains can certainly relate to what I’m trying to convey here – even dogs in the mountains are so compassionate and full of warmth. You just need to feel them. From that day on, mountain dogs are my friends 😊. I’m still trying with the city dogs though 😊.

As I mentioned above, reaching the Summit brought in a lot of confidence and everything seemed possible to me thereafter. So, I decided to face my next phobia – Fear of Water. Claustrophobics are mostly aquaphobes too. I did go for River Rafting in The Ganga at Rishikesh, after my trek. The oarsman literally pushed me out of the raft saying “you should try this” 😊 Trust me, it gave me chills all over, I was scared to death and couldn’t process what’s happening.

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It was really horrifying for a person who never has even tried any basic water sports 😊. You can see that on my face (lol).

It’s always better to face your fears and limitations and fail than to fail anyways running away from them. It will either break you or accelerate you as I did. So, take that plunge towards yourself and explore the real YOU.
This is how I met Me on 1st May 2018, when are you meeting yourself?

Please share your here, it will be my delight to read them.

Hire trekking guide - ShepherdTrail Blog

Why you should hire trekking guide for your next trek?

I want to share my thoughts about a very important topic: whether to trek solo or hire an agency? Well for people who are going for a trek but don’t like much company, hiring a local guide gives you a lot of flexibility and freedom. Hiring a guide is definitely required if you are going for any Himalayan trek.

With trekking growing in India and more people going for treks many local and government bodies have made having a certified trekking guide mandatory for most Himalayan treks. There are a lot of agencies already operating in India which ensures safety and precautions are ensured on treks. Though if you are the kind of person who doesn’t like much of the company you can hire a trekking guide in India.

Most of the trekking guides are certified on safety protocols and know-how to handle any emergency. They are professionals and experienced local guides who know the terrain.

We have listed down a few benefits of hiring a trekking guide for your next trekking trip.

  1. Safety and Security

If you are trekking, having a certified guide ensures safety and security during the trek. Whether you are going on a day hike, trek or expedition you can trust your guide with knowledge of the trail, local weather, routes, good campsites and every precaution to be taken care of. In addition to it, guides are also certified in first aid and can handle any adverse situations.

The guides will also have a good idea of hygienic water sources or food facilities on trails. That way, you can keep diseases away. This will save you from the discomfort of altitude sickness.

Hiring a local guide also adds the benefit of your guide being acclimatized with the local conditions and would be able to help you out in case of any emergency.

  1. Regional knowledge and cultural experience 

Hiring a local guide helps you communicate better with the locals at times. In all Himalayan treks when you are in the interior people there don’t understand other languages than the regional language. A local guide will always have knowledge of the language and would be able to communicate better.

In addition to it, while you are doing a trek, you need to respect and abide by the local culture. Having a guide helps you understand local culture and helps you experience the same.

An excellent adventure travel guide will have a strong understanding of the area where he/she operates. This entails knowing local trails, conditions, weather, and risks. Guides will also ensure you have all the equipment you need before you begin.

  1. Flexible Itineraries 

You often have come across scenarios where you are trekking in a group and have to stick to the Itinerary of the organizer. Even if you like a place and want to spend an additional day or want to rest and acclimatize you have to keep moving as per the trek operator’s itinerary. Having a personalized guide will add flexibility to the itinerary and you can trek at your own pace.

  1. Support the local economy

Hiring local trekking guides also helps to put money in the pockets of locals living in the areas you visit. Also, it adds to the employment in the hills. At ShepherdTrail we give preference to local guides when we suggest a particular trail and guide. This is also part of our vision statement where we are supporting local communities.

Your money not only helps them to live a good life, but it also often helps them to support their families, too.

  1. Mental and Physical Support

As trekking is challenging, there might be occasions where you may feel like giving up the trek. But the guides will constantly boost your morale and show you some simple ways that you can complete the trek.

On the other hand, there might be instances when you push yourself too hard to complete the trek. The guides will help you maintain a good pace without stretching your physical limits too far. This is very important to avoid fatigue and altitude sickness.

Conclusion

With such safety issues and wonderful services that guides provide you, it will come as a surprise if you don’t hire a guide. They are your reliable bet to having a culturally wonderful experience. Their strength, support, and determination to help and protect you is something you can learn from.

General Terms and Conditions: 

  • One guide can handle a group size of a maximum of 8 persons.
  • If the group size is more than 8 persons, you need to book one more guide.
  • Entry tickets, parking charges and other miscellaneous charges are not included.

What the cost include

  • The daily wages of the porters, guides and porter cum guides
  • The meals (including tea and coffee), as well as accommodation
  • The government taxes as well as agency service charge

What the cost excludes

  • The cost of transportation including any flight (if necessary)
  • The cost doesn’t cover any tips that you feel inclined to give to the porters, guides, and porters cum guides.

So, if you are looking to hire a guide for your next trekking trip you can simply hire them from any agency available or just chat on the Shepherdtrail, we might be able to help you out by suggesting a good trekking guide.

Rajgundha Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog

All you need to know Rajgundha Trek

Rajgundha Trek | Trek from Bir Billing | Detailed Itinerary 

Rajgundha Trek is located in Dhauladhar Range. If you are in Bir Billing and looking for a short adventure you should choose this amazing trek experience.  This is a very remote village and not visited much by travellers. The trek goes through the village paths and Rajgundha is approachable in 2 different ways. Alternatively, you can also start your journey from Barot.

Trek’s total distance is 6 km if started from the Barot side and 14 KM if started from the Billing side. Once you reach Rajgundha you can camp overnight or can also return the same day to your base location if you have started your trek from Barot side (One of the best camping destinations in Himachal).

Billing is also a traveller’s inn and you can find homestays, paragliding and camping options there. Also if you have a few more days you can also visit Barot and enjoy camping. Also, there are a lot of monasteries nearby which you can visit.

Travel to base –Nearest airports are Kullu and Kangra. Travellers can plan travel to any of these airports. Bir Billing is approachable from both these locations and there are local buses operating on this route. If you are coming by train you can take the train to Pathankot from where you can either take a bus or if you have some spare time you can also board a Toy train to Jogindernagar.

Short itinerary for Rajgundha Trek

Day 1: Bir to Rajgundha

Once we reach billing then trek will start from Billing. The total trek distance is 14km.

Day 2: Rajgundha to Billing and back to Bir

After breakfast trek back to billing then drive down to Bir.

Things to keep in mind before attempting Rajgundha Trek.

  • Mobile network is available only of that of Airtel and Jio..
  • There are a couple of stay options that can be booked after paying some amount.  It is recommended to carry your camping gear or hire an agency to manage your stay and food needs.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur or Kharar from Gadget Rental India.

Want to add anything? Comment below and we will add it. Want to read more click here.

ShepherdTrail Blog - Kedarkantha Trek 23

Kedarkantha heaven on earth !

So we were at Sankari base camp where we can purchase our trekking gear like a jacket, gloves, waterproof pant, Wollan cap. We started our trekking with one night stay at Sankari base camp for taking a rest.  And the early morning around 8 am we were ready for a trek on the same day we are trek 4 km in 5 hours continuously walking and reach Hargaon base camp where trip partner arranged some food like maggie and soup.

Complete our lunch and go somewhere sightseeing which name was Juda ka Talab the frozen lake, Such an amazing experience it was my first trekking.

Juda ka talab

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The Kedarkantha peak base camp was so beautiful and opened up to the valley in front of the tents. From here we could see the Kedarkantha peak where we need to climb the next day. We spotted a lot of crows and some small birds here. Our trip partner was @tripmysoul.in.

I came here with my 8 groupmates, the fun was unexpected our group name was famous in whole, group name was Topa Ganges.

OUR TOPA GANGE IS HERE 👇👇👇👇😜

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The timing for the big day was 2 am, 2.30 am and 3 am. Yes, we need to be at the peak for sunrise and hence this timing. We couldn’t believe we started walking by 3.30 am after tea & breakfast. It was very cold in the morning with a chill breeze throwing snow particles on our faces. We were walking with our heads bent down looking at the feet of the person walking ahead.

After 2hr walk, we reached a Maggie point where we could take some rest. During this 2hr walk, we could only stop for some time on the way for water. There is no place to sit until we reach this spot as the entire stretch is covered with snow. As it was dark we could not enjoy the beautiful views on the way, but we could feel the thick snow around us and the walking trail had little hard snow. The temperature was -14°. We were walking with cold feet and cold hands, it was like our feet and hands were frozen.

Again, we continued the trek from Maggie point with a steeper path ahead. Due to the speed variation between the teammates, sometimes we got mixed up with other teams. The Trip my soul trek leaders were observing each one of us and made us feel that we are not lost anywhere. They were so encouraging and kept us all motivated. They timed the trek so perfectly that we reached the peak right for the sunrise at 7 am.  Altitude – 12,500 feet.

It was an amazing view to see the sun’s rays filling the top of snow near us. The golden colour view of the snow cannot be explained in words.

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Sunrise at Kedarkantha Trek

It was so cold that I could not take out my gloves for taking pics. I was thinking of capturing so many different shots in the peak. But it did not work for me. Though there were lot of others who were normally clicking pics over there. The experience of seeing mighty Himalayas all around you was so amazing.

Kedarkantha Trek Blog - ShepherdTrail 20

The return journey was furthermore exciting in a different path less used by people and covered with thick snow. We covered around 1km of the return journey by sliding in the snow. The trek leaders were so experienced to show us the right spots where we can perform snow slides.

We reached the Hargaon campsite around 3 pm and stayed there for the night to relax. Altitude – 8900 feet. This site was also having an excellent viewpoint and we spent our evening with team games. As usual the evening tea, soup and dinner were tasteful with gulab jamun as dessert. Morning tea was served in the tent as tent tea since it was too cold for us to come out at 7.30 am. After breakfast at 8.30 am, we started from this site at 9.30 am and moved through the snow-filled mountain. The views were excellent here too and we wanted to continue the trek for a few more days. Reached Sankri village by 12noon. Yes, as the trek leaders told Sankri was warmer than the peak 🙂 We all received certificates for successful completion of the trek.

Last but not least the trekking team was amazing with people from different parts of the country. Had a memorable fun time with them. We played a lot of games during the relaxing time like smoking some stuff, anthakshari, guess the personality etc. The trek leaders also joined us to make it more fun and to get to know us before the summit climb. I would say not a lot of people in South India knows about these treks. But it is definitely far more enjoyable for trek enthusiasts and cost-effective too. The Trip my soul team was perfect in all aspects and ensured the safety of the trekkers.

Himani Chamunda Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 3

All you need to know about Himani Chamunda trek – Updated 2023

Aadi Himani Chamunda is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shri Chamunda Devi, situated in Chandar Bhan, Jia in Kangra ValleyHimachal PradeshIndia, in the Himalayas.

Aadi Himani Chamunda Temple (3185 meters) is located on a hilltop North East of the existing Shri Chamunda Devi Mandir in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. One can reach there after hiking about 13 Kilometers from Dharamshala Palampur state Highway (Jadrangal Village) and 8.5 Kilometers from the last motorable road at Kardiana. The trek to Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi requires about 6–7 hours and moderate expertise is required. Devotees visit the sacred shrine throughout the year except for winters. As per locals goddess, Shri Chamunda Devi killed two demons, Chand and Mund, from the top of the mountain by throwing huge boulders on them, one can still find one of the boulders above the Shiva Temple located near the existing Shri Chamunda Devi Temple on Dharamshala Palampur state highway. The recent temple built in the past decade was destroyed by the fierce fire in 2014 and now it has been under reconstruction again with the help of devotees and Temple Trust. The water is available till halfway and after that pilgrims need to carry their own. One can also find tea shops cum resting locations multiple times till the hilltop temple.

Also known as Aadi Himani Chamunda is a beautiful trek for any traveller and trekking enthusiast. The trek is in Dhauladhar Range and is famous for the goddess Chamunda Temple.The temple environs are of outstanding natural beauty and for that reason a destination for trekkers.

Trek can be commenced from Jia village The trek from Jia village is 7.4 kilometres one way. While the ascent takes 3-4 hours to complete; the descent can be completed in 2-3 hours. The route has many shops, solar lights and shelters.

The entire Kangra valley is visible from the trek.

Travel to base – Jia is 12km away from Chamunda. Chamunda also have a chamunda temple. There are a lot of local buses between Kangra and Chamunda. The nearest railway is Chamunda Devi. Trekkers coming from a different state can take rail till Pathankot and then if have extra time they can board toy train or alternatively take the bus till Kangra. The nearest airport is Kangra.

Short itinerary for Himani Camunda Trek
Day 1 – Kangra to Himani Chamunda

Trekkers need to reach Kangra from where they can take a shared Taxi to Jia village. Trek will start from Jia village. The total trek distance is 7.4km. Trekkers need to ensure that they are carrying enough water as water sources are not available on the trek. Once reaching the top you can camp for the night at the top.

Day 2 – Himani Chamunda to Kangra

Today you can start ascending towards Jia village. From Jia, trekkers will be transferred to Kangra. Trek ends here.

Things to keep in mind before attempting Himani Chamunda Trek.
  • There are 2 ways to go to Himani Chamunda however it is recommended to start the trek from Jia village.
  • Like Triund trek there is no water source available on the trek, so it is advisable to carry your own water.
  • The final destination has the deity Aadi Himani Chamunda temple so please don’t carry any prohibited material.
  • If you are looking for a trek where you can party then avoid this trek.
  • Mobile network is not available on most of the trek.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.
  • If you are doing this trek during winters, please carry trekking and snow gear.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh Tricity area from Gadget Rental India.

They have some really cool camping gear right for your trek. Do check out the recommendations below

Want to add anything? Comment below and we will add it. Want to read more click here.

 

Kareri Lake Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 4

Journey to Kareri Lake Trek – Nov 2017

Well, it was late Nov’17 when Pankaj called to go for a hike close to Dharamshala. At the moment I wasn’t aware of Kareri Lake and heard the name for the first time. Kareri lake trek became famous in the 20s and it was a pure offbeat place before that and most people were not aware that we do have such a preserved trail which is less crowded and is a better option than Triund. The year 2016 was the year by when the popularity of the Triund trek already reached its peak and it’s still one of the famous hikes among the trekking community.
So instantly I agreed to join him for the trek. That was also the time we were planning to start our own trekking business though we were unable to execute the same. So Pankaj managed to get 2 of his work colleagues to join for the trek.

I boarded an overnight bus from Chandigarh to Dharamshala and we agreed to meet at Dharamshala as Pankaj would leave for Dharamshala after his work hours in the early morning. So there was I standing at 4:00 AM standing in Dharamshala on a chilled morning.

I waited for about 2 hours when Pankaj reached Dharamshala. We had an awesome tea and then we departed towards Kareri village.

Dharamshala - ShepherdTrail Blog

Sharma g finally arrived!

The road to Kareri village was under construction and was a bit jumpy and completely off-road. The road is inclined and was a narrow road with a very low margin for error and you would end up straight at the bottom of the valley if you slipped. It was a fun journey to Kareri Village. When we entered Kareri village you will see fresh developments and camps being set up. There were also a couple of homestays being set up and fresh structures being built up but majorly it was a small dune over the mountain.

We chit chatted with the locals to ask for the place to park our vehicle and parked the vehicle opposite to tea stall we had our breakfast. There were not many options available for food when we visited Kareri. Only 2 small tea stalls and one under construction café/campsite.

We started our hike to Kareri lake around 10 in the morning. There was a road head from where the trek starts till that point we could drive our car but we thought of leaving vehicle safe at the tea stall and took a walk through the village. There is a path which goes straight through the village and I think that was the best decision. While we were going through the village there were multiple locals who asked us pleasantly where we have come from. One old lady even offered us to rest and have tea as we were going through the village path. Well, that’s the beauty of being in a Himalayan village. The village is majorly occupied by the “Gaddi” tribe of Himachal Pradesh who are mostly shepherds (or used to be) though civilization cached up and people either started doing jobs and came down the hills children’s studies. Though if you will closely observe the guides on trails they are mostly from the same community and are open-hearted people who will show good hospitality and are reliable in mountains.

Kareri lake trail is being followed by Gaddi Shepherds also known as “Paal” from centuries to commute between Kangra and Chamba region. The path goes through Kareri Lake, Minkiani Pass (4250m) and Baleni Pass (3710m) to connect Chamba to KANGRA.

While you go through this ancient village you will find a lot of ancient mud houses, structures, livestock and sheep herds (Also called “Dhan” in the local language ). If you have ample time and want to experience Himalayan village culture you should definitely stay at Kareri village for a few days. There are a couple of homestays now available in the village.

Kareri Village - ShepherdTrail Blog

Taking a break at Kareri Village on the way to Kareri Lake

Just after the village we took a paved path upwards to the road head and reached the road head from where we started our hike to Kareri lake. The initial path is a bit tricky and you may get lost initially. The best bet is to follow the stream which is coming from the lake. The rest of the path goes beside the stream.

A few minutes into the trail we found ourselves in a deep forest and crossed the stream and started hiking on the left side of the steam. The point where we had to cross the stream was very scenic and there was a small pond of freshwater. We refilled our water bottles and clicked a few pics. The atmosphere here was completely silent and rejuvenating. If you may ask me I was ready to camp here for the day though it was just 20 minutes into the trail.Kareri lake trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 1

After a few minutes, we started our hike again. The trail now was well defined and clear. Forest became a bit denser. Few more minutes into the trail and we were joined by a solo foreigner trekker who was hiking solo. He joined our group and we started hiking together. After a few hours of trek, we started feeling exhausted and we took a small break. We literally found animal skulls here, having found skulls we were pretty clear that the area is inhabited by many wild animals.

After a few minutes, we thought of having our lunch. We had a few instant noodle packets and hot water which we carried from the village and we made instant noodles. After lunch, we started walking again and we found a beautiful iron bridge near reoti.

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Iron Bridge at Reoti

The café here was closed and we moved on. We reached Reoti in a few minutes. We could see a temporary café which was closed for now but there was camping space available at the café just across the small stream. We sat up the camp for the day and rested.Kareri Lake Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 3
The next morning we left out our gears in the camps and started hiking to the lake. The final stretch is a bit steep but at the same time is equally beautiful. The trail goes along the stream which is coming from the lake and you just need to follow the stream. There are a few shepherd huts on the way which were vacant when we visited. There were few nomads who were camping there and after speaking to them we found that they were from down south and were camping there for almost a week.

We could see the temple on the lake and got a bit excited to hike to the final destination. We literally ran for the last few steps and finally, we were there at the lake beside the lord Shiva temple. The entire lake is a beauty and you get satisfied to witness a lake that is storing water straight from the glaciers. There was no snow at the lake when we visited and it was a bit dried up so we entered the lake and clicked a few pics there.
The feeling of accomplishment fulfils you with new energy when you visit such a place which was a dream at some point. We sat there at the temple, sunbathed for a few minutes and finally headed back home. To this day the memories are so fresh from this trail that I can visualize this at any moment.

On the way back we witnessed one of the best sunsets you could witness. We lost our way while coming back though we could find an alternate path from road head to reach Kareri village. If you may ask me this is one of the good beginner’s trek and is a must-do. Planning for Kareri lake? You can find all the important information here.

 

ShepherdTrail Blog - Triund Indrahar pass 1

My solo trip to Triund and unfinished attempt to Indrahar Pass – Himachal Pradesh

This story is 5 years old, in the month of April 2016, My exams were over for BBA Final Year. I thought of going on a tour on my newly purchased 2nd hand bike, I asked my friends but they had other plans, so I decided to go solo, I checked my bike’s papers and serviced it the day before the long run.

That night I had a fever, but I decided that whatever happens in the morning I’ll go for my adventure on my first solo trip. The next morning I woke up all excited for my adventure. I prepared my breakfast, had it full as I didn’t know where I’d be able to eat next, because it was my first-time solo road trip to Himachal from Jalandhar, Punjab. I still had a fever but as I’ve decided, I went for it.

So I reached Mclodeganj, Himachal Pradesh from Jalandhar on my bike in the Afternoon (165 k.m.). I arranged my food at the Mclodeganj square, took information from locals about the trek distance, camping gear, food etc.

In the evening I left for trekking of 8 km, excluding the Bagshu fall, On the way, I took a break for 3 times as it is a pure mountain trek, On the way, I outpaced some group of trekkers maybe because I was single and didn’t have to wait for my mates or might be I’m a quick trekker :p , Finally, I reached Triund top and sat on a rock to catch my breath, I sat there, enjoyed the view and strong blow of wind which I think was felt by my soul, I saw people walking and sheep herds, which as guided by the shepherd’s dogs and then I went to the shop and rented a camp which cost only Rs 400/night, it was a small tent for a single person, If you’re a group of people you can rent a bigger one which will cost you Rs 800, Rs 1200 and Rs 1600 which can accommodate up to 6 people.

Since I was alone, I didn’t know what to do next so I sat and kept on staring at the mountains, it was magical, it was soul-soothing, I felt so relieved, I can’t explain it in words, since words won’t do justice to what I felt, suddenly I heard dog fight, one of the shepherd’s dog has almost killed the other one, the dog’s bite was so strong that it almost chocked the other dog, I intervened and shouted really loud, after that the fight was over and I started my buffer-free view of the mountains and clouds, I was sitting and I heard a voice, Hey, are you also on a solo trip? I said yes and introduced ourselves, He asked me what’s your plan, I said, I rented a camp so I’ll set my camp and I’ll stargaze at night and I’ll leave in the afternoon, He said why, won’t you go up to the mountains, I said, is there more to go?

He said yes, I’ve been in Himachal for a month and I know there’s more than very few people know, I agreed to stay and to climb the mountain, then we set our camp and stayed for the night with a complete stranger turned friend.

There were a few foreigners too, They also came for trekking with a group of 8-10 people, they played soulful music, set a bone fire, it was magical. We ate Daal Chawal at the shop, it tasted good, don’t know how, then I stayed up to stargaze, It was a little cloudy yet very beautiful night sky.

Shepherdtrail Blog - Triund 2

Triund

The next morning we left for the mountaineering to the Indrahar peak, without any mountaineering gear, without any guide, with the slippery sole of my shoes. We trek for 6-7 km of normal mountain trek, on the way, there was another shop and we ate Maggi there, then we continued our trek, Indrahar Paas is the top of the mountain visible from Triund top, yes, the highest one is Indrahar Pass.

So, we reached the valley of Indrahar pass and saw a few empty shelters there, don’t know who lived there, then we saw a few locals, we offered them to be our guide but they refused and showed us the way a little, we followed the trail and climbed up after we reached the halfway I saw clouds filling up the valley and slowly coming up, I never saw clouds beneath me, I was astounded by the view. I said to my friend to have look behind, he saw then we decided to climb faster.

We were at 75% of our mountaineering when clouds finally caught us, and it was raining snow, yes It was snowfall on the mountains, it was heavy snowfall so we took shelter under the rocks for around 30 minutes after it stopped we started to climb up again, but it was very slippery, because of the snowfall, so we reached about 90 % of the peak but now there was no way we could have climbed up without the professional gears as it was a straight mountain with snow, so we decided to climb down now, we don’t want to go back but there was just no way for us to climb the remaining 10%.

So we started coming down, it was so slippery that I slipped 1-2 feet thrice, and trust me I felt like I’ll die and prayed to God, Bhagwan bacha le aaj, my friend was ahead of me and he just kept saying just a little bit more we have almost reached don’t worry, thanks to him we finally climbed down to the valleys, stopped for the Maggi again as we were totally exhausted.

Then we came back to the Triund with a bottle filled with mountain’s water which was fresher and healthier than your RO+ UV combined :D. Handed over the camp to the shop and trek down to Mclodeganj. We were so tired that our knee couldn’t take it anymore, my friend was barely able to walk, luckily we found a stick for the support and climbed down at last.

So we trek for 30-35 km from McLeodganj-Triund-Indrahar pass-Triund-McLeodganj, so the people who say it is one day trek they might don’t know about Indrahar Pass trek, which starts from 7 km ahead from where the Triund trek ends.

Oh, the fever faint away, I never felt more alive.

Thank you so much for reading, I truly appreciate it.

Brahmatal Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 1

Brahmatal Trek – My experience being in Mountains !

Mountains!!

The relation I have with them, is the one that remains less expressive from the moment I start talking about it.

You do need a break from your normal life and a monotonous job. What I can say and as per the max % of our population we observe: People take a break and spend some time on beaches or on mountains chilling up with a bottle of beer or whiskey, dancing on the high beat songs and borne fire around it, getting hangover to an extent, exploring different cafes and food.

Great and one should do that!!

It is necessary. After all, we do have a saturation point.

But the moment I talk about the mountain is always my way of showing gratitude towards it. I don’t know why and how, but when am on it my brain works in a different manner. There is always a Thrill and adventure when I talk about my fun…I get high on it.. except food too But then why do I choose something where there is no rest no chillness and every day you will face some challenges. And people do ask me the same question. Why can’t you just simply chill and relax?

To that my answer is like :

The real fun of being on Mountains is to climb one of them!! High altitude mountain trekking!! Not all of us can do. You can have a good physique to climb a mountain but what you need the most is your mental health. As I said, “Chilling is fun … climbing is not!!” Don’t take them lightly. Respect Mountains and they will respect you back.

In case of trekking, I would say: Do it once if you truly are a mountain lover. Get those Goosebumps, that adrenaline rush, fear of falling down on a snowy patch, to live with minimalistic things, helping your co-trekkers in climbing, feel that wind, listen to birds chirping, midnight stargazing, fear of washing hands in cold water, taking hours to feel the warmth of your sleeping bag, pink nose, sunburnt face, hefty breath, 70ltr of the rucksack on your shoulder, mobile shut, fewer ppl around… this is just little of what we used to do.

Brahmatal:

They say it was God Brahma Ji who used to mediate here near the lake. This beautiful trek is in the mountains of Uttrakhand.

It started from our base camp which was Lohajung. It takes 10 hours from Rishikesh to reach Lohajung.

Day 1 because of the travel we didn’t walk we stayed in Lohajung for acclimatization. The next day, we had our trek started. The Initial 2 days were fine clear blue sky, windy, a normal 6-8km of the trail we had to walk per day day-1 campsite was Gujreni ( covered in greenery with all those high trees and in between the Jungle) and on day 2 it was Tilandi ( plane barren land no trees all you can see were mountains around it) and a beautiful view of all major mountains were visible from there ( Trishul, Darya Bugyal, Roopkundetc ). We (14 trekkers + 3 guides) all were walking slowly at our pace.

It was on Day 3 of my trek: Walking through the trails on a stormy snowy day where all you can see was land covered up with a white layer. The journey is full of twists and turn. Originally we loved watching the snow, being in the snow risks were there and so was fun. A footstep behind and a footstep ahead with trek pole by ur side and a fear inside the next step I keep I hope I don’t fall. It was Windy, with those snowflakes hitting your face making it difficult to walk. They say in mountains slow is fast. Brahmatal the lake was our campsite for day 3.

But then opening the zip of our tent became difficult because it was all frozen, and similarly, washing utensils for our meals was getting difficult because of the chilled water we had. Temp was between-7 to -10.

And then I was wondering what these climbers/trekkers go through while climbing peaks like Mt Everest or K2 or Annapurna.

I was searching for a line to describe what my feelings are: Until I saw 14 peaks on Netflix and boom a mountaineer said :

“it is a place where you have to cope up with the pain”

Pain: Which your body goes through while ascending and descending the peak. Everybody part has that sensation, you may even go through lack of oxygen. But then the urge to be on peak and do summit is itself happiness for a climber!!

On the summit, your soul becomes part of the mountain.

ShepherdTrail log - Brahmatal Trek 2

Yea! That’s me, Standing tall at Brahmatal, Discovering myself!

And when you are in the mountains you know who you really are.

 

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