Monday, July 2, 2007

Dear reader,

Greetings from Himalayas.

This season we have planned a very special adventurous journy, in the Himalayas for you.

Check this:


One of the most scenic high altitude treks in Himachal Pradesh, it takes one to the crystal clear waters of Chandertal and then through the high passes of Baralacha-La. Culturally, it's the threshold to the mystical Buddhism practiced in Spiti, Lahaul, Ladakh and Tibet. The barren landscape in the upper regions and the green valleys below, make the trail awe-inspiring and one of the must-experience ones in this part of the Himalayas.
SEASON: July - Mid September
HIGH PASSES: Hampta Pass, Rohtang Pass and Baralacha La
TREK GRADIENT: Moderately challenging
Detailed itinerary:
Day 01: The participants arrive in Manali.
Day 02: Manali - Panduropa / Setan (2700m) via Chhalet & Hampta villages
Duration: 4 hoursThe steepest part of the trail takes about 2 hours to negotiate. It passes through apple orchards and forests of blue pine, cedar, oak, fir and chestnut. The villages that the trail passes through - Chhalet, Hampta and Ghoratbari - have an interesting legend. They lie on the way to heaven and when people die, their souls have to pass these villages. It is said that people here hear sounds of crying if the soul is condemned to hell and sounds of a trumpet if it is ascending to heaven.
Day 03: Panduropa / Setan - Juara (3530m)Duration: 5 hours The path to Juara is through Chhika. The trek passes through some spectacular landscape to just below the Hamta Pass, on a grassy bank sloping down from the cliffs. The impressive grandeur of immediate surroundings, the nearness of the Tokru-Shakru peaks, the wonderful coloring of the rocks and mountainside, all make this one of the best campsite on the route. Chikka also has the river, Alain Nullah, which has its snout in the Hamta Pass.
Day 04: Juara - Shea Gahru (3200m) via Hampta Pass (4270m)Duration: 6 hours The trail now begins to ascend towards Hamta Pass and one can have close views of Deo Tibba and Indrasan peaks. After that, it is a descent all the way right to the campsite at Shea Gahru. "Shea Gahru" means a very cold place in the Spiti dialect because it is adjacent to a glacier snout. During summer, it's a grazing pasture or halting place for the shepherds on the way to the Lahaul valley.
Day 05: Shea Gahru - Chhatru (3360m)Duration: 3 hours The fourth day's walk is quite easy, along the river up to a boulder field, which is hard to cross during the monsoons. The river has to be forded at one point from where one can see the valleys of Lahaul and Spiti. The massive mountains of the Pir Panjal and Spiti ranges dominate the entire landscape till the campsite at Chhatru. Chhatru is a confluence point of paths from Rohtang Pass, Hamta Pass and Spiti.
Day 06: Chhatru - Batal (3960m)Duration: 2 hours Take a local transport to go from Chhatru to Batal.
Day 07: Batal - Chandertal (4270m)Duration: 4 hours The trail starts off as a pleasant walk along the pastures bordering Chandra River. The path then leads over the rubble-strewn plateau, crosses a small stream and continues traversing the slope. The track is almost level, with a few ups and downs up to Chadertal. This high altitude lake is a majestic sight, surrounded as it is by the mighty Himalayan peaks. A vast flowerbed meadow is the camping site on the banks of the lake.
Day 08: Rest day at Chandertal (4270m)
Day 09: Chandertal - Tokpoyongma (4320m)Duration: 7 hours This is a gradual walk as the trail rises and falls several times, but mostly continues beside the river. Approaching Tokpoyongma, the trail ascends from the mountainside and crosses a stream. A little before the campsite, a river has to be negotiated.
Day 10: Tokpoyongma - Tokpogongma (4640m)Duration: 5 hours The next day starts early to facilitate crossing a two mountain streams before the water level rises during the day. Mules don't take this route, as they will find it difficult to negotiate the steep ascent that starts immediately after the streams. The track then ascends steeply across the rock face and up a hill to the campsite.
Day 11: Tokpogongma - Baralacha-La (4833m) - ManaliDuration: 6 hours The day starts off with a half-hour steep ascent to the top of the ridge. After that, the trail proceeds through a boulder field with great views of the Koa Range peaks to the Southwest. Before reaching Baralacha-La one has to cross a stream. In ancient times, Baralacha-La was an important part of the trade route as roads from Spiti, Ladakh, Zanskar and Lahaul meet here. On the Northwest lies the Bhaga River while the Chandra flows to the Southeast. Near Baralacha-La is the beautiful emerald lake, Suraj Tal, the source of the Bhaga River. From Baralacha-La, a jeep will take the team to Manali.

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