Chamoli District, Uttaranchal
10 days/09 nights
2290 m - 5782 m
May - October
UNESCO World Heritage site, snow-clad peaks like Dronagiri and Nanda Ghunti, Himalayan species like Himalayan Tahr and the Snow Leopard
Dominated by the peak of Nanda Devi, which rises to over 7,800 m, Nanda Devi National Park has remained more or less intact because of its inaccessibility. It is rich in Himalayan flora and fauna and the habitat of several endangered mammals, like the snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer and bharal. The region also offers breathtaking sceneries, wooded environment and richness of biosphere because of which UNESCO has declared the Nanda Devi Biosphere a World Heritage Site. The entire Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve lies within the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA) with seven species endemic to the area.
Owing to the fragile eco-system trekking through the park is not permitted. To encourage eco-tourism, a buffer zone was opened up to give visitors a glimpse into the rich diversity of the region. Nanda Devi trek takes you through this buffer area in the periphery of the Biosphere Reserve. It commences at Munsiyari (2290 m) and the route ascends up the Gori Ganga river gorge, which separates the Nanda Devi group from the beautiful peaks of the Panch Chuli group. The initial part of the trek leads you through the high Himalayan ridges to open up into the wide expanse of the gentler trans-Himalayan region. There are quaint Himalayan settlements on the way and villages like Rilkot and Martoli have houses that are at least one hundred and fifty years old, living relics of Indo-Tibetan trade that flourished along the old silk route.
One can also see Pika, Red Fox, Himalayan Tahr, Yellow-throated Marten, Snowcock and Mrs Gould's Sunbird while Lammergeyers and Himalayan Griffons silently glide in the skies above. At Bhaguabasa, you can sometimes see pugmarks of the Snow Leopard. Seeing it is difficult, which has earned it the name The Grey Ghost of the Himalayas. Even the fauna is rich, full of rare herbs of medicinal value. Snow is visible on the range till about August when it melts entirely and Nanda Devi calmly awaits the next coat in the coming winter.
DAY 1 : Delhi - Rishikesh
After breakfast depart by surface for Rishikesh (250 km / 5 hrs drive). Arrive at Rishikesh and check in at hotel for overnight stay.
DAY 2 : Rishikesh - Joshimath (1890 m)
After an early breakfast drive to the pilgrim town of Joshimath, 250 km away. Its name is a corruption of the Sanskrit word 'Jyotirmath', or the place of the Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva. It is a popular halting place for the pilgrims bound for Badrinath. Badrinath, or Lord Vishnu, resides here in winter. You stay overnight at the guesthouse at Joshimath.
DAY 3 : Joshimath - Lata Village (2317 m)
The drive from Joshimath is a spectacular journey by jeep to the road-head near Lata. You trek to the village of Lata, a 1.5 km walk away and visit the ancient Nanda Devi Temple. The day is spent exploring the distinctive culture of the region and you stay overnight in the village.
Chipko Andolan & Gaura Devi (Lata village)
DAY 4 : Lata Village - Lata Kharak (3689 m)
Today, you do an 8.5-km steep trek from the village to Lata Kharak, a high plateau with lofty peaks surrounding it. The climb is strenuous but extremely rewarding as the glimpses of the peaks are mesmerizing. Though the trek can be done in 6 hours, stopping by for the sights and the sharp incline could take you 9 hours. It's best to start very early in the morning from Lata. Stay overnight at Lata Kharak camp.
DAY 5 : Lata Kharak - Dharansi Pass (4250 m)
You wake up to view the mighty Dronagiri, Nanda Ghunti and several snow-clad peaks all around. Today, you do a steep climb to Jhandi Dhar and Bagfyana Pass. From here the trail ascends and descends through the narrow gorge of Satkul to Dharansi Pass where you camp overnight
DAY 6 : Dharansi Pass - Debrugheta - Dharansi Pass (4250 m)
Today, you continue trekking to the Malthuni - Bethratoli ridges of the inner and outer sanctuary that form a magnificent pass upto Rani Kholi and Donidar. The trail is a steep descent of about a kilometer to Debrugheta and you return to Dharansi Pass by late afternoon. You stay overnight at the camp at Dharansi Pass
DAY 7 : Dharansi Pass - Hitoli Campsite (2900 m)
On day 7, we cover a distance of 11 km. From Jhandi Dhar a steep descent of 4.5 km takes you to the Hitoli campsite through thick forests of Rhododendron, Birch and Fir. You stay overnight at the camp.
DAY 8 : Hitoli Campsite - Joshimath (1890 m) - Auli
It's an 8 km trek through thick forests today. The trail takes you through the village of Tolma to the road-head from where it is a 30 km drive to Joshimath. Arrive at Joshimath and transfer to Auli where you stay overnight.
DAY 9 : Auli - Rishikesh
After breakfast, we drive back to Rishikesh where we stay overnight
DAY 10 : Rishikesh - Delhi
Day at leisure or free for sightseeing activities and in the afternoon depart from Rishikesh by surface via Haridwar for Delhi. Arrive at Delhi and check in at hotel for transfer to onward destination.
Trekking Tours in India:
Trekking in Binsar
, Maneater of Mohan Trail
Corbett to Nainital Trek
, Nanda Devi Trek
Roopkund Kuari Pass Trek
, Sandakphu and Goechala Trek
Snow Leopard Trek India
, Tawang Trek Arunachal
Valley of Flowers Trek