- Trip Dates
Back Track, in proud association with our partners in India, Ekno Travels, has designed a journey of diversity; from the noisy, teeming streets of Delhi to the peace and serenity of an alpine forest in India. You’ll spend two nights in Bara Bhangal, home of the semi nomadic Gaddi and one of remotest villages in the India Himalaya; accessible for only six months of the year. High mountain passes become snow bound in the winter months, blocking trails leading to the village.
The trekking route to Bara Bhangal starts from the town of Manali, the centre of adventure in India. The trail winds up through forests and serene alpine meadows, over snow clad passes and past high-altitude lakes and glaciers. Gaddi shepherds with their herds of sheep and goats are encountered along the way. We may even share campsites with these hardy mountain shepherds.
This is a challenging grade trek requiring endurance fitness and a positive attitude. It suits both experienced trekkers and those willing to test themselves in a high-altitude Himalayan environment.
Trek to the remote corners of Himachal Pradesh
High altitude camping
Village stay at Bara Bhangal
McLeod Ganj tour including a visit to the Dalai Lama’s temple and Norbulingka Institute
Day 1Welcome to incredible India! Upon your arrival at the airport in Delhi, our representative will greet you and escort you to the hotel. After checking into your hotel, spend the rest of your day at your leisure exploring the local area. Our friendly guide and hotel staff will be on hand should you need recommendations or general provisions. Tonight we have the option of enjoying a special ‘Namaste’ welcome dinner in one of New Delhi’s many fine Indian restaurants. This is dependent on flight arrival times. There is also the option of enjoying the welcome dinner in Manali the following night. Overnight: Hotel, New Delhi
Day 2Fly to Chandigarh in the early morning and drive to Manali. This scenic drive follows the Beas River and passes through one of the most beautiful gorges that Himachal Pradesh has to offer. Sit back and admire the stunning views as we travel in comfort through what is known as the ‘Valley of the Gods’. There is the option of enjoying the welcome dinner tonight if time did not permit in Delhi. Overnight: Hotel, Manali
Day 3We will spend the morning sightseeing in Manali, including a visit to the hot water springs in Vashist (walking tour) to soothe your muscles before we start the trek. We will then explore the exotic charm of old Manali and visit the Manu Hadimba Temple. In the afternoon you will meet your trekking guide to orientate and prepare for your trek. The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore this picturesque town or to take a well-deserved rest. Manali also has a range of restaurants offering a variety of local and international cuisines for you to enjoy. Overnight: Hotel, Manali
Manali to Lama Dug, 12kms (4-5 hours)
Day 4Today the trek starts in Manali (altitude 2050m). We will follow the trail past the Hadimba Temple to the entrance of the Manali Sanctuary. We will then start to climb through a deodar forest for 3kms until we reach a rocky outcrop with a view of Manali. A steep ascent of 400m follows through small pastures and conifer and oak forest. Your campsite is at Lama Dug (2920m), a large meadow surrounded by maple, spruce and oak trees. Overnight: Camping, Lama Dug
Lama Dug to Riyali Thach, 17 kms (6-7 hours)
Day 5This morning we will head towards the southern perimeter of the Manali Sanctuary. There are wonderful views of the Soling and Routing Valleys with their snow-capped peaks. After admiring the view we will continue on our trail across the high pastures. This long and gradual ascent has spectacular views of Hampton Valley and Doe Tibia at 6000m. After walking for 4-5 hours you will reach the highest alpine ridge at 3800m. From this grassy plateau we will make the final ascent to a small valley and from then it is a gradual climb of 2-3kms through a small oak forest to Riyali at 3320m. Overnight: Camping, Riyali Thach
Riyali Thach to Kalihani Base Camp, 10 kms (5-6 hours)
Day 6Today the trail winds above the upper river course before descending to the valley floor. You can see views of the Kalihani pass from this point. After 2 hours, the trail crosses a bridge at 3270m and from here you will climb a series of grassy ridges and pass a number of Gaddi shepherd camps to reach your campsite at 3700m.
Kalihani Base Camp to Meadow Camp via Kalihani Pass
Day 7Today we will follow the trail along a grassy ridge to a small plateau at 4000m before ascending to a series of moraines, which have been formed over time by glacial deposits. This area is steep in sections and leads to the base of the spectacular Kalihani Pass. A short ascent will lead us to a snowfield, where we will push on through the ice to reach the prayer flags of the Kalihani Pass at 4610m (3-4 hours). You can have a short rest here and enjoy the impressive views of a series of snowfields with hanging glaciers that form the crest of the Bara Bhangal range. We will then head across the snowfield to reach a series of glacial lakes (4350m). After a brief halt a descent through glacier and moraine leads to the campsite at 4020m on the banks of a sparkling mountain stream. Overnight: Camping Meadow Camp.
Meadow Camp to Devi Marhi (3,577m)
Day 8Today is a short day. The trail heads down into the Sunni River Valley and up to the overlooking the river. You will pass throw the beautiful meadows of Gaddi Shepherds. We will Camp today near a Hindu shrine. Overnight: Camping, Devi Marhi
Devi Marhi to Dall Marhi (3675m)
Day 9Leaving this lovely campsite, the path winds through rocky terrain soon replaced by meadows again. The river rushes through spectacular gorges and is crossed via a snow bridge. Forests begin to appear and soon the campsite, with an abundance of dry wood next to a sparkling stream is reached. Overnight: Camping Dal Marhi
Dal Marhi to Sunni Valley Camp (3,658m)
Day 10The trail now descends to our campsite beside a stream which adds to the beauty of the surrounding landscape, one of the most magnificent in the Western Himalayas. Overnight: Camping, Sunni Valley
Sunny Valley /Bara Bhangal (2,286m)
Day 11A long and gradual descent leads us to the village of Bara Bhangal. Along the way you will see birch, rhododendron and blue pine trees. You may also get to see evidence of brown bears and snakes. We will then reach Bara Bhangal a village spread out over a few kilometres, where we will camp for 2 days. We will set up camp by the river and across from the village. Overnight: Camping, Bara Bhangal
Rest Day in Bara Bhangal
Day 12A spare day is always included in our Himalaya itineraries in case of delays. If the trek goes according plan, we take a rest day in Bara Bhangal. Today you have the entire day for resting and relaxing around the village. You can sit back and enjoying the view or take a walk around Bara Bhangal to observe traditional village life. Overnight: Camping, Bara Bhangal
Bara Bhangal to Thamsar, 15kms (6-7 hours)
Day 13In the morning we will cross the river and begin a steep 400m ascent to the south of the valley. We will continue for 3kms until we reach a broad glacial valley. We will then cross open meadows and scree slopes in a gradual ascent. A steady climb, with the scenery changing quite dramatically and the air getting cooler, leads to the campsite at Marhi, at the base of the Thamsar Pass. When we reach the base of the waterfall we will stop for a rest before our final ascent towards the series of meadows at Thamsar (3750m). Overnight: Camping, Thamsar
Thamsar to Panhartu via Thamsar Pass, 14kms (7-8 hours)
Day 14After we leave Thamsar we will hike for 3-4kms before negotiating scree and boulder fields in order to reach a glacial lake at 4100m, then continue on the trail to another glacial lake at the base of the pass (4380m). Crossing the snowfield leads to a prominent ridge line and the crest of the Dhauladhar range and Thamsar Pass. The pass is marked by Tibetan prayer flags and Hindu tridents. There are impressive views in both directions - the PirPanjal Range to the north and the vast plains to the south. The steep, 3 hours descent passes by a large glacial lake at 4370m before we reach Panhartu at 3390m. Overnight: Camping, Panharu
Panhartu to Palachak (4 hours)
Day 15From Panhartu the trail descends across a series of permanent snow bridges for 2-3kms. A very pleasant day’s walk through a leafy bridle path. This trail leads us through a mixed forest of rhododendron, spruce and oak; before we reach a forest rest house at Palachak (2500m). and soon tiny villages, seemingly hanging on the shoulders of the hillsides, make their appearance. Camp is set by the Uhl River. Overnight Palachak
Palachak to Billing, 12kms (5-6 hours trekking, 3 hours driving)
Day 16We will continue to descend to the corn and potato fields near Rajgundha (2400m), where we will cross the river to take the trail to Narotta. At this point there are scenic views of the plains of India. We will continue for another 4-5kms around the contours and alpine ridges until we reach Billing (2200m). From here we will travel to McLeod Ganj by private car (3 hours). Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride, you deserve it! Overnight: Hotel, McLeod Ganj
Day 17We will spend today relaxing and sightseeing in this fascinating North Indian hill station. We’ll visit the temple of His Holiness, The Dalai Lama, the Namgyal Monastery; as well as the Tibet Museum. We will then visit the Norbulingka Institute, which was created with the intention of preserving Tibetan culture. For a unique showcase of Tibetan art, we will take a guided tour of the workshops to see the artisans at work. There is also a cafe here where you can enjoy sampling some local delicacies. Spend the rest of the afternoon at your leisure, either resting in the hotel or strolling through the town. You might like to indulge in a massage or do some last-minute shopping. Tonight, we will enjoy a farewell dinner at one of the many fantastic local restaurants before preparing to leave Himachal Pradesh the following morning. Overnight: Hotel, McLeod Ganj
Tour ends in Dehli
Day 18In the morning we will take a flight back to Delhi. The tour arrangement ends at Delhi airport where you can transfer for your return flight home. Thank you for travelling with us and we hope to see you again soon.