This is a trans-Himalayan trek in the heart of Kumaon Himalayas. Nanda Devi of course, needs no introduction. The second highest peak in the Indian Himalayas and touted by many as one of the most beautiful peaks in the world. The trek is through the Jauher valley the centre of ancient Indo Tibetan trade route. Once upon a time this was one of the most important commercial centre with a throbbing civilization influenced by the Tibetan culture in so many ways.
At 2290m Munsiyari is on the arterial water body of the Goriganga, which emerges from the Milam glacier system of the eastern flanks of the Nandadevi sanctuary, fed also by the Kalaband glacier and Panchchuli from the east. The Jauher valley is on the outer rim of the Nanda devi sanctuary. Apart from the spectacular views of the famous peaks such as the Nanda devi and Nanda kot, the trek is along the river Gori Ganga through ancient villages and rolling grassy meadows.
The Martoli village, one of the centres of the Jauher valley, represents the ruins of the history of the Indo – Tibetan trade. Once a big village, one can clearly see in the ruins stories of a mighty commercial centre Martoli was long time back in the heart of Himalayas.
Day 0: Departure from old Delhi Railway station for Kathgodam (the railhead) for an overnight journey. This day we travel for Almora for obtaining Inner Line Permit for entering in Nanda Devi Region. Night Stay at Almora.
Day 1: ALMORA – MUNSIYARI by jeep. The first day’s drive is through the pleasant Kumaon countryside including the Almora Township. Our destination Chaukori is famous for the tea gardens and splendid views of the snow covered Himalayas. A good halt for acclimatization. Overnight in tourist guest house.
Day 2: MUNSIYARI-LILAM A fairly easy walk brings us to Lilam the winter home of the Milam villagers. Most of the residents have become permanent though a few houses continue the tradition of migration to Milam during the summer months. Overnight in tents/village
DAY3: REST DAY ADVISED
Day 4: LILAM – BOGUDIYAR (1850m) 12 km trek In the thick forest of Utees trees, the Ralam rivulet meets the Gori Ganga. After a steep uphill climb one reaches Bogudiyar where the Poting River meets the Gori Ganga. Overnight in tents.
Day 4: BOGUDIYAR – RILKOT (3200m) 12 km trek This is truly the Trans-Himalayan region. En route one can divert to the Laspa village and further to northern glacier of Nanda Kot. Rilkot village is situated above the river and one can visit the ruins of old Rilkot. Overnight can be in a camp set up near the river.
Day 5: RILKOT – GHANGAR (3319 m) 13 km trek One gets the view of the Martoli peak soon after Rilkot and the valley really opens out into the typical trans-Himalayan terrain. The walk through the sunny meadows is very enticing to the ancient village of Ghangar. Here we are entering into the Pachu valley which leads upto the Nanda devi base camp. Ghangar village is also exciting in terms of the typical Jauhar houses with woodcarvings and an ancient temple.
Day 6: GHANGAR – PACHU GLACIER (3880 m) 7 km trek The climb is rather strenuous from Ghangar. And the 7 km would take approximately 5 hours. The view just keeps getting better with Nanda devi looming closer with each step. The rolling High altitude rhododendron with the pink and white flowers and the fresh green birch forests make the trek an ultimate experience. We reach an open alpine meadow with varied flora and at the head of the Pachu Glacier emanating from the northern face of Nanda Devi. Overnight in the tents.
Day 7: EXPLORING THE BASE CAMP We spend the day walking up along the glacier towards the peaks and get real close up views of Nanda devi. Overnight in tents.
DAY 8: REST DAY ADVISED
Day 9: PACHU GLACIER – MARTOLI 17 km trek. Today we trek mostly downhill only the last bit is up. Martoli is one the very important destinations from the ancient Indo-Tibetan trade route. The exquisite wood carvings on old houses speak stories about how this was the commercial center once upon a time. From Martoli you also get fascinating views of the Nanda devi (East) and Nanda kot. Overnight at a village house.
Day 10: MARTOLI – RARGARI 18 km trek. Again we return towards Munsyari Fairly easy downhill. Overnight in huts.
Day 11: RARGARI – MUNSIYARI 14 km trek – CHAUKORI 98 km by jeep. Back to our roadhead. We stay overnight at the guesthouse /tents.
Day 12: CHAUKORI – KATHGODAM 198 km by jeep Drive back starting early from Chaukori to reach Kathgodam by the evening to catch the overnight train to Delhi from Kathgodam in the evening. Arrive in Delhi early morning the next day.