http://WWW.SHIMLAONLINETRAVELS.COM/LOWBUDGETCorbett Tiger Reserve has captured the imagination of many with its diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. The natural uniqueness of the area was recognized long ago as a result of which in 1936 Corbett attained the distinction of becoming the first National Park to be established in mainland Asia. The park was then named as the ‘Hailey National Park’ and was later renamed as ‘Corbett National Park’ after James Edward Corbett the noted hunter turned conservationist of the area. The area came under ‘Project Tiger’ in 1971 when Gov. of India launched this ambitious conservation project.
Today after addition of areas into the originally declared National Park, the total area of Tiger Reserve extends 1288.31 sq. kms spreading over three districts of Uttarakhand viz., Pauri, Nainital and Almora. Corbett National Park covers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighboring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Geographically it is located between the Shiwalik Himalayas and the terai. The streams, rivers and ridges crisscrossing the terrain, present Corbett with a remarkable variety of landscapes. This vivid mosaic of habitats wet and dry, plain and mountainous, gentle and rugged, forests and grasslands supports numerous plant and animal species, representing Himalayan as well as plains ecosystem. The most famous of Corbett’s wild residents are the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Asiatic Elephant. In addition to that with over 550 species of avifauna Corbett is one of the richest bird regions of the Country and has been declared as an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) by Birdlife International.
The Park attracts a large number of wildlife tourists and is divided into six ecotourism zones:
While we run many weekend treks, the Thakoor Top trek is our favourite for its superb forest cover. It is the variety in the forests that really sets it apart.
When you begin the trek it is through mixed forests. The variety of trees here is something to look out for. There is a section under coniferous trees that will leave you spell bound. There is hardly a moment when you run out of shade.
As you climb higher, the mixed forests give way to oaks and rhododendrons. This is when you feel the full alpine nature of the trek.
Finally, when you burst open to the snow peak views at Thakoor Top it is a crowning glory to a superb trek.
On the way there are clear streams to cross, clearings to camp in. All in all it is hard to find a better weekend trek than Thakoor Top. Considering it is so close to Nainital, we recommend it strongly.
The trek does require you to prepare for it. It is a climb all the way to Thakoor top. While it is not as difficult as a full fledged Himalayan trek, preparation is definitely required.
Firstly, when you start from Chaffi, a sleepy hamlet in Nainital, you’re surrounded by hills that wear tall pine trees on their shoulders. From there, you venture deeper into the coniferous forests, where lines and lines of pine trees shoot straight up into the clouds. It takes you back to your childhood when you read Jack and the Beanstalk and wondered at how tall a plant could grow.
Secondly, you not only get to walk through these forests, but you camp in the heart of it. Your tents are pitched in a clearing deep inside the forests. At night, you’ll sleep to the sounds of leaves rustling, branches creaking and insects scuttling about. It’s a charming abode for the night.
Thirdly, the icing on the cake is when you reach Thakoor Top at 8,100 ft. The views you see are mind-blowing! At your eye-level, you see the major summits of the Garhwal Himalayas – Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul and Maiktoli. If you can make it early in the morning, the views and colours are spectacular! Further down, you see the tiny hamlets of Mukteshwar, Bhateila and Nainital.
If you are stepping into Himalayas for the first time then Kuari Pass is the trek to do. It is almost crafted perfectly for the beginner.
To begin with, Kuari Pass is an easy-moderate trek, which makes it easy enough for someone starting out in the Himalayas. But more than anything else there are three things about the trek that stay with you.
First, are the beautiful forests on this trek. These forests are very old. They are mostly of oak and rhododendrons. Somehow, the forests are laid out perfectly. It is never too thick, never too thin. Every time you walk through the forests, you can see into the distance, which gives you a sweeping view of the forests. This is what makes the forest spectacular. There is something else magical about the forests. Every now and then, you get out of the forests to a clearing or a meadow and then get back in. This interplay of two different kinds of landscapes is something to watch out for.
Secondly, the campsites. Undoubtedly, you must look out for them. While we have many treks in the Himalayas, there are very few treks with campsites with such spectacular settings. Trekking is not always about going from place to place. It is also about the camping experience. Be it the Chitrakantha campsite in the heart of the forest or the Khullara campsite with Mt Dronagiri rising in the background. This is where the Kuari pass trek really makes it superb for someone starting out in the Himalayas.
Finally, the mountain views. Even from the first day of the trek you get to see superb mountain views. Mt Nanda Devi, Dronagiri are right in front. As you go higher, more mountains reveal themselves. They span the horizon making it a spectacular show.
Even if you leave these aspects out, the Kuari Pass trek is a superb trek. The beautiful sights and challenges of the trek make it a trek worth doing – whether it is your first time to the Himalayas or not.
The Kuari Pass trek is perfect for anyone who loves views of the Indian Himalayan ranges. Right at the start of the trek, you see the classic north face of Nanda Devi from Auli. As you enter Gorson Bugyal, more peaks from Garhwal Himalayas open out in front of you – Dronagiri, Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, Kamet, Mana, Hathi Ghoda forming a grand amphitheatre. This is an easy-moderate trek and is a must for any mountain lover. Anyone above the age of 8 is fit to go for this trek.
The 4 day trek to Kuari Pass and back is graded as an easy-moderate trek. You trek for 4-5 hours on most days. The only long is one on which you trek on Kuari Pass. However, given each day’s trek trekking on inclines it is absolutely essential that you are physically fit.
It’s not often that you come across a well-rounded trail that poses just the right amount of challenge for trekkers. As the trail to Pangarchulla Peak turns from green to a snowy pristine white, trekkers can treat their eyes to few of the highest peaks of the Garhwal region.Added to that, trekking during spring makes the lower trail a colorful one, with rhododendrons in full bloom!
If timed right, the summit climb to Pangarchulla is out of the world! You make your way to 15,069 ft in deep snow, with some boulder sections and views grand enough to make you stop in your tracks!
The trail takes one through a landscape that changes with each uphill heave and downward scurry. From the meadows to breath taking Oak forests and the grasslands.
The Pangarchulla trek passes through the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. So the trail is blessed with views of Mt.Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Dunagiri, Hathi Parbat, Ghori Parbat and more. These are a true treat for the eyes!
Whom is this meant trek for?
Are you a mountain lover? If you want to trek through snow, climb to a 15,069 ft summit and get fantastic mountain views of surrounding peaks; this is the trek for you. A physically active person of 12 years and above can do this trek.
Pangarchulla is a moderate to difficult trek. The summit day is long. You trek for close to 12 hours at a stretch. This required decent amounts of stamina and physical fitness. Click here to learn how to prepare and get fit for the trek.
Celebrated in Hindu mythology and religion, the Garhwal Himalayas are said to be the “Abode of the Gods”. The river Ganges takes its source in this remote massif, at the sacred shrine of Gangotri, and rushes down to the plains in a torrential fury. Very few trekkers follow this itinerary which will lead to one of the most important spots of Hindu spirituality, where you will experience a strange atmosphere of religious fervour.
From Kedarnath, where hundreds of pilgrims arrive from all regions of India, the path proceeds at first along the sacred Bhagirathi river, then through dense forests and grassy areas as far as Lata. From there it is a 5 hour drive to Gangotri, where the second part of the trek starts. Near Gaumukh, close to the Source of the Ganges, you will experience the strange view of half-naked sadhus in the lotus position, meditating on the bank of the bubbling stream pouring out the glacier. Further up, Tapovan is a grassy area with numerous brooks, surrounded by snowy peaks.
Mussoorie: The gun hill is the second highest point in the Mussoorie. Two ways are there to reach the Gun Hill firstly through the court complex on the Mall Road. From this way you will reach to the destination in near about 20 minutes. The another way to go the Gun Hill is through the Rope way. This way is full of excitement and thrill. This path to the Gun Hill is about 400 meters. From Gun Hill Mussoorie looks like a place full of colors, or one can feel like as the place is changing the color at every moment. Each moment a different scene appears before your eyes. There are many shops available on the hilltop.
It encounters several steep gradients along with rocky, snaky and crazy paths. Throughout the trek that goes beyond the source of River Bhagirathi (mouth of Gangotri Glacier), Gaumukh at 4,100 meters approximately, to Tapovan, which is one of the Hindu pilgrimage sites in India, one needs to tackle some offbeat and boulder ridden ramps, cutting through narrow ridges and deadly cliffs. Nonetheless, the peaks like Hanuman Tibba at 5,370 meters, Bhrigu Parbat at 6,000 meters, Bhagirathi I, II and III at 6,856 meters, 6,512 meters, and 6,454 meters respectively and Mt. Meru at 6,400 meters are the major attractions after reaching different altitudes.
The trek to the Shivling Base Camp commences from Gangotri at 3,048 meters, a popular Hindu pilgrimage site and one of the sites of the renowned Char Dham Yatra. From Gangotri the journey by foot head towards Bhojwassa at 3,350 meters that passes through a thick pine grove along the gushing river Bhagirathi.
Known for its mysterious surrounding and astounding scenic beauty, Roopkund is a high altitude trek in the base of Trishul Peak and Nanda Ghunti. The maximum height of this trek is 5029 m which adds to the zeal of trekking experience. The trek lies in the Garhwal Himalayas of Chamoli district and offers magnificent views of mountains surrounded by rock- strewn glacier. This 9 days trek goes through moderate to difficult grades and satiates the trekking-obsession of beginners to high altitude experts. The lake at Roopkund is also known as a ‘mystery lake’ for the human skeletons and remains of horses that are found in huge numbers in the surrounding areas of the lake. These remains are believed to be of around 15th to 16th century when a strong hailstorm took away the lives of hundreds of helpless people who went there for pilgrimage.
Lohajung is the base of this well acclaimed trek which is easily accessible by motor from Rishikesh. Generally the trekking teams drive from Rishikesh to Loharjung witnessing the snow-packed mountains, valleys and rivers. The original trek starts from Lohajung and passes through the village of Didna. In between Loharjung to Didna, there is a small village called Kulling where the bubbling river Neel Ganga flows between Wan and Lohajung. From Kulling a steep ascent leads to Raun Bagad which is partly thick and densely dotted by the rhododendron oaks and pine forest. All along the walk the trekkers can hear the whistles of the thrushes and twittering of birds. Catch a glimpse of fork tailed Himalayan Magpie on the branches of Rhododendrons. On the lower levels of Neel Ganga River, Lammergeiers are found soaring over the valley. One can also see yellow throated marten.
Set at an altitude of 5,947 meters, the Kalindikhal Pass on the base of Kalindi Peak, which is at an elevation of 6,102 meters, and surrounded by several other snow clad mountains is the world’s highest trekkable mountain pass. The journey en route Kalindikhal Pass unfolds some of the majestic peaks of the Indian Himalayan range. From the cluster of 6 thousanders, the Shivling at 6,543 meters, Meru at 6,630 meters, Kedar Dome at 6,808 meters, Bhagirathi I, II and III at 6,512 meters, 6,454 meters and 6,856 meter respectively, Nilkantha at 6,506 meters, Chandra Parvat at 6,728 meters and Avalanche Peak at 6,413 meters are some of the prominent ones along the trek to Kalindikhal Pass. From the group of 7 thousanders, the Mt. Kamet at 7,756 meters, Mt. Mana at 7,272 meters and Abi Gamin at 7,355 meters are visible during a bright sunny day. Further, the trail cuts through several small gushing streams and passes through the alpine meadows and forest enriched with wide range of Himalayan trees and varied species of Himalayan animals and birds. Finally a steep climb leads to dangerous glaciers, which are above 5,000 meters in height like the Suryala Bamak and Sweta. The trek to Kalindikhal Pass also covers some of the high altitude lakes of India, the Vasuki Tal at 4,800 meters approximately and Arwa Tal at 3,910 meters. The Kalindikhal Pass trek, which is one of the toughest treks in the Indian Himalayan belt, located in the Garhwal Himalaya, requires acclimatization and prior high altitude trekking experience. Most of the trail goes through a thick bed of snow and cuts through several glaciated and narrow tracks. The trek involves the use of ice axe, crampons and fixed rope and thus it is one of the adventurous journeys in the Garhwal Himalayan region.
The Kalindikhal Pass trek commences from the Bhagirathi Valley, from an altitude of 3,048 meters at Gangotri, which is one of the major Hindu pilgrimage sites. From Gangotri the trail leads to Bhojbasa, which is at an elevation of 3,792 meters, cutting through a thick alpine bed dotted with wide range of Himalayan trees. Thereafter the trail snakes through the rocky terrain to reach Gaumukh at 3,890 meters. Gaumukh is the mouth of the Gangotri Glacier and the origin point of River Ganga. From Gaumukh the trail winds upward to Tapovan, one of the high altitude meadows at an elevation of 4,463 meters and is a picture perfect campsite with the Bhagirathi group of peaks at the backdrop with crisscrossed bubbling streams and dotted with wild flowers.
Auden’s Col Trek is named after John Bicknell Auden, a British Geographical Survey officer, who first discovered it in 1935 and crossed it in 1939. Set at an altitude of 5,490 meters, Auden’s Col is one of the high altitude mountain passes in the Indian Himalayan region of Garhwal that connects the Rudragaira and Bhilangana Valley. Auden’s Col Trek forms a bridge between the north – west ridge of Gangotri III, which stands at an elevation of 6,580 meters and the ridge coming from Jogin I at 6465 meters on the east. The trek to Auden’s Col is one of the toughest treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region and hence it has been least explored. The journey requires acclimatization as it passes through high altitude spots and some of the dangerous moraines, narrow cliffs, stony and snaky paves. The vicinity also includes some of the massive glaciers like the Khatling Glacier, which is at an approximate altitude of 4,200 meters. The Auden’s Col trek is a dream trek for almost every trekker and mountaineer. The trekking trail cuts and runs through the thick forest of alpine trees; meadows dotted with varied species of flowers; innumerable gushing streams; charming villages secluded from the urban of Garhwal Himalaya; and several temples that reflect the religious significance of the Garhwal region. Although a strenuous trail, the journey is rewarded with the majestic view of the hulking high peaks like the Rudragaira, Jogin group, Bhagirathi group of Peaks and Kedar Dome.
The Auden’s Col Trek starts from Gangotri at 3,048 meters, which is one of the important Hindu pilgrimage sites and hosts a shrine that is dedicated to Goddess Ganga, the holiest river in India. From Gangotri the trail heads upward to Nala Camp, which is 8 kilometers of easy trail. The beautiful walk through a Pine and Birch forest gets transformed into a picturesque walk with views of some of the Himalayan peaks i.e. Jogin and Kedartal range. From Nala Camp, the trail continues to Rudragaira Base Camp, which is further 7-8 kilometers gradual climb.