Area: Garhwal Himalayas
Duration: 13 Days (4 day travel/9 days trekking)
Best Season: Mid May – Mid October
Altitude: 4805 mts/15755 ft
Total Trekking: 120 K.M
The Himalayan Mountains of India beckon both national and international Mountain Trekkers to enjoy the thrill of trekking, the snow-clad glaciers, lush green meadows, crystal-clear water flowing in rivers with abundance of scenic beauties and a serene atmosphere. Nandikund Trek is one of them. But the difference is, in addition to the pleasure of trekking mountain-paths, the trekkers can also visit en-route heritage and Hindu mythology-related places, temples and monuments.
The Hindu mythology believes that Lord Shiva is wielding His divine powers from the high-peaks of snowy Himalayan Mountains. In Nandikund Trek, one can get the chance of visiting Madhyamaheshwar – one of the five places, where Lord Shiva appeared for giving Darshan to Pandavas, the legendary five brothers of Mahabharat. Folklore stories go to show that Lord Shiva did not want to oblige Pandavas first, since they had committed sins of killing their own brothers; disappeared from his shrine; and re-appeared from ground, in five parts of the body in which Madhyamaheshwar is the central part of his navel and stomach, in the form of Lingam.
Actually Nandikund is a high-altitude lake located at 15748 ft. above sea-level. It is located in the Chaukhamba group of peaks and is of 1.5 kms wide. It is frozen during winter and the entire Nandikund Trek is changing by seasons. In summer, you can walk through beautiful meadows, breathtaking sceneries and dense forests, rare species of wild-life and flora and fauna all the way. At the same time, this Nandikund Trek is somewhat strenuous, to cross steep climbs and downslides, narrow ridges, and sharp-turns to augment the thrill of adventure-lovers. The popular trail preferred by many trekkers covers Madhyamaheshwar; Kachani Dhar; Pandavsera; Nandikund; Ghiya Vinayak Pass; Bansinarayan and Kalpeshwar temples.
Before commencing the Nandikund Trek, you have to reach Ukhimath from Rishikesh. Ukhimath is famous for its Omkareshwar Temple, the winter-abode of the idols of Lord Shiva – Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar. From here you can reach Uniyana by vehicle and get dropped 2 to 3 kms before Ransi, on a climbing uphill to reach this village by walk. From Ransi, the trail continues ascending sometimes and descending thereafter, till you reach the scenic place, Gaundhar. From there the trail continues to Bantoli and Nanu. On the ascending trail, you can view the beautiful sight of the rivers Madhyamaheshwar Ganga and Martyenda Ganga.
From Nanu to Madhyamaheshwar, the ascending trail on paved path is easier, journeying for 6 kms. The trail passes through green forests, full of grown-up trees, singing birds and rare-wildlife specimens. Till you reach Kachanidhar, you can see variety of flowers like Neelkamal, Brahmakamal and Swarnakamal etc. Kachanidhar to Pandvasera is also easier. At Pandvasera local people believe that the Pancha Pandavas resided here for long, and they dug a canal and transformed the lands into fertile ones. From Pandavsera the ascending trail will be difficult, but the lush-green meadows, scenic beauties and snow-laden glaciers viewed from here make you forget your troubles. Reaching Nandikund you can see a big and deep lake. It is the origin of Madhyamaheshwar river. Here in a small-temple for Devi Nanda, you can see swords believed to be that of the Pandavas. Overall, from start to finish you will relish the thrilling experience of Nandikund Trek.
Best time to travel to Nandi Kund Trek is in summers (May – June) and Post Monsoon (September – October).
Summer: The weather of Nandi Kund Trek remains salubrious and pleasing during summers. The Himalayas are distinctly visible and the cool breeze adds charm to the vacation. Carry woolens with you.
Post Monsoon: Serenity and solitude are at its best during post monsoon at Nandi Kund Trek. The region is blessed with snowfall during winters. You can see the best of Nandi Kund Trek during post monsoon as it looks like Heaven on earth.
Nandikund is a beautiful high altitude lake, located at an elevation of 14,500 feet. Spread over an area of 1.5 km; the lake is nestled amid the green meadows and the snow covered Chaukhamba group of peaks and Mandani Parbat.