Nanda Devi Inner Sanctuary with Kuari Pass
The Nanda Devi Sanctuary in the Garhwal Himalayas of India is a unique geographical feature. A concentration of peaks connected by massive walls which dip no lower than 17,000ft/5200m form an enormous amphitheater of 250 square miles of land all over 13,000ft/4000m. The only exception is the point where the Rishi Ganga which drains this great basin emerges to the West in one of the most terrific gorges in the world. In this ring of mountains are at least twelve peaks over 21,500ft/6500m including several famous names such as Changabang and Dunagiri to the North, and Trisuli, Nanda Kot to the West and South. In the center is the goddess mountain Nanda Devi a manifestation of Shiva's wife Parvati herself. At 25,643ft/7816m this is the highest peak situated completely in India. Until 1934 this Sanctuary had never been penetrated by human beings. In 1983 the Indian government closed the Sanctuary. The delicate ecology of this hitherto pristine space needed time to regenerate after the inevitable damage caused by expeditions and shepherds who were also finding their way in.
We were lucky to get special permissions for a British research group for study of Flora & Fauna in the core of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary in 2001. This group included the likes of Mr. Ian Mc Naugth Davis the then president of UIAA, Mr. Gorge Band of Kanchenjunga fame, John Shipton son of Eric Shipton the first to explore the sanctuary and Col. N. Kumar the leader of the first successful Indian ascent on Nanda Devi. Following the report submitted by us the inner sanctuary route was thrown open to foreign and Indian nationals till Dibrugheta.
New Delhi - Rishikesh – Auli – Tali – Kuari Pass – Gailgarh - Khulari – Tapovan – Joshimath – Lata – Dharansi – Hitoli – Tolma – Joshimath – Rishikesh – New Delhi
Day by Day Itinerary
DAY 1: Train To Rishikesh.
- After breakfast transfer to railways station to connect Shatabdi Express for Haridwar. Meeting and assistance upon arrival thereafter transfer to hotel. Lunch at hotel. After lunch sightseeing tour of Rishikesh, Laxman Jhoola (a large suspension bridge) to visit the 13-storey temple on the other side and visit perhaps Triveni Ghat, Bharat Temple and/or the place Lord Rama bathed at Rishikund. The northern part of the town is called Muni-ki-Reti and refers to the silver shores of the river where the rishis of old meditated. Across the Ganga, large, sprawling but well-maintained ashrams teach yoga and publish books on the scriptures. At sundown each evening there is a service at the side of the river, at the bathing ghat in the middle of Rishikesh at which tiny candle rafts are lit and let out into the choppy water to float away into the dusk. This is highly recommended as it has a very special ambience at this time. Overnight at Hotel Neeraj Bhawan.
DAY 2 -: Drive to Auli (2730 M)
- The most important town on the route, Joshimath is the spot where the Adiguru Shankracharya attained enlightenment while sitting under the mulberry tree near his cave. In the cave he wrote his famous Bhasya which started reclamation of the Hindu religion. This holy town is full of temples among the other most famous are the Narsingh and Durga temples. Dinner and overnight at Cliff top resort.
DAY 03: Auli – Tali (3150 M)
- Early morning enjoy the sunrise on the Nanda Devi peak. After breakfast 14 kms trek to Tali. The entire trek today is gradual ascent. Arrive Tali and camp. Packed lunch en-route. Overnight stay at camp.
DAY 04: Tali- Kuari Pass Base (4258 M)
- Morning after breakfast 08 ms trek to the base of Kuaripass . Packed Lunch en-route. Dinner and overnight stay at Camp.
DAY 05: Kuari Pass Base
- Day free to explore the area. Dinner and overnight stay at Camp.
DAY 06: Kuari Pass Base – Gailgarh (3200)
- Morning after breakfast start is negotiating the pass. Enjoy the panoramic view of greater Himalayan peaks. Explore the area and 05 Kms trek down to Gailgarh village Overnight stay at camp.
DAY 07: Gailgarh – Khulari (3800 M)
- After breakfast 08 kms. trek to Kkulari. Packed lunch enroute. Overnight stay at camp.
DAY 08: Khulari – Tapovan (3796 M)– Joshimath ( 1890 M)
- Morning after breakfast 08 kms trek to Tapovan village on the road head. Explore the village and have a refreshing bath in the hot springs. Later 02 hrs drive to Joshimath. Arrive Joshimath and transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
DAY 09: Joshimath - Lata Road Head (2000 M)- Lata Village (2317 M)
- After breakfast drive 25 kms to Lata village road head and 01 kms trek to Lata village. This is the last human habitation on our trekking route. Trekking would be given on exposure with the unique culture and customs of the region. Visit Lata village and the famous Nanda Devi temple. Overnight in tent.
DAY 10: Lata Village Lata Kharak (3689 M)
- After breakfast 08 kms trek to Lata Kharak. The first day of the trek is probably the toughest and involves a steep ascent of almost 1524 m with a break at Belta. Today's trek can be anything from 6 to 10 hours depending upon the individual trekkers. However it is an excellent beginning from the point of view of acclimatization. The camp at Lata Kharak is situated on the height of 3689m and high plateau surrounded by towering rocky Pinnacles. Overnight in tent.
DAY 11: Lata Kharak -Jhandi Dhar -Bagfyana Satkul –Dharansi Pass (4250 M)
- After breakfast 08 kms trek to Dharansi Pass . Wake up at down to breath taking view of Mount Bithartoli-Himal (6354 m), Nanda Ghunti (6309 m), Ranthi Peak (6003 m) Dronagiri (7066 m) and the vast view of Kunwari pass, Auli, Urgam Valley and Lata Village. After breakfast trek begins with a steep climb up to Jhandi Dhar and further up to Bagfyana pass. From Bagfyana the trail posses through a very narrow gorge of Satkula with steep ascents and descents and finally one arrive at the meadows beyond Dharansi pass where we stop for the overnight near the water point. Overnight in tents.
DAY 12: Dharansi Pass Debrugheta (3500 M) And Back To Dharansi Pass
- After breakfast 07 kms trek ( one way) to Dharansi Pass. Like the inner sanctuary, the prominent Malthuni-Bethartoli ridge, between Dharansi Pass and Debrugheta, also divides the outer sanctuary. Both these ridges from magnificent Pass to Rani Kholi and up to Donidhar is a gradual descent and then from Donidhar to Debrugheta is a steep descent of 750 m till one cross the improvised bridge over the stream. Afternoon return trek to Dharansi Pass. Overnight in tent.
DAY 13 : Dharansi Pass (4250 M), Satkula, Bagfyana, Jhandi Dhar, Hitoli Campsite
- After breakfast trek up to Jhandi Dhar of about 7 kms and further steep descent of 5 kms, through the rich forest of Rhododendron, Birch and Raga fur. Overnight in tents at Hitoli campsite.
DAY 14: Hitoli Campsite, Tolma Village, Surai Thotha (2161 M) Road Head, Joshimath
- Ater breakfast 5 kms trek down to Tolma village through the rich forest ot Thuner, Kail, Ddevdar and Surai. Then further trek down 3 kms to road head Surai Thotha. Drive to Joshimath 30 kms. Overnight in Hotel.
DAY 15: Joshimath – Rishikesh After breakfast drive to (230 kms. / 09 hrs) Rishikesh.
- Packed lunch en route. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.
Delhi – Haridwar Shatabdi Express Dep. Delhi 0655 Hrs Arr. Haridwar 1122 Hrs
Haridwar to Delhi Shatabdi Express Dep. 1800 Hrs / Arr. 2230 hrs.
- Two nights accommodation on twin sharing bed and with all meals basis in Rishikesh at Hotel Neeraj Bhawan.
- One night accommodation on twin sharing bed and with all meals basis in Auli at Cliff Top Resort.
- Two night accommodation on twin sharing bed and with all meals basis in Joshimath at Uday Palace
- Ten nights accommodation on twin sharing basis with all meals in trekking tent as per itinerary.
- Uttaranchal camping and environment fees.
- Supporting staffs like English speaking local trekking guide , cook and kitchen helper, porter etc.
- Trekking support like mattresses, trekking tent, dinning tent, toilet tent etc.
- Transportation in Non AC Toyota Qualis / Tempo Traveler as per itinerary .
- Train fare by Shatabdi Express fare in Air Conditioned chair car ( Delhi – Haridwar – Delhi) sector.
Cost does not include:
- Any airfare, airport tax.
- Any expenses of purely personal nature like laundry, phone/Fax calls, tips to drivers, guides, any beverages, Insurance personal / Baggage / Medical.
- Any expenses that arise due to change in itinerary because of natural forces like land slides, weather, roadblocks, flight cancellations, sickness etc.
- Any medical, travel or evacuation insurance.
- Any other expenses of personal nature