Centered on a trek to Bara Bhangal village, this exhilarating itinerary also includes sightseeing in Delhi, Chandigarh and McLeod Ganj. Traversing two passes at around 5,000 metres, this itinerary demands endurance and prior experience while passing through Pir Panjal, a remote, un-trodden area where Gaddi shepherds spend summer months.
From Delhi we travel by rail north to Chandigarh and then by road to Mandi and finally to Manali in the verdant Kullu Valley. The trek from Manali begins with a steep ascent through thick alpine forests to reach the campsite at Lamadug, with amazing views across the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges on the horizon. The path continues through virgin forest and upland meadows before ascending to the spectacular Kaliheni La (4,650m), from where there are magnificent views of glaciers and snow-capped peaks. Crossing several streams we walk through a beautiful hidden valley where we get an opportunity to admire unrivaled views of the Pir Panjal, Bara Bhangal and Dhauladhar ranges. Losing altitude steadily we reach this isolated village of Bara Bhangal, one of the remotest villages in India. We continue on well-maintained shepherd’s trails to eventually reach the moraine, snow and ice of the Thamser Pass (4,750m). After a long descent through Panattu and Rajgunda we reach Billing - famous for paragliding. From here we take a short drive to McLeod Ganj, home of the Dalai Lama, where we spend a night before returning to Delhi.
Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places visited, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.
Arrive in Delhi. Arrive at Delhi international airport. After the traditional welcome at the airport we are transferred to the hotel for check-in. After an initial briefing and lunch the rest of the day is free. Overnight Hotel
Train to Chandigarh, then drive to Mandi (1044m). Early morning transfer to the railway station to board train to Chandigarh. Board vehicles and drive to Mandi. Transfer and check-in to the hotel. Overnight Hotel
Drive from Mandi to Manali (2050m). Start early and drive to Manali, the famous hill station. The drive follows the route of the old Hindustan-Tibet highway alongside the Beas River that flows through the Himalayan foothills. Check-in and leave for a walk around the streets and some sightseeing. Overnight Hotel
Trek to Lamadug (2950m; 4-5 hrs). Today being the first day of the trek the walk is not that long. However the trail is a bit steeper at places all the way to Lamadug, a lovely meadow. Overnight Camp
Trek to Riyali (3300m; 6-7 hrs). Today the trail ascends across the ridge along the southern margin of the Manali Sanctuary and crosses a high pasture area. Following the trails of the Gaddi shepherds and sometimes with no trail at all continue to gain height until the highest of the alpine ridges is reached and then descend to the camp. Overnight Camp
Trek to Kaliheni Base Camp (4000m; approx. 6hrs). Today the trail winds above the upper river course before gradually descending to the valley floor. After fording the river begin climb towards Kaliheni Pass but stop to camp at the base of the pass. Overnight Camp
Cross Kaliheni Pass (4650m) & trek to Devigot Camp (3550m;7- 8 hrs). From here the landscape gradually begins to change as forests and meadows give way to rocky terrain with patches of snow. Going to the top of the Kaliheni Pass (4,650m) is tough but the decent to the camp is a pleasant experience. Overnight Camp
Trek through the Kaliheni Valley to Lambapad (3130m; 7-8 hrs). Spend the entire day hiking down the Kaliheni Valley. There are no villages in this upper part of the valley and therefore follow a path above the tree line with great mountain views. The camp is set in a grassy clearing overlooking the river valley. Overnight Camp
Trek to Bara Bhangal (2550m; 6-7 hrs). Trek across the ridges on the side of the valley and cross the streams, heading towards the west, and pass Gaddi encampments and alpine meadows. A long and steep gradual descent leads through terraced fields to the Gaddi village of Bara Bhangal (2,550m). Overnight Camp
Rest day at Bara Bhangal. Explore this settlement of 60 or so houses that extends across the lowest part of the valley. It is the only village in the entire 300 square miles of the Bara Bhangal Range and is completely cut off from the outside world during winter. Overnight Camp
Trek to Marhu (Base of Thamser Pass) (3800m; approx. 6 hrs). The trek turns towards south after the Kaliheni River and commences a steep 400m ascent. Continue further to a broad glacial valley. The camp is set up on a flat knoll below the Thamser Pass at the place known as Marhu. Overnight Camp
Cross the Thamser Pass (4750m) to Panattu (3450m; approx. 7 hrs). Start early to approach the Thamser Pass via a glaciated valley and crossing scree and moraine. The trail climbs gradually passing a prominent side valley and a glacier to the east. Later follow a steep descent to the camp at the meadow of Panattu. Overnight Camp
Trek to Rajgunda (2450m; approx. 6 hrs). Start the day with a walk on the glacier. The route descends across a series of permanent snow bridges to reach a well-defined trail which leads through a mixed forest of rhododendron, spruce and oak down to Palachak (2,500m). Follow the uneven trail all the way to Rajgunda. Overnight Camp
Trek to Billing (2400m; 3-4 hrs.), drive to McLeod Ganj (2082m; 3 hrs drive). Today is the final day of trekking that winds through the pleasant foothills of Dhauladhar. Walk through pine, oak and rhododendron woodland and across farmland with tiny fields of corn and potatoes. Meet transport and drive to McLeod Ganj. Overnight Hotel
McLeod Ganj, drive to Pathankot, train to Delhi. After a leisurely breakfast visit McLeod Ganj, home of the exiled Dalai Lama and his Tibetan Government. Drive to Pathankot and board overnight train to Delhi. Overnight Overnight Train
Arrive in Delhi, then evening departure. Arrive in Delhi and transfer to the hotel. Day-room facility available at hotel. After breakfast departure transfer to International Airport.
Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.
Suitable for families with young children
Highest Point (Max altitude)
Thamsar Pass, 4750 metres
Fairly easy 5-6 hours of activity per day. May include some uphill sections, reasonable fitness recommended.
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