Kumaon - Garhwal: Roopkund & Kuari Pass Trek

  • Duration
    22 Days
  • Region
  • Category
  • Best Time
    • May - June
    • October


Trek Grade: Medium

Some time in 1905, Dr. Longstaff, the famous mountaineer, happened to reach Roop Kund in the course of his search for the Nanda Devi base. He stood dumbfounded by what he saw near the small oval lake - hundreds of human skeletons lay strewn beside the lake. Many stories have been fabricated and many theories advanced to explain these skeletons. The mystery has remained unsolved to this day.

This trek takes you over three passes, through dense forests of oak, pine, rhododendron, fir and deodar, traversing bugayals - wide open meadows typical to the region which serve as high altitude summer grazing grounds - and numerous streams. You get truly spectacular views of the Himalayas, all the way from Trishul (23,496 ft/7,120 m) to the peaks of Kedarnath (22,994 ft/6,968 m) with Kamet (25,595 ft/7,756 m), Nilkanth (21,767 ft/6,596 m), Rishikot, Changabang (22,651 ft/6,864 m), Kedarnath and Chowkhamba (23,522 ft/7,128 m), to name a few. From the top of Kuari, one gets excellent views of the legendary twin peaks of Nanda Devi, surrounded by an awesome 19,800-foot (6,000 m) wall which forms a sanctuary.

Tours Highlights

  • A 22 days adventure with a 15 days of trekking with spectacular views of Mounts Nanda Devi, Nanda Devi East, Nanda Kot, Mrigthuni, Trishul, Nanda Ghat, Hathi Parbat & Ghori Parbat from Roopkund (4,536 meters) & Kuari Pass (4,264 meters)
  • English trekking guides, camping equipments, personal porterage & ponies for maximum 20 kgs
  • Arrival & Departure transfers with Representative & transportation with SUVs or, mini coaches depending on group size.
  • Train from Delhi to Kathgodam & flight from Rishikesh to Delhi
  • Sightseeing in Old & New Delhi & Rishikesh with English Speaking Guides
  • Prices on request

Destinations Covered

Detailed Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Arrive Delhi


    After clearing Customs and Immigration, step into the receiving area, where our representative will meet you and escort you to the hotel.

    On arrival, check into the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (No Meals)

  2. Day 2 Delhi


    Delhi is a dynamic city where the past coexists with the present. While historic evidence shows that the area around Delhi was first occupied around 2,500 years ago, Hindu mythology predates that by another 500 years. The British captured the city in 1803 and when they decided to make it the capital of India in 1911, they commissioned Sir Edwin Lutyens to draw up the plans. The result is slightly surprising with spacious tree-lined avenues punctuated with architecture which is among the most striking in the world.

    On the tour of “Old Delhi,” you will head out to explore this exotic locale with its narrow dirt roads, myriads of people and inexpensive and colorful bazaars that keep alive the traditional workmanship for which Delhi has always been famous. Drive past Red Fort and visit the Jama Masjid, one of the largest Muslim mosques in India. A bicycle rickshaw will take you into the heart of Chandni Chowk (the silver square - so named because of the silver merchants).

    Drive past India Gate, a 42-metre archway built in memory of Indian soldiers killed during the First World War and Rashtrapati Bhawan, built in the early 20th century as the Imperial residence of the Viceroy. Today, it is the official residence of the President of India.

    Thereafter, visit the most prominent Sikh Gurdwara, or Sikh house of worship, in Delhi. It was originally a bungalow belonging to Raja Jai Singh, a 17th century Indian ruler. It is open to people of all faiths, castes or creeds. The premises house a sacred pond in which devotees bathe. They believe that this would wash off their misdeeds and thus allow them to attain peace of mind. The 'Langars' or the community kitchen proves to be the ideal example of prodigious hospitality of the Sikhs. Anyone and everyone can have scrumptious meal irrespective of caste, color or class.

    Conclude the day by visiting the Delhi's most striking monument, The Qutub Minar, which looms majestically across the wide plains of Delhi, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was constructed in 1192 by Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak. Built in red sandstone and marble, it has a height of 72.5 meters (237.8 ft) and contains 379 stairs. A Soaring conical tower, it is an exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture and is the tallest minaret in India.

    Overnight at hotel (B)

  3. Day 3 Train Delhi To Kathgodam & Drive To Almora (1605 M) 4-5 Hours’ Drive


    (Kathgodam Shatabdi Express Train #: 12040: Delhi-Kathgodam 06:20/11:55 Hrs.)

    Early morning check-out from the hotel and drive to New Delhi Railway Station to board the train for Kathgodam.

    Arrive Kathgodam and drive to Almora for the 4 to 5 hour drive, Almora wide panorama on the Himalaya including the ranges of Nanda Devi and the Panch Chulis.

    On arrival at Almora, check into the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

  4. Day 4 Drive Almora To Lohajung (2,134 M) 4 Hour's Drive


    Start early in the morning for Debal, driving downhill for about 45 minutes to the Kosi river and following its true right bank for about two hours, climb steeply after leaving the Kosi Valley to the beautiful summer retreat of Kausani, a small hill station popular with the British and the Nehru family. Kausani offers much better views of Nanda devi and its adjoining peaks than Almora.

    After a brief stop, drive down for about 45 minutes to the big village of Gurur. Another two-hour uphill drive gets you tot he large valley of Gwaldam, situated at the top of the ridge, overlooking Tharali village by the Pinder river.

    Drive for an hour downhill to the village where you cross the Pinder river, which originates from the Pindar glacier, located at the base of Nandakhat (21,598 ft/6,545 m), 120 km north east of Tharali.

    Continue on to the village of Lohajung where overnight camp is set.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  5. Day 5 Trek Lohajung Khal To Tola Pani (2,667 M) 7 Hours


    A strenuous day. You descend about 1,000 feet (303 m) and ascend about 2,700 feet (820 m).

    After breakfast descend through thick oak forests with mixed vegetation to a small clear stream. Cross over a bridge and gradually climb towards the north for about an hour to the beautiful open meadow called Meldhar. To the left is the village of Kulin, perched high above to the right, the winter home of villagers from Didna. Descend about 200 feet to another stream, crossed over by another "pucca" bridge. Another 30 minutes of gradual walking will bring you to a small cluster of four to five huts. This is the winter settlement of the villagers from Wan where they grow potatoes and green vegetables.

    Walk another ten minutes to Neel Ganga, coming from Bedni Bugayal, a fairly large stream with a wooden bridge. Climb steeply for an hour and a half to the small village of Didna (7,500 ft/2,273 m) with barley, wheat and potato farms and a junior school.

    After a brief stop continue climbing through thick forests of pine, rhododendron and oak for another hour and a half to the pasture of Tola Pani. Villagers from Didna camp here from June to September and use it as a summer grazing ground for their cattle and sheep. Camp is set up on a clear patch, away from the grazing animals.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  6. Day 6 Trek Tola Pani To Bedni Bugayal (3,636 M) 6-7 Hours

    Bedni Bugayal

    A most beautiful day with excellent views of the Western Himalayas. Climb for an hour and a half through thick forest and reach the crest of the ridge and an open meadow called Taula Pani, offering excellent views to the south and to the far north. Cut across to the left from the meadow towards the north following the ridge, from where you get spectacular views of Didna and Kulin villages in the foreground and the Jaturpani range (13,500 ft/4,091 m) with the Brahm Tal and Bhegal Tal - two beautiful alpine lakes at its base.

    Keep following the ridge through the forest, with a gradual one-hour ascent to the alpine meadow of Khurtal (11,000 ft/3,333 m). The entire Neel Ganga valley opens up in front of you, with spectacular views of Chaukhamba, Banderpunch, Neelkanth, Kedarnath and other Upper Ganga Valley peaks to the north west and the villages of Didna, Kulin and Wan below and Lohajung Khal and Icing Top to the south.

    Climb further through rhododendron forest for about 500 feet to the beginning of Ali Bugayal, a most magnificent open grassland some 3 to 4 km long and half a km wide.

    Locally it is known as Dev Bhumi - “the playground of the gods”. From here you have even more spectacular views of Nandaghunti, Ronti, Trishul and Hathi Parbat. Continue on for about two hours to Bedni Bugayal.

    Camp is set near the Bedni kund (pond).

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  7. Day 7 At Bedni Bugayal (3,636 M)

    Bedni Bugayal

    Rest day. Relax in camp or walk towards Patal Nochni ridge at about 14,300 ft (4,303 m) to get even closer views of Trishul, Nanda Ghuti and Chaugabang.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  8. Day 8 Trek Bedni Bugayal To Bagubasa (4,800 M) 5-6 Hours

    Bedni Bugayal

    The trail crosses a hump to reach Bistola and then climbs up to Bagubasa. An improvised stone shelter which is generally used by local pilgrims.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  9. Day 9 Trek Bagubasa To Roop Kund & Back To Bagubasa (6 Hours)

    Bedni Bugayal

    An arduous trek for about three hours gets you to Roop Kund. If the snow is not too deep, the skeletons and remains of human begins and horses can be seen, surrounded by glaciers and high peaks. The Lake presents a magnificent sight. After spending some time exploring the area, return to Bagubasa for overnight stay.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  10. Day 10 Trek Bagubasa To Bedni Bugayal (5-6 Hours)

    Bedni Bugayal

    Retrace your steps to Bedni Bugayal.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  11. Day 11 Trek Bedni Bugayal To Wan (2,437 M) 4-5 Hours

    Wan Village

    A short day with downhill walking. Descend sharply through thick oak and rhododendron forest with bamboo undergrowth. The track follows the curve of the mountain towards the west, hitting the upper Neel Ganga which originates from Bedni Kund. Crossing over a pucca bridge, climb about 200 feet to the crest of the ridge, when the semi-bowl-shaped Wan Valley suddenly opens up in front of you, with the Wan village to the right.

    Another gradual walk for some 45 minutes through the village brings you to the Forest Rest House and Tourist Bungalow. Camp is set up near the Rest House. Wan is the biggest village in the Neel Ganga Valley, having a cluster of houses spread around the valley with Lohajung Khal to the left and Kokin Khal to the right. The village has a school, government-provision store and a dispensary.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  12. Day 12 Trek Wan To Kunol (2,286 M) Over Kukin Khal (5-6 Hours)

    Wan Village

    An easy day. Start with a climb through barley and potato fields. Leave the village boundary after an hour's walk and climb gradually towards Kukin Khal (3,121 M). Just before the pass, some 2 km from Wan, is a beautiful pasture - an excellent camping ground for big groups. Climb steeply about 400 feet to the pass which is a beautiful open meadow. Descend steadily for an hour and a half to the village of Kunol - an enjoyable walk through the open grassland.

    Depending on the season, camp is set in the premises of the Forest Rest House in Kunol or before the village, on an open ground next to a stream.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  13. Day 13 Trek Kunol To Bora (2,591 M) 8 Hours

    Wan Village

    A long day's walk through forest, a number of villages and open slopes with gorgeous views of the Himalayan peaks.

    Start with a gentle climb through the pine forest for about an hour, keeping Kunol village to the far left below the trail. Arrive at an open patch in the forest, where you take a right turn and follow an ill-defined trail which descends steeply through the forest for some 30 minutes, until it joins up with a proper well-defined trail which circles the mountainside.

    Another half-hour's walk gets you to the confluence of the Nandakani river, originating from Homkund and Shila Samundra - the western glaciers of Trishul - and Roopkani, a comparatively smaller stream which originates in the legendary and sacred Roop Kund. From the gorge, the icy western face of Trishul looms high. Crossing the Roopkani over a wooden bridge and then the Nandakani over a steel bridge, the trail passes through the village of Sutol, some 15 minutes climb from the bridge. The trail climbs gradually along the mountain face overlooking the Nandakani river to the left. Cross a stream and climb sharply through forest and open patches for about two hours to the village of Panna Chowk. From the crest of the village magnificent views of the Nandakani Valley open up.

    A gradual descent for another 45 minutes leads to Geri Dhar stream, with watermills used for grinding barley and wheat. Climb steeply for 45 minutes to a hump called Dekhna Dhar, offering excellent open views of Nandakarni Valley to the left. Take a right turn and walk gradually for some time, the trail zigzagging its way up along the mountain. An hour's walk brings you to the village of Ala. Since the trail is on the south eastern slopes, it is quite exposed to the sun during clear days. From Ala descend gradually for about 15 minutes to a clear stream called Ala Ka Dhar. The trail again zigzags up the mountain, leaving the Nandakani river far below to the left. An initially gradual and then a steep climb for an hour and a half takes you to the top of the ridge to the beautiful meadow of Bora, overlooking Pandergaon to the north. Camp is set up either at Bora further down among the fields near the stream of Pander Ka Dhar, a 30-minute walk from Bora.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  14. Day 14 Trek Bora To Panna (2,448 M) Via Chechni Binayak (9-10 Hours)


    Another long day, involving a lot of up and down walking through dense oak and rhododendron forests, villages, and river valleys. Descend and then climb for 45 minutes to the village of Pander. Cross the fields and start climbing steeply for a good three and a half hours through dense forest to the top of the ridge called Binayak (a junction where three or more trails meet).

    Descend for about 10 minutes to an open meadow where local villagers camp with their cattle. A further 10-minute descent leads to another meadow where a well-deserved rest stop is made. You get your first distant view of Kuari Pass in the north from here. A steep two-hour descent through the dense forest brings you to the village of Jhinjhi (7,095 ft/2,150 m) - a neat village with whitewashed houses. The villages of Panna and Irani are visible across the Beheri Ganga river on the other side of the mountain from Jhinjhi.

    Descend for half an hour through the forest to the Beheri Ganga, crossing it over a steel rope bridge. The river drains the western slopes of Nanda Ghunti. Climb steeply for two and a half hours to the crest of the ridge through open grass slopes interspersed with thick forest. Enter the semi bowl-shaped valley of Panna, leaving the trail which leads to Irani village to the right. Walk for another 45 minutes to a waterfall. Camp is set some 10 minutes climb away.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  15. Day 15 Trek Panna To Shartoli (3,424m) 3-4 Hours


    A short day. Climb for about an hour towards Shartoli ridge, leaving the trail that leads to Panna village to the left. It is a pleasant walk through open pastures with views of the Beheri Ganga valley to the left. A steep climb through dense forests for two and a half hours brings you to the top of the ridge.

    Walk along the ridge to the right in the forest for some 20 minutes.

    Descend gradually to the pastures of Shartoli, an open ground on the northern side, surrounded by thick forest. The Kuari Pass and Dhakhwani are just across the valley towards the north. From July to September, Shartoli is full of shepherds and villagers with their cattle. The campsite has to be cleaned before tents are pitched.

    In the months of May and June, water is usually not available at the campsite and has to be fetched from a stream some 45 minutes walk away.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  16. Day 16 Trek Shartoli To Dhakwani (3,545m) 6 Hours


    Descend gradually for about 45 minutes towards the east (to the right) through thick forest till you reach the hump from where a cup-shaped depression and a waterfall are visible below.

    Descend sharply through rubble and broken trail for about 20 minutes to the waterfall. It might take much longer for the pack ponies. Cross the stream over rocks and start climbing steeply through the forest for an hour and a half, taking the left curve of the mountain with views of Shartoli to the left.

    Continue descending to Dhakhwani Nallah, which drains from Kuari Pass. Cross over the rocks and then climb steeply for two and a half hours through rhododendron forest to the open grasslands of Dhakhwani, the base of Kuari Pass where shepherds camp with their sheep, goats, cattle and horses.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  17. Day 17 Trek Dhakwani To Kuari (4,100m) Over Kuari Pass (5-6 Hours)


    The trail taken depends on weather conditions. If it is raining the trail could be tedious and tricky. Kuari Pass used to be a grassland all the way up from Dhakwani. However, erosion and landslides have changed the shape of the pass which now consists mainly of loose rubble and rocks. Leave early in the morning in time to see the sunrise.

    A steep climb of two hours takes you to Kuari Pass (4,268 M). Take a right turn and walk along the grassy slopes full of shepherds. Cross a small tricky stream coming from Kuari Top.

    Camp is set up near the stream. Stop for a while at the campsite before starting the hour and a half steep climb to Kuari Top, from where you get magnificent panoramic views for which Kuari Pass is renowned. Arranged in a stupendous arc lie the Himalayas - from the gorges of Trishul to the peaks of Kedrnath, Kamet's pyramid of granite, Nilkanth, the square-topped summits of Gori Parbat and Hathi Parbat and in the far east, the icy crest of Dunagiri gleaming in the sunlight.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  18. Day 18 At Kuari


    Rest day. Spend the day exploring the side valleys.

    Overnight at Camp (B, L, D)

  19. Day 19 Trek Kuari To Tapovan (1,975 M) 4-5 Hours & Drive To Joshimath (1 Hour Drive)


    The trail circles around the curving meadows to the left and descends gradually to the lower parts of the grazing grounds. Then descend steeply for about four hours through rhododendron, oak and pine forests to the village of Kulari. Cross Kulari Nallah and walk gradually along it, bypassing a number of villages and their fields.

    Walk for another 30 minutes along the small canal jutting out of Kulari Nallah, taking a right turn till you reach the hump overlooking the Dhauli Ganga valley, with Dunagiri right across the river and the village of Tapovan, known for its hot sulphur springs, right below, next to the road. Descend for another 30 minutes to the roadhead where vehicles are waiting to drive you to Joshimath for overnight stay in a simple basic hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (B, L, D)

  20. Day 20 Drive Joshimath To Rishikesh (10 Hours Drive)


    Drive along the Alakananda river through Pipalkoti, Karanprayag, Srinagar and Devprayag where the confluence of the Bhagirathi and Alakananda forms the Ganga.

    Overnight at hotel (B)

  21. Day 21 Rishikesh To Dehradun & Fly To Delhi


    (Indigo Flight # 6E-726 Dehradun/Delhi ETD: 15:25/ETA: 16:10 Hrs.)

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the Dehradun Airport in time to fly to Delhi.

    Arrive Delhi, you will be transferred to the hotel.

    Overnight at hotel (B)

  22. Day 22 Delhi & Departure


    On time check-out from the hotel and transfer to the Airport to connect with the departure International flight.


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