When Lord Curzon was Viceroy of India, he undertook several treks in the Garhwal, including one over the Kuari Pass to Joshimath and since then it has come to be known as Curzon's trail. It is very popular among European and American travellers. In 1905, Lord Curzon reached Kuari Pass from Ghat via Ramni. Today many trekkers prefer to undertake the trek in the reverse direction. The main attraction of Curzon's trail is the majestic view of the Twin Peaks of Nanda Devi--the main summit (7816 m), which is the highest peak situated completely within India and the east summit (7434 m) of Nanda Devi, Kamet (7756 m), Dronagiri (7066 m) and Hathi Parbat (6727 m) and Ghori Parvat (6708 ) etc.
This trek visits a vast landscape and mountain lakes and features a spectacular close view of all the mountains in the Nandadevi range and a close view of mount Nandadevi. Frequent sightings of lithe and lively langoor (black faced monkeys) swinging through the tree canopy high above. Chances to see ibex, snow fox, mountain crow and eagles. Hardy bukeriwale (mountain herders) with their flocks of sheep and goats. Visits to picturesque mountain villages. End the trek in the fascinating spiritual and philosophical center of India - colorful Swarg ashram at Rishkesh.
|7||Dhakwani||Cross Kuari Pass-Tali||6||7||4000-3100||Trek: Camp|
|8||Tali||Joshimat via Auli||5||40||1900||Trek/Veh: Hotel|
|Legend: Alt=Altitude; Veh=Vehicle; Acco=Accommodation|
Day 1 : New Delhi - Rishikesh (225 kms/6 hrs)
In the morning drive to Rishikesh. Upon arrival at Rishikesh transfer to the hotel. In the evening visit the Aarti ceremony at Swargashram. Back to hotel for overnight stay.
Rishikesh : Rishikesh is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttaranchal. It's also starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to Sage Kapila's curse. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for the salvation of their ancestors.
Day 2 : Rishikesh - Ghat (180 kms/7 hrs)
Drive to Ghat (1350m) via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Nandprayag, the dramatic & most famous confluences of Garhwal Himalayas. Arrival at Ghat by evening. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3 : Ghat - Ramni (8 kms/6 hrs)
Finish with breakfast and then devour on this nice walk next to the river followed by an ascent through coniferous and mixed forests. The walk by a wooded ridge takes us to a village called Ramni (2550m). It is a typical Garhwal village with friendly people and attractive houses with heavy slate roofs and paved alleys surrounded by fertile fields. Camp at Ramni with views of terraced fields and villages.
Day 4 : Ramni - Jhinji Village (10 kms/8hrs)
This is a long but rewarding day. From the campsite you climb steeply for 1,000ft/300m on a zigzagging track to emerge on open, grassy, grazing meadows. Snow peaks begin to emerge above the forest to the north. The path continues up through forests of rhododendron, pines and oaks with more pastures for summer grazing with shepherds huts. Flocks of sheep and goats are there to keep you company as keep moving along the track. The highest point, reached in 2 hours from the camp, at 3,064m/10,053ft, is the Ramni Pass, also called Binayak Top. From here it is possible to make out the Kauri Pass, which we will cross on Day 8. From now on there may be a chance to see the multi-colored monal pheasant but they are very shy, being hunted by the locals for pot. The trek is now gentle, mainly through open pastures into forests of horse chestnuts and walnut trees complete with fairy tale waterfalls. Lastly, a zigzag downward trail will bring you down to the overnight camp at Jhinji Village.
Day 5 : Jhinji - Pana (13 kms/7 hrs)
Day starts with a descent to the colorful village of Jhinjhi. The trail carries on down past small farms, through some woods to the spectacular suspension bridge at 1,840m/6,037ft across the Birehi Gorge, Fabuouls day's trek, nroute we will find lush green meadows, waterfalls, snow clapped mountains. Alpine forest, bhojpatra, (the famous "paper tree"), juniper, and stately deodars. Chances to see, ibex, snow fox, mountain crow and eagles. Meet with hardy bakriwale (mountain headers) with their flocks of sheep and goats. Camp at Pana.
Day 6 : Pana - Dhakwani (16 kms/8 hrs)
This is another long but spectacular day. The route traverses above the village and then starts a steep climb up into a rhododendron forest. It is a broad, well made track and after a number of small summits a Col is reached at 9,842ft/3,000m. The path now descends gently, traversing along the valley to open meadows with views across to the Kuari Pass. We continue downhill through the valley along several streams, before it plunges down a very steep and loose section, much of which has been washed away by the monsoons. Frequent sightings of families of lithe and lively langoor (like a black-faced monkey) swinging through the tree canopy high above. Camp at Dakhwani.
Day 7 : Dhakwani - Cross pass- Tali (16 kms/8 hrs)
It is a short day today meaning that you have enough time to take breaks on the pass to simply stare at awe at your surroundings. The thrill of standing at such a height, with the cold wind hitting you across the face is a feeling that cannot be surpassed. We aim to cross this pass today so that you will have the benefit of the clear early morning the following day. For this we have to walk a bit more to gain more height, with the highest point of the trail being at a cool 4000 m high and is just half an hour from the Tali Pass ahead. Once, we have had our fill of the Mountain View (which is highly unlikely) we walk down to our camp which has been set up for you across a small stream. , we suggest you wake up before dawn and make your way to the top of Pangarchulli peak to catch the dawn view of the Himalayas. The way, the navy blue mountains slowly turn an orange hue to a brighter yellow to finally white is a sight you will not want to miss. Frank Smythe, who came this way in 1931 en route to Kamet (25,443ft/7,757m), the second highest mountain in this region, said something along these lines about this view, "We breasted the slope and halted, silent on the path. No words would express our delight. The Himalayas were arrayed before us in a stupendous arc". Some of the mountains seen are Kamet, Nilkanth (7,141m/23,425ft), Dunagiri (7,067m/23,182ft) and Changabang (6,864m/22,516ft), with even Nanda Devi herself visible if you walk along the ridge for a while.
Day 8 : Tali - Joshimat Via Auli (250 kms/8 hrs)
Most of summer treks finish in Auli and early summer/early winter treks finish in Tapovan because of the icy conditions on the trail to Auli. It is a 3-4-hr walk to either place. It is a gradual descent to Auli down through woods and pastures and we meet our car waiting for us at Auli to drive us to Joshimat. Auli, although having none of the elegance of its sister hill resorts, does have a charm and beauty of its own. It is the site where the famous Adiguru Shankaracharya attained enlightenment before beginning his campaign for the unification of India and the revitalization of Hinduism.Overnight stay in Hotel.
Day 9 : Joshimat -Rishikesh (240 kms/9 hrs)
Scenic drive to Rishikesh. (Possible to reach Haridwar to explore this popular and beautiful shrine town as opposed to Rishikesh. One hour further).
Day 10 : Rishikesh -Delhi (225 kms/6 hrs)
Return drive to Delhi.
Best time to visit Kuaripass Trek : April, May, June, August, September and October.