This trek visits the remote mountaintop temple of Kailapeer, and the holy pilgrimage temple of Budakedar at the confluence of the Balganga and Dharamganga rivers, plus Alpine forests of oak, rhododendron, bhojpatra, (the famous "paper tree"), juniper, and the stately deodar. The famous Kushkalyan and Kailapeer bugyals (Alpine meadows) with their spectacular views of the snow capped high Himalayan dramatic peaks - Bandar Punchh, Jonli, Srikanth, Thalaysagar, etc. Up to the mountain top meadows (bugyals). Hardy bakriwale (mountain headers) with their flocks of sheep and goats, frequent sightings of families of lithe and lively langoor (like a black-faced monkey) swinging through the tree canopy high above. Chances to see ibex, snow fox, mountain crow and eagles.
Seasonal contacts local village shepherds and/or with Gujars (generally Muslim tribal mountain people) famous for their high speed mountain walking and their herds of buffalo. Visits to local picturesque mountain villages. End the trek in the fascinating spiritual and philosophical center of India - colorful Swagashram at Rishkesh.
|8||Pinswar||Budakedar or Agunda Village||10||18||1500||Trek: Camp|
|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 - Lata (200 kms/ 7hrs)
Scenic drive through terraced fields and Himalayan foothills, visiting the magnificent Terhi Dam, marvel of the age. Then 60 k drive along the Baghirathi river past Uttarkashi town to Camp at Lata along the river with views of the terraced fields.
Vishwanath Temple : One of the major Shiva worship centers for all India, this ancient and renowned temple is an interesting and important pilgrimage and touristic monument.
Uttarkashi Town : Situated on a new lake, this clean and nature-surrounded little city features a line of ashrams along the banks of the Bhagirathi River, an early branch of the sacred Ganga.
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering : World famous institution of instruction for the mountaineer.
Day 3 : Lata - Chhuna (11 kms/7 hrs)
Drive 5 k gentle uphill trek through Sora village along a broiling mountain river. Sub-alpine forests of rhododendron, oak, and stately deodars. Then 6 k uphill trek through these forests. To jungle surrounded camp at Chhuna. Frequent sightings of families of lithe and lively langoor (like a black-faced monkey) swinging through the tree canopy high above.
Day 4 : Chhuna - Belak (7 kms/4hrs)
7 k uphill trek through the oak and rhododendrons. Meet with hardy bakriwale (mountain headers) with their flocks of sheep and goats, and Gujars (generally Muslim local mountain people) famous for their high speed mountain walking contacts with and their herds of buffalo. Views of the high Himalaya peaks: Bundar Poonch, Jonli, Sri Khanth. Camp at Belak on the pass of the old pilgrimage route to Kedarnath.
Day 5 : Belak - Chhatruna (6 kms/4 hrs)
4 k uphill trek along high ridges, through fields, Alpine meadows, with spectacular views of the Baghirathi and the Buddhakedar valleys. Close view of the above mentioned mountains. 2 k downhill trek to Chhatruna camp surrounded by trees.
Day 6 : Chhatruna - Kailapeer (6 kms/4 hrs)
5 k uphill trek through forest and the most famous bugyal of Garhwal - Kushkalyan, with its views of the Garhwal Himalaya range. Visit the summer huts of the villagers. 1 k downhill to kailapeer camp with huge bugyals, water streems and small lakes and meet the hardy bakriwale with their flocks of sheep and goats. and the renowned Hindu pilgrimage site of Kailapeer Temple
Day 7 : Kailapeer - Pinswar village (8 kms/8 hrs)
5 hours downhill trek through the Alpine forests and villager's summer huts. Meet with hardy bakriwale with their flocks of sheep and goats, and Gujars. Camp above Pinswar villages for more cultural contacts with the villagers.
Day 8 : Pinswar village - Agonda village (16kms,8 hrs)
8 hours gentle downhill trek along the beautiful Balganga river through Alpine forest, terraced fields, to arrive at campsite on the river near the Agonda village.
Day 9 : Agonda village - Rishiskesh (180 kms/8 hrs)
Drive through Budakedar town and famous architectural piece, the Budakedar temple. Continue along the Balganga river to its confluence with the Dharamganga river. See the huge new Terhi Dam and the planned village of New Terhi to Rishikesh. Overnight in hotel. (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 Kushkalyan Trek : May, June, August, September and October.