Western Garhwal region in Uttarakhand is a heaven for trekkers as the area offers numerous exciting trails with breath-taking views of the Himalayas as well as a perfect rendezvous with the nature. If you are into trekking, the options will surely spoil you completely. It’s so hard to make a choice when every option seems tempting enough 😊
If you have read my previous post on the trek to Yamunotri (click here for the post), you will likely recall that we had discussed about a place called “Hanuman Chatti” and how this tiny hamlet is a starting point for so many interesting trails in the region.
In this post, I will share a trekking experience to the Gulabi Kantha Peak (GKP) which begins at Hanuman Chatti.
Before I share the details further, here’s a quick sneak-peak about GKP.
- You wish to enjoy snow during the summers – welcome to this trek. It offers you snow until Mid-May / June. Yes, I am serious!! Do check out the photos please (clicked in Mid-April 2022)
- This trek is a total of 21 kms with easy to moderate grade of hiking. The hike to/fro from Hanuman Chatti can be done in 2 days’ time
- Altitude gain – From 2400 metres at Hanuman Chatti to 3600 metres at the Gulabi Kantha Peak. You walk through the dense forests of Oak, Rhododendron , Berchtree , Thuner (Taxusbaccata) and others. In the higher parts of the trek, the entire forest bed is littered with amazing wildflowers
- You wish to see the panoramic view of the Himalayas – Stunning views from GKP is guaranteed !! – Peaks such as Bandarpunch I and II, Swargarohini and the Kalindi range are clearly visible right in-front of you. You are surely on top-of-the-world here!!
- The meadows up there is a photographer’s delight. Vast expanse of grasslands sandwiched between the towering mountain peaks, with small river streams criss-crossing, its indeed a heavenly feeling
Our way to the Summit – How we did it!!
Stretch1 :- Hanuman Chatti to Kandola Village (Day1 – 4.5 kms , 2.5 hours walk)
We started in the evening around 5:30 PM (yes it was slightly late as we had just come back from a short trek to Yamunotri). Accompanied by our guide and 2 dogs, we started the ascent. It’s a gradual ascent at the beginning and it continues to be so for about 1-1.5 kms till you arrive at Nischni village. It’s a tiny quaint hamlet with around 50 houses. From here, the path gets a little tough as you witness a higher incline, and the path is laden with stones. It was already dark when we crossed this village, however, our 2 companions (Sheru and Kali) gave us all the motivation and made us fearless.
Stretch2 :- Kandola Village to Seema Thatch (Day2 – 5 kms , 2.5 hours walk)
The next morning, after our breakfast, we started our next ascent. This part of the trek was slightly tough as the path had a much higher incline. As we went higher and higher, the views started to get more stunning and after a point, we could see all the major Himalayas peaks around us. The forest bed were laden with colorful flowers, and this further added to our enthusiasm. We eventually reached a vast grassland (meadows) from where we got the first glimpse of our destination (which was completed engulfed in thick snow).
Stretch3 :- Seema Thatch to Gulabi Kantha Top (Day2 – 1 kms , 1 hour climb in the snow)
This is the most interesting part of the entire hike. The last stretch is entirely a snow laden path. One needs to have proper shoes and preferably a stick to guide your way through. One needs to be very careful and therefore a close coordination with the fellow hikers is very important.
It’s a steep incline plus as your feet gets into the thick snow, your ascent is naturally slow. But the mesmerizing 360-degree view of the tall peaks all around takes all your worries away and you feel motivated to quickly get to the top.
The summit is at an altitude of approx. 3600 metres. One can clearly see (on the other side) the famous peaks that include – Kalindi Parvat, Bandarpoonch (I and II) and Swargarohini (all 6000 metre+ peaks). We had a nice lunch (packed food), relaxed for a while, slided in the snow and then started our return journey back to Kandola village.
We stayed overnight at Kandola village and got back to Hanuman Chatti the next morning. We took the available shared taxi from Hanuman Chatti to Barkot and from there hopped onto another taxi to Dehradun.
Things to keep in mind
- Phone connectivity on the trek route is intermittent. BSNL and Idea serves the best
- Do carry a stick and have proper boots – especially needed for the last stretch to the summit
- The accommodation on the route is basic and one gets to use a sleeping bag. One needs to be mindful of this fact
- This is not a very popular trek but that is what makes it more amazing. Less litter on the path and less crowded.
- Do plan your travel to and from Hanuman Chatti well. Taxis ply at certain time period only
- If you have a day extra – you may want to add a trip to Yamunotri too.
- Having an experienced Guide is always important on treks. I can recommend Mr. Vijay Rawat (Mobile number – 9149237632). He is a local and an expert on this trek.
It’s an excellent 2-day trek and I highly recommend it to people who are short on time. Witnessing the snow in the summers is a bonus.
Hope you enjoyed reading the post.
Lovely to know this. Yamunotri is calling this year. Hence knowing about this trek brings smile. Thank you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks Narayan. All the best to you !!
Hello sir, I really like the way you have shared your experiences. Rough MAP speaks a lot.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I enjoyed reading the post. Thank you.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I am glad to know this. Thanks a lot for the encouragement.