The Nanda Devi Culture Experience Trekking Tours

The spectacular Nanda Devi National Park in the Himalayas, a World Heritage Site, which has five of the highest peaks in the world, has re-opened after 20 years. Since last year, restricted numbers of wildlife and trekking enthusiasts are being allowed inside till Dharansi pass and Debrugheta, which offer spectacular views of the Nanda Devi, Trisul and Pancha Chuli peaks along with some of the rarest high altitude mammals like the musk deer, serow, blue sheep, Himalayan tahr, black and brown bear and even the snow leopard.

To provide employment to the local people, and to ensure that the large number of tourists coming to this area, get a culturally rich experience, Earth Camps has set up home stays with the people of an idyllic village at about 9000 feet, called Tolma, on the boundary of the national park. The guests stay in village homes in separate rooms built for them, tasting the local fare and making it their base for forays into the park and its surroundings.

Nandadevi Location

About 500 kilomteres from Delhi. About 15 kilometres ahead of Joshimath, on the road to Tibet, in the Garhwal Himalayas, past Tapovan, is the little village of Suraithota. From here a mule track climbs up three kilometres to the Tolma village of 15 tribal homes. Flanked on one side by thick Deodar, Birch and Cypress forests, and on the other by the towering snowcapped mountains led by the 23,000 feet Dronagiri peak, the village has a population of less than 100 people.

The village provides the easiest and the best access to the National Park, as opposed to the one from Lata, which is the traditional route and mentioned in every travel book or trekking map.

Nandadevi Highlights of theVisit

· Visits to the villages of Rainee and Lata the birthplace of the Chipko movement in the Himalayas along with treks through the forests that they hugged and protected
· Home stays with exposure to local lifestyle and food 
· Opportunites to view rare and endangered mammals like the musk deer, blue sheep, serow, Himalayan black bear, tahr and snow leopard. 
· A paradise for birdwatchers with over a 100 species of high altitude birds 
· Treks around the village and into the park till Dharansi or Debrugheta with expert guides and porters from the Tolma village
· Interaction with villagers adjoining the park to understand the human-animal coexistence, crop depredations and their dependence on the forest
· Drive along the pilgrim route to Badrinath looking at Deoprayag, the confluence of Bhagirathi and Alakanadna, where the Ganga is formed; apart from Rudraprayag, Nandprayag and learning about the mythological significance of this route

Nandadevi Travel, Accommodation & Facilities

Guests travel by train between Delhi and Haridwar, and by cars to Rudraprayag where they stay the night. After a drive to Suraithota in the morning, the guests walk up three kilometres to Tolma on an easy track, with porters and local guides.

Participants stay in traditional/modern rooms inside village houses on a single, twin or three sharing basis with attached toilets..

High quality Alpine or dome tents are provided during treks with mats and toilet tents.

Wholesome and tasty, locally and organically grown vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is cooked in the households to suit participant tastes, at the same time introducing them to the local food and flavours. There are expert expedition cooks accompanying the team on treks.

Eligibility & Group Size for Nandadevi Trek

The park permits a group of 50 trekkers inside the park everyday. The participants have to be above 14 years of age to enter the park. There are no restrictions on numbers to stay at the Tolma village and do short treks around it. However, the minimum number for this is 02 and maximum 25.

Best Time to Visit Nandadevi National Park

For trekking : May 15-August 15
For Wildlife viewing: October 5 to 30

Costs :: The cost for an 11-day summer itinerary inclusive of transport (non-AC Qualis or Sumos), stay, food(BLD), equipment (living and toilet tents, sleeping mats, basic camp furniture like chairs and stools, petromax lights, kitchen equipment, fuel), porters, camp staff, guides, permits, tips, Shatabdi (Del-Haridwar-Del)rail fare, works out to approximately Rs 70,000($ 1630 ) per head for a minimum of two persons and max three. Four to six pax Rs 60,000( $ 1395) per head on a twin-sharing basis. Other travel arrangements in India can also be easily arranged. For those interested in white water rafting or ayurvedic spas, this area is excellent with facilities to suit every budget.

Detailed Itinerary for the Nanda Devi National Park Summer Trek

Day From-To Transport & time Description
1 New Delhi-Haridwar By train 250 kms App 04 hours Board the fast Dehradun Shatabdi at 0650 hrs (subject to confirmation) in AC Chair cars. Breakfast en-route. Arrive Haridwar 1120 hrs 

1 Haridwar (300 m) - Rudraprayag (1200m) 160 kms 07 hours drive on mountain roads Transfer to SUVs to drive through picturesque mountain roads to stop for lunch at Kaudiyala. Stop at Deoprayag to see the point where River Ganga or Ganges forms. Overnight Hotel Monal 
2 Rudraprayag (1200m) - Joshimath (1890m) - Suraithota (2303 m) 150 kms 05-06 hours Start early around 0630 hrs after a light breakfast, Brunch at Joshimath, before driving app 30 kilometres to Suraithota, which takes about one hour

Suraithota (2303 m) - Tolma village (2575 m) 03 kms walk up from road head to the Tolma village. App 02-03 hours Reach Suraithota around 1300 hrs to walk up to Tolma a hamlet of 15 homes where people offer basic but very comfortable home stays. Day at leisure to relax, walk around, taste local food and make friends. For the next five days this will be the last human habitation on the trekking route. Overnight in village. 

Tolma village (2575 m) An easy five kilometre walk across the Lama river to acclimatise and check the surroundings The day largely at leisure to acclimatise and explore the surroundings. Visit the excellent high altitude herbs and medicinal plants garden maintained by the village and meet its knowledgeable keeper. Walk to the river and beyond with the village children as they take the cattle to graze. Look for wild Blue Sheep or Bharal, as they are locally called, on the slope opposite the village. Overnight in Tolma village

Tolma-Karichaun (3030 m) 05 kms (four hours) Start around 0800 hrs on a relatively gentle climb through Deodar, pine, Cyprus and birch forests to a water source called Karichaun for the first day to prepare for the long haul the next day. Relax, acclimatise, bird watch. Overnight in camp

Karichaun(3030m) -Himtuli(3636) - Jhandidhar (4200) 12 km (08 hours) We start at 0700 after a light breakfast for a climb to Himtuli through shaded birch and Yew forests trying to spot the Monal pheasant, musk deer and others. After lunch and rest at Himtuli we go up a steep climb to Jhandidhar, the entrance of the Nanda Devei National Park. Overnight at Jhandidhar in tents

6 Jhandi Dhar(4200m) - Bagfyana - Satkula - Dharansi Pass (4250 m) 08 kms trek (05nhours) After breakfast trek begins with a steep climb up to Bagfyana pass. From Bagfyana the trail passes through a very narrow gorge of Satkula with steep ascents and descents to reach the meadows of the Dharansi pass, which is an excellent spot to watch mammals like Blue Sheep, Musk deer and Tahr. Dharasi pass also gives stunning views of Nanda Devi and other peaks. Overnight in tents.

Dharansi Pass (4250 m) Debrugheta (3500 m) and back to Dharansi Pass 14 kms (07-08 hours) A day to either relax and spend time in Dharasi to look for wildlife. Best to wake up early and walk around with the guide. For those who are interested, there is a 14 km trek to Debrugheta and back.The Malthuni-Bethartoli ridge, between Dharansi Pass and Debrugheta, drops down to the Rishiganga river in a steep gorge. Till Donidhar is a gradual descent and then from Donidhar to Debrugheta is a steep fall of 750 m till one crosses a makeshift bridge over the stream. Afternoon return trek to Dharansi Pass. Overnight in tents at Dharasi.

Dharansi Pass (4250 m) - Satkula, Bagfyana - Jhandi Dhar -Lata Kharak (3689m) 12 kms trek (05 hours) Return through familiar territory and then we branch off from Jhandidhar towards Latakharak continuously descending with a few minor ascents. The forest hut at Latakharak is on a high plateau surrounded by rocky peaks. Overnight in tents or the hut, if it is unoccupied.Latakharak has lovely views of Bithartoli-Himal (6354 m), Nanda Ghunti (6309 m), Ranthi(6003 m) and Dronagiri (7066 m) as well as broad views of Kunwari pass, Auli, and Lata Village.

Lata Kharak - Lata village (2317m) 8.5 kms trek (04 hours) After a leisurely morning descend to the Lata village with its unique culture. Visit the famous Nanda Devi temple. Overnight in tents close to the village

10 Lata village(2317) - Lata roadhead (2000m) - Rainee village (1980m) - Joshimath (1890m) - Rudraprayag 1.5 km trek (01 hour) to roadhead - 15 minutes to Rainee village - 40 minutes to Joshimath - 04 hours to Rudraprayag After a quick walk to the roadhead and good byes to the team drive in waiting vehicles to the Rainee village to visit the memorial to Gaura Devi, who organised the women of her village to hug the trees in the nearby forest in protest against their being felled, to start what was later known as the Chipko movement. Continue driving to Joshimath and after refreshments proceed to Rudraprayag, Overnight at Monal 11 Rudraprayag to Haridwar.

Nanda Devi Rich Culture Tours With Journey to Mystic Nandadevi East

Delhi - Kathgodam
Board Ranikhet Express from Old Delhi railway station at 2245 hrs and reach Kathgodam early next morning at 0600 hrs.
Day1: Kathgodam - Almora – Munsiyari (2290 m/7512 ft)
Traveling Distance: Approx 300 kms  From Kathgodam drive towards Munsiyari via Almora. This will take about 8-9 hrs.
Day 2: Munsiyari – Darkot (1800 m/5904 ft) - Lilam (1850 m/6068 ft) (15 kms/ 5-6 hrs) Trek
Start trekking towards Darkot, 5kms from Munsiyari. From Darkot we start the descent to the Gori Ganga and continue descending until we reach the River at Jimighat. This is the lowest point of the trail and from here we start climbing to Lilam. On arrival setup camp for overnight stay.
Day 3: Lilam – Bugdiar (2500 m/8200 ft) (15 kms/5-6 hrs) Trek
Head for Bugdiar. 5 kms from the start we cross the confluence of Ralam River and Gori Ganga. Shepherds with their flocks of sheep and goats are a common sight at the meadows of Bugdiar. On arrival set up campsite. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 4: Bugdiar– Railkot (3100 m/10168 ft) – Martoli (3430 m/11250 ft) (14 kms/5-6 hrs) Trek
We descend to a bridge over the Lwan Gad and continuing further we cross the bridge over the Gori Ganga. The trail goes on to the left bank and a short climb brings us to Burphu Village (3350 M). The valley opens up here and one get a spectacular view of several peaks. Trekking further we will reach the village Milam. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 5: Martoli – Milam (3450 m/11316 ft) (11kms/5-6 hrs) Trek
We descend to a bridge over the Lwan Gad and continuing further we cross the bridge over the Gori Ganga. The trail goes on to the left bank and a short climb brings us to Burphu Village (3350 M). The valley opens up here and one get a spectacular view of several peaks. Trekking further we will reach the village Milam. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 6: Milam – Milam Glacier – Milam (6 kms /3-4 hrs) Trek
After breakfast trek towards the Glacier. Visit the Glacier and the magnificent peaks of Rishi Pahar (6692 M), Hardeol (7151 M) and Trishuli 1 (7074 M). Later start retracing steps towards Milam village. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 7: Milam 
Day for rest/acclimatization/exploration.
Day 8: Milam – Camp (Lwanl) (14 kms/5-6 hrs) Trek
We start to descend towards Lwani today and Camps opposite the settlements of Lwani. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 9: Camp (Lwanl ) – Nanda Devi East Base Camp (4150 m/13612 ft) (14kms/5-6 hrs) Trek
Start trekking towards base camp following the Lwan valley. The trail passes through a series of moraine fields and famous meadows of Sartol Kharak (3650 M) and Naspanpatti (3850 M) finally leads to the Nanda Devi East base camp. The meadows at the base camp are a sight to see. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 10: N D East Base Camp – Towards Nanda Devi East – N D East Base Camp (6 kms/3-4 hrs)
Today we trek about 3 odd km towards southeast of the Nanda Devi East. Explore the terrain and return back in the afternoon. This is the route leading to Trails Pass that links the upper Lwanl valley with the Pindari valley. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 11: Nanda Devi East Base Camp - Martoli (3430 m/11250 ft) (15 kms/5-6 hrs) Trek
Start retracing steps towards Martoli. Its generally downhill and is an easy leisurely walk. Overnight stay in tents
Day 12: Martoli - Railkot (3100 m/10168 ft)- Bugdiar (2500 m/8200 ft) (14 kms/4-5 hrs) Trek
Trek towards Bugdiar passing through Railkot. This will take approximately 5 hrs. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 13: Bugdiar (2500 m/8200 ft) – Lilam (1850 m/6068 ft) Trek
Start trekking towards Lilam. It’s mostly downhill and will take around five hours at an leisurely pace. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 14: Lilam – Munsiyari (2290 m/7512 ft) Trek
Last day of the trek. We start leisurely towards Munsiyari. The walk is comfortable and takes around five hours. Overnight stay in Guest house.
Day 15: Munsiyari – Kathgodam
Early morning drive from Munsiyari towards Kathgodam to board Ranikhet Express for Delhi at 2040 hrs.


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Nanda Devi Mountain Travel  ::  Branch - Main Bazaar Joshimath Garhwal  Himalayas


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