Darma valley Oct 2011 by mumbaihiker



                                                 On way to the Nagling bugyals

What is it?    A group trek to the stunningly beautiful and remote
Darma valley on the border of Kumaon, Nepal and Tibet. 7th -16th Oct’11

At the cross junction of central Asia lie the 3 valleys of Byans, Chaudas
and Darma. Locked from all sides by towering peaks and a raging Kali
river, they have managed to retain their unique identity through ages.
Opened in 2002 for Indians, a spectacular trek passes through Darma
valley taking in the birch forest, the flowering meadows, villages clinging
on the slopes of giant mountains and going all the way to the base camp
of Pancha Chuli peaks, the presiding deity of the region. The easy
gradients, the raging Dhauli Ganga, abundant wildlife and the 500 year
old homestays make it one of the best treks in the Indian Himalaya.
Pancha Chuli peaks                                            Darma valley homestays
The five peaks of Pancha Chuli group are seeped in            The villages in Darma valley identify themselves more with
mythology and are sacred to the locals. They believe the      Tibet than India. In fact before the 1962 war, they didn’t
pandavas cooked their last meal before going to heaven,       even know they are part of India. As we stay in the 500
hence the name ‘chuli’, which means hearth. No doubt the      year-old houses made entirely of stone wood and mud, we
shape of the peaks has led to this belief, but the mountain   get to appreciate the unique amalgamation of Buddhism,
panaroma these peaks provide is without doubt the most        Hinduism and nature worship as evident in their culture
moving. We go right up to the base of these peaks.            architecture and way of life.

Nagling Bugyals                                               The trek
Bugyal means a meadow. And nothing beats the meadows          The trek starts along the Kali river, across which is Nepal
above Nagling village for the sheer beauty they possess.      and turns into the valley of the raging Dhauli Ganga, the
There are 4 distinct meadows, each with a unique              divide between India and Tibet. An easy climb through
characteristic; the first meadow is where the musk deer       thick forests takes us to the high altitude meadows right
comes to graze, the 2nd meadow has medicinal properties,      under the Greater Himalayan range. We then move on to
the 3rd has hundreds of flowers and the 4th is of rock and    the base camp of the 5 most amazing peaks of Pancha
ice. (Picture above). Truly the most amazing place.           Chuli and go right up to the snout of their glacier.
Date          Activity                                 Remarks                                     You have to…
Friday, 7th   Get to Delhi by evening. Take the        The best way to get to Kathgodam, the       Book your tickets to Delhi
Oct 2011      10:30p.m train to Kathgodam.             starting point of the journey is to take    and Delhi-Kgm train
                                                       the overnight train.                        tickets in Ranikhet

8th Oct       Reach Kathgodam early morning.           Its best to break the long journey over 2
              Drive to Pithoragarh. ~ 5 hours.         days. Pithoragarh is a quiet army
                                                       cantonment town.

9th Oct       Drive to Dharchula, the base camp        Dharchula stands on the banks of Kali,
              for Darma valley trek. ~ 4 hours.        across which is Nepal. In the evening
                                                       we will cross the bridge and visit our

10th Oct      The trek starts at 2100M. Day 1          We start the trek from the village of
              destination is the campsite at           Sobla and follow the roaring Dhauli
              Urthing. ~10 km. 4-5 hour walk.          river to Urthing. Night in tents.

11th Oct      Day 2 we walk to the village of          We are well and truly amongst the big
              Nagling (2800M), situated under the      boys of Himalaya as they rear up from
              high ramparts of Greater Himalayan       all sides. We cross several small
              range. ~ 12km. 4-5 hours. Overnight      streams over snow bridges and climb to
              in homestays.                            the village of Nagling.

12th Oct      Day 3 we walk to the base camp of        We are in splendid terrain as the valley
              Pancha Chuli peaks. (3300M)              opens up in huge terraces of grass. We
              14km. 5-6 hours.                         climb beyond many villages to reach
                                                       our campsite. The peaks are right there.

13th Oct      Day 4 starts with an early morning       The 2 km walk to the glacier is through
              walk to the glacier and back.            small glacial streams and rhododendron
              3500M. 2+ 2km. ~ 3hours. We then         bushes. We get to touch the mighty
              start the return trip to Nagling. ~ 4    glacier.

14th Oct      Day 5- Early morning walk to the         An early start for the long and most
              Nagling bugyals and back. 3400M.         rewarding day of the trip. The 4 bugyals
              4 +4km. ~4 hours. Back to Urthing.       of Nagling are enchanting beyond
              ~4 hours.                                words.

15th Oct      Walk back to Dharchula. 2- 3 hours.      Binsar is just the right place to break
              Lunch and drive to Binsar. 4 hours.      our journey.

Sunday,       A day of leisure at Binsar. Drive back   You have the option of going for the        Book your return train
16th Oct      to Kathgodam to catch the                morning jungle walk and afternoon           tickets to Delhi and
              overnight train to Delhi. ~2-3 hours     rappelling and rock climbing.               beyond.
Cost for the trip: The cost components of the trip are:

   Stay and food               We will stay in guesthouses and homestays. Food will be local – fresh and simple.
                               Mineral water, cold drinks, etc not included. Food in transit not included.
   Trek                        All trekking equipment like tents, sleeping bags, mats, dining tents, etc. Guides,
                               porters and cooks. All meals.
   Transportation              We will use Qualis/ Innova ex-Kathgodam.

The cost of the trip = Rs 32000/- per person ex-Kathgodam including all taxes.
Cost includes: Everything mentioned above except train/air tickets.

Note: The group size will be limited to 12. Bookings are done on first come first serve basis and hence no deadlines.
Confirm your place by making the full payment in advance. Read our cancellation policy and fill the release document.

Payment options:
1. Cheque/ DD:                                                       2. Online transfer/ Deposit to:
For ‘Connect with Himalaya’.                                         Account name: Connect with Himalaya
403, Ram Krishna chambers                                            Bank: Axis bank
Linking Road, Khar west                                              Branch: Springfield- Lokhandwala, Mumbai
Above Reebok showroom                                                Current A/C #: 415010200003681
Mumbai -400052                                                       IFSC: UTIB0000415,      SWIFT: AXISINBB002

What to get along?
October is amongst the best season to trek in the Kumaon Himalaya. Days are crisp and clear and nights are cold. Temp
ranges from 7 to 25 degrees. Never count out the occasional Himalayan shower though. We will be prepared accordingly:
Woolen sweater, cap, socks and gloves, a light rain jacket and good walking shoes are the essentials. Layering is the key.
Detailed checklist on signing up.

Making a contribution:
There is always a way of giving back to the place and people where we go for our holidays. We are organizing this trek
with a group of guides and porters of this area. This is their only source of employment apart from the once a year crop
cycle. You can also support local handicraft weavers by buying your woolens from them directly. We will also stay in
homestays, which is by far the best of sustainable tourism initiatives.

Get connected:
                                                                         GIFT THIS TRIP
Gaurav Punj
                                                                         You can chose from gift vouchers
+91 9833829240                                                           starting from Rs 5000.
www.connectwithhimalaya.com                                              Write to us with the name of the
Pics from our earlier trip, here                                         receiver and the denomination of
Trip report of our 2008 trek, here                                       the voucher.

©Connect with Himalaya, 2008-2011

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