Trekking Expeditions from Chamba

Trekking Expeditions from Chamba

If you have gone through our page on geography of Chamba you would know that the district is touched by three mountain ranges; i.e. Pir Panjal, Dhauladha and Zanskar Mountain Range.  They divide the region into innumerable valleys watered by many small or big rivers. Consequently, the district provides numerous trekking trails. These take you through a land of great adventure and unspoiled beauty.  Some of them are quite easy and require little experience while some are really tough and require not only great stamina, but also sufficient expertise.

Trek to Lama Dal from Chamba

This is one of the easier trekking routes from Chamba. One should be able to complete in five days.  Like most other treks, the route is approachable through Bharmour, a heritage town located at a distance of 59.4 km from Chamba. However, the actual trek starts from Barie, a small village, located 50 km away from Bharmour.  For more details you may go through out page on Trek to Lama Dal from Chamba.


Baleni Pass Trek from Chamba

Baleni Pass Trek from Chamba

Baleni Pass, also known as Minkiani Pass, provides another easy trekking trail from Chamba. Initially it follows the same route as Lama Dal trek; but it crosses Baleni Pass to enter Kangra District and end at Macleodgunj. The itinerary can be as follows:

First Four Days of Baleni Pass Trek

Day 1: You reach Bharmour from Chamba and spend a day visiting its heritage temples. It will not only allow you to acclimatize, but if there is any last minute’s preparation to be done, you will get all kinds of help here.  The town not only houses a number of trekking agencies, but there is also a branch of Atal Behari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports located here. If you need any help you may call at 01895-225036.

Day 2: You reach Barie by jeep and spend the night there. 

Day 3: You start trekking from Barie and reach Drankund by afternoon. It involves an eight kilometers of gradual ascend through a thick forest. You spend the night here.

Day 4: Today’s destination is Baleni Pass Base Camp. The trek will take you through a 12 km of steep climb through Deodar and Pine Forest. Under normal circumstances, it takes around 5/6 hours to cross this distance. Therefore, it is important to start early.

Across Baleni Pass on Day 5

Baleni Pass Trek from Chamba

Day 5: Today’s trek should take you over Baleni Pass to Minikiani Goth. It is a 10 km trek over ice and snow. Consequently, it is wiser to abandon the idea if the weather suddenly turns bad. Contrarily, if it holds good you should start as early as 5 AM and try to cross the pass in the first half of the day. That is because from midday onwards, the weather may turn bad and heavy snow fall or even snow wind may make your progress risky.

On the way to the Baleni Pass you will see the Lama Dal. It is customary to take a dip in this holy lake before proceeding further. You may or may not follow the tradition; but the beauty of the lake is sure to mesmerize you. 

To Macleodgunj from Baleni Pass

Kareri Lake from Baleni Pass

Day 6:  Today’s trek takes you from Minikiani Goth to Kareri Lake. It is comparatively an easy trek and involves a 10 km downhill trail frequented by Gujjars.

Day 7: Today’s trek takes you to Kareri Village, located at a distance of 10 km from the lake. This is the first hamlet you encounter after leaving Berie.

Day 8: Today you cross the last lap of your expedition and reach Macleodgunj after a 10 km trek. On the way you pass through Ghera, Satabari and Dal Lake. You may spend the night here or see the many tourist spots located in and around the town. Otherwise, you may go straight to Chamba or to Pathankot; the nearest railhead.

Jalsu Pass Trek from Chamba

Jalsu Pass Trek from Chamba

However, if we are talking about the easiest trekking route from Chamba we should mention Jalsu Pass. It is located at the eastern part of Dhauladhar Range and does not require any trekking experience. This trail is not only used by shepherds on regular basis, but many residing in Holy Valley also use it to cross over to Kangra. Moreover, unlike most passes that connect Chamba and Kangra, it is not at all barren.  The coniferous forest that slowly gives way to rhododendron bushes makes the journey a pleasant one. Slowly you come across rolling grassland with tiny yellow grass flowers in bloom. Therefore, a trek across Jalsu not only offers adventure, but it also enables you to meet people, understand their culture and appreciate nature at its best.

The actual trek starts from Deyol. The place is 57 km away from Bharmour and is reachable by taxi. It is better to spend the night there and start your trek from the next day.

Start of the trek to Jalsu Pass

nearing Jalsu Pass

Day 1: The first day’s trek involves a 10 km march to a small village called Surie. After 7 km of trek you reach Lakewali Mata temple; from there, the road goes down for about 500 meters. You will then cross a nallah with the help of a suspension bridge and reach Surie, which is around 3 km from there.

Day 2: Today’s trek takes you from Surie to Yara Goth; a run of 12 km amidst deodar forests and rhododendron bushes.  These are intercepted by rolling grass land. If you are lucky you may come across serrows and musk deer grazing there.  

Day 3: Today you cross Jalsu pass to reach Parie, a small village in Kangra district. It has a Primary School. The residents operate seasonal tea stalls for the benefit of the trekkers. The trail is 13 km long and a very pleasant one.

Day 4: Today’s trek involves 16 km march from Parie village to Utrala. The trail is easy and you will enjoy every minute of it. Utrala is the road head, from where you will get public transport to reach your destination. However, most trekkers stay on to visit Baijnath and Dharamshala before they go back to where they belong. 

Indrahar Pass Trek from Chamba

Indrahar Pass Trek from Chamba

This trek is little more difficult trek than the others and needs a little expertise as well as a professional guidance. Here too you reach Bharmour on the first day and spend it on acclimatization. The next day you reach Lamu via Holi by taxi. The actual trek starts from there.

Day 1: Today’s destination is Kurasi. From Lamu it involves 12 km of pleasant trek. The first part of the trail takes you through a small village called Hilling to a suspension bridge known as Hikim. From there you trek for six more kilometers through dense wood to reach Kurasi.

Day 2:  Alyas is our next destination.  It is the base camp for Indrahar Pass and involves 8 km of both gradual and steep trek. It generally takes around five hours to cross this distance.


Across Indrahar Pass from Chamba

Across Indrahar Pass

Day 3: Today the trail takes you across the Indrahar Pass to Alyas Cave on the other side of the pass. It is difficult trek and should be undertaken only if the weather is good and the trekker is physically fit. Moreover, the pass needs to be crossed early in the morning when the ice is still firm.

Starting early, you trek for 3 km to reach Nag Dal, one of the seven holy lakes of this region. It involves a steep climb and therefore trekkers are advised to take a short rest here. It is also customary to take a dip in this lake before proceeding towards Indrahar Pass, which is merely 2 km away.

However, the trail between Nag Dal and Indrahar Pass is strewn with boulders and therefore very difficult to cross. The scenery from top of the pass is simply awesome. From here you can see the Pir Panjal Range in the north and Mani Mahesh Kailash in the east. You may finish your lunch while you are enjoying the view. Once you are done, you move towards Alyas Cave, also known as Lahesh Caves.

Day 4 and 5 of Indrahar Pass Trek

Triund from Indrahar Pass

Day 4: Triund, located at a distance of 9 km from Alyas Caves, is our next destination. The trail takes you through a dense forests intercepted by open meadows. However, one may take as long as 4/5 hours to cross this lap.

Day 5: Macleodgunj is located at a distance of 10 km from Triuind and one takes around 4 hours to reach the city. From there, you will get all sorts of public transport that will take you to your desired destination.

Gaj Pass Trek from Chamba

Gaj Pass Trek from Chamba

The Gaj Pass is also known as Bhim Gasturi Pass. The trek to this pass more or less follows the same trail as Indrahar Pass trek. In this trek you first reach Alyas base camp. However, to do that you may also take up a different route. For instance, instead of going through Kurasi you may go through Bhramour, Chhatrari and Samara. In this case the actual trek will start from Samara and the 12 km trail will take you through a beautiful region. Badua Nag Temple is an important stopover in this route.

Now, from Alyas Base Camp you will reach Alyas Caves; but this time you will do so over Gaj Pass. Here too, it is important to start early while the snow over the pass is still frozen.  The trail will first take you to Kali Kund, one of the seven holy lakes of this area.  From there, climb through the ridge to reach Lama Dal. There are three more holy lakes on the way area. If you want to visit them as well you must start quite early. After you have visited them cross Gaj Pass to reach Alyas Caves. From there, reach Macleodgunj via Triund.

More Trekking Routes from Chamba

Thamsar Pass rom Chamba

There are few more trekking routes that you may also consider from Chamba. For example, there is the Bara Bhangal Trek, which ends at a village called Bara Bhangal in Kangra district. It is the remotest village in Himachal Pradesh and the River Ravi originates from Bara Bhangal glacier located nearby. Initially the route lies via Bharmour - Holi - Lakewali Mata - Surie (please refer to Jalsu Pass Trek). From there, you go via Dharadi and Lake Camp to Bara Bhangal. It is a tough trek and should be undertaken by experienced trekkers only.

The Hanghar Pass Trek is another trekking route that goes through Holi. It takes you across the Hanghar Pass to Kandi in Kangra. Kiur Dal is an important stopover in this route. This trek also requires considerable experience. 

Then there is the Thamsar Pass Trek. It is another tough trekking route from Chamba.  It is approachable through Alyas (please refer Indrahar PassTrek). Kugti Pass trek is also approachable from this place. However, many also prefer to reach Alyas via Kugti village rather than via Kurasi. In fact, the mountain trails in Chamba offer different alternative and exploring them all may take your lifetime.

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