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The Different Shades of Brahmatal Trek
Category Photo Story
By Latika Payak
Brahmatal trek offers a heady combination of landscape. While one day you are camping in the dense jungle, the other day you are on a windy ridge, sleeping under an open sky. You may have an idea if you have trekked to Brahmatal once.
But that’s not enough. The trek dramatically changes its appearance as the seasons go by.
In this photostory, we quickly take you through different shades of Brahmatal trek. The transformation from one campsite to another, from one lake to the next, and from season to season show why it’s not enough to do the Brahmatal trek just once.
Let’s start with the forests.
The dark, picturesque forests
The forests on the Brahmatal trek are dark and dense. Especially between Bekaltal and Tilandi. This section is filled with centuries-old Oaks and Rhododendrons that are covered in moss. This setting lends a mystical air to your trek.
The dark rhododendron and oak forest as you trek towards Tilandi. Picture by Jothiranjan.
Forests blooming with rhododendrons
The forests change their personality along with the seasons. In autumn, these forests are so dark, barely any sunlight passes through them. In spring, you see bright rhododendrons blooming on these trees. In the thick of it, the mountain sides are a riot of colours.
It is a lively experience to walk through a forest filled with coloures. In this photo you see trekkers walking through a forest blooming with rhododendrons. Picture by Adtiya
Forests draped in snow
Brahmatal trek starts receiving snowfall by mid-December. The snow cover gradually increases, and by February you see the entire trek snuggling in a thick blanket of snow.
Winter reveals a new side of the forest on Brahmatal trek. They transport you into magical lands. Look at the picture of winter in the forests of Brahmatal trek. Doesn’t it look like a landscape from Narnia? Photo by Divya Ramakrishnan.
Spectacular Sunrises and Sunsets
Brahmatal is also known for its sunsets and sunrises. Especially from the Tilandi campsite. Situated on a ridge, this windy campsite is a show-stopper on the trek. The sky dramatically changes colours as the sun sets and the next day when the sun rises.
In the photo you see trekkers enjoying an evening show of colours as the sun sets at Tilandi. Photo by Avijit Jamloki
Bekaltal – a Gloomy Lake
In the midst of a thick jungle, filled with oak trees is the lake of Bekaltal. Notice the brown waters of Bekaltal. This colour indicates the presence of high organic matter in the lake.
Typically, brown lakes are surrounded by forests or wetlands. Dense forests provide dark organic material that dissolves in lake water like a teabag. This dissolved organic material stains the water brown and shades the underwater world.
Overall, brown water lakes tend to be light-limited. The algae in these lakes survive through certain adaptations that allow them to adjust to low light levels. These lakes can also sometimes be acidic and contain few fish or other organisms.
Bekaltal, a muddy lake surrounded by green and brown oak. It has a dark and gloomy beauty to it. Photo By Shishir jain.
The Clear Brahmatal
It is uncanny how different two lakes — Bekaltal and Brahmatal — can look within the radius of a few kilometers. Vegetation, topography and altitude of the two lakes bring out these striking differences.
brahmatal lake in spring season. Picture by Shishir Jain
A spectacular ridge walk
If you’ve not read Sandhya’s blog on Do Brahmatal, For the Love of Roopkund, you must! In the blog, Sandhya talks in detail about the ridgeline of this trek. From the highpoints, you can see the entire Roopkund trail laid out in front of you like a GPX map.
In this photo, you clearly see the ridge from where you get a clear view of the mountains and the Roopkund trail. Notice the trekkers on the ridgeline, climbing to Brahmatal top. Photo by Deep Thakkar
Commanding View from the ridge
After the initial descent from the pass, the trail will ascend again through Alpine grass. Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti accompany you on the right. As the ascent ends, you reach a platform like an area from here you get a 180-degree view of the Himalayan range.
Right in front you see Mt. Nandaghunti (left) and Mt. Trishul (right) towering over the ridgeline as trekkers descend. Photo by Divya Ramakrishna
Camping in the jungle
The experience of camping in the jungle is unique. You hear a number of birds, like Himalayan Woodpecker, Asian barred owlet, blue-fronted redstart, solitary snipe. Perhaps even a barking dear. Hidden between oaks, this dark lake offers a secluded area to camp.
In this photo you see trekkers sitting by the lake, reflecting on their day. Photo by Sayantan
Camping On the Ridge
The very next day, you climb out of the jungle and camp on the ridge, at Tilandi. This is the windiest campsite on the trek. Usually, you camp here during winters, when camping at Brahmatal is not a possibility.
As Tilandi is situated on a ridge, you get spectacular views of sunset and sunrise over the grand Himalayan range.
Tilandi campsite on the ridge. Picture by Shriram Kondhawekar-
It is impossible to take in the various personalities of Brahmatal trek in one go. So here are three more photo stories that take you deep into the Brahmatal trek:
- How Brahmatal Trek In Autumn Mesmerized Our Trek Leaders After Lockdown – A Photostory
- The Story of the Brahmatal Trek and How My Journey Unfolded With It
- Brahmatal – Photo Story Of A Spectacular Himalayan Winter Trek
If you’ve been on the Brahmatal trek and these photos evoked a particular memory from the trek, share your story with us in the comments below. We would love to hear how you saw the Brahmatal trek 🙂
Stay safe, and happy trekking!
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