The Different Shades of Brahmatal Trek

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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!

Latika Payak

Senior Content Writer

About the author

Latika is a Senior Content Writer and one of the rare team members who has seen Indiahikes from its initial days. She was among the first few to begin creating content at Indiahikes, documenting treks around Maharasthra, interviewing trekkers and writing their stories.

Latika started trekking after joining Indiahikes and has trekked to Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Kedarkantha, Dayara Bugyal, Tarsar Marsar, and Har Ki Dun.

With a strong background in print media and have worked with several publications. Latika is always hunting for great stories hidden in the folds of the mountains. Horror stories from ancient routes and villages of the Himalayas are her favourite.

She is presently working on bringing out news from the remote trekking regions of our country.