19 Brahmatal Trek Photos: Why You Must Do Brahmatal Trek in Winter

19 Brahmatal Trek Photos: Why You Must Do Brahmatal Trek in Winter

Category Photo Story

By Latika Payak

2022-11-22

The Brahmatal Trek is one of the best winter treks in Uttarakhand and the only one that goes to an alpine lake. While most of the alpine lakes, like the ones in Kashmir, are inaccessible due to snow accumulation in the winter, the trek to Brahmatal allows you to not only reach an alpine lake but also camp near it.

Winter is the best time for Brahmatal trek. Snow blankets the trails, which snake through deep forest sections, climb to the ridge at Jhandi Top and finally settle on the frozen lakes. This is something that trekkers don’t see often on treks.  

This photo story will give you a glimpse:

Brahmatal Trek: Narnia-Like Oak and Rhododendron Forest

The forest on the Brahmatal or Bekaltal trek lays itself out in such a way that you can see a long distance between the trees. This is what makes the forest feel cosy. It does not overpower you with its presence, yet it is all-enveloping. When this forest gets covered in a layer of snow, you get to see what we see here:

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Trekking under rhododendron trees enroute Gujreni. Photo by Ramnarayan Iyer

Here’s what Dhaval Jajal, senior trek leader at Indiahikes and now filmmaker, says about one of his favourite sections on the Brahma Trek: “While many people talk about Gujreni, my favourite forest section begins after we descend from Jhandi top and start trekking to Khorurai.”

“As we are almost at the end of the trek, trekkers are more relaxed and open to taking in the delights of the forests. And that makes it an enticing walk through the rhododendron and oak forest,” says Dhaval.

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Entering the forest section as you descend from Jhandi Top. Photo by Abhishek M

Brahmatal Trek: Camping in Snow

Camping on snow is another big highlight of Brahmatal with Indiahikes. You start by camping at Gujreni in the oak and rhododendron forest. “I have done lots of treks and have loved lots of camps, but if you ask me about Brahmatal, then I think it has some of the better campsites,” says Sandhya UC, co-founder of Indiahikes.

Also read: 7 Expert Camping Tips for Winter Treks

This photo is from the Khorurai campsite. But this is very similar to what Gujreni looks like — a small-ish clearing surrounded by brown oak trees — makes for one of the prettiest campsites on the trek. Photo by Avijit Jamloki.

After Gujreni, it’s a short trek to the next campsite en route to the Brahmatal peak—Tilandi. 

“Tilandi is right on top of a ridge. It is one of the windiest campsites I have come across,” says Dhaval Jajal, our filmmaker. 

“On windy days, when the wind picks up speed, it just sweeps up snow from the ground. You have to hold on to your tents. It feels like you are on an expedition. It's a rare adventure to do this on a trek. But you get it here, and that makes Brahmatal special and thrilling,” he adds.

Tilandi campsite on snow. Notice the deep trails in snow around the campsite. The kitchen tent is almost buried! Photo by Dhaval Jajal.

From the Brahmatal summit at 12,250 feet, you descend to Brahmatal Lake before reaching the Brahmatal campsite. This is the last campsite of the trek.

This camp is around 500 m from the Brahamatal lake. You’re almost at the treeline here. Photo by Santhosh

Brahmatal peak views: Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti

The Brahmatal trek has rare mountain views. Mt. Trishul, which dominates the landscape, is no ordinary mountain. The west face of Mt. Trishul that we see is a sheer flank that rises above 7,000 metres. Not many know, but Mt. Trishul was the first 7,000-metre mountain to be climbed by mankind. Mt. Trishul, along with its sister Mt. Nanda Ghunti, tower over the Brahmatal. 

Such close-up views of a 7,000-metre summit are a huge reason to do the trek. 

Also read: Different Shades of Brahmatal

Brahmatal summit height is 12,250 ft (3,734 m). As soon as you climb above the treeline on Day 2, the big mountains are right there in front of you. They stay with you for the rest of the trek, drawing closer and closer.

Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti along with the Maiktoli ranges rise over the white landscape. Photo from Indiahikes Archive.

The mountain views that keep you going as you climb to Jhandi Top. Photo by Vishwas Krishnamurthy.

“Mt Trishul gets bigger as you move closer to Brahmatal. In real life it is 10x larger than in the photograph,” says Arjun. Photo by Divya Ramakrishnan.

Bonus: Mountain views in the golden hour

The winter season is the best time to visit Brahmatal Trek, as this season is known for extended golden hours. “It’s breathtaking to see Mt. Trishul light up in the evening during that time,” says Dhaval Jajal, Senior Trek Leader and Filmmaker at Indiahikes.  

You get to witness a brilliant alpenglow. “It’s because in winter the haze is minimal, almost non-existent. The clouds also settle low due to the cold. This is why mountain views are incredibly sharp, especially during the mornings and evenings,” Dhaval explains.

Rays of the setting sun directly fall on these big mountains during the golden hour. Photo by Ravi Ranjan Sr Trek Leader at Indiahikes

Thrilling Ridge Walk to Brahmatal Summit

The Brahmatal Trek altitude is approximately 12250 feet. The ridge walk of Brahmatal is a big highlight of the trek. It is a two-hour-long ridge trek with the grandest views of Trishul, Nanda Gunti, Mrigthuni, Maiktoli and the mountains of the Garhwal-Kumaon range.

Not many know this, but from the ridge, you can also trace most of the famed Roopkund Trek route!

The size of the trekkers in the picture give you an idea of the scale of the ridge. They are trekking to Jhandi Top. From there you walk on the ridge for almost two hours to reach Brahmatal top. Picture shot by Deep Thakkar in February 2020

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You climb from 10,495 ft to 12,250 ft on this day. Photo by Sachin Venkatesh

Climbing to the highest point on the Brahmatal Trek elevation on a white landscape in winter gives you an adrenaline rush. Photo by Jayashankar S

Brahmatal Trek Frozen Lakes

Frozen lakes are rare. On the Brahmatal trek, you have two frozen lakes within two days. Seeing the lakes, walking around them and if possible, on them, is a treat that trekkers rarely get.

A cold, half-frozen Bekaltal surrounded by oak trees. Photo by Jitendra Patil.

The scene changes dramatically when you are in thick winters, after mid-January. This is the Brahmatal trek's best time. Notice how everything has turned white and frozen!

Time stands still at a completely frozen Bekaltal. Photo by Krutanjali Deore.

You come to the Brahmatal Lake after descending from the Brahmatal top. Although the two frozen lakes have only a difference of 500 feet in altitude, the experience of being around them is starkly different.

Unlike Bekaltal, Brahmatal is not surrounded by trees. Notice how there’s just one, lonely oak tree on its bank. Also notice the size of the lake. It’s huge! Photo by Gajendra Kumar.

Brahmatal Trek best time to visit: In peak winter, when the temperatures are freezing, the entire Brahmatal Lake freezes. It’s a rare experience to be by its side at that time. Photo by Devang Thapliyal.

Best Time for Brahmatal Trek: Sunsets and Stargazing

The Brahmatal Trek is also known for its beautiful sunsets and stargazing experiences. And the Tilandi campsite is the hotspot for them. It’s so because this campsite sits outside the treeline, at a high point on the ridge.

Also read: How Star Gazing Led Me To Take Up A Career As A Trek Leader

“The big mountains are at your eye level or higher towards the east. In the west, you have the valley and smaller mountains rising in silhouette. So when the sun sets towards the valley, the rays of the setting sun fall directly on the big mountains,” explains Venkat Ganesh, Senior Trainer at Indiahikes, who loves all these Brahmatal trek details.

The setting sun illuminates the folds of Mt. Nanda Ghunti. Photo by Guhanesan Sivalingam

But it’s not just the big mountains that change colour. The entire campsite, covered in snow, also changes colours along with the sunset.

Given its location, Tilandi is also a great campsite for stargazing, which is why Brahmatal is always a go-to trek for our special stargazing treks

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The entire snow-covered landscape reflects the colours of the setting sun. Photo by Megh Naik.

Given its location, Tilandi is also a great campsite for stargazing.

A stunning Milky Way above the Tilandi campsite. Photo by Pratik Mankawde.

Checkout the Brahmatal Trek here

Checkout the Brahmatal trek cost and other details here. 

Visit our upcoming treks page and book your Brahmatal trek package now to witness the trek’s magical transformation during the winter. 

Do you have any special memories of the Brahmatal trek? Share your story with us in the comments below.

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.