I’m very happy as I write to you today. I want to talk about the new Chirbatiya Weekend trek that we are launching in Uttarakhand. It has excited us to our bones!
We have been hunting for a weekend trek in Uttarakhand for long — trek that would match our Nag Tibba or our Deoban trek.
Frankly, we have done quite a few explorations. We opened them up for trekking as well. For example, the Benog Tibba trek near Mussoorie or Thakoor top near Nainital. But none of them sat very well with us. Something or the other was not ok with them. We eventually stopped taking people on these treks.
But sometimes, you stumble on a trek quite by accident. Then with trepidation you walk on it, hoping against hope that the trek will match up to its predecessors. You do the trek once. You think it is great. But perhaps it was an initial excitement. Then you do the trek again. You want to see if the trek wallops you as hard as it did the first time. And then it does. You cannot contain your excitement! You’ve hit a goldmine!
This is what happened to us on the Chirbatiya Weekend Trek.
It was a sheer coincidence that the Uttarakhand Forest Department invited us to explore the Chirbatiya region.
If the name is new to you, Chirbatiya is a range of hills north of Rudraprayag. It is tucked away in a corner where very few venture. Tourists have not seen this place. It is in the heart of this region that we are going to be trekking and camping.
We have opened up our inaugural trek on March 12th, and I’m sending out this first invite for you to join us!
Explore the Chirbatiya Weekend Trek
What struck us the most on the exploration
Given that we have been looking for a weekend trek for a long time, it was with a great sense of anticipation that we went into this exploration of Chirbatiya. Our Senior Trek Leader, Dushyant Sharma, led the exploration.
Within a few hours into the trek, he gave us a call from the trail, stunned at the views he was staring at! “I can see the Chaukhamba massif — every ridge and shadow on it! I can see Mandani Parbat, Janhukut… You won’t believe it, across the valley I can see Trishul, Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, Changabang, it’s a complete 270 degree view!” he exclaimed.
And sure enough, he sent us this picture even as he was walking.
A view of the Chaukhamba massif and Mandani Parbat at sunset from the Chirbatiya Trail. Picture by Dushyant Sharma
I must tell you, it usually takes us several days of trekking to be able to see such views. Not on a weekend trek. On this trek, in just a few hours of trekking we were seeing these views. The closest trek that comes to my mind with such great views is our Deoriatal-Chandrashila.
But it’s not just the mountain views that’s great on this trek. There is a lot more going for it.
What else we loved about the Chirbatiya Weekend trek
1. The sunrise from the Patangnia ridge
Just 20 minutes from our first camp is a ridge towards Patangnia Top. We climb up to this ridge to catch the sunrise on Day 3. Trekkers have always imagined catching great sunrises on a trek. Well, we believe this sunrise will stay with you for days to come. “The view overlooks the Ghansali valley — the sun rises behind the views of the misty hills in the valley. It is going to be magical!” says Dushyant.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t capture the sunrise on my exploration. But this picture here will give trekkers an idea of where they are going to be standing,” continues Dushyant.
Sunrise on the Chirbatiya Trail. Picture by Dushyant Sharma
2. The charming forests of Chirbatiya
The starting point of this trek is Chirbatiya. ‘Chir’ refers to pines and ‘batiya’ means a path. Literally translated, it means a path through the pine trees. And sure enough, you walk through some of the loveliest forest trails on this trek. There’s not only pine, but a good mix of oak and rhododendrons too. Hundreds of birds and the scent of the woods hang in the air.
The forest trails of Chirbatiya
3. Look out for the campsite on the Patangnia clearings
On this trek, we camp in the open clearings of Patangnia. This alone is reason enough to do this trek, because the grasslands here have some of the great views of the rolling hills around. You are literally camping at the top of a hill.
“Camping on these grassy openings, you don’t just see the loveliest sunset — and for the second time you get to witness a glorious sunrise across the valley as well!” says Dushyant.
Our trek leader, Dushyant Sharma, who led the exploration to Chirbatiya is an experienced pro. He has seen treks across the country and abroad. He has led over a hundred groups at Indiahikes. He knows a great trek when he sees one. I asked him if this trek was better than the Nag Tibba, the perennial crowd favourite, and one that Dushyant personally likes. He had only one word to say: “Anyday!”
I am not going to say anything further.
We have opened a special group for this trek for the weekend of March 12-14. Just make sure you are on this trek!
There is an added bonus for those trekking on the weekend of March 12-14
I had mentioned earlier that we explored this trail on the behest of the Forest Department. Well, there is more. The forest department is conducting an elaborate nature festival to promote eco-tourism at the beautiful Chirbatiya. Go see this!
“It’s heartening to see that the Uttarakhand government is taking big steps to open up trekking to more and more people,” says Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes.
In fact, I am so glad to see even the top most officials of Uttarakhand talking about this trek! Here’s a Tweet by the DFO of Rudraprayag, Mr Vaibhav Kumar about the trek.
As part of our endeavour to promote #ecotourism in the region, #Rudraprayag Forest Division in association with @Indiahikes is proud to present #Chirbatiya Weekend Trek ! Check the link for details !! @UTDBofficial @Koko__Rose @suparna_r @shivaniazadTOI https://t.co/ll0Ug5dlGj
— Vaibhav Singh,IFS (@VaibhavSinghIFS) February 15, 2021
I’m afraid the first few registrations of the trek have already been done even before I could send out this mail to you. Unfortunately, we could squeeze only one group in March to open the trek. We are just too busy with the rest of our other treks.
So I hope you sign up quickly. We’re running the inaugural trek on March 12th. It is an extended weekend trek. That means it starts on a Friday and you return on Sunday. Which means you leave Delhi on Thursday night.
It’s a 3 day trek with the following itinerary:
Friday: Start at 6.30 and drive from Dehradun to Chirbatiya. Stay at Chirbatiya forest rest house / home stay for the night
Saturday: Trek from Chirbatiya to Patangnia Meadows and camp at the meadows
Sunday: Trek from Patangnia Meadows to Khalawa Tok and back to Chirbatiya. Drive to Dehradun. You will reach Dehradun between 7-8 pm.
If you wish to participate in the first day of the Nature Festival (12,13,14) and experience the culture of the mountain villages, then come in a day earlier.
Here’s the link to all the trek details again. Just click on the button below.
Explore the Chirbatiya Weekend Trek
If you have any questions, drop in a comment on the same page. We’ll help you out.