A Photo Story of Phulara Ridge - one of India’s most exciting ridge tr...

A Photo Story of Phulara Ridge - one of India’s most exciting ridge treks, filled with local lores

Category Photo Story

By Deeksha Vinod


There are very few ridge treks that we know of. Most treks have short ridge walks, but you rarely come across a trek where the main highlight is the ridge. That's why we love the Phulara Ridge trek.

We love this trek not only for its ridge walk, but also for the endless views of the Garhwal Himalayas. On your left, the Thamsa valley stretches from Sankri to Har Ki Dun, and on your right, meadows roll in several layers to Yamunotri.

When I went on this trek, the ridge walk completely blew my mind and stirred so many overwhelming emotions within me. It was truly a surreal feeling to be at eye-level with the mountains.

Rich in beauty and culture, the Phulara Ridge trek offers the most rewarding experience. Here are some of our favourite aspects of the trek that we would like to share with you through this photo story.

1. Your trek starts from Kotgaon, one of the most unusual villages you'll visit

The peaceful village of Kotgaon welcomes you after a long and exhausting journey from Dehradun. A small, simple, yet very warm town holds the most mesmerising views on clear sunny days.

Beware though, what looks this charming, can be equally harsh. Our team has named the village "Coldgaon" because of how cold it gets. The sun touches the village for barely a few hours a day, giving it this infamous name.

Kotgaon is situated in a place where the Garhwal ranges meet the Kinnauri region. Hence this village has a blend of traditions from Uttarakhand as well as Himachal, giving it a unique character.

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The Rangnala and Swargarohini peaks stand tall as the sun sets. The alpenglow can be seen on clear days, making it a picture perfect postcard. Photo by Jothiranjan

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When the evening winds set on the town of Kotgaon, all the children come out to play and have a gala time. You may come across locals playing cricket, offering you the chance to join in. When I was at Kotgaon, I enjoyed a fun game of cricket with the locals and we played till we could see the last light of day. Photo by Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

2. Visit the Someshwar Temple, an ancient temple with fascinating stories

This Someshwar temple is the heart of the village. The temple, which the Swargharohini massif overlooks, is a significant component of Kotgaon's culture and beliefs. It is also among the most photogenic temples you’ll see.

When you’re here, notice the architecture of the temple. It is made by alternating wood and stone, following what is called the “Kathkuni” style of architecture. Ask locals about their traditions and stories and they will happily share their stories with you.

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

3. Your first view of the Swargarohini Massif, a mountain you'll form a close bond with on this trek

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Photo by Jothiranjan

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As you start your trek from Kotgaon the road twists and turns, but welcomes you with a grand view of Swargarohini and Ranglana peaks with every step that you take. Photo by Jothiranjan

4. Exploring the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park 

When you step into the jungle, the fallen, dry leaves crunch beneath your shoes. The trail is a steady ascent as the scent of Himalayan cedar fills the air, leaving you quite literally breathless.

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

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You'll encounter towering oak trees so big that it takes a group of four to five people holding hands to fully hug them. Photo by Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

5. Juda Ka Talab, where stories come alive

Those who have trekked to Kedarkantha from Sankri have surely encountered Juda ka Talab, a serene lake tucked away amidst pine trees.

The local guides eagerly recount intriguing stories about the lake's origins, including one that attributes its creation to Shiva, who supposedly formed it by unravelling locks of his hair, and the drops that fell from it, formed the lake.

After briefly stopping here for a while, you will head towards Sikolta, the first campsite on the trek.

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

6. Wake up for a sunrise right out of a movie at Sikolta campsite

Just 500 metres from the campsite, the forest clears up to a lush green meadow with grand views of Swargharohini and Hata Peak. Waking up early in the morning and witnessing the sunrise from here is a must do. Most trekkers sleep in and miss this amazing sight, but not you. Now that you've heard about it, you can witness one of the most beautiful sunrises on this trek.

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

7. A Grand Welcome To The Meadows of Bhoj Gadi

As you trek towards Bhoj Gadi, the tree line is left behind and you enter the vast meadows sprawling across the mountains. Here you will have the first glimpses of patches of yellow marsh marigold and purple lilies blooming around.

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

The Bhoj Gadi Campsite boasts green meadows right by the tree line and sunset views that bring out the different colours of the sky. Here is what Arjun Sir had to say when he camped at Bhoj Gadi.

“We camped at a pretty meadow called Bhoj Gadi. In the evening with a golden light on our backs, a small stream flowing close by, colours of the sky changing to orange, we cooked our meal on the open ground. I couldn’t have asked for a better setting to camp.”

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

8. Feel On Top Of The World As You Walk Along The Ridge!

Walking on the Phulara Ridge is a surreal experience, especially when you are trekking for almost 4-5 hrs on the ridge! It feels like you are walking on a tightrope. On one side, there's a steep drop into a valley, while on the other, there are these endless green meadows dotted with colourful flowers. 

Walking on the ridge at 12,000ft with the views of Kedarkantha in the backdrop, along with the peaks of Hanuman Top, Sarutal Top, DKD, Bandarpoonch, Kalanag, Swargarohini, Hata Peak, Ranglana, Devkyara valley, Lekha Top and Vijay Top, all standing tall around you, almost makes it feel like the mountains are walking with you. As Arjun sir describes it, “walking on the ridge is almost like a stairway to heaven.” 

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Photo by Harsh Kumar Patel

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Photo by Harsh Kumar Patel

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

9. An Evening Full Of Views And Ghost Stories At Pushtara Campsite

As you walk down from the ridge to the meadows, you'll spot patches of wildflowers, urging you to pause and click a couple of pictures.

As you continue to descend, you'll reach Pushtara. For many of us at Indiahikes, the Pushtara meadows are in the top highlights of this trek. "The first site of the Pushtara meadows reminded me of Bedni Bugyal on the Roopkund trek. The meadow was curved with folds of green carpet and wildflowers spread out as far as your eyes could see. It was beautiful!" says Suhas Saya, who explored this trek.

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As you descend from the pass you will find patches of snow, making it a little tricky, but adventures. Photo by Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

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Photo by: Jothiranjan

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The last few kilometres present views on par with the mountains before descending towards Taluka. Photo by: Jothiranjan

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As you descend through the forest, small clearings with meadows emerge intermittently, reminding you of the Pushtara Meadows. Photo by Jothiranjan

You get almost everything on this trek! A perfectly stitched combination of meadows, forest trails, narrow ridges and breathtaking views from all sides throughout the trail. 

We really believe that the Phulara Ridge trek will craft lasting memories and leave you with stories that you'll cherish forever.

This brings us to the end of this photo story of Phulara Ridge!  I hope you got a glimpse of what it would be like to go on this trek. 

Learn more about this trek

Deeksha Vinod

Content Marketing Intern

About the author

Deeksha is a content marketing intern at Indiahikes. She has been on quite a few high altitude treks with Indiahikes before joining as an intern. 

She is currently studying in Pune and is doing a BBA degree in Communications. 

Born and brought up in a family of trekking enthusiasts and adventure lovers, she has always loved exploring the outdoors. She has been trekking since the age of three and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. She has done many treks in the Western Ghats as well as a few treks in the Himalayas. 

Trekking has had a very positive impact on her mind and body and has  become an integral part of her life. Her love for nature and trekking has shaped her for who she is and has helped her become a grounded, well rounded person. She resonates with Indiahikes’ vision of “everyone must trek”, because she has seen a positive transformative shift it has brought to many of her loved ones. 

Apart from trekking, she loves to play sports, travel, garden and sing. 

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