A Photo Story of Pin Bhaba Pass - Tread through one of India’s most dr...

A Photo Story of Pin Bhaba Pass - Tread through one of India’s most dramatic landscape changes 

Category Photo Story

By Deeksha Vinod


There’s a reason we say Pin Bhaba Pass is a trek like no other. “No other trek has been able to match such dramatic changes in scenery,” says Arjun Majumdar, our founder. That is a very bold statement to make, knowing that there are so many treks with such rewarding views in our country. 

But this trek has left a lasting impression on almost every trekker that has tread through its landscape. 

This difficult, but highly rewarding trek has one of the most dramatic crossovers that you can imagine. The landscape is remarkably diverse, transitioning from dense forests to meadows reminiscent of Kashmir's, and culminating in the barren yet colourful valley of Spiti. 

Originally a remote route used by shepherds to travel from Spiti to Kullu, it has now become one of the greatest trekking routes to be discovered in India.  

In the words of one of our trek leaders Diptarka Gupta, “The trek gives you the essence of both Kashmir and Ladakh without actually going to either of them.”  

We believe that this trek will provide terrains and views like no other and leave you awestruck every step along the way. Here is a photo story, highlighting the grandeur of the Pin Bhaba Pass trek. 

Step into the heart of the dense forest of Bhaba Valley

We have always wondered why the jungles of Bhaba valley were said to be so different from other forests. But our trek leaders and founders were in extreme praise of what it has to offer. The first day of the trek takes you through some of the greenest and densest Coniferous forests you will come across, with apple, oak, pine, maple and silver birch trees carpeting the entire landscape. 

When I spoke to Nitesh Kumar, a trek leader at Indiahikes, he was spellbound by the intensity of the jungle and said, “usually you can see the jungle ahead of you for a couple of kilometres at least, but here it was so thick that you could barely see even 100 metres. That’s how dense and full of life this jungle was.” 

Another element which adds to the splendour of this valley, is the powerful Bhaba river making its way through the forest across the Bhaba Valley. No wonder our founder Arjun Majumdar said that “it was the best day one of a trek that I have done.”

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Photo by Megh Naik

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Photo by Sayandeep

Witness views right out of a story book at Mulling Campsite

The Mulling campsite is a picturesque campsite right of a story book. Right by the river bank surrounded by the mountains of the Kinnaur region, with the tree line just beginning to recede, it provides the perfect backdrop to pitch a tent. It’s as if the scenic drawings you created as a child have come to life.

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Photo by Abhijit Giri

Experience Kashmir like meadows in Himachal

The mesmerization doesn't just stop with the forests, in fact it is just the beginning of something even more dramatic that is yet to come. Remember how earlier we boasted about walking and camping in Kashmir like meadows? Well, here are some of the most breathtaking lush meadows of the Bhaba Valley with endless trails marking the landscape. 

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Photo by Anurag

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With over 10 river crossings across the valley, be prepared to dip your feet in cold, glacial water! Photo by Sayandeep

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Photo by Sayandeep

Imagine Camping at a river delta at 13000 ft!

The Phustirang campsite is one of a kind. It is not often that you have the chance to camp by a river delta, but on this trek at Phustirang, that is a possibility.

The fact that you will be spending a whole day here to acclimatise is an additional bonus to explore the delta and flora of the Bhaba valley.

Speaking of flora, during the month of August, the valley is lit with beds of beautiful wildflowers such as the Yellow Marsh Marigold, Purple Lilies and the Himalayan Bistort.

The campsite also serves as a vantage point from where you can get a glimpse of three beautiful mountain passes: Nimish Khango (16,185 feet), Tari Khango (17,318 feet) and Pin Bhaba Pass a.k.a Wang Khango (16,105 feet).

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Photo by Avik Gosh

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Photo by Anurag

A thrilling and adventurous climb to the pass, where you will be at loss for words

The day you cross the pass is one of the most exciting days on this trek. You start the day at 3am, with a mammoth of an ascent to the pass ahead of you. Navigating through these steep slopes before the sun comes out is a thrill in itself.

At a certain point if you turn around and look down the slopes, you can see the Phustirang campsite as a tiny little speck in the distance. A small reminder of how far you have come.

As you keep gaining altitude, you enter the pass that connects the Pin Valley and the Bhaba valley. “Standing there at 16500 ft and then seeing on either side of the pass, is the most dramatic thing you will ever see,” says Arjun Sir. On one side you have the Bhaba mountains with its lush green grasslands and on the other side, the dry, barren, warm shades of the Spiti valley.

For Nitesh Kumar, one of our veteran trek leaders, the drastic crossover in the landscape resembled and described the drastic transformative shift in his life. Hence, standing at the pass and witnessing that crossover in front of him was truly a special moment for him. He said that, just as the landscape showed the two extremes of nature, it also represented the two extreme sides of his mind.

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Photo by Megh Naik

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Photo by Sayandeep

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Photo by Sayandeep

Trekking through the barren, yet vibrant and colourful Pin Valley

After days of walking in lush greenery, to suddenly be devoid of it, is a drastic change. After crossing the pass you enter the Pin Valley, where shades of yellow, pink, purple and orange leave you confused. Why confused? Because you expect it to be just brown and deserted, similar to the landscape of Ladakh, but what you see on this trek are so many bright colours across the valley slopes. Each stone is tinged with a different colour and will leave you in awe. “I couldn't believe my eyes or imagine that I would see whole slopes filled with purple and pink rocks! It was really an amazing sight!” says Nitesh.

The Pin Valley is also a very important geological location. This region was once part of the Tethys Sea, therefore making these rock formations even older than the Himalayas! Now imagine, you get the chance to walk through these rock formations that are millions of years old!

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Photo by Jitendra Tanna

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Photo by Clair Le Manach

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Photo by Diptarka

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Photo by Jagadeesh DM

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Photo by Ashish Bhatt

You trek ends at the “peas-ful” and secluded village of Mudh

Mudh is a very remote village in the Spiti Valley and hence it takes you aback when you find such a thriving, green village in this region.

There is something very unique about Mudh village. A sudden green patch filled with life in a valley of barren brown lands. As Nitesh puts it, “ Punjab ka ek khet beech mei aa gaya!” The people of this village grow and harvest peas, hence throwing in shades of green to the landscape.

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Photo by Sangharsh Lohakare

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The Tibentian structured houses are perfectly in harmony with each other and become one with the landscape. Photo by Sayandeep

“Treks are thrilling, treks are adventurous, treks are beautiful, but this combination of high adventure with high beauty and variety, I think Pin Bhaba is the trek. That's why it is such a rare gem,” says Sandhya ma'am, our founder.

Pin Bhaba Pass is a must-do trek in India, offering some of the most breathtaking landscapes you'll ever witness. However, it demands a high level of fitness. Ensure you're well-prepared before going on this trek.

This brings us to the end of the Pin Bhaba photo story!

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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