View Pin Bhaba Pass trek
You have pass-crossings in the Himalayas, and then you have the Pin Bhaba Pass. On one side, there’s the Pin Valley, in various shades of pink, set amidst the stark and deserted mountains of Spiti. On the other is the vibrant, lush green Bhaba Valley. Suddenly, at 16,200 ft, you realise how remarkably a landscape can shift.
This incredible transition on such a dramatic scale is what makes the Pin Bhaba Pass trek so unique.
“The scene shifts every day. Each day is a complete trek in itself, with a beginning, middle, and end. For me, doing the Pin Bhaba Pass Trek is like a medley of six treks, each with its own unique flavour,” says Arjun Majumdar, founder-CEO of Indiahikes.
Here are some photos that give you a glimpse of the grand trek.
We’ll start with a section that trekkers rarely anticipate.
The enchanting forest of Mulling
You start your trek by entering a dense coniferous forest. It’s filled with pine, silver birch, and oaks. The forest is alive and thriving, with birds chirping as you ascend deeper into it. And the Bhaba River with its many branches flowing right through it.
The dense Mulling forest is filled with mixed coniferous trees. Photo by Sayandeep
In the forest, there are sections where the trail is just beside the gurgling Bhaba, almost a flat bed. Photo by Sandhya UC
Barely out of the forest, you camp in this setting at Mulling.
The Kashmir-like meadows
The meadows on the Pin Bhaba Pass trek leave you dumbfounded. They’re endless! And for two days, you trek through these lush green meadows draping the Bhaba valley. Their expanse instantly reminds you of scenes from Kashmir.
In these meadows, you find a lake reflecting the rugged mountains. And if that wasn’t enough, you also get the rare experience of camping on the river delta of Phutsirang.
This setting brings back memories of the Kashmir Valley. Deep valleys carpeted in green meadows. Photo by Anurag.
In patches, you also spot vibrant bistorts swaying in the mountain air.Photo by Anurag
This lake is within 200 metres of the Karah campsite, silently reflecting the tall, rugged mountains around it.
And here’s the river delta of Phutsirang. It is a rare experience to camp in such a setting. Early in the season, you’ll notice ice cold water trickling down from the mountains, running into numerous streams in the valley.
The Incredible Pass Crossing
Pin Bhaba Pass trek has extraordinary elements leading to the most exciting part of the trek — the pass crossing. At 16,200 feet, you’re at one of our highest pass crossings. The air is rarified here. Standing on it is the most exhilarating experience on this trek.
The pass, at 16,200 ft. Here, you stand at the threshold of a dramatic landscape change.
The higher hillsides, where some rare wild bushes grow, are bright orange. The white snow summits above them make for quite a contrast. Photo by Dr Jitendra Tanna
In front of you are barren mountains. They’re tinged pink! It’s in stark contrast to the lush green Bhaba valley you left behind just moments ago.
The dramatic change starts sinking in as you descend into the Pin Valley.
In the end, there’s the ancient village of Mudh
Stepping into Mudh hurls you hundreds of years back in time. “Stone tablets with inscriptions for the dead lie everywhere. When I finally walked into Mudh, with its white chortens surrounding the village, it felt like I had stepped into an ancient civilization,” says Arjun.
In the middle of a mountain desert, Mudh exudes stunning harmony. Every house, similar in design and colour, faces the same direction.
In the monsoon, Mudh looks like an oasis in the middle of a stark mountain desert. This Buddhist village displays an uncanny discipline in architecture. Be it the houses or the farms, none of it spills over the demarcated boundary. Photo by Deepak
Know more about Pin Bhaba Pass trek
Mudh offers a perfect climax to the dramatic Pin Bhaba trek, and even to this photo story, 🙂
You’ve seen how, over a span of seven days, this trek offers powerful transitions. It’s rare to find transitions of such grand scale on a single Himalayan trek.
You can read more about the Pin Bhaba Pass trek here. And if you need any advice about the trek, drop in a comment.