Why you should earmark Ranthan Kharak for 2023

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Why you should earmark Ranthan Kharak for 2023

Category Thursday Trek Talk

By Swathi Chatrapathy

We have officially opened our newest trek in Kumaon, Uttarakhand -- the Ranthan Kharak trek. 

Last year, we took two pilot groups on this trek to see how trekkers would react to such an unusual trek.

Why unusual? 

(1) For one, it is in an unusual region — in the heart of Kumaon. Kumaon is one of the less explored regions of Uttarakhand.

"We have wanted to explore Kumaon for several years. We know the mountains here are as beautiful as the Garhwal Himalayas, yet they are untouched. The Ranthan Kharak trek completely lives up to what we have heard. It is as good as our treks like the Kuari Pass, Kedarkantha, or Brahmatal. In fact, in many aspects, I feel it is better and gives trekkers an experience that they will remember for a long time," says Arjun Majumdar, founder and CEO of Indiahikes.

2) The second reason is that the "kharaks" (clearings) in the forests are the grandest that we have seen on treks, even grander than the ones on our other treks.

There’s a reason for this.

“Most treks have clearings in forests — Kedarkantha, Gidara Bugyal... Yet, they are fairly small," shares Suhas Saya, head of the exploration and documentation team at Indiahikes. "On this trek, however, there are multiple clearings the size of 2-3 football fields. They catch you by surprise, appearing suddenly in the middle of a forest," says Suhas. We even get to camp in the middle of these lovely clearings.

But it’s not just the clearings. The trek has an excellent climb to a high point — Ranthan Top — which is as good a summit climb as Kedarkantha. It has an extensive ridge walk, like the Phulara Ridge. Suhas Saya, who also explored Phulara Ridge, says the Ranthan Kharak ridge walk has grander mountain views. On one side, you see the summits of Mt. Trishul, Mt. Mrigtoli, Mt. Nanda Devi, Mt. Nanda Devi East, Mt. Nanda Kot, and the Dangthal. And on the other, you have the five summits of the Panchachuli range and other summits of the Kumaon mountains.

Trekkers will also love that the trek's entire lower stretch is heavily wooded with oak, pine, and maple trees, highly reminiscent of our treks in Nepal. Kumaon is known for its thick canopy of forests — something most trekkers are unaware of. 

I urge you to watch this 6-minute video about the trek. The video gives a good visual idea of what the trek feels like.

Click on the image to view the Video

Why earmark this trek for 2023? 

Sometimes it is a privilege to be the first trekker on a new trek. It allows you to tell stories to which only the first few groups are entitled. These are stories of the discovery of new facets of a trek — like a new section of a trail or a newly discovered campsite, and of meeting new cultures that have not been exposed to trekking yet or even of helping mark the trail better.  

We have opened only two groups for the year in April 2023. We had to shift many of our trek leaders' schedules to accommodate this exciting new trek. Do take full advantage of this opportunity. 

If you have any questions, leave a comment on the trek page. Our team will immediately help you out.

Swathi Chatrapathy

Chief Editor

About the author

Swathi Chatrapathy heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many, Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers.

A TEDx speaker and a frequent guest at other events, Swathi is a much sought after resource for her expertise in digital content.

Before joining Indiahikes, Swathi worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters's in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to bring about a profound impact on a person's mind, body and spirit.