Difficulty

Easy-Moderate | Level 2

Duration

6 Days

Highest Altitude

12,250 ft

Age

8 to 58 years

Duration

6 Days

Age

8 to 58 years

Difficulty

Easy-Moderate | Level 2

Highest Altitude

12,250 ft

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Brahmatal Trek

The Only Trek In Winter That Goes To An Alpine Lake

One of the top moments of a Himalayan trek is when you trek to an alpine lake. Unfortunately, in winter, most alpine lakes on our treks are out of bounds and its the most beautiful trek.

Yet, on the winter Brahmatal trek, you not only trek to an alpine lake but also camp near it. Getting an opportunity to trek to such a lake in winter is what makes the Brahmatal trek special. 

When you stand beside the frozen lake at Brahmatal, you are already at around 12,000 feet. The setting is magnificent. The lake is in a crater, the waters crystal clear, a shrine sits beside the lake, and a lone tree stands on the far bank. And just beyond the rim of the lake, you are looking at two of the most beautiful mountains in our country — Mt Trishul and Mt Nandaghunti. 

If the snow is not too much, we will camp just beyond the lake. The experience of camping in such a setting is in itself an experience. 

While all the attention is on Brahmatal, let’s not forget Bekaltal, another lake trekker, fell in love with. Lower down, surrounded by thick forests and enchanting folklore, Bekaltal, too, is a wondrous sight. On treks, we do not find such big lakes inside forests. Yet, on this trek, we not only trek to Bekaltal, but we camp near it at Gujreni.

The forest walks on this trek over a carpet of snow are one of the best that we have. They are enchanting yet not overwhelming. You can see a distance through the forest, with snow hanging heavy on the boughs of the trees. 

Also, each campsite on this trek is special. Look out for our campsite at Gujreni. Nestled in a clearing within the forest — it has become special with Indiahikes trekkers. The Tilandi and Brahmatal campsite is our trekker favourites too. 

Brahmatal is a relatively new trek in India. Yet, within a few years, it has become very popular. There is a good reason for it — the trek has almost perfect settings for a winter snow trek.

If you want to avoid the crowd, though, do the trek in January, February and March. The snow is better than in December, minus the crowd on the trail. 

Brahmatal Videos

Watch these videos to prepare for your Brahmatal trek

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Quick Itinerary

A Route Map of the Brahmatal Trek

Day 1

Drive from Rishikesh to Lohajung

Drive distance: 260 km | Drive duration: 10-11 hr | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers:Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

It is a 10-11 hour drive from Rishikesh. Transport will be arranged from Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh at 5.00 am. The cost of a cab – Is Rs 7,000 per vehicle and the cost of a Tempo Traveller is Rs 11,000

Day 2

Trek from Lohajung to Gujreni

Trek distance: 4.5 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude gain: 7,600 ft to 9,200 ft

Day 3

Gujreni to Tilandi

Trek distance: 2.9 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 9,200 ft to 10,495 ft

Day 4

Tilandi to Brahmatal via Brahmatal Top

Trek distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude loss: 10,495 ft to 10,190 ft via 12,250 ft

Day 5

Brahmatal to Lohajung

Trek distance: 8.45 km | Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude loss: 12,250 ft to 7,600 ft

Day 6

Drive from Lohajung to Rishikesh

Drive distance: 260 km | Drive duration: 10-11 hr

You will reach Rishikesh by 6-7 pm. The cost of a cab – Is Rs 7,000 per vehicle and the cost of a Tempo Traveller is Rs 11,000

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

Documents required: It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. These documents will be part of the Safety Check-in done by the trek leader when you arrive at the base camp.

Stay facility: The stay at Lohajung will be in a lodge. Do not bring any packaged food, tags from your new clothes or any waste with you. We follow a Dustbin Free Zone and No Wet Wipes Policy at our base camps in line with our spirit of Green Trails. On the trek, you will be staying 2 in a tent.

Cloakroom facility for excess luggage: We have a Cloak Room facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

A Route Map of the Brahmatal Trek

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

You'll love the drive to Lohajung The drive is very scenic along the mighty Ganges. You would be enjoying the view of the Sangam of many rivers which form the Ganges; Devprayag, Rudraprayag, and Karnprayag are a treat for the eyes.

After Karnprayag, you would be travelling alongside the Pindar River. You then enter the beautiful valley of the Chamoli region. Keep your eyes open and look out, the glimpses of the big mountains are visible from here onwards.

Return Travel

The return journey takes you through the same places which you had taken during your Onward journey to reach Lohajung. If you reach Rishikesh early, then you can go through these tips on things to do around Rishikesh

Download the GPX file for your Brahmatal Trek

We go to great lengths to ensure you have a safe trek. So here’s a GPX file of to help you navigate without getting lost.

Day 1

Drive from Rishikesh to Lohajung

Drive distance: 260 km | Drive duration: 10-11 hr | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers:Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

It is a 10-11 hour drive from Rishikesh. Transport will be arranged from Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh at 5.00 am. The cost of a cab – Is Rs 7,000 per vehicle and the cost of a Tempo Traveller is Rs 11,000

Day 2

Trek from Lohajung to Gujreni

Trek distance: 4.5 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude gain: 7,600 ft to 9,200 ft

Day 3

Gujreni to Tilandi

Trek distance: 2.9 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 9,200 ft to 10,495 ft

Day 4

Tilandi to Brahmatal via Brahmatal Top

Trek distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude loss: 10,495 ft to 10,190 ft via 12,250 ft

Day 5

Brahmatal to Lohajung

Trek distance: 8.45 km | Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude loss: 12,250 ft to 7,600 ft

Day 6

Drive from Lohajung to Rishikesh

Drive distance: 260 km | Drive duration: 10-11 hr

You will reach Rishikesh by 6-7 pm. The cost of a cab – Is Rs 7,000 per vehicle and the cost of a Tempo Traveller is Rs 11,000

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

➤Documents required: It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. These documents will be part of the Safety Check-in done by the trek leader when you arrive at the base camp.

➤Stay facility: The stay at Lohajung will be in a lodge. Do not bring any packaged food, tags from your new clothes or any waste with you. We follow a Dustbin Free Zone and No Wet Wipes Policy at our base camps in line with our spirit of Green Trails. On the trek, you will be staying 2 in a tent.

➤Cloakroom facility for excess luggage: We have a Cloak Room facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

You'll love the drive to Lohajung The drive is very scenic along the mighty Ganges. You would be enjoying the view of the Sangam of many rivers which form the Ganges; Devprayag, Rudraprayag, and Karnprayag are a treat for the eyes.

After Karnprayag, you would be travelling alongside the Pindar River. You then enter the beautiful valley of the Chamoli region. Keep your eyes open and look out, the glimpses of the big mountains are visible from here onwards.

Return Travel

The return journey takes you through the same places which you had taken during your Onward journey to reach Lohajung. If you reach Rishikesh early, then you can go through these tips on things to do around Rishikesh

Download the GPX file for your Brahmatal Trek

We go to great lengths to ensure you have a safe trek. So here’s a GPX file of to help you navigate without getting lost.

The summit Push to see the majestic of Mt. Trisul and Mt. Nanda Ghundi

Picture by: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Towards Brahmatal Summit

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Brahmatal trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

Sun is glittering with golden Oak trees in the Gujreni campsite. Picture by Jothiranjan taken in January 2021.

Tilandi - The best campsite for the sunset and sunrise with the Alpine glow Mt.Trisul. Picture by Shriram Kondhawekar.

Beautiful Brahmatal campsite in the peak winter. Picture by Santhosh.

Sandhya UC, Co-Founder, COO

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map a few of the greatest Himalayan treks in India, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the "Women of Worth" Award by Outlook Business in 2017. She believes in sustainable living just as she believes in sustainable trekking.

Here’s Sandhya talking about one of the well-known treks in our country.

What I Like About the Brahmatal Trek

What I Like About the Brahmatal Trek

Sandhya UC, Co-Founder, COO

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map a few of the greatest Himalayan treks in India, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the "Women of Worth" Award by Outlook Business in 2017. She believes in sustainable living just as she believes in sustainable trekking. Here’s Sandhya talking about one of the well-known treks in our country.

1. The Rhododendron forest from Lohajung to Bekaltal

Brahmatal has mesmerising forest walks. You get to walk through the centuries-old forests of Oaks and Rhododendrons. What particularly stays with me is the dedicated section on Rhododendrons! Just out of Bekaltal, you get a demarcated section of Rhododendron forests.

The Rhodo forests are a treat to the eyes. The trunks twist and turn in shapes and forms. The trunks are usually bare and smooth wooded. The trees are not too tall and form a nice canopy at the top. They are close enough to form a perfect green roof over your head.

This is what you see throughout the year. If you come here during March and April, you get a pink flowery roof. If you come here during winters, you get a white snowy carpet

A lone rhododendron tree in bloom at Lohajung, the base camp of the Brahmatal trek.
Picture by Jothiranjan.

2. The ridge meadow walk from Tilandi to Jhandi Top

On the second day, you climb out of Bekaltal trekking up through some of the most beautiful rhododendron and oak forests. As you near the top, you are curious and impatient to see what lies outside the tree line.

You enter the meadow on the mountain top and in front of you is a wall of white mountains. Having climbed all the way up to the ridge (which runs parallel to Ali Bugyal of the Roopkund trek), you see grand views of the Trishul range.

You know you are climbing to the top but the enormity of the mountain ranges so up close is something very special to Brahmatal.

Starting there, all the way to Jhandi top is one of the best ridges walks you will do in our mountains. On one side you have the mighty Trishul range fanning out and on the other side opens up to layers and layers of mountain ranges arranging themselves in height order going down all the way to Deval and Tharali.

These are the villages that you drove through to reach the base camp. To your right below the Trishul, the range spreads out the entire Roopkund trek. Every landmark, every campsite, and every climb on the Roopkund trek is seen from the Brahmatal ridge. I have never stood on one trek and gone through another trek, that too perhaps the most iconic trek in its entirety like this.

3. The Gujreni Campsite

The Gujreni campsite enclosed by forest but in grassy clearings, with commanding views of mountain tops, I think I could fall in love with these camps.

They are secluded, with plenty of space to stretch your legs, walkabout, or take a peek in the forests, yet, you can just sit in one corner taking in the views. I have done lots of treks and have loved lots of camps, but if you ask me about Brahmatal, then I think it has some of the better campsites.

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Brahmatal trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

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PRO TIPS

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Green Trails

Leaving the mountains better than we find them

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Everything you do on a trek creates an impact. The trail you trek on, the water you use, the waste you generate, how you poop, how you cook, what you eat — everything has an impact. The higher the impact, the greater the damage to the environment. 

Yet, when done sustainably, trekking is one of the most environment-friendly sports.

When you trek with Indiahikes, you trek to leave the mountains better than we found them.  This is part of our Green Trails promise.

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At Indiahikes, we focus on bringing in new practices that can reduce our impact on the environment.  This is done through constant R&D.  Once these new practices are implemented we focus on achieving the results consistently on all our treks. You will see this as part of our G6 practices. 

Golden 1: Green Sweep - Clean the trail of visible litter.  We have collected more than 1,00,000 kgs of waste since 2016.

Golden 2: Segregation At Source - Segregate all waste collected so that we do not add all this waste to the landfill.  We have diverted 50% of the waste from landfill through segregation

Golden 3: Food Composting - All our kitchen waste is composted into useful humus for the mountain soil.  All food waste is either eaten by mules or composted at source.

Golden 4: Biotoilets - All our human waste is composted at source through our specially designed dry toilet pits. 

Golden 5: Water efficient dispenser  - We have reduced our waste used per trekker by 70% through specially designed water dispenser systems.

Golden 6: Save energy - We use solar panels for our energy use at our campsites.  We are also in the process of redesigning our stove and menu to reduce the amount of gas used on our treks.

Our trekkers are a big part of us keeping our promise to leave the mountains better than we found them. 

  • Indiahikes trekkers do not carry anything that can harm the environment - be it wet wipes, or any packaged food on the trek.  In fact they practice a zero waste trek.
  • Indiahikes trekkers do not buy any packaged food in the dhabas on the trek - they do not take part in feeding the demand for packaged food 
  • Indiahikes trekkers clean the trails of waste using the eco bag as part of the Green Sweep Initiattive 
  • Indiaihikes trekkers carry their own backpack on the trek. They do not offload unless absolutely necessary
  • Indiahikes trekkers do not pee/poop near any water source 
  • Indiahikes trekkers do not stray away from the marked trail

Trekkers who sign up with us pledge to follow these practices.  When you sign up with us, you do too.

Why fitness matters on the Brahmatal Trek

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On Easy-Moderate treks like Brahmatal, you’re likely to trek around 5-6 km each day. Expect gradual ascents and descents along the way. The maximum altitude will be about 12,500 ft. There are no technical sections on these treks, but there could be small sections of steep gradients or tricky patches that require you to be surefooted.

Your goal is to comfortably run 5 km within 38 minutes.

Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll also need to submit your Treadmill Test within 7 days of registration.

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Brahmatal

The Arrowheads of Bekal Tal

In the neighbouring areas of Bekal Tal, people can be seen wearing or carrying arrowheads. These are used as lockets, some are displayed in homes, and some are attached to peoples’ walking sticks among other such ornamentations. These arrowheads have a couple of stories behind them. 

Uttarakhand is known as dev bhumi (divine or holy land) as Mahabharat is said to have taken place in parts of it. It is said that the arrowheads are from the days of the grand epic when they were used in battles. These arrowheads can be found stuck on trees in the forests as well today too. However, most of them have been removed and are being used by the locals.

There's also another story related to Lord Curzon linked to the arrowheads. It's often hard to verify what is fact and what isn't, but they're good stories to listen to. Make sure you ask your guide or the locals about it.

Tale of the Bekal Naag Devta and the Pundit

There are stories of a local pundit who would come to pray to this Naag Devta regularly. Pleased with his steady devotion and service, the God once invited him down to his golden temple at the depths of the lake. The pundit is said to have seen a stunning sight. That of an underwater city of snakes, with the Naag Devta presiding over them in his temple. 

The story takes a sad turn when the pundit defies the snake god. However, the myth brings forth interesting elements in the region. Not only is the Bekal Tal a sight of this myth, but the Ratgaon water source appears like the meandering body of a snake, as seen from Tilandi. Mythology tells us that Bekal Naag Devta left the lake through that route, leaving the Ratgaon water body in this snake-like figure. 

Even the water from Bekal Tal is said to have seeped down along with him and appeared in the Ratgaon source.

Leaving Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

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