Brahmatal – Photo Story Of A Spectacular Himalayan Winter Trek

Brahmatal is a peak winter trek. What sets it apart from other winter treks is that you can actually do this in the months of January and February, when the snow is deep. There are stretches where you walk in knee-deep snow. What is more, frequent snow fall means that most of this is fresh, soft and ideal to have the snow fight that you always dreamt of.

The icing on the cake, literally, is the two frozen lakes of Brahmatal and Bekaltal. Just when you think it can’t get any better than this, you get the closest views of Mt Trishul, Mt Nanda Ghunti and Garhwal Himalayas, that such a short trek can get you.

To show you what I mean, here is a photo story.

Day 1: Drive through winding roads for your first view of the Himalayas

The trek begins at Lohajung, situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. The drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung takes you through the mountain towns of Almora, Ranikhet and Kausani in Kumaon. Chamoli, however, falls in the Garhwal region.

PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

The drive to Lohajung gives you a quick glimpse into the way of life in Kumaon villages. You go past forests, orchards and terraced fields. Potatoes, rice, local millets and rajma are the most commonly grown crops here.

The stacks of hay being collected in these fields will later be thrown high up into trees, where they will be protected from the snow and serve as fodder for cattle in winter. It is usually women and children who take on this task.

PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Wide vistas of Himalayan ranges open up before you once you gain altitude. Around Kausani, you get a taste of the views awaiting you on the trek. Mt Trishul, Mt Nanda Devi and Panchachuli are the prominent mountains that you see from here.

PC: Gayatri

The base camp, Lohajung, is a small market area that started off with catering to basic shopping requirements of people from the nearby villages of Culing, Mundoli and Bank. This is also where the very popular Roopkund trek begins. If you now walk down the main street, you will find quite a few shops stocked with gear required by trekkers. At 7,600 ft, Lohajung receives a fair amount of snow fall in winter.

Day 2: Leave the last villages behind to enter dense forests

The trail begins in the market at Lohajung. It quickly climbs past Mundoli village and Budla, a cluster of houses further up. As you move higher, you can spot Kali valley in the distance, to the left. This is the location of the confluence of Kali and Pindar rivers.

PC: Vishwajeet Chavan

You soon leave the villages behind to enter a thick oak and rhododendron forest. This is where your real experience of the snow begins.

If you are here between February and April, the bright red rhododendron flowers fill up the forest. Further up, you get views of the high altitude meadows of Bagdi and Navali Bugyals.

PC Vishwas Krishnamurthy

The first campsite is located at Khopdaliya, a few minutes’ walk from the Bekaltal lake. This a clearing at the edge of the forest. You can see the villages of Solepatti and Ratgaon in valley below you.

PC: Vishwajeet Chavan

You will never run out of things to do at the campsite, especially when there are layers of fresh snow. Apart from snuggling up in the dining tent to share a few jokes or play a game, trekkers delight in building a snow man or just having snow fights.

PC: Kasturi Sule

Bekaltal is situated in the middle of an oak forest. This is the of the two lakes on this trek. It is a short walk from the campsite. Bekaltal is frozen in winter. A thin sheet of ice forms on the top, tempting you to step on it.

PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Day 3: Trek through vast, snow filled meadows

The trail today initially climbs steeply through oak and rhododendron forests. This is followed by an easy walk through snow filled meadows till you reach the Brahmatal campsite.

PC: Alakh Jhala

You see distant valleys all through the day’s trek. The well known ones are Almora and Nainital. The big mountains in the vicinity, such as Trishul and Nanda Ghunti, are right there, but still hidden from view.

PC: Kasturi Sule

Every where you turn, you see miles and miles of undulating snow. Hidden beneath this soft, white, powdery cover are vast, high altitude meadows. It is difficult to believe that this place is lush green at a different time of the year.

PC: Santhosh A

At 10,351 ft, the Brahmatal campsite experiences frequent snow fall in this season.

Day 4: Get bowled over by the panoramic view at Brahmatal Top and the second frozen lake

Today is the most visually delightful day of the trek. You trek to Brahmatal top from where you can see Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti almost in their entirety.

PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

As you inch closer to the Brahmatal peak, the entire panorama of Garhwal Himalayas opens up before you. Chaukhambha, Mandir, Mana, Nilgiri, Neelkanth, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Maitoli and mountains stretching all the way to the Panchachuli range become visible.

PC: Divya Ramakrishnan

This is almost as close as you can get to Mt.Trishul on a winter trek. The views are crystal clear in this season.

PC: Divya Ramakrishnan

One of the valleys that you see while descending from the summit is Wan. This is a village on the way to Roopkund.

PC: Gajendra

Brahmatal gets its name from Lord Brahma, who is believed to have meditated here. In winter, this lake is completely frozen. Though fed by mountain streams, the water in this lake is not potable since it has no outlet for the water to flow.

Day 5: Relive the trek as you leave the meadows, enter forests and walk fast fields

The descent to Lohajung is down the same trail up to Khabekhal. After this, it deviates to go down straight to Lohajung instead of returning via Bekaltal.

PC: Vishwajeet Chavan

Once you leave the snow filled meadows behind and approach the tree line, the Kali valley comes back into view.

The trek ends in Lohajung. However, views of the Himalayan ranges stay with you all the way past Almora on the drive back to Kathgodam.

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Sneha Rao

Sneha Rao

Sneha is an erstwhile HR professional from Bangalore, now living in Mumbai. Currently, she is a Content Writer at Indiahikes. She has trekked several trails in Uttarakhand, Karnataka, Kerala and Meghalaya. She holds the Green Trails idea close to her heart and enjoys researching and writing about the environment. To get in touch with her, write to sneha@indiahikes.com.

22 thoughts on “Brahmatal – Photo Story Of A Spectacular Himalayan Winter Trek

  1. Hi!! How old these pics are? will I find snow there if I trek in last week of December? Which is the best and beautiful trek among Kuari Pass, Brahamtal and Kedarkantha? I am looking for snow and if possible snowfall as well.

    1. Hi Vishal,
      The pictures in this photo story were clicked during the last season at Brahmatal.
      There are very high chances of finding snow at Brahmatal, Kuari Pass and Kedarkantha in the last week of December. All the three treks are very beautiful. You can select the trek depending on what you are looking for. Kedarkantha has great forest trails and it is a summit climb. Brahmatal and Kuari Pass both have forests and meadow walks. From Brahmatal, you get really close views of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti whereas from Kuari Pass you get to see a panorama of the entire Garhwal Himalayas.
      As of now, we have a few batches open for Kedarkantha in the last week of December.

    1. Hi Chirag,
      You can expect a decent amount of snow in the second week of March at Brahmatal. Snow is seen here till the end of March and often even in April depending on how sever the winter has been.

  2. How is the trek during the second half of February? Can we expect to find good amount of snow and snowfall post 15 feb 2018 during Brahmatal trek? What is the temperature range during the later half of Feb in this trek?

    1. Hi Gauvrav,
      You can expect knee deep snow in the second half of February at Brahmatal. The day time temeperature at Lohajung, the base camp will be around 8 degrees celcius. This will keep dropping as you go higher, falling to as low as -10 degrees at night at the Brahmatal campsite.

  3. Hi ! Can u please give me a contact number for the ongoing brahmatal trek (23rd dec) , 3 people from my family are in this trek . I can’t get through the earlier contact Kinshuk , just wanted to get updated about them . Thanks !

  4. Hi Sneha,
    I wanted to know about the current situations at brahmtal trek . Is it possible to complete this trek around mid jan with this type of situation of heavy snowfall .

    1. Hi Akshay,
      As of now, there is no snow at Brahmatal. We are expecting another round of snow fall soon. It is possible to complete this trek even in knee deep snow.

  5. Heard that there is very less snow fall on brahmatal so far this season. But, who knows ……things can change overnight.
    We are doing it on 22nd Jan.

  6. How is d situations now my brother is now there in trecking . They are in a group of three- mohit singla,aadil,vandana. Unable to connect.

    1. Hi Abha,
      There’s no snow on the Brahmatal trail as of now. Network connectivity on the trail is poor, which is why you might be unable to reach them.

  7. Hi Sneha,

    I’m going Brahmatal in 22nd Jan’18 batch. There is no snowfall till date at there ?? And few treks already completed in this Month for Brahmatal. So how’s whether & temperature at there ?? Should we carry extra layer of warm cloths or just 3 layer enough ??

    1. Hi Parth,
      There has been no snowfall at Brahmatal after mid-December. Night time temperature is around -2 degrees celsius. Days are sunny with temperatures around 12 degrees. Please carry extra layers of warm clothes since it can rain or snow there anytime bringing the temperature down significantly.

  8. Hi I am ketan. We have been planning to trek in bramhatal in March 2018. And We haven’t seen any snow status after December, but how would be the trek without snow? Is it still visitable without snow?

    1. Hi Ketan,
      Brahmatal received another round of snowfall in the last week of January so there is snow on the trek now. While March is also likely to have snow, the trek is beautiful with or without snow. There are some dense rhododendron forests on this trail, all of which come alive with blossoms in March and April, making the trails very colourful.

  9. Hi..
    Friends of mine are in brahmatal trek (10-15 Mar) batch.. I couldn’t contact any of them.. Can you please update the situation and weather?? Unable to contact..when will I be able to contact them again?

    1. Hi Varsha,
      Network is poor on the trail which is why you aren’t able to reach your friends. All is well with the batch. They will be back at the base camp, Lohajung, on 14th March. They should be accessible after that.

  10. I’m planning to do this trek in the last week of April. Can you please let me know about following :
    1. Will there be snow at brahmatal or brahmatal peak?
    2. Are tents available at Bekaltal and Brahmatal at that time?

    1. Hi Rajesh,
      There is usually no snow at Brahmatal peak in April end. However, if there is a late winter snowfall in April, snow will be there till the end of the month.
      We will have tents there but our batches after 20th April are all full. If you are trekking there independently, you can hire tents at Lohajung, the base camp.

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