Brahmatal Trek

A peak winter trek, with delicious views of Mt.Trishul and Mt.Nanda Ghunti

  • Trek the Himalayas in peak winter months of January and February
  • Enjoy the thrill of a summit climb to Brahmatal top at 12,250 ft with surreal mountain views
  • Experience two frozen glacial lakes – Brahmatal and Bekaltal
  • In early summer, see rhododendrons blooming in fully glory!

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Picture courtesy: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Trekkers march in the presence of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti at Brahmatal Top

Why This Trek ?

REGION / DIFFICULTY / HIGHEST ALTITUDE:

Uttarkhand / Moderate / 12,250ft

DURATION / AVERAGE TEMPERATURE:

6 days / Summer: Day time: 13-18°C Night time: 0-6°C; Winter: Day time: 8-15°C Night time: can drop to -7°C/

Must read about Brahmatal Trek

Trek Fee Per Person
Rs. 8,450

(Includes all costs of the trek from Lohajung to Lohajung) Service tax at 9% is payable on the trek fee

Register Now View all dates

A peak winter trek, with delicious views of Mt.Trishul and Mt.Nanda Ghunti

Not many winter treks can be done in January and February. Brahmatal that way is a classic winter trek for that period. For one, most of the trek is on snow, which makes it terribly exciting. Trekkers love camping besides the frozen shores of Bekaltal. Then, when they get to the open snow covered meadows near Brahmatal, I guess that’s when the full grandeur of the trek hits you. Stretched across the sky are the big mountains of Gharwal, and everywhere around you are the white undulating snow fields of Brahmatal.

I am glad this trek is a hidden gem. The crowd is almost absent. The silence of the forests is still loud enough to hear a hare scampering through the snow.

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Thin ice spreading on the Brahmatal Lake PC: Neerava Mehta

 

Brahmatal Trek
Rhododendrons at Lohajung in March, the base camp of Brahmatal PC: Arjun Majumdar

The unmatched summit views from Brahmatal

One more reason to do this trek in March and April is for the crackling summit views. In May and June, when it is peak trekking season, there is usually a smoky haze over the mountains. This makes the mountain views disappointing. 

In winter upto March, however, mountain views are worth dying for! More often than not, you see clear blue skies that stretch horizon to horizon. From the Brahmatal Top, in every direction you see mighty Himalayan ranges. Summits that rise above 7,000 meters are common. Trekkers do not realize that no where else in our country can you see these big mountains so close. Just to see this magic, one must trek between mid December to March. 

Mt Trishul in full view
Mt Trishul in full view pc:  Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Who is this trek for?

Very few trails are open in winter for trekking. Not only is Brahmatal open in the peak of winter, it is astoundingly scenic.  Brahmatal offers brilliant views of Mt Thrishul and Nanda Ghunti and that is reason enough to get going on the trek. A physically fit person above the age of 10 can do this trek.

How difficult is the trek?

In terms of difficulty, this is a moderate trek. The campsites get really cold and windy in the winter months. You need to be well prepared to withstand low temperatures. Each day you cover an average of 8 km.To cover this distance with ease you need to build your stamina.

Brahmatal trek

 

What are the risks involved?

The Brahmatal trek at 12,250 ft comes under the category of high altitude treks. While trekking at that altitude, there is always the risk of developing Acute Mountain Sickness. Trekkers need to embark on such an adventure only after educating themselves about AMS and its symptoms.

Winter treks can be a lot colder than what you expect. Inadequate layers can up the risk of sickness and even hypothermia. Do not compromise on the woolens you carry for the trek.

Finally, any trek in the Himalayas requires you to prepare physically for it. Ensure that you have worked out enough to meet our fitness criteria. A fit body is able to cope up with the rigors of the climb and climate while unprepared people find it a struggle. You will be putting yourself in grave danger at high altitudes if you do not physically prepare for the trek.

 

Bekaltal - the first lake you get on the trek is often half frozen in the winters PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy
Bekaltal – the first lake you get on the trek is often half frozen in the winters PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

ATM points and Mobile connectivity

Kathgodam is the best place to withdraw from. If you miss that point, Dewal has the last ATM point before your trek begins.

You will get mobile signal at Lohajung on Idea, Vodafone, Airtel and BSNL networks. There is always a good chance that Lohajung may not have electricity. So be prepared for the “if” situation too. Signal will be intermittent in the mountains. Do not depend on it.

Finish all your important calls at Lohajung. Please inform anxious family members about limited phone connectivity.

Places to see

After the trek you can spend time exploring tourist attractions in Kathgodam. Please note that these are suggestions and Indiahikes does not make any arrangements for the same.

Brahmatal has also been featured in the Top 5 treks to do in February and March by India Today.

Here’s a short itinerary for the Brahmatal trek

Day 1 Transport will be arranged from Kathgodam Railway Station at 6.30 AM to Lohajung. Cost of cab per person-Rs. 1,100/-
Day 2 Lohajung to Bekaltal; 7,600 ft to 9,885 ft, 4-5 hours
Day 3 Bekaltal to Brahmatal; 9,885 ft to 10,440 ft, 4.5 hours
Day 4 Brahmatal to Brahmatal Top and back; 10,440 ft to 12,198 ft, 5 hours
Day 5 Brahmatal to Lohajung; 10,440 ft to 7,600 ft, 6-7 hours
Day 6 Drive from Lohajung to Kathgodam. You will reach Kathgodam between 6 PM and 7 PM.


Day 1: From Kathgodam to Lohajung

Altitude: 1,817 ft to 7,600 ft
Time taken: 12 hours

The best way to reach the base camp Lohajung – is from Kathgodam, which is the last railway station.

Once you reach Lohajung, you can see the beautiful Nanda Ghunti peak and if you are lucky enough to reach before sunset, the colours of Nanda Ghunti will amaze you.

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Sunset view of Nanda Ghunti from Lohajung PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

At Lohajung is a centre point of close to 12-15 nearby villages. There is one local store where you can buy jackets, hand gloves, caps, shoes etc. if need be. However, it is advised that you carry all required things for trek beforehand and not rely on this shop. You will have mobile network in most parts of this village.

Lohajung, as the locals say, is the place where Goddess Parvati had a war (jung) with the demon, Lohasur. Hence, the name, which translates to ‘War with Lohasur.’

Day 2: From Lohajung to Bekaltal

Altitude: 7,600 ft to 9,689 ft
Distance: 5.8 kms

Time taken: 4-5 hours

From Lohajung central market (chowk), move upwards from Bisht General Stores (compass direction 3000 NW). The trail is a human-made stone trail and is well-marked. Walk through the upper region of Lohajung and then through the forest trail with few more houses. After a short trek, spot the Mandoli village on your left.

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Trekkers entering the forest trail PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

As you climb higher, on your left, you will be able to see the Kail Valley, where Kail and Pindari Rivers join. Follow the water pipes that supply water to Lohajung, as they follow the trek trail. After some time, cross a small cluster of homes called Budla, on the left side. Here, you will find rhododendron trees, which make this part of the trail very beautiful from February to March.

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At approx 2,590 m, you will find a 10 metre bridge (known as Link-gaad), which will help you cross the stream. After around two hours, you will reach Begum, where you can rest for some time. This place provides splendid views of Navali Bugyal (145o SSE) and Bagdi Bugyal (125o SE).

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Semi frozen Bekaltal lake PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

After 10-15 minutes of walking from Begum, you will find another stream.  From here, an hour’s walk will bring you to Gujrani streamFrom here, it is approximately 75 minutes’ walk to Bekaltal. This lake is a beauty in the midst of oak forests.  You can camp near the small adjacent lake, Khopdaliya.

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First campsite next to Khopdaliya lake under the star lit sky PC: Sunny Jivani

Day 3: Bekaltal to  Brahmatal

Altitude: 9,689 ft to 10,351 ft
Distance: 7 km

Time taken: 4-5 hours

The trail starts our of the campsite begins to climb steeply into the Oak and Rhododendron forest. After an hour of ascent, the trail opens up to a meadow.

brahmatal-trek-vishwas-krishnamurthy-day-2-indiahikes

The gently ascending meadow walk brings you to the highest point of the day at 11,500 ft. From here, it is a very gradual descent to Brahmatal.

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Thin ice spreading on the Brahmatal Lake PC: Neerava Mehta

All through the days trek, you see the Almora, Nainital side of the valley. The big mountains in the vicinity Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and rest are just there but yet to come into sight.

The Brahmatal campsite at 10,351 ft is 500 meters away from the lake.

Day 4: Brahmatal to Brahmatal Peak and back

Altitude: 10,351 ft to 12,198 ft
Distance: 6.4 km

Time taken: 5 hours

Today’s is most visually fascinating day  out of the entire trek. It starts with a 40 minute climb through the mixed forests. The trail brings you out in the open meadows and to the base of the big climb to the top. 

brahmatal-trek indiahikes
Trekkers head towards Brahmatal Top. You get astoundingly clear and close views of Trishul and Nanda Ghunti from here.

As you reach the summit an entire panorama of mountains opens up. You have Chaukhambha, Mandir, Mana, Nilgiri, Neelkant, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Maitoli stretching to some of the mountains of the Panchachuli range.

Day 5: Brahmatal to Lohajung via Jhandi Top

Altitude: 10,351 ft to 7,600 ft via 10935 feet
Distance: 8.9 kms

Time taken: 6-7 hours

The descent from Brahamatal to Lohajung takes about 7 hours. We retrace the route to Khabekhal and then deviate to the route which gets you directly down to Lohajung.

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The descent from Brahmatal top to Daldum gives a spectacular view of the mountain ridge

 

You will pass by Daldum which is a beautiful location surrounded by trees.  After 20-30 minutes, you will reach Malling, which is outside the forest area and is a water source. From here, spot a few villages down below.

After walking further for an hour, you will reach Burali, a small settlement with a few houses. Villagers come here for few months to grow crops (mostly potatoes). From here, you will again find the man-made stone trail, which will lead you to Lohajung.

Day 6: From Lohajung to Kathgodam

Depart from Lohajung to Kathgodam. We arrange transport from Lohajung to Kathgodam Railway Station. Click here for details on getting back after your trek.

It is advised that you keep a buffer day because the weather is unpredictable in the mountains. Rest at Kathgodam for the night. You can explore Kathgodam the next day and take the Ranikhet Express to Delhi in the evening.

How to get fit for the Brahmatal trek

The Brahmatal trek is classified as a trek of moderate difficulty. You start from an altitude of 7,600 feet at Lohajung and you reach a highest point of 12,250 feet at Brahmatal top. You gain around 4,650 ft over two days of trekking. While this isn’t much altitude gain, there is a lot of snow on the trail in the months of January and February, which makes it a trek of moderate difficulty. 

Cardiovascular endurance
On the Brahmatal trek, you have to cover an average of 7 km each day. This requires a good amount of endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday.  You should be able to jog 4 km in 25 minutes before the start of the trek. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time. Start by a slow jog and gradually increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too. 

Strength
This is another area you should work on. Trekking with your backpack is not a very easy task.  You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set

Flexibility
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

What to take on the Brahmatal trek

If you’re trekking the Himalayas in January and February, you will need to take five layers of warm clothes with you – two sweaters, two fleece jackets and one padded jacket. Carry a pair of thermals for using at night.

Another thing you should carry is a poncho, as it might rain or snow at any time. Of course, a trekking pole will help greatly on a winter trek as well.

Bare Necessities:

  1. Trekking shoes: Carry trekking shoes and not sports shoes. The trail will be slippery at several places and will require shoes with good grip and ankle support. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes. You can get Forclaz 100 from Decathlon.
  2. Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
  3. Daypack (20 litres): On the climb to Brahmatal Top on the fifth day, you will be leaving your bigger backpack behind at the base campsite. So you’ll need a smaller backpack to carry water, snacks and your medical kit. Bring a foldable backpack. If you’re coming in a group, two of you can share a daypack.

Clothes

  1. Five layers of warm clothes: If you’re trekking in winter, carry two sweaters, two fleece jackets and a padded jacket. If you’re trekking in summer (March/April), three warm layers will suffice.
  2. Three trek pants: Carry light cotton trek pants. One of your pants can be tights that you can wear as an inner layer while trekking, especially on the day of the summit climb.
  3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. If you’re too cold, you can wear two tshirts together for more insulation.
  4. Thermals: Carry thermals (top and bottom) to keep yourself warm at night. Keep your thermals fresh and don’t wear them while trekking.

Accessories

  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are mandotory. There will be a lot of snow in winter and can cause snow blindness.
  2. SuncapAt high altitude, the sun is extra harsh, as the UV rays don’t get filtered. So carry a suncap to protect yourself.
  3. Synthetic hand gloves: Avoid woollen gloves as they will get wet if you touch snow. You can add a fleece glove as an inner layer, and wear two gloves on each hand if you’re more susceptible to cold.
  4. BalaclavaYou’ll need this to cover your head, as most of the heat escapes from your head.
  5. Socks (2 pairs) and a pair of woollen socks:  Apartfrom two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
  6. Headlamp LED torch: Mandatory
  7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.

Others

  1. Toiletries (Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste)
  2. Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
  3. One 1 litre water bottle. We recommend the Lifestraw Go. Indiahikes trekkers can get it at a discounted price here
  4. One 1 litre thermos flask
  5. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalize things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit 

  1. Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
  2. Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
  3. Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
  4. Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
  5. Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
  6. Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
  7. Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
  8. Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
  9. Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
  10. Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
  11. Gauze – 1 small roll
  12. Band aid – 10 strips
  13. Cotton – 1 small roll
  14. ORS – 10 packets
  15. Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  16. Moov spray (aches, & sprains)

Mandatory Documents

Please carry the below documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.
  • Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
  • Medical Certificate (first part to be filled by a doctor and second part by the trekker) – Download PDF
  • Disclaimer form (to be filled by the trekker) – Download PDF

indiahikes-equipment

 

Trek fee: Rs. 8,450/-* 

*Service tax at 9% is payable on the trek fee

Inclusions:

  • Accommodation during the trek (camping)
  • All meals – vegetarian
  • Trekking permits and forest camping charges
  • Trekking equipment (tents, sleeping bags, ice axes, ropes, etc.)
  • Safety equipment (first aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretcher, etc.)
  • Services of an expert trek leader (qualified in basic/advanced mountaineering courses)
  • Services of an expert trek team  (guides, cooks, helpers, porters/mules)

Exclusions:

  • Transport to and from the base camp (Kathgodam to Lohajung and back)
  • Food during transit to and from the base camp
  • Backpack offloading charges – Rs 1000* plus service tax of 9%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs 335 per day plus service tax of 9%. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
  • Stay at Kathgodam on the last day is not included
  • Personal expenses of any kind
  • Anything apart from the inclusions

Terms & Conditions

1. Cancellation: If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please e-mail us at cancel@indiahikes.in. Cancellation requests are not taken over phone.

The cancellation charges are as under:

  • Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
  • Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
  • Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.

Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. 

2. The trek fee includes all costs of the trek from the start at Lohajung to the end at Lohajung.

3. Pick up: Trekkers are picked up from Kathgodam railway station at 6:30 am. Usually, trekkers are clubbed together with other participants to make a group. The group travels together to Lohajung in shared cabs.

4. Transport:Transport from Kathgodam to Lohajung and return from Lohajung to Kathgodam can be arranged by us at an extra cost. Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab (approximate cost Rs. 5,500 per vehicle, one way). The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter. No service tax is applicable on transport cost. Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.

5. Backpack offloading: Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.

Backpack offloading charge for the entire trek duration is Rs. 1000/-. Partial offloading is not allowed. Charges will vary for last minute on slope offloading. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kgs. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.

6. Emergency during trek: In a trek a medical emergency or any other emergency may arise. If for any reason you are sent down from the trek then Indiahikes will make arrangements for your return to the base camp or nearest road head. A staff will accompany you. He may not be a trained personnel.

Evacuation or dealing with emergencies is extremely difficult in the mountains. It is time consuming as well. A normal trek of 2 hours may take 6 hours in an emergency (a sick person is not easy to evacuate). Doctors do not go along with a team. Doctors are not available at the base camp or nearest road head either. Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to administer first aid and know how to deal with issues related to the mountains. However, they are not doctors.

Registering for this trek is an understanding that you have read up on the difficulties of high altitude trekking and understand the risks. You have also understood what AMS, HAPE and HACE are. You have taken efforts to educate yourself and you are in a position to manage your own altitude related emergency.

7. Fitness: A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Cardiovascular training before a trek is critically important. Training must include strength and flexibility workout. We have laid out the eligibility criteria here. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training. Indiahikes has the right to reject candidates who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.

8. Non-liability: Indiahikes is not responsible for any loss/damage of your gears/equipment or other belongings on the trek.

9. Payment: Payment for the trek can be done online through credit/debit card or net banking. Cheque/draft or cash is not accepted.

10. Drinking and smoking during the trek is strictly prohibited. If found flouting the rules, your participation on the trek will be cancelled with immediate effect.

11. Safety Protocols:

a. While our itineraries are designed to allow for adequate acclimatisation, most treks in Indian Himalayas climb quickly, which is called forced accents. Unavailability of camp sites and the Indian Himalayan terrain are the reason for this. There are chances that you will feel the effects of altitude sickness and oxygen deprivation while on this trek. Please be aware that your trek leader may deem it unsafe for you to continue trekking at any time, and arrange for you to descend to a lower attitude.

b. Our trek leaders will conduct routine health checks at all camps to measure oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure. Indiahikes reserves the right to exclude any trekker from climbing higher on the trek without refund if the trekker’s vital readings are below accepted norms for that altitude. These norms are available with Indiahikes trek leaders.

c. This is a high altitude trek with rough, rocky and snowy terrain. It is important that you are a fit and confident walker in mountain terrain, able to manage ascents and descents by yourself within a reasonable time. Indiahikes reserves the right to turn around a trekker if in the opinion of our trek leader they are unable to complete the itinerary without requiring exclusive assistance. Please realistically self-assess your fitness and suitability for this trek before registering.

How safe is the Brahmatal trek?

At Indiahikes, safety of a trekker comes first. You will experience it first hand on the slope. Your team is accompanied by experienced trek leaders, safety gears, high end trek equipment, high altitude first aid kits and most importantly the right information.

The Brahmatal trek is a moderate one. The trails are well laid out. The altitude isn’t too high – the highest point is 12,250 ft and you gain this slowly over 3-4 days. At 12,250 feet, the risk of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness is considerably low but you are still advised to be on a course of Diamox.

About Diamox:

Diamox is a tablet that is available off the counter. You can start your course one day before the trek. Take half a tablet once in the morning and once at night (after your meal). It reduces chances of AMS by 80%. There are almost no side effects of Diamox, except a tingly feeling at your finger tips. You might also feel the need to urinate more often, which is normal as Diamox makes you drink more water. You can learn more about AMS, its symptoms and treatment here.

Note: Diamox is a sulfa-based tablet. If you are allergic to sulfa-based drugs, don’t take the tablet. If you do not know whether you are allergic to sulfa-based drugs, take a Diamox around ten days before your trek and look out for any reactions, If there are none, you can safety take the tablet on the trek.
It’s always better to be well-informed if you’re going to high altitude. If there is a medical emergency on the trek, your trek leaders are trained to handle crisis, especially related to altitude and medical emergencies. Indiahikes team carries high altitude medical equipment, oxygen cylinders, and other emergency kits.

The only stretch where trekkers have to be safe is when there is snow while climbing to the summit. This is taken care of by providing trekkers with micro-spikes for better traction on snow. Trekkers are also provided with gaiters such that no snow enters their shoes.

If there is a medical emergency on the trek, your trek leaders are trained to handle crisis, especially related to altitude and medical emergencies. Indiahikes team carries high altitude medical equipment, oxygen cylinders, and other emergency kits.

Most situations are resolved by the trek leader’s intervention. If, however, evacuation is required, it is carried out by the Indiahikes team. There is a quick exit point on this trek that can be reached within a day – Lohajung. The affected participant is moved down to the nearest emergency medical centre as soon as possible. This can take time, even 1-2 days, especially from high camps. Medical expenses, if required, at the medical centre are to be borne by the participant.

Expert Opinion

Safety and preparation during a trek

Why Trekkers need to take Safety on Treks more Seriously

In the second article of his three-part series on safety, Arjun Majumdar writes about a worrying trend that is spreading in the Indian trekking community.

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How to pack your backpack

If you’re off on a high altitude trek and you’re wondering how to stuff ALL the things you need for 7 days, then here’s a video that will help you out! You’ll thank yourself for watching it!

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What is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)?

Every high-altitude trekker needs to be aware of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). Arjun Majumdar, who has witnessed hundreds of cases of AMS amongst trekkers resolves all doubts about it.

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Can you trek during your periods?

If you’re trek dates and periods coincide, don’t worry! It’s alright to trek during your periods. In this episode, Swathi interviews Sandhya UC, a partner at Indiahikes. Sandhya gives you quick and effective tips to manage periods in the mountains.

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How to choose the right trekking shoes

You’re off on a trek and don’t know what kind of shoes to buy? It’s not that hard. You can decide which shoe to buy in less than a minute after watching this video!

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How to keep warm on a high altitude trek

The secret to staying warm in freezing temperatures is the same principle that we follow in cold winters. Layering.
In this video Swathi explains what all you need to stay comfortably warm on your Himalayan trek.

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Why alcohol is a big NO at high altitude

Many people like to drink alcohol at high altitude assuming it keeps them warm. But they cannot be more wrong. Alcohol is the worst thing at high altitude! In this video, Swathi explains the adverse effects of alcohol at high altitude.

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Assess your BMI before choosing a Himalayan trek

High altitude trekking is not the same as vacationing in Manali or Ladakh. Your BMI plays the biggest role in making or breaking your trek. Here, Swathi tells you how to assess your BMI before choosing a trek.

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How to get to the basecamp – Lohajung

Delhi → Kathgodam → Lohajung

The Brahmatal trek begins from Lohajung, a picturesque village in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. It is also the basecamp of the popular Roopkund trek. Lohajung is situated around 223km from Kathgodam. 

From Kathgodam, Indiahikes organises transport to Lohajung. We organise the transport at 6.30 am from Kathgodam Railway Station on the first day of the trek. The fare of this transport is not included in the fee. It costs Rs.5,500 per cab (Tata Sumo) one way and this fare is shared by 5-6 trekkers. You will have to pay the driver directly. 

The drive to Lohajung is a pleasurable one, as you pass through several Garhwali hillstations – Nainital, Kausani and Gwaldam. You will reach Lohajung at around 6 pm. 

Map of Kathgodam to Lohajung
A map of the route from Kathgodam to Lohajung

To reach Kathgodam
Take the Ranikhet Express from Delhi. It leaves at 20.05 pm from Old Delhi Railway Station. This train will reach Kathgodam at 5.30 am. Kathgodam is the last station and it is around 32km from Nainital.

What happens if you don’t get tickets on the Ranikhet Express?
Ranikhet express is a crowded train and often gets booked many days in advance. Firstly, don’t look for an AC ticket. It is an overnight journey and even sleeper berths are comfortable. Book a Tatkal ticket. Your chance of getting a sleeper ticket in Tatkal is very high. If, for some reason, you still don’t get a ticket on the Ranikhet express, there are two options for you. 

Option 1
Take the earlier day’s Sampark Kranti from Old Delhi, which leaves at 4 pm. Tickets on the Sampark Kranti are usually easy to get as it is a day seating train. Stay overnight in a hotel at Kathgodam (or Haldwani) and join the team vehicle the next morning. KMVN Kathgodam is a good place to halt for the night. KMVN is Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam, a government tourist guest house right next to the railway station. The place is decent and clean. You can contact them on (Ph: 05946-266090, 8650002525, 9411589448) or you can book online at http://www.kmvn.gov.in/

Option 2
Take an overnight bus from Delhi’s Anand Vihar ISBT to Haldwani/Kathgodam (7kms apart). Volvo buses leave Anand Vihar for Haldwani/Kathgodam around 9 pm. It is usually an 8 hour journey. There is no online booking, so arrive a couple of hours early at Anand Vihar to book your tickets. No advanced reservation is required. Try to get to Kathgodam early (by 6 am) to catch the Indiahikes pickup at the station.

Getting back

Lohajung → Kathgodam → Delhi

The Brahmatal trek ends at Lohajung. We arrange transport from Lohajung to Kathgodam Railway Station. This cost is not included in the trek fee and it costs Rs.5,500 per cab (Tata Sumo), which is shared by around 5-6 trekkers. You will reach Kathgodam at around 6 pm. 

If you are travelling further from Kathgodam, you can book your transport post 8 pm, keeping two hours as buffer time in case of road blocks in the mountain roads. 

Brahmatal Kathgodam to Delhi

If you want to reach the basecamp by yourself

Option 1: Delhi  Lohajung (24 hours)
There is a direct bus from Delhi to Mundoli/Lohajung. It leaves Delhi Anand Vihar terminal at 9.15 pm. You will reach Kathgodam at 4 am and Lohajung at 5.30pm.
Note: This is an extremely long and tiring journey and the buses are not too comfortable. We recommend Option 2 and 3.

Option 2: Delhi Rishikesh Lohajung (cab)
From Delhi, get to Rishikesh/Haridwar and hire a Sumo to Lohajung. The route: Devprayag – Srinagar – Rudraprayag – Karanprayag – turn right to Tharali – Debal – Mundoli – Lohajung
Note: Most taxi operators may not have heard of Lohajung. So, you’ll have to show them the direction as given above.

Map from Rishikesh to Lohajung
Route from Rishikesh to Lohajung via Karanprayag

Option 3: Delhi  Rishikesh  Karanprayag  Lohajung (bus)
From Rishikesh Bus Stand., take any bus on the Joshimath/Badrinath route and buy a ticket to Karanprayag. It is a 6-7 hour journey from Rishikesh to Karanprayag. Take a bus that leaves as early in the morning as possible, preferably around 6 am. From Karanprayag Bus Stand (Karanprayag to Tharali – 47kms). Take a shared Jeep to Tharali, which is in an another direction. The road to Tharali runs along the Pindar river.

At Tharali (Tharali to Debal – 14kms). Get off at Tharali and again take a shared taxi to Debal. At Debal (Debal to Lohajung: 24 kms) Contact our transporter, Raju Shah Ji on +91 8979 321 600. He will help you with an onward transport to Lohajung.

Here’s what trekkers have to say about trekking with Indiahikes

 

“You guys are doing a terrific job. Few things can be done on ensuring the safety of trekkers. Also trekking is best when combined with some stories or the areas trekkers are visiting. You guys can organise some story telling sessions during the evening at camp sites.” – Neerav Mehta, batch of January 2016

 

“It was a fantastic trek with excellent view and moderate difficulty level. Enjoyed walk over the snow and steep slopes. Most amazing part was the Trisul and Nanda Ghunti range from such a close proximity (though we were lucky to have good weather with us) The trek guides and leader was amazing. The overall setup by Indiahikes was brilliant..”- Somnath Mukherjee, batch of January 2016

Our experience in snow was great! I loved the way Indiahikes managed the trek with perfection and humility.”- Krunal Desai, batch of January 2016

“I loved the group, the stay, the food and the very helpful staff. The trek is memorable for I made some good friends and the fact that I made it to the summit. Our guide was an angel in disguise. He was very therapeutic especially after a hard day of trekking. He not only accompanied us to the summit but kept us in good spirits throughout the trek.”- Thirumurugan Somasundaram, batch of January 2016

“Everything about Indiahikes and the trek was Fantastic. The food was too good. Thanks to the kitchen staff for providing us with delicious food. Having gulab jamun and gajar ka halwa at 11,000ft, when it’s cold is just so amazing. Hats off to our ground co-ordinator Prathima. From the beginning till the end the coordination was superbly done, with instant replies for our mails and calls. This actually applies for the entire Indiahikes team. Well managed, the rules and regulations and everything is just perfect.”-Vidushi Yadav, batch of February 2016

“loved everything, right from the coordination among the trek leader & trek guides, their responsibility to handle the trek team, the food quality as well as the variety, hot water arrangements, cleanliness & hygiene at campsites, to the humbled & very grounded staff! Kudos to you guys for your efforts in retaining the actual spirit & meaning of Trekking!”-Sakshi Dhamija, batch of February 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short Itinerary

Day 1: Getting to base camp – Lohajung. The transport will be arranged from Kathgodam Railway Station at 6.30 AM on Day 1. Cost of cab per person -Rs. 1100/-
Day 2: Lohajung to Bekaltal; 6.3 km, 4-5 hours
Day 3: Bekaltal to Brahmatal; 7.2 km, 4.5 hours
Day 4: Brahmatal to Brahmatal Top and back; 7.6 km, 5 hours
Day 5: Brahmatal to Lohajung; 8.6 km, 6-7 hours
Day 6: Drive from Lohajung to Kathgodam. You will reach Kathgodam between 6 PM and 7 PM.

Please note that you will be staying at a guest house in Lohajung. The stay on all other days is in tents (3 per tent).

What Other Trekkers Are Saying About Brahmatal Trek

“It was a fantastic trek with excellent views and of a moderate difficulty level. I enjoyed the over the snow and steep slopes. Most amazing part was the Trisul and Nanda Ghunti range from such a close proximity (though we were lucky to have good weather with us) The trek guides and leader was amazing. The overall setup by Indiahikes was brilliant.”

– Somnath Mukherjee

“I loved the group, the stay, the food and the very helpful staff. The trek is memorable for I made some good friends and the fact that I made it to the summit. Our guide was an angel in disguise. He was very therapeutic especially after a hard day of trekking. He not only accompanied us to the summit but kept us in good spirits throughout the trek.”

– Thirumurugan Somasundaram

“Everything about Indiahikes and the trek was Fantastic. The food was too good. Thanks to the kitchen staff for providing us with delicious food. Having gulab jamun and gajar ka halwa at 11,000ft, when it’s cold is just so amazing. Hats off to our ground co-ordinator Prathima. From the beginning till the end the coordination was superbly done, with instant replies for our mails and calls.”

– Vidushi Yadav

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