A Grand Buffet Of The Greatest Himalayan treks
Every trek has sections that are extremely beautiful. Every trek also has sections that are, we grudgingly admit, a little imperfect. However, when you are on the Buran Ghati trek, even with your best critical eye, these imperfections are hard to spot. There is not a moment on this trek where you are disappointed. It is as though someone has taken out all the best parts of our Himalayan treks and stitched them together to make one perfect trek.
The trek starts at the ancient village of Janglik, reminiscent of the kind of old, untouched by civilization villages you would find on the Har Ki Dun trek. The trail climbs out of Janglik and goes into a delightfully deep forest and then bursts into Dayara meadows. Most trekkers stop in their tracks here, with their jaws agape at the wonderment that is Dayara meadows.
You walk out of Dayara with an expectation that the meadows are over – and you wouldn’t be more wrong. The trail to Litham is filled with forests and meadows. And there is the Dunda. If any campsite can give you the beauty of an alpine mountain zone and the thrill of a splendid climb to come, then Dunda will be among the best. Barua, on the other side of the pass, is a charming old village that would distinctly remind you of Hobbiton from Lord of the Rings. Old houses, fruit bearing trees, alleyways – it is a world of its own.
As we see it, the Buran Ghati trek has all the highlights of a tough trek, with an extremely thrilling pass crossing, put together in a moderate trek. There are rapid scenery changes, and save for the pass day, most days are easy-moderate. If you are looking for a summer or autumn trek, don’t think twice, go for Buran Ghati.
What to Watch out for
Meadows like Ali and Bedni Bugyal
Most trekkers know of the glorious meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal on the Roopkund trek. But they haven’t yet seen Buran Ghati’s meadows. The moment you walk out of the treeline and see the expanse of Dayara meadows, your jaw drops. You see a vast meadow, laden with yellow flowers glinting in the sun. Ahead, you see cliffs, whose folds are highlighted by white snow patches. These prettily landscaped meadows will remind you of postcards from childhood. It is a view that is at par with the twin meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal.
Vast sweeps of landscape like Kashmir
Many sections of the Buran Ghati trek transport you to Kashmir. The Litham campsite is one of them. Nestled between the snout of Chandranahan waterfall, with towering mountains and brooks running across, it gives you a taste of what trekking in Kashmir is like. Chandranahan lake, which is an hour away from the snout of the waterfall, is in a glacial amphitheatre.The lake is fed by snowmelt from surrounding mountains. The scale of this alpine valley is very reminiscent of Kashmir.
A Cultural experience like Har Ki dun
Trekkers from all over the world flock to Har Ki Dun to experience Himalayan culture. Buran Ghati ups that experience because it is less trodden upon. The villages of Janglik and Barua are ancient, with wooden Himachali houses that give you a taste of the Kinnaur architecture. In fact, the houses in Barua Khud are so ornate, it reminds you of Hobbiton. Surrounding Barua are wheat farms, apple orchards, peach and apricot trees. The people of these villages too are known to be beautiful. And they won’t hesitate to welcome you to their homes with a cup of chai.
Thrilling Pass Crossing like Rupin Pass and Pin Bhaba Pass
At 15,000 ft, Buran Ghati is a thrilling climb that matches the likes of Rupin Pass and Pin Bhaba. At the same time, it is also unique. The pass is a narrow ledge with a sharp 100 metre drop on the other side. When you look down from the pass, you are staring at near vertical face of a wall. It brings your heart to your mouth. In June, when the pass is an ice wall, you rappel down. Right after rappelling the next round of fun starts. There are five big snow slides to do, each of them more fun than the other. Even the most sober trekker rediscovers an inner child on the Buran Ghati trek! In September and October, you navigate through the sharp descent through a trail from the pass.
Banner image by Raghavendra Galagali
Trekkers often ask us these questions about the Buran Ghati trek:
These questions have been answered by Suhas Saya, the head of the Trek Coordinators Team at Indiahikes, who has been on the Buran Ghati trek.
❖ What is the best time to do the Buran Ghati trek?
The best time to do the Buran Ghati trek is between May and June, and later between Mid-September and mid-October. These are the best seasons to do the Buran Ghati trek.
│Expected temperatures in these seasons:
Summer: The day time temperatures will be around 18-22 degrees. Post sundown, expect temperatures to drop to 2-3 degrees
Sept-Oct: Day time temperatures will be around 12-18 degrees. Evening temperatures will drop to zero and -2 degrees. It gets colder as the weeks progress.
If you are keen on seeing snow on the Buran Ghati trail, then the summer months of May and June would suit you best. This is when you’ll see vast snowfields from Dhunda onwards all the way till the pass. The Buran Pass itself is a dramatic wall of ice in June. You rappel down from the top of the pass for about a 150 m section. Even after crossing the pass, you trek in snow for around 2 hours until you reach the River camp.
September is better to experience clear weather, void of much rain or snow. It’s the best time for lush greenery, clear skies and stunning views of the mountains around. You get to see snow, but in smaller patches. The ice on the Buran Ghati wall melts away slightly, exposing rocky terrain, where you have to descend down. Towards the end of October, there are chances of witnessing the first winter snow of the year.
❖ Where is the Buran Ghati trek location?
The Buran Ghati trek is located close to the border of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It’s a good trek near Shimla. It starts from a village called Janglik, which is around 150 km from Shimla.
Further, it meanders through the valley alongside the Lidder river, until you reach the Buran Ghati pass. The trek ends at a small village called Barua, from where you drive back to Shimla. It takes around 10-11 hours to drive back.
❖ How difficult is the Buran Ghati trek?
The Buran Ghati trek is classified as a moderate trek. This means the trek can be attempted by a fit beginner. The trek is actually not too difficult, as most of the days involve relaxed treks, where you reach the campsite by noon or slightly later than noon. You cover an average of 6-7 km a day.
The most difficult part of the Buran Ghati trek is the pass-crossing. The day is long, where you walk continuously for 9-10 hours. You have to rappel down an ice wall at 15,000 ft. You do not need technical skills for this as the Indiahikes technical team will help you down this wall, but you do need the stamina to last all day.
To do this trek, you will have to train for at least a month and a half in advance. It will help you get across the pass comfortably and ensure you have a good, safe trek.
❖ Buran Ghati vs Rupin Pass. Which trek should I choose?
This is a tough choice. Buran Ghati and Rupin Pass are neighbouring treks, yet they are very different from each other.
Rupin Pass is an adventurous trek, with steep climbs, big rugged cliffs lining the valley, a thrilling climb to the pass through a narrow gully. It’s a trek that throws surprises at you every hour. It is a moderate-difficult trek, and is best done with prior high altitude trek experience.
Buran Ghati on the other hand is the more beautiful, well-rounded sister trek. It’s flawless at every step with large meadows at Dayara, picturesque campsites, and a slight gradient throughout the trek. It is suitable for fit trekkers, even if they are first-timers.
If you have to pick, base it on your fitness. Rupin Pass is tougher, more demanding on a daily basis, with 10 km climbs every day. Buran Ghati is more leisurely in comparison.
So go by your fitness and experience, and choose a trek.
│Did you know? The entire Buran valley runs parallel to the Rupin valley. So the Buran Ghati and Rupin Pass treks are geographically parallel to each other. There’s just one range of cliffs dividing the two valleys. As the crow flies, the two passes are just 3.8 km apart.
Day 1: Reach Diude/Janglik; 9-10 hours drive from Shimla. Transport will be organised from Hotel Crystal Palace in Shimla at 7.00 AM. It is a 10 minute walk from the Old Shimla Bus Stand. Cost of cab will be Rs 6,500 per vehicle
Day 2: Diude/Janglik (9,200 ft) to Dayara (11,075 ft), 5 hours
Day 3: Dayara (11,075 ft) to Litham (11,737 ft), 3 hours
Day 4: Excursion to Chandranahan Lake (13,900 ft), 4-5 hours
Day 5: Litham (11,737 ft) to Dhunda (13,365 ft), 4-5 hours
Day 6: Dhunda (13,365 ft) to River campsite (11,800 ft) via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft), 9-10 hours
Day 7: River campsite (11,800 ft) to Barua (6,700 ft), 5 hours
Day 8: Buffer Day
If the buffer day is used, you have to pay us Rs. 2,500 per day (INR) +5% GST. The money will be collected by the Trek Leader only if we use the buffer day. This depends completely on the weather conditions on the trek and the call will be taken by the trek leader.
Transport from Barua to Shimla will be arranged to start at 1.00 PM. You will reach Shimla around 10.30 pm.
The cost for the return travel is Rs 9,000 per vehicle. Please factor in the buffer day in your travel plans – book your onward journey from Shimla only after Day 8.
The stay at Janglik will be in a lodge and the rest of the days during the trek is in tents (3 per tent).
It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
The base camp of the Buran Ghati trek is Janglik. The drive from Shimla takes you past Rohru, from where the road follows the blue waters of the Pabbar river. In an exquisite journey, the road climbs gracefully along the Pabbar, the scenery changing rapidly. From square wheat fields along the river and beautiful Himachali homes, you drive past pretty villages and mixed forests until till you get to the pine forests around Tonglu.
The motorable road at Tikri, just after Chirgaon, turns left and becomes an absolute dirt track for the rest of the way. It takes two hours along the dirt track to get to Tonglu. At Tonglu, the dirt track drops down to the river, crosses the Pabbar and climbs to Diude in swift switchbacks. Janglik is a short walk from Diude.
- Altitude: 9,200 ft (2,804 m)
- Time taken: 9-10 hours from Shimla.Vehicles will be arranged from the pick up point Hotel Crystal Palace in Shimla at 7:00 am. It is a 10 minute walk from the Old Shimla Bus Stand.
Day 2: Diude/Janglik to Dayara
- Altitude: 9,200 ft (2,804 m) to 11,075 ft (3,376 m)
- Time taken: 5 hrs
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Around 75 minutes of ascent followed by a 15 minute flat walk. Gradual ascent into a forest for about 30 minutes followed by a gradual descent for about an hour in the meadows ending with a gradual ascent through a forest.
- Water sources: Carry 1 litre of water from Janglik. There are sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.
Today’s trek is perhaps the most beautiful first day of any trek that you will walk on. Climb out of Diude past the superbly crafted wheat fields – lined by beautiful wooden farm houses on their edges — some of them with attractive roofs in red and green. In fifteen minutes the last huts of Diude are behind you. The climb, though beautiful, gains altitude rapidly. In an hour, step on a ledge and look behind you for a commanding view of Diude, Tonglu and other villages.
The ledge under a pine tree is a wonderful place to take a break. Fifteen minutes later, past a clearing on your right, the trail climbs into a oak and pine forest. Getting deeper into the forest, the steep trail levels off to remain a gradual pleasant climb. The trail through the forest is just the treat that you needed after the long climb. Under the shady trees of the forest, streams running across the trail, brings a bounce to your step.
Half hour later, the trail pops out of the tree line into a vast expanse of meadows climbing into the hills to your left. The sudden change in scenery is startling. It takes time to soak in the view of the climbing meadows to your left and the dark shadowy tree line of the pines to your right. Ahead, the white snow patches that still remain in the folds of the cliffs opposite the Pabbar compliment the view to an extent that is hard to believe.
The trail out of the tree line descends gradually, skirting the top of the pines. The trail is well defined and broad. Almost an hour later, the trail enters another magnificent forest of pine and oak — this time thicker and denser. The walk on the dark moist earth and the brown carpet of leaves strewn over them is a moment to be cherished. Through the forest, the trail climbs gradually before popping out of it again in another half hour.
Day 3: Dayara to Litham
- Altitude: 11,075 (3,376 m) ft to 11,737 ft (3,577 m)
- Time taken: 3 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy. Starts with a gentle ascent for about 15 minutes followed by a stream crossing. Gradual ascent through a pine forest and meadows for about an hour followed by a gentle descent through a Silver birch forest and finally across meadows.
- Water sources: Carry 1 litre of water from Dayara. There are sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.
Start your day exploring the Dayara meadows. It looks most glamorous as it soaks up the golden glow of the morning sun. A walk on the meadows early in the morning needs to be savoured by every trekker.
The trail from Dayara to Litham will take you through dense forests, wide green meadows, gushing streams, and little brooks as you gain an altitude of 737 feet in 3 hours. The trail traverses across the meadows towards the Gunas Pass. A gently ascending trail enters another clump of pine forest fifteen minutes out of the Dayara camp site. Then you get to a stream that needs to be leaped over.
Across the stream, the trail climbs out of the forest and rounds a wide curve to regain the views of the snow capped mountains of the Dhauladhar range and Gunas Pass. Just as the trail takes the curve is a superb scenery of the grasslands leading down from the trail and into the dark depths of pine forests about 300 feet below. Behind the pine forests are snow lined towering cliffs completing a scenery that is perfect in its harmony.
Half hour later the trail dives into another beautiful forest — this time of Silver Birch (Bhoj). The forest is old and the silver birches gnarled with age. Descending gently through the forest leads to another perennial stream in the fold of the mountain. Refresh here and climb out of the fold to your first clear view of Litham.
Across the meadows the trail dips to the Chandranahan stream that you need to cross before throwing down your backpacks at the Litham campsite. There are plenty of brooks running across Litham, choose a flat spot and good views to settle down for the day.
Litham has gorgeous views on three sides. On your left is is the snout of the Chandranahan waterfall, beyond which is the Chandranahan lake. In front are the towering snow clad mountains that hide Buran Ghati but set the heart fluttering in anticipation of a great adventure ahead. On the right are the snow patched cliffs that hide the Rupin valley. The Litham campsite is a dramatic nest, the last of the great meadows of the trek.
Day 4: Excursion to Chandranahan lake
- Altitude: 11,737 ft (3,577 m) to 13,900 ft (4,237 m) and back
- Time taken: 6-7 hours
- Trek gradient: Difficult. 90 minutes of gradual ascent to the snout of the waterfall followed by a steep climb for about an hour. Steep descent on the way back to Litham.
- Water sources: Carry 1-1.5 of water from the campsite. There are water sources along the trail.
The Chandranahan lake is a glacial tarn that is perennially fed by snow flanks of mountains that surround it. It is not a very big lake, but getting to it is an exciting journey and extremely rewarding. Cross the stream that you get just before the Litham campsite. Continue upstream on the shepherd’s trail to a ridge top. Walk towards the snout of the waterfall from where the stream emerges. It takes about an hour and a half to get to the snout of the waterfall, marked by beautifully placed stone cairns.
Trekkers usually assume that Chandranahan lake is close to the snout of the waterfall but it is another hour of trek into the glacial valley. The journey to the lake takes a difficult turn the moment you get to the flat at the snout of the waterfall. The closed alpine valley with snow patches all round is a treat. In later June, the valley floor has good amounts of snow but nothing that is difficult to walk on.
The lake is not very big but what it lacks in size, it makes up for it by its setting. Nestled in a bowl like glacial amphitheater, the lake is fed by the snow fields all around. In between are grassy patches that jut out of the snow. Tiny waterfalls that turn into brooks trickle down to the lake from all sides. Lovely arrangements of stone cairns mark the lake. Spend time taking in the sights of the setting before heading back to Litham the way you came. It is a steep descent from the lake to Litham. You must start early in the morning to be back at Litham at lunch.
Day 5: Litham to Dhunda
- Altitude: 11,737 ft (4,237 m) to 13,365 ft (4,074 m)
- Time taken: 4-5 hours
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Gradual ascent for about 1.5 hours followed by a steep ascent all the way to Dhunda.
- Water sources: Streams along the trail
Buran Ghati is a trek that can be easy or difficult depending on where you camp for the pass assault. Dhunda at 13,300 ft is perfect. It is a short two hour climb to the pass. The pass is always visible and inspirational. The setting is extraordinary. The Dhauladhar range looms over the trail with the Gunas pass sitting pretty on top of the snowy flanks of the grey mountains. It is a monochrome setting of grey and white in front with the green grasslands of Litham to the left and cliffs of the bordering Rupin valley to the right. The Pabbar is no longer a gently descending stream. It is now a virulent stream descending rapidly. The trail takes a sharper ascent. Continue up the left bank until the trail gets into a U shaped gorge like valley and you get the first view of the Buran Ghati on your left. Take a moment to take in the splendor of the pass and the upcoming thrill of the next day.
Start the climb to Dhunda by following the well marked shepherds’ trail that leads in the general direction of the pass. An hour of climb, perhaps a bit more, will bring you to the ridge top of Dhunda. At Dhunda you get absolutely clear views of Buran Ghati and the trail that leads to it. The camp is in an alpine zone. Snow capped mountains flank the campsite on all sides. Even in late June snow patches are everywhere. If any campsite can give you the beauty of an alpine mountain zone and the thrill of a splendid climb to come, then Dhunda would be voted among the best.
Day 6: Dhunda to River camp via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft)
- Altitude: 13,365 ft (4,074 m) to 11,800 ft (3,597 m) via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft/4,572 m)
- Time taken: 9-10 hours
- Trek gradient: Difficult. Gentle ascent over boulders for about an hour till the base of the pass followed by a hour’s steep climb on snow. Sharp, steep descent on the other side for 100 meters followed by a series of short descents for about 2 hours till the end of the snow line, easing off into a gradual descent.
- Water sources: None on the trail till the last 2 hours. Ensure you are well hydrated and carry at least 2 litres of water before starting from Dhunda
In September, the snow melts and it is not difficult to climb the pass. Out of the Dhunda campsite follow the ridge and hop over boulders towards the base of the pass. From the base it is an hour long climb to the top, mostly on snow. Buran Ghati at exactly 15,000 ft is a thrilling climb. It is a narrow ledge on the top. The drop on the other side is sharp and steep.Without the rope, the descent can be risky even with an ice axe. Getting down to the first snow field about 100 metres below the pass is your first objective. Thereafter it is a series of descents over smaller ledges that you can slide down!
Descending on the Buran Ghati trek is quick and very soon you lose all the altitude that you have gained. It takes about 2 hours to get to the end of the snow line. You also lose about 3,000 ft in altitude. Out of the snow line, the descent takes you down a ridge with junipers and lovely flower crested shrubs. The view of the valley in front is lush green as far as the eye can see. Beyond, a long range of mountains tower over the setting. Descend for another hour to get to a stream that needs to be hopped over. Across the stream the first farmers’ huts appear. This is where you camp for the night.
Day 7: River camp to Barua village
- Altitude: 11,800 ft (3,597 m) to 6,700 ft (2,042 m)
- Time taken: 6 hours
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate; gradual descent for around 4 hours followed by a steep descent.
- Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. There are 3 water sources along the trail
The descent to the Barua village is remarkable for the variety in vegetation and diversity. The trail is full of surprising changes in scenery that makes it an absolute delight. It is difficult to find another trek that has so much diversity while descending. Take the path that logically follows the Barua Khud. Stick to the trail that is broadest and most used. The trail descends rapidly through the high altitude pines, giving way to a mixed forests of other trees.
An hour and half later the trail descends to a large gushing stream thundering to meet the Barua Khud. A makeshift bridge lined with junipers and mud is the only way across. Climbing out of the stream, the trail is greeted with more diverse vegetation.Late in June, lovely purple shrubs line the trail on either side. Further on apricot, peaches tree laden with fruit crowd the trail. An hour later the first apple orchards and signs of civilization await the trekkers. From an overhanging rock on the trail the entire view of the Barua village sitting on the ridge below is breathtaking.
Half an hour later the trail enters Barua village through an arch. It is a long descent through the village as the trail meanders and descends through. Life on the trail comes alive as the simple villagers are happy to see you. They want to hear your stories and invite you to tea. Look out for the grand temple on your right as you continue your descent. From time to time the trail rushes past apple and other fruit orchards.
Once at the heart of the village, the descent is more rapid. In half an hour the trail pops out on to the road bridge over the Barua Khud. Transport will be arranged to leave from Barua to Shimla at 1.00 pm and you will reach Shimla around 10.30 pm.
If you wish to set out on your own, you can wait to get a vehicle to Karcham, which is a junction 3 km ahead or you could simply walk it. Karcham is a junction where roads from Rekong Peo and Sangla meet. The big hydel project by the Jaypee group also starts at Karcham. From Karcham either take a vehicle to Sangla, 17 km away, or to Reckong Peo for more connectivity to Shimla.
Plan Your Travel for the Buran Ghati trek
It is great to see you going on the Buran Ghati Trek, a grand buffet of our greatest treks. While it is a great trek to do, you need to get your travel plan worked out perfectly.
Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do next. Use this guide and nothing else to plan your travel.
- A quick view of your travel plan (Skip to section)
- Planning your onward air/train booking (Skip to section)
- Planning your return air/train booking (Skip to section)
- Planning your hotel booking (Skip to section)
- How to reach Janglik on your own (Skip to section)
1. Here’s a quick view on how to plan your travel
Day zero (the day before Day 1): Book your air ticket to Chandigarh or Delhi. If Chandigarh, proceed to Sector 43 and take a bus to Shimla. If Delhi, book an overnight bus to Shimla. Click here for more explanation.
Day 1: Shimla to Janglik drive. It is an 8-9 hour drive from Shimla. Janglik is the basecamp for your trek.
We organize transport from the parking lot of Hotel Crystal Palace in Shimla at 7.00 AM sharp. It is a 10 minute walk from the Old Shimla Bus Stand. Transport to Janglik costs Rs 6,500 per vehicle (shared between 5-6 trekkers).
Day 2 to Day 6: Trek the Buran Ghati trail
Day 7: Drive to Shimla. Start in the afternoon after the day’s trek. The drive is around 8-9 hrs drive from Barua to Shimla. Expected arrival time at Shima 10-11 pm. Ensure you have pre-booked hotel accommodation at Shimla.
Day 8: Buffer day (explained below)
Day 9: Book return flight/train ticket from Chandigarh or Delhi. Do not book plane tickets to your hometown from Delhi on Day 8. Click here for more explanation.
| Important points to note:
1. While getting to Shimla, we recommend you arrive a day earlier and stay close to the Shimla Old bus Stand. Staying at Shimla gives you a well deserved rest for the night. Plus some bonus sightseeing.
2. On your return, your trek ends at Barua. Barua is a small village and you don’t have any public transport. We again arrange for the transport for the return to Shimla on the same day. You reach Shimla between 10.00 and 11.00 pm. It costs Rs 9,000 per vehicle on the way back from Barua.
Buffer Day: The Buran Ghati Trek is a very high altitude trek. Situations are dynamic and can change any moment. Keep a buffer day for emergencies. This is outside the itinerary. You cannot predict bad rain, snowfall, landslides, even mountain medical emergencies on such treks. Your trek is 7 days long, but keep an extra 8th day as your buffer day. If you don’t use the buffer day on the trek, you can always use it for sightseeing in Chandigarh, Shimla or Delhi.
Always book your return flight/train tickets after including the buffer day in your itinerary.
Your travel route to the Janglik basecamp passes through Kufri, Theog and Rohru
On the return, you come via Rampur and Narkhanda. See map.
2. Planning your onward flight/train booking
If you are travelling from Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai or any other city, book your air tickets for Day Zero, which is the day before Day 1 on the itinerary.
Example: If your trek start day is 25 September, then book your air tickets for 24 September to either Chandigarh or Delhi.
There are two options for your flight tickets.
Option 1: Fly directly to Chandigarh
We recommend this. It gives you an added rest day at Shimla. It also makes your travel time less. However, if the cost of the flight ticket to Chandigarh is too high, book your flight to Delhi and travel to Shimla by bus.
| Tip: Land at the Chandigarh airport and head directly to Sector 43 (which is the main Interstate bus terminal of Chandigarh). You get AC airport buses to Sector 43, from just outside the arrivals. It is about 10 km and the buses run every half hour or so. A ticket costs Rs 60 for these buses.
Always target to reach Chandigarh before 12 noon. It takes an hour or so to get out of the airport and get to ISBT in Sector 43.
Getting a bus connection to Shimla may take about half an hour or so. It is usually a 4 hour bus journey to Shimla (125 kms on mountain roads). The number of local buses to Shimla will reduce post 3 pm. You will later get only overnight buses post 3 pm.
Pro Tip: If you are in a group of 3-4, then it may make sense to take a taxi from Chandigarh airport to Shimla directly. A taxi charges about Rs 1,600 for the trip. You can book a taxi from Goibibo or Ola in advance. We use this system often.
Option 2: Flying to Delhi
Flying to Delhi may be a lot cheaper than getting to Chandigarh. Make sure to book a flight that reaches Delhi by 7.00 pm. You must arrive in Delhi on Day Zero and not on Day 1.
| Note: If you notice the difference in air ticket prices between Delhi and Chandigarh less than Rs 1,000 then book directly to Chandigarh. The rest and shorter travel time is worth the difference.
Bus to Shimla: Take the bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to the Old Shimla Bus Stand or also known as Victory Tunnel (ask the bus conductor specifically for this). It is a 10-11 hour bus journey from Delhi to Shimla. Avoid taking buses to Shimla ISBT at Tutikandi. Our pick up point at Hotel Crystal Palace is closer to the Old Shimla Bus Stand. The distance from Tutikandi ISBT to Old bus stand is about 5 km. Taxis will set you back by Rs 300 to 500 for that early morning drop.
Take a bus that leaves Delhi around 9.00 pm.
| Tip: Use HRTC or Himachal Tourism buses. They usually run on time.
3. Planning your return flight/train booking
Booking your return tickets require some thought. First, always book your return ticket keeping in mind the buffer day. The buffer day must be included in your itinerary. Day 8 is your buffer day. So plan your return journey for Day 9.
Option 1: Flying out from Chandigarh
Assuming you have stayed at Shimla the day before, take a bus to Chandigarh. Book a flight that flies out of Chandigarh post noon. It takes about 5 hours to travel from Shimla to Chandigarh by bus. And a further one hour from Chandigarh ISBT at Sector 43 to Airport by bus.
You get buses from Shimla Old bus stand and the ISBT at Tutikandi starting from 6 am.
Option 2: Flying out of Delhi
You get buses from Shimla to Delhi starting in the morning at 6 am from Shimla ISBT (At Tutikandi). The travel time to reach Delhi ISBT is around 9-10 hrs. If you are booking a flight from Delhi and taking a bus, then book an evening flight post 6 pm.
Pro Tip: If you have a buffer day in hand, consider experiencing the narrow gauge train from Shimla to Kalka and then take a bus/train to Delhi. It is a heritage train which is still run by the Indian Railways. The train passes through some astounding mountain scenery, besides diving through over a 100 tunnels. You will have to book the Himalyan Queen train in advance to ensure you get seats. It departs from Shimla at 10.30 am and reaches Kalka at around 4 pm.
There is a connecting Himalayan Queen that leaves for New Delhi at 4.50 pm from Kalka, getting to New Delhi at 10.40 pm. You can also think of taking the faster Shatabdi that leaves Kalka at 5.45 pm getting to New Delhi at 9.55 pm.
You also get fast buses from Kalka to Chandigarh which roughly takes an hour (usually less).
4. Planning your hotel/stay
Booking stay at Shimla is not easy. In June, Shimla is packed with tourists. It is difficult to find good places at the last minute. So ensure to book your hotel stay well in advance.
During the off season (September- October), it is not difficult to find last minute hotel booking.
| Tip: Book for two nights in advance at Shimla. This guarantees you a confirmation of your stay irrespective of whether you use a buffer day or not.
Pro Tip: A bit risky but it is something we have seen that works. Book for your stay on the last day of the trek. Take this call based on the buffer day being used. When the trek is about to end at Barua, you get network connectivity. You can either book directly or ask your friends or family members to book while you are traveling to Shimla. You may not get the best of hotels but you usually get a room over your head.
Hotel options in Shimla
➤ Hotel Amber
This is close to Shimla Old Bus stand. A decent hotel to spend a night in Shimla. The cost ranges from Rs 800 to Rs 1000 for a double bedroom. The advantage of this hotel is it’s just about 5 mins away from the bus stand. Website: http://www.hotelambershimla.in/.
Contact Number: 070189 14266
➤ YMCA Shimla
It is run by the Christian missionaries and a very clean place. This is a good option for solo trekkers and backpackers. The stay is in bunk beds with shared bathrooms. The cost is Rs 500 for a one-night stay. It is behind the Church on the Mall road.
Contact Number: 0177-2652375, 2650021
Email ID: [email protected]
➤ Hotel Crystal Palace
This is a moderate priced hotel. It may not be the very best but makes sense since your pickup and drop is from its premises. The cost ranges from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500 for a double bedroom. The cost varies according to the seasons.
Contact Number: +91-9816025758
You can also look up Oyo Rooms and book your stay close to the Old bus stand. The price varies from one season to another.
5. What if you miss the Indiahikes pickup? How to get to Janglik on your own.
If you miss the Indiahikes pick up from Shimla, here is a step-by-step guide to reach Janglik on your own.
Step 1: Go to Lakkar Bazar from Shimla Old bus stand which is 2.5 km away.
Step 2: Take a local bus from Lakkar Bazar to Rohru. This is a 5 hour journey.
There are buses leaving at these timings: 7 am, 8.30 am, 11 am, 12 noon to Rohru.
There is also a bus from Lakkar Bazar that goes directly to Chirgaon (which is an hour away from Janglik). It leaves at 11 am. But do not bank on this bus — the bus can be very unpredictable.
Step 3: From Rohru you’ll need to move further to Tangnu, which is the last road head near Janglik. From Rohru or Chirgaon, there are regular buses to Tangnu.
You have buses at 8 am, 1 pm and 4 pm. However, you will have to reach Rohru before 4 pm. Post 4 pm, you don’t get any vehicles towards Tangnu.
From Rohru to Tangnu, it costs Rs 70 by bus. You will also find shared cabs at the exit of the bus stand towards Chirgaon. Shared taxis costs between Rs 100 to 150 based on the number of travellers the driver manages to get for the journey.
Step 4: From Tangnu you will have to trek to Janglik which is 3 km (45 mins) away. Tangnu is a very small village just before the base camp of Janglik. It is an initial descent to the river (10 mins). There is an iron bridge which is broken currently. A stone bridge is also washed up by the recent heavy rains. You will have to carefully get down the iron bridge by holding its iron pillars. Once you are done with this adventure, you have a steep hike to Janglik (30 mins).
How to get fit for the Buran Ghati trek
Buran Ghati is a moderate to difficult trek. The pass crossing day is the difficult bit. On this trek, your mental strength is as important as physical fitness. If you trek in the month of June, on the pass crossing day, you need to rappel at least 400 meters down an ice wall. Apart from this portion, the trek is of moderate difficulty and will not exhaust you if you are well prepared.
Cardiovascular endurance – Target 10 km in 60-70 minutes before the start of the trek
On the Buran Ghati trek, you have to cover 9 km on undulating trail on 6 days. This requires a good amount of endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.
In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
Here’s a fitness routine that works:
In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, phase out your distance targets in the following manner –
If you are somebody you prefers cycling over running, then try to cover 25 km in 60 minutes.
How to send us a proof of your fitness routine?
Record your run on an app like Nike Run. Start recording your run when you start running. At the end of your run, hit the stop button.
Take a screenshot of the summary of your run. We will need a detailed split of each kilometre of your run. This is usually integrated in all running apps.
Note: Make sure your GPS is on when you record your run. If the GPS is off, we will not accept the screenshot.
Upload two screenshots 10 days prior to the start of the trek — one of you covering 5km in less than 35 mins along with your picture and the other with splits of your run.
Strength – Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each
This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover in high altitude carrying your backpacks. 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. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks.
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.
Things to get for the Buran Ghati Trek
Buran Ghati is a very high altitude trek. The trekking gear you need to carry for this trek is different from regular treks. So pay careful attention to this entire section.
- A list of everything you need for the trek (Skip to section)
- Useful videos to help you with your gear (Skip to section)
- A list of medicines for your trek (Skip to section)
- A list of mandatory documents (Skip to section)
First, The Essentials. You cannot do the trek without these.
1. Trekking Shoes:
Buran Ghati requires trekking shoes that are sturdy, have good grip, have ankle support and can handle snow. Here is a quick video on how to choose your trekking shoes.
| Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There really isn’t any necessity to buy the higher priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.
| Rental: We have the Trek series and the MH series by Decathlon available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are already broken into and in good condition. Rental shoes are not dirty or unhygienic. This is how they are kept clean.
For a trek like Buran Ghati, you need a 50-60 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. Here is a guide on how to choose a backpack.
| Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from.
| Rental: The 48 litre backpack by Adventure Worx is available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for our Himalayan treks. Rent them if you don’t have a backpack.
Wearing layers is the mantra in the mountains. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes in the mountains (as it happens every few hours), you take take off or put on layers as required.
Wear one T-shirt and carry two. Carry full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt. In the rarified air on the trek, especially at high altitudes, UV rays can burn you in no time.
Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.
| Buying tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends, Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.
| Cotton or Synthetic? As Indians, we love cotton. Down in the plains when the heat is a blistering 40°C it makes sense to wear cotton. But it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet. In the mountains, where it is cooler, synthetic is what you wear. They wick sweat rapidly and keep you dry. (But they do tend to smell quickly, so carry a roll-on deodorant with you.)
| Pro Tip: If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space, since you’re already carrying them.
3 insulation layers:
The highest altitude you reach on this trek is 15,000 ft. At these altitudes it can get freezing cold even in the middle of summer. You will need at least 3 insulation layers for this trek.
You will need 2 light fleece layers, 1 full-sleeve light sweater. Do not get your grandma stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.
1 Outer layer:
A padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t really need a water resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.
| Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket will do. This video here will help you to learn more about the difference.
Note: Down/feather jackets are really not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.
| Rental: Padded jackets made by Fort Collins are available on rent at the Indiahikes store. They are custom made for Indiahikes and trekkers find them terrific, even in winter.
Two trek pants:
Twopairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry two just in case it rains. Trek pants with zippered cut offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon in case of small stream crossings / rain.
| Buying tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.
| Track pants or trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trek pants — so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup.
Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek.
These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Buran Ghati without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first.
Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. Especially in the month of May and June on a trek like Buran Ghati, expect to walk on long stretches of snow from Dhunda to the Pass and towards the River Camp. A small overexposure to direct sunlight on snow can lead to snow blindness (about a half hour’s exposure). That’s because fallen snow is like thousands of mirrors that reflect direct UV rays. So you need sunglasses with UV protection.
| Tip: Try getting sunglasses that wrap around instead of those that have openings on the side. Even peripheral UV ray exposure is not a good idea.
Wear sunglasses if the trekking day is bright and sunny (on open sections, meadows). On a snowy section you must absolutely never take off your sunglasses until the section has been fully crossed.
| If you wear spectacles: If you wear spectacles, you can get oversized sunglasses that you wear over your regular glasses (available at Decathlon). If that is cumbersome, photochromic lenses work equally well. Here’s a quick guide on managing sunglasses with spectacles.
| Contact lens users: If you use contact lenses, you can use them on the trek too. The lens solution will not freeze. You will also not face any problems in changing your lens in your tent. Just carry enough cleaning solution with you to clean your fingers well. Wear your sunglasses over your contact lens.
A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sun strokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance.
| Tip: In the mountains, the general rule is to keep your head covered at all times. During the day a sun cap protects you from the harsh rays of the sun (it is doubly stronger with naked UV rays). A sun cap keeps your body temperature in balance. In the evening/early morning, the reverse is true. Your head loses your body heat quickly. A woolen cap prevents heat from dissipating from your head.
| Pro Tip: Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks. They prevent sun burns in every possible way. They are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way.
3. Synthetic hand gloves:
On a trek like Buran Ghati you are going to be handling snow quite a bit especially in the month of May and June. You’ll need gloves to grip something or to steady yourself in snow. You also want the gloves to keep you warm. Get synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and a padded lining on the inside. If you find the combination difficult to get (not likely), wear a tight fitting fleece hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove. Hand gloves are mandatory on this trek.
4. Woollen cap or Balaclava:
Ensure these cover your ears. In the cold mountains, you lose maximum heat from your head, not from your hands, feet or the rest of your body. Which is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, a cold trekking day are when you must use your woollen cap.
Your ears are sensitive too, so a woollen head cap that covers your ears is absolutely essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woolen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. Do not get a woollen cap that only covers your head.
5. Socks (3 pairs):
Apart from two sports socks, take a pair of woollen socks. Sports socks give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry. As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug in the night. If you cannot get woolen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well.
Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Buran Ghati trek you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles.
| Buying tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you.
7. Trekking pole (a pair):
Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Buran Ghati trek there are steep ascents and descents. The trek up the gully to the pass is pretty steep, about 75% incline. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.
| Rental: Imported side-locking trekking poles are available on rent on the Indiahikes store.
On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing.
Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are really not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.
| Rental: High grade ponchos are available on rent on the Indiahikes store.
9. Rain cover for your backpack:
Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes, your warm gear in your backpack. It is important that your backpack stays dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built in rain-covers. If your back pack does not have a rain-cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic.
| Pro tip: It’s good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.
10. Daypack (20-30 ltrs, optional):
Some trekkers opt to offload their bags to a porter on the Buran Ghati trek. While we do not encourage this practice, in case you opt for offloading, then carrying a day pack is mandatory. In your day pack you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, headlamp, some snacks and a warm layer. Your main backpack that carries most of your equipment is accessible only at the campsites.
A day pack is a smaller backpack that is usually of 20-30 ltr capacity. Laptop bags are not day packs. Do not get them.
Other mandatory requirement
1. A toilet kit:
Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics — toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.
| Pro tip: Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.
Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like Buran Ghati.
| For women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose your sanitary waste.
Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leak proof. You are expected to wash your own cutlery. Trekkers often expect Indiahikes to wash their cutlery. When you allow Indiahikes to wash your cutlery, your cutlery becomes part of a mass washing system. You immediately invite germs, bacteria to settle on your cutlery. Incidence of stomach disorders rises exponentially.
| Pro tip: Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at the highest. Watch this video on why steel cutlery is better than plastic.
3. Two 1 litre bottles or a 2 litre hydration pack:
Buran Ghati has a few long walking days. You need to carry two one litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.
| Rental: You could rent lightweight thermos flasks from the Indiahikes store.
4. Plastic covers:
Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.
Useful videos to help you with your gear:
- What to take on your trek
- How to pack your backpack
- How to choose your trekking shoes
- Trekking shoes vs sports shoes. How are they different?
- How to layer up on a Himalayan trek
- Why you need a trekking pole
- How to manage sanitary waste on a trek
Personal medical kit
Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times. Do not take any medicine unless you have consulted your trek leader.
- Diamox (1 Strip): Be on a course of a half tablet Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). Carry on the medication until you descend down to Barua. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Buran Ghati trek.
- Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain
- Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one half hour before the start of your road journey.
- Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol.
- Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS.
- ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking. Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.
- Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.
Our trek leaders carry a high altitude medical kit with them which also consist of Life Saving Drugs. If there is an emergency our trek leaders know how to tackle it. Meanwhile, contact your trek leader before consuming any of these medicines listed here.
| Pro tip: We find that these medicines by trekkers are rarely used. But you cannot do away with them. At the end of the trek please donate unused medicines to your trek leader. Some of these medicines get distributed to villages on the trek and some are added to the Indiahikes medical kit.
Mandatory Documents to carry
These are documents required for legal purposes by Indiahikes and the forest department. Without any of these, you will not be allowed to trek.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar card, passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.
- Disclaimer certificate. This is a legal requirement. Download the PDF, read carefully and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during registration at the base camp – Download PDF
- Medical certificate. There are two sections in this. The first part must be filled by a practising doctor. The second part must be filled by you. Without the medical certificate the forest department will not issue permissions for your trek. It is also a requirement by Indiahikes – Download PDF
| Pro tip: Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack. This keeps them from getting wet.
How safe is the Buran Ghati trek?
The pass crossing is the only difficult bit in this trek. At the pass you come across a vertical ice wall which you need to rappel down from with a rope. After the steep section, you slide down the snowy slope. This is why Buran Ghati is not a trek that you can go on your own. You need the assistance of a trekking organisation or professionals who can help you descend the wall.
In June, post the pass crossing comes 4 to 5 slides down the snow. Approaching River campsite, the last camp, is a small exposed section that overlooks a river which you need to be careful while traversing. In the months of September and October when there is no snow, there is a trail that opens up which is tread by shepherds. It does not have any tricky sections like overhangs or landslides. It is a pretty straightforward meadow trek.
Since the trek begins at 9,000 ft at Diude, altitude sickness can get to you in the first 2 days. In order to have a safe trek, here is some information that you must know if you have registered for this trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitudes.
What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety
Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Buran Ghati trek. Anyone who wants to register for this trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.
2. Monitoring health on a trek
On the Buran Ghati trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.
This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.
Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.
3. High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.
4. High Altitude Trek Equipment
To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.
All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.
5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek
You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.
We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.
With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.
Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.
What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Buran Ghati trek
Acute Mountain Sickness:
At altitudes above 10,000 ft the chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness cannot be ruled out. This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognised before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).
HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours. And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognise any symptoms and nip them in the bud.
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.
Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox
We strongly advise you to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps you acclimatise much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before your trek.
What to do if you have symptoms of AMS?
If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.
Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes will also tell you the protocol to follow when you see someone showing symptoms of AMS.
There are no easy exits on the Buran Ghati trek. In case of an emergency at or before Dhunda, you will need to return to Diude, and if this happens after the pass, then descend to Barua. It might take 1-2 days to reach the nearest medical centre. Medical expenses, if required, at the medical centre are to be borne by the participant.
If a medical emergency occurs before the cross passing, then Rohru is where you would need to go to get to a hospital. On the other side of the pass, Sangla and Kalpa have hospitals. Rohru is a couple of hours drive from Diude and Sangla can be reached within an hour if you drive from Barua.
Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks
If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.
Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest you always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.
If you are trekking with Indiahikes, do not administer these to anyone without consulting your Trek Leader. If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.
Also ensure that you are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.
Acute Mountain Sickness
You can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.
If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.
For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.
The Indiahikes Cancellation Policy
We understand the pain of cancelling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that.
Given that, we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies.
Take a look at the Indiahikes cancellation policy below. This policy is effective starting January 29th, 2020.
In the event that you cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:
– Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher
In the rare event that we cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:
We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, government orders, unexpected global health issues, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.
Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable once it has been paid for.
If you cancel any rental gear from our store:
- Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a monetary refund with 4% cancellation charges.
- Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the starting date of the trek — Get a voucher of the whole amount you have paid for the rental gear. This voucher is applicable on your future treks.
If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:
The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge.
If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee.
Special Cases That Could Occur:
There are some special cases that could occur when you’re on a trek.
1. You may not be able to complete the trek because of bad weather, high snow conditions, or any natural calamity.
2. You may have to leave your trek abruptly (could be due to altitude sickness, abnormal BP, unpreparedness for the trek, any emergencies at home)
In the above two cases, you’re welcome to come back and repeat the same trek any time in future. You do not have to pay us for this. If you’d like to repeat your trek, get in touch with your Trek Coordinator and they’ll help you.
Important note: Your offloading and rental fee will not be refunded in the above two cases.
3. You may not be able to report at the base camp at all (could be due to blocked roads / cancelled flights/curfews), we will try to accommodate you in the next day’s team (if we have one).
In the third case, if we cannot accommodate you in the next day’s trek, we will give you a Trek Voucher of the entire trek fee (including your offloading and rental fee), which you can use on any Indiahikes trek within the next one year.
How to cancel your trek:
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps.
- Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link.
- Find your upcoming trek on your home page.
- Click on “Cancel Trek”
- Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
- Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable).
- Click on “Cancel Booking”
How long does the refund process take?
After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.
If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.
What is a Trek Voucher?
Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.
Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable.
How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?
If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek.
Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Trek Coordinator.
The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)
At Indiahikes, we can’t help but fall in love with a few trekking trails. And we love revisiting them, perhaps in other seasons, when treks take on a totally different hue. In such cases, we do not like the thought of having to pay for it. Our trekkers shouldn’t have to pay either.
So if you have loved a trek that you did with us and want to repeat it, you’re welcome to sign up for the trek. We will not charge you for this. (Many people think this is a rumour, but it’s true.)
To repeat your trek for free, just get in touch with your Trek Coordinator. We’ll help you sign up with no charges.
Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply for our international treks.
What your trek includes
- Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 6 (Diude to River Campsite). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
- Meals – All meals from dinner at Diude on Day 1 to lunch on Day 7 . Meals are simple, nutritious and vegetarian.
- Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
- Trekking equipment – We provide high quality tents, sleeping bags, ice axes, roped, micro spikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc.
What your trek does not include
- Transport to and from the base camp – We will arrange shared taxis for trekkers to pick you up from Shimla and drop you back from Barua. This will cost approx. Rs. 1,500 per trekker one way. The total cost will be shared with the other trekkers
- Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the journey to Diude and return from Barua.
- Backpack offloading charges – Rs. 1,800 + 5% GST for the full trek. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Diude (Rs. 400 per day inclusive of taxes).
- Anything apart from inclusions
- Buffer day on the trek: We have kept a buffer day on the trek to account for any weather related delay. If this is utilised, you will need to pay Rs.2,500 + 5% GST. This amount is to be handed over to your trek leader.
In the event that you cancel your trek, this is the cancellation policy we follow:
– Cancellation 30 days before the starting date of the trek — Get your full trek fee back in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 15% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days before the starting date of the trek — Get 80% of the trek fee in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher OR get a monetary refund with 50% cancellation charges.
– Cancellation less than 20 days before the starting date of the trek — No monetary refund, get 50% of your fees in an Indiahikes Trek Voucher
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. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. The trek has gradual climbs and steep descents. As a measure of your fitness, we require you to be able to run at least 5 km in 35 minutes by the time your trek starts. If you are 45 years or above, try to cover 10 km in 90 minutes. This is a minimum requirement.
If you prefer cycling over running, then try to cover 25 km in 60 minutes.
Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.
In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.
Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
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 charges – Rs 1,800 plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 400 per day inclusive of tax. You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.
Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.
Transport from Shimla to Janglik and return from Barua to Shimla can be arranged by us at an extra cost. This will cost approx Rs. 6,500 (for a 5-6 seater cab) per vehicle on the drive to the basecamp. The return cost will be Rs 9,000 (for a 5-6 seater cab) per vehicle
Participants are expected to share the cost of the cab. The amount is to be paid directly to our transporter.
Indiahikes only arranges the vehicle pick up and is not responsible for any issues during transport.
Repeat Trekker Policy
At Indiahikes, we believe that the mountains hold all the aces. The weather could play spoilsport, the altitude could mess with a trekker, the unpredictability of nature itself could turn against him. Whatever the reason might be, it is never nice to turn away from a trek midway.
In the event that a trekker has to come down without completing your trek, they can always head back to the mountain and do the same trek again. If this happens, trekkers don’t have to pay the trek fee. They have to just make the optional payment for the insurance amount.
On another note, it could also happen that you love a trek so much that you want to go back time and again. Trekkers don’t have to pay Indiahikes for repeating a trek.
Note – The Repeat Trekker Policy holds good only for Indian Treks.
It is not valid for treks we run in Nepal.
Discount for a group of 10 and above
If there is a group size of 10 trekkers and above, then we will waive off the trek fee charges for one person.
Note - There is no discount available if the group size is 9 or less than that.
You can register the entire group and send us an email. If the group is registering individually, then the primary participant needs to send an email to the Trek Coordinator with the list of trekkers from the same group.
If you want to make the payment individually, then individual registrations have to be done.
If you have a group of 15 trekkers and above, then we waive of 10% for every trekker.
This will be the case for a group of 10 trekkers. So if you have a group of 20 trekkers, then we will waive off the charges for 2 trekkers.
Can I keep extra luggage at the base camp of Janglik?
The option to leave extra luggage is not available for this trek.
Buran Ghati is a crossover trek. This means you will be starting the trek at a point, crossing a mountain pass, and ending the trek at a different point. You will not come back to the same base camp of Janglik.
Tip: Most trekkers keep their extra luggage at their hotel in Shimla and collect it later. The other option is to carry only what is necessary on the trek
What is buffer day on this trek?
The weather in the mountains is highly unpredictable. It might so happen that weather conditions prevent us from passing the cross as planned. We will then have to wait a day to do this.
Hence you must factor in the buffer day while planning your travel. Book your return journey on the next day after you reach Shimla.
Note - If the buffer day is used, you have to pay us Rs. 2,500 per day (INR) +5% GST. The money will be collected by the Trek Leader only if we use the buffer day. This depends completely on the weather conditions on the trek and the call will be taken by the trek leader.
How do I book for my stay on the last day after the trek at Shimla?
Booking stay at Shimla can be a bit tricky. There are two options we would suggest.
A. Book for two nights in advance at Shimla. This means a confirmation of your stay. Even if the buffer day is used or not, your stay is confirmed at Shimla.
B. Book for your stay on the last day of the trek. Take this call based on the buffer day being used. When the trek is about to end at Barua, you get network connectivity. You can either book directly or ask your friends or family members to book while you are traveling to Shimla.
Will there be rappelling from the Buran Pass during my trek?
If you are going during the summer months of May and June, then you will rappel down on an ice wall at Buran Pass, which is at 15,000 feet.
However, do not expect the same after the monsoon. The snow would have melted away and you don’t rappel down in the months of September, October. Instead, you descend down the trails from the pass, on a series of switchbacks.
Is there mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?
You’ll find Vodafone/ Airtel network at Janglik. There will be no signal at any of the campsites. Signal will be intermittent in the mountains. Do not depend on it. Finish all your important calls at Shimla itself. Please inform anxious family members about limited phone connectivity. There will be no electricity charging points anywhere on the trek.
Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?
Yes, there is an option to offload your backpack (have a porter carry it for you). This will cost Rs.1,800 + 5% GST if you inform us in advance. If you decide to offload once you reach Janglik, the amount will be Rs. 400 per day inclusive of tax. The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. Strolleys, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed. Online offloading in advance is possible up to five days prior to the trek start date. You can opt for this from your dashboard directly.
Here is what trekkers have to say about their experience at Buran Ghati Trek
In her own words, Vidhya K Pai had "the time of her life" on the Buran Ghati Trek. From rappelling down the ice-wall to the never-ending Dayara Meadows.Read full blog
Click on available dates to Register
- What the colours mean
Available:Registration is on.
Waitlist:The group is full, but cancellations are likely to happen. We have 5 waitlist slots for every group. You may register for the group. Waitlist slots confirmation chances are high if booked more than 30 days in advance.
Last 'x' slots:Indicates the number of slots available in a batch.
Full:Indicates the group is full. No further slots are likely. A full group has 18 members.
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