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Photo Courtesy : Samkit Jain

Ajan Top

  • Get grand Views of Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, Mrighthoni, Devtoli, Tharkot
  • Trek through a beautiful forest patch and reach a vast meadow top

 

DIFFICULTY:

Easy

TRAIL TYPE:

Mix of cement, stone and mud trails

DURATION:

1 days

ROAD HEAD:

Lohajung

BASE CAMP:

Lohajung

BEST SEASON:

All year except monsoon

If you have a spare day before or after your Roopkund or Brahmatal treks, visit Ajan top. This sweeping meadow on a hill top,  next to Lohajung makes for a perfect excursion. You reach this after trekking past small hamlets and through a forest filled with rhododendrons and green oak. The sunset here is especially breath taking.

Ajan top is a short, day trek. It is perfect to get acclimatised for your longer trek. From the top, get 180 degree views of big mountains such as Nanda Ghunti, Trisul, Maiktoli, Devtoli and Tharkot. You can also spot Ali Bugyal and Bugzi Bugyal from here.

Trek Details

  • Altitude: 8,399 ft
  • Time taken: 2.5-3 hours; 2.4 km one way
  • Trek gradient: Easy
  • Water sources: There is a community water tap a few minutes into the trek where you can refill your water bottles. If you start with 2 litres of water, you will not need a refill.

The trek begins from the main market of Lohajung Village. Move in the direction from where Lohajung begins. As you reach the starting point of the village, spot a big iron gate. A trail going upwards on your left starts just before this gate. Take this trail.

As you climb up a few meters, spot the community tap. You can refill your water bottles here. Further ahead, after a few metres  some houses and a playground appear on your left. You might find small children playing cricket there.

Continue on this trail. You are surrounded by rhododendron and oak trees. This trail is very beautiful in March and April when rhododendrons bloom. After approximately 800 meters you spot a small cluster of houses. This is Chibila Village.

You get the first glance of Mt Trisul from here. Only the peak is visible, with the rest of the Mountain hidden behind Ali Bugyal. You can also get a glimpse of Tharkot Mountain from the right side. It’s just a matter of distance for the whole range to become visible.

From Chibila village , take the cemented paved path which goes upward. On your left, you can spot green and yellow Mustard fields. Take a break and spend some time to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Lohajung is visible beyind the mustard fields.

The cemented path goes continues for around 500 metres. A stone trail continues hereafter. Continue on this for another 600 metres. You will spot another community tap on the way. At the end of this trail, you find a cemented water tank. The trail ends here.

From this point up on, there is no marked trail to Ajan Top. Due to soil erosion, multiple trails have formed here. You can take any of these to reach the top. As you cross this part, the tree line begins to recede and you can see a meadow opening up.

After this you enter the clearing on the top. In autumn season this is all lush green and small flowers bloom in the meadow. You can see the Ajan Temple in the centre.

On your right an entire range of mountains opens up, starting from Nanda Ghunti to the left, followed by Trisul 1 (7,120 m) & 2 (6,190 m). To the right of Trishul are Mrighthuni (6,855 m), Devtoli (6,788 m) and Tharkot (6,099 m) respectively. Have lunch here, with the magnificent mountains in front of you.

Descend to Lohajung on the same trail. It will take 40 minutes to 1 hour to reach Lohajung.

This trek has been documented by Indiahikes trek leader, Samkit Jain.

The tip of Mt Trishul is visible from Chibila village. Picture by Samkit Jain
Mustard fields to your left around Chibila village. Picture by Samkit Jain
The cemented trail goes winding past fields. Picture by Samkit Jain
Lohajung appears beyond the fields to the left as you trek up the trail from Chibila village. Picture by Samkit Jain

 

The trail enters a forest with rhododendron and oaks. Picture by Samkit Jain
The cemented trail gives way to a stone path around 500 metres from Chibila. The second community tap that you cross on the trail comes up a few hundred metres ahead. Picture by Samkit Jain
The forest clear, giving to a meadow at Ajan Top. Picture by Samkit Jain
180 degree mountain views open up as you reach Ajan top. Picture by Samkit Jain
Temple at Ajan top. Picture by Samkit Jain
View of the mountain range from Ajan top. Picture by Samkit Jain

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 230 km from Kathgodam.

Indiahikes arranges transport from Kathgodam Railway station at 6.30 am on Day 1 of the trek. The cost of this transport (Rs.5,500 per cab) will have to be shared by trekkers. You can pay the driver directly.

The drive to Lohajung is a pleasurable one, as you pass through several Kumaoni and Garwahli hill stations – Nainital, Kausani and Gwaldam. You will reach Lohajung at around 6.00 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 10.30 pm from Old Delhi Railway Station and reaches Kathgodam at 5.05 am.

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 4.00 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 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 book online at http://www.kmvn.gov.in/

Option 2
Take an overnight bus from Delhi’s Anand Vihar ISBT to Kathgodam. Volvo buses leave Anand Vihar for Kathgodam around 9.00 pm. This is 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 5.30 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. The cost of this transport (Rs.5,500 per cab) will have to be shared by trekkers. You can pay the driver directly. You will reach Kathgodam around 6.00 pm.

If you are travelling further from Kathgodam, you can book your transport post 8.00 pm, keeping two hours as buffer time in case of road blocks in the mountain roads.

If you want to reach the base camp 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 4.00 am and Lohajung at 5.30 pm.
Note: This is an extremely long and tiring journey and the buses are not too comfortable. We recommend Options 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 6.00 am. From Karanprayag Bus Stand, take a shared Jeep to Tharali (47 km). The road to Tharali runs along the Pindar river.

From Tharali, take a shared taxi to Debal (14 km). Once you reach Debal, contact our transporter, Raju Shah Ji on +91 8979 321 600. He will help you with an onward transport to Lohajung (24 km).

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