Bansi Narayan Trek

  • This short trek brings you grand views of mountains such as Nanda Devi, Hathi, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti
  • The completely untouched trail to the summit takes you through beautiful forest patches with a variety of trees
  • Bansi Narayan is the only temple in Uttarakhand that is dedicated to Lord Krishna
DIFFICULTY:

Moderate

DURATION:

5 days

ROAD HEAD:

Joshimath/Helang

BASE CAMP:

Helang

BEST SEASON:

Early Summer

Grand views of mountains such as Nanda Devi, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti etc. is only one of the reasons to do the Bansi Narayan trek. This region is also rich in flora and fauna. You trek through oak, rhododendron and pine forests. If you’re watchful, you can sight a red billed blue magpie, Himalayan monal, scaly breasted woodpecker, khalif pheasant or a streaked laughing thrush.

The Trek

Day 1: Arrive at Joshimath / Helang.

  • Altitude: 6,696 ft
  • Time taken: 9 hours drive from Haridwar / Dehradun

If you are traveling by train, reach Haridwar or Dehradun early in the morning or the previous night. Shared taxis are available from outside either of the railway stations early in the morning. These charge Rs.600-800 per seat.

Another option is to take an overnight bus from Dehradun to Joshimath.

The trek begins from Devgram (6,614 ft), a village in the Urgam valley.

Day 2: Drive to Devgram. Trek to Mulakharak

  • Altitude: 8,907 ft
  • Time taken: 1 hour drive + 2-3 hours trek
  • Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual ascent for about 1.5 hours followed by a steep, zig-zag ascent
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles from a source which is around 70 minutes away from Devgram.

The trek begins from Devgram. You begin with a gradual ascent on a marked trail which goes till another village called Bansa. After 20 minutes of walk, you cross a  mobile tower – here, you leave behind the beautiful view of Urgam valley. Then it is a gradual ascent till Bansa village [7,277 ft]. It takes around an hour to reach this village from Devgram.

Uruba Rishi temple [7,703 ft] is on the way. You reach this after walking for 15 minutes on a paved road which goes to the village. Within 10 minutes on this path, you reach the first water source [7,963 ft] on the way to Mulakharak. This is the point where steep and zig zag ascent starts. It’s a thick forest patch with loose rocks and gravel on the way till you reach the campsite.

Once you reach the top, the forest opens out into a big meadow right in front. This place is called Mulakharak. A shepherds’ hut is in one of the corners of this meadow. View of Kedar range opens up just in front as you come to this point. On the opposite side, all the other massive peaks like Barmal, Nanda Devi, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti etc. look beautiful. It gets better at the time of sunset.

Jagdi Mata also known as Bhagwati Devis temple is situated on a small hill nearby [9,042 ft]. Stay overnight at campsite.

Water source: Only thing to take care of is its almost 20 to 25-minute walk from the campsite, where water is available 24×7.

Day 3: Mulakharak to Bansi Narayan temple

  • Altitude: 11,772 ft
  • Time taken: 4 hours
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Gradual ascent for about 1.5 hours followed by a steep, zig-zag ascent
  • Water sources: You can refill water bottles from 2 sources on the trail today – 30 and 40 minutes from the starting point.

Start the trek right after breakfast and carry food to eat on the way. Today’s trek is steep and a little tough.

Start in the direction of Bhagwati Devi temple. The trail begins in a very beautiful forest patch. Green oak trees are predominant here. Continue ascending past the Bhagwati Devi temple. In 20 minutes, you reach a water source. This rest point is a midpoint [9,606 ft] for the whole trek which starts from Devgram to Bansi Narayan.

Continue on the trail for another 10 minutes, till you reach another water source [9,705 ft]. The trail continues to ascend steeply till a point which is known as Berjik Dhaar [10,115 ft]. This takes around 25 minutes to reach from the water point. Here, you change direction and turn westwards. You’ll see prayer flags from this point, which is famously known as Chetarpal Mandir [9,980 ft].

Story: Chetarpal Bhumiyal is also known as Ghanta Karna. He was once praying to lord Shiva when demons tried to disturb him. To avoid them, he rang the bells continuously. The noise chased the demons away and brought him Shiva’s blessings.

Trek past the temple. After 20 minutes, the view opens up through the forest for the very first time on today’s trail [10,456 ft]. From this point, rhododendron forest starts dominating other trees till the tree line ends.

Continue on for about 35 minutes and you reach a place called Nokchuna Dhar where a Ganapati/Ganesh Temple [10,991 ft] is situated. The other side of the valley opens up from this point.

As you proceed further towards Bansi Narayan, look out for a a cave like structure which comes on the right hand side while ascending. You might just spot a bear asleep inside! [11,106 ft].

It takes an hour to reach Bansi Narayan temple from here. After the temple, on the right hand side behind the big rocks, a small hike of 5 minutes brings you to a bowl like meadow which is the place suitable for a campsite. [11,772 ft]

Day 4: Explore the area around Bansi Narayan temple

  • Altitude: 11,772 ft

There are many vantage points which can be explored today. Chota Nandi Kund which is approximately 2 hours from one of the top points also can be explored. Other side of Kedar range including Kedarnath, Kedar Dome etc. can also be seen from top points which are on the way to lake.

Day 5: Bansi Narayan to Devgram

  • Altitude: 6,614 ft
  • Time taken: 3-4 hours
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Descending trail all the way
  • Water sources: You can refill your water bottles from 3 water sources along the trail.

Retrace your steps back to Devgram. There is a deviation to visit Kalpeshwar temple before you reach Devgram. This is another attraction to this place as it’s the fifth Kedar amongst Panch Kedar. It is situated under a very big boulder and has a great history related to it.

History: Situated in dense valley of Urgam, beneath a huge stone where Shiva worshiped is in a form of a tree (jata). It’s a cave temple. According to legends, he was offered water in a water container taken from a pool situated at this place. This container was from sea churning out of which 14 gems were originated. Kalpganga river flows beneath the temple which is also called as Himawati.

All the priests are form Negi family since the very beginning. They are also called as Bhalla in local language.

This trek has been documented by Indiahikes Trek Leader Geet Tryambake.

 

How to reach Devgram?

If you are traveling by train, reach Haridwar or Dehradun early in the morning or the previous night. Shared taxis are available from outside either of the railway stations early in the morning. These charge Rs.600-800 per seat.

Another option is to take an overnight bus from Dehradun to Joshimath or Tapovan. There are also daily buses from Haridwar to Badrinath. Take one of these and get off at Helang, which is just before Joshimath, on the way to Badrinath.

The trek begins from Devgram (6,614 ft), a village in the Urgam valley. Be prepared to wait for a shared cab to Devgram since this depends on the number of available passengers at any given time.

Want Help Finding
The Right Trek For You?

Get Your
Free Guide To
10 Best Treks
In India

Get The Guide
Sneha Rao

Sneha Rao

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

2 thoughts on “Bansi Narayan Trek

  1. I want to do this trek, pl inform is indiahike arrange this trek or from where i can get a poter /guide for the trek.

    1. Hi Anindita,
      Indiahikes does not run this trek. You can get a guide from Joshimath or Helang. Here are a few contact numbers to help you –
      Rajendra (guide) – 9456-774-912
      Vinod (homestay) – 8954-420-967
      Kalp Place (homestay) – 9411-535-365, 9012-821-624

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *