The Nandikund Trek Trail covers Madhyamaheshwar, Kachani Dhar, Pandavsera, Nandikund, Ghiya Vinayak Pass (17389 ft), Bansinarayan and Kalpeshwar. The Pandavsera valley is 3-4 km. wide and local people believe that the Pandavas stayed here for a long time, dug a canal and transformed it into cultivable land. Ghiya Vinayak pass is really a challenging task for trekkers as the route to the pass is very tricky and it is advisable to take an experienced guide along. Since some part of the trail falls under Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary there is a good chance of encountering wildlife like Brown Bear, Leopard, Marten, Weasels, Pika etc.
There are some very old swords in a temple located besides the Nandikund lake, which are worshipped, as they are thought to have belonged to the Pandavas.
MYTH -The legend of Madhyamaheshwar is an integral part of the legend of PanchKedar, which is a captivating narration of the efforts of Pandavas to atone for the sins of their fratricide (gotra- hatya) act of killing their cousins, the Kauravas, and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins – the priest class), during the epic Mahabharata war. On advice from sages and their trusted benefactor Lord Krishna they sought Lord Shiva to pardon them and bless them to attain salvation. Since Shiva was annoyed with them for their conduct during the Kurukshetra war, he tried to avoid them by assuming the animal form of a bull or Nandi and hid himself in the Himalayan Garhwal region. But the determined Pandavas, after sighting Shiva in the form of the bull grazing in the hills of Guptakashi, tried to forcibly hold the bull by its tail and hind legs. But the bull disappeared into the ground to reappear later in his original self of Lord Shiva at five places; in the form of a hump at Kedarnath, in the shape of bahu (arms) at Tungnath, with his face at Rudranath, his nabhi (navel) and stomach at Madhyamaheshwar and his hair (locks) called jata at Kalpeshwar. Pandavas, pleased with the revelation of Lord Shiva at five places in different forms, built temples at these five places, worshipped him and attained salvation with the blessings of Shiva. The temples were later discovered by Adi Sankaracharya.
Author: Vinita Chattwani
Day 1: Ukhimath (4300 ft) – Uniyana – Ransi – Gaundhar – Nanu (7743 ft)
45 mins jeep drive from Ukhimath to Uniyana. 12-13 kms, 7 hrs trek to Nanu
Ukhimath is the last major village so after all arrangements for the trek are made, drive to Uniyana which is 18 kms drive from Ukhimath.Ukhimath is also famous for the Omkareshwar temple as it is the winter abode of the Lords of Kedarnath and Madhyamaheshwar. The idols of Kedaranath and Madhymaheshwar are brought down here during winter in a spectacular Doli-Yatra.You board the waiting vehicle which will drop you just 2-3 kms short of Ransi -which is the last motorable point. Shortly outside Uniyana, the jeep track fades slowly. Now you have to continue on foot to Ransi. You can see the trail starts with an easy hike from the sleepy hamlet of Uniyana.
The trail passes through the terrace fields of the Uniyana village seen on both the sides. Continue on the trail climbing up gently towards Ransi village. You can see the forested Madhyamaheshwar Ganga valley and the Madhymaheshwar Ganga flowing down. Continue on the trail for 30 minutes till you reach Ransi. Ransi is a typical hilly village with cottages made of stone and mud and you see the village women toiling hard in small cultivation plots. You can purchase some last moment supplies here but do not expect much. You can see the trail continues to gently ascend for 25 minutes and then turns into a gradual level walk. Another 10 minutes into it and you will see the trail passes through a small stream near a stone made hut which is a part of the “Gharat” system used to grind wheat using the ancient water wheel technology.Continue on the mud path for 10-15 minutes and you will see that the trail now enters a green forest with huge trees on both sides. The trail now moves downwards on a stone paved path.
If you are lucky you can see the bright blue limbs of the high altitude Himalayan lizard (Kashmir Rock Agama) enjoying the sunshine. Continue descending on the stone paved trail for 45 minutes to an hour till you reach the bridge over a river, with a grand view and deafening roar of a waterfall cascading down. Cross the river coming from your left on a steel bridge and you are on the trail, which now starts to climb up gently. Continue on the trail for 20 minutes until you see a huge boulder on your left. The overhanging boulder with walls built on 2 sides serve as a temporary rest area. Continue the upward climb for 1 km and you will reach Gaundhar, a scenic place. On the way you cross 2 more bridges at an interval of 5-10 minutes each. Also you come across a small temple on the right hand side of the trail. It takes around 3 – 3.5 hours to reach Gaundhar from Ransi. You can break here for lunch.
As you enter Gaundhar you see the Kailash hotel onto your left that has a small dhaba, with a three storied guest house opposite it. Further ahead you see Madhymaheshwar Tourist Lodge. After having lunch continue on the trail that descends down. You can see the steel bridge after descending down for 10-15 minutes. After crossing the bridge you come to the Bantoli village which is 1 km from Gaundhar. Bantoli is a fantastic place that stands with an idyllic posture facing confluence of MartyendaGanga and Madhymaheshwar ganga.You will see a few houses with straw on roof with a lot of welcome sentences written in Bengali. Continue on the trail and you will come across the two storied Vishwa Lodge.
The trail now ascends in the north-west direction from Bantoli towards Nanu. Continue ascending on the trail for 15- 20 minutes and you will see the top view of thick forested growth, with two rivers Madhymaheshwar Ganga and Martyenda Ganga and a bridge on one of the rivers. The trail which we traversed an hour ago is also in focus. Another 45 minutes into the trail and you will come across a huge boulder on the left side of the trail.
Continue on the trail till you reach Khatara which consists of just two shacks, one a dhaba and a shelter for the pilgrims with very basic amenities. Khatara is 2 kms from Bantoli. The trail continues uphill gradually on the stone paved path. Continue on the trail for another 30 minutes and you will see the trail is now covered with a pile of brown leaves shed by trees on both sides of the trail. Slight drizzle to heavy rain is a common phenomenon in June. Continue on the trail that goes uphill for another 1 – 1.5 hours and you will reach Nanu. You can camp here tonight or stay in the lodge.
Day 2: Nanu (7743 ft) – Madhymaheshwar (11483 ft.) 6 kms.
This is a relatively easy day for trekking. Proceed ahead on the trail that goes uphill on the stone paved path. You can see the trail going zig-zag upwards. After 35 – 40 minutes into the hike you will come across a mushroom shaped rest area. There are several rest areas on the trail as this is used by the pilgrims going to Madhymaheshwar. After 50 minutes into the hike you will see a signboard indicating the name of the place and also the elevation.
You will see a blue water tank and couple of huts in Moukhom Chatti which is located at 8596 ft and around 1.5 kms from Nanu. Proceed ahead on the trail uphill. The trail takes you through magnificent landscapes and enthralling natural surroundings.Continue on the trail for 5 – 10 minutes and you will see that the trail now passes through forest cover with trees on both sides of the trail. The oak forest grows darker after Moukhom Chatti. Another 30- 45 minutes into the hike after Moukhom Chatti you will come across Kun Chatti which is around 1.5 kms. You will see a signboard indicating the elevation 9121 ft. At Kun Chatti you will come across a shack named Prince hotel which serves as a dhaba and resting place. You can get tea / lemon water here.
The last few kms are an arduous and continuous climb. Proceed ahead as you now enter the zone of Rhododendron forests on both side of the trail. The fresh little pinkish buds of the flowers or tender leaves, all around, give a dash of warm colour to the landscape. All along the trail you will see several markings (e.g. K.M. 32) on the way on stones written in black on a white background that indicate the distance. As you venture deep into the forest you come across several Himalayan birds. After 2 – 2.5 hours into the trek you will come across some meadows on the right and you will see cattle grazing on green pastures. This indicates that you are near the top. Continue on the trail for another 45 minutes and you will see the trail emerge from the forest as it moves around the mountain to appear at the Madhyamaheshwar meadow. The trail climbs up all the way and becomes flat just before Madhyamaheshwar. At 11483 ft. Madhyamaheshwar is a unique Himalayan destination with green carpet like bhugyals with plenty of small bushes all round. The calm and serene environment is spell binding. You will see that the Madhymaheshwar valley shows forest cover at the back ground, signifying that this place must be getting abundant amount of rainfall round the year. You can also see corrugated and thatched roof structures along the route to the temple which are guest houses or dhabas.
You can pitch a tent or stay in the temple guest house /local huts. After resting you can proceed to visit Buda Madh which is around 1000 ft from Madhymaheshwar. Buda Madh is at the top of the ridge lying to the north-west of the temple. Facing the temple start moving on the trail that connects the ridge on your left keeping the temple to your right. Proceed on the trail for 30 – 45 minutes till you reach the top. You see mesmerizing views of the Chaukhamba group of peaks and Mandani Parbat from here.
Day 3: Madhyamaheshwar (11483 ft) – Kachani dhar (14764 ft) 8 – 9 kms, 7-8 hrs.
The trek today is going to be a strenuous climb until the Kachani ridge. Madhymaheshwar to Kachani is around 8 – 9 kms. Locals frequently trek up to Kachani to bring Brahma Kamal, the sacred flower, for the Lord’s pujas, and hence the trail is well marked until the ridge. Proceed ahead on the trail that moves towards the lush green jungle behind the temple.
After 20 minutes you will see the trail passes through thick forest. Continue on the trail for 10 – 15 minutes and you will see a magnificent view of the snow clad peaks from the opening in the forest. After 45 – 50 minutes into the hike you will see the trail open up and you can see the trail climbing up to the ridge visible from the temple. You are above the tree line and breathing becomes heavy. The trail passes through green bushes which are 2 – 3 feet long.As you move up you will see the stunning Madhymaheshwar valley and the trail to Budha Madh plateau.
From here you can see the Kachani Top, a wall like ridge with two dangerously positioned giant rocks. Continue on the trail for 30 minutes and you will see huge boulders. Proceed ahead for another 25 – 30 minutes and you will see a huge metal circle stuck on the hump at the top. It is part of a plane that crashed in this valley. You can still see the metallic remains of the plane around the area. After 2- 2.5 hours into the hike, little off the trail on the right you have a water pool. You can have quick snacks here. Continue on the trail for 15 – 20 minutes and you will come across a 15 – 20 feet boulder noticeable from a distance.
Another 15-20 minutes and you will come across another 20-25 feet huge boulder which has a small temple like structure built out of stones utilizing the overhanging wall of the boulder and an orange flag placed such that it can be seen from far. The trail now climbs up gradually. Continue on the level headed trail for another 30 minutes and you are at the top from where the trekking route bifurcates: one going straight leading towards Kachani tal—SujalSarovar—Panpatia col and another moving right towards Pandavsera—Nandikund— Ghiya Vinayak pass —Kalpeswar/Rudranath. This place can be seen even from Uniyana / Ransi. It takes around 3 – 3.5 hours to reach here. You are now at the top of the ridge with both sides sloping steadily. Continue on the trail that descends gradually into the valley below. You can see the trail now moves on a rocky terrain alternating with snow patches in between. You need to be very careful here as the trail is slippery with a steep slope. After 45 minutes to an hour you will see the trail passes through boulders on both sides. Proceed ahead and after another 45 minutes into the hike you come across a huge overhanging boulder that can also be used as a shade if it is drizzling. You can see the campsite from here.
You may also find some peculiar rodents running aroundthat are rat size but have ear like a hare. They are called Pikas – small mammals, with short limbs and rounded ears.Continue on Rocky terrain for another 30 – 45 minutes until you come across a stone structure that looks like a base of a shepherd hut with level stones at the base and 1 feet high stones standing vertical to make the side wall. You can use this as kitchen and can camp on the flat surface nearby.
Day 4: Kachani dhar (14764 ft) – Pandavsera (13780 ft) 9 kms – 6-7 hrs.
The trail today is also relatively easy. You will see the trail alternates between gradual uphill and steep downhill. You can see the Pandavsera plateau from Kachani Dhar campsite.The green meadow (left) seen just behind the greenish brown slope is Pandavsera. You can also see the way to Nandikund from here. Proceed on the trail going left keeping the valley towards your right. Continue ahead on a nice level walk for 10 – 15 minutes till you come across rocky terrain. You will now see the trail descending down into the valley. After another 10 minutes you will come across a rock wall on your left. Proceed ahead. You will see the trail alternates between meadows and rocky terrain. After 25 – 30 minutes into the hike you come across a stream. You can fill in your bottles here. You will see the trail now changes into a well-defined stone paved path. You will also see the trail missing in some sections of the trek. You will have to go by the general direction sense in that case. The bird’s eye view of the snow clad peaks seen right in the front of the trail is breathtaking. Continue on the level headed walk for 10-15 minutes until you see the trail going downhill. Proceed on the trail that goes downhill till you encounter a snow patch. After 45-50 minutes into the hike, you will see that the trail now gradually starts to ascend followed by a level headed walk. Continue on the trail for 10 -15 minutes and you will see the trail going downhill again.
After 10-15 minutes you will encounter some boulders. Proceed ahead on the trail for 30 minutes till you come across a stream of water. After crossing the stream continue on the snow patch that gradually ascends up. Continue on the trail uphill for 15 minutes followed by level walk. You will see the trail now passes through lush green meadows. Continue on the trail for another 15 minutes till you reach the rocky terrain. You can see the Pandavsera campsite is pretty near from here. The trail now moves through small bushes. Continue on the trail for 30 minutes till you reach huge boulders, you can see some cave like formation underneath the huge boulders. They are called as Pandavgupha.
It is believed that the Panadavs stayed here. After having some rest continue on the trail that ascends down. After 30 minutes you encounter a milky waterfall. It takes almost 4 hours to reach this point. You can take rest here and have some snacks.
Proceed ahead on the trail downhill. After 20 minutes into the hike you will see huge overhanging boulders in between a meadow covered with golden shrubs and huge green leaves. Continue on the trail downhill for 40 minutes and you will come across a beautiful meadow with colourful yellow, white and blue flowers. Continue on the trail for 20 minutes and you will see huge boulders scattered here and there on lush green meadows at a distance. This is the Pandavsera. The valley in monsoon is filled with Fenkamal, Enkamal, Brahmakamal, Neelkamal and other various beautiful medicinal plants. Another 15- 20 minutes into the hike and you will reach Pandavsera campsite.The campsite is in between 2 huge boulders. The overhanging boulder can be used as a kitchen.
Just 2 minutes from the campsite you also have a stone temple underneath a huge boulder.The Pandavsera valley is 3-4 km. wide and local people believe that the Pandavas stayed here for a long time, dug a canal and transformed it into cultivable land.
Day 5: Pandavsera (13780 ft) – Nandikund (15748 ft) – Giya Vinayak Pass( 17389 ft) – Barma (13780 ft), 12kms , 9-10 hrs
This is going to be a long day with a strenuous climb all the way to Nandikund and Ghiya Vinayak pass accompanied by a steep descent to Barma. Continue on the trail moving forward from the plains of Pandavsera towards your right. Proceed ahead on the trail for 5-10 minutes till you encounter a small stream. There is a wooden log bridge is placed over the stream to enable crossing. Just after crossing the bridge you can see the trail gradually climbs uphill. Continue on the trail for 5-10 minutes and you come across a huge meadow cut across by the Nandikund river. Continue on the trail for 25 – 30 minutes keeping the river towards your left. You will see the first 1-2 kms is a gentle hike along the Nandikund river. Continue on the trail till you encounter rocky terrain. Another 5 – 10 minutes into the hike and you see a lush green meadow with countless streams. You can see a web like formation of the streams.
Continue walking up the plains of Pandavsera, keeping the Madhyamaheshwar Ganga that originates from Nandikund towards your left.After 15 – 20 minutes you will see the trail now takes a right turn and gradually climbs up through the boulders and yellow grassy patches. Continue to climb up for 15 – 20 minute till you see the lush green meadow again cut across by several streams forming multiple circular web like formation. The trail now climbs down the meadow. Continue on the level headed trail for 30 minutes till you reach the end of the meadow. It takes around 2.5 hours to reach the end of the meadow. You will see the trail now gradually climbs up. Continue on the trail for 15 – 20 minutes till you see the slope ahead covered with thick snow. Continue ascending on the trail keeping the ridge to your right. After 30 minutes of hiking in the snow you will see the incline gradually increases.
The trail climbs up on the left for 10 – 15 minutes and then moves to the right again. Proceed ahead on the snow trail for 20 – 30 minutes till you reach huge boulders. Pass through the boulders and continue for 10 -15 minutes till you come across mud and grass patches in the snow. Another 30 minutes and you reach the Nandikund. It takes around 3 – 4 hours to reach Nandikund. Nandikund, at 15748 ft is as deep as it is big, with the Madhyamaheshwar Ganga flowing from it. You will see it is surrounded on all sides by high peaks, except where Chaukhamba towers at a distance. In the months of September – October when the snow melts you see the mesmerising reflection of the many peaks of Chaukhamba in the lake. On the banks of Nandikund you can see a small rock-made temple of Devi Nanda.You can also see some old swords near the temple. People believe that those were some of the arms that great Pandavas had left there before final journey.
The swords are supposed to be so heavy that one would need both hands to even lift them. After having snacks continue on the trail to your right keeping the Nandikund lake to your left. The trail gradually climbs up the snow mountains. You can see a white sheet billowed all around. Continue on the trail for 45 minutes and you can see the frozen Nandikund lake onto your left. Continue on the trail for 30 minutes till you see frozen waterbed onto your left. Continue on the level trail for 15 – 20 minutes and you will see the trail gradually climbs up. You can now see the saddle shaped pass on your left. Continue on the trail for 15 – 20 minutes and you will see the trail now climbs to your left. You will find several small rocky terrains in between covered with grass. Continue on the trail for 25 – 30 minutes till you can see the saddle shaped pass towards your right. Another 30 minutes and you reach the pass.
On a clear day you can see Nanda Devi (25643 ft), Trishul, Dhronagiri, Chaukhamba and Kedarnath peaks from here. Panpati Glacier can also be seen from here. It is a steep drop to the other side of the pass so you have to be very careful. You will see there is thick snow on the way up to the pass but very little on the other side. It takes around 2.5 – 3 hours to reach the pass from Nandikund. You can see the steep descent to Vaitrani on the other side of the pass. Continue on the trail that descends down the snow.
It takes around 1 hour to cover the steep descent. Continue on the gradual trail for 45 minutes till you reach Vaitrani. You can see the green Bhugyals welcoming you. You see a small stream going all the way down. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Barma from here. The campsite is is next to a small stream on the lush green meadows. It takes around 2 – 2.5 hours to reach Burma from Ghiya Vinayak Pass.
Day 6: Barma (13780 ft) – Bansi Narayan (11483 ft) 15 kms, 8-9 hrs
The trek today is relatively easy as you will be following the trail made by the Kedarnath forest division. You can trek all the way to Bansi Narayan or camp in between at Manpai Bhugyal. The trek to Bansi Narayan is long and crosses several ridges and streams in between. You go through a series of uphills and downhills. Continue on the trail that gradually climbs up the ridge on a mud path that passes between the meadows.
The trail is well marked as it is frequently used by the shepherds. Continue on the trail for 10 – 15 minutes till the trail gradually descends down into the valley. Just before the trail starts to descend you see a small stone temple with red and yellow cloth tied to the stone decorated with colourful flowers.Proceed ahead on the trail for 15 minutes till you reach a stream. There is a thin wooden plank placed on the stream to crossover and it requires a balancing act to cross as you see the roaring stream below.
You will see now the trail gradually climbs up the meadow on the other side. Continue on the trail for 20-25 minutes till the trail passes through a rhododendron jungle. Another 5-10 minutes into the hike and the trail once again opens up into green meadows on both sides. Continue ascending on the trail for 20-25 minutes and you can see the Ghiya Vinayak pass and the trail from Barma behind you. Proceed ahead on the trail and you will see the trail passes through knee length bushes blooming with white flowers on both sides of the trail. Another 20-30 minutes of hike and you reach the top. There is a stone temple on the top called Panch Dyula. The temple is marked with red and yellow flags and small bells hanging out from the stone structure. After some rest continue on the trail that descends down into the meadow. You can see the meadow is filled with colourful flowers. After walking on the snow for the entire previous day the green meadows are a refreshing and welcoming change. Two hours into the hike will get you to a very scenic meadow called Manpai Bugiyal (13123 ft).Continue on the trail for 15 – 20 minutes till you see tree line below. Another 15 – 20 minutes and you reach the tree line below. Just before the tree line you come across huge boulders. You can see the trail now enters into dense forest. Continue on the trail for 5-10 minutes and the trail now opens up and leads to a river. You will find a wooden bridge to cross over.
You can see a lot of sheep grazing on the lush green pasture. You can rest here for sometime. The trail now goes gradually ascends through green meadows. Continue on the trail for 30 – 45 minutes and you will see the trail now passes through knee length bushes with colourful flowers. Continue on the trail for 20-25 minutes and it opens into green meadows once again.
The last 1 hour or so is a steep zig-zag climb up to Khanddwar and gets a little tiring. It takes 3 hours to reach Khanddwari from the stream below. You will find mobiles receive network here and you can make a call if need be. On a clear day you have excellent view of several peaks including Nanda Devi, Trishul and Dhronagiri from here. Continue on the trail that moves down on the other side of the ridge. The trail passes through green meadows. You can see a lot of sheep and goats grazing midway. Another 30 minutes into the hike and you will find the trail passes through huge boulders. Continue on the trail for 20 – 25 minutes till you see a cave like structure formed by overhanging boulder off the trail in your right. You can camp here or proceed down to Bansi Narayan temple which is another 20 minutes down.
It takes around 2 hours from Khanddwari to reach the Bansi Narayan temple. Bansi Narayan temple is a single structure temple built out of huge stones in front of large slanting boulders. Bansi means flute and Narayan is another name for the Hindu God, Vishnu. This is an ancient temple and is surrounded by boulders.
Day 7: Bansi Narayan (11483 ft) – Devgram (6627 ft), 12kms, 7-8 hrs
This is the last day of the trek and the most relaxed of all days. The trail is mainly downhill through thick forest.
You will see two trails, one that goes immediately down from the temple into the forest and the other that goes left from the temple onto a ridge. One that goes down, goes to another village and then to Pipalkoti and it’s a longer way to reach the road head. For Urgam, you will have to take the trail that goes left from the temple and crosses the ridge and gets down into the jungle. You can also extend you trek and visit Rudranath which is 2 day trek via Dummak. Dummak is a four hour downhill walk from Bansinarayan temple. Continue on the trail that goes to the left from the temple. Proceed ahead and you will reach the end of the ridge within 5 – 10 minutes. You can see the trail descends into dense forest from here. The trail is steep and slippery in rains. Another 15 – 20 minutes into the hike and you come across some boulders and fallen trees. After 30 minutes into the hike you come across some openings in the forest and if lucky you can see the snow clad peaks. Continue on the trail that goes zig – zag through the forests through the mud path. After 45 minutes into the hike you will see the trail now gradually descends. Proceed ahead on the trail for another 30 minutes till you see an opening below. Another 20 minutes hike and you will reach the open meadow below. It takes around 2 hours of hike through the forest to reach this opening.
You can see a small stone temple on the left side of the ridge.This is the second spot where the mobile receives network in the 7 day trek. You can have snacks here. You can see villages of Urgam valley here. Continue on the trail down the meadow. After 1 hour you reach Bansa village. You can see Urvasha temple from a distance on the left side of the stream. Cross the stream over the cemented bridge.You can also find water near the temple that has water running through the pipe 365 days a year. Continue on the trail keeping the stream to your right.
After 15 minutes you will come across Gharat system where water is tunnelled to power a wheel that in turn grinds the grains. This is very common in Uttrakhand village. Another 30 mins hike and you reach Urgam. Urgam is lush green valley with fascinating picturesque apple orchard, terrace field, Rajma (kidney beans), and potatoes farms. It takes around 4 hours to reach Devgram village from Bansi Narayan temple. You can look for a lodge here. After settling down and having rest you visit the Kalpeshwar temple which is 1.5 – 2 kms and 30 minutes’ walk from Prathik lodge.
Continue on the cemented trail that starts from behind the Prathik lodge towards the right. You will see the trail runs parallel to a stream. Continue on the level headed trail keeping the stream to your right. After 10 – 15 minutes into the hike you come across a beautiful waterfall onto your right, a little off the trail. Another 10 minutes and you come cross an old suspension bridge. You can see the trail now goes uphill keeping the stream to your left. Within 10 minutes you reach the Kalpeshwar temple. The main temple is underneath an overhanging boulder with a corrugated surface which is supposed to be Shivji’s Jatta. Shiva is worshipped here in the form of matted hair.
Get trek fit!
This trek requires a good amount of endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. Make sure you are able to jog 4 km in 20 minutes before the start of the trek. It takes time to be able to cover this distance in the given time. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.
This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover carrying your backpacks and trekking along with your backpack is not a very easy task. You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Do around 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
What to pack?
- Trekking shoes: The trek distance is long and you will have to walk for long distances which need you to have comfortable trekking shoes. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
The Miyar Valley Dun trek happens round the year except for monsoons so make sure your have the proper clothing as per the season demands so you can keep yourself protected during the trek.
- Three (Five in Winter) Warm Layers: You will be trekking and camping at high altitudes. So make sure you have the apt clothes for the climatic conditions. It will be cold at the higher altitudes so make sure you have at least three layers of warm clothes to protect yourself.
- Two trek pants: One pair of pants should suffice for this trek. But you can carry one spare pair in case the first one gets wet. Wear one pair and carry one pair.
- Two collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry one.
- Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.
- Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow in Har Ki Dun Valley or from Kalkatiyadhaar (depending on the season you are going in), so carry a pair of sunglasses.
- Suncap: The sun is more harsh at high altitudes so wear a suncap to protect your face and neck.
- Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woolen hand gloves. One pair of water proof/resistant, wind proof gloves.
- Balaclava: You may use woollen scarves instead as well.
- Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
- Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Daypack (20 litres): If you are offloading your backpack, you will need a smaller backpack to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
- Toiletries (Sunscreen, moisturiser, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste)
- Cutlery: Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each
- Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 10 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid – 10 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)