Difficulty

Difficult | Level 1

Duration

7 Days

Highest Altitude

15,069 ft

Age

13 to 55 years

Duration

7 Days

Age

13 to 55 years

Difficulty

Difficult | Level 1

Highest Altitude

15,069 ft

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Trek fee

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Pangarchulla Peak Trek

A Challenging Summit Climb High on Adventure

If you are looking for a power-packed and thrilling summit climb, the Pangarchulla Peak trek offers just that. The summit point of the Pangarchulla Peak trek is situated at a challenging altitude of 15,069 ft.

To begin with, Pangarchulla is a 5-day trek (7 days when you include the travel days from Rishikesh). The trek starts from Auli near Joshimath in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is situated in the Nanda Devi National Park. 

Note: We are following the original itinerary of the Pangarchulla trek that begins from Auli. We followed this traditional itinerary while exploring the Pangarchulla trek in 2015-16. This itinerary is close to our hearts and is also the preferred itinerary by Sandhya UC, co-founder of Indiahikes.

She says, "According to me, the trek has to be done only from this side and not from the Dhak side. I’ll tell you why it is so. 

When you start from Auli, right to Gorson Bugyal and then to Tali, the big mountains – Mt. Dronagiri and Mt. Nanda Devi – are in front of you. Right from Auli, you start going towards the mountain views that get bigger as the trek proceeds. 

If you start from the Dhak side, you don’t get to see Mt. Nanda Devi at all till Day 4 of the trek when you start descending at Auli. Also, you are trekking with your back to the mountains and walking away from them. This is why while trekking from Dhak, to get the splendid mountain view from Gorson Bugyal you have to stop your trek and turn back to see the mountains.”

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Pangarchulla Peak Videos

Watch these videos to prepare for your Pangarchulla Peak trek.

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Quick Itinerary

A route map of the Pangarchulla Peak trek

Day 1

Drive from Rishikesh to Joshimath

Drive Distance: 254 km | Drive Duration: 10-11 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

Transport will be arranged at 6.00 AM. It costs Rs.6,000 per Bolero (5-6 seater), and Rs.9,000 per Tempo Traveller (10-12 seater) for the transport, one way. This amount is shared by trekkers. You will reach the base camp, Joshimath by 5.00 PM.

Day 2

Drive from Joshimath to Tugasi. Trek from Tugasi to Gulling/Akhrotghetta

Trek Distance: 12 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,790 ft to 10,908 ft

Moderate. Continuous ascent which is steep for the first 20 minutes followed by 45 minutes of gradual ascent. Steep again for about an hour, followed by a mix of gradual and steep ascents for 1.5 - 2 hours. Carry 2 litres of water.

Day 3

Trek from Gulling/Akhrotghetta to Khullara

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 3-4 hours | Altitude Gain: 10,908 ft to 11,010 ft

Moderate. Gradually ascending trail. There are no water sources. Carry 2 litres of water.

Day 4

Acclimatization Day at Khullara. Trek to Kuari Top and back to Khullara

Trek Distance: 7 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11,010 ft to 12,600 ft, and back to 11,010 ft

Easy. Gradual ascent to Kuari Top. Carry sufficient water as there are no water sources on the trail.

Day 5

Trek from Khullara to Pangarchulla Summit, and back to Khullara

Trek Distance: 12 km | Trek Duration: 10-12 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11,010 ft to 15,069 ft, and back to 11,010 ft

Difficult. Initial gradual ascent followed by steep ascent over snow/boulders. Only one water source around 3-4 hours into the trek. Carry 2 litres of water and refill your bottles completely at the source.

Day 6

Trek from Khullara to Karchi, and drive to Tapoban

Trek Distance: 5.25 km | Trek Duration: 3-4 hours | Altitude Loss: 11,010 ft to 7,315 ft

Easy-Moderate. Moderate to steep descent all the way to Karchi. Carry sufficient water.

Day 7

Drive back from Tapoban to Rishikesh

Drive Distance: 260 km | Trek Duration: 10-11 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

The transport cost has to be borne by trekkers. It costs Rs.6,000 per Bolero (5-6 seater), and Rs.9,000 per Tempo Traveller (10-12 seater) for the transport, one way.

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges.

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent.

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

A route map of the Pangarchulla Peak trek

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

If you're planning your travel, choose to travel by bus instead of train. They're usually on time compared to trains. If you're travelling by train, choose a train to reach Haridwar a day before Day 1 of your trek, and take an auto-rickshaw or a shared taxi to reach Rishikesh on the same day.

Return Travel

While returning, you will reach Rishikesh between 6.00 and 7.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after 9.00 PM from Rishikesh. Since there are no trains directly from Rishikesh, the Nanda Devi Express from Dehradun (about 45 km from Rishikesh) will suit your schedule well.

Day 1

Drive from Rishikesh to Joshimath

Drive Distance: 254 km | Drive Duration: 10-11 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

Transport will be arranged at 6.00 AM. It costs Rs.6,000 per Bolero (5-6 seater), and Rs.9,000 per Tempo Traveller (10-12 seater) for the transport, one way. This amount is shared by trekkers. You will reach the base camp, Joshimath by 5.00 PM.

Day 2

Drive from Joshimath to Tugasi. Trek from Tugasi to Gulling/Akhrotghetta

Trek Distance: 12 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,790 ft to 10,908 ft

Moderate. Continuous ascent which is steep for the first 20 minutes followed by 45 minutes of gradual ascent. Steep again for about an hour, followed by a mix of gradual and steep ascents for 1.5 - 2 hours. Carry 2 litres of water.

Day 3

Trek from Gulling/Akhrotghetta to Khullara

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 3-4 hours | Altitude Gain: 10,908 ft to 11,010 ft

Moderate. Gradually ascending trail. There are no water sources. Carry 2 litres of water.

Day 4

Acclimatization Day at Khullara. Trek to Kuari Top and back to Khullara

Trek Distance: 7 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11,010 ft to 12,600 ft, and back to 11,010 ft

Easy. Gradual ascent to Kuari Top. Carry sufficient water as there are no water sources on the trail.

Day 5

Trek from Khullara to Pangarchulla Summit, and back to Khullara

Trek Distance: 12 km | Trek Duration: 10-12 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11,010 ft to 15,069 ft, and back to 11,010 ft

Difficult. Initial gradual ascent followed by steep ascent over snow/boulders. Only one water source around 3-4 hours into the trek. Carry 2 litres of water and refill your bottles completely at the source.

Day 6

Trek from Khullara to Karchi, and drive to Tapoban

Trek Distance: 5.25 km | Trek Duration: 3-4 hours | Altitude Loss: 11,010 ft to 7,315 ft

Easy-Moderate. Moderate to steep descent all the way to Karchi. Carry sufficient water.

Day 7

Drive back from Tapoban to Rishikesh

Drive Distance: 260 km | Trek Duration: 10-11 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers: Live Free Hostel, Rishikesh

The transport cost has to be borne by trekkers. It costs Rs.6,000 per Bolero (5-6 seater), and Rs.9,000 per Tempo Traveller (10-12 seater) for the transport, one way.

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges.

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent.

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

If you're planning your travel, choose to travel by bus instead of train. They're usually on time compared to trains. If you're travelling by train, choose a train to reach Haridwar a day before Day 1 of your trek, and take an auto-rickshaw or a shared taxi to reach Rishikesh on the same day.

Return Travel

While returning, you will reach Rishikesh between 6.00 and 7.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after 9.00 PM from Rishikesh. Since there are no trains directly from Rishikesh, the Nanda Devi Express from Dehradun (about 45 km from Rishikesh) will suit your schedule well.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Pangarchulla Peak trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

Tali Campsite amidst the age old Golden Oak trees. Picture by Jothiranjan

Khullara Campsite is one of our picturesque campsites where you spend most of your time. Picture by Jothiranjan

The silent forests of Tali are unique. Picture by Jothiranjan

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

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Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine.

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Sandhya UC, Co-Founder, COO

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map a few of the greatest Himalayan treks in India, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the "Women of Worth" Award by Outlook Business in 2017. She believes in sustainable living just as she believes in sustainable trekking.

Here’s Sandhya talking about one of the well-known treks in our country.

What I Like About Pangarchulla Peak Trek

What I Like About Pangarchulla Peak Trek

Sandhya UC, Co-Founder, COO

Sandhya is a founding partner at Indiahikes. Over the past ten years, she has explored and put on the map a few of the greatest Himalayan treks in India, including Kashmir Great Lakes and Kedarkantha. She is a TedX Speaker and has been awarded the "Women of Worth" Award by Outlook Business in 2017. She believes in sustainable living just as she believes in sustainable trekking. Here’s Sandhya talking about one of the well-known treks in our country.

1. An adventure-filled summit climb

This trek is known for its summit climb. For anyone who has done this trek, that will be the first thing to recall about their trek. The summit day is for one very long. You climb over lots of boulders covered over snow, feeling your feet every step of the way.

As you climb high, you also traverse lots of tricky, steep and exposed sections which adds to the thrill and adventure. You also climb till 15,069 ft, almost 4,000 ft up and down on the summit day. All of this makes this trek a very exciting and adventure-filled one.

An adventure filled summit climb on the Pangarchulla trek. Picture by Satyen Dasgupta

2. Grand views of the Greater Himalayan Range

While the summit climb in itself leaves you with a strong adrenaline rush, what adds to this experience is the mountain views you get from the top. All along the trek, you are accompanied by grand views of a big part of the Greater Himalayan Range. And at the summit, you are surrounded by them and they all stand so close to you.

This feeling is unparalleled and very hard to find in any other treks in the Himalayas. You are surrounded by a 360-degree view of Hathi Parbat, Mana Mandir, Kamet, Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, Chaukhamba, Ghori Parbat and many more peaks that are steeped in mythology and mountaineering stories.

The mountain views are so grand on this trek that it makes all your efforts to reach the peak worthwhile. Picture by Satyen Dasgupta

3. Camping at Khullara

Very few campsites in the Himalayas can compare to Khullara. Khullara is a big open ground surrounded by dense beautiful forests and grand mountain views. The forests for one are a highlight themselves, providing the setting of a forest in a fairy tale.

And when you trek in March and April, they are filled with blooming Rhododendrons, providing colours to the already beautiful forest. Being in Khullara will transport you to a different world altogether. And what's more, you get to spend two days at this campsite (including the acclimatization day).  

Even if you leave these aspects out, the Pangarchulla Peak is a superb trek. The beautiful sights and challenges of the trek make it a trek worth doing.

The picturesque Khullara campsite is known for stunning sunrises and sunsets. Picture by Dan

The massive Mt. Nanda Devi appears in full scale from Gorson Bugyal.

Picture by: Avijit Jamloki

Mt Nanda Devi

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Pangarchulla Peak trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

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PRO TIPS

Why fitness matters on the Pangarchulla Trek

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Pangarchulla is not an easy trek by any means. The summit push involves a continuous climb from wee hours such as 1 am to almost 10 or 11 am. That's 10 continuous hours of trekking at high altitudes, over snow and hard boulders. Not to mention, you're climbing to 14,000 ft., which is a very high altitude.

It requires fit legs and strong lungs to do this trek, which means you have to work on your fitness for at least two months before you step on the trail.

Watch this video to know about how difficult the trek is and why fitness matters.

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Why Fitness Matters on Pangarchulla Trek

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On Difficult treks, you’re likely to trek around 12-20 km each day. Expect extremely steep ascents and descents. Expect maximum altitudes above 15,000 ft, which can go up to 19,000+ ft. Technical sections (such as rockfall zones, near-vertical sections, glacier walks, boulder and scree sections) are an everyday affair. Some sections can only be crossed with the help of our Technical Staff.

Difficult treks are the most demanding, which is why we take only those trekkers with prior trekking experience on them. 

To do a difficult trek, target running 10 km within 60 minutes consistently. This will be possible only if you can run 5 km within 30 minutes comfortably before signing up for a difficult trek.

Note: There is a strict fitness screening process for difficult treks. In addition, if you are above the age of 58 years, you'll need to submit a Treadmill Test report within 7 days of registration.

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Pangarchulla Peak

Have you ever thought why Pangarchulla is called Pangarchulla?

Pangarchulla has an interesting story behind its name. If you look at Pangarchulla Peak from the base when it is not covered in snow, it looks like a big black chimney. At its base, many maple trees grow.

So Pangarchulla is a literal translation describing its appearance where it looks as if a chimney is placed amidst maple trees. Pangar means Maple, which refers to Maple trees and Chulla means a chimney.

Leaving the Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

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