An enchanting forest trek in Himachal Pradesh
Detailed Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Drive from Aut to Shangarh. Trek to Tindadhar.
- Altitude: 3,231ft (985 m) to 6,398 ft (1950 m) via 6,725 ft (2050m)
- Time taken: 2 hours drive from Aut (25 km); 4 hours trek (6 km)
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual ascent throughout
- Water sources: Carry two litres of water. There are waterfall enroute for a refill anytime you want.
- GPS coordinates: Lat 31° 44’39” N, long 77° 12’ 31’’E (Aut); Lat 31° 45’57” N, long 77° 21’ 20’’E (Ropa);
Reach Aut on your own from Delhi. Aut is a town on the Delhi-Manali highway, 40 km ahead of Mandi.
On the bank of the Beas river in Aut is the famous Markandey Rishi temple. The river is surprisingly quiet here and widens at the confluence with Sainj and Tirthan rivers.
We will pick you up at Aut (before crossing the tunnel if you are coming from New Delhi, Chandigarh etc) and drive to Shangarh, which is around 25 km away. The road to Shangarh heads North West, going through the 3 km long Aut tunnel. On the way, you see the huge lake formed by Larji dam at the confluence of Beas, Tirthan and Sainj rivers. This lake is home to several species of migratory birds in winter.
The trail begins next to the forest guest house at Ropa. It ascends gradually. After about 1 km, you see a stream flowing along the trail. You hear the musical tone of its waters more often than you see it.
The trail here is rich in flora and fauna. You are surrounded by thick vegetation. Spruce, fir, deodar and rhododendron are the prominent trees here. You hear several bird cries – some of the noteworthy species found here are the blue magpie, western tragopan, Himalayan griffon, yellow billed chough, Himalayan whistling thrush, little forktail, great hill barbet, verditer flycatcher, black/white cheeked/red vented and red whiskered bulbuls, brown fronted pied woodpecker. A variety of butterflies also cross your path here.
As you climb, you will pass a number of dams on the Sainj river, built by the Himachal Power Corporation Limited. After a series of hairpin bends for about an hour of trekking, the trail opens into a valley. You get remarkable views of the Sainj valley and the mighty peaks of the Raktisar glacier. Continue on this trail for another two hours. You pass the villages of Lower Nai and Dalogi before reaching the campsite Tindadhar.
Take the trail that goes uphill into the valley from the campsite. This takes you through dense forests. In thirty minutes, you reach a waterfall, almost hidden by thick vegetation. It is massive. The water slides down in 3 steps over a height of 12-15 metres. Locals call this place Nuhada. Spend some time here before heading back to the campsite.
Day 2: Trek from Tindadhar to Pundrik Lake and back to Ropa. Drive to Aut.
- Altitude: 6,398 ft (1950 m) to 6,890 ft (2,100 m) to 3,231 ft (985 m)
- Times taken: 4.5 hours trek; 1.5 hours drive to Aut
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual ascent to Pundrik Lake. Continuous descent to Ropa.
- Water sources: Carry one litre of water. You can refill your water bottles at Sarahan.
- GPS Coordinates: Lat 31045’30” N , long 770 20’ 42’’E (Upper Nai)
Head out on the trek today after breakfast. Take the same trail that you took to go to the waterfall on day 1. This goes through thick vegetation.
The trail continues through the forest for about 40 minutes, till you reach the village of Sarahan. Here, you get to see the uniquely constructed homes of this region – animals are kept at the ground floor and human occupants live on the first floor. The children of Sarahan are warm and welcoming.
Just beyond the village, the trail is lined with pine trees on either side. The village deity, Jehar devta, is placed at the end of this trail. It is surrounded by a number of iron tridents/trishuls and red flags.
After this, the trail opens into a clearing. This is surrounded by pine and deodar trees on three sides and farms on the fourth side. You also see a variety of flowers and hear the chirps of birds. Spend some time here taking in the views.
There are two beautiful man-made structures in this clearing – one is a carved wooden temple dedicated to Pundrik rishi and the other is a government school. The temple has some fine craftsmanship on deodar wood. The school serves students from surrounding villages up to class 8.
Continue beyond this clearing for about 20 minutes till to reach another meadow. There are different routes to reach this meadow but they are all easily approachable. You find knee length grass growing here. It takes you a while to realize that it is actually floating above water. This is the Pundrik lake.
The lake runs for about 400 metres and the trail goes alongside. It is surrounded by giant pine and fir trees. Thousands of people from the valley visit the lake every year in October to celebrate the birth anniversary of Pundrik rishi.
Spend some time here but do not enter the water. Drinking alcohol or consuming non vegetarian food are also strictly forbidden here. All of these attract a fine of Rs.5,000.
To return, trace your way back on the same trail to Sarahan. From Sarahan, take the road trail to Ropa. This is a straightforward, descending road. It will take you around 2.5 hours to reach Ropa.
Day 1: Assemble at Aut at 8.30 am. Drive to Shangarh. Shangarh (6,725 ft) to Tindadhar (~6,000 ft); 4-5 hours. Cab cost per vehicle is Rs.2,500.
Day 2: Tindadhar (~6,000 ft) to Pundrik lake (6,980 ft) and return to Ropa (4,987 ft); 4 hours. Drive to Aut from Ropa.
Please note that you will be staying overnight in tents.
How to get to the basecamp – Shangarh
Delhi/Chandigarh → Aut → Shangarh
The Pundrik Lake trek starts at Shangarh, around 25 km from Aut. Indiahikes arranges transport from Aut on Day 1. The cost is not included in your trek fee. The cost per cab from Aut to Shangarh is Rs 2,000 and is shared among 5-6 trekkers
Reaching Aut from Delhi
If you are using public transport, take a volvo bus from Delhi or Chandigarh to Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Aut is 40 km after Mandi on the Manali highway. Request your driver to drop you off here before crossing the Aut tunnel .
Ropa → Aut → Delhi/Chandigarh
Indiahikes drops trekkers back to Aut by around 3.30 pm. Buses from Manali to Delhi pass through Aut between 4.00 and 6.00 pm. It is recommended that you book your tickets prior to the trek, and co-ordinate with the bus conductors for your pick up from Aut.
Reaching Shangarh on your own
If you are trekking on your own, get off at Aut, which falls on the Delhi-Manali highway. This is 40 km ahead of Mandi.
Regular buses ply from Aut to Neuli. Take one of these and get off at Shangarh. It is also possible to get a cab from Aut to Shangarh. Here are the rates –
Sumo – Rs.2,000
It is also possible to get a cab from Mandi to Shangarh. Here are the rates –
Sumo – Rs. 4,000
If you are doing this trek on your own, you can stay at the forest guest house at Ropa. You will need to book a room in advance on their website www.greathimalayannationalpark.org. It is possible to get food at the guest house only if you are staying there. Otherwise, Sainj is the last place to get food so stock up before you proceed from there. Other options for stay are homestays at Sainj, Neuli, Shangarh, Aut and Bhuntar.
How to get fit for the Pundrik Lake trek
The Pundrik Lake trek is classified as an easy trek. From Ropa at 4,987 feet, you will gain about 2,000 feet to Pundrik Lake. Though the altitude gain is not much, the continuous ascent can be quite demanding.
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for 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 –
–>Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin.
–> Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in 40 mins.
–>If you are 45 years or above, try to cover 5km in less than 45 minutes.
If you are somebody you prefers cycling over running, then try to cover 18 km in 60 minutes.
How to send us a proof of your fitness routine? It is not mandatory on this trek, but you can still send us.
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 and upload.
Here is a guide to help you get fit for 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 take on the Pundrik Lake trek
- Trekking shoes: The terrain may be rough and you will need trekking shoes with good grip. Sports shoes will not be comfortable enough. You can watch this video to learn to choose the right trekking shoes.
- Backpack (20-30 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
Though Pundrik Lake is only a 2-day trek, the number of things that you carry will depend on the season.
On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of your backpack and not be used on the trek. Once your clothes get warmed up on a trek, you will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.
- Two warm layers: You will need at least two warm layers (two light layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek.
- 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. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
- 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. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes after reaching the campsite fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
- 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 winter, so carry a pair of sunglasses.
- Suncap: A suncap can help prevent dehydration when trekking during long day spells.
- 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.
- Ponchos: At high altitudes, snowfall and rain are quite common and hence it’s mandatory to carry a poncho so that you don’t get wet.
Indiahikes offers rentals on this trek. You can now rent trekking shoes, trekking pole, padded jacket and poncho instead of buying them. You can collect these directly at the base camp and return them there after the trek. Get the details here.
- 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, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. If you do happen to use wet wipes to clean up after a trek, make sure you bring them back with you. The same holds for used sanitary napkins. Carry a zip lock bag to put used wet tissues and napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose wet tissues and sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- 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
- Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- 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)
- Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
- Anti fungal powder
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
- Disclaimer- Download PDF
If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.
Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek –
How safe is the Pundrik Lake trek?
The Pundrik Lake trek by is supposed to be an easy trek. However, there is one thing that you must be aware of – this trek has continuous climbs over a short period of time. You climb an altitude of over 2,000 ft. ikes, safety of a trekker comes first. You will experience it first hand on the slope. Your team is accompanied by experienced trek leaders, safety gears, high end trek equipment, high altitude first aid kits and most importantly the right information.
If there is a medical emergency on the trek, your trek leaders are trained to handle crisis, especially related to altitude and medical emergencies. Indiahikes team carries high altitude medical equipment, oxygen cylinders, and other emergency kits.
Most situations are resolved by the trek leader’s intervention. If, however, evacuation is required, it is carried out by the Indiahikes team. There are plenty of exit points throughout the trek so any evacuation needed is taken care of. The affected participant is moved down to the nearest emergency medical centre as soon as possible. This can take time, even 1-2 days, especially from high camps. Medical expenses, if required, at the medical centre are to be borne by the participant.
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 Pundrik lake trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Pundrik lake 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 Pundrik lake trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required. Your blood pressure levels will be checked if the need arises.
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.
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.
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. 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.
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please log in to your account and cancel.
Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.
The cancellation charges are as under:
Cancellations prior to 7 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellations less than 7 days from the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh, etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.
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. You need to be able to jog a distance of 5 km in 35 mins before the start of the trek. 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 250 per day plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 375 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/trolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.
All trekkers will be picked up at Aut at 8.30 am in the morning to Shangarh.
Cab cost per vehicle is Rs.2,000.
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 the trek fee 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.
These are the different policies when it comes to waiving off trek fee charges.
Scholarship Discount for Kids
At Indiahikes, we firmly believe and encourage children to trek. There’s so much to learn from the outdoors. We want to see more children trekking. Keeping this in mind, Indiahikes has now introduced a 50 percent Trek Scholarship for children on Himalayan treks.
Children between the age of 8 and 12 are eligible for this scholarship. Indiahikes will sponsor half of the trek fee for each child. This scholarship is applicable for easy to moderate treks.
Note - We will have a maximum of three children eligible for the scholarship in each batch. So check with your Trek Coordinator for this.
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.
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.