Difficulty

Moderate - Difficult

Duration

9 Days

Highest Altitude

16,105 ft

Age

13 to 55 years

Duration

9 Days

Age

13 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate - Difficult

Highest Altitude

16,105 ft

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Trek fee

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Pin Bhaba Pass Trek

The Grandest Crossover Trek in Our Country

Pin Bhaba Pass is hands down the most dramatic pass crossing trek in our country. That is a bold statement to make. Especially when we have so many pass crossing treks in our country.

But what you see when you stand at the pass is a testament to this bold statement we make.

Once at the pass you see Pin valley below you, in various shades of pink, set amidst the stark and deserted mountains of Spiti.  While behind you is the lush green Bhaba valley. That is when you realize how remarkable the changes in the landscape are.

But it is not just on the pass crossing day that you witness this drama. It starts right from day one!

Take for instance the forests of Mulling on day one. Here is the thing about the forests of Mulling. Unlike other treks, the forests here are enchanting! They’re right out of a storybook.

A turquoise blue river gushes through the forest on one side, and little brooks skip and jump through the trees on the others.

Later, towards noon, you burst out of this enchanting forest into a surprise you’re least expecting — the grasslands of Mulling — a sight that makes you catch your breath.

This is the first day of the trek. For a page-turner, it can’t get more dramatic than this.

And the drama continues day after day as you hike to the Kashmir-like meadows of Karah. If ever there is a debate about one of the prettiest settings for a camp on our treks, then the grasslands of Karah would be right on top.

And the day after when you camp in the river delta of Phutsirang, it is a once in a lifetime experience. River deltas on a trek are extremely rare and here you are camping right on one.

Such stunning vistas and each day an experience different from the previous day. You can’t help but drop your jaws at the surprise that the trail throws every day. Every day the scenery changes completely, so much so that it is like doing a new trek every day!

When compared with its riskier cousin, the Pin Parvati Pass Trek, where your life is at stake, the Pin Bhaba not only is a great alternative, but a more beautiful one.

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Pin Bhaba Pass Videos

Watch these videos to plan and prepare for your trek.

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Quick Itinerary

A route map of the Pin Bhaba Pass trek

Day 1

Drive from Shimla to Kafnu

Drive Distance: 203 km | Drive Duration: 6-7 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Old Bus Stand, Shimla

Transport will be arranged at 6.30 AM. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of the cab – Rs.8,500 per vehicle, shared among 5-6 trekkers.

Day 2

Trek from Kafnu to Mulling

Trek Distance: 11 km | Trek Duration: 8 hours | Altitude Gain: 7,880 ft to 10,640 ft

Moderate. Easy walk on motor road for 2.65 km followed by 4.5 km ascent. Level walk for about 1 km then ascend all the way to Mulling. 

Day 3

Trek from Mulling to Karah

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Gain: 10,640 ft to 11,650 ft

Moderate. Gradual ascent for 3.3 km followed by 1.5 km of steep ascent, easing off at the last 1.2 km. 

Day 4

Trek from Karah to Phutsirang

Trek Distance: 5 km | Trek Duration: 4 hours | Altitude Gain: 11,650 ft to 13,470 ft

Moderate. Steep ascent throughout. 

Day 5

Acclimatization and rest day at Phutsirang

Day 6

Trek from Phutsirang to Mangrungse via Pin Bhaba Pass

Trek Distance: 11 km | Trek Duration: 10 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 13,470 ft to 13,670 ft via 16,105 ft

Difficult. Steep ascent for close to 3 km to reach the pass followed by a river crossing and gradual descent through moraine and scree all the way to the campsite. 

Day 7

Trek from Mangrungse to Mudh

Trek Distance: 17 km | Trek Duration: 7 hours | Altitude Loss: 13,670 ft to 12,280 ft

Moderate-difficult. Initial easy 4 km trail followed by gradual descent and flat walk through moraine. 

Day 8

Drive back from Mudh to Manali

Drive Distance: 232 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours | Drop off point Indiahikes trekkers: Main Bus Stand, Rambagh Circle, Manali

The transport costs Rs 15,000 for a 6-seater and Rs.16,000 for a Tempo Traveller (12-seater). Expect to reach Manali by 7.00 PM..

Day 9

Buffer Day

It is mandatory to have this extra day as any bad weather or rain will delay your pass crossing. If buffer day is utilized, you will need to pay Rs.2,500 + 5% GST. This amount is to be handed over to your Trek Leader.

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 do not have a cloakroom facility at the base camp. Do not carry excess luggage other than what is required for the trek.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. 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 Pin Bhaba Pass trek

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

There are two ways to reach your pick-up point -- reach Shimla by taking a bus from ISBT, New Delhi. Or take a train to Chandigarh or Kalka and then take a bus to Shimla from either of these places. If you cannot reach the pick-up point before 6.30 AM on Day 1 of the trek, plan your travel in such a way that you reach Shimla the previous day (Day 0) and stay for the night.

Return Travel

While returning, you will reach Manali by 7.00 PM. Plan your travel the next day from Manali after a good night's rest.

Day 1

Drive from Shimla to Kafnu

Drive Distance: 203 km | Drive Duration: 6-7 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Old Bus Stand, Shimla

Transport will be arranged at 6.30 AM. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of the cab – Rs.8,500 per vehicle, shared among 5-6 trekkers.

Day 2

Trek from Kafnu to Mulling

Trek Distance: 11 km | Trek Duration: 8 hours | Altitude Gain: 7,880 ft to 10,640 ft

Moderate. Easy walk on motor road for 2.65 km followed by 4.5 km ascent. Level walk for about 1 km then ascend all the way to Mulling. 

Day 3

Trek from Mulling to Karah

Trek Distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Gain: 10,640 ft to 11,650 ft

Moderate. Gradual ascent for 3.3 km followed by 1.5 km of steep ascent, easing off at the last 1.2 km. 

Day 4

Trek from Karah to Phutsirang

Trek Distance: 5 km | Trek Duration: 4 hours | Altitude Gain: 11,650 ft to 13,470 ft

Moderate. Steep ascent throughout. 

Day 5

Acclimatization and rest day at Phutsirang

Day 6

Trek from Phutsirang to Mangrungse via Pin Bhaba Pass

Trek Distance: 11 km | Trek Duration: 10 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 13,470 ft to 13,670 ft via 16,105 ft

Difficult. Steep ascent for close to 3 km to reach the pass followed by a river crossing and gradual descent through moraine and scree all the way to the campsite. 

Day 7

Trek from Mangrungse to Mudh

Trek Distance: 17 km | Trek Duration: 7 hours | Altitude Loss: 13,670 ft to 12,280 ft

Moderate-difficult. Initial easy 4 km trail followed by gradual descent and flat walk through moraine. 

Day 8

Drive back from Mudh to Manali

Drive Distance: 232 km | Drive Duration: 7-8 hours | Drop off point Indiahikes trekkers: Main Bus Stand, Rambagh Circle, Manali

The transport costs Rs 15,000 for a 6-seater and Rs.16,000 for a Tempo Traveller (12-seater). Expect to reach Manali by 7.00 PM..

Day 9

Buffer Day

It is mandatory to have this extra day as any bad weather or rain will delay your pass crossing. If buffer day is utilized, you will need to pay Rs.2,500 + 5% GST. This amount is to be handed over to your Trek Leader.

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 do not have a cloakroom facility at the base camp. Do not carry excess luggage other than what is required for the trek.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. 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

There are two ways to reach your pick-up point -- reach Shimla by taking a bus from ISBT, New Delhi. Or take a train to Chandigarh or Kalka and then take a bus to Shimla from either of these places. If you cannot reach the pick-up point before 6.30 AM on Day 1 of the trek, plan your travel in such a way that you reach Shimla the previous day (Day 0) and stay for the night.

Return Travel

While returning, you will reach Manali by 7.00 PM. Plan your travel the next day from Manali after a good night's rest.

Campsites at a Glance

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

Mulling Campsite. Picture by Gourab Nandi

Karah Campsite. Picture by Gourab Nandi

Mulling Campsite. Picture by Sayandeep

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

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Trekking transforms lives. It has changed my life completely. 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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Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, first went on this trek almost 6 years ago. Here, he shares his candid thoughts about the Pin Bhaba Pass trek.

He says, "2015 was one of my most memorable years of trekking. It was the year when I did the Pin Bhaba Pass trek. It has been quite a while now, and I have done more treks in between. Yet, none of them has been able to match Pin Bhaba for such dramatic changes in scenery."

What I Like and Don’t Like About the Pin Bhaba Pass Trek

What I Like About the Pin Bhaba Pass Trek

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, first went on this trek almost 6 years ago. Here, he shares his candid thoughts about the Pin Bhaba Pass trek. He says, "2015 was one of my most memorable years of trekking. It was the year when I did the Pin Bhaba Pass trek. It has been quite a while now, and I have done more treks in between. Yet, none of them has been able to match Pin Bhaba for such dramatic changes in scenery."

1. The Pass Crossing

Take the pass crossing for example. I remember it was early in the morning, the sun had just broken out in the valley below. The valley was awash with the colours of the early morning sun. The colours took me by surprise. The valley was a deep green, in the golden light it was beginning to turn a lighter hue.

The higher hillsides, where some rare wild bushes grew, were bright orange. The white snow summits above them made for quite a contrast. At 15,000 ft I was still climbing to the pass. From that altitude, I didn’t expect to see such richness of colours.

An hour later we were at the pass at 16,100 feet. On the other side were the deserts of Spiti. I had not expected to see a valley that was pink in colour. But there it was, right in front of me, miles and miles of pink. How could earth turn pink?

Even now I cannot imagine how in less than an hour the lushness of green could change to the most unlikely colour of the earth — pink.

I have not seen such dramatic colour change on any other trek.

Picture by Gourab Nandi

2. The Forests on Day 1

Leave that aside. Take the forests on the Bhaba side on Day 1 of the trek. I don’t think I have seen such good forests on a trek before. I remember at that time I was already rating it as the best “day one” that I have done.

It is unique because the forest is in many layers. We climb from one layer to another, each with its distinct forest cover, with brooks running all over. This was interesting because I hadn’t come across many forests with tiny streams running through it at such frequency. The sweet scent of pine lingered always.

I remember, in one beautiful moment, the blue waters of Bhaba curved through the forest in a giant arc. I found myself right next to it, on a grassy patch under the shades of deodar trees. On small stretches, the river spilled on the grass in tiny waves. The grass was damp but not soggy. The trail was wide at that part, as it wound itself around the trunks of the deodars.

Together with the river, the grassy patch, and the deodar trees, I thought this was one of the most beautiful forest scenery I had seen. If you ever do the Pin Bhaba trek, look out for this section.

The forest is with you almost the entire day — easily one of the biggest forest sections I have seen on a trek.

3. Mulling Campsite

Mulling almost took me to our treks in Kashmir, with the Bhaba river running broad, with big grassy patches on either side of the Bhaba river. On the other side of the river, past the grassy patch was a dense pine forest where even sunlight didn’t pass through. Our camp right next to the river in the middle of these beautiful grasslands was more than what an eye could take.

Picture by Gourab Nandi

4. Karah Campsite

Karah is at the junction of three green valleys. Tall grasslands climb high into the mountains on every valley slope. High up on the hillside, right next to our camp, I found hundreds of rare pashmina sheep grazing. Just before the slope merged with the valley floor, pink wildflowers carpeted the entire hillside. At some places, I had to skip my way to avoid stomping on the flowers.

The Karah camp in itself was on a large flat grassy ground. A tall rock, almost like the pride rock of Lion King, guarded our tents. Behind the rock, a large pond nestled in the grassy landscape reflected the snow peaks that overlooked Karah.

I have done a lot of treks in my life. Yet, there was a campsite that still managed to mesmerize me with its beauty and setting.

Picture by Gourab Nandi

5. Phutsirang Campsite

Later, the next day we camped beside the river delta at Phutsirang. We were almost at 13,000 feet. Even at that altitude, we were at the entrance of a valley that stretched far into the mountains, straight ahead. The river fanned out into multiple magical branches, our tents right next to it, on slightly higher ground.

The setting was magical because I have rarely found camps next to mountain river deltas. This one was even more special. Here I was on a river delta, in the middle of a narrow valley, sitting on a grassy hump.

On my right across a moraine-strewn mountainside, almost touching the sky was somewhere the Pin Bhaba Pass. Right ahead, snow-covered mountain tops stretched on either side of the valley until it merged with the mountains. We were right in the middle of this orchestra!

For me, I would like to do the Pin Bhaba trek just to camp at these three campsites.

Picture by Leo Saldanha

6. The Colours and Villages of Spiti

People talk a lot about Ladakh. Movies are made in Ladakh. When I saw the beauty of Spiti on this trek, I began to think differently.

The first thing that struck me was the riot of colours. I had never imagined I would trek past sections of purple rocks, black earth, pure white, and pink one after the other.

It is a long stretch, the last day. Anyone would expect to get tired but you don’t. The whole day is a change of colours that just keeps surprising one after another. Stone tablets with their inscription for the dead lie everywhere. When we finally walked into Mudh, with its white chortens surrounding the village, I had stepped into an ancient civilisation.

The harmony of villages in Spiti stunned me. All houses faced the same direction, every house was similar in design and colour. No house spilt over the boundaries of the village, farmlands surrounded the village in an exact perimeter, and a clear stream always ran through the centre of the village, making it a lifeline. If this was not modernity, then what was?

7. The Spiti Valley

The smell of commercialization hasn’t touched Spiti yet. The Buddhist culture is deeply rooted. People are more endearing. You’ll feel it at every moment in Spiti.

Driving back on the mountain roads of Spiti, I was transfixed by the scenery. Tall mud minarets would suddenly spring up beside the road. Rivers big and wide would come and go. A small oasis of land would suddenly be a riot of colours.

We climbed to the high Kunzum pass — a raw beautiful open land. It was not a typical pass, yet it was every person’s imagination of Spiti.

I think just Spiti trekkers will love the Pin Bhaba trek. But, frankly, the green side is equally stunning.

What I Don't Like About the Pin Bhaba Pass Trek

1. The Walk to Mangrungse

Ok, I admit it, getting off the pass was fun. But the walk to our camp at Mangrungse killed me. It was one of the longest days of trekking. I was tired. The continuous hopping over boulders jarred me. I had run out of water. I just wanted the day to get over.

If it wasn’t for this one stretch, I would give the Pin Bhaba Pass ten on ten. It is one of the most perfect treks I have ever done. The variety, the colours, and the terrific adventure have left a deep impression on me.

Picture by: Jagadeesh DM

Evening light at Phutsirang Campsite

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 Pin Bhaba Pass 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

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Pin Bhaba Pass

Did you know that Pin Bhaba Pass is one of the highest pass crossing treks in the country?

On the Pin Bhaba trek, you don't just cross a pass. You get to a height of 16,200 ft. It's one of the most spectacular treks to be on. You'll be amazed by the variety of landscapes you find on the trek. It goes from lush greenery to snowy areas to a cold arid desert. What more would you need?

Even the campsites on the trek give you the best views. It begins with Mulling – a major highlight of the trek. It's situated across a beautiful river. The lush green valley behind the Karah campsite will also bewilder you.

Bhaba river is a sight to catch. There is a dam under the river, which is one of the major hydroelectric projects in the country. You wouldn't even realize there could be a dam underground.

Green Trails: Sustainable Trekking

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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