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Pin Bhaba Pass Trek-The Glorious Crossover Trail in India
There are so many beautiful treks in Himachal Pradesh, but the astonishing Pin Bhaba Pass Trek is a league of its own. The bewildering height, shivery weather, and the various challenges make Pin Bhaba one of the best treks in the Himalaya. The best part is you can explore the trail during the monsoon time also.
If you are planning for a dramatic trek in Himachal, Pin Bhaba Pass trek should be on the top of the list. Why dramatic? Because the terrain and the weather drastically change every day, there are meadows, a sub-surface river which you can hear but not see, moraines, barren lands, river delta, colourful mountains of Spiti, and obviously a pass :D. This trek gives a feeling that we are trekking on some completely different treks every day.
The Pitch-Black Forests of Mulling
The scenery of the forests here is hypnotizing, one you will not find on any other trek. You will be trekking over the numerous roots of coniferous trees, and smell the scent of pines all over the forest. Moreover, an aquamarine blue Bhabha river flows on one side of the forest and numerous small brook skipping and jumping through the trees on the other side. During noon, you will come out of this attractive forest and enter the Mulling grasslands where you will be mesmerized by the beauty.
Meadows of Karah
The campsite is simply gorgeous and can give a tough competition to other campsites like such as Solang Valley near Manali, Sonamarg in Jammu and Kashmir, Friendship Peak in Himachal Pradesh and Malari in Uttarakhand which is the starting and ending point for Mt. Kamet Base Camp Trek. The meadows situated at high altitude resembles like the grasslands of Kashmir. Soak in the beauty of the snow-laden mountains that can be seen at the entrance of the valley and a serene river quietly flowing by the side of your camp. In addition to these, you can also climb a hillock to click pictures and if you look from the top you will see a panoramic view of grassland where flocks of sheep are busy munching grasses.
River Delta in Phutsirang
On any trek, you can rarely see a river delta. This is the reason you should take a day off and cherish the beauty of the camp and acclimatize yourself. Small islands are there in between the delta and you can witness a riot of colours on the grasslands. Rather sitting in one place, take long walks by soaking in the grandeur views of the mountains that surround the place.
Crossing the Pin Bhaba Pass
The setting of the moraine around the pass is stunning and getting to the summit is a delightful challenge. As you ascend higher, the scenery will go beneath you and the view of the peaks is at your eye level. You will cross the pass over numerous ledges so it will be adventurous on hopping from one ledge to another. Reaching the pass is satiating and thrilling. From the summit when you look down, the valley has turned to pink due to the reflection of bright pink flowers growing down the valley and it is a sight to behold.
|17,450||8 Days/ 7 Nights|
|17,450||8 Days/ 7 Nights|
|16,450||8 Days/ 7 Nights|
|16,600||8 Days/ 7 Nights|
Trek the Himalayas
|16,950||7 Days/ 6 Nights|
|14,900||7 Days/ 6 Nights|
Day 01: Shimla - Kafnu; Private vehicles from Old Shimla Bus Stand will depart at early hours. The total distance is 200 km and takes 7 hours to reach Kafnu.
Day 02: Kafnu (7,878 ft.) –Mulling (10,637 ft.); Today you will trek for 11.3 km and time to reach the next base camp is 8 to 9 hrs. On the trail, you can witness the Bhaba Hydro Project which is the first underground dam in our country.
Day 03: Mulling (10,637 ft.) – Karah (11,653 ft.); It is a 6.03 km trek and you need 4 to 5 hours to reach Karah. The terrain is rocky by an easy walk. Pitch your tent near the lake.
Day 04: Karah (11,653 ft.) – Phutsirang (13,474 ft.); a 4.9 km walk with the full ascent for 4 hours. Today is the final day with the gushing Bhaba River. From this campsite, you can witness the majestic views of Pin Bhaba, Tari Khango and Nimish Khango Pass as well as Hanshbeshan Peak.
Day 05: You will acclimatize and rest at Phutsirang so that you are well prepared for the summit the following day.
Day 06: Phutsirang (13,474 ft.) – Mangrungse (13,674 ft.) – Pin Bhaba Pass (16,105 ft.); Today you need to walk for 9 to 10 hours to cover a distance of 11 km. You can see the Pin River from the Pass. The scenic beauty will change drastically from abundant greenery to cold desert. You need to wear flip flops or floaters for crossing the river.
Day 07: Mangrungse (13,674 ft.) – Mudh (12,283 ft.); a long but easy walk for 16.29 km. After walking for 7 to 8 hours you will arrive at Mudh. This pretty village is known for peas farming. You will stay in guest houses.
Day 08: Grab a window seat to the left side and prepare yourself for a long drive of about 250 km from Mudh – Manali. By evening you will reach Manali.
Day 09: It is better to keep one day buffer if the need arises due to the swiftly changing weather conditions.
Day 01: Shimla (7,465 ft.) – Kafnu (7,878 ft.)
The journey begins from Old Shimla Bus Stand all the way to Kafnu, a remote village in Kinnaur of south Himachal. On the way, you can see the Bhaba River where a hydroelectric power project is located. The river flows past Kafnu village to Wangtoo. Local villagers and many workers work here for their bread and butter. You can take a bus from Rampur, Kalpa, Karcham and Recong Peo to reach Kafnu. The route to Kafnu climbs very fast over the hydel project at Wangtoo and can be nail-biting when the vehicle sways left to right on the thin road suspended over steep cliffs. the accommodation at Kafnu is mainly in lodges and take rest to begin your first trek to Mulling the next day.
Day 02: Kafnu (7,878 ft.) –Mulling (10,637 ft.)
The first day of the trek is beautiful and you will be walking through a beautiful coniferous forest. Kafnu is the starting point and it will be quite a taxing day as you will walk a lot and gain an altitude of 2,759 ft. After a walk of 200 meters from the village, you can see the Bhaba Hydro Project which is the first underground dam of India. Please note that you cannot take pictures here. For 2.65 km you have to walk on the motorable path. After 2 km, you will come across a bridge. Now cross the bridge to arrive at the left bank of the Bhaba River. From here you can see a narrow trail that goes up from the motorable trail. You have to go on this trail.
For the next 4.4 km, you will be on this trail. At this junction, you will be encompassed by the thick flora where you can witness oak, pine and silver birch trees. The area becomes livelier from the melodious sound of birds. The convergence of these magnificent trees within a singular frame becomes an unforgettable feature of Pin Bhaba Pass Trek. From here a 1km trek will lead to a stunning terrain that is perforated with small stones, grass, and mud. After covering a distance of 6.8 km, you will arrive at a pretty campsite known as Champoria (9,491 ft.) that is enclosed by trees.
Now, cross the Bhabh River over the log bridge for reaching the right bank of the river. Continue your walk along the river bank and you can notice a tributary of Bhaba river. Now from here, walk slowly as you will move further upwards and after 10 km, you will enter a place known as Jhandi top (10,640 ft.). Stop here for some time and sip some water. The Mulling campsite and hut are visible from this top. You need to hike 1.3 km more for reaching the campsite. Trekkers who are traveling alone can stay at the deserted hut that comprises two rooms or else you can camp here. A lake is there that reflects the full surrounding on the crystal water. A lot of shepherds come with their cattle for munching in high-quality grass. Beside the lake, pitch your tent and have a good sleep.
You will walk with a steady ascent through a rock-strewn terrain. After a 1.6 km walk, you can see a waterfall and lush green meadow on your right side. From this point, you need to walk on a steady ascent for 1.7 km and arrive at a fascinating geographical situation. There is a river flowing and you can also hear the sound but cannot trace the river. This trait is known as the subterranean river, where the water flows below the ground surface. From here, there is a steep ascent for 1.5 km to reach the top where you will be delighted to witness an elegant meadow covered with flower beds.
Cross the meadow and after a 1.2km walk, you will arrive at the campsite where there is a water stream nearby. From the camp area, there is a lake that is known for its impressive reflections when the weather is sunny. Stay at the tents in Karah and you have the full afternoon to rest your body and get fit again for the challenges that lie in the coming days.
This is the smallest trail of the full trek to reach the next campsite. You have to walk for 4.91 km only. But you need to walk over a steep ascent and need to cross over the tributary of the Bhaba river. A mountain stream is coming from the left side region of Phutsirang, walk over the stream and continue climbing the vertical slope. Please be cautious as the terrain comprises of loose mud and stone. The entire trail is covered by mountain stream humps and crossings that are a little bit tiring, so it is crucial you pacify at a consistent rhythm so that you do not gasp for breath.
You will reach the campsite after trekking for 4.2 km. from here, climb upwards for 700 meters to reach Phutsirang. This place has the best viewpoint to get a glance at the three captivating mountain passes – Pin Bhaba Pass (16,105 ft.), Tari Khango (17,318 ft.) and Nimish Khango (16,185 ft.)
You can take a rest for the day to get acclimatized well as tomorrow is the big day for the summit. Another option is you can start the trek to the summit. However, it is best to take a good rest and immerse yourself in this captivating place.
Without a doubt, there is nervousness as well as excitement for today’s trek. You will walk on vertical slopes and traverse through big mountain passes that connect Pin and Bhaba valleys. People who have already ascended a mountain pass will share their experience of how electrifying is to ascend a pass that is as delightful as reaching the top. From the pass saddle point (the highest point between the mountain valley), you will be astonished to witness that the landscape changes dramatically. You will leave the dense grasslands of Bhaba valley behind you and enter the desert, brown mountain valleys of Pin. From here you can see the Pin river. Now you need to descend from this terrain carefully as it is an amalgamation of scree, glacier and moraine.
After a descent of 2 km, you come across the Pin river. Please remove your shoes for crossing the river and reach the river’s right side. Now, the descent will be gradual but perforated with scree and moraine. Walk slowly and take some rest if required. After 5 km from crossing the river, the Mangrungse campsite is visible. From this campsite, there is another campsite known as Tiya that is situated across the bank of the river.
There is a mountain stream near the Mangrungse campsite where the water is good to drink. Just relax here and look at the different colours of the mountain ranges of Spiti and feel the raging sound of the Pin river.
All good things come to an end after a certain point in time. The final day for your trek, but it is a long stretch of 16.29 km that will take you all the way to Mudh. It is advisable to start early from the campsite. From Mangrungse, climb the slope to arrive at a trail and continue your walk. To reach Bara Boulder from Mangrungse, you have to walk for 4 km and the campsite of Bara Boulder, the descent becomes gradual but the section is covered with moraine. This area is beautiful but you will not get clean water. So, please fill your bottle at Mangrungse.
You can see the Pin river tributary that is 300 meters away from Bara Boulder. There is a log bridge for crossing the stream. The route from Bara Boulder is totally flat and is covered by small red stones and red soil. From here, after a 1.5 km walk, you will enter the banks of a mountain stream. There is a log bridge to cross the stream and arrive at a flat, dry stretch of land. From here you can see the picturesque Mudh village which is 5 km away.
The view of the village will inspire you to move ahead to complete the final stretch. To enter the village you need to cross the Pin river. The suspension bridge swinging over the Pin river is quite enthralling. Walk over the bridge for crossing the river and then there is a small climb where you will arrive at the village.
Start early in the morning as it is a long drive to Manali and you will reach in the evening. On the way, you will be greeted with stunning views and also halt at the renowned Rohtang pass to have some tasty momos. Another alternative plan is to stay at Mudh or Kaza for a day where you can visit the local shops and spectacular monasteries. The next day you can start your journey to Manali.
The temperature is quite cold and you can get snow near the pass. As the ideal time to do the trek is from mid-May to October, so during the day time the temperature remains 13 to 180C and at night it will be 0 to -70C. Occasionally there will be rainfall which is quite unpredictable, so do not forget to carry your poncho.
Unfortunately, you will not get any network during the whole trek and connectivity will be available after crossing the Rohtang Pass on your return to Manali. Satellite phones are there at Chhatru and Batal on the Mudh-Manali road. These are mainly available with the locals as everyone cannot carry satellite phones in India..
Before beginning your trek, withdraw your cash from Rampur, which is the last ATM point situated in the Shimla Kafnu route.
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