Offbeat Uttarakhand Treks To Do This Summer
Dhumdharkandi trek The Dhumdharkandi Pass trek is one of the most challenging and taxing treks in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The trek connects the Tons to the Bhagirathi valley, over the Dhumdharkandi Pass at an altitude of 5300 m, which is helmed between Swargarohini (6252 m) and Bandarpunch (6320 m). The trek is known for its complicated placement and unpredictable weather. It is said that in the year 1815, a foreign national James Baillie Frazer discovered this pass. His collected information states that this pass was popular among the villagers in the ancient times as a short cut transmit to cross over Bhagirathi Valley to reach the remotest parts of Rawaeen Valley (the upper parts of the Tons valley). In fact, the same route was used by traders and invaders as well for years. It’s a spectacular and scenic traverse that takes you towards Ruinsara Lake before ascending over 5000 m Yamunotri Pass down to Yamunotri again. Thereafter it is an easy pleasurable descend. On the way, you will get to meet the pilgrims returning from the Yamunotri Temple after offering their prayers. The trail of lovely woodlands, wildflower meadows, alpine blossoms, avian guests and varied river crossings will take you to this pass. Path laden with rocks, rubble, moraines, and snowy patches will brace you throughout the route to reach Dhumdhar. PANPATIA COL The Panpatia Col is one high altitude mountain pass that gets across the Panpatia Glacier at an elevation of 4200 m, surrounded by other major peaks of the Garhwal region. It forms an important bridge between the significant Hindu pilgrimage sites, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Historically it was considered as an ancient route from where the devotees used to trek from Kedarnath to reach Badrinath in 1 day. The route got lost with time only to be re-discovered by legendary mountaineers Shipton and Tillman. Henceforth, it got listed on the trekking map of Garhwal. The passage of this trek is filled with enriched beauty of mountains, encircled with alpine meadows and flowers. It showcases a spectacular view of Chaukhamba, Neelkanth and Parvati peaks and sight of Sujal Sarovar, the high glacial lake is the icing on the cake. A stroll on this trail only exudes peace and calmness. To pursue this trek the group must come well prepared with good physical fitness for high altitude survival. It is definitely not a trek for the first-time hiker. HANUMAN CHATTI DODITAL This is a stunning trek situated towards the north of Uttarkashi, best fitted for the first-timers. The main attraction of this trek is the pristine Dodital Lake which is surrounded by the dense cover of oak, pine, deodar and rhododendrons trees. Varied wildlife species can be spotted in and around the forest cover of the lake. It provides an idyllic set up to take rest and enjoy the nature’s charm amidst boating or and birdwatching. From Dodital, it’s a two-day trek to Hanuman Chatti via Darwa Top at the elevation of 4450 m. Darwa Top provides a majestic view of the Garhwal Himalayas and one can feel close enough to touch the peaks. The trek to the pass is the traditional route used by the Gujjars (nomadic herdsmen), who take their cattle’s to the meadows for grazing. Dodital is also frequented by many devotees since it is considered as the land of Shiva. Another attraction is Yamunotri which is amongst one of the four dhams of Hindus. This moderate trek starts from Bhagirathi Valley towards the lake of Dodital to the alpine meadows, crossing over Darwa Pass. AUDEN’S COL Auden’s Col is another prominent high altitude mountain pass situated in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand at an elevation of 5242 m. It connects Rudragaira and Bhilangara Valley and forms a bridge between Jogin I (6465 m) and Gangotri III (6580 m) peaks. Auden Col also reportedly joins two glaciers namely Khatling glacier towards the south side of Bhilangna valley and Jogin I glacier towards the north side of Rudugaira valley, which is accessible from Gangotri. One can even trek up till Kedarnath while passing through Auden’s Col and Khatling glacier. It got its name from John Bicknell Auden, an English geologist, and explorer, who first discovered it in 1935. He crossed Auden from the Rudugaira side and descended to Bhilangana valley via Khatling Bhamak in 1939. The trek is probably considered the toughest because of its steep paves and narrow cliffs and Khatling glacier are heavily infested with crevasses. The trekking trail of Auden Col is a mix of gorgeous thick Alpine forest, lush meadows, innumerable gushing streams and spotting secluded villages, etc. It’s a rewarding journey in every sense where every inch of the trail is blessed with majestic views. Certainly a dream trek of every mountaineer.