Chamba – Kangra Via Bara Bangal Across Thamsar Pass Trek

Dalhousie Adventure
  • 7 days
    (Duration)
  • Extreme
    (Difficulty)
  • 4.9
    (Rating)
  • Hilly
    (Terrain)

Chamba – Kangra Via Bara Bangal Across Thamsar Pass Trek by Dalhousie Adventure



Description

The people of Bara Banghal prefer to cross the high Thamsar Pass (4624 m) and go Baijnath for their daily needs rather than go towards Holi and Chamba. Though a part of Chamba Valley, Bara Banghal is administratively linked with Kangra Valley. Many streams rising on slopes of the Bara Banghal Range unite here to form the Ravi River. This trail provides an insight into the life of Gaddi People living in the valley. From Bara Banghal to Thamsar Pass is one of the most pleasant and scenic treks in the Dhauladhar region, and because of the gradual, graded slopes on the northern side of the Dhauladhar no great exertion is needed. Rock shelters can also be found all along the way.

ACCOMMODATION:

Staying arrangements will be made in Rest houses, where possible and tents in other places.

MEAL PLAN:

Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Full board on Trek.

Special Rates

Children under (13) - 25% off Students - Tax free Seniors Citizens - Tax free


Itinerary

  • DAY 1 : ARRIVAL AT HOLI AND TRANSFER TO REST HOUSE (2250m)

    You will be received from the Pathankot Railway station. Pathankot to Holi is about 180 K.M. The road is mostly fine, however from Chamba to Holi owing to the terrain the road condition is not very good. Holi is a separate valley within Bharmour. Located south of Bharmour on the bank of river Ravi, Holi is more open and picturesque. There is a small bazaar and couple of shops. The trout farm located slightly away from the main town is worth a visit. Rainbow trout is also available for very nominal prices. Another attraction is the Rock-garden adjoining the Rest House. Holi is the starting point for many trek routes.

  • DAY 2 : HOLI-NAYAGRAM-DHARADI (2550M) 13KM, 6-8 hrs.

    After dropping at Nayagram, the trail continuous over rocks and boulders for 2Km, then turns left to cross the gushing Ravi river by a bridge. After that it traverses round a ridge and goes up and down for 5Km. The Ravi River lies below to the right in a deep george. There are no trees and no high rocks to provide shade for rest. Suddenly, after 5Km, the trail disappears completely and the way is blocked by a cliff some 350m wide at an angle of 60 degree, descending 400m into the river. At first sight it looks impassable but careful examination reveals cracks, stances, foot and hand holds. With care and protection of a rope one can cross the cliff without much difficulty. The trail then descends to the Manimahesh Nala whose stream roars down with great ferocity. During the Manimahesh fair, people living on this side follow a steep path upstream along the Nallah and cross two passes to reach the Manimahesh Lake. After crossing the Nallah by a log bridge (called Trandi) the path climbs steeply for 1Km over a spur to reach the remote village of Dharadi, Dharadi is a small village with enough camping space along the water source.

  • DAY 3 : DHARADI-KHANAR-LAKE CAMP (2410M) 15KM, 6-8 hrs.

    It is a long, tiring stretch from Dhardi to Khanar, the last village of Bharmour and Chamba district. The trail crosses precipitous rock faces high above the North side of the river, many tricky sections that need care. You may also have to descend using rappelling techniques. While cliffs dominate this side of the river, the other (South) side is covered with thick forest. In 4-5 hrs the hamlet of Khanar is reached. Then following a 2-3Km stretch, the path climbs steeply through wooded slopes to reach the crest of a spur where huge conifer trees are seen, a traditional resting place for travelers. The path is now well-defined and leads down through the trees to a small lake surrounded by green slopes, this is a Gaddi shepherds' encampment, a soothing place after two days of tough trekking through this rocky defile. Though Bara Banghal is only about 7-8Km from here, it is advisable to camp overnight beside the lake.

  • DAY 4 : LAKE CAMP – BARA BHANGAL (2541M) 8KM, 6-8 hrs.

    The wooded area ends here. From the lake the path climbs for some time and heads over grassy meadows. Continuing North East along the Ravi river, an almost level walk ensues to Bara Banghal which comes into view after 7 Km. The old village is situated a little above the river while the newer one is seen on the right bank. A few forest contractors, employees stay in the new part and are engaged in wood logging. The logs are thrown in the river and are collected near Kharamukh, 75 Km downstream. Bara Bangahal lies in a bowl at the base of three high ranges, and many glacier torrents join near the village to form the Ravi river. Bara Bangahal is located The confluence of Ravi river and Kalihini nallah. Beautifully located Shepherds' trails wind upwards in all directions. Nikora Pass (4745m) crosses the Manimahesh to Kugti in Budhil Valley, Ash Jot (5033m) and Laluni Pass (5438m) cross the Bara Bangahal to Tindi in Lahaul Valley. Two passes lead to the Kullu Valley. The Dhauladhar can be crossed to Kangra Valley by Makori Pass (4605m), Gairu Jot (4664m) and Thamsar Pass (4624m). A forest rest house is situated a short distance from the village and tents can be pitched comfortably outside the village along the Ravi river.

  • DAY 5 : BARA BHANGAL – MARH, BASE OF PASS (3860 M) 8KM, 4-5 hrs.

    An easy, well-defined mule path starts from Bara-Bhangal village starts to the pass. Ravi and Kalihini nallah are crossed over the wooden bridges before path starts climbing up at a moderate grade. On the way to Marh, a flat land near the snout of the glacier, is Udeg. There are few campsites with rock shelters and seasonal dhaba at Marh, but the camp will be pitched at Marh, as it becomes more easier the next day.

  • DAY 6 : MARH, BASE OF PASS - THAMSAR PASS - PANIHARDU (3250M) 19KM (3860 M), 7-8 hrs.

    An early start from Marh around 4.30 A.M is more suitable. It is 3-4 hrs climb to the pass. Form Marh to the pass is a gradual climb with some steep portions. It is taxing but not difficult. Thamsar is the most beautiful pass to cross Dhauladhar range. The pass appears much easier when compared with the tough and the dangerous portions between Khanar and Bara Banghal however the snow conditions higher up will make progress quite hard. Large rocks and boulders litter the top of the pass, and a cairn with many trinkets symbolizes the goddess of Thamsar Jot.There are beautiful glacial lakes below the pass. Two other small lakes are formed because of the glacial depression. Two small peaks, Lantern (5067m) and Thamsar (5078m) can be seen on either side of the pass. The South side is steeper than the North, head down usually on soft snow and work across to a ridge on the right, with the glacier on the left. Descend the ridge steeply for about 3Km to where the path crosses the glacier to its left and goes up to a huge rock shelter called Bharpal Got (4050m). A halt can also be made here for the night. From here a rocky path makes a steep descent for 3Km to where the path crosses the glacier to its left and goes up to a huge rock shelter called Bharpal Got (4050m) and from here a rocky path makes a steep descent for another 3Km to Panihadru, few tea shops in a rock shelter and a campsite among the rocks mark the end of this adventurous evening.

  • DAY 7 : PANIHARDU – PALCHAKA - BILLING - BIR KHAS (1525M) 30KM

    The trek is easy and well defined. It is pleasure to walk down from Panihardu to Billing. Palchaka is the base camp just like Udeg is Bara Bangal. Uhl river originates from the glacier above Palachak. There is proper mule trek from Palchaka to Rajgundha (2625m) village and take around 2-3 hrs to reach Rajgundha village, this small town has a school, a Buddhist Monastery and many eating shops Further walk of 2-3 hrs takes to the world famous hand- gliding site in the world. From Billing there is a 14KM jeepable road to Bir and there is metal road of 9KM from Bir Khas to Baijnath. Baijnath, 56 KM from Dharamshala, in on the Pathankot-Mandi National Highway and has an ancient Shiva temple. The old shiva temple is said to be built by the pandvas. From Baijnath Pathankot is 145Km and Kullu 150Km.


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