Roopkund Trek & Almora-Ranikhet-Nainital-Agra-Delhi Trip

Tripoto
3rd Jun 2016
Photo of Roopkund Trek & Almora-Ranikhet-Nainital-Agra-Delhi Trip by Rakesh Malik

This was my first time in Himalayas. A college friend gave me the idea to join him to Roopkund. He was a bit experienced, done solo treks before. Most of the organizing was even done by him.

Got a 2 week leave from work. Roopkund trek was 6 days. So filled the rest of the trip with some of the places in Uttarakhand. But didn't plan quite much. Later we kept changing plan and ended up visiting Almora, Ranikhet, Nainital, Agra and Delhi.

Day 1

I started from Chennai at 11 am 3rd June 2016 for 1:15 pm flight to Delhi. Reached Delhi at 3:45. Took Airport Metro to New Delhi for Yellow Line metro. Met my friend at to Rajiv Chowk and took blue line metro to Anand Vihar ISBT. Had AC bus booked at 8 pm for Haldwani.

Day 2

Reached Haldwani at 5 am, 2 hours earlier. So walked to Kathgodam. At 7 am car for Lohajung came, but other people were late so started around 9 am. It was a long journey. Reached Lohajung by evening and met Devsingh. We didnt contact any particualar trekking company, it was just Devsingh. He put us in a 14 member group. Gave us a room in basement for the night stay. At night around 8 pm there was briefing about our trek and met the people we are supposed to go with.

Day 3

View from Lohajung

Photo of Didna, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Didna Village

Photo of Didna, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

We woke up 6 am. Had breakfast and met our guides Anand Ji, Raghu, Lucky. Started for our trek at 8:30. 10 km trek from Lohajung to Didna Village with about 1500 ft ascent. Terrain was plain at beginning, then mostly uphill at end. On the way we tasted Rhododendron juice. We reached Didna around 1:30 pm and had lunch. When I reached Didna I was quite exhausted. Anand Ji told me to go slow, and to take small steps from now on. Lucky told me to breathe though mouth and leave it from nose. The place looked great with all the clouds around. Later rain and hail started too.

Day 4

We woke up at 6 and started by 8 after breakfast. It’s 12 km trek with 1200 ft ascent. Destination is Bedini. First 4 km is step ascent. then about 2 km is mild ascent to Auli Bugyal, largest Bugyal (Alpine meadow) of India. For lack of trees this it’s generally hard to breathe in this area. Finally by 3 pm we reached Bedini Bugyal. One of our companions showed symptoms of AMS here, so he was sent down to Wan village on mule on instant. Medic told us to drink as much water as we can to prevent headache or AMS. Rain started again this evening.

Bedini Bugyal

Photo of Bedini Bugyal, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Bedini Bugyal

Photo of Bedini Bugyal, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Sheep at Bedini Bugyal

Photo of Bedini Bugyal, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Bedini Bugyal

Photo of Bedini Bugyal, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Day 5

This day is a short trek of only 4 km, but with 1500 ft ascent. We started by 8 am and reached Pathar Nachauni by 11:30 am. Just as we entered out tent heavy hail started. This day I caught a bit of headache, which remained for about an hour. This was the last point where we got mobile phone signal, that was only at one specific corner.My friend had also got some stomach problem this day. The weather in this place changed rapidly every now and then. Sometimes we are inside cloud, sometimes in soothing sunlight, sometimes in rain or hail, sometimes trembling for sheer cold wind and sometimes combinations of more than one. which lasted upto the time I was awake.

View from Pathar Nachauni

Photo of Pathar Nachuni, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Camping in Pathar Nachauni

Photo of Pathar Nachuni, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Day 6

Today its a 5 km trek. First 2 km very steep ascent of 1800 ft to Kalu Vinayak. Then 3 km mild descent to Bhagwabasa. Here I first saw snow. Weather was a bit cold but more comfortable than Pathar Nachauni as there is not much wind. We slept early as need to wake up early next day.

View on way from Pathar Nachauni

Photo of Bhagwa Basa, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

View from Bhagwabasa

Photo of Bhagwa Basa, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Day 7

This is the main day of our trek. We woke at 3 am when it is still dark. We started with torches and headlights, everyone lined up properly, following what guides were saying. It was a 3 km ascent to Roopkund. There were few scary places, with newly frozen slippery sheet of ice and narrow edge of snow. They put crampons on our shoe from midway, when we got near thicker snow. Finally we reached Roopkund by 6 am after a little bit of climb through thick snow. Among 13 people 9 went for Joonargali. I didnt go there, as they said there would be some rock climbing. Joonargali Pass is actually a view point from where you can see Mount Trishul and Mount Nanda-Ghunti properly. Instead I took a walk around the Roopkund lake. There were few skulls and bones all around. The guide said that the bones are human bones but few are bigger than usual human bones and there are lots of story about their origin. One bone could be seen stuck in frozen lake, which was a bit reddish too. Lake was fully frozen, but we were told not to go much near it as it may break and it is very deep.

Joonargali Pass

Photo of Roopkund, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Roopkund

Photo of Roopkund, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Bones near Roopkund

Photo of Roopkund, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Sunset in Pathar Nachauni

Photo of Roopkund, Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Then we returned to Bhagwabasa by 9 am. Had our lunch by 10:30 and started for Pathar Nachauni. After Kalu Vinayak hail and rain started. I didnt have a rain coat, so Anand Ji gave me his Poncho.

Day 8

The last day of trek is the longest trek. Of 17 km from Pathar Nachauni to Wan Vilage through Bedini. On way we came accross Bedinikund and took rest there. Next resting point was Gheroli, from where Wan is 8 km. We took bath in Neel Ganga and had lunch there. Till now it was all downhill, but after Neel Ganga there was a 0.5 km ascent then 2.5 km plain. Then we Reached Wan and came to Lohajung in Jeep.

Day 9

We started from Lohajung by 8 am. Others were going to Kathgodam, we got on their van to get down in the middle at Almora. We planned this place to take some rest after long trek.

In the evening we took a walk around the city. It was fun walking in a nice and calm hill station at evening. From our hotel manager we got news that Binsar was caught on fire recently, so nothing much to see there at the moment, so we had to replan our rest of the trip.

Day 10

We came to Ranikhet mainly for Paragliding. We contacted Wildrift, they charged Rs 3500 per head. It was about 10 min flight. It was fun, although I had thought it would seem a little scary, but wasn’t much actually. We took rest in hotel rest of the day.

Day 11

We came to Nainital in morning. After some walk beside the lake we found a hotel. But rain started, which mostly ruined rest of the day. At night I took a walk in the city. City looked quite great at night with the lake and all the lights over hills.

Nainital

Photo of Nainital, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Nainital

Photo of Nainital, Uttarakhand, India by Rakesh Malik

Day 12

We took a walk a around the lake. Then took Rope Way to Snow view point, but could not see anything from there for fog. Then we went to Cave gardens, but cave were all closed for rain. By afternoon we started for Agra.

Day 13

We reached Agra in morning and checked in Big Brothers hostel, A very cheap AC paying guest facility with free breakfast.We Started our day with the Taj Mahal. Both of us had thought of Taj Mahal few times before, but never had the chance. Then to went to Agra Fort, then by afternoon had lunch and returned to hostel.

Taj Mahal Entrance

Photo of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rakesh Malik

Taj Mahal

Photo of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rakesh Malik

Khas Mahal, Agra Fort

Photo of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rakesh Malik

Day 14

We took train from Agra Fort Railway Station to Fatehpur Sikri at 10 am morning. After visiting Buland Darwaza and Fatehpur Sikri we took bus from there to agra. Had our lunch in Sadar Bazar and returned to hostel. The took another visit to Taj Mahal for sunset view.

Buland Darwaza

Photo of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rakesh Malik

Tomb of Salim Chisti, Fatehpur Sikri

Photo of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rakesh Malik

Fatehpur Sikri

Photo of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India by Rakesh Malik

Day 15

Started for Delhi in morning, reached by 3 pm.

Had our lunch by 5 pm at Chandni Chowk Parathewale Gali.

Then took walk around Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid and by 8 pm had our dinner at Karim’s Hotel with an awesome Biriyani, Mutton Korma, Shami Kabab, Sheek Kabab and Kheer.

Day 16

Last day of our trip, my friend went to see his aunt, who lives in Delhi. I took a visit around Delhi in metro and auto. Visited Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.

Then had my lunch at Parathewale Gali again followed by Giani’s Rabri-Faluda.

The met my friend and had dinner at Changezi with Changezi Chicken and Tandoori roti.

Jantar Mantar, Delhi

Photo of Changezi Chicken Restaurant, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Rakesh Malik

Lotus Temple, Delhi

Photo of Changezi Chicken Restaurant, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Rakesh Malik

Qutub Minar, Delhi

Photo of Changezi Chicken Restaurant, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Rakesh Malik

Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

Photo of Changezi Chicken Restaurant, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Rakesh Malik

Rabri Falooda at Giani's, Delhi

Photo of Changezi Chicken Restaurant, New Delhi, Delhi, India by Rakesh Malik

Day 17

Started in morning by 7 am for Flight to Chennai and Kolkata flight.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Delhi, Bus to Haldwani

Day 2: Car to Lohajung

Day 3: Trek to Didna Village

Day 4: Trek to Auli Bugyal & Bedini Bugyal

Day 5: Trek to Pathar Nachauni

Day 6: Trek to Kalu Vinayak & Bhagwabasa

Day 7: Trek to Roopkund & Joonargali Pass. Return to Pathar Nachauni

Day 8: Return to Bedini Bugyal, Wan Village, Lohajung

Day 9: Almora

Day 10: Ranikhet

Day 11-12: Nainital

Day 13-14: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri

Day 15-16: Delhi

Day 17: Flight from Delhi

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Videos

For more details and more travel stories: https://bhromonn.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/roopkund-trek/

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