Rupin Pass trek... Worth a try!

Tripoto
21st Jun 2018
Photo of Rupin Pass trek... Worth a try! by Rajat Tomar
Day 1

Hi Everyone!
I am Rajat and I completed the Rupin Pass Trek in June 2018. This Blog is about my experiences in the Trek.
First of all, I would like to tell you about the difficulty level of this trek. The difficulty level depends from person to person. Some people might find this trek tiring and tough while others take it to be a normal Hike. It actually depends on your fitness level, your mental strength and how comfortable you feel in the Mountains, be it walking, staying in tents etc. For me this trek was a bit challenging as this was the first time I did such a long trek.
In this trek, I walked through villages and walked in mountains, along the river, in the valleys, through the jungle, crossing rivers and bridges. Every moment I experienced thrill and excitement, missed the dear ones, felt so close to the natures Heart…..overcoming new challenges and making new friends and memories every day.
People from different places, backgrounds and age groups could connect with each other and share their experiences. It felt together where everyone was a trekker and there was no need to explain why we are doing this.
This trek turned different everyday…..the very moment you get comfortable with the trail…….terrain changed and so the challenges.

21 JUN - Reach Dehradun and Drive to Dhaula
Route Hubs: Dehradun – Vikasnagar – Nuagaon – Purola – Mori – Naitwar - Dhaula
After a comfortable overnight Bus journey to Dehradun, I reached the bus stand and from there took an auto and reached the railway station. There is a Local Bus/Mini bus which leaves early morning around 5:15 AM. Bus to Naitwar leaves from about 100 meters away from the railway station which is opposite to The Grand Hotel. And it will cost you around Rs 250-300. However, you will get shared jeeps or government buses which leaves around 6:30 from the railway station but they will drop you to Purola. You can get down at Naitwar and hire a cab from Naitwar as it has enough cab to be hired and should cost about Rs 800-1000 for a vehicle to drop you at Dhaula. It will take about 25-30 minutes from Naitwar. At Naitwar there is a forest department checkpost which requires a permission given by the head office which is in Purola to allow you to do the Rupin Pass trek.
NOTE- The permission has to be taken before reaching Naitwar from the head office in Purola.
I met 3 people from Chandigarh who were going for the same terk and we became good friends. We started our journey with 9-10 hour road trip from Dehradun to Naitwar.
The route goes from Mussorie to Uttarkashi District. We passed through some amazing sceneries and enjoyed every mountain in sight.
Towards the end of the road trip, we had a bumpy ride for the last 15-20 kms. We reached Naitwar and hired a cab from Naitwar to Dhaula Village. We reached Dhaula somehow and I was completely soaked in by the sight of Rupin River.
Dhaula is a very small and quiet village in the Uttarkashi District of Uttrakhand. There is hardly any mobile network available here except BSNL and hence you immediately get disconnected from the rest of the world. I liked this village a lot. It was very quiet and peaceful. We took a home stay for five of us and it cost us 800 Rs with food.
All of us spent time clicking pictures of one another and sitting in the balcony playing cards. In this modern age where everyone is so busy with gadgets, it was a real opportunity to actually sit among people and discuss stuff about life, the nature and beyond!

It grew darker and the voices of people slowed down. Everybody was feeling tired after travelling all day long. We saw the sunset and stars appearing one after the other. The mountains gave a soothing feeling to the onlooker. I stayed silent for some time. It was serene!

Day 2

22 JUN – Dhaula- Sewa- Jiskun (22-23 kms)
Last night we all decided to get up early by 6:00 AM and get going so as to reach our next destination on time. We woke up and had a cup of tea with some biscuits and filled our water bottles.
At sharp 6:30, we began our Trek.
We started our day quite early it turned out to be an advantage for us as we were able to cover 22kms on this day. We started walking uphill which was a gentle climb and saw the village disappearing as we walked ahead.
The beginning of the climb was quite easy, but as we kept on walking, we climbed many patches of steep ascents. We took some breaks in between to eat something healthy and get hydrated. Then, it was around 8:30 AM and the sun became harsher, it became difficult to walk as there was no river or even a patch of shade. Though, before reaching Sewa village the walk was very easy with almost a straight path and gentle climb.
And by the time we reached Sewa it was 10:00 AM and we were little tired. So we rested in Sewa for some time and talked to the local people about the village. We tasted a local fruit of Himachal called “CHULU”. The village had a beautiful temple which opens only once in 15 years for praying. However, the priests clean the temple annually.

We all were energized after taking some rest and by 11:30 AM we were ready to go ahead. The route took us down on a decline which we happily welcomed. We had to go down towards the Rupin River and then climb up the hill. All reached the river side safely. The initial uphill was a bit hard and that’s when we realized that the trek has truly begun. The sun kept burning with the same intensity and gave us no respite even for a few meters. Then interestingly, we came across a bridge which belonged to neither uttrakhand and nor himachal and after crossing the bridge we entered Himachal Pradesh.

After climbing uphill for a few hours, we saw a motor able kuccha road which was connected to Rodu. Although, many people are not aware about the fact that you can even start this trek from Kuccha road by taking a jeep from Rodu. Now, we had to walk on this road for 5-6 kms. Finally we were happy that the steep paths are over, we took a sign of relief and clicked many pictures near the places we rested.
All of us encouraged each other to walk further. As we were walking we found a small barn round the corner of the road. We unloaded our snacks and rested for some time and drank some water and ate some chocolates. As soon as everybody was feeling a bit better, we decided to move so that we don’t over exhaust ourselves.

Now we had to take a detour from the road and climb up a hill. We were a little shocked after looking at the hill we had to climb. It was very steep, long and sloppy. We decided to take it slowly and steadily. Following each other’s steps one by one in a single line, we were atop the hill after some time. Surely, we were each other’s family here, in this trek and in this journey.
We walked ahead and were surprised by many scenic views en route. We met many locals on our way to the village who were ready to offer us free stay for the night but we had to go on. It was around 4 P.M., after covering a couple of kilometers the village of Jiskun came into view.

This climb was surely the most difficult one after the Rupin pass climb and after having cleared it, we craved for lots of food and a cozy bed.
At Jiskun, we stayed at a villager’s home. It was a very nice place with a small balcony where we sat, played cards and spent our day. The owner of the house was a old man who was very friendly and welcoming.
We explored the village and the saw that a game of cricket was going on between the local boys. Then After dinner, we called it a day off and went to our room to take some rest.

Day 3

23 JUN­ -Jiskun- Jakha- Buras kandi- Lower Waterfall (13-14 kms)
All of us woke up early to start our day. We had our breakfast and got ready for a long walk ahead. A good night’s sleep and rest energizes one to prepare for a long day. Clearly looking at the height gain and a distance of almost 14 kms, it would not be easy. But we believed in ourselves. Yesterday, we covered a two day trek in just one day and today also we had to do the same. After covering a couple of kms, the village of Jakha came into view. As I climbed, I realized that we are reaching Jakha and that too in no time. It was only 2-2.5 hours since we started. Climb to the village was short but quite steep and by 9:30 AM we reached Jakha. We rested in the village for some time and talked to the local people.
We started our walk and bid goodbye to this beautiful mountainous village The trail initially takes you into the forest. I simply love walking in the woods. Walking in the shade and savoring every minute of it, we didn’t even notice how time flew by. We encountered the river Rupin again. The downhill climb to the river was steep and sloppy and one had to be very careful while walking. After reaching the river safely, we had spent some time there and refilled our water bottles. While climbing up the hill we saw the trail was a very narrow one and could only accommodate one way traffic. Today, we had mostly uphill climb and longer paths than previous day. However, whenever we felt a little tired we took some rest and encourage each other.
We soon reached Buras Kandi campsite. It had a beautiful scenery view. A company called Indian hikes had set up their camp here. We sat there for a glass of tea (paid) and enjoyed the view.

We walked ahead and soon the scenery changed. The mountains grew more majestic and one could see a endless chain of mountains. This is the beauty of walking in the remote Himalaya.
There is one thing I would like to appreciate and highlight about my group is that all of us were on our own, without any tour guide and a stove to make food for ourselves. We decided to collect dry branches of trees so that we could light up a fire to cook Mandatory Mountain snack Maggie. Each one of us was carrying almost 4-5 logs.
For the next couple of kms we had to walk through the valley of mountains and the view was awesome.

After some time we reached a point where we had to walk through a patch of glacier and then there was an uphill climb. The thought of walking on the glacier, excited me and I started walking up the glacier. On reaching the top of the hill, I was taken by a surprise as the beautiful meadow of Dhanderas Thatch enfolded in front of me. And there were small yellow buttercups on the ground. All of us were very excited and started taking pictures.
On reaching the campsite, we all were very tired and decided to set up our tent and get some rest. After some time all of us came out and decided to go on a short walk. On the other campsite, the local people were playing cricket and I am a huge cricket lover. So I went there to play with them.

It was a beautiful campsite with a huge waterfall in front. This is also called the U-shaped ruin valley. Then all of us returned to our campsites. Now we had to think about our dinner. There was another campsite of a company called trek the Himalaya (TTH). I went there to ask them if they could provide us food for the night and we could pay for it. But these people were so great that they were ready to give us dinner and breakfast for free. I returned to our campsite and told my friends about it they were very happy and thanked them for their great gesture.
We had a delicious dinner early in the evening and retired to our respective tents.

Day 4

24 JUN –Lower Waterfall- Upper Waterfall (3-4 kms)
We woke up around 8 AM and the sun was shining bright so we came out. We took a short walk around our tents and then started packing our belongings. We woke up so late because we decided to camp at the Upper Waterfall tonight as it would just take few hours to reach. By the time we were packing our tents our breakfast was ready and after having our breakfast we were ready to go.
I looked at the Waterfall and thought that this climb will be one of the toughest. But all of us had full faith in ourselves. The path takes you up the mountain through a glacier climb. Once you climb that patch of glacier, you pass over to nearby mountain and go on. Now all of us had to climb a steep patch of the glacier, it made our climb a bit slower. Many trekkers from other groups were finding it difficult to climb but we had each other’s back. Once we cleared that patch, we took a short break. It is always better to take short breaks after every 5-10 minutes so that you could get some rest and feel less tired and hence climb difficult paths in no time.
After walking some distance, we could see the starting point of the Upper Waterfall. We knew now that the campsite was not far away. We sat down on rocks to catch our breath. After taking some amazing pictures and enjoying this moment, we started towards our destination again.
We soon reached the campsite and that too in no time. We completed this part of the trek in just 2 hours. We were so happy that we have so much time to enjoy the rest of the day.

We decided to set up our tents first and then go for a walk to nearby sites to click some amazing pictures.

Later in the evening, we headed back our tents. Now the major problem was to set up a small Chula for lighting up a fire and cook food for us. The oxygen level on top was slight low so we had to face a lot of problems to light up a fire. But in an hour or so we were able to do it. We cooked Maggie for our dinner and a cup of soup for each one of us. This was an amazing experience for all of us to light up a fire on our own but it was a combined team effort. We had our dinner and it was getting cold outside. So we called it a day and went back to our tents.

Day 5

25 JUN –Upper Waterfall- Rupin Pass- Ronti Gadh- Sangla (26-28 kms)
We decided to be up by 4 AM so that we leave by 5 AM in the morning. When I woke up at around 4’o clock, it was drizzling and it was very cold outside. I saw that nobody was willing to come out of their tents but it was important for us as we had to cover a lot of distance today.
The best part about this trek is that usually, you summit a Peak and come back to the same camp from where you started. But this was different, you had to scale the pass and go to the other side of it.
We all were in high spirits and soon made a move.
The route took us high up on a ridge and after travelling across our way to the adjoining mountain we had to head straight for some steep slopes.
As soon as we reached the adjoining mountain, the view changed and we could only see big mountains around us. Now we were taking short breaks after every 5-10 minutes due to lack of oxygen. We climbed many steep slopes on our way to the Rupin Pass.
We had reached near the Rupin Pass at around 9:30 AM. The climb was very steep or I can say that this was the toughest part of the trek. We had to be very alert while climbing; even a slight mistake could lead to a lot of problems. Personally, I loved this climb as it was challenging for me. But most of my friends didn’t like it at all.
We had to climb up the Pass in a single file. This made the climb time consuming but then again safety was our first priority. Walking in a single line also helps to avoid crowding in the route and the Pass.
After putting in a lot of hard work, we were able to reach the pass. Finally, all of us had made it to this significant pass. We could only see snow clad mountains from here. Being at such an altitude with such a view is definitely worth the hard work and pain one incurs to climb. We sat down near the pass for a while and enjoyed this amazing feeling. The feeling that one gets after climbing a mountain/pass/hill and after all the hard work and struggle you put in can’t be described in words. We took some pictures, rested for a while and decided to make a move. We had climbed up the Pass and now we had to climb down to Sangla.

We started our walk. We had to walk in the grass field which was not a concern for us now. Many of us were walking in smaller groups while going down. After walking for 2-3 hours without a break we came across the camp area of India Hikes. This meant that we had reached Ronti Gadh. We reached there around 2’o clock, sat there for a while but it started drizzling so we decided to get going.
We saw hundreds of sheep and lambs grazing in the meadow. It was a delightful view. I had never seen so many sheep together. I stopped there for some while to take some shots.

Further down, we were welcomed with some magnificent views of Kinnaur Hills. It was a spectacular view. The valley itself was very beautiful. The route was easy and hence we enjoyed walking through the village and enjoyed the scenery to the max.
On reaching Sangla after about 4-5 hours, we were so tired that were hoping to get back home. We reached the bus stand to enquire about the bus but no bus was available until next morning. So we stayed at a small guest house for the night. After 4 days, bathing seemed like a luxury.
However, there is hardly anything to see in Sangla except a Temple. Also, vehicles to Shimla are easily available but are very costly. But buses to Shimla and Chandigarh are available early morning around 5 from Sangla bus stand.
We left for Shimla around 6 AM next morning and reached Shimla at around 3 PM.
From Shimla, you can easily find buses to Delhi and Chandigarh.

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar

#lifechangingtrip

Photo of Himachal Pradesh, India by Rajat Tomar
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