Rishikesh - Ghat - Selu Bagar - Ghunni - Vinayak Pass - Jhinjhi Village - Pana Village - Dakhwani - KuariPass - Tali - Auli- Joshimath - Joshimath - Rishikesh - Haridwar
The pass (khal) is approached through a narrow goat trek at an elevation of 4265 mts in the heart of Chamoli Garhwal. The glorious view of the imposing eastern peaks of Garhwal Himalayas is unforgettably enchantring. They appear so close with their grand glittering snow caps that one feels like almost touching them. From kuari pass Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, Bethartoli, Devathan, etc. peaks are easily. Since Lord Curzon once trekked up to Kuari pass, the trail is known as lord corzon trial Pangarchulla becomes a beautiful climbing objective in the spring after having accumulated all the winter snow. An easy low peak which gives a good feel of a climb-plodding the crisp morning snow with amazing views of high mountains. This trip offers enough challenge and loads of photo opportunity. Just perfect for anyone In 1905 Lord Curzon trekked over the Kuari pass from Ghat via Ramni and hence the trek is named after him as the "Curzon Trail. In the modern times many trekkers prefer to undertake the trek in the reverse direction. The main attractions of Curzon's trails are the majestic view of the twin peaks of Nanda Devi, Kamet, Dronagiri and Hathi-Ghodi Parvat. The Pass (Khal) is approached through a narrow goat track at an elevation of 4265 mts. Standing at the Kuari-Pass facing north, one gets to see Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Nilkhantha, Kamet, Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Nandadevi, Bethartoli, Dunagiri, etc. all arranged in a fantastic arc- southwards the foothills stretch onwards till they merge with the haze of the distant plains .The trek takes one through dense oak and conifer, bamboo and birch forests, teeming with fauna. A visitor has a good chance of viewing wildlife during the course of the trek.
On Arrival at Rishikesh, after an early breakfast drive to Ghat via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Nandprayag, the most famous confluences of Garhwal Himalayas. Ghat is a huge village with more than a couple of schools, government offices and more or less happening market for the nearby villages. The river Nandakini emerging from Mt Trishul passes near this village (hence the name "Ghat") Overnight in guest house/ hotel.
It's time to the board typical Himalayan village jeeps which will takes one to Selu Bagar (Chesna), a small center with a handful of shacks serving as village shops and the starting point for the trek. This drive covers 7 km and takes around 30 minutes. Meet the ponies/porters at this point. The trail from here is well marked with continuous switch backs to the ridge from where one can see the settlements of Ramni and Ghunni villages. The villagers are essentially a farming community, and grow potatoes, wheat and mustard for their daily needs. From here it is a walk through the village full of colors of Himalayan inhabitants. After passing through a couple of cluster settlements, the trail goes past the village and thereafter, after covering a total of 6 kms and climbing steeply for 3 hrs, one arrives at an open plateau, known as Ghunni, which is the campsite for the day. The massive campsite is also used as a playground and hosts innumerous sporting events. Overnight in tents.
The day requires an essential early start not only to negotiate the day's rigours, but also to relish the beautiful Himalayan views. The trails winds up to the ridge top towering high above the campsite at Ghunni. After crossing the ridge one comes to an open meadow with stunning views of some of the mountain peaks. From here the trail continues to climb gently, passing through beautiful forests of Rhododendron, followed by pasture grasslands for sheep and cattle with many Chhanis (seasonal dwellings for local shepherds and cow herds). Continue with the trail which is more or less gradual finally takes you to Vinayak Pass. The pass is marked with a Ganesha temple with a prayer flag. From here one gets to see some excellent view of Himalayas and first view of Kuari pass at a distance, and also Trishul, and Nanda Ghunti, One can also view Ramni and Ghunni settlements lower down in the valley. On a clear day one might also be able to view the famed Roopkund area from here. From this point on, the trail starts to drop down gently, and at times becomes very steep - passing through Sem Kharak. The 4 hrs of descent through the well laid path finally takes one to the village of Jhinjhi, and located by the side of a mountain stream. This is also on the route to the trek to Saptrishi Tal. Overnight in the small campsite in tents.
The day's walk showcases the living style and culture of people of Jhinjhi village as one walks through it. The trail continues to descend through the village finally comes to the valley floor after a 2 km descent and brings one to a high suspension bridge over river Birahi Ganga – originating from the famed Roopkund (Skeleton Lake). After crossing the bridge one gets to the true right of the valley. The trail zig zags steeply initially and flattens at the ridge. Some admirable views of the nearby settlements and peeks of the Himalayan snow clads are a sight to behold. From here the path is gradual and goes through a beautiful forest of Rhododendron finally going past Kaliagad to the settlement at Pana. A final ascend of less than a kilometer will brings one to the campsite above village of Pana- a bustling village located on the ridge. A well deserved cup of tea, after having covered an uphill stretch. Overnight in tents.
The trail is well marked above the camp site passing through a thick Rhododendron forest with a few false summits. The 2 kms finally takes one to the ridge. The trail now, gradually passing through the forest enters an open meadow at Sartoli - which serves as a camping site as well as pasture land for a sheep & cattle. This is an ideal place to view Kuari Pass dominating the horizon. Initially the trail from Sartoli starts to descend gradually for a couple of kilometers but in the latter part, the final descent to the side stream is very steep with loose moraine (The guest are required to use their trekking poles during this stretch). One has to cross over the side stream and start a steep ascend with a series of switch backs to the ridge top. From here the trail traverses slightly with a couple of ascend again and finally takes one across the stream just below Dakhwani. From this point it is no more than a half hour climb to the campsite at Dakhwani, and the delicious water from the mountain stream looks like Manna from heaven for the parched throats. A cup of tea waits at the camp. Overnight in tents.
This day requires an early start in order to get a magnificent view at the pass. The trail from Dakhwani continues to climb through the forest until one crosses the tree line. From this point the path traverses to the left of the valley just under the pass and continues with a series of switch backs straight to the pass. The pass looks deceptively close and seems to take ages to reach. It is customary to make an early start so as to see the sun rise at the pass. Take your time, relax and enjoy photography at the pass, and capture beautiful memories forever. The trail from the pass slightly ascends to a hump. From where one gets an excellent view of Dronagiri peak. After this the trail descends to a point with a bifurcation to Tapovan (via Khulara) & Tali. Continue on the trail taking care not to slip or get injured owing to the loose gravel and rocky area covering a total of 7 kms. The last leg of the day's trek leads to a ridge with temple and prayer flags having covered 2 kms of an uphill climb. From here the Great Nanda Devi peak comes in view. The trail goes past through pasture land and enters the forest and finally leads to the campsite at Tali. Overnight in tents.
Take today's morning at ease. The trail from Tali is a gradual climb across mountain ridge. This trail is narrow and requires cautious walking until it reaches Gorson meadows. From here it is Himalayas all around. The great Nanda Devi peak dominates all the other peaks. The crossing of Gorson meadows with its vast meadows and wild flowers is most enjoyable. Finally the man made structures can be seen from a distance, marking the location of the village of Auli. It is now time to say adieu to the ponies and porters, and to board the Jeep to Joshimath – a 13 kms drive away. The town of Joshimath (Distortion of the word - "Jyotirmath") is a bustling market place and serves as the main bazaar for nearly all the nearby villages. The town was thus named in honour of Guru Adi Shankaracharya, who visited the town in 300 CE, and established a temple here. Overnight in hotel.
Early morning drive to Rishikesh. On the way visit Rudraprayag where river Mandakini and Alaknanda meet. Lunch enroute. Arrive Rishikesh by evening. Transfer to station.