At a staggering height of 15,010 Ft, the Pangarchulla Peak trek, with its breathtaking views of the Garhwal Himalayan peaks, Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, and Hati-Ghori to name a few, is one of the best treks for both novices as well as experienced trekkers. The path is initially lined with rocks but gradually ascends into a picturesque landscape that is a blend of green meadows, majestic mountains, and quaint villages consisting of wooden houses. Also known as the Chimney peak, it adds more charm to the Lord Curzon circuit of trekking trails with its snow-covered slopes and diverse flora and fauna.
The trails of the Pangarchulla peak trek follow the same paths of pilgrimage that have the footprints of devotees who embark on a spiritual journey from Haridwar to Joshimath. Although the Pangarchulla trek remains accessible throughout the year, it’s when the ridges and surrounding land are covered in snow is when the experience becomes ten times better. Although during summers, the view is no less charming. The vast expanse of green land speckled with the blooming colors of spring make it truly mesmerizing. The oak, blue pine, and Bhojpatra trees adorn the trail and provide shelter to a variety of wildlife, like the black deer and Himalayan Tahr which you can spot if you are lucky.
The Pangarchulla trek falls in the moderate level category which means even though it gives you the adrenaline rush that many adventure enthusiasts seek, it also becomes hard to keep up with the demanding nature of the trek but it rewards the bold and determined with the feeling of triumph when they reach the summit.
The most exciting part of any trek is no doubt the end when you realize that all the hardships you faced bore fruit that was not only sweet but worth it all. However, it’s the trail and walking upon it that makes reaching the top feel so fulfilling. The trail of Pangarchulla peak starts from the village of Dhak. The peace that you witness with the slant-roofed houses and streams of water falling behind is quite unmatched.
You will witness cattle grazing and even meet some Himalayan shepherds along with locals but as you gradually ascend upwards, the traces of civilization will start to fade and so will the brown terrains, giving way to thick forests with Garhwal Himalayan peaks beckoning you closer from behind.
The more distance you cover on the trekking trail to Pangarchulla peak, the more traces of green canopies will come into view, with the golden oak trees and blue pines. For a moment, you will lose sight of the mountains as you trek deeper into the forests. During the summer and spring seasons, you would find bloomed rhododendrons and in winter, a thick blanket of snow stretched like a carpet beneath your feet. It depends on what kind of landscapes fascinate you, if you are a snow fanatic and can overcome the harsh breeze then you can mount your flag on the summit of Pangarchulla during winters but if you are someone who just wants to enjoy the serenity that nature brings them then the best time to do the Pangarchulla trek would be from March to May.
The golden sunrises and tangerine sunsets while you embark on the Pangarchulla trek are to die for but the sight of the majestic Himalayan peaks like Mt. Kamet, Mana Parvat, Garud, Trishul, and Dronagiri is what makes you feel as if you are on top of the world.
As you follow the Lord Curzon trail, traversing through the meadows that offer a gateway to Pangarchulla, you must be well-equipped with water because the more you travel upwards, the more scarce your resources become. But once you have reached the ridge that has Chaukhamba massif adorning it, all your fatigue will leave you in an instant. The Pangarchulla main peak will beckon you closer from here and it depends on you whether you wish to go forward.
If you continue on the path, after a few hundred meters, the knife ridge begins. It’s crucial to reach the summit early in the morning because as the sun rises, the snow begins to melt making the slope extremely slippery and risky. Finally, after conquering all your fears and hardships, you would reach the summit point and witness the glory of Garhwal Himalayan peaks in the form of a 360 view with Nanda Ghunti on your left, Chaukhamba on your right with all its terrains clearer than ever before. Once you have relished the experience of reaching the summit of Pangarchulla peak, we will head back to basecamp.
The reason why the Pangarchulla peak trek is one of the best winter treks that you must do is that it embodies the grandeur of the great Himalayas perfectly. You get to see different peaks, traverse through forests and meadows, come across streams of Himalayan water, and be acquainted with the flora and fauna the Himalayas are home to. A benefit of doing this trek is that if you have enough time on your hands then you can cover Kuari Pass as well as Auli, the Himalayan ski resort while on the Pangarchulla peak trek.
In a nutshell, the Pangarchulla trek is one of the best treks that you can do in the Himalayan region and as it’s one of the underrated treks in India, it provides you both thrill as we as solitude.
Note: The pick-up point would be Rishikesh ISBT (tentative).
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