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Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek
15 Nights 16 Days, Uttarakhand, India
Nanda Devi Sanctuary trek is one of the finest Himalayan treks. The romance of exploration, exquisite views and a challenging route make Nanda Devi trek quite appealing. However, at present, trekkers are allowed to go only upto Dibrugheta. Despite this restriction, you can enjoy gorgeous views of the Nanda Devi peaks and the peaks of the outer sanctuary.
Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman were the first explorers to penetrate the challenging Rishi gorge in 1934. They first ascended the summit in 1936. Other explorers then scaled the peaks, but after the sanctuary was opened in 1970s, too many expeditions followed. This led to environmental degradation of the region, which resulted in the closure of the inner sanctuary.
Nanda Devi National Park trek or the outer sanctuary trek is still worth doing owing to beautiful scenery & views of the peaks. Nanda Devi Sanctuary was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
Who can do Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek ?
Nanda Devi Sanctuary trek is a two week long trail through the dense forest, rocky trails and enchanting meadows. Nanda Devi trek requires a high level of endurance level as this trek requires you to trek 8-10 km daily for almost 16 days. Recommended for very fit people who have done at least a few multi day treks.
Best things about Nanda Devi Sanctuary trek
Village Lata (8-9 hr drive from Rishikesh)
Dehradun Railway Station
Jolly Grant near Dehradun
Road drive from Rishikesh to Lata village via Joshimath
Lata has a small rest house a few metres below the village, at the roadhead.
A trail winds up from the village. After a long climb, you will reach a small clearing, where you can pitch your camps. many continue to the next camp, but if you wish to acclimatise well, this small halt is a welcome respite.
Keep climbing the broad, well made trail to the point on the ridge where it levels out. Rest house is available for stay at night.
Cross Dharashi Pass (4,385 m). Keep climbing on the trail. As you turn to the main ridge, Baphkin Dhar (or Dharashi Ridge), you will come across views of Devistan, Bethartoli, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti. On the Lata Valley side Hathi and Ghori Parvat can be seen. Continue walking along the ridge, pass below two cols and then, a short climb takes you to the famous Dharashi Pass.
Descend 300 m and climb briefly to camp near a small stream called ‘Rani Khola’.
Cross Malathuni Pass (4,400 m). The first view of Nanda Devi is visible from here. A steep grassy descent leads to Hanuman Nala. Cross the bridge on the stream and climb over a steep path to Dibrugheta alp. For water, descend ahead, to river.
Start with the steep climb to Dibrugheta Top (4,250 m), and then descend to the Rishi Ganga river. Cross the bridge to the left bank of the river. Beyond the river, a short walk leads to Deodi, a beautiful clearing in the forest.
A tough day. Long, steep climb to the top of a ridge and walk across the ridge till you reach a cave. Descend gradually to Trishul Nala. Cross the natural rock bridge on the stream. Another trail diverges from the Trishul Nala. After a small walk, ascend steeply and then descend to Ramani, a small camp under a rock next to the river.
A steep climb to the Rishi gorge . It is difficult at places. You will reach ‘The Slab’, a rocky section which put early explorers in a quandary. Go up the steep and downward sloping rock; with a rope, if necessary. After crossing several difficult rock patches, you will reach Bhujgara Nala, an uneven and high campsite.
After a short climb, cross vast slopes covered with junipers. After several steep climbs and walks under cliffs, you will reach the foot of Vaikunth gully, so named by locals due to its steepness and exposure. Cross the slopes and ascend briefly along a stream following the cairns, to reach the historic camp of Pisgah. The water source is far.
A gradual climb, across three nalas and a rockfall area, leads to an open, grassy ground at the junction of the slopes of the northern and southern parts of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. Chaubata (meaning ‘fou trails’), located on the other bank at the foot of Nanda Devi, is a camp with magnificent views.
One of the most enjoyable walks on the sanctuary meadows is to the base camp of Nanda Devi at Sarso Patal. Many glaciers and peaks can be accessed from this camp. However, only major expeditions go to these places.
Take the same route to Lata village in a span of 4-5 days at least.
Yes, it is absolutely essential to take a guide for this trek whether you are trekking solo or in a group.
The best season for Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek is from May-June and Sept-Oct.
It is ideally recommended for 15+ age. Nanda Devi Sanctuary trek is a high altitude trek which is not suitable for children below 15 years.
Yes, in fact all the Himalayan trails are quite safe for women & solo travelers. People of the region are very warm, caring & hospitable in nature.
Camping tent accommodation (2-3 per tent).
Guides & porters in the region will never demand any tip money from you. They just need their daily wages paid by the trek operator. However, it is always encouraging if one can give a little tip to them if they provide good services.
Indian currency is accepted