The Serene Beauty Of Joshimath: Hub for Adventure Enthusiasts.

Joshimath is a small town in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand which holds a huge significance not only for the Hindu pilgrims but also is a place that throws open doors to many treks in this part of the country. Located just over 13km from the confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Dhauliganga at Vishnuprayag, the town is the winter seat of Lord Badri. The idol from Badrinath, one of the Char Dhams, is hosted at the Narsinh temple in Joshimath. The cantonment here is a permanent station of Garhwal Scouts and an important military establishment closest to the Indo-Tibet border. It is a hub for adventure activities including mountaineering, skiing, mountain biking, and trekking.

joshimath

How to reach Joshimath:

Dehradun’s Jolly Grant Airport is 293 km away and is the nearest airstrip. The nearest railway station is in Rishikesh, which is 254km away. Local transport Union buses and State Transport buses ply regularly from Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun and Delhi.

Accommodation:

A variety of hotels, lodges, and homestays are available in Joshimath. It would actually be cheaper to stay here than in the ski town of Auli in winter. A cable car connects these two destinations.

Treks beginning from Joshimath:

Joshimath is the base for a whole host of treks. This blog is limited to trekking and I would list them down in order of difficulty.

Beginner:

Kuari Pass and Pangarchula Peak

It is an all-year-round trek that promises a panoramic view of the mountains on the pass crossing day with the additional challenge of a summit climb. Gorson Bugyal en route would make you dance to the sound of music.

Joshimath

Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers is the pièce de résistance of all the treks in this region. A well-laid trail leads you to the national park and the highest gurudwara in the world.

Chenap Valley

A close cousin of Valley of Flowers and only 28km from Joshimath, this trek offers splendid views of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Dronagiri. An overnight stay in the valley is an added bonus.

Moderate:

Roopkund

A high-altitude trek to a glacial lake shrouded in mystery has hundreds of human skeletal remains in the vicinity. It is now unfortunately banned due to the harm caused in the past.

Satopanth Tal

Magnificent views of Neelkanth and Balakun and this emerald-green lake are bound to mesmerize you. The trek begins with an early morning visit to Badrinath via the last village of India, Mana.

Kagbhusandi Tal

It is an offbeat trek that provides prominent views of Hathi Parbat. The trail is beautifully laden with a variety of wildflowers.

Dharansi Pass

In my opinion, it is a well-rounded trek. The trail leads you to Lata Kharak, a beautiful meadow followed by a pass crossing at 4250m, whilst dishing out enchanting views of Nanda Devi and its surrounding peaks, Trishul, Dunagiri, and Bethartholi.

Neelkanth Basecamp

It is a moderate to difficult trek which can be completed in 3-4 days. It is also deemed sacred by the virtue of the myth which states the mountain is Lord Shiva himself standing between Badrinath and Kedarnath. The first pitstop on the trek takes you to Charan Paduka, which are considered the footprints of Lords Vishnu.

Difficult:

Bagini Glacier

Situated inside the Nanda Devi National Park, it originates from the base of Trishuli and Changabang peaks. The trek leads you up to Changabang base camp.

Nanda Devi Sanctuary

Walk in the footsteps of Bill Tilman and Eric Shipton on the trail traversing through meadows and valleys, with grand views of Nanda Devi East and West. An arduous climb of more than 7000ft within 5 days is what makes this trek demanding.

Kunth Khal

A trying offshoot trek from the Valley of Flowers, it opened again recently to avid trekkers in 2016. It can very well be called a trek to the Bramha Kamal valley with the divine flowers found here aplenty.
 

Challenging:

Bhyunder Khal and Gupta Khal

These twin passes test your mountaineering skills. The trek offers an opportunity to negotiate Rataban and Tipra glaciers while being mesmerized by views of Kamet, Mana peaks, Neelkanth, Hathi Parbat, and Nilgiri.

Expedition:

These two treks end in Joshimath.

Kalindi Khal

Possibly the most demanding trek of India it climbs to a col at 6000m which connects the two sacred Dhams of Badrinath and Gangotri. It offers majestic views of Shivling, Meru, Kedar Dome, Bhagirathi Massif, Nilkantha, Chandra Parvat, Avalanche Peak, Kamet, Mana, and Abi Gamin. 

Saraswati Col

At 5941m, it lies about 2.2 km NE of Arwa Col and is at the east end of the southeast branch of the Mana glacier. Mountaineering experience is a must here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *