Regarded as one of the most challenging treks in the northern Himalayan region, Parvati Valley Trek is perfect for those seeking adventure. The mesmerising views all around will not only leave you spellbound by its beauty but also filled with adrenaline by the challenges it throws at you at every nook and corner.
Although the trail is not really well laid, the thrill it brings is unmatched to any other trek. The Parvati Valley Trek is quite long and taxing, but the reward is extremely exhilarating. As the altitude increases, the surroundings become more enchanting adorned with dense forests, lush green meadows and a plethora of gushing streams, all being flanked by majestic snow-clad peaks. The peaks with changing colours are quite unique and the sun gleaming over them makes the surrounding all the more beautiful. Crossing the Parvati River and its various tributaries can be a bit excruciating and so does traversing the high altitude fissures. However, no matter what number of challenges it presents, the Parvati Valley Trek is exhilarating enough to make it one of the most sought after Himalayan Pass trek at high altitudes.
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Approx trekking distance (Both sides) : 110 km
Difficulty : Challenging
Highest point of trek : 5,319 m
Nearest Airport : Bhuntar
Nearest Railhead : 397 km
Region : Himachal
Starting point of trek : Manali
Day 1 : Gather at Kullu, drive to Barsheni Village, and trek towards Rudranath and camp
It is from Kullu that your excursion begins but make sure to arrive a day early so that you are completely rested before your trek. Have breakfast and start off with your adventure. From Kullu, you lead towards Barsheni Village and then to Rudranath campsite. You will be covering the first part of the trip through jeep drive till Barsheni Village while the second part on foot till Rudranath camp site. The path for drive is recently laid and it takes about four to five hours to reach the destination. From here on you are completely on your foot. The trail will lead you to Kalga Village and thirty minute of walking to Rudranath. A wonderful sight of confluence of River Tos and Parvati will greet you at the beginning of the trek. Cross the bridge over Tos River, ascend a steep climb of 15 minutes and trudge for about an hour and you will finally reach the Nakthan Township; a perfect place to stock up your ration. Another 45 minutes of trekking will lead you to Rudranath. A trail winding uphill alongside the Parvati River will lead you to Rudranath camp site. Beautiful scenery awaits you adorned with waterfall and a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Day 2 : Rudranath to Khirganga
The second day of trek comprise of an easy trek. Two to three hours of trudging and you will reach your destination of Khirganga. It is a place adorned with stunning beauty bounded by verdant forest and cascading waterfalls. The track is a flat terrain till you reach a makeshift bridge across the Parvati River, after which you will enter a dense forest of Pine trees. The climb through the forest is steep. On this trail ahead, you will encounter few clear brooks where you can fill up your water stock. An hour into a trek and you will reach a dhaba serving fine food. ItÕs time to ascend uphill for 20 minutes and you will reach a ground level. Another 20 minutes of walk on flat ground will lead to a hilly region. Regular rain fall has resulted in the ground covered with mud and slippery terrain. So be very careful while climbing. Trudge along the trail for a while to reach a dhaba which lies just 10 minutes away from Khirganga. This place is a lovely sloping meadow adorned with tiny huts for travellers and restaurants. End the day with a visit to Parvati Kund, famous for its hot water spring, which can be extremely relaxing after a tiring day.
Day 3 : Khirganga to Tunda Bhuj
Distance: 10,500 ft , Duration: 5 hours
On third day, you will be covering height of 10,500 ft with a total trekking of 5 hours. The trail you will follow is fascinating with grazing lands scattered with silver birch tree. You will also spot several waterfalls on your way offering splendid sight. Three makeshifts bridge at three different intervals will also come across your way. After you have crossed the strings of ascends, descends and chain of gradual inclines, you reach the first bridge across a stream. Thirty minutes later forest leads to meadow dotted with vendors selling refreshments in tents; your final spot to buy some food. Walk along the right bend for 20 minutes to reach another brook and the second makeshift bridge across it. On it other end lays few shepherd huts on the left side where they sell fresh milk. Keep walking further to enter a forest which is steep and muddy. You will reach the end in thirty minutes and begin a climb up a hill. You will get a glance of Parvati Valley from the hilltop. Trek for some time and you will reach the final and the third bridge. Situated right across the stream is your final destination of the day, Tunda Bhuj.
Day 4 : Tunda Bhuj to Thakur Kuan
Distance: 11,000 ft , Duration: 5 hours
Fourth day of trek stores in for you a walking of about 5-6 hours, crossing two difficult bridges and marking an altitude of 11,600 ft. Continue on the flat terrain for a while until you reach River Parvati flowing gracefully onto your left. Now you will see the first bridge, a wooden one strong enough to bear your weight and take you to the other side. From here on, the trail will ascend, sometimes sharply and sometime gradual. A glorious sight of Parvati valley awaits you, one you have reached the mountain. The whole place is dotted with lovely colours and blooming iris, buttercup, poppies, and other wild flora. Trudge down the Parvati River and crossover to the other side with the help of a Pulley Bridge. Half an hour into the gradual climb and soon you will reach a meadow nearby Parvati River namely Thakur Ganj, your campsite for the day.
Day 5 : Thakur Kuan to Mantalai
Distance: 13,400 ft , Duration: 9-10 hours
The fifth day of the trip holds a lot of excitement and walking for about 9-10 hours. The first place on the list is Odi Thach followed by Mantalai. The trail leading to first destination is quite rough, slopes strewn with boulders along the Parvati River. After ascending through pretty meadow and Parvati River again, you will soon be getting down off a massive rock serving as a bridge. Soon you will reach Pandu pull, an enormous rock sitting in between the river connecting the other side. Climb the rock to reach Odi Thach, a panoramic landscape surrounded by mighty peaks. A string of waterfalls add charm to the beauty of the place. Your next stop, Mantalai is perched at an elevation of 13,400 ft. The trail is muddy and strewn with boulders, ridges and swamp lands. Mantalai lies behind the final ridge infringed from the left side from where Parvati River flows. Walking a bit further, you will notice the Mantalai Lake below. ItÕs time to descend down the ridge towards the river side. You will see a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva here. Hike along the riverÕs left bank until you reach the campsite.
Day 6 : Rest day and acclimatization
Take a day off to rest and get used to the surroundings while enjoying the beauty of nature around you. Mantalai lake campsite is a best place to do so. The trip hold some long walks ahead and extremely tiring days, so take enough rest to prepare yourself for hectic days ahead. You will be marking the altitude of 15,000 ft the following day, where the oxygen level is quite low which may lead to sickness. Your body may find difficult to adjust at such low levels of oxygen and thus the day is reserved for getting used to the temperature change. All you have to do is follow a simple procedure of warming up exercise, walk a few miles on the day. Get used to the oxygen level and weather condition. Take good night sleep and gear up for the following day task.
Day 7 : Mantalai Lake to Parvati Base Camp
Distance: 14,850 ft , Duration: 6-7 hours
The seventh day is one of the rough days of the trek trip. It would be a long day comprising of 12-13 km of walk. A non-stop walking of six hours will take you to the base camp, so it would be a good idea to get started early. The first phase of the trek is mostly on a leveled ground, however after half an hour, the path gains gradual slope over boulders. Next you will have to cross a chilly river on foot. As you walk along the trek, the trail gains more altitude and soon you will climb a steep hill. It will take about 5 hours to reach the top but the exhilarating view of Parvati valley makes it absolutely worth. While on your way, you will get to enjoy the several wild species of flora such as Losar and Brahmakamal. As the climb becomes more challenging be careful not to step on loose rocks.Soon you will reach the Parvati base camp, located at a height of 15,100 ft. The place offers some breath taking views of the Parvati South, the Snow Peak, the Pyramid Peak and the Ridge Peak.
Day 8 : Parvati base camp to Pin side Base Camp over Pin Parvati Pass
Distance: 12km , Duration: 5-6 hours
Another long day with lots of adventure and excitement awaits you. You will be trekking towards the highest altitude of the trek today, i.e. Pin Parvati Pass at an altitude of 18,000 ft approximately. The trail is 12 km long and can be achieved with a walk of five to 6 hours. The trail you will be trekking on is steep with steady ascents over scattered boulders and glacial drifts of rock and clay. Keep to the left of glacier until you reach a plateau facing a big rock. Traverse in between the rock and plateau till you reach a field full of snow. Keep trekking towards the top of the mountain from where you can clearly witness the pass. Climb for another two hours and you will finally reach your destination of Pin Parvati Pass. The sight that will greet you is absolutely glorious with a complete view of Pin valley beneath, the Srikhand Mahadev and the Kinner Kailash, and the famous Bara Shigri complex. Rest here to regain some energy and bask in the beauty of nature and then continue with descent towards the Pin valley base camp called Dhumdhar base cam via Spiti Valley. The base camp is at a height of 15,770 ft.
Day 9 : Pin Valley Base camp to Ghurgul
ItÕs time to depart from the base camp now and the short walk that follows, after challenging trekking of Pin Parvati, is quite amazing adorned with ever changing landscape. As you trek away from Pin Valley, the trail improves gradually leading to the confluence of a small stream and Pin. A climb up the glacier over the stream and descend of 700 m will lead you to nallah, which originated from the river. Crossing this nallah can be quite challenging for the water current is very forceful. The snow clad mountains gracing the trail is a splendid view to behold. Ultimately you will reach Ghurgul which serves as the base camp for the day.
Day 10 : Ghurgul to Mud Village
Today, you will get to visit the first village in Spiti Valley. Mud Village is one of its kinds nestled below a cliff. The village inhabits the simple folks of Tibetan origin. Explore the simple and rustic lifestyle of the people in the village but donÕt push too hard. This is the last night of the trek.
Day 11 : Mud Village to Sangam
Finally begin the day with the short trek from Mud Village to Sangam, the largest village of the Pin Valley. From Sangam, you will drive to Kaza and finally to Manali depending upon the time you reach at Kaza. This marks the end of the highly adventurous and fascinating trek.
Day 12 : Drive from Kaza to Manali (9 hours drive) overnight stay at Manali
On your final day drive back to Manali. The journey takes a total of 9 hours. You can anytime stop in between for meal breaks at various dhabas or local restaurants. You will reach Manali by night after an extremely fabulous trekking expedition.
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