The alpine meadow of Kuari Pass has been attracting backpackers from around the globe for decades. Being in close proximity to Nanda Devi biosphere, Kuari Pass is at the center of the most remarkable regions of Garhwal known for its unique wild grandeur.
In the background below the valley is the entrance to the formidable Rishi Gorge which until 1934 was considered un-penetrable. Kuari Pass is at a relative moderate altitude of 12,200 feet. The beautiful camping grounds of Gulling, Chitrakantha & Tali are the key attraction of the trek. The trails leading from Tali Top to Kuari Pass gives an impression of doing a full scaled Himalayan alpine expedition in truck loads of snow.
Rail: As Rishikesh is a relatively smaller station, it's prefereable to reach a more well connected railhead nearby, i.e Haridwar. Board the overnight Nanda Devi AC Express leaving New Delhi at 11:50 pm reaching Haridwar by 4:00am. From Haridwar one can take a jeep or bus for Joshimath, which can be covered in 5 hours. You can take shared taxis to Dhak from there.
Road: Dhak Village is 512 Km from Delhi via NH 58, which takes around 12 hours to reach.
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Approx trekking distance (Both sides) : 33 Km
Base Camp : Dhak Village
Difficulty : Moderate
Highest point of trek : 12, 559 ft
Nearest Airport : Jolly Grant Airport
Nearest Railhead : 267 km
Region : Garhwal
Snow : The winter months of December and January are perfect for this trek.
Starting point of trek : Dhak Village
Day 1 : Haridwar to Joshimath
From Haridwar one can take a jeep or bus for Joshimath. The road journey is 5 hours long and scenic, passing via Devprayag, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, Karanprayag and Chamoli. After you arrive here, transfer to your lodging for overnight stay.
Day 2 : Joshimath to Dhak to Chitrakhana
Distance: 4 Km , Duration: 4 Hrs
Dhak is another 12 Km drive from Joshimath, from where you start the trek. There are a few grocery shops along a standalone Dhabba here. Trek through hemlock, oak and rhododendron forest for 3 Km. You walk on terrain with gentle slope, and beyond Tugasi, the track starts descending. After walking for sometime, you will reach the meadow of the campsite at Chitrakhana (3310m). The impressive snow-capped ridge, including Chaukhamba 1 (7138m), can be seen beyond Joshimath. There is a small spring line at the head of the meadow for replenishing your water supply. On arrival at Chitrakhana, have a nice dinner and then stay overnight in camps.
Day 3 : Chitrakhana to Tali Top
Distance: 6 Km , Duration: 4 Hrs
Climb up through the forested ridge of Rhododendron, Spruce and Silver Birch above Chitrakhana. Rhododendron flowers turn red during the blooming season and the forest looks beautiful in April & May. It takes around an hour to reach a prominent ridge top (3500m) and a further 30 minutes around to an open meadow where it meets the well-defined track from a place called Tapovan. Camp at the alpine meadow at the end of Tali top.
Day 4 : Tali Top to Khullar to Kuari Pass and back to Tali
Distance: 15 Km , Duration: 8 Hrs
Start early for today's trek. An easy hike of about an hour will get you to Khullar, from where the track again becomes steep. From Khullar Top, it is a long journey to the crest of Kuari Pass. The pass is encircled by towering mountains, with Nanda Devi(7816 m) being the highest and most prominent among them. Due to its altitude, it is extremely windy and cold up here. Post looking at the scenery and taking pictures, follow the path to Tali Top. On arrival in Tali Top, set-up your tents and stay overnight.
Day 5 : Tali to Auli to Joshimath
Distance: 8 Km , Duration: 4 Hrs
Relish hiking down the mountains on this last day of your wonderful Himalayan excursion. You will trek through the lovely meadow of Gurson, where you will see huge boulders scattered here and there. Here you may also get to see long-haired sheep and goats, grazing on lush grass. Hiking down from here, you reach the famous ski resort of Auli, where you board a vehicle and drive down to Joshimath. On arrival in the holy town of Joshimath, travel to your lodging for overnight stay. You can also trek downhill to the road beside Rishi Ganga River where you can get taxi to Joshimath.
Day 6 : Joshimath to Haridwar
start driving early to reach Haridwar with a beautiful mosaic of memories to keep us company. If we reach Haridwar on time then you can take part in Ganga Aarti at Har ki Pauri.
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