Difficulty level

Easy to Moderate

Time taken

6 days

Trek distance

24 kms

Summit height

12200 feet

Region

Uttarakhand

Best time to visit

November to March

About the trek

Another jewel of the Himalayas which is a favourite among the trekkers around the world is the Brahmatal Trek. A blend of challenges and the picturesque beauty this trek is another of the most sought off treks in the world. Nestled amidst the Himalayas and covered with blankets of snow, the Brahmatal trek proves to be challenging for a few trekkers. Starting at Kathgodam, this trip will take you to some of the most amazing locations and visit famous tourist spots.  The spectacular views of Himalayan range from the trail is one of the many reasons for doing this trek. Some of the prominent seven thousanders visible are Trishul, Nandaghunti, Chowkhamba, Nilkanth, Kamet, Hathi and Ghoda peaks.Most of the trail of Roopkund trek can also be seen from this trek,including views of Ali Bugyal, Bedni Bugyal & junargali. The walk is mostly inside the jungle of conifer, Cedar, Oak and Fir which in itself is a soothing experience in the months of winter. Owing to gradually ascending rolling slopes, the Brahmatal Trek route is deemed fit for beginners and less experienced trekkers. A major part of the trek continues under forest cover, diminishing the chances of altitude sickness. All the same, the trek will not deprive one of an out and out thrilling winter experience with the sweet mellow of falling snow, a fascinating trail caught in an absolute white out, the depthless silence inside the grove of rhododendrons and oaks, and iced over lake water faces.

The full grandeur of the trek hits you when you come across the snow-covered mountains of Garhwal region touching the sky. The frozen lake with the grand Himalayan peaks overlooking it creates a gripping ambience. Make way through some of the majestic beauty of the region as you continue your trek. Trek through the oaks and fir trees and then cross the steep paths. You also get glimpses of the Garhwal Mountains in the distance on a clear day. As you walk through the upper region of Lohajung and then through the forest trail with a few more houses, it is another of the most beautiful sight you will see during your Brahmatal trek. Spend some time exploring the beauty of the region while you head out for this trek.

Day 1: Kathgodam to Lohajung

Altitude: 7600 feet

Distance covered: 210 kms

Duration: 10 hours drive

Lohajung is the base camp for the Brahmatal trek. The best way to reach here is from Kathgodam. The route, once you cross Nainital, is beautiful. You drive along mountain roads, through forests. You also get glimpses of the Garhwal mountains in the distance on a clear day. Once you reach Lohajung, you find yourself face to face with the beautiful Nanda Ghunti peakIf you reach before sunset, the colours of the peak will enthrall you. Lohajung is at the centre of 12-15 nearby villages. There are a couple of local stores where you can buy jackets, hand gloves, caps, shoes etc. if need be. However, it is advised that you carry all required things for trek beforehand and not rely on these shops. You will have mobile network in most parts of Lohajung. Lohajung, as the locals say, is the place where Goddess Parvati had a war (jung) with the demon, Lohasur. Hence, the name, which translates to ‘War with Lohasur.’ You will be staying in a guest house here as there is facility available here for a night stay.

Day 2: Lohajung to Bekaltal

Altitude: 9689 feet

Trek distance: 5.8 kms

Duration: 5 hours

The trek begins from Lohajung central market. Move upwards from Bisht General Stores on the well marked, human-made trail. Walk through the upper region of Lohajung and then through the forest trail with a few more houses. After a short trek, spot Mandoli village on your left. As you climb higher, on your left, you will be able to see the Kali Valley, where Kali and Pindari Rivers join. Follow the water pipes that supply water to Lohajung, as they lie along the trek trail. After some time, cross a small cluster of homes called Budla, on the left. Here, you will find rhododendron trees, which make this part of the trail very beautiful from February to March. At approx 8,500 ft, you will find a 10 metre bridge (known as Link-gaad), which will help you cross the stream. After around two hours, you will reach Begum, where you can rest for some time. This place provides splendid views of Navali Bugyal and Bagdi Bugyal .After 10-15 minutes of walking from Begum, you will find another stream.  From here, an hour’s walk will bring you to Gujrani stream. From here, it is approximately 75 minutes’ walk to Bekaltal. This lake is a beauty in the midst of oak forests. The lake of Bekaltal is surrounded by oak trees and is a beautiful camping spot where you can pitch your tents and stay for the night.

Day 3: Bekaltal to Brahmatal

Altitude– 10440 feet

Trek distance– 7kms

Duration– 5-6 hours

The trail starts out of the campsite and climbs steeply into the Oak and Rhododendron forest. After an hour of ascent, the trail opens out to a meadow. The gently ascending meadow walk brings you to the highest point of the day at 11,500 ft. From here, it is a very gradual descent to Brahmatal. The trails go through a forest and when you reach Telindi top, behold the enchanting views of the mighty Himalayas. All through the day’s trek, you will see the Almora and Nainital side of the valley. The big mountains in the vicinity, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and the rest are just there but still hidden. The Brahmatal campsite at 10,351 ft is 500 meters away from the lake.

Day 4: Brahmatal to Tilbudi via Brahmatal pass

Altitude: 10440 feet to 11250 feet via 12200 feet

Trek distance– 6 kms

Duration– 7 hours

Today is the most visually fascinating day of the entire trek. Proceed towards Brahmatal lake. The trail ascends gradually through thick Rhododendron and oak forests. Take the trail going up clearing the tree line. After few zig zag turns and and an sscent, you will see Brahmatal Lake behind you if you turn around, shining in the sun. On a clear day you will witness fascinating changes in color because of the angle of the sun and reflections. As you go further you find small meadow which get water streams when the high snow melts. As you ascend further, the lake disappears. Instead, behind you appears a wide open valley. You can see Tharali and Gwaldam, places that you crossed on the way from Kathgodam. ast few steps towards the pass might be tiring but don’t give up as the majestic Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti await to welcome you. The view will be breathtaking. Take a moment at the pass. Don’t stop for long as the winds will be strong. Descent with mountains on your left and valley on your right.  After the initial descent from the pass, the trail will ascend again through Alpine grass. Mt Trishul and  Mt Nanda Ghunti accompany you on the right. As the ascent ends, you reach a platform like area from here you get a 180 degree view of  the Himalayan range. Mountains such as Chaukhambha, Mandi, Mana, Nilgiri, Neelkanth, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Maitoli become visible. From the campsite, you can clearly see the entire trail of the Roopkund trek, including Ali Bugyal, Asia’s largest meadow.

Day 5: Tilbudi to Lohajung via Wan

Altitude– 11240 feet to 7600 feet via 8000 feet

Distance– 4 kms trek, 15 kms drive

Duration– 6-7 hours of trek and 1 hour of drive

Begin the descent to Wan right after breakfast. The trail goes through thick oak and rhododendron forests once again. It is well made all the way to Wan. After about an hour from starting, the trail comes out of the forest into an opening. You will find a water source here. This place is called chota Tilbudi. Continue on the trail from here. In half an hour, you reach another opening. The boundary wall of Wan begins here and the village is visible below. It will take you another half an hour to walk through the village and reach the road head.

Day 6: Lohajung to Kathgodam

Altitude– 7600 feet

Distance– 210 kms

Duration– 10 hours drive

This will be the last day and you don’t have to trek anymore you just have to reach Kathgodam by road and it will again take you 10 hours to reach. This wonderful trek comes to an end here and I am sure you will be have an experience like never before and you will look at nature with a whole different view.

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