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Day 01: Manali - Jobdi Nala (2700m) - Chhikka (3000m)
Day 02: Chikka - Balu Ka Ghera (3530m)
Day 03: Balu Ka Ghera - Hamta Pass (4275m) - Shera Garu
Day 04: Shera Garu - Chhatru (3360m) by trek. Chhatru - Chandratal (4270m) by car
Day 05: Chandratal - Manali
The Hampta Pass Trek in Himachal Pradesh is good way to begin exploring the Himalaya. It is not a strenous trek, and is a good introduction to trekking for people who are interested in an active lifestyle. You get to experience Buddhist culture and hike through thick alpine forest, wide open valleys and cross a Himalayan mountain pass. All through the trek you get to see 6000m-high peaks, with fantastic views of the Indrasan Peak (6221m). The trek finishes in Lahaul Valley and we end the journey with a jeep ride to Chandratal Lake, where we camp the night before returning to Manali. This is a great experience spread out over 5 days, with trekking, camping and views of fabulous mountain ranges.
Day 01: Manali - Jobdi (2700m) - Chhikka (3000m)
After arrival in Manali we drive straight to Sethan Village (2700m), 12 kms above Manali. This is a pure Buddhist village, inhabited by the famous 'Khampa' people, nomadic horsemen from the higher regions of Himachal and Ladakh who settled down here many years ago. We have some tea and take some time to explore this village. We say a quick prayer at the village chorten, with Buddhist prayer flags fluttering in the muntain breeze. We continue our jeep drive to Jobri Nala, where our camping kit has already been loaded up on pack ponies. We set out after them, crossing the Jobri Nala over a makeshift wooden bridge. This will be the first of a few river crossings to come - it is all part of the fun. Our trek begins, and soon the thick oak and pine forests give way to wide open meadows of the Hamta Valley. We get to see the incredible Himalayan landscape, with mighty mountain ranges all around. After a final river crossing across cool waters we reach Chhikka, our first campsite. Our support team is already there and they get busy setting up tents and the campsite for the night. We freshen up and explore our surroundings. If we are lucky we may get to sight brown bear or blue sheep in the distance. They shy away from humans, and it is a magical experience to see these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat. We enjoy a campfire at night, and enjoy our first camp dinner prepared by our trek team. Crawl into your sleeping bags later, with good dreams under the Himachali sky.
Day 02: Chikka - Balu Ka Ghera (3530m)
We do an easy walk today, walking alongside the Hamta river through meadows thick with rhododendron and other wildflowers. Now we are getting close to the base of the Hamta Pass. This is high mountain territory and the landscape is more incredible, now you are truly in the wild Himalaya. We reach our second camsite at Balu Ka Ghera, on the sandy banks of the Hamta river. 'Balu' means sand, and that is where this place gets its name from. We camp beside the river on the flat open landscape, and breath in the cool mountain air. Camping in the wild mountain ranges is an awesome experience, and tonight is one of the most beautiful part of the trek.
Day 03: Balu Ka Ghera - Hampta Pass (4275m) - Shera Garu
Today we begin our climb up to the Hampta Pass. The path is strewn with rocks, the remnants of glaciers that carved this path millions of years ago. We walk along, enjoying the marvels of mother nature, with mountain, snow and sky all around us. The view from the top of the pass is incredible, with snow-covered ranges all around. We stop to take pictures on the top and begin our journey down to our next campsite at Shera Garu.
Day 04: Shera Garu - Chhatru - Chandratal
After a night of camping at the base of the Hamta Pass, we begin our descent into Lahaul Valley. We cross over the mighty Chandra river and reach Chhatru (3360m) , a seasonal camp set up by locals where travelers stop on the way to Spiti. There is a motorable mountain trail here and jeeps are waiting for us for the onward trip to Chandratal (4270m), the source of the Chandra river. We will camp by the shores of the lake. There's a million stars in the sky and we finish our Hampta Pass Trek in the high-altitude Himalayan landscape of Lahaul valley.
Day 05: Chandratal - Manali
Start out early and drive to Manali. Reach by early evening and unwind after a fantastic Himalayan experience.
HOW TO REACH MANALI
- Bhuntar Airport, right next to Kullu town, is 52 km south of Manali. Taxis are available at the airport and a Bhuntar to Manali trip costs about Rs. Rs 1000.
- Volvo buses leave from Delhi to Manali on a regular basis. The journey takes 12 to 14 hours and the seats are quite comfortable. The buses usually leave in the evening from Delhi and get into Manali next day early in the morning. You can book bus tickets here - www.booking.hptdc.in
- Taxis are also available to Manali. Taxis offer more flexibility as you can stop wherever you want and choose your own departure schedule.
INCLUDED IN THE COST
- All ground transportation wherever indicated in the itinerary. The pickup and drop off point will be your hotel.
- All accommodations on the trek is on a twin-sharing basis.
- Equipment: Tents, down sleeping bags with fleece liners and foam mattresses, trekking poles, ice axes, ropes, and luggage bags.
- Dining facilities: mess tent, camp chairs, camping table
- All meals during the trek: breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner featuring Indian, local Himalayan and Chinese cuisine. Please indicate your preference for veg or non-veg meals or any other special dietary needs while booking.
- Trek team: guide, kitchen staff, porters and pack ponies.
- All camping fees and permits for the trek.
- Medical kit with medicines for high-altitude sickness and oxygen bottles.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE COST
- Hotel accommodations and meals in Manali
- Alcoholic beverages
- Entrance fees for temples or monasteries
- Tips for the staff
- Costs caused by natural calamities or situations beyond our control - rain, bad weather, road blockage, landslides, or any political disturbances that may require extra boarding and lodging. Please arrange your own travel insurance before the trek.
THINGS TO CARRY
- Personal backpack with rain cover (50-60 liters)
- Day-pack with rain cover (20-30 liters)
- Walking stick (optional)
- Head-mounted flashlight
- Water bottle
- Snacks: energy bars, dry fruit, electrolytes
- Personal medical kit and hygiene kit including sunscreen, lip balm, hand sanitizer, moisturiser, anti-bacterial/anti fungal creams, brush and toothpaste, toilet rolls and towels
- Woollen hat / Balaclava / Sun hat / Sun glasses with UV protection
- Woollen / Waterproof gloves
- T-shirts / Thermal inners
- Quick-drying trek pants (avoid denim jeans - these do not dry quickly and are not comfortable for long-distance walking)
- Fleece shirts and jackets
- Down feather / Holofil jackets
- Wind/Waterproof uppers and lowers
- Raincoat / Poncho
- Woollen socks / Flip flops / Trekking boots / Gaiters
- Gumboots, if crossing glaciers or heavy snow