About The Brahmatal Trek:
Located around 12,000 feet up in the Himalayas, the Brahmatal Trek is famous amongst trekkers from all over the world. Offering an adventurous blend of challenging trails and scintillating beauty, the Brahmatal Trek is also one of the most sought-after treks in the entire world. Tucked in the mighty Himalayas, this trek remains covered under quite a few metres of snow, and offers some of the most picturesque sights of the surrounding landscapes.
In addition to the uneven and varied terrain, the Brahmatal Trek is complete with scenic landscapes, lush forests and panoramic views of the Himalayas. Sprawled over 22 kilometres, this trek becomes even more famous during the winters, when the whole region is covered in a thick blanket of white snow. Eventually, upon completing the trek, you come across the frozen Brahmatal Lake and Brahmatal Peak.
The Brahmatal Trek is not only grand, but also quite beautiful. The frozen lake, with the majestic Himalayas shadowing it on all sides, is a sight to marvel upon. The trek, with its mesmerising ambience, caters to both amateur as well as experienced trekkers as they walk through forests of oaks and fir trees across gradually ascending slopes. The Brahmatal Trek is one of the only treks in the Garhwal region where you can not just explore the Himalayas, but also soak in the beauty that it has to offer, while doing something adventurous.
How to Reach Brahmatal Trek?
The Brahmatal Trek is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The easiest way to reach the trek is by reaching the Kathgodam Station, which is one of the main stations in the region and is quite old. The station is easily accessible from all the major cities in India, including Kolkata, New Delhi and Lucknow, amongst others.
Additionally, you can also reach Kathgodam by air. The nearest airport is the Pantnagar Airport, located around 70 kilometers from Kathgodam, and is accessible by most of the major cities in India.
Alternatively, you can avail of the regular bus services from ISBT Delhi (Anand Vihar Bus Station) to Kathgodam. Most buses, which go to Nainital, generally stop at Haldwani, which is a twin town to Kathgodam.
Best Season to Visit Brahmatal Trek:
The best season to visit the Brahmatal Trek is during the winter season, between the months of November to February. Not only is this a great time for trekking in a blanket of white snow, this season also boasts of some of the most picturesque views of the sunrise and sunsets.
Additionally, it is during this season when you can get to see the most astounding views of the ice-capped peaks of Nanda Ghunta, Mount Trishul, the Jatropani Peak as well as Garhwal’s second highest peak called Kamet. On a clear winter night, while trekking, one can see some of the most magical views of the clear starry sky as well as the galaxies, which are otherwise quite difficult.
About the Locals:
Photo by Bisesh Gurung from PexelsThe Brahmatal Trek lies in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand in the northern part of the country. Being a part of the Garhwal Himalayas, the region has its own local traditions, historical significance and religious beliefs which make it stand out from the rest of the state.
This rich heritage is widely evident in the lifestyle of the locals here. The locals here are quite tough and hardworking, and believe a lot in physical labour. In addition to being quite honest, the locals in the Brahmatal Trek region are also very simple and shy people, divided mostly into Brahmins, Rajputs and Harijans.
Also known as a trek of moderate level difficulty, the Brahmatal Trek has varied elevation points. Offering trekkers some of the most clear and picturesque views of Mount Trishul and Nanda Ghunti, the Brahmatal Trek starts from Kathgodam which is situated at an elevation of 1,483 feet with Lohajung serving as the base camp of the trek. Lohajung is situated at 7,600 feet and the entire journey from Kathgodam to the base camp is quite scenic, with mesmerising views of various Himalayan peaks.
After Lohajung, the next elevation point comes at Bekaltal, which is located at an elevation of 9,885 feet above the sea level, and has a moderate ascent. From Bekaltal, the trek to Brahmatal will commence, with steep ascents and gradual descents eventually taking you up to 10,440 feet. The final elevation point in your trek will be at Brahmatal Peak, situated at an elevation of over 12,000 feet above the sea level.
Brahmatal Trek Difficulty:
The Brahmatal Trek is a 5 to 6-day trek, which covers a distance of over 20 kilometres. This scenic trek is one that takes trekkers though forests, lakes and meadows, all the way to the top of the mountain. The trek is moderately difficult, since the entire route is conveniently and comfortably distributed among different days.
Moreover, the trails have low gradual ascents, with a few steep ascents in the higher altitudes. And since a large part of the trek is under forest cover, there are less risks of anyone having altitude sickness. From stargazing and walking through forests, to soaking in the beauty of vividly coloured flowers as well as lakeside camping, the Brahmatal Trek is nothing short of magical.
Photo by Saikat Ghosh from PexelsWhen going on the Brahmatal Trek, you need to carry your Identity Card or Proof of Identity, along with passport size photographs of yourself for any documents. Additionally, you will require a fitness certificate stating that you are fit to go on the trek, along with a self-attested documentation of your voluntary participation in the trek.
Along with that, you will require permission passes or permits when you enter any forests throughout the trek, which you can get from the Forest Officer at Lohajung.
ATMs and Connectivity:
Upon commencing your trek from Kathgodam, you will find ATMs in Kathgodam as well as Dewal. However, it is important to keep in mind that Dewal may be the last stop where you may get any cash from the ATM, the chances of which are quite low. It is due to this that it is recommended that trekkers should carry enough cash with them.
Also, connectivity is a major issue during the entire Brahmatal Trek. As soon as you cross Dewal, which is one hour away from Lohajung, you begin to lose mobile connectivity. Therefore, it is better to contact anyone you want to before reaching Dewal.
Medical Advice and Emergency Numbers:
The Brahmatal Trek is a strenuous trek, with varied elevation points and steep roads, with rocky terrains. In addition to the cold weather, there are also low levels of oxygen as you start picking up altitude. This is why it is important that you start a good fitness regimen at least one month before going on the trek. Cardiovascular workouts and long walks are recommended to train yourself.
Additionally, it is advisable to carry water along with Diamox and other medicines which could come in handy in case you develop Acute Mountain Sickness or symptoms of it.
Some of the emergency numbers you might need during the Brahmatal Trek are:
Ambulance and medical: 102
Women helpline: 1090
Child helpline: 1098
SMS Emergency: +91 9411112780
Disaster/ medical helpline: 108
Disaster (earthquake/flood/cyclone): 022-22027990
Air ambulance: +91 9645744117/9540161344
Advice and Expectations:
Some of the advice that you could keep in mind when going on the Brahmatal Trek are:
1. If you do not want to carry appropriate trekking shoes, then you can always purchase them or even rent them before starting your trek.
2. Always ensure that your trekking bag has rain cover. This way, your belongings will not get soaked while you trek through snow or rain.
3. The chances of getting Acute Mountain Sickness are quite high during the Brahmatal Trek, since you get to high elevations. Therefore, ensure to get acclimatized by taking adequate breaks during the trek.
4. Plan and start exercising at least four weeks in advance for the trek. Additionally, you must also maintain a healthy diet during your training as well as during the trek.
Things to Carry:
While going on the Brahmatal Trek, there are some essentials that you must not forget to carry with yourselves. These essentials are:
– Bag pack
– Rain coats
– Walking stick
– Water bottle
– Dry snacks
– Personal medication kit
– Thermal inners
– Trek pants
– Hand sanitizers
– Caps, hats, woollen caps
– Trekking shoes
– Flip flops
– Socks (cotton and woollen)
– Extra cash money
– Identity cards
– Emergency contact numbers
Best Things to Do on Brahmatal Trek:
Some of the best things to do on the Brahmatal Trek are:
1. Walkthrough oak, fir and rhododendron forests:
Since a large part of the trek is under forest cover, you will get to experience a breath-taking forest walk during this adventure. From old oak trees and tall fir trees, you will also get to walk to rhododendron forests, which are a treat to the eyes.
2. Stargaze from campsites:
During your trek, you will also get to spend some nights in tents at various campsites. Since the air in these altitudes is clean and there is no pollution, you get to see the night sky at its absolute best. From your tents, you can gaze at the millions of stars twinkling in the sky, and if you are lucky enough, you can also see the galaxy from here.
3. Bring out the photographer in you:
The Brahmatal Trek boasts of some of the most stunning and magical views of the Himalayas and its various peaks. Even the natural landscapes which you tread by are marvels in themselves. The best thing to do during your trek is to stop, soak in and capture some of these amazing sights from your lens.
A basic itinerary of the Brahmatal Trek might look something like this:
Day 1: Kathgodam to Lohajung
You will arrive in Kathgodam early morning, and thereafter will have to travel for around 9 hours to reach Lohajung. This place is located around 225 kilometres from Kathgodam.
You will reach Lohajung by late afternoon or early evening, depending upon the conditions of the road and traffic conditions. Upon reaching, you will stay the night at a guest house or hotel in Lohajung.
Day 2: Lohajung to Bekaltal:
On day 2, you will start the trek soon after breakfast, and will trek to Bekaltal. During the trek, you can get some extremely beautiful views of the Nanda Ghunti Peak.
This trek will take you through numerous oak and fir tree forests. The trek from Lohajung to Bekaltal takes around 4 to 6 hours and covers a distance of approximately 8 kilometres.
Upon reaching Bekaltal, trekkers get to spend the night in tents at the campsite.
Day 3: Bekaltal to Brahmatal:
Day 3 will let you trek through snowy trails to reach the picturesque Brahmatal. The entire trek will take around 4 hours to complete.
This route, from Bekaltal to Brahmatal goes through a forest to the Telindi Top, which is known to offer stunning vistas of the majestic Himalayan ranges. From here, you can continue walking to finally reach the Brahmatal Lake or the Khabekhal Lake.
Day 4: Khabekhal to Brahmatal to Daldum:
On this day, after breakfast, trekkers will climb to the top of the Brahmatal peak, while treading safely along tricky trails through Chota as well as Bada Jhandidar.
This trail is surrounded by a mountain ridge with deep valleys on both sides. This trek takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete.
Upon reaching the summit, you need to proceed to the next campsite at Daldum which takes around 3 hours.
Day 5: Brahmatal to Lohajung:
After a strenuous trek, you will begin your return trek to Lohajung, treading along the same path you came from.
Day 6: Lohajung to Kathgodam:
The next morning at Lohajung concludes your trek, after which you will depart to Kathgodam early morning.
Tips and Tricks:
While going on the Brahmatal Trek, there are some tips and tricks that you need to keep in mind. Some of these are mentioned below:
1. It is important to acclimatize yourselves to the high altitudes when going on this trek, since the climatic conditions in this region can vary from place to place.
2. It is also important to follow the instructions given by trek instructors and leaders for a safe trekking experience.
3. It is advisable not to consume alcohol or other similar intoxicants during the Brahmatal Trek.
4. Since the entire Brahmatal Trek covers eco-friendly zones, it is advisable not to litter or spread waste in and around the local areas as well as campsites.
5. It is advisable to train your body for the Brahmatal Trek for at least a month in advance.
6. It is also recommended not to avail the trek during the monsoon season since the trails can get quite slippery and there are risks of landslides and roadblocks in the region.
7. Additionally, it is recommended to travel in a group to ensure safety.