Connecting the mesmerizing valleys of Kullu and Lahaul,Hampta Pass trek is an admired trail amidst trekking enthusiasts. Making your way from Manali through various secluded hamlets, the trek offers breath-taking landscapes that fascinate travellers in abundance. The extremely divine beauty of nature along with the sights of rare Himalayan birds and flora such as orchids makes this trek faithfully spellbinding. Beginning from Manali’s gobsmacking elevation of 14,100 feet, this trek will take you through exquisite alpine forests and glaciers leading towards the Hampta Pass and the mystical Chandratal Lake. This enraptured trekking experience gives you a stupendous sight of birds, flowers and scenic landscapes alongside rock-strewn territories, pine forests, glacial valleys, waterways and sweeping paddocks. For a perfect trekking experience, here is the Starter’s Hampta Pass trek Guide.
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Read this detailed Hampta Pass Trek Guide before starting the expedition to the beautiful Himalayas.
How To Reach
Ths exhilarating trekking Expedition begins at the starting point of Manali. Manali is easily accessible by rail, road and air. Fly into the Bhuntar Airport, located 52 kms from Manali with regular taxi services available to reach your stunning destination. The Bhuntar Airport is well connected by major cities such as New Delhi and Chandigarh. If you instead choose to travel by road, the beautiful curvy roads leading to Manali from Delhi will take you around 12-14 hours. Various Volvo and luxury buses run between these routes on a regular basis. The nearest Railway Station lays 166 kms from Manali at Jogindar Nagar Station, although flights and buses are more convenient to arrive in your picturesque destination.
This amazing expedition begins from the town of Manali through various charmed expanses leading to the enchanted Balu Ka Ghera, rumored to be famous for brown bears that hibernate here in the winters. It is also called ‘Heaps of Sand’, owing to the barren sand and dust that settles here. Located at a wicked height of 11,900 feet, Balu Ka Ghera offers an embryonic sight of the Dauladhar Ranges. This will be the base camp of your trek as this marks the stretch when you gander across the Hampta Pass and reach Chandratal Lake. With striking enraptured bridges, swift-flowing streams and a natural assortment of flowers, this region will encapsulate you with its delightful offerings. The plain sand grounds offer a great camping site with a river flowing on one side and a water stream rolling on the other end.
Best Season To Visit
Located amidst the mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh, the misty weather with snow-capped mountains in this elevated region allows for a fairly cool climate all year round. The best season to engage in this trekking expedition is during the months from June to September as the weather is suitable for high altitude trekking. Although other months still facilitate trekking, it is not recommended due to the varying and unpredictable weather conditions. Temperatures here fall below freezing point in winters and thus with relatively warmer days between June and September, hiking here is a nirvana for trekking fanatics.
About The Locals
Image Credit: Raphael Affentranger -Flickr
Living amid the dwellings in the paradise of India, the residents of Himachal Pradesh, especially Manali, are quite modest and naïve in their customs of living. Composing predominantly of farmers and artisans, the exceptional socio-cultural lifestyle of the people is mirrored in their traditional heritage and primordial tradition. With an immeasurable respect for nature and creation, there is a vibrant inspiration of tribal conventions and their customs and philosophies. Various handloom work and art forms can be discovered here along with a great admiration by the inhabitants for travellers, who contribute to the inhabitants’ incomes that are derived from tourism.
This awesome trekking expedition gives you a beautiful sight of the Hampta Pass and the Chandratal Lake. Beginning your expedition from Manali situated at 2050 meters, you will proceed to Jobri by road, leading to Chika that stands at 3100 meters. The trek from here will take you to your Base Camp at Balu Ka Ghera at 3600 meters. Trek amidst the picturesque backdrops through the Hampta Pass, which lies, on an astounding elevation of 4268 meters and continue on to Siagoru at 4000 meters. Leading on to Chatru at 3100 meters, you will arrive at the enchanting Chandratal Lake that attains the peak at a majestic 4270 meters.
Must Read: 50 Himalayan Treks you should take
The required permits for the trek and camping charges for the trek may be included as part of the trekking expedition. Please carry your ID cards and photocopies of your driving license or voter ID or passport (along with visa for non-Indian travellers), along with passport size photos. A medical certificate ensuring your fitness for the trek and a disclaimer certificate ensuring your submission to voluntarily participate in this trek is mandatory.
Medical Advice and Emergency Numbers
A well-equipped first aid kit will be accessible with the guides throughout the duration of the trek. We recommend that you carry your own individual resource of first aid items such as medicines, antiseptics, insect repellents, prescription drugs etc. All precautionary measures shall be taken to ensure your safety yet there lays no harm in having awareness of the general know-how of healthcare. CPR and other common medical knowledge about altitude sickness (Acute Mountain Sickness) should be present. This illness is associated with trekking with symptoms that range from a headache, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, lung problems, ataxia etc. Please consult your doctor before your trip to procure prescription drugs for such possible situations and only consume them if required, as they are powerful and have strong effects, especially if taken during your trek.
As the Hampta Pass lies in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, please keep with you at all times the following emergency contact details.
Police Station, Manali: 100, 01902 252326
Police Station, Kullu: 100, 01902 222775
Fire: 101, Emergency Services: 108
District Control Room: 1077
Ambulance: 102, 01982 52014
Blood Bank – Kamla Nehru Hospital: 01902 2625097
IG Hospital: 01902 2883305, 01902 2883315
Tourism Office: The Mall, Manali – 01902 252175
Advice and Expectations
This expedition is the perfect experience to enjoy the thrill of the Himalayas yet it holds extremely harsh conditions and is generally considered to have a hard level of difficulty.Prepare thoroughly with regard to clothing and other protective gears to endure the unpredictable mountain weather, as it may get very cold. Keep your trekking gear safe and always keep essentials such as wind-proof jacket, dry socks and caps at hand. Make sure you choose correct and good quality footwear and fitted boots to avoid frostbites. Wear the right kind of socks to facilitate blood circulation. Carry a sturdy sleeping bag that is durable and comfortable. Carry a good quality backpack that can ensure harsh conditions of wear and tear, especially with a plastic or waterproof lining. Carry your identification proof as you might be expected to furnish it with the officials for obtaining permits. This detailed Hampta Pass trek guide will help you prepare for this trek to make it a hasslefree trekking experience.
Things To Carry
– Durable good-quality trekking shoes
– Camping shoes for crossing streams
– Thick woolen socks
– Thermal innerwear
– Heavy fleece clothes
– Covers to store used/wet clothing
– Winter jacket and water proof coat
– Trekking pants
– Woolen cap, gloves, etc.
– Sun screen lotion and other toiletries
– Water bottle
– Trekking pole
– First aid kit
– Personal medication
– Swiss knife
Manali – Nestled amidst the Himalayan Mountains in Himachal Pradesh, the celebrated town of Manali is a famous tourist destination and not just for trekking. Nomad hunters inhabited the valley in ancient times followed by shepherds and farmers, with apple orchards dominating the region today. Located in the Beas River Valley, the well-defined snow capped mountains and clear waters offer an awesome travel experience. The ‘Switzerland of India’ makes a gateway for Leh, Lahaul, Kinnaur, and Spiti, for a multitude of adventure activities.
Chika – After various hairpin bends from the road of Manali to Jobri, your arrival in Chika, a wonderful little settlement, will mark the beginning of your amazing expedition. Located at an elevation of 3100 meters, Chika is a picture perfect location with abundant vegetation, enormous rocks, grassy areas, swift rivers and gorgeous waterfalls. The trail here is rich with deodar, oak, maple and toss trees alongside thick alpine forests. The green valleys with a beautiful view of the Rani Nullah offer an exquisite sight to experience. Various snow-lined ridges can be witnessed beyond the riverbeds en route Chika, which also makes for an amazing campsite.
Balu Ka Ghera – Known as ‘Heaps of Sand’ the grounds at Balu Ka Ghera makes for an amazing camping location. The view from here offers beautiful meadows filled with specks of marigold, alongside herds of sheep and horses that graze here. There are rumors of Brown Bears being spotted here in this region where they hibernate in extreme winters. With a vision of snow in the distance, the base camp of trek lays close to crystal clear waters. Rocks, wildflowers and mystical caves adorn the region to give you unsurpassed sights of the county.
Image Credits: Gaurav Agrawal-Flickr
Hampta Pass – An extensive plateau on the end of the valley, The Hampta Pass stands at a majestic 4268 meters. With a view of eclectic mountains towards the East dropping down to Spiti on the West, you can view the beautiful Inderkila, Deo Tibba and Indrasen peaks from here. Snow clad mountains enclose your on all sides leaving you feeling hypnotized in the lap of nature. Attractive landscapes and glacial valleys embellish the trail that leads to the Hampta Pass.
Siagoru – Trailing beyond the Hampta Pass and a trivial descend later, Siagoru is a well- known camping destination for trekking enthusiasts on the boulevard to Chandratal Lake. Residing at 4000 meters, scenic mountains, snowy landscapes, striking streams and rippling rivers make this location a much-treasured pathway.
Chandratal Lake – A pleasing and clandestine paradise that rests at 4300 meters in the Himalayas, the Chandratal Lakes is located in the Spiti Valley between a low ridge and the Kunzum Ranges. ‘The Moon Lake’ gets its name from its crescent shape with the magnificent mountains of scree that sits beyond this exquisite lake. This amazing location is only accessible for 3 months in the year and remains frozen and cut off for the rest of the season. It changes color from blue to green depending upon the sky, which makes it extraordinary.
Day 01: Drive from Manali – Jobri, Trek from Jobri – Chika
Day 02: Trek from Chika – Balu Ka Ghera
Day 03: Trek from Balu Ka Ghera – Hampta Pass – Siagoru
Day 04: Trek from Siagoru – Chatru
Day 05: Drive from Chatru – Chandratal Lake – Manali
Tips And Tricks
– Hydrate two days before your trek – you must triple your water intake to avoid dehydration.
– Choose a shoe that is half a number larger than your normal size. It may be uncomfortable if one chooses a shoe size, which is one number smaller than your actual size. You may end up with sore fingers and blisters at the end of the trek. To avoid blisters, you can wear double layers of socks – a thin nylon one first followed by a thick Turkish sock.
– In case you carry your camera or a mobile phone, make sure you carry enough supply of plastic waterproof bags to keep them safe.
– Once you start trekking with the entire group, try and get your natural rhythm of walking. Never attempt to walk too fast or too slow as this can lead to premature fatigue.
– It is advisable to carry a windcheater but it is not advisable to wear it while trekking. During trekking, our body produces solid heat and to regulate that, the heated muscles of our body sweat profusely. In a humid atmosphere with a hot and perspiring situation, we aggravate it by wearing windcheaters. All in all, it leads to a suffocated feeling. Our advice is to carry a windcheater in your sack and wear it only when you take a long halt.
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