A Starter’s Guide to Pin Parvati Trek
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The Pin Parvati Trek is one of the most captivating and perplexing trekking trails in Himachal Pradesh. The outstanding beauty this trek has to offer will make you overlook the challenges it throws back. Crossing the burgeoning Parvati Valleys through the Spiti Valley, witness the snow capped mountain summits of the mighty Himalayas. Meander from the picturesque Kullu and begin your expedition from Barsheni through the mesmerizing Khirganga and Tunga Bhuj. The breath-taking regions of Thukarkuan and Mantalai demands acclimatization after which your soar to the Mantalai Lake will awaken your tranquil senses. The much- awaited Parvati Base Camp and the Pin Base Camp invites you with its landscapes of mountains, snowfields and rocky bridges. Witness the superb flowers and enjoy the vivacity of the mountains, while your wandering alongside the border of the Pin Valley National Park will allow you to spot arresting wildlife. Making your way through Wichkurung Thatch and forward to Kaza, the memoirs of this awe-inspiring Pin Parvati Trek will leave you feeling energized and grant you an engaging experience.
How To Reach
The adrenaline-charged trek through the Pin and Parvati Passes begins at the starting point of Kullu-Manali. Manali is effortlessly accessible by rail, road and air. You can board a flight from major cities such as New Delhi and Chandigarh that arrive at the Bhuntar Airport, which is located 52 kms from Manali. Various taxi services are available here to reach your stunning destination. You can also board a train to the Jogindar Nagar Railway Station, which is located 166 kms from Manali. Yet, one must choose to travel by road from here to Kullu. The beautiful curvy roads of the National Highway make for an awesome road trip leading to Manali. This drive will take you around 12-14 hours, if starting from New Delhi. Various Volvo, luxury buses and state-run buses ply between these routes on a systematic basis.
This amazing trekking expedition begins from the town of Manali through various charmed expanses leading to the enchanted basecamp of Barsheni. Once known as ‘Waziri Rupi’ in the early 1800’s, the area above Barsheni was rich in silver before falling to high mining costs of extraction and transportation. The hydel power project spanning across River Parvati can be witnessed in all its mighty fame from Barsheni. It was a spectacular village settlement bedazzled with greenery, which unfortunately now stands grubby with a few array of huts. From this infinitesimal hamlet, one can espies the mountain ranges leading to the Pin Parvati Pass with its dense forests that are home to oak, silver fir and pine trees. Barsheni is the last motorable road from where the famous Parvati Valley Trek begins.
Activities in Kullu: Best Things to Do in Kullu
[Also check out the amazing views of Ladakh in a road trip]
Best Season To Visit
Encircled by gorgeous mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh, Kullu-Manali offers amazing trekking expeditions, owing to the benefit of the extraordinary elevation at which is colonizes. The best season, according to experts is during the months between May/June to September/November. Two windows exist during this season; one between the last two weeks of June up till the first week of July and the other is post monsoon – September through November, as the first snowfall frequently begins in the first week of October. The temperature here is very crucial during the winters but warmer days between June and September makes this trek an ecstatic experience for trekking enthusiasts. Apart from trekking visitors can visit a lot of exciting places in Kullu.
About The Locals
Image Credit: Ajay Bhandari – Flickr
The inhabitants of Kullu and Manali in Himachal Pradesh, alongside the residents of the other settlements, are exceptional in their way of living. Their extraordinary lifestyle and socio-cultural ways are unique and unlike the rest of the country. Farming and Art are the prominent professions of the natives who also closely respect their ancient traditions and heritage of their antecedents. They are friendly and hold a grave respect and admiration for nature. They are inspired by their old tribal customs and ancient philosophies of existence. Handloom weaving and artisans who create various art forms are prominent in this region. The natives respect and uphold their tourism industry as it forms a major section of their economy.
This awesome trekking expedition gives you a beautiful vision of the Himalayas through the Pin and Parvati Pass Valleys. Beginning your trek from the village of Barsheni that sits at a height of 2200 meters, you shall proceed towards the sulphur springs at Khirganga at 3020 meters. Tread ahead to Tunda Bhuj, which holds birch forests at 3285 meters. Head up to Thakur Kuan at 3620 meters, its mesmerising waterfalls, meadows and lakes will enchant you. Mantalai awaits your arrival to witness the serene Mantalai Lake at its hike of 4115 meters. The path from here takes you to the basecamp over the Pin Parvati Pass that stands at 4300 meters over to the snowfields in Pin Pass at 4110 meters and the eventful Pin Parvati Pass at 5319 meters. Descend to Wichkurung Thach at 3700 meters and burst through Mud at 3650 meters before you head back to Manali.
The required permits for the trek and camping charges 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 may be mandatory. Necessary forests permits and camping charges may be involved, please check with the organizers before embarking on your expedition.
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 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 Pin Parvati Trek lies near Kullu-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
Image Credit: Ajay Bhandari – Flickr
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.
Things To Carry
– Durable good-quality trekking shoes
– Camping shoes for crossing stream
– Thick woollen socks
– Thermal innerwear
– Heavy fleece clothes
– Covers to store used/wet clothing
– Winter jacket and water proof coat
– Trekking pants
– Woollen cap, gloves, etc.
– Sun screen lotion and other toiletries
– Water bottle
– Trekking pole
– Firs 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. Nomad huntsmen 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, and for a multitude of trekking and adventure activities.
Barsheni – The last roadhead on the trekking trail to the Pin Parvati Pass, Barsheni is a settlement that offers immaculate sights of the mountain ranges of the Himalayas. It is a dusty layered hamlet with mud paths that are linearly allotted with the cultural heritage of the village. It was once known as ‘Waziri Rupi’, known for the abundant mining of silver, which once dominated the area above Barsheni. IT houses abundant oak, pine and silver fig forests amidst the smattering highlands. This village is imperative as it forms the basecamp for the starting point of the Pin Parvati Trek.
Khirganga – Surrounded by gorgeous waterfalls and spectacular lush forests, Khirganga falls in the Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Treading through hilly terrains, this place offers the most refreshing and the flabbergasting natural hot springs. It is open for 7 months in year and has never been permanently inhabited due to the extreme weather conditions. The hot springs here are believed to have healing properties and is miraculously creamy-white in colour, probably owing to the sulphur in the water.
Tunda Bhuj – The picturesque open meadow of the Parvati Valley offers the exquisite region of Tunda Bhuj with its heavenly sub-alpine forests of Birch and Rhododendrons. It falls after crossing by foot through steep gorges and thick coniferous forests leading to meadowlands with abundant boulders. Various waterfalls torrent through the valley’s steep falls and marks the meeting point of various tributaries to the River Parvati.
Thakur Kuan – A sublime region that boasts of rocky protrusions layered with mica, Thakur Kuan has abundant alpine flower extensions that will delight any nature enthusiasts’ experience. Beautiful blossoms of poppies, buttercups, iris and various other wild flowers embellish the pastures that hold an unblemished and unmatched beauty.
Mantalai – One of the most enthralling treks in the Parvati region, Mantalai is home to the mystical Mantalai Lake that sits at a majestic altitude of 13580 feet. It is the source of the Parvati River and meets the River Beas at Bhuntar. After a gradual and steep climb, one can witness the Mantalai Glacier with a small Shivling buried on the grounds here. It is miraculous to witness the ice in the frozen glacier, which reflects black and blue colours.
Pin Parvati Pass – Derived from conjoining the Pin Valley of Spiti and Parvati Valley of Kullu, the regions of Pin and Parvati are spectacular attractions for trekking enthusiasts in the Himalayas. It holds majestic snow filled hollows with rocky saddles across the pass while panoramic views take you across the grassy fields covered with ice and strenuous rocks. It offers fabulous views of the Pin Valley from the top of the pass. The placid natural habitats of the Pin Valley National Park borders the trekking path and offers sights of snow leopards and musk deers.
Day 1: Drive from Kullu to Barsheni, Trek to Rudranath
Day 2: Trek from Rudranath – Khirganga
Day 3: Trek from Khirganga – Tunda Bhuj
Day 4: Trek from Tunda Bhuj – Thakur Kuan
Day 5: Trek from Thakurkuan – Mantalai
Day 6: Rest Day + Acclimatization
Day 7: Trek from Mantalai Lake – Base Camp
Day 8: Trek from Parvati Side Base Camp – Pin Side Base Camp
Day 09: Trek from Pin Valley Side Camp – Wichkurung Thatch
Day 10: Trek from Wichkurung Thatch – Kaza, Drive to Mud
Day 11: Drive from Kaza to Manali
Day 12: Drive from Manali to Delhi
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.