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Trek and Raft: Roopkund Trek and Kali River Expedition

offered by supplier M18129 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 16 day(s)
Group Size: 8 - 16 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking   Canoeing/Kayaking/Rafting  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1499 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1699 US Dollar (USD)

Roopkund Lake (5029 m) was made famous by the skeletal remains discovered there in 1942 by a forest ranger. For 60 years the skeletons numbering between 300 and 600 puzzled historians, scientists and archaeologists. Many theories were formed about who they were and how they died such as, Tibetan traders, royal pilgrims, or soldiers killed in battle. Finally in 2004 a team of scientists using carbon dating and DNA samples matched them with a community of high-caste Brahmins in central India. They also discovered that most of the pilgrims suffered an identical cause of death, large skull fractures caused by one of the most deadly hail storms in history.

This is a beautiful trek in the shadow of the giant Nanda Ghungti (6310 m), Changabang (6864 m) and Trishul (7120 m) peaks. The route takes us through remote villages, forests and flower clad meadows. The Kali river is a great introduction to white-water in India. It is a classic pool drop river, with relaxing calm scenic sections followed by big fun rapids with long wave trains. The river flows past terraced farms, mountain streams, white sandy beaches and thick tropical jungles. Forming the border between India and Nepal it gives a great insight into the people living in both countries. The river is teeming with fish and the area is rich in wildlife. The region is home to bear, leopard, elephant, monkey and over 500 species of bird.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in India. You will be meet at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Spend the remainder of day relaxing at the hotel or go sightseeing. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 2: Delhi - Rishikesh (330 m), 5-6 hrs. We make an early start to catch the train to Haridwar, leaving the bustling New Delhi station at 7:00 am. You will be met at Haridwar station and driven north of Rishikesh. We check into tents on a Ganges beach camp. After lunch we go rafting on the Ganges followed by dinner around the campfire. Overnight in the camp.

Day 3: Rishikesh - Lohajung (2290 m), 8-9 hrs. Our route today takes into the lower alpine slopes of the Greater Himalayan Range. As we drive along the banks of rivers we pass through many colorful towns and villages. After taking plenty of chai breaks and photo stops we reach Wan, the starting point of our trek. Overnight in the camp.

Day 4: Lohajung - Didina (2510 m), 4-5 hrs. Our first day of walking takes us gradually down to the Bedni Ganga river. After crossing the river we climb steeply up to the village of Didna. Didna is a nice little village overlooking the Lohajung col. Our campsite is a little outside the village. Overnight in the camp.

Day 5: Didina - Ali Bugyal - Bedni Bugyal (3350 m). We start our hike today and head uphill gaining significant altitude. For most of the day we are in the welcome shade of the Himalayan forest. However near the end of our walk we leave the trees behind and are greeted with an amazing view of the Bedni Bugyal (meaning meadow). This high altitude pasture is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the Garhwal Himalayas. Overnight in the camp.

Day 6: Bedni Bugyal - Bhagubasa (4100 m), 4-5 hrs. After a hearty breakfast we continue to gain altitude and our efforts are rewarded with great views of Trisul, Nanda Ghunti, and Changabang from the Pathar Nachaumi Ridge. We continue to follow a tough switchback path which leads to the pilgrim caves of Bhagubasa. Overnight in the camp.

Day 7: Bhagubasa - Roopkund Lake (5029 m) - Bedni Bugyal, 7-8 hrs.
Today we strike out for the mystery lake. This is a demanding day as we continue up the switchback path to Roopkund Lake. We may, provided there is not much snow, see some of the skeletal remains which baffled the world of archaeology for so long. If you have the energy for it, a short walk further will take you to the top of the ridge where you will be rewarded by impressive close up views of Trisul and Nanda Ghunti. We then descend again to Bedni Bugyal. Overnight in the camp.

Day 8: Bedni Bugyal - Wan (2436 m) - Lohajung, 5-6 hrs. We continue to trek through the Himalayan forest noticing the changing vegetation as we lose altitude down to the big village of Wan. After we arrive in Wan, we take a short drive in a local jeep to Lohajung. Overnight in the camp.

Day 9: Lohajung - Pithoragarh, 8 hrs. We have a long drive today, but this is not monotonous, as we pass through colorful villages (chai) and great scenery (photo stops). Overnight in the hotel.

Day 10: Pithoragarh - Jauljibi, 5-6 hrs. An early 2 hour drive today brings us to Jauljibi, the confluence of the Kali and Kali Ganga rivers. Following a river and safety briefing we start with some easy class II white-water. This is followed by some fun class III white-water with big wave trains. We cover about 20km today before stopping for the day just upstream of Jhulaghat. Overnight in the camp.

Day 11: Jhulaghat, 3-4 hrs. More good rapids on today's section. We see some beautiful limestone pillars, built up over centuries by dripping water. In the early evening we set up camp by the river and after a short hike to a nearby village (optional) return to the river for dinner. Overnight in the remote beach camp.

Day 12: Jhulaghat - Pancheshwar, 4-5 hrs. The quality of the white-water improves today, but so will your skills. Later we reach the convergence of the Kali and the Saryu rivers at Pancheshwar. This is a favoured fishing spot for the people of the district who use traditional boats. We set up camp near here and enjoy a leisurely evening.

Day 13: Pancheshwar - Giant Beach, 4-5 hrs. The white-water gets more demanding as the rapids get larger and more frequent. The day is marked by a good wilderness section and thick jungle. Overnight in the camp.

Day 14: Raft - Chooka, 4 hrs. Today we raft for about 20 km building up to a great class IV rapid called Chooka. This is the strongest section of white water on the Kali, with many diagonal waves and holes to negotiate. We set up camp after this and, sitting around the campfire in the evening we relive the day's adventures.

Day 15: Chooka - Boom - Kathogodam. On our final day of Kali rafting we paddle through more first class rapids surrounded by dense jungle. We may see a herd of wild elephant fording the Kali. At Boom we leave the river and transfer to Kathgodarn and catch the sleeper train to Delhi.

Day 16: Arrive Delhi. Arrive in Delhi in the early morning. Transfer from the train station the international airport in time for your flight home. End of the service.

Note: Please contact us for sightseeing in Delhi, or a trip to the Taj Mahal at the start or end of this trip. We can also tailor this trip with a wildlife safari.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

About This Supplier
Location: Ireland
Joined InfoHub: May 2008

M18129 is a tailor made adventure travel company specializing in the Indian Himalayas. We can tailor trips for small groups throughout the year. We offer trekking holidays from 5 to 16 days and multi-day rafting and kayaking river expeditions from 8 to 13 days. We also offer great wildlife trips as well as organizing...

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