Pindari Glacier Trek, (8-14 June 1996)
In June 1996, Our Geography Survey Camp took us beyond Geography. Pindari in 1996 was still Pindari – the globally renowned glacier. Now, neither the global prestige remains nor does Pindari remain as it once, was. The educational tour was organized for survey of tourism and geographical analysis of Pindari region. A group of 16 students under supervision of Dr G. L. Sah of the Geography Department, Kumaon University Nainital undertook the survey.
Day 1 : Nainital to Bageshwar
We started our travel from Nainital in the morning of 8 June 1996. Following Lunch at Takula we reached Bageshwar at 4 PM. We procured some snacks for the further travel in the mountaion. We enjoyed sightseeing at Bageshwar in the late evening. We were booked at the KMVN rest house for our stay.
Pindari Trekking Map
Adventure lies beyond (Takula)
Aprehension at Takula
Bageshwar- Gateway to Pindari
Bageshwar - eye view
Abode at TRC (Bageshwar)
Day 2 : Bageshwar-Loharkhet-Dhakuri
It was very early, next morning, when we set off on our adventure. A jeep took us to Loharkhet ( the last road head) from where on our trek started, where we had our packed lunch.
Glee Beyond Loharkhet
Same after noon, an arduous five hour trek brought us to Dhakuri top, in the evening. From the top, we overlooked the splendor of nature – tall evergreen Oak mixed forest, tiny tea shops, and several natural water springs. Glittering snow peaks could also be seen and the sheer fairytale like dak bunglow presented a sight which was brilliant. We set up camp in tents and the girls occupied the dak bunglow.
The moving sight was the small monument of dedicated trekkers who lost their lives on the expedition to Sunderdunga Glacier.
Masti Me Chhed ke tarana koi Dil Ka
Moments of Relaxation (Dhakuri Top)
Huddled at Dhakuri Top
Gay Abandon At Dhakuri joying
Snow Peaks from Dhakuri
Day 3 : Dhakuri-Khati-Dwali-Phurkia
Next day we set out for Phurkia via Khati. It is a 24 km long, tough, trek. Khati is 8 km gradual walk away from Dhakuri and is steep downhill. From here the routes to Pindari, Sunderdunga Glacier separates. We walked through the forest and the at places openness of the hills on route was quite rustic. The weather started changing slowly. There was a tea (chai) shop on route and we had some tea and biscuits. Stray poppy plants were also witnessed here and there.
Arriving at Khati we energized our self with Tea & snacks. Incidentally Khati is the last village on this route.
From Khati one path leads to Dwali. It is a 11 km walk. The trekking from Khati to Dwali was really very calm cool and pleasant along the river Pindar amongst dense glorious forest. As we started climbing, we encountered very difficult terrain. At places we had to walk through a lot of slush. We walked through very dense forests with sunlight peeping in. We maneuvered our way across occasional treacherous landslides, and rickety logs placed to cross a torrential stream, before we reached Dwali. We were completely exhausted when we reached the destination. Every limb ached. Dwali is sandwiched between two valleys among green surroundings. We could view snow capped peaks. After having lunch at Dwali we started our trek to Phurkia. It started to drizzle lightly. The Trek to Phurkia was five km long . Here lied the greatest challenge of the trek. The trails were washed away and were severally damaged with recent landslides. We had to cross flooded streams. One false step on the loose stones could have meant death.
As we approached Phurkia the air started getting thinner and we could feel the impact of high altitude. We were gasping for the lack of Oxygen. We were out of the forests and in the open now with a lot of big mountains and waterfalls around us. We reached Phurkia at 6 p.m. the evening was getting chillier..
Lighter Moments for the Porter
Something For the Palate
Day 4 : Phurkia-Zeropoint-Phurkia-Dwali-Khati
We trekked 7 kms and this was at a much higher altitude for Zero point. We were up by 4.30 AM and were served bed tea, biscuits with dry fruits to increase our energy levels to climb. It was a very beautiful climb with a grand view of the magnificent peaks. There were numerous landslides all along the way and we had to cross a lot of cold water streams which made our trek even more adventures. The scenery suddenly changed and the hues of the sky and the greens appeared richer. This trek was most delightful and attractive enjoying the nature’s beauty specially white Buransh (rhododendron) and many other species which include the green grass on bugyals of the areas.
Himalayan Plants near Furkia
Miles to go before I sleep…
Snow Clad Vegetation near Zero Point
Looking beyond Zero Point
Zeroing in On Zero Point
A Trekker in Glacier
Mountain View from Pindari
Himalayan Plants in high Himalayas zone
High Himalayan Plants in the way Zero Point
Ahead of us we saw the pure white mass of Pindari Glacier located in between the peaks of Nanda Devi and Nandakot. It is 300 meters in width and 4 km in length. The valley is drained by the Pindari River emerging from the Pindari glacier. It is a point where one can have an explicit view of the mighty Himalayas. It seems like God’s own country.
At 11 AM we started back for Phurkia, because generally the weather becomes so bad, fogy and rough after 11 AM After a brief rest at Phurkia we return to Dwali where we had lunch. By night we were back at Khati
Day 5 : Khati-Dhakuri
After a day long rest at khati and by evening we were in Dhakuri. Where we enjoyed a Camp fire and a peaceful rest.
Night Rest on Way Back with The Host (Dhakuri)
Day 6 : Dhakuri-Loharkhet-Song-Bageshwar
Early next morning we were trekking long from Dhakuri to Loharkhet and on to Song. A jeep brought us to Bageshwar from Song.
Day 7 : Bageshwar-Nainital
Nainital welcomed us the following Day.