Buran Ghati Chandranahan Trek, Himachal Pradesh
Trekking is perhaps the only activity in the world that is as good for the soul as it is for the body. An adventure sport that gives you a glimpse of a world you never knew existed. And yet, people fail to pen down their thoughts on it. The technicalities and descriptions may be elaborated upon, but the emotions felt on a trek can never truly be justified with ink and paper. It can only be experienced and relived time and again via memories and photographs. So, ultimately, the less you say about the trekking, the more you reveal. We will try our best to enlighten you on the absolute thrill, adventure, and beauty that awaits you on the Buran Ghati Chandranahan lake trek but we will most definitely fall short in explaining the magic and mystery that is to engulf you in your expedition.
About Buran Ghati Trek
Located in the Pabbar Valley region of Himachal Pradesh, Buran Ghati sits pretty at an altitude of 15,000ft. The journey to Buran Ghati begins at the quiet traditional village of Janglik and ends in Barua village after 7 days and a 26km trek. The trail takes you from Janglik and enters you into deep forests of deodar, oak, and pine before exposing you to the majestic panorama that is the Dayara Meadows. These fields that greet you could easily become one of the single-greatest scenics you have laid your eyes on. Acres of bright green grass carpet the meadow and the snowy-white peaked mountains of the Greater Himalayas border it, almost as if protecting it from the evil eye. We are not exaggerating when we say that the Dayara Bugyal could give stiff competition to the ever-popular valleys of Switzerland.
The Buran Ghati trek allows one to experience the otherworldly beauty of Dayara for one whole day ensuring people get to catch sunsets and sunrises before continuing their trek to Litham. The serpentine trail to the campsite Litham takes one through the Gunas pass, pine forests, the Chandranahan stream and waterfall, and the sacred glacial frozen lake i.e. the Chandranahan Lake. While the unparalleled beauty of the Dayara and Chandranahan Lakes are enough to satiate any explorer, Buran Ghati has much more in store for you. The next destination on the itinerary is the thrilling and irresistible Buran Pass. The view from the Buran Pass is stunning and offers you an extended view of the Buran Ghati at a height of 15,000ft glittering in the early morning sunlight. After you have reveled in the sight that Buran Pass has to offer, comes the trickiest and most thrilling part of the trek. A 3000ft drop down the mountain sliding down through the powder white snow. However, it is wise to note that the Pabbar valley trek is quite challenging.
The trek to Buran Pass includes a steep climb under harsh weather conditions, rappelling, and even sliding down vast expanses of snow. It is thereby better suited for seasoned trekkers. But all hurdles and obstacles aside, the Buran Ghati trek is one of a kind, an adventure that will remain tucked in your memory for ages to come.
About Chandranahan Lake
Chandranahan Lake is one of the major attractions that lure trekkers and explorers to take up Buran Ghati trek Himachal Pradesh as a challenge. In fact, the lake’s beauty is so appealing that there is a separate trek where the main destination is the lake in itself. The famed lake lies in the Shimla district and is the origin point and true source of the Pabbar River. The lake is small and quaint and is filled up with crystal clear water that is fed by various brooks, waterfalls springs, and even melted snow.
Situated at an altitude of 14,000ft around an alpine zone, the lake is coined as sacred by the locals. Nestled amidst snow-capped Himalayan Mountains, this glacial lake remains frozen for the major part of the year. In the Buran Ghati trek, one travels to the Chandranahan Lake from campsite Litham by walking towards the Chandranahan stream. A half an hour walk via a carefully marked trail leads you to the Chandranahan waterfall. From the said waterfall, the lake is another hour away but the journey can prove to be quite perilous owing to the muddy terrain. Although the trek to the lake can often get physically taxing, the beauty and bounties of nature keep you well mesmerized throughout your voyage urging you to make it to the gorgeous lake. Upon reaching the lake you can while your time away by sitting on the surrounding meadow as you lose yourself in the mystifying beauty of the Chandranahan Lake further accentuated by the bordering snow-cloaked mountains.
Depending on the month you have organized your trek, the weather and temperature at Chandranahan Lake will vary greatly. During the months of April and May, the emerald water of the lake remains placid and still. The lake, however, remains frozen for the majority of the year so the temperature surrounding the area often falls down to negative. A sharp drop in temperature around the lake is noted post-sundown which is why trekkers are urged to return to Litham campsite before lunch hours. But whether you found it in a free-flowing or frozen state, the Chandranahan Lake’s beauty is a vision like no other.
How to reach Buran Ghati Trek Himachal Pradesh?
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh (the starting point of your trek) remains well-connected by air, rail, and bus. Here’s how you may travel to the hill town
- By Air:
- By Rail:
- By Road:
The closest airport to Shimla is the Jubbarhatti Airport or Shimla Airport which lies approximately 22km away from the hill station. The domestic airport remains well-connected to prominent Indian cities such as New Delhi. It takes a mere journey of 48 minutes to reach Shimla from Jubbarhatti. The nearest international airport from Shimla is the Chandigarh airport which lies 100km away from the town. A cab may be availed from there to reach the desired destination.
The Kalka Shimla Railway is the nearest railway station to Shimla and takes on frequent passengers from New Delhi and Chandigarh. Some of the most popular trains that offer rides to Shimla are Shivalik Deluxe, Himalayan Queen, and Kalka Shimla Express. The train rides usually take roundabout 4 hours to make their way to Shimla. You can reach the city by availing a jeep or a cab within 32 minutes.
Shimla is connected to Delhi via NH 334 and 7. It takes roughly 12-13 hours from Delhi to reach Shimla via road. One may also avail of luxury AC Volvo buses from Delhi that are available after every 3-4 hours to reach the hill town. Also, Chandigarh lies only 118km or a 3hours half hour distance from Shimla and happens to be a popular route among travelers.
Weather and Temperature
Being a mountainous area, it is no surprise that Buran Ghati is always chilly. But while cool weather is ideal to set out on a trekking expedition, temperatures in negative and excessive snowfall are never advantageous. And seeing as such conditions are fairly frequent in the Buran Ghati Chandranahan Lake the trek is only attempted during the seasons of summer and autumn.
Summer: The village of Janglik perched atop an altitude of 9200ft serves as the base camp of the trek. The height of this base camp is much higher in comparison to other base camps from other treks, so the weather starts dropping significantly from your very first night on the trek. The weather is usually soothing and pleasant during the daytime and you may trek in a t-shirt or a light jacket. At night, however, the temperature drops to 0 degrees as you climb up to campsite Litham and is well in negative when you reach the famed Buran Pass. It is often advised to start layering up from the moment you reach your campsite to ensure the chill doesn’t set in.
Unfortunately, mountain weather is always unpredictable so rain showers may catch with you even during the summer months of May and June. Under such circumstances, the temperatures can experience a sudden drop of 9-10 degrees even during the day. Therefore, a padded raincoat is an indispensable item when you’re trekking Buran Ghati.
Autumn: As a general rule, the autumn months in Buran Ghati are 3-5 degree cooler when compared to the summer season. Despite that, the temperature during the day ranges from 13-18 degrees and makes for the perfect weather to carry out a trek in. The nights spent in the campsites are a different story altogether as temperatures are almost invariably found to drop down to the negative. Spells of rain and light snowfall may occur anytime during your time on the trek, so it is imperative to carry enough warm clothes, jackets, and woolens.
Best time to visit
It is no secret that weather plays a poignant role in trekking but in the case of Buran Ghati the months you decide to organize your trip could end up making or breaking the trek. The Buran Ghati Trek trail is known for its rough and muddy terrain so monsoon is a strict no-no during the rainy season. Also, it never makes for a worthy tale to be stuck in the mountains owing to torrential rain. The best time to do Buran Ghati Trek is May to June and September to October.
Summer or May to June, and early July: The pre-monsoon months of May, and June and even the first two weeks of July are tailor-made for the Buran Ghati trek. The weather is pleasant and soothing, the trails are dry, there are new blossoms and the beauty of the trek is perhaps at its natural best. If you are trekking during the month of May, you will find the snow to be still intact. So, the ice wall climb and the snow slides will be very exciting. The snow starts melting from June, so if safety and the ease of travel is your primary concern, this is your month. The trekking services are stopped once the monsoon settles in in July.
Autumn or September to October: The snow melts and thaws during the autumn months of September and October making it the perfect season for people who love a touch of winter in their treks. The trail remains fairly easy to traverse but the temperature drops down to at least 0 degrees at night. However, if rappelling and snow slides are the activities you’re most looking forward to, it’s best to give this season a miss.
Is it safe to trek the Buran Ghati Chandranahan Lake?
The Buran Ghati Trek has been labelled as a “Moderate to Difficult” trek. But “difficult” in no way insinuates that the trek is “unsafe”, in fact, the Buran Ghati trek is as safe as it can get. That being said, the trip is indeed quite tricky. The trail is dotted with various obstacles and involves a complicated terrain. From the snow section of camp Dhunda to rappelling a 90 meters ice wall while descending from the Buran Pass, from a slide through acres of powder white snow to crossing a path covered with boulders – the trek is challenging and often exhausting.
The trail is frequently slippery and covered with gravels and the harsh weather conditions of course add to the ordeal. It is also to be noted that high-altitude treks often cause trekkers to develop acute mountain sickness or AMS. The body finds it hard to adapt to the sudden changes in altitude and depleting oxygen levels giving rise to feelings of nausea, headache, loss of appetite, and insomnia.
However, despite all the aforementioned hurdles, the Buran Ghati Lake Trek is neither life-threatening nor dangerous. One only needs to be extremely cautious whilst on the trek. Small, steady steps and an unhurried pace is the key to navigating this trail without any mishaps. It is also a necessity to be well-balanced and adequately flexible to conquer the trek. Muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance are two prerequisites of the Buran Ghati trek. The trek may be safe and devoid of any danger per se yet it is best attempted only by trekkers who have had prior experiences with dicey and complicated mountain roads.
Also, it is worth mentioning that the trekkers’ safety is the number one priority of any trekking organization so whether it is rappelling, sliding over ice, or acclimatizing, you can rest assured every arrangement made will guarantee your safety.
In conclusion, Buran Ghati is a trek for dreamers and nature lovers. Walkthrough enchanting emerald-colored valleys peppered with wildflowers, fill bottles from gushing streams, exchange pleasantries with warm-hearted locals, watch white cotton clouds engulf the towering mountains, and make friends with mountain sheep, horses, and wild dogs. The place is a dreamer’s paradise in every which way. But Buran Ghati is also made for the adventure enthusiasts and thrill-seekers in equal measures. Walk on rickety bridges, tread on muddy paths, cross turbulent rivulets, and wander through a winter wonderland, rappel a 400m snow wall and camp in extreme weather conditions. Buran Ghati has a little something for everyone willing to explore.