About Bara Bhangal
Bara Bhangal Trek is surely not for beginners, the reason being it's exhausting terrain and the long duration. It takes you from the green pastures of Kullu to the stark landscapes of Bara Bhangal Range. But the trek is itself rewarding, it doesn't have a certain summit point as the trek is named after a village at 2900 m but the whole trek is itself made-up of beautiful challenges of the river crossing, beautiful glacial lakes and two passes ?the Kalihani Pass and the Thamsar pass'.
The 11-day trek beginning from Manali includes the wide pastures, dense forests, crossing rivers, glacial lakes, the mesmerizing views of the snow-clad peaks to finally reach Riyali Thach. Where most of the treks include a summit point where you witness a high peak or cross a path, this trek improves your trekking adventure to another level. The route includes the mesmerizing view of some of the mighty peaks, namely Dev Tibba, Indrasan and peaks of the Bara Shigri Glacier and that too from different faces. The trek crosses two passes, namely Kalihani Pass and the Thamsar Pass, which not only improve your trekking experience but also add an acclimatization walk to your route. Along with this, you experience another adventure of the river crossing, the flow and the chill of the river water adds an amazing experience to your trek. After that you witness some of the high altitude glacial lakes, call it icing on the cakes. This trek is counted among the toughest treks in the Himachal and is a must-to-do trek to enhance your bond with the Himalayas.
- Bara Bhangal
Day 1: Manali - Lama Dugh (3010m)
The Bara Bhangal Trek climb starts from Hadimba Temple, 2.5kms from Manali. through the steep dense Deodar forests and as you ascend you arrive at a point called Bada Pathar at 2250m in mid of a tiny forest clearing from where you have the mesmerizing view of the town and some majestic peaks, namely Indrasan. Next part of the trail is again a steep ascent in the jungles to reach up to 2800 m from where the rail is a horizontal route along a water pipeline. The high pine trees are now replaced by head-high plants and lead you to Lamadugh, a beautiful alpine meadow for the campsite.
Day 2: Lama Dugh - Riyali Thach (3400m)
The trail ascends as we walk through a steep ridge below Thanpri Tibba (4000m), leaving behind the tree line and you climb to reach the highest point for the day, I.e., 3770 m from where you get your first glimpse of the Kalihani pass. Next is a continuous descend to reach Riyali Thach camping site (3400m). Along the trail, there are the beautiful views of the Dauladhar range towards the West, Peer Panjal towards NE and Rohtang Pass was visible towards North.
Day 3: Riyali Thach - Base of Kalihani Pass (4010m)
The steep descent takes you to a Stream waiting to be crossed, this stream eventually joins the Fulez nalla. It's a seasonal bliss that before the monsoon, there are chances you might find a snow bridge while in the post-monsoon you need to cross the river directly. It's a steep ascent after the river crossing continued for three hours to the base of the Kalihani Pass to settle for the night. Don't miss the views of Deo Tibba and Indrasan peaks from the campsite.
Day 4: Base of Kalihani - Devi ki Marhi (3850m) via Kalihani Pass (4725m)
The sun rises behind Dev Tibba, and the view is not worth missing. The trek today is acclimatization day, taking a steep trail through the moraine and scree crossing the snowline at 4450m and entering the snow covered moraine which takes you to the Kalihani pass after crossing the Kalihani glacier. Here, the going gets a little tough due to the altitude gain and knee-level snow. After reaching the pass, the trail descends across another glacier and four beautiful glacial lakes and takes you to the campsite at Devi ki Marhi through a route of boulders alongside the river, I.e., Kalihani Nalah. At this campsite there is this Devi ki Markhi Temple, just a miniature shelter fro god built of stones.
Day 5: Devi Ki Marhi - Dal Marhi (3900m)
The trail today starts by a crossing a few streams and the moraines, is flat with few ups and downs, with a steep climb at the end, just before you arrive at the Dal Marhi.The campsite is beautiful with Dauladhar range behind it. You are now in the Himayalan Bear territory now and trace bear excreta at many places near the campsite.
Day 6: Dal Marhi - Bara Bhangal (2885m)
The day's trek starts with a steep ascent for a while and a complete descent for the rest of the day into the tree line comprising of rhododendron, birch and pine trees, parallel to the Ravi river into the deodar forest, to the only large village in the trek, Bara Bhangal with a population of around 1000. The village is mid of the trek as for now to reach any village or city from Bara Bhangal one has to either go back to Kalihani Pass or move forward across the Thamsar Pass. So now, there is no easy exit, the high altitude Passes are our only way out.
Must know the fact of the village: Limited power is available here, thanks to a mini-hydel project and a satellite phone also exists. Rajma and corn can be seen growing around the village.
Day 7: Bara Bhangal
Rest at Bara Bhangal. Explore around.
Day 8: Bara Bhangal - Marhi (3830m)
After the rest day, today the task is to reach near the Thamsar pass at the campsite through the dense forests and mountain streams. The trail through the pine, deodar and birch forests with few mountain streams to add some adventure to your trek leading to the campsite, near the base of Thamsar glacier.
Day 9: Marhi - Plachak (2725m) via Thamsar Pass (4880m)
Today is the actual day to cross the Thamsar Pass, it's a steep ascent through the rough moraine and scree again into the snowline. The steep climb ends for a while as you confront a small lake below the pass. On the other side of the pass, you enter the Kangra valley, it's a steep descent to leave the snow line behind, to reach Plachak campsite.
Day 10: Plachak - Rajgundha (2440m)
Flat and easy route passing through the jungle of pine with many mountain streams to the small village of Rajgundha into the open Kangra valley.
Day 11: Rajgundha - Billing (2310m)
Another easy day in the wide track lands you near the forest guest house at Billing. From here transportation will be provided up to Bir or Dharamshala.