Brahmatal Trek Photo Story
The snow-covered Himalayas tease all outdoor enthusiasts to leave their comforts behind and spend a few days in the wilderness. It’s almost like an open invitation to all adrenaline seeking, nature-loving, up-for-any-challenge, living on the edge and mountains-trump-cities kinda personalities. If you are reading this, then you are one of them. Hi-five!
Now, there are a few really awesome winter treks out there, some of my favorites are Kedarkantha, Kuari Pass and of course Brahmatal.
Let me show you what Brahmatal holds for you in the quiet winter months, so you can decide if it’s the right winter trek for you. Just bear in mind that the weather plays a huge role in your overall experience, especially on winter treks. So, check the snow conditions before booking.
Ok, let’s go. This is how your 4 days on the trek would look like.
Day 1: The only uneventful day.
Why I say that is because the first day on the trek, in all honesty, is quite average. There are no challenges or jaw-dropping sights, but be patient. All good things come to those who wait.
Lohajung is going to be your base, and that is where the trek starts. You’ll walk on a dusty and rocky path, bypassing a few small villages and isolated homes along the way.
The step fields in the distance will give you a good idea about life in the valley and how self-sustainable small villages are. Handmade goods and organic farming are not a luxury here; it’s their way of life.
The rocky terrain continues for another 3-4 hours, taking you in and out of a partially dense forest. You’ll see a few charming canopies along the way.
For us, the terrain changed dramatically close to the first campsite. Just 1 km before Bekaltal, we stumbled across snow, and it lifted everyone’s spirits. This is meant to be a winter trek after all.
And this is your campsite for the day; it’s simple and humble. Enjoy the peace and quite up here. You might get a visit from some curious locals (shepherd dogs), who are always happy to eat your snacks.
Oh wait, did I say there was nothing interesting about day 1? There is a little surprise waiting for you at your campsite- Bekaltal. The lake is just 10 minutes away from your campsite. Grab your cameras and gear up to see an epic lake right in the middle of the forest. It’s such a perfect way to end your first day on the trek.
Day 2: Lots and lots of snow and one of the most beautiful campsites
We were greeted by snowfall first thing in the morning and it absolutely turned everything around. Even a simple walk in the woods turns into a mini adventure when it snows. You’ll walk through an oak forest for about an hour before …
… coming across a clearing. On a clear sunny day, the views from up here would absolutely leave you awestruck. But embrace whatever nature throws at you weather it's sunshine or a beautiful snowfall.
Trekking during a snowfall is one of the most magical experiences in the mountains. Your busy life seems so far away, it almost doesn’t exist up here. Money doesn’t matter here, but hot chocolate does.
You will walk uphill a little further before reaching Jhandi top. If you miss out on the views on this day like we did, don’t worry, you’ll get to see them on your way back.
After Jhanti top, you start descending for about another hour, dodging huge boulders and slippery rocks. The descent is not steep, but it’s quite rocky, so watch out. Once you’ve descended, you’ll walk for another kilometer on an almost straightforward terrain.
And before you know it, you’ll be at your next campsite. This will be your home for two nights. I have been on several Himalayan treks, and this, by far, is one of the most beautiful campsites I have ever seen.
Head over to Brahmatal whenever you want to explore the lake. It’s just 5 minutes away from the campsite.
Day 3: The summit day
The trek to the summit is a bit of a challenge, so fill your bellies with energy-packed food and head out of your campsite early morning to catch the glorious views from the summit.
You will negotiate your way through a forest for about 30 minutes, gradually ascending along the way.
The steep ascent starts after the forest. You'll have to walk on a steep slope for about 3 hours till you reach the summit. It’s uphill all the way from here, and the snow slopes tend to hide the actual view from you till the very end.
The clouds were playing hide and seek throughout the day during our summit attempt, so we didn’t get to see the views. But when the weather is clear, this is the view from the summit.
You’ll get see several legendary peaks like Mt. Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Chaukhamba, Hathi Parbat, Neelkanth and Bandarpoonch from the top.
PC: Prajul Nambiar
Day 4: The adventure continues…
This is your last epic day on the trek, so enjoy the last few miles you’ll be covering on foot. You’ll start early morning and walk past Brahmatal lake, which looks glorious when the weather is clear.
The trail past the lake is straight forward, leading up to a small temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. The views from here are spectacular.
Watch the hills around you shimmer away in all their glory, with the sun putting the spotlight on just about everything around you.
You will soon start your ascent to Jhandi top, which you’ll have to negotiate in a zigzag manner. It is an easy hike, so take your time and rest if you need to.
And this is the sight that awaits you at Jhandi top. You’ll get crystal clear views of Mt. Trishul and Nanda Ghunti from here as well and an eagles eye view of Ali Bugyal too, which is arguably one of the largest meadow in India.
After spending a good amount of time at Jhandi top, make your way back to Lohajung, walking on the same terrain as day 1 of your trek.
A small temple marks the end of your trail. It’s time to freshen up and celebrate.
I have never come back disappointed from any of the treks anywhere in the world. No matter what the terrain is, or how bad the weather gets, the overall experience always refreshes you and puts a positive spell on everything.
The mountains are calling, are you set to go?
Click to learn more about Brahma Tal Trek