We might never know why Lord Brahma chose to go meditate at Brahmatal but we can sure take a solid guess when we trek this stunning route. With alpine forests, meadows, lakes, ridges and panoramic views of snow mountains, the Brahmatal Trek has so much to offer as an introductory winter trek. It is one of the few treks possible in winters when routes to other treks are closed. The trek has undoubtedly become popular over the last few years for its sprawling meadows covered in snow and the revered peaks that the meadows open into. But for these reasons, the trek also attracts a fair number of trekkers during the winters.
If you are looking for a winter adventure and considering Brahmatal as one of your options, this article lays down the pros and cons of this trek.
A Walk in the Woods
If you are a dendrophile, you will fall in love with the trails of Brahmatal. If not, this trek will make you one. The trail to Brahmatal Trek goes through the forests of Rhododendrons and Silver Oak. Though it is all covered in snow from December until February, you can see the Rhododendrons blooming in the months of February and March. Spot the Himalayan bird, Monal, endemic to this region.
The one plus one Lake offer
The exciting thing about this trek is that you will get two straight days to camp by the lakeside. It is probably one of the very few treks that let you camp along the lake that too for two consecutive days.
Day 2 is where you will camp at Bekal Tal which is hemmed by the oak trees. The sight is exactly what they describe in fairy tales. Magnificent!
Day 3 is when you will camp beside Brahmatal, the lake where Lord Brahma has been believed to meditate.
Get a feel of Chadar Trek
Guess what? These lakes freeze in the winter season forming a sheen of ice. And boy, do they look absolutely incandescent! The moment you reach the lake, you will realize that the purpose of coming on this trek has been fulfilled. You don’t have to go all the way to Leh to enjoy the sheer beauty of frozen lakes.
Do the ‘Peak’-a-boo
Did you know you get to see all the above 7000M peaks from the highest point of the Brahmatal trek?
The peaks appear to be so close you will find your hand reaching out to touch them. All the prominent peaks are visible from the Brahmatal Summit. Mt. Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, you will see them all!
The Roopkund Connection
Yes, the two treks- Brahmatal and Roopkund, are adjacent to each other. One gets to experience the meadows of Roopkund- Ali and Bedni Bugyal and Junargali top right from the Brahmatal Summit. Even though you are not there, you can experience what Roopkund Trek is all about. Killing two birds with a stone!
Now a Himalayan trek cannot possibly have too many cons but if we were to mention a few for Brahmatal, the following would be it.
Overcrowding of Trekkers on the Route
Ever since the route was discovered, Brahmatal rapidly grew in popularity as an easy winter trek that can be attempted by beginners. This attracted people from across the country resulting in overcrowding on the route. Being one of the few treks that is open during winters, it is now thronged by trekkers along with small scale trekking organisations who bring large batches of trekkers. This inevitably leads to unsustainable trekking practices resulting in pollution and degradation of the ecosystem in the region.
Change in Climatic Conditions
With the advent of global warming, we are seeing increasingly erratic climatic conditions across the country. The mountains are no exception. One of the key highlights of Brahmatal in winters is the snow. Snow adds vibrance and a sense of calming beauty to the landscape. However, there could be times when the initial parts of the trail are dusty and devoid of snow. While this will change in probability by the end of Day 1 but don’t be disappointed if you get heaps of snow right from the start.
The Winds at Bekaltal
Strong gusts of wind are common at the Bekaltal campsite. Winds make you feel more cold and can be unpleasant if you are looking to spend some time outdoors. Tents keep flapping at night as the wind hits them at full speed, but don’t worry they are not getting blown away! And usually when the winds pass, the landscape is even more beautiful and might even bring a gentle snowfall to surprise you.
The above are a few points you might want to weigh in while deciding on opting for the Brahmatal Trek. While all treks have their pros and cons, ensuring that the trek is a right fit for your interests and fitness levels is important to have the best Himalayan trekking experience. If you wish to know more about Brahmatal, our team is always available to guide you.
This article was originally written by Dhaarna Kukreja on 24/10/2017. It was edited and updated by Geethanjali on 4/10/2023.