The 3 colors of Panwali Kantha - A Thar in Himalayas
Panwali Kantha is a must do trek in winters or springs. This trek can easily be done on extended weekends. Except Nag Tibba this is one of the closest to Delhi. Trek starts from Ghuttu, four to five hours drive away from Rishikesh.
As you start from Ghuttu this trek might look like any other ordinary trek. You pass through a normal bazaar, cross the bridge over river Bhilangna and then you see something painted on wall, a closer look will tell you that if you follow the arrow you’ll be on your way to Panwali Kantha/ Triyugi Narayan. As you follow the arrow within 10 minutes into the trek its mediocrity or ordinariness ends. You hit a trail that passes through the lush green wheat fields. You can see these fields as far as your sight go. The cultivable land in Ghuttu is pretty sizeable compared to other villages in hilly region.
After you cross these fields there is another treat waiting for your eyes. You enter thick Rhododendron Forest with red Burans flowers in full bloom. The red petals of Rhododendran flowers lying on the trail look like a red carpet.
The Next morning when you start again from the camping site & within a span of 1 km this landscape turns from red green to white. You will be awestruck by the change of terrain. You are walking through the Rhododendron forest totally lost in your thoughts enjoying the sight of blooming red flowers and then as you turn the corner, you find yourself knee deep in snow and you wonder what happened here– Am I doing the same trek or day dreaming. The view in front of your eyes is simply unbelievable. Entire Kedarnath range looks so close that you would want to just extend your hand and touch it. There will be no other color from now on, it’s either white or green. Snow here is not in patches but everything is covered in snow with some patches of green trees shooting towards the sky.
Couple of hour more into the trek and at the next corner trees disappears suddenly within a span of 500m and you find yourself in the middle of a snow desert. It’s all white as far as you can see. If you are walking all alone in this section it looks scary. Once you reach Panwali Kantha top Chaukhamba &ThalaySagar look so close as if you are watching them on a theater screen. Panwali Kantha offers a rare view of Nanda Devi, it looks massive against the backdrop of other peaks.
Adrenaline Factor – Besides having unmatched natural beauty this trek is pretty high on adventure quotient. The snow trail on certain sections is pretty narrow and if you do it with proper equipment it's so much fun to cross those scary looking section. Also there are amazing ski slopes with almost entire range of gradients available along the entire route. So if you are not adventure junkie you can try milder slopes and the length of slopes won’t disappoint you that much I can guarantee. Well for some serious adventure seekers the range is unlimited. You can pick any 60 degree slope and well world is yours. But don’t indulge in any of these activities without supervision of a trained guide.