Make your way to Ghuttu (1,635M)
Distance: 200 kms
Duration: 6 hour drive
If you have signed up with Bikat for a drive from Dehradun to Guttu, our day starts early. All of us assemble at the meeting point by 7 in the morning so we can start our long drive up to Guttu – a farming village in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand. Although there’s nothing more on the agenda for today other than the 6-hour drive and settling into mountain air, it is better to leave as early as possible for two reasons:
One, so we can reach as early as possible and give our bodies enough rest for what’s coming the next day. And, two, roads on the mountains are unpredictable and it is always better to account for delays when we start. It is also better to reach before it gets dark.
Guttu is a fairly big village with lush green mountain faces cut out neatly in geographical shapes for farming which happens to be the main economic activity of its inhabitants. On our way up to this village which is 30 kms from Ghansali, we cross the Tehri Dam which is built on the Bhagirathi River and is the tallest dam in the world. It is quite an engineering wonder and a sight to marvel at. The roads all the way up to our trailhead are smooth. The streets of Guttu offer a lot which can be explored – the small markets, its many temples, the chai dhabas and the overall high-altitude village life is all a whiff of fresh air.
Tonight we stay indoors in a guesthouse.
Ghuttu (1,635M) to Gaurmanda (2,525M)
Distance: 7-8 kms
Duration: 6-7 hours
Our first day of the trek and it’s quite a heavy day since we are gaining about 900M of elevation already across a distance of 7-8 kilometers. The thick forests of Oak and Rhododendrons do their bit to ease your mind off the long distance for today. It is a pleasant walk through jungles which are full of colour over a gradual ascent which ultimately brings us to our campsite, which also is in the middle of the jungle, at 2,525M. The trail is broad all the way through and it curves slowly up leading from one bent in the forest to another with a distant view of the high-altitude villages and green fields on the opposite side.
Gaurmanda (2,525M) to Panwali Top (3,400M) via Pobhari (2,945M)
Distance: 7-8 kms
Duration: 7 hours
Today is just as long as yesterday with just as much of an elevation gain taking us to the highest point of the trek at Panwali Top which brings us to some majestic views of the majestic mountains in the region. It is a gradual ascent through the forest all the way up to Pobhari at 2,945M. The trail flattens out for a kilometer from here before turning into a gradual ascent again which brings us to Dophand. By the time we reach Dophand, we would have already covered 3 kms for today and crossed a plethora of shepherd huts which lie vacant waiting to welcome strangers as well as familiar faces. From Dophand, the trail becomes flat for 2 kms and the forest opens up to accommodate a grander view of the valley and the mountains around. The last 300M of ascent for today is relatively steep and continuous. The top is marked by a multitude of stone temples which are frequented by the locals in the surrounding villages. The whole setting provides for a calming environ – the feeling amplified by the fact that there is no one else on the trail other than you since it is a trail not frequented by many.
From here, our campsite lies after a small descent of 165M at 3,235M. Today’s campsite rests just at the edge of the jungle with shepherd huts scattered on one side. It is likely to be extremely cold here especially after the sunlight recedes.
There are no water sources on the way. Carry enough water from the campsite to last you the entire day.
Panwali Top (3,400M) to Gaurmanda (2,525M)
Distance: 8 kms
Duration: 6 hours
Today, we head back over to the top early in the morning because that is when the skies are clear and the entire mountain range, which is the major highlight of this trek, comes fully into view as the sun hits its first ray of light on the highest of the peaks leaving a deep golden crown over their heads. The massive meadows we cross to get to the top are nothing short of magical. Each side presents a different set of high peaks, each equally splendid. You can spend hours trying to name each one of them accurately and studying their many forms - their crags, ridges and slopes, each one so distinct and so different giving them all a unique personality. After spending some time on the top, we trace our steps back through the thick jungles of oak and rhododendrons to get to our campsite – our old friend Gaurmanda!
Gaurmanda (2,525M) to Dehradun (650M) via Ghuttu (1,635M)
Distance: 8-9 kms (trek) + 200 kms (drive)
Duration: 3-4 hours (trek) + 6 hour (drive)
On the last day of the trek, we trace our steps back through the same route to head down all the way to Guttu, collect our sacks and wait for our ride back to Dehradun. Expect to reach Dehradun by late evening.
Panwali Kantha Trek is a level 3 adventure on the Bikat Rating Scale.
Here is your checklist for this trek. Make sure you pack all these items for a comfortable trekking experience.
The trek begins from Dehradun. Dehradun is easily accessible through road, rail, and air transport. Here is how you can reach:
You can take an overnight bus from Delhi to Dehradun. Both UKSRTC buses and Volvo buses are available from Delhi ISBT to Dehradun. The distance from Delhi to Dehradun is about 247 km. You can also hire a taxi or an outstation cab from Delhi to Dehradun.
There are a number of trains running between Delhi and Dehradun like Dehradun Express, Mussoorie Express, Nanda Devi Express. It is advisable to make your train bookings a month in advance.
The Jolly Grant Airport is the airport in Dehradun. There are multiple flights from New Delhi to Dehradun. Make your booking well in advance for economic fare.
Our batch sizes are capped at 15 for smaller treks with the trek leader and trekker ratio of 1:8. This ratio, in our years of experience, has proven to deliver the best trekking experience for individuals as well as groups. Capping the size of the group ensures individual attention to each trekker so that no signs of distress or need during the trek go unnoticed. It also helps to form a more cohesive cohort with better group energy which helps define the rhythm and pace of days on the trek. As you go higher up on the BRS scale, since the stakes are higher, expeditions have an even smaller group size with the ratio of expedition leader to climber set at 1:2.
We follow a rigorous regime of hiring and training our experts in the field. Each trek leader is a certified mountaineer with years of experience in the field. In addition to their qualification, they also go through practical and situational training to tackle any and all kinds of sudden conditions that may present themselves on the ground. Being unpredictable is the core nature of the mountains but being ready for any circumstance as best as possible is a controllable asset that we try to nurture. Our field experts are also trained in basic medicine and first-aid response. Watch: Forerunners - The Making of A Trek Leader At Bikat Adventures
Since Bikat Adventures is a learning-based organization, we help you climb up the ladder of difficulty within the sphere of outdoor adventure systematically. Our on-ground training modules are designed to handhold you through the upskilling process so that you are ready to take on bigger challenges.
All the gear used on our treks and expeditions is tried and tested, maintained for good quality, and is overall top-notch in quality and condition. We are continually looking to obtain the best of everything there is in the market so as to ensure optimum safety.
Along with the staff you see on-ground, we have a team of superheroes working in the background to give you the best experience possible. Our background team also comprises local staff from each area who know the region best. Having local support helps with studying the area, pre-planning, execution, and in receiving timely support in case of emergencies in these remote locations.
Our on-field staff is in constant contact with our teams based in primary locations so as to eliminate any avoidable delay in reaching additional help and support when required. We try to use the best tools for communication available, including satellite phones, in regions where they are not restricted.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Cancellations between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure date
Cancellations within 15 days prior to departure date
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations within 5 days prior to departure date