The alpine terrain between the Kullu Valley and Dharamshala is one of the most spectacular and little known regions of the Western Himalaya. The Bara Bhangal trek takes one from the lush green Kullu valley to the steak landscapes of Bara Bhangal range. The Bara Bhangal trail, crossing the Dhauladhar range to connect the Kullu and Kangra valleys, is one of the most challenging routes starting from the Kullu Valley. The long and isolated route involves crossing two high altitude passes - Kalihani Pass at 4725 m and Thamsar Pass at 4875 m - and descending to the remote Bara Bhangal village - at least two days' walk away from civilization by any route and cut off from the rest of the world for the better half of the year. This trek is challenging and thus must be attempted by experienced trekkers only. The trail takes you across green grasslands, flower-laden campsites, meandering rivers, numerous waterfalls, moraines and glaciers, glacial lakes and some of the most outstanding scenery. The passes give you epic views of the some of the prominent peaks of the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal range of Himalayas. The best time to do this trek is in the pre-monsoon month of June or in the post-monsoon months of mid-September and October. Stay on this page for more information on the Bara Bhangal Trek.
Manali to Sangchar (2343 m) - 30 km Drive. Sangchar to Jammu Paani (3000 m) - Trek
Report at Manali ISBT at 8 AM. After freshening up & breakfast in Manali, our vehicles will take you to Sangchar, 1.5 hours drive. The trek starts from the village of Sangchar with a continuous zig-zag trail. The trail leaving behind the entire town of Manali with splendid views of the Pir Panjal range. With a continuous ascent of around 2000 ft, the trail is decent in terms of difficulty. From the very first day itself, you will be gifted with a spectacular spread of colourful flowers like Anemone and Gearanium, a sight to behold for sure. With the trail taking you through tall blades of grass, thick bushes and meadows, we reach today's campsite, Jammu Paani which is a clearing surrounded by oak trees on one side and dense bushes on the other. Retire for the night. Overnight in tents.
Jammu Paani (3000 m) to Pani Dhar
Today's trek will be a long one so we start early. The trail leads you through Maheli Thatch with dense oak trees on one side and meadows on the other. The left side of the valley presents you with spectacular valley openings and views of snowclad passes. A little beyond this point will be our lunch spot where you can enjoy the packed lunch provided to you. We ascend and descend a few times on the lush meadows before we reach Pani Dhar, a beautiful meadow campsite. Overnight in tents.
Pani Dhar to Riyali Thatch (3647 m)
Today’s trek is relatively easier. With a small section of a steep ascent crossing a gateway of rocks supported by a rocky mountain and a stream piercing through it, the trail leads you to the campsite of Riyali Thatch. With lush slope of the mountain on one side, the Riyali Thatch campsite has a gigantic display of colorful pretty flowers. Overnight in tents.
Riyali Thatch (3647m) to Saghor - Kalihani Pass Base (4000m)
Today's trek is an easy one. Leaving behind the Riyali Thatch campsite we will descend towards a snow bridge over a stream that is fed by the Kalihani glacier. The trail becomes steep until we reach a ridge. With the mesmerizing ridge walk with lush green meadows and bushes along with a wide variety of flowers etched on a mountain slope on either side of the ridge. On the right season, this section has an unparalleled display of 7 different types of flowers along with Juniper trees which add to the beauty of the landscape. The ridge ends with a zig-zag trail, a continuous ascent towards the Saghor campsite. With unobstructed views of the Pir Panjal range in front of you and the wonderful snow-capped passes behind you, the Saghor campsite is a sight to behold. This will be your Kalihani Pass basecamp. We will let our bodies acclimatize at this altitude as the proceeding day will be spent in climbing the pass. Overnight in tents.
Shingor [Kalihani Pass Base] to Devi Ki Marhi (3850 m) via Kalihani Pass (4725 m)
The initial part of today’s trail is through moraine followed by steep ascent through scree. Cross another moraine section before reaching the Kalihani glacier and starting the steep climb to the pass. After the pass, the trail crosses another glacier and four alpine lakes. From here, walk along the Kalihani nallah on the moraine field till the campsite.
Devi Ki Marhi - Dal Marhi (3900 m)
The trail first crosses over the Kalihani Nullah and descends into the oak and birch forests. Most of path then is flat with few ups and downs.The path crosses a few streams that were joining the main Kalihani Nala. There is short section affected by landslide that needs to be negotiated with caution. Just before the end of day though is a steep climb before you arrive at the Dal Marhi campsite.
Dal Marhi to Bara Bhangal (2900 m)
The trail today starts with a short ascent and then descends gradually along the Ravi river. Once the path descends across the tree line, it goes through forests of rhododendron, birch and pine before reaching Bara Bhangal. Bara Bhangal is a charming isolated village with a government school, a small hydel power project, satellite phone and fields of corn, rajma and cannabis. The only way to reach civilisation from here is either to cross Thamsar or Kalihani pass or negotiate the dangerous Ravi river gorge.
Bara Bhangal to Mardh (3830m)
Today we will start climbing towards the next big pass, Thamsar. The trail winds up through pine, deodar and birch forests with mountain streams to break the monotony. The campsite at Mardh is near the base of the Thamsar glacier.
Mardh to Plachak (2721m) via Thamsar Pass (4875 m) m) – Billing (2400 m)
Another day of steep ascent over morraine, scree and glacier. The climb is broken by a small lake just below the pass. From on top of Thamsar, you will get your first glimpse of the lush Kangra valley. On the other side of the pass, it's a steep, long descent till you reach the campsite at Plachak, well below the tree line.ay of the trek so far. The path is flat and easy, passing through pine forests with many mountain streams. The valley widens and you get great views of the open Kangra valley. A vehicle will pick you up at Billing and drop you to Bir or Dharamshala. Or you can choose to fly from Billing to Bir on a tandem paraglider.
Plachak to Rajgundha (2440 m) to Billing (2400 m)
The easiest day of the trek so far. The path is flat and easy, passing through pine forests with many mountain streams. The valley widens and you get great views of the open Kangra valley.
Reserve a day in case weather does not permit us to cross the pass. If a reserve day is used then participants will have to pay INR 5000 + 5% GST on spot to the trek leader.
Bara Bhangal is made only for experienced trekkers who want to test their limits. The challenges faced in the trek should not be underestimated. You should attempt this trek only If you have already done a trek that climbs to 4700-5000 metres. It is recommended not to opt this trek if you cannot get acclimatized in high altitudes. Besides you need to have a strong physical endurance to complete this trek. On Bikat Scale Bara Bhangal Trek Difficulty level is 5. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
A basic mountaineering course is recommended though not mandatory in case of highly experienced & skilled trekkers. At least 2-3 challenging treks along with 20 – 25 total trekking days in the Himalayas. Medical fitness certificate from CMO of a recognized hospital.
Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins Or Walk continuously for 10 kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better) and
Hold your breath for 40 seconds and
3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch and
Push Ups – 10 and
Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
How to use an Ice Axe
How to use Climbing boots & Crampons
How to rope up & follow queued climbing/descending
How to self-arrest using an ice axe
Knowledge of Basic First aid
June to September are the best months to undertake the Kalihani Pass Trek.
Click here for packing list.
The base camp for the Bara Bhangal Trek is Manali, which is well connected to Delhi with all kinds of transport (except direct train) and can easily be reached through road or air.
By Road : The road distance from Delhi to Manali is 536 km. There are overnight HRTC buses and Volvos available from ISBT Kashmere Gate, Delhi for Manali. It is a 14 hour journey by bus. You can book your bus tickets online through hrtchp.com or any other bus services available. You can also hire a private taxi or an outstation cab from Delhi.
By Rail : To reach by train, take a direct train from Delhi to Pathankot. Some of the trains that run on this route are Delhi-Pathankot Express, Jammu Tawi Express, Delhi-Dhauladhar Express. You can then take a bus from Pathankot to Manali. Or you can take a connecting train to Joginder Nagar from Pathankot which is the nearest station to Manali. There are buses running frequently between Joginder Nagar and Manali.
By Air : The nearest airport is Bhuntar airport which is located 50 km from Manali. There are taxis available at the airport which will take you to Manali. You can also take local buses that keep running from Bhuntar to Manali at a very regular frequency. Buses are decent and very cheap compared to taxi that can cost you around INR 2000-5000 depending upon the season.
The trek ends at Bir. From Bir, there are multiple options to head back to Delhi and onwards.
By Road: The road distance from Bir to Delhi is 517 km. There are overnight Volvo buses to Delhi from Baijnath (13 km from Bir) and Dharamshala (70 km from Bir). You can also hire private cabs to Delhi from Bir.
By Air: The closest airport to Bir is Dharamshala (DHM), 70 kms away. Air India and Spicejet run two flights daily each to Delhi.
By Rail: The closest railway station from Bir with connectivity to Delhi is Pathankot, 140 km away. There are regular buses to Pathankot from Baijnath, or you can hire a private cab. There is also a toy train to Pathankot from Ahju, 3km from Bir, which is a wonderful experience, though it takes a longer time than any other mode of transport.
Manali and Bir have full coverage for all major networks. There is one point on the first days' trek where it is possible to get BSNL network. Apart from this, there is no connectivity for the entire duration of the trek, except a satellite phone in Bara Bhangal village.
Manali is the gateway to Solang Valley where you can participate in adventure activities like paragliding, and zorbing in the summer months when the snow melts. Visit the ancient Hadimba Devi Temple which has an interesting mythological tale associated with it. Walk through the charming lanes of Old manali. Visit the bazaar to buy some souvenirs. Jogini Fall and Vashisht Temple are other famous attractions in Manali. You can also visit Rohtang pass while you are in Manali. Billing is one of the best paragliding destinations in the world. You can take a tandem ride from Billing to Bir at the end of the trek. There are also a lot of monasteries in and around the Tibetan Colony, where the landing ground is situated.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried) and Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) are the mandatory documents required for this trek.
We have one pick-up point: Main Government Bus Stand in Manali. The dropping point will be at Bir or Dharamshala depending on what you opt for.
Expect to reach Bir or Dharamshala by evening.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
It is not mandatory but it is more convenient with the pole. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
Manali has reasonable size market but because of immediate departure from Manali last minute purchasing might be difficult. Please do not leave anything for last minute buying.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
July and August: 15-10 deg celsius during the day and at night temperatures may drop to 5 deg celsius. Day temperatures in September will be around 7 deg celsius and at night temperatures will vary from 0-2 deg celsius.
Yes there will be snow on the pass.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accomodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek. These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
You will be provided with good quality of gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will be also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.
The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied by their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure