A Fling With Nature: The Parvati Valley Trek
Trekking is an art adored and respected by many but practiced by a very few. Only the most daring of the human race try the methods of survival in the extreme wilderness and emerge victorious from the process. It renders a new outlook on life and living and its true meaning is to be sought from the very practice itself.
It is said that only the most avid lovers of nature try to trek through it. However, that is seldom the case in our nation. With the fast-paced corporate life and ever-emerging concrete jungles sucking the life away from today’s youth, escaping in the vicinity of the mountains with a trek is something that many prefer to do as recreation. And, why not! The opportunities are ample, the connectivity has improved and the will to conquer is rising once again!
Being an avid trekker for more than 7 years, I have been to some of the remotest of the Himalayan region that many still sought in their dreams. The majestic mountains and their personalized views have always made up for the pain endured in completing the trek. And, the wish to trek through the quintessential Parvati valley met me and my trekker friends with similar feelings.
The Planning & The Start
Located in eastern parts of the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, the valley is nothing short of a wonder in the eyes of the true dreamers. The treks around this region are vigorous as well as fulfilling at the same time with picturesque locations everywhere to hold your interest. The first stop had to be the quaint little village of Kasol!
We reached Kasol early in the morning from Delhi and had many reasonably priced and well-located hotels in Kasol to choose from. We chose one that is closest to the location of our actual starting point and after unloading our gear, we started to explore the Kasol village and the numerous cafes located around.
If you’re looking for good hotels in Kasol then there are plenty of options within budget for you to relax and enjoy. The place is vibrant with tourists and travelers and has ample options for hotels, lodges, and homestays at your disposal. The staff are mainly local Himachalis and will immediately warm up to you and bask you in hospitality. The campfire followed by succulent eateries made our evening even more memorable and prepared us for the impending journey.
The hospitality offered by our hotel was exceptional and made us vow to return to their abode once again. We explored some of the interesting cafes around and the nearby village and were continuously awed by the views on offer. My friends decided to shop a few things while I explored and photographed memories of this beautiful Himachal village and its people.
Our plan included the exploration of Parvati valley via the pin Parvati trek route and it required us to trek for around 10 days! That was long and sounded tiring but we were up for the challenge. Spending a day in Kasol made our spirits shout with confidence and our love for the mountains made us waste no time and pack our gear for the impending journey ahead.
The majestic Parvati Valley is situated at a distance of around 40 km from Kasol. The first day of our trek was about to take us through Kheerganga and proceed from there. The beauty and scenery around are incomparable with any other place in India and one needs to experience the beauty first hand to understand the same.
The first day was a breeze and the entire team was completely jacked up to reach the final destination. Our trekking route was to be Kasol-Manikaran-Kheerganga. Manikaran, being a pilgrimage center for Hindus and Sikhs, renders a certain sense of tranquility to anyone visiting this majestic town. The gushing river and the abundance of hot springs made our trip memorable to the fullest. Do remember to soak yourself in a comfortable hot spring to eradicate any tiredness from the trek.
Kheerganga to Tunda Bhuj
The next day we started from Kheerganga towards Tunda Bhuj, our next de facto destination. The trek was supposed to take 4 hours to complete. The trail from Kheerganga to Tunda Bhuj is breathtakingly beautiful and is filled with waterfalls and green pastures for your pleasure. With amazing waterfalls passing through mountains it is easy to get distracted by the beauty. But be cautious! The trek is not an easy ball-game and needs your full focus and concentration to be safe.
The Tunda Bhuj campsite is like a bowl in the mountains surrounded by a series of alluring waterfalls and greenery-filled cliffs. The layers of greenery are a sight to witness and will keep up your spirits to voyage further into the Himalayan realm. You can explore the surroundings and soak yourself in gorgeous views of nature while reminiscing about the trek undertaken by your daring self!
Mission Odi Thach
The next day started with a frugal but healthy breakfast of eggs and bread. The trail ahead of us was treacherous and we were getting ready to make it to the destination of Odi Thach. The trekking route follows the Parvati river’s trail and you will be amazed to find incredible views throughout the area.
Parvati valley is indeed a mesmerizing destination but the journey was already having our hearts. It is a 9 KM uphill trek from Tunda Bhuj and you need to pass a series of ridges to reach Odi Thach. The Odi Thach is a beautiful valley with colorful flowers all around the place. It is a delight to soak in the sun and experience the mood of the valley below while sipping hot tea.
Odi Thach to Mantalai Lake
The journey to the heavenly Mantalai Lake started the next day. The ascent to Mantalai lake is steep and strewn with boulders and you need to be extremely careful while ascending this area. This is the reason why many trekkers opt to trek from the other side, i.e. Spiti. However, this route is doable too and one needs to be a little extra watchful due to the difficult terrain.
From the Mantalai lake point, you will get beautiful views of the Parvati valley and the lake is even more beautiful. You can get to see many endangered species of flora and fauna on the way too! The Mantalai Lake is not merely a lake but is considered to be a source of the Parvati River. The area surrounding the lake is loosely defined and is surrounded by marshland, so be extremely careful while visiting the same.
Mantalai Lake to Pin base camp via Pin Parvati Pass
Our next objective involved reaching the Pin base camp and we were tired beyond our measures on the following morning. The Parvati valley was just below and the views were just out-of-this-world! The deep green pastures and the surrounding mountains of gigantic proportions fueled our energies further to embark and achieve our objective of reaching the base camp of Mt. Pin.
Make sure to get an early start for the pass as the weather deteriorates with passing time. You need to be extremely careful about the conditions of the same. The pass provides a bird’s eye view of the valley and is something that will remain with you throughout a lifetime.
We reached the base camp after a difficult trial of around 9 hours and were tired beyond comprehension. Our team was strong and experienced yet we faced many issues due to the incomprehensible terrain and low temperatures. The bare, rocky moonland of the Pin Base camp was a treat to our eyes and made up for our journey in even. The rocky terrain was extremely beautiful and the Pin glacier hovered over our heads. The base camp is located at 1000 ft below the Pin Parvati pass and is surrounded by rugged mountains. A must-visit if you are trekking in the area and want unadulterated views of the mountains.
The very next day we started our descent towards our starting point and the Parvati river and valley was a must-stop on the way downwards. The scenery was already beautiful along with the gushing purity of a river keeping us company. After a hearty lunch in the area, we proceeded to climb downwards after an experience worth remembering.
It is evident that the Pin Parvati is a must-do in your trekking list and the Parvati valley will keep your love for nature alive and thriving. A nature lover’s true paradise, this trek is going to make a significant impression on your mind and help you to grow as a more responsible and beautiful human being. It is a journey worth remembering and you shouldn’t be giving this a miss if you truly love everything that mother nature has to offer!