Trek to Brahmatal, a lake where Lord Brahma is said to have meditated as per mythology is one of the few treks which are possible in the months of winter when most of the trekking routes are closed. Lohajung, which is the base camp of the Brahmatal trek is a small town of great mythological importance. One must interact with the locals here and hear the great stories about the town. One gets a glimpse of the local culture and beliefs through these stories. Brahmatal trek is a great winter option & is on the opposite side of the famous Roopkund. The spectacular views of Himalayan range from the trail are one of the many reasons for doing this trek. The glacial lake lies at an altitude of 3180 m. The trail of this trek is entirely covered in snow and is paradise for snow lovers. Some of the prominent seven thousanders visible are Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Chowkhamba, Nilkanth, Kamet, Hathi, and Ghoda peaks. Most of the trail of Roopkund trek can also be seen from this trek, including views of Ali Bugyal, Bedni Bugyal & Junargali. The walk is mostly inside the jungle of conifer, Cedar, Oak and Fir which in itself is a soothing experience in the months of winter. Since Brahmatal hasn't attracted a lot of crowds, it is still majorly untouched and serene.
Day 1: Kathgodam/Rishikesh to Lohajung (7,600 ft) by drive.
Arrive in Lohajung. If you opt for a transport from us then we will pick you up from Kathgodam or Rishikesh by 6:30 am and drive to Lohajung. The road winds through the beautiful Kumaon region. We pass through Almora & Kausani. On the way, you will get some spectacular views of peaks like Kamet & Panchachuli. We will arrive in Lohajung by the evening & check into a guesthouse for the night. Once you are in Lohajung which is located at the height of 7,662 ft, you come across the mesmerizing Nanda Ghunti peak. If you reach before sunset then the colours of the Nanda Ghunti peak will amaze you. The town of Lohajung is also a small mountain pass connecting Gwaldam side to Wan side of the mountain. Spend some evening time in the small market of Lohajung. Dine early & break into bed for a good long night's sleep.
The first day’s trek spanning 5 hours will kick off from Lohajung up a snaky trail going into the forest. After a short while the forest will give way to a small village named Mandoli to your left. Here you can fill your bottles and take a first major hiatus. The trail continues in mostly gradual ascent curves. A little way higher, you will come across the valley where two mountain rivers Kali and Pindari confluence. We will trek on further to stumble upon a huddle of mud huts. You are going to find a grove of rhododendron here that sure grows red and heavy from February to March, but at the peak of winter, the trail will be pretty matte.
We will be camping in the vicinity by the lake Khopdaliya.
Today’s trek will take you through thickets of oaks and rhododendrons over steep slopes for quite some time before finally coming out to a meadow. This is the meadow of Telandi. In the winter, you will find the green expanse of Telandi transform into a vast snowfield and crossing the area, a gala of thrill. You are usually drawn to the edge of the meadows which is a ridge right on top of Lohajung, your base camp. Below you is the valley from Lohajung to Wan.
Jhandi Top, the highest point on the ridge. It's another vantage point for clear views of the mountain panorama. You can map the entire Roopkund trail here right from Wan to Roopkund. Spend at least twenty minutes at Jhandi Top to soak in the place. It usually gives you goosebumps to just comprehend what you are seeing in front. As you walk along the ridge, the majestic mountains and sweeping valleys greet you. You see at least 7 to 8 layers of mountain ranges one behind another. The sense of openness is unmatchable to most trekking days anywhere. Now, begin a slow descent to Brahmatal. To your left from here, you will find a small temple, bright yellow flags flying in the air. Walk down the slope to the temple and find the trail winding towards the Brahmatal Lake, about 500 meters away from the temple now. We will find the valleys of Almora and Nainital rise and fall around us as we go. The soaring peaks of Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, and others of the Greater Himalayas can be spotted far across the sky. We will be camping at the mark 500 meter away from the lake, nestling in the beautiful aura of the place.
Start the day to catch the mountain views before the clouds come in. It takes about 10-15 minutes to trek to the Brahmatal lake, your first stop on the trail. The Brahamatal lake sits pretty bang in the middle of the grassland in a crater. The lone tree by the side of the lake reflects perfectly off its waters. Go around the lake to get a view from all angles.
From Brahmatal, take the trail to the left that climbs up to the ridge. As you move up, Behind you appears a wide-open valley. You can see Tharali and Gwaldam. The first ridge climb brings you to a gently ascending stretch which then leads you to the final ridge climb. At the ridge opens up majestic views of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti. The view is a magnified or closer version of what you saw from Jhandi Top.
Take a moment at the pass. Have your packed lunch here. Don’t stop for long as the winds will be strong. Descent with mountains on your left and valley on your right. This part of the trail is completely new.
After the initial descent from the pass, the trail will ascend again through Alpine grass. Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti accompany you on the right. As the ascent ends, you reach a platform like an area from here you get a 180-degree view of the Himalayan range. Mountains such as Chaukhambha, Mandi, Mana, Nilgiri, Neelkanth, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Maitoli become visible.
A descent of 1 hour will bring you to a clearing surrounded by trees on all the sides. You will reach your campsite.
Begin the descent to Lohajung right after breakfast. The trail goes through thick oak and rhododendron forests once again. Continue on the man-made trail from here. This trail connects these mountain villages down to Lohajung.
After a good night’s sleep at Lohajung, we will go back to Rishikesh today. Destination will be reached by 6:00 pm.
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