KUARI PASS TREK
Discover the Legacy of Lord Curzon
Kuari Pass is believed to be one of the oldest treks in India since the 1800’s. Lord Curzon, who was the Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, is believed to be the first one to explore the ‘Kuari Pass,’ and because of that, this is also known as the ‘Lord Curzon Trail.’ This pass serves as a crucial link between two significant regions of Garhwal, namely Chamoli and Rudraprayag. It is a truly enchanting adventure in the heart of the Garhwal Himalayas.
This trek is particularly well-suited for beginners and falls into the easy-to-moderate category, making it accessible to a wide range of trekkers. One of the trek’s standout features is the rare opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring Nanda Devi peak. This majestic mountain, the second-highest in India, graces the trail with its snow-capped summits, providing a sight that is rarely seen on most treks.
As the journey unfolds, you’ll find yourself amidst the picturesque meadows of Gorson Bugyal. During the summer months, these meadows are a lush green paradise, surrounded by the towering Himalayas. In contrast, during winter, they transform into a magical snowy wonderland, gradually taking on a golden hue as the snow melts—an exquisite testament to the ever-changing cycles of nature.
The adventure begins with a drive to Dhak Village, conveniently located just 12 kilometres from the bustling town of Joshimath. This tranquil village serves as the perfect starting point for your expedition. The trail initially takes you through enchanting oak and rhododendron forests, creating a mesmerising canopy of colours, especially during the spring season. Along the way, keep an eye out for vibrant wildflowers, including the coveted Himalayan Blue Poppies and Primulas, adorning the trail.
Continuing your journey, you’ll reach the idyllic Gulling Campsite after a 5-kilometre hike. Here, the serene surroundings provide the ideal setting for a peaceful night’s rest and a chance to soak in the tranquillity of the wilderness.
The path then leads you to the Khullara Campsite, an 8-kilometre trek that unveils even more of the region’s natural beauty. The dense forests gradually give way to vast alpine meadows, carpeted with a delightful variety of blooming flora. The landscape bursts with colour thanks to the vibrant rhododendron trees, and you may even spot some Himalayan monal pheasants or Himalayan Blue Sheep grazing in the meadows.
Throughout the trek, your senses will be treated to stunning views of several prominent mountain peaks like Nanda Devi, Dronagiri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Ghori Parbat and many more.
The trekking route is a haven for biodiversity. Along the way, you may encounter various species of birds, including the magnificent Himalayan Monals, and Himalayan Griffons. In the lush forests, Himalayan Blue Sheep and musk deer find their sanctuary, and if you’re exceptionally lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive snow leopard. The diverse flora includes oak, rhododendron, pine, and birch trees, weaving a rich tapestry of colours and fragrances.
8,999 INR / Per Person
From Joshimath to Joshimath
10,999 INR from Rishikesh to Rishikesh
- Commence your journey from Rishikesh to Joshimath, covering approximately 250 kilometres.
- The vibrant city of Rishikesh, a hub for spiritual seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. With the Ganga River flowing serenely beside you, you’ll embark on a picturesque road journey.
- As you leave the bustling city behind, you’ll gradually ascend into the serene foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas.
- The road to Joshimath winds through lush valleys, quaint villages, and dense forests, offering glimpses of the natural beauty that awaits you on this trek.
- By the time you arrive in Joshimath, a charming town nestled amidst the mountains, you’ll feel a sense of anticipation for the days ahead.
- Joshimath serves as the gateway to many Himalayan adventures and is the starting point for your Kuari Pass Trek.
- Here, you’ll have the opportunity to rest and prepare for the thrilling trekking experience that awaits you.
- Today’s journey takes you closer to the heart of the Himalayas and immerses you in the trekking experience.
- Drive to Dhak Village, located about 12 kilometres away from Joshimath, and use it as the starting point for your trek.
- Embark on a hike from Dhak Village to the scenic Gulling campsite, covering a distance of roughly 5 kilometres.
- As you reach the Gulling campsite, you’ll find it nestled in a pristine natural setting.
- Set up your tents and enjoy a warm meal as you gather around a campfire. The star-studded sky above the mountains completes this perfect mountain evening.
- Today’s trek is an approximately 8-kilometre hike that takes you from Gulling to the splendid Khulara Campsite.
- The trail will lead you further into the heart of the Garhwal Himalayas, revealing more of its natural treasures.
- The path gradually meanders through lush forests, where tall oak and rhododendron trees provide shade and a sense of tranquillity. The vibrant rhododendron blooms continue to add splashes of colour to the trail.
- As you arrive at the Khulara Campsite, you’ll be greeted by the serene surroundings and the towering peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas.
- Set up your tents amidst this awe-inspiring backdrop and relish a well-deserved meal.
- Undertake a hike from Khulara to the mesmerising Kuari Top, spanning approximately 4 kilometres.
- Continue your journey to Kuari Pass, which is situated roughly 3 kilometres from Kuari Top.
- Marvel at the awe-inspiring peaks that surround you, including Nanda Devi, Dronagiri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, and Ghori Parbat. Take a moment to reflect on the spiritual significance of these mountains in Hindu mythology.
- Trek from Khulara to Tali Dhar, covering an estimated distance of 7 kilometers.
- Progress onwards to the captivating Gorson Bugyal, encompassing an additional distance of around 7 kilometres.
- Witness the grandeur of the Himalayas, with Nanda Devi dominating the skyline. Feel the deep spiritual connection to the region as you learn about its significance in Hindu history and mythology.
- Conclude your day with a taxi ride back to Joshimath, covering a distance of about 20 kilometres.
- Journey back to Rishikesh, which is roughly 250 kilometres from Joshimath, marking the conclusion of your remarkable trekking adventure.
Why We Love Kuari Pass Trek?
The Kuari Pass Trek in the Garhwal Himalayas is like a super cool adventure for many reasons. First, you get to walk through really amazing forests, like from Dhak to Gulling and Khulara to Tali Dhar.
Then, you reach these huge open meadows, which they call ‘bugyals.’ Going to Kuari Top and the pass itself is like entering a magical land, especially when it’s covered in snow in winter!
But the best part is the views of the big, big mountains. You get to see peaks like Hathi Ghoda Parvat and Dronagiri Parvat. The most special one is Nanda Devi, it’s like a mountain goddess. If you love taking pictures, you’ll have a blast!
And guess what? This trek has stories from history and old tales, which makes it even more interesting. It’s like going on a real-life adventure and discovering hidden secrets along the way!
Nanda Devi: As you embark on the Kuari Pass Trek, you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring presence of Nanda Devi, India’s second-highest mountain. Its towering stature and snow-covered peaks glisten brilliantly in the sunlight, making it a true Himalayan icon. Nanda Devi isn’t just a mountain; it’s a sacred symbol, believed to be the dwelling place of Goddess Nanda Devi.
Dronagiri Parbat: Along the trek, you’ll encounter the striking Dronagiri Parbat, known for its distinctive pyramidal shape. This natural wonder adds an element of drama to the mountain scenery, with its sharp, pointed summit seemingly reaching for the sky. Dronagiri Parbat is like a work of art sculpted by nature.
Hathi Parbat and Ghori Parbat: The journey also unveils the captivating twin peaks of Hathi Parbat and Ghori Parbat, resembling an elephant and its calf. These peaks create a backdrop that’s both unique and awe-inspiring. The trek offers one of the most breathtaking views of Hathi Parbat, allowing you to witness the entire mountain in all its grandeur.
Map Of The Trail
Price Inclusion & Exclusion
- Accommodation: Enjoy comfortable stays during your trek with accommodation in hotels, guesthouses, or dormitories, offered on a twin, triple, or dormitory sharing basis. When camping, rest in spacious tents on a double or triple sharing basis.
- Meals: We provide nourishing and delicious vegetarian meals. Our meals are designed to keep you energized throughout the trek.
- Camping Fees/Permits: All necessary trekking permits and woodland camping fees are included in the package, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
- Trek Equipment: We provide essential trekking equipment, including dining tents, kitchen tents, sleeping tents with mattresses, and sleeping bags. Utensils, ropes, micro-spikes, and gaiters (if required) are also part of our equipment offerings.
- Mules and Porters: Mules and porters are available to carry central equipment, easing your load and allowing you to focus on the trek.
- Qualified Team: Our team comprises experienced and qualified guides, cooks, helpers, and porters who are dedicated to making your trek safe and enjoyable.
- Basic First Aid: A basic first aid kit with an oxygen cylinder and a helmet (if required) is available to address any potential health concerns during the trek.
- Expert Assistance: You can always reach out to our experts for any queries or assistance during your trekking journey. Simply contact us at +91-8089693825.
- Transportation: Transportation from Rishikesh to the basecamp and back to Rishikesh is not included in the package.
- Backpack Offloading: If you prefer to offload your backpack, an additional fee of INR 1050 per bag applies.
- Mules or Porters for Personal Bags: The service of mules or porters to carry personal bags is not included and can be arranged at an extra cost.
- Emergency Costs: Any expenses arising from emergencies during the trek are not included in the package.
- Tips: Tips for the trekking team are optional and not included in the package.
- Items Not Mentioned: Any expenses or items not mentioned in the inclusion section are not covered.
- Stay at Rishikesh: Accommodation and meals in Rishikesh on the last day of the trek are not included.
- Meals During Transportation: Meals during transportation are not included.
- GST: A 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applicable and not included in the package.
Things To Carry
- 45-60 Ltr Bag Pack With Rain Cover & Comfortable Straps: Choose A Spacious Backpack With A Rain Cover And Comfortable Straps To Carry Your Essentials.
- Hot & Cold Water Bottle Like Borosil & Milton: Stay Hydrated With Hot And Cold Water Bottles, Such As Borosil And Milton, To Keep Your Beverages At The Right Temperature.
- Snacks Like Energy Bar, Dry Fruits & ORS: Pack Energy-Boosting Snacks Like Energy Bars, Dry Fruits, And ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) To Keep Your Energy Levels Up During The Trek.
- Personal Medical Kit: Bring A Personal Medical Kit With Essential Supplies For Any Minor Health Concerns That May Arise.
- At Least 3/4 Full Sleeves (Non-Cotton): Opt For Non-Cotton Full-Sleeve Shirts To Protect Your Arms From The Elements.
- 1 Full Fleece T-Shirt: A Fleece T-Shirt Provides Warmth And Comfort In Chilly Weather.
- 1 Fleece Jacket (Woollen Or Sweater): Keep Warm With A Fleece Jacket Or Woollen Sweater.
- 1 Down Feather/Hollofil Jacket: A Down Feather Or Hollofil Jacket Offers Excellent Insulation Against The Cold.
- 1 Waterproof Jacket/ Poncho: Be Prepared For Rain With A Waterproof Jacket Or Poncho.
- Thermal Inners (Upper And Lower) - 1 Pair: Thermal Inners Provide An Extra Layer Of Warmth.
- 2 Trek Pants (Avoid Shorts & Denim Pants): Trek Pants Are Comfortable And Suitable For Trekking Conditions.
- 1 Pair Waterproof Gloves: Waterproof Gloves Keep Your Hands Dry And Warm.
- 1 Pair Woollen Gloves: Woollen Gloves Provide Additional Warmth.
- 1 Sun Cap: Protect Yourself From The Sun With A Sun Cap.
- 1 Woollen Cap: Keep Your Head Warm With A Woollen Cap.
- 2 Pairs Of Sunglasses (U/V Protected): Sunglasses With UV Protection Shield Your Eyes From Harmful Rays.
- 1 Waterproof & High Ankle Trekking Shoes: Quality Trekking Shoes With Waterproofing And Ankle Support Are Essential.
- 1 Pair Of Floaters: Comfortable Floaters Are Perfect For Resting Your Feet After A Day Of Trekking.
- 4 Pairs Of Cotton Socks: Bring Cotton Socks For Comfort During The Trek.
- 1 Pair Of Woollen Socks: Woollen Socks Provide Warmth In Cold Conditions.
- Hand Sanitizer & Sunscreen Lotion: Maintain Hygiene With Hand Sanitizer And Protect Your Skin With Sunscreen Lotion.
- Toothbrush And Toothpaste: Basic Dental Hygiene Items Are A Must.
- Toilet Paper And Wet Wipes: Carry Toilet Paper And Wet Wipes For Convenience During The Trek.
- Quick Dry Towel: A Quick-Dry Towel Is Compact And Useful For Freshening Up.
- Lip Balm & Antibacterial Powder: Protect Your Lips With Lip Balm And Maintain Hygiene With Antibacterial Powder.
- 2 Neck Gaiters (Buff): Neck Gaiters, Like Buffs, Keep Your Neck And Face Covered.
- Moisturizer: Keep Your Skin Moisturized In Varying Weather Conditions.
How To Reach
Best Time To Travel
Your choice depends on your preference: whether you prefer the vibrant green meadows or the snow-blanketed mountains.
If you desire a snowy trek, the ideal months are December, January, and February, when you can traverse the snow-covered trail. Many opt for winter treks here because they are comparatively less challenging than some other treks in Uttarakhand.
On the other hand, if you want to immerse yourself in lush green meadows, plan your trek for May, June, and September.
You have the opportunity to explore Kuari Pass during all four seasons, each offering its own unique beauty: Autumn, Spring, Summer, and Winter.
Note: We would advise against planning your trek for August and September due to the rainy weather during that period.
More Info about Kuari Pass
This trail is renowned among trekkers with a penchant for history, as it's often referred to as the Lord Curzon Trail. Lord Curzon, who served as the Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, is believed to be the first explorer of this region.
Why is the name ‘Kuari’ Pass?
According to local beliefs, Goddess Parvati, prior to her marriage to Lord Shiva, engaged in meditation at this very location. Lord Shiva, residing on Mount Neelkanth, which lies directly across from the Kuari Pass trail, was deeply impressed by Goddess Parvati's unwavering devotion and determination. Consequently, he agreed to marry her and brought her with him. Because Goddess Parvati was unmarried at the time, the trail came to be known as 'Kuari,' which means "Bachelor" in Hindi.
Story of Lord Hanuman on Dronagiri Parvat:
According to the Ramayana, during a critical moment when Lord Lakshman, the younger brother of Lord Ram, was wounded by Meghanada, the physician Vaidya Sushen requested Lord Hanuman to retrieve a medicinal plant known as Sanjeevani. This miraculous herb could only be found in the Himalayas. Devoted to Lord Ram, Hanuman embarked on the mission but faced a challenge.
Unsure of how Sanjeevani looked, he decided to uproot the Dronagiri mountain in Uttarakhand and carry it back with him. This act has led to a unique tradition in the Dronagiri region, where Lord Hanuman is not worshipped. Even today, during the Dussehra celebration, when they do Ramleela, the part involving Lord Hanuman is omitted, and the reenactment proceeds without mentioning him.
Nanda Devi Parvat (Adobe of Nanda Devi):
The majestic Nanda Devi peak stands at an impressive elevation of approximately 25,646 feet above sea level. Along the Kuari Pass trail, you'll catch your first glimpse of this peak at Joshimath, and as you continue to Gorson Bugyal, you'll be treated to an even clearer and more panoramic view of this towering mountain from its summit to its base.
Nanda Devi holds profound spiritual significance in Hindu history and mythology, primarily due to the reverence of Goddess Nanda Devi and the Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra, which occurs every 12 years.
This remarkable pilgrimage covers a distance of approximately 280 kilometres, with devotees embarking on the journey barefoot. The people of Garhwal and Kumaon regions hold this peak in high esteem, worshipping it as Maa Nanda Devi, considered an incarnation of Goddess Parvati.
In the Kuari Pass region, you'll discover a fascinating variety of plants and trees. One of them is Taxus wallichiana, known locally as 'Thuner.' People in Uttarakhand use it to make medicinal tea because it can help with pain, coughs, colds, and even weight loss.
The oak trees are quite diverse, with around 500 species, and they have many uses. Some are used for making furniture and ships, while others have medicinal properties.
Within the oak family, Green Oaks are used in building wood-framed structures, and Golden Oaks get their name from the beautiful golden leaves they have in the fall.
You'll also come across Rhododendron flowers, called "Buransh," which are used to make sweet juice. Besides being tasty, they have health benefits like reducing inflammation and helping with various health issues.
Lastly, there's the Himalayan Birch, or "Bhoj Patra," which was even used as paper in the past. These tall trees have medicinal properties too, and they've been used to treat wounds, stop bleeding, and manage conditions like diarrhoea.
The Kuari Pass Trek offers a chance to encounter the fascinating fauna of the Himalayas. While trekking through this pristine wilderness, keep an eye out for the elusive Himalayan fox and the formidable Himalayan bear. Graceful Himalayan deer may cross your path, and if you're exceptionally lucky, you might spot the rare and vibrantly coloured Monal bird.
In the skies above, the majestic Himalayan Griffon soars, while Wild boars add their presence to the forest soundscape. And though it's a very rare sighting, the enigmatic snow leopard, a true symbol of the untamed Himalayan wilderness, might make a fleeting appearance, leaving trekkers in awe of the rich biodiversity of the region.
Badrinath, one of India's four prominent pilgrimage sites, is situated at an elevation of approximately 10,800 feet. The temple, towering at a height of around 50 feet, is attributed to the 8th-century philosopher Adi Shankaracharya and primarily enshrines Lord Vishnu.
2. Narsingh Devta Temple (Joshimath):
The Narsingh Devta Temple is situated approximately half a kilometre away from Joshimath, positioned in the lower market area of Joshimath. During the winter months, this temple assumes the role of housing the immense idol of Lord Badrivishal when the main doors of the Badrinath Temple remain closed. According to legend, it is believed that as the Kalyug era progresses, the right arm of Lord Narsingh's idol will gradually lower, potentially leading to the blockage of the routes to Badrinath.
3. Valley of Flowers:
The Valley of Flowers holds the prestigious distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it boasts a magnificent landscape adorned with vibrant meadows. A visit to this heavenly location is akin to stepping into paradise. This expansive valley stretches across an area of 87 square kilometres in Chamoli, Uttarakhand.
Within this enchanting landscape, you'll encounter a profusion of over 600 species of blooming flowers, including marigolds, daisies, primulas, poppies, orchids, and numerous others. The discovery of this valley can be attributed to Frank S Smythe, a British mountaineer, who, along with two fellow mountaineers, stumbled upon it in 1931 while exploring the mountains and losing their way. The best time to experience the valley's full splendour is from July to September.
4. Adi Shankaracharya Math (Joshimath):
Famously called Jyotirmath, this monastery was established by Jagatguru Adi Shankaracharya ji and his disciples. This monastery or math is just half a kilometre away from the Joshimath Bus stand.
5. Pangarchulla peak:
You can see the Pangarchulla peak from the trail to Kuari Pass. The Height of the Pangarchulla peak is around 15069 feet. You may find it a difficult trek in winter, and if you want to up your level of trekking from easy, then you can try this one. It is one of the most beautiful treks in the Garhwal region.
6. Gorson Bugyal:
Gorson Bugyal comes on the way to Kuari Pass, and from Gorson Bugyal, the vistas of the Nanda Devi peak become even more breathtaking, and you'll also be treated to a sight of the renowned Dronagiri mountain, positioned right next to Mount Nanda Devi. Beholding these two sacred mountains, steeped in Hindu mythology and historical significance, is an unforgettable experience.
7. Bagini Glacier trek:
The trek to Bagini Glacier starts from Jumma village, which is just an hour away if you are riding from Joshimath. The famous Dronagiri village will also come in between while you do this trek. To explore the glacier with a little less difficulty, you can try this trek.
The difficulty level of this trek is considered moderately easy, and you shouldn't encounter significant challenges if you have a good BMI and are in good physical condition.
While the trek is accessible to most hikers, it does present some challenges. The terrain can be steep and rocky in places, and if you want to shoot something with your camera, just do it with less risk, keeping the terrain in mind.
Altitude sickness is a potential concern as you ascend to higher altitudes. Proper acclimatisation and fitness are essential. Additionally, weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so be prepared for sudden temperature drops and unexpected rain or snow.
The total distance of the Kuari Pass trek is approximately 25km.
The highest point of the Kuari trek is 3,815m (12,516ft).
It depends on the season: in winter, it can go as low as -8 degree Celsius.
In summer, the average temperature varies between 19-29 degree Celsius.
Most people prefer winter as the best time for the trek of Kuari Pass, which is from December to February.
The difficulty level of the Kuari pass trek is moderate.
Auli, Valley of Flowers, Hemkund Sahib, Dronagiri, Badrinath.
Nanda Devi Peak and Dronagiri Peak, these peaks can be clearly visible if the weather is good. But the view of Hathi Parbat is the mountain that will take your breath away as it seems like it is just standing right in front of you.
Joshimath is a well-connected town, and you will find many transport vehicles from Dehradun. The nearest railway station from Joshimath is Rishikesh and Dehradun Railway station, and the nearest airport is in Jolly Grant, near Rishikesh.
No, there are no charging points during the trek and we would like to suggest that you should charge all your gadgets one night before going on the trek at Joshimath.
Lord Curzon discovered Kuari Pass in 1905.
You will get snow at Kuari Pass from late November or early December till February.
The nearest ATM to the Kuari pass is in Joshimath. But we would suggest you take some cash from Rishikesh as it will be safer for you.
The last known charging point to the Kuari Pass trek is Joshimath, and we suggest you charge all your gadgets at Joshimath.