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Holy Lakes on the Shepherd’s Trail, Dharamsala to Chamba over Indrahar Pass


Holy Lakes on the Shepherd’s Trail

Dharamsala to Chamba over Indrahar Pass (10 Days)

Trek Type: Easy to moderate

The most popular point atop Dhauladhar range of mountains, Indrahar Pass standing tall at 4342 metres (14,245 ft) above mean sea level, above famous tourist town of Dharamsala links Kangra valley to Chamba region. The trek provides an opportunity to walk on the ancient trail of Gaddi Shepherds who have been using this trek for over 700 years to take their flock for summer grazing in high verdant pastures of Raavi and Lahaul valleys.

Walking on this trail brings forth varied vistas of beautiful scenery to the trekker. Climb through scented shade of the deodars and masses of rhododendrons to the open meadows of Triund (2875 mts), a paradise that leaves you with an extraordinary sense of calm. Standing atop Indrahar, stunning views of snow-covered Pir Panjal and greater Himalayas to the north and amazing Indian plains in the south till the far horizon leave you awestruck. The divine experience of following the trails leading to sacred lakes of Nag Dal, Chandrakup and Lam Dal, which is the largest lake in Dhauladhars, brings you closer to Abode of God. Finally visit Bharmour, the ancient capital of Chamba, popularly known as Shiva Bhumi, abode of lord Shiva and its Chaurasi (84) temples dating back to 7th century. Lying between Ravi and Chenab valleys, this land is blessed with deep beauty of abundant alpine pastures and provides home for nomadic shepherds. Orchards and terraced farms fill up the foothills. The ancient history, culture and its ethnic traditions make Bharmour the perfect divine splendor.


Day 1

Arrival in Dharamsala, Transfer to Hotel in Mcleodgunj. Spend few hours walking around the town to acclimatize yourself to the surroundings. Walk to famous Buddhist monastery and Bhagsunag waterfalls. O/n Hotel.

Day 2: Mcleodganj (2082 Mts) to Triund (2875 Mts), 9 Km, 4 hours

A 10 minutes’ drive to Dharamkot followed by short steep hike to Galu temple. Further up a well-defined and easy trail, passes through forest of oak, rhododendron and deodar tress. Interesting cafes en route, Triund is like a table top flat meadow overlooking snowy peaks. Reach Triund by late afternoon. O/n Camp.

Day 3: Triund to Lahesh Cave (3500 Mts), 6km, 4 hours

After a short gradual ascent from Triund, we walk through Illaqua, from where the snow line starts. Illaqua Gote is a temporary shepherd camp situated at the snout of small glacier. A steep ascent of 2 km leads us to rocky ridge surrounded by amazing slate and rock cave formations. This place is called Lahesh cave. The natural caves are used as temporary dwellings by Shepherds during their movements with their herd in summers. O/n Camp.

Day 4: Lahesh Cave to Nag Dal (3950 Mts) over Indrahar Pass (4342 Mts), 8 Km, 7 hours

Start early in the morning, since clouds begin to engulf Dhauladhars by afternoon. Climb the steep trail and try to reach Indrahar pass by 11AM. Make the most of it by obtaining captivating views while being at the top of Indrahar pass, the highest Pass in Dhauladhar. Follow the long descent on the other side and reach Nag Dal Lake dedicated to Nag Devta (A Serpent deity in Hindu Mythology). O/n Camp besides the lake.

Day 5: Nag Dal to Chandrakoop (4100 Mts), 10 km, 6 hours

Today’s trek descends gradually through a series of boulder strewn fields. The narrow watershed ridge gives way to a climb to cross the second series of moraine ridge. Reach Chandrakoop Lake by early evening. Chandrakoop, the Moon Lake is a beautiful lake with ice blocks floating on it during most of the summers. O/n Camp by the lake.

Day 6. Chandrakoop to Lam Dal (3900 mts) to Kali Kund (3780 mts), 7 Kms, 3 hours

Among all the glacial lakes in the Dhauladhars, Lam Dal is the biggest with a circumference of about 2.5 km. It is a very sacred lake and considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva. Walking down to Lam dal takes only couple of hours. Spend quality time here relishing the beauty of the place, take the dip if you like. Walk down further to reach kali Kund Lake by the evening. O/n Camp by Kali Kund Lake.

Day 7. Kali Kund to Darkund (1800 mts), 15 Kms, 7 hours

Walk on the steep downhill trail of about two Kms along the stream coming out of Lam dal. Follow the gradual descent along a stream leading into the valley, reach Darkund by late afternoon. Nestled in a thick forest, surrounded by wilderness, across the Dhauladhars, it is that little jewel which every trekker must know about. O/n Camp near the Forest rest house.

Day 8. Darkund to Dunali, 9 kms, 2 hours and drive to Bharmour, 40 Kms, 1 hour

Two hours of easy downhill walk takes you to the village of Dunali situated on the road leading to Bharmour. Reach Bharmour by afternoon. Check in Hotel. Relax and visit Chaurasi temple complex in the evening. Life of people in Bharmour centres around the temple complex-Chaurasi, named so because of 84 shrines built in the periphery of Chaurasi Temple built around 1400 years ago. The beautiful Shikhara style temple of Manimahesh occupies the center of the complex. Many temples retain the old architectural features of wooden temples. They are carved beautifully with classical motifs and floral work. Entrance doors and pillars are richly carved. The Chaurasi is partly shaded by huge Cedar tree, which is visible from great distance away. It grows near the Manimahesh temple. It is regarded as sacred and no branch of it has ever been cut down. Experience the divinity of the place. O/n Hotel.

Day 9. Drive from Bharmour to Khajjiar (1900 mts), 85 kms, 5 hours

Relaxed morning followed Check out. Drive to Chamba town. Visit famous rock cut temple of Laxmi Narayan and Bhuri singh Museum which is treasure of Chamba’s cultural past, crafts, arts and other ancient artifacts. Reach Khajiar by late afternoon. Enjoy the serenity of this lovely meadow. O/n Hotel.

Day 10. Drive to Dharamsala, 122 kms, 5 hours

Khajjiar is beautiful saucer shaped green meadow surrounded by thick forest on all sides. It has a rare combination of three ecosystems: lake, pasture and forest, all in one place. Relaxed morning in its refreshing environs. Drive to reach Dharamshala in the evening. Board the Volvo bus or hire the cab for onward/return journey.

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