The east flanks of Nanda Devi (7816 metres) the highest mountain in India, affords some of the most spectacular trekking in the Indian Himalaya. An undiscovered region known to only a handful of trekkers. The Milam Valley is ringed by a host of 7000 metre peaks that extend to the borderlands of Tibet. It marked an ancient trading trail into Tibet as well as the backdoor route followed by the famous \'Pundits\' the 19th century explorers who surveyed the blanks on the Tibet map. One of the most beautiful and rewarding treks in this region, offering stunning close-up views of the India\'s second Highest Peak-Nanda Devi (7822 mts) and surrounding mountains. We trek in the outer sanctuary of Nanda Devi, with its abundance of flora & fauna.\''
Region: Garhwal Himalayas
Altitude: 4500 m above Sea Level
Timings: Mid-April to Mid-November
Day 01: Delhi-Almora (350 km)
Early morning drive/by train to Almora takes about 7 hrs. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 02: Almora-Munsyari (180 km)
Although it is only 180 km to Munsyari the spectacular drive through the Himalayan foothills will take around nine hours! Munsyari is a small town in a spectacular setting with uninterrupted views of the towering peaks of the Panchchuli Range. Overnight hotel.
Day 03: Trek to Lilam (3 hours)
We commence our trek to the tiny village of Lilam (1750 metres) located at the dramatic entrance to the Gori Ganga Gorge. This is a short stage to allow time to organise the porter loads.
Day 04: Trek to Bodgwar (5 to 6 hours)
Trekking high above the churning waters of the Gori Ganga our trail leads through this remarkable gorge that defines the main axis of the Himalaya before entering a mixed oak and conifer forest to the small camping area of Bodgwar (2430 metres).
Day 05: Trek to Railkot (5 to 6 hours)
Continuing through the upper sections of the gorge the trail ascends gradually to a series of settlements including Railkot (3100 metres) and our first glimpse of the towering peaks to the north defining the border between India and Tibet.
Day 06: Trek to Martoli and onto Lwanl camp (4 to 5 hours)
Beyond Railkot the Milam valley widens and the trail cuts across open meadows to the settlement of Martoli(3430 metres). In its heyday until 1962 when the border with Tibet was closed, the village supported several hundred people in the summer time. Now it is practically deserted. From Martoli we gain fine views north to the towering 7000 metre peaks at the head of the Milam Glacier, we also glimpse the summit of Nanda Devi East at the head of the Lwanl gorge. It is a further two hours trek onto the alpine camp at Lwanl.
Day 07: Trek towards the Nanda Devi East Base Camp (6 to 7 hours)
The trail up the Lwanl Gorge is in places nothing more than a goat track. Care should be taken to traverse the numerous steep gullies high above the Lwanl river. We plan to camp on a shepherd meadow known as Naspanpatti (3950 metres) about two hours below the Nanda Devi East Base Camp.
Day 08: Trek to Nanda Devi East base camp (2 hours)
It will take a couple of hours to ascend the grassy ridges leading to the spectacular Nanda Devi East Base camp (4150 metres). Ringed by high mountains the alpine camp in the shadow of Nanda Devi East (7434 metres). We spend the rest of the day relaxing and savouring these unsurpassed views of this little visited corner in the inner Himalaya.
Day 09: At Nanda Devi base camp
We gain vantage points about 500 metres above our camp to appreciate the route to the famous Longstaff Col and the historic Traills Pass. We also gain unsurpassed views of the many other peaks that form the rim of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. There is also the possibility on this stage of seeing the rare blue sheep making their way down towards their winter pastures.
Day 10: Return to Lwanl (6 to 7 hours)
From the Nanda Devi East Base Camp we return directly to Lwanl.
Day 11: To Milam (7 hours)
From Lwanl it takes less than a couple of hours to reach Martoli. From there we follow a well defined trail leading through the settlement of Burfu (3200 metres) before a long gradual haul to the large sprawling settlement of Milam (3450 metres). Until 1962 villagers set out regularly throughout the summer to trade in Tibet. Indeed you are less than one day's walk from the border of Tibet.
Day 12: At Milam
A full day is reserved to ascend the Milam Glacier and appreciate the impressive peaks including the 7000 metre peaks of Hardeol and Tirsull.
Day 13: To base of Brijganga Dhura (7 hours)
From Milam we set off early to appreciate the classic twin peak profile of Nanda Devi (7816 metres). This can also be a tiring stage for beyond Burfu we follow a less well-defined trail before ascending alpine meadows to the base of the Brijganga Dhura (3700 metres) and the route to the Ralam Valley. If it is clear we gain magnificent views from camp that take in many of the 7000 peaks in the vicinity of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary as well as the twin peaks of Nanda Devi.
Day 14: Cross Brijganga Dhura to Ralam (5 to 6 hours)
It is about three hours from camp to the summit of the Brijanga Dhura (4570 metres). En route we gain a birds eye view of the upper Milam Valley and many of the peaks that define the border with Tibet. A steep descent across alpine meadows and conifer forest leads to our camp just below the tiny village of Ralam (3600 metres).
Day 16: To Ralam Glacier
We ascend the glacial moraine at the head of the Ralam Ganga to complete a challenging foray that will underline while the area is ripe for exploration.
Day 17: To forest camp (6 hours)
We head down the Ralam Gorge to a delightful clearing (2300 metres) amid conifer and oak forest.
Day 18: To Lilam (6 to 7 hours)
We complete a 300 metre ascent from where we appreciate the lower gorge section of the Gori Ganga and the trail we followed on the second stage of our trek. Descending through a series of faming villages, we cross a bridge over the Gori Ganga to camp at Lilam.
Day 19: Trek to Munsyari (2 to 3 hours)
We complete the ascent to the road head and the short drive to Munsyari. A short stage allowing us time to explore the marketplace and outlying villages of Munsyari and to gain one last memorable view of the Panchchuli peaks.
Day 20: Munsyari - Naini Tal (280 km)
A full days drive to the scenic hill resort of Naini Tal. Nainital as carved the epithet of "lake district" of India
Day 21: Naini Tal
A rest day to take walks around the famous lake and catch up on life in this charming Indian hill resort.
Day 22: Drive to Delhi
In the morning after breakfast drive/by train. Lunch enroute. On arrival at Delhi transfer to airport to catch your onwards flight.