Uttarakhand: Curzon’s Trail
Trip Code: AITUCT
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The Kuari Pass Trek, also known as Curzon’s Trail after Lord Curzon’s expedition to this region in 1905, is a 12 day Uttarakhand trek through dense forests of oak, pine, cedar, birch and rhododendron, as well as wide open flower-filled meadows typical of this region.
Spectacular views of snow clad Himalayan peaks, including the famous Nanda Devi, are on offer throughout the trek.
Trekking in Uttarakhand is best undertaken between mid May to mid June and early October to mid November. The Kuari Pass trek is moderate to strenuous, with many ascents and descents, reaching a maximum altitude of 3650 metres. It comprises an overnight train journey, two nights in hotels and 11 nights camping with full trek facilities, including a guide, cook and helpers. This is a truly unforgettable experience of Himalayan India.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and discussion about the fitness requirements of the trek.
Day 1 Delhi
Arrive in Delhi in the morning and check in to your hotel for the day. Spend the afternoon at leisure, or do some sightseeing, before transferring to the station to board the overnight sleeper train to Kathgodam. [Image: Carol Mitchell].
Day 2 Kausani
The train reaches Kathgodam at 6:00am. After breakfast, drive to the picturesque hill station of Kausani, arriving by lunchtime. Kausani – which boasts having been Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite spot in the mountains – affords panoramic views of the Himalaya which include Nanda Devi, Trisul and the Panchchuli range of mountains. Afternoon at leisure / acclimatization; overnight in a hotel.
Day 3 Wan
This morning commence a long but scenic drive of approximately 5 hours to the trail head at Wan (2400m), a large village and your camp for the night. The crew will have set up camp there by the time of your arrival.
Day 4 Bedni Bugyal
Today enjoy a 5 hour walk through oak and rhododendron forests. Cross the Neel Ganga stream, and climb above the treeline, trekking through expansive meadows to the lovely campsite at Bedni Bugyal (3400m). Carpeted with flowers during the summer months, it provides excellent close views of Nanda Ghunti and Trisul and distant views of the Gangotri range and the Chaukhamba group of peaks.
Day 5 Bedni Bugyal
Take an 8 hour excursion to the highest point on the ridge at Kalwavinayak (4200m) marked by a stone statue of the Hindu elephant god, Ganesha. Skeletal remains of human pilgrims and horses, discovered some 200 to 600 years ago, can still be seen here. Snow conditions permitting – the more adventurous can make the long haul to Rup Kund and back (10 – 12 hours).
Day 6 Kanol
Backtrack to Wan, climbing gradually to Kankuni Khal pass, surrounded by thick forests. From here it is an easy descent to camp above the village of Kanol (2300m) – a 5 to 6 hour trek. If the weather is clear it is worth going up to the ridge (3900m) for excellent views of the Himalayan peaks, before the descent to camp (8 hours via the ridge).
Day 7 Sitail
An easy day of about 4 to 5 hours of walking – past the stone and slate buildings of the village of Kanol, terraced fields of wheat and amaranthus (flowering bright red in autumn) following a path through dense forests of oak and rhododendron, where wild orchids grow. Descend to the river and trek to the outskirts of Sitail village (1750m). Camp by the river bank.
Day 8 Ghunni
Today is a longish day of about 6 ½ hours trekking. The route, following a good wide path, gets steep at some stages, as you gradually climb, passing several villages. The village of Ghunni (2350m) is fairly large and the camp is located at a pretty scenic site near the village school.
Day 9 Jhenjipani
Begin today’s 6 to 7 hour trek with a steep climb up a rocky path to the meadows, from where the climb becomes more gradual up to the top of Ramni Pass (3080m). From the pass it is a steep descent through forests with some small clearings to Semkhar, continuing on to the camp in the small village of Jhenjipani(2075m).
Day 10 Pana
This morning’s 4 to 5 hour trek descends from camp to the suspension bridge across the Brithi Ganga river, crossing it to make a steep zig zag climb out of the narrow valley to a ridge at 2300m. The path levels out and contours around to the next camp above the village of Pana with its slate-roofed dwellings and corn, maize and mustard fields. (2700m).
Day 11 Dhakwani
Climbing a gradual trail, follow the ridge through forest for about 1 ½ hours before descending to another valley from where you get a glimpse of Kuari Pass. The trail opens to the large meadow of Siyartoli, where it descends to a stream before climbing steeply on a good zig zag path just above the treeline. (4 to 5 hours). [Image: Anirban Biswas].
Day 12 Chitra Kantha
Today’s 6 hour trek begins with a climb up a steep path to a col providing dramatic views of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary to the east, and the peaks of Kedarnath and Badrinath to the west. Continue to Kuari Pass (3650m),described by Eric Shipton as “One of the grandest mountain views in the world”. Descend to camp in the meadows of Chitra Kantha (3200m).
Day 13 Auli
Commence today’s 5 to 6 hour trek by descending a fairly narrow trail which traverses the hillside with superb views of Nanda Devi. The trail then opens up to wide flower carpeted meadows as you reach the ski slopes of Gorsain, and continues through forests to the scenic ski resort of Auli, a lovely place to end this wonderful trek. [Image: Anirban Biswas].
Day 14 Rishikesh
This morning begin the long – 8 to 9 hour – scenic drive to Rishikesh, passing through the pilgrimage towns of Nandprayag, Karanprayag, Rudraprayag and Devprayag. In the evening you can watch the ‘aarti’ ceremony by the bank of the Ganges, where devotees chant hymns and set afloat lighted diyas (lamps).
Day 15 Delhi
Situated on the banks of the Ganges, Rishikesh, is a popular pilgrim and meditation centre. Spend the morning sightseeing here before embarking on the 6 ½ to 7 hour drive to Delhi, where your trip ends.
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