Buran Ghati Trek - 7 Days

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SHORT ITINERARY

  • Day 1: Reach Diude/Janglik; 9-10 hours drive from Shimla. Transport will be organised from Old Bus Stand in Shimla at 6.30 AM. Cost of cab will be Rs. 6,500/- per vehicle
  • Day 2: Diude/Janglik (9,200 ft) to Dayara (11,075 ft), 5 hours
  • Day 3: Dayara (11,075 ft) to Litham (11,737 ft), 3 hours
  • Day 4: Excursion to Chandranahan Lake (13,900 ft), 4-5 hours
  • Day 5: Litham (11,737 ft) to Dhunda (13,365 ft), 4-5 hours
  • Day 6: Dhunda (13,365 ft) to River campsite (11,800 ft) via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft), 9-10 hours
  • Day 7: River campsite (11,800 ft) to Barua (6,700 ft), 5 hours
  • Day 8: Buffer Day

If the buffer day is used,  you have to pay us Rs. 2,500 per day (INR) +5% GST. The money will be collected by the Trek Leader only if we use the buffer day. This depends completely on the weather conditions on the trek and the call will be taken by the trek leader.

Transport from Barua to Shimla will be arranged to start at 1.00 PM. You will reach Shimla around 10.30 pm. Please factor in the buffer day in your travel plans – book your onward journey from Shimla only after Day 8.

The stay on all days during the trek is in tents (3 per tent).

Buran Ghati is a hidden gem. If you pack in the great parts of all our best treks in one superb trek you get Buran Ghati. Arguably, Buran Ghati also has the most thrilling pass crossing amongst all our treks. Trekkers need to rappel down a snow wall at 15,000 ft! If that thrill is not enough, there are five big snow slides to do. Even the most sober trekker rediscovers an inner child in him on the Buran Ghati trek!

The trek has forests, grasslands, mountain views, even village settings. At the fag end of the trek, descending through Barua village is a never ending passage through time.

Day 1
The trek

The base camp of the Buran Ghati trek is Janglik. The drive from Shimla takes you past Rohru, from where the road follows the blue waters of the Pabbar river. In an exquisite journey, the road climbs gracefully along the Pabbar, the scenery changing rapidly. From square wheat fields along the river and beautiful Himachali homes, you drive past pretty villages and mixed forests until till you get to the pine forests around Tonglu.

The motorable road at Tikri, just after Chirgaon, turns left and becomes an absolute dirt track for the rest of the way. It takes two hours along the dirt track to get to Tonglu. At Tonglu, the dirt track drops down to the river, crosses the Pabbar and climbs to Diude in swift switchbacks. Janglik is a short walk from Diude.

Altitude: 9,200 ft (2,804 m)

Time taken: 9-10 hours from Shimla. Pick up vehicles will be arranged to leave from Shimla at 6.30 am.

Day 2
Diude/Janglik to Dayara

Altitude: 9,200 ft (2,804 m) to 11,075 ft (3,376 m)

Time taken: 5 hrs

Trek gradient: Moderate. Around 75 minutes of ascent followed by a 15 minute flat walk. Gradual ascent into a forest for about 30 minutes followed by a gradual descent for about an hour in the meadows ending with a gradual ascent through a forest.

Water sources: Carry 1 litre of water from Janglik. There are sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.

Today’s trek is perhaps the most beautiful first day of any trek that you will walk on. Climb out of Diude past the superbly crafted wheat fields – lined by beautiful wooden farm houses on their edges — some of them with attractive roofs in red and green. In fifteen minutes the last huts of Diude are behind you. The climb, though beautiful, gains altitude rapidly. In an hour, step on a ledge and look behind you for a commanding view of Diude, Tonglu and other villages.

The ledge under a pine tree is a wonderful place to take a break. Fifteen minutes later, past a clearing on your right, the trail climbs into a oak and pine forest. Getting deeper into the forest, the steep trail levels off to remain a gradual pleasant climb. The trail through the forest is just the treat that you needed after the long climb. Under the shady trees of the forest, streams running across the trail, brings a bounce to your step.

Half hour later, the trail pops out of the tree line into a vast expanse of meadows climbing into the hills to your left. The sudden change in scenery is startling. It takes time to soak in the view of the climbing meadows to your left and the dark shadowy tree line of the pines to your right. Ahead, the white snow patches that still remain in the folds of the cliffs opposite the Pabbar compliment the view to an extent that is hard to believe.

The trail out of the tree line descends gradually, skirting the top of the pines. The trail is well defined and broad. Almost an hour later, the trail enters another magnificent forest of pine and oak — this time thicker and denser. The walk on the dark moist earth and the brown carpet of leaves strewn over them is a moment to be cherished. Through the forest, the trail climbs gradually before popping out of it again in another half hour.

Day 3
Dayara to Litham

Altitude: 11,075 (3,376 m) ft to 11,737 ft (3,577 m)

Time taken: 3 hours

Trek gradient: Easy. Starts with a gentle ascent for about 15 minutes followed by a stream crossing. Gradual ascent through a pine forest and meadows for about an hour followed by a gentle descent through a Silver birch forest and finally across meadows.

Water sources: Carry 1 litre of water from Dayara. There are sources along the trail to refill your water bottles.

Start your day exploring the Dayara meadows. It looks most glamorous as it soaks up the golden glow of the morning sun. A walk on the meadows early in the morning needs to be savoured by every trekker.

The trail from Dayara to Litham will take you through dense forests, wide green meadows, gushing streams, and little brooks as you gain an altitude of 737 feet in 3 hours. The trail traverses across the meadows towards the Gunas Pass. A gently ascending trail enters another clump of pine forest fifteen minutes out of the Dayara camp site. Then you get to a stream that needs to be leaped over.

Across the stream, the trail climbs out of the forest and rounds a wide curve to regain the views of the snow capped mountains of the Dhauladhar range and Gunas Pass. Just as the trail takes the curve is a superb scenery of the grasslands leading down from the trail and into the dark depths of pine forests about 300 feet below. Behind the pine forests are snow lined towering cliffs completing a scenery that is perfect in its harmony.

Half hour later the trail dives into another beautiful forest — this time of Silver Birch (Bhoj). The forest is old and the silver birches gnarled with age. Descending gently through the forest leads to another perennial stream in the fold of the mountain. Refresh here and climb out of the fold to your first clear view of Litham.

Across the meadows the trail dips to the Chandranahan stream that you need to cross before throwing down your backpacks at the Litham campsite. There are plenty of brooks running across Litham, choose a flat spot and good views to settle down for the day.

Litham has gorgeous views on three sides. On your left is is the snout of the Chandranahan waterfall, beyond which is the Chandranahan lake. In front are the towering snow clad mountains that hide Buran Ghati but set the heart fluttering in anticipation of a great adventure ahead. On the right are the snow patched cliffs that hide the Rupin valley. The Litham campsite is a dramatic nest, the last of the great meadows of the trek.

Day 4
Excursion to Chandranahan lake

Altitude: 11,737 ft (3,577 m) to 13,900 ft (4,237 m) and back

Time taken: 6-7 hours

Trek gradient: Difficult. 90 minutes of gradual ascent to the snout of the waterfall followed by a steep climb for about an hour. Steep descent on the way back to Litham.

Water sources: Carry 1-1.5 of water from the campsite. There are water sources along the trail.

The Chandranahan lake is a glacial tarn that is perennially fed by snow flanks of mountains that surround it. It is not a very big lake, but getting to it is an exciting journey and extremely rewarding. Cross the stream that you get just before the Litham campsite. Continue upstream on the shepherd’s trail to a ridge top. Walk towards the snout of the waterfall from where the stream emerges. It takes about an hour and a half to get to the snout of the waterfall, marked by beautifully placed stone cairns.

Trekkers usually assume that Chandranahan lake is close to the snout of the waterfall but it is another hour of trek into the glacial valley. The journey to the lake takes a difficult turn the moment you get to the flat at the snout of the waterfall. The closed alpine valley with snow patches all round is a treat. In later June, the valley floor has good amounts of snow but nothing that is difficult to walk on.

The lake is not very big but what it lacks in size, it makes up for it by its setting. Nestled in a bowl like glacial amphitheater, the lake is fed by the snow fields all around. In between are grassy patches that jut out of the snow. Tiny waterfalls that turn into brooks trickle down to the lake from all sides. Lovely arrangements of stone cairns mark the lake. Spend time taking in the sights of the setting before heading back to Litham the way you came. It is a steep descent from the lake to Litham. You must start early in the morning to be back at Litham at lunch.

Day 5
Litham to Dhunda

Altitude: 11,737 ft (4,237 m) to 13,365 ft (4,074 m)

Time taken: 4-5 hours

Trek gradient: Moderate. Gradual ascent for about 1.5 hours followed by a steep ascent all the way to Dhunda.

Water sources: Streams along the trail

Buran Ghati is a trek that can be easy or difficult depending on where you camp for the pass assault. Dhunda at 13,300 ft is perfect. It is a short two hour climb to the pass. The pass is always visible and inspirational. The setting is extraordinary. The Dhauladhar range looms over the trail with the Gunas pass sitting pretty on top of the snowy flanks of the grey mountains. It is a monochrome setting of grey and white in front with the green grasslands of Litham to the left and cliffs of the bordering Rupin valley to the right. The Pabbar is no longer a gently descending stream. It is now a virulent stream descending rapidly. The trail takes a sharper ascent. Continue up the left bank until the trail gets into a U shaped gorge like valley and you get the first view of the Buran Ghati on your left. Take a moment to take in the splendor of the pass and the upcoming thrill of the next day.

Start the climb to Dhunda by following the well marked shepherds’ trail that leads in the general direction of the pass. An hour of climb, perhaps a bit more, will bring you to the ridge top of Dhunda. At Dhunda you get absolutely clear views of Buran Ghati and the trail that leads to it. The camp is in an alpine zone. Snow capped mountains flank the campsite on all sides. Even in late June snow patches are everywhere. If any campsite can give you the beauty of an alpine mountain zone and the thrill of a splendid climb to come, then Dhunda would be voted among the best.

Day 6
Dhunda to River camp via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft)

Altitude: 13,365 ft (4,074 m) to 11,800 ft (3,597 m) via Buran Ghati (15,000 ft/4,572 m)

Time taken: 9-10 hours

Trek gradient: Difficult. Gentle ascent over boulders for about an hour till the base of the pass followed by a hour’s steep climb on snow. Sharp, steep descent on the other side for 100 meters followed by a series of short descents for about 2 hours till the end of the snow line, easing off into a gradual descent.

Water sources: None on the trail till the last 2 hours. Ensure you are well hydrated and carry at least 2 litres of water before starting from Dhunda

In September, the snow melts and it is not difficult to climb the pass. Out of the Dhunda campsite follow the ridge and hop over boulders towards the base of the pass. From the base it is an hour long climb to the top, mostly on snow. Buran Ghati at exactly 15,000 ft is a thrilling climb. It is a narrow ledge on the top. The drop on the other side is sharp and steep.Without the rope, the descent can be risky even with an ice axe. Getting down to the first snow field about 100 metres below the pass is your first objective. Thereafter it is a series of descents over smaller ledges that you can slide down!

Descending on the Buran Ghati trek is quick and very soon you lose all the altitude that you have gained. It takes about 2 hours to get to the end of the snow line. You also lose about 3,000 ft in altitude. Out of the snow line, the descent takes you down a ridge with junipers and lovely flower crested shrubs. The view of the valley in front is lush green as far as the eye can see. Beyond, a long range of mountains tower over the setting. Descend for another hour to get to a stream that needs to be hopped over. Across the stream the first farmers’ huts appear. This is where you camp for the night.

Day 7
River camp to Barua village

Altitude: 11,800 ft (3,597 m) to 6,700 ft (2,042 m)

Time taken: 6 hours

Trek gradient: Easy-moderate; gradual descent for around 4 hours followed by a steep descent.

Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water. There are 3 water sources along the trail

The descent to the Barua village is remarkable for the variety in vegetation and diversity. The trail is full of surprising changes in scenery that makes it an absolute delight. It is difficult to find another trek that has so much diversity while descending. Take the path that logically follows the Barua Khud. Stick to the trail that is broadest and most used. The trail descends rapidly through the high altitude pines, giving way to a mixed forests of other trees.

An hour and half later the trail descends to a large gushing stream thundering to meet the Barua Khud. A makeshift bridge lined with junipers and mud is the only way across. Climbing out of the stream, the trail is greeted with more diverse vegetation.Late in June, lovely purple shrubs line the trail on either side. Further on apricot, peaches tree laden with fruit crowd the trail. An hour later the first apple orchards and signs of civilization await the trekkers. From an overhanging rock on the trail the entire view of the Barua village sitting on the ridge below is breathtaking.

Half an hour later the trail enters Barua village through an arch. It is a long descent through the village as the trail meanders and descends through. Life on the trail comes alive as the simple villagers are happy to see you. They want to hear your stories and invite you to tea. Look out for the grand temple on your right as you continue your descent. From time to time the trail rushes past apple and other fruit orchards.

Once at the heart of the village, the descent is more rapid. In half an hour the trail pops out on to the road bridge over the Barua Khud. Transport will be arranged to leave from Barua to Shimla at 1.00 pm and you will reach Shimla around 10.30 pm.

If you wish to set out on your own, you can wait to get a vehicle to Karcham, which is a junction 3 km ahead or you could simply walk it. Karcham is a junction where roads from Rekong Peo and Sangla meet. The big hydel project by the Jaypee group also starts at Karcham. From Karcham either take a vehicle to Sangla, 17 km away, or to Reckong Peo for more connectivity to Shimla.

Inclusions

  • Expert trek leader and support team
  • Accommodation
  • All meals (delicious and vegetarian)
  • Quality trekking & safety equipment
  • Permits & camping charges

Exclusions

  • Expenses to and from the base camp

Delhi/Chandigarh → Shimla →Diude

The Buran Ghati trek starts from Diude. It is a village of few houses. You will either stay in Diude for the night or go to Janglik, which is a short walk away. The trek leader will meet you at the base camp and brief you about the trek.

Indiahikes will organise pick-up vehicles from Shimla old bus stand at 6.30 am. The drive to Diude takes 9-10 hours.

The fare of this transport is not included in the fee. It costs Rs.6,500 per cab one way . You will have to pay the driver directly.  The total cost of vehicles is is to be divided by total number of trekkers, irrespective of number of trekkers traveling in each vehicle to arrive at the cost per person.

To reach Shimla

It is advisable to reach Shimla a day earlier, stay overnight and report to Shimla old bus stand by 6.00 am the next morning for the pick up to Diude. From Delhi you can take an overnight bus to Shimla. Book buses online in advance as tickets usually get sold out.

Getting back

Barua → Shimla → Delhi

Indiahikes organises pickup vehicles from Barua to Shimla at 1.00 pm. The cost of transit from Barua to Shimla will have to be borne by the trekkers. The total cost of transportation one way is Rs. 8,000 to be shared among fellow trekkers. You are expected to reach Shimla by 10.30 pm. Buses from Shimla to Chandigarh are available from 5.00 am. Many of our trekkers wait at the bus stand itself to board one of these instead of booking a hotel in Shimla for a few hours. It is safe to wait in the bus stand.

Frequently asked Questions

What is the style of accommodation in this trek?

Trekkers will be staying in tents for entire duration of the trek. Each tent will be shared by three trekkers. We will also put up 3-4 toilet tents, depending on the size of the group.

Will you provide us with tents and sleeping bags?

Yes, trekkers will be provided with tents and high altitude sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ÂşC.

What will the temperature be like during the months of June and September?

Day temperatures in June at Buran Ghati goes up to an average of 15°C -20°C. It may fall to -2°C and -3°C at nightfall. Temperatures in September will be slightly lower.

Which are the best seasons for the Buran Ghati trek?

June and mid September to mid October are the best months to go on this trek.

When will there be snow on this trek?

There will be snow on this trek in June. On the third day of the trek you will encounter snow patches around Chandraharan Lake. In the days that follow, you will come across snow fields. In June, you can slide down the snow from Buran Ghati while descending on the other side of the pass. This will make for a fun filled yet thrilling descent. You are unlikely to find snow on this trek in September.

At what time should we reach Shimla?

It is advisable to reach Shimla the previous day and stay overnight. Pick up vehicles will be organized from Shimla Bus stand at 6.30 AM. The drive to Diude takes 9-10 hours. From here, Janglik, the base camp, is a short walk. The cost of pick up will be Rs.6,000 per vehicle and will have to be paid directly to the driver.

How will we get back to Shimla?

From Barua Khud we will arrange for vehicles to drop you to Shimla. Vehicles will start from Barua at 1.00 pm and reach Shimla around 10.30 pm. The cost of transportation will amount to approximately Rs.8,000 per vehicle and will have to be paid directly to the driver. This is not included in your trek fee.

It really depends on you. Is it your first time in Nepal? How confident are you of being able to find your way around? How pressed on time are you? If you go through an agency, it will be costlier but everything will be planned. You will only have to come, trek and return.

Is this a good trek for a first timer?

The Buran Ghati trek is moderately difficult. Beginners can attempt this trek provided they stick to the fitness schedule and meet the health requirements.

If not the Buran Ghati trek, what is a good alternative trek?

Rupin Pass offers similar picturesque views but unlike Buran Ghati, Rupin pass is an eight day trek.

What are the washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?

During the trek, toilet tents will be set up along each campsite. There will be 2 to 4 of these toilet tents depending on the size of the group. A toilet tent will have a deep pit, where one can answer nature’s call. There will be a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. These are dry toilets, where you’ll have to use toilet paper. This the most hygienic and convenient way to answer nature’s call in the wild. Please use plain toilet paper and refrain from using wet wipes since these are not biodegradable.

Is there mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?

You will get mobile network for Airtel numbers at Diude. There will be no signal at any of the campsites. Signal will be intermittent in the mountains. Do not depend on it. Finish all your important calls at Diude. Please inform anxious family members about limited phone connectivity. There will be no electricity charging points anywhere on the trek.

Do I need special snow shoes on this trek?

You don’t need special snow shoes. A good trekking shoe is sufficient for the trek. We recommend that you wear shoes that are water resistant. When there is snow, we provide micro spikes and gaiters.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Buran Ghati Trek
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