May 6-15, 2016
(9 nights 10 days)
Bashleo Pass, perched at an altitude of 3277 m above sea level, is located in Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. The region abounds in natural beauty and is a famous trekking region as well. From here, one can view the Mahadev range and the trail down to the Beas Valley. This region's unique features include biodiversity, sparse human populations, little tourism, and a local economy based on traditional livelihoods.
- Day 1: Delhi- Chandigarh- Sojha (8700ft.)- 3 hrs train ride and 8 hrs road drive Take morning Shatabdi from Delhi- Chandigarh. Reach Chandigarh around 1050 hrs. Drive to Sojha. Night stay in retreat.
- Day 2: Sojha- Acclimatization hike to Raghupur for acclimatization In the mountains, if you want to be rewarded well by nature in its full glory, have must make an early morning start. The same is true of this hike to Raghupur Fort meadows that overlook the Tirthan Valley in Kulu district in the West and Shimla district in the East. This five kms uphill drive will test your car as well as your mountain driving skills! From Jalori, it is a level walk in the open for about hundred meters towards Satluj Valley before it heads straight into the forest on a well-defined trail. Half a kilometer later, a short steep climb takes one to a small meadow that offers a photo-op. A short rest and off you go into the Oaks and Rhododendrons forest slowly climbing up and then shifting gear for a final steep climb of 15 to 20 minutes. Here the tree line finishes and we move into a lush green meadow. A little up and we are rewarded with a 360 degrees view of The Himalayas, Dhauladhar and Kinnaur ranges, all of them in one sweeping glance. All around you are swathes of lush green meadows that gently descend into the oak and blue fir forests. Keep strolling and in a while we end up at the dilapidated Raghupur Fort. The local people believe that an erstwhile king of Mandi province got this fort constructed hundred of years ago. Theories abound as to why this fort was constructed on a ridge where scarcity of water was a perennial issue. One of them will have us believe that this retreat was made in case the king had to retreat in to the mountains in case his kingdom was attacked by the enemy forces from the plains. Yet another popular belief is that the fort was constructed for the pleasure of the king away from the prying eyes of his family and subjects. Whatever the truth, the King could not have chosen a better location. One look and you would not want to go back.
- Day 3: Sojha- Jalori pass- Serolser lake- 5 kms drive and 6 kms hike/ 4 hrs We begin the trek to Bashleo pass today. Himachal Pradesh, with most of it lying in the lap of Himalayas, has an abundance of lakes. One such lake is in Tirthan valley (Kulu District). Located 11 kms (5 kms by car from our retreat to Jalori Pass and 6 kms on foot from there to the lake) from Banjara Retreat in Shoja, it is one of the better hikes for the families. A drive to Jalori pass will take 15-20 minutes from the retreat. From there, a well-defined trail takes one to the lake. Few hundred meters on the trail and then you get in to the Oak forest. The sun rays filtering through the tree cover, the blue of the sky through the foliage, the up and down of the trail, an occasional sight of a bird, a clearing showing the huge green vistas cascading down to the Sutluj valley, all of this and more will keep you an enchanting company all the way to the lake. The lake makes up in crystal clear clarity what it lacks in size. The local belief is that no one has ever found a leaf floating in the lake though leafy trees surround the lake itself. You will certainly not find a leaf floating in the lake. Nearby is a small temple beyond which the meadows start. A couple of teashops regularly come up between April-October. They have also some local sweets and savories- worth trying. During summer a lot of Gujjars come with their buffaloes and cows to these pastures. It won’t be unusual if you bump into some carrying Khowa and paneer to the local market.
- Day 4: Serolser lake- Dim village- 11 kms/ 4-5 hrs We start the walk after breakfast. This is a lovely walk through oak and pine forest, open skies and farmed land. Camp close to Dim village.
- Day 5: Dim village- Tarala (9000 ft)- 10 kms/ 4-5 hrs We start the walk after breakfast. This is another perfect day on the trail wherein we walk through the pine forest. Today we have a bit of steep climb and rest is nice and gentle. Camp overnight at Tarala.
- Day 6: Tarala- Kullu Sarahan- 22 kms/ 6-7 hrs Today is the longest day on the trek wherein the 80% of the trek is level walk and 20% is steep climb. We start with a steep climb of half a km that gets you to a mountain top, offering excellent views of Shrikhand Mahadev. Climb for a few minutes and then level walk for 5 kms to a waterfall. The walk is through an oak forest. This is the rest point. From here, we carry on a gentle upward slope for 3½ kms that gets you to another mountain top. Another 2 ½ kms upward gentle walk gets us to lunch point in a small meadow. 7 kms of down ward slope walk gets us to Daler village from where it is a 3 kms gentle upward walk to Kullu Sarahan where we camp in an open meadow. Kullu Sarahan is a small village set in a beautiful bowl shaped meadow. Visit the local temple in the evening.
- Day 7: Kullu Sarahan- Bashleo pass- 7 kms/ 4-5 hrs Today is the toughest day of the trek but worth every step taken. Bashleo pass offers great views of high Himalayas. We camp in a clearing just a little below the pass.
- Day 8: Bashleo pass- Bathad- Sojha- 10 kms/ 4-5 hrs Descend to Bathad and drive to Sojha. Celebration day. Stay at Banjara Retreat.
- Day 9: Sojha- Rest day Spend the day in Sojha relaxing, recuperating. In the evening, there will be a celebration with local dancers followed by a barbecue and dinner.
- Day 10: Sojha- Chandigarh- 8-9 hrs After breakfast, drive back to Chandigarh to board evening Shatabdi back to Delhi.