Maximum Altitude: 15750 ft
Duration: 6 days
Kalihani Pass is one of the best high altitude Himalayan trek in Himachal Pradesh. Seated atop a staggering height of nearly 16,000 feet, Kalihani Pass commands excellent views of the neighbouring valleys that they overlook. Kalihani, traditionally known as the Senghor Jot, is the highest pass in the shepherd route from Kullu valley to the remotest Bara Bhangal area of Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh. Kali-Heni which means black snow is appropriately named as you can notice ancient glaciers with old ice formations both to the approach and at the pass. The pass itself is glacial. The secret lush pastures are traditionally known to the “Gaddi”s (local name for the Shepherds) and while crossing the pass grazing opportunity enlarge between Kullu and Kangra valleys. On the start and the end day of the trek, the bird’s eye view of spread out Kullu valley is mesmerizing to watch.
Normally, the Kalihani Pass trek starts from the quaint town of Manali and traverses you through flower-studded meadows of Lamadugh, Riyali Thach finally leading to Kalihani Pass. From the base of Khanpari Tibba, the view of the Pir Panjal range (Deo Tibba, Indrasan, Indra Tilak, Ali Ratan Tibba, etc) is a trekkers delight. To the Dhauladhar Range: Hanuman Tibba, Friendship peak, Ladakhi, Manali peak is nearby.The amazing beauty of the Himalayas and charming trekking trails will definitely make you attempt this trek once more in your life.
Highlights of the Trek
- This trail is still less explored and thus it is intact and pristine.
- The trail provides eye-soothing green vista as you explore the enchanting & timeless trail, used by the Gaddi shepherd of Himachal to access hidden pastures
- Jaw dropping views of snow clad peaks
- Overnight camping in lush landscapes and vast stretches of pasturelands
Day 1: The trek starts from Hadimba temple and you’ll climb through thick forest of Cedar and Oak. Slowly as one gains altitude, the large trees provide a way to man-height shrubs with occasional clearings from wherever one suddenly has head-spinning read of the Beas valley which have been left far below. At the last number of kilometres stretch, the slope eases out and walk continues through dense forest with mosses and lichens all around. Climbing up through the Manalsu valley the gentle slopes and lush green meadows of Lamadug appears. The green meadow covered with colourful wildflowers looks magnificent. And yes, you’ll be camping here tonight!
Day 2: The trail passes through steep ridge below Khanpari Tibba and you arrive at a place from where Indrasan and Deo Tibba (6,001m.) peaks can be seen. You can also see the full view of Manali town and upper Kullu valley from here. You climb through a path of rhododendron and birch trees and arrive at dome of Khanpari to have spectacular 360 degree view of Great Himalayan Range to the East, Dhauladhar to the West and Pir Panjal to the North. Click as many pictures as you want. From here you start walking downhill amidst lush greenery. A little bit of rolling terrain will lead you to the beautiful Riyali Thatch campsite.
Day 3: From Riyali you will descend towards a snow bridge over a stream that is fed by the Kalihani glacier. The trail becomes steep until you reach a ridge. The ridge walk is mesmerizing with lush green meadows (which you are used to now) and wide variety of wildflowers etched on either side of the ridge. With unobstructed views of the Pir Panjal range in front of you and the wonderful snow-capped passes behind you, the Saghor campsite is a sight to behold. This will be your Kalihani Pass basecamp.
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Day 4: This is the day you have been waiting for. You start early in the morning climbing steadily on a rocky path, along a snowy glacier. As you go higher your views keep expanding and you get to see many high peaks of Lahaul. You will start feeling the altitude too as you go up and the climb becomes a little harder. From the top the views are nothing short of paradise in front of your eyes as the vast expanse of Kalihani glacier is at the foreground of picture perfect looking peaks in the back drop. After spending some time here, it’s advisable to get off early and start the descent downwards and the weather here is treacherous and could become foggy, resulting in snowing in the latter half of the day.
Day 5: Descend down to Riyali campsite from where you head to Rani Sui, a beautiful lake surrounded by meadows which is considered sacred by the locals. At the lake, you can witness panoramic views of the Dhauladhar range. These high altitude mountain lakes have always been loved by the trekkers. There is something magical about them.
Day 6: The trail descends to the beautiful Barod village through alpine forest from where you will be driving to Manali.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to do the Kalihani Pass Trek is from mid-June to mid-October. Starting phase of the season will bless the trekker with the views of lots of snow at the high passes; the month of August registers a considerable reduction in snow. As the season proceeds, one is likely to witness rain towards Kullu-Manali Valley and sunshine in the Spiti Valley. Days are normally sunny while the nights are cold, with the temperature at high campsites ranging from -2 to 6°C.
During September to mid-October, the weather is very pleasant. The snow cover on the trail decreases but there is a possibility of snowfall. The days enjoy the lovely presence of sun. With the onset of October, nights start to get colder.
How To Reach
Manali is well connected by road from Delhi and Chandigarh. There are a handful of buses, ranging from regular, luxury and Volvo operated by both Govt. and private agencies from New Delhi and Chandigarh to Manali.
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