Region: Dharamsala, Dhauladhar.
Season: First Week Of June to End of November.
Max. altitude: 4250m.
No. of days: 06 days.
High passes: Minkiani (4250m.).
Special interest: Excellent view for photographers, ideal place for nature lovers, home of His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
This is a fine trek passing through innumerable streams, rivulets, deep and dense jungle with rich fauna and flora. Villages along the route are located on steep slopes. The yellow and green terraced fields that interspaced them are a photographer's delight.
Trekkers can experience the pleasure of a cold bath in the icy waters of gushing streams en-route to Kareri and at Kareri Lake. The camera can capture rare pictures of Monals, pigeons, snow cocks, wild goats and the black bear. Last preferably, with tele-lens.
Kangra- Cultural Continuity since Infinity
The Trigartha of the ancient times, Kangra is a continuity of culture from the infinity! Notwithstanding the grandeur of the Dhauladhar, this is the land of Hindu temples-Shiva at Baijnath, Brajeshwari at Kanga, Chamunda Devi at Chamunda, Jawalaji (Fire Temple), Chintpurni, Bhagsu at Dharamsala, Aghanjur Mahadev and many more. Masroor, the rock-cut temple, now in a poor state, is an archeological wonder, the counterpart of Khajurao and Ajanta-Ellora. Dharamsala is the cultural and political centre for Tibetans in exile. His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides here at McLeodganj, Dharamsala. Kanga is also famous for its paintings, green-tea gardens, art gallery and pottery & craft training centre at Andretta.
Dharamsala is a gateway to five wonderful treks cross the Dhauladhar that lead to the cultural wonderlands. The continuity of transhumance, the Chaurasia temple (84 temples) of Bharmour and the tribal Bara Bhangal offer some of the most intriguing insights into the ancient cultures across the Dhauladhar. The longest running monarchy, Lakshminarayan temple and the Bhuri Singh museum are the special attractions of Chamba once you cross the Dhauladhar.
This small town is a favourite tourist resort of Kangra district and remains flooded with foreign tourist round the year. McLeod Ganj has shot into prominence due to the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama who has his residence in this small, isolated and peaceful town. He arrived along with thousands of his followers from Tibet in 1959 to take refuge in India. This town is populated chiefly by Tibetans and in the adjoining hills are situated the gaddi villages.
Day to day description:
Day 01: McLeod Ganj - Kareri (1900m.). This 13km trek is smooth and enjoyable. It passes through the Dal Lake nestled in most natural scenic grandeur and surrounding by thick deodars, junipers, rhododendrons and thin variety of oaks.
Day 02: Kareri - Kareri Lake (3200m.). There are two diversions from Kareri village. One is a 2km abrupt climb from the forest rest house, through a very thick mixed jungle up to a hillock called ‘Jammu Gote' with a small temple of Kali. Kareri Lake is at the foothill of the Minkiani pass, and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
Day 03: Kareri Lake - Minkiani Gote (3500m.). Three hours of steady and stiff climbing over snowy and steep rocks takes one to Minkiani pass. The route is clear in the beginning and ascends gradually but become steep half way up to the pass requiring a climb over hard snow and boulders. Local people are more trust worthy and know the route like the palm of their hand. Minkiani Pass is at a small saddle with many ‘Trisuls' where prayers for safe crossing are offered to Shiva and Parvati. Some minor lakes with lush green grass on their flanks are seen on way to Lamdal.
Day 04: Minkiani Gote - Drakund via Lam Dal (3900m.). The route from here to Lamdal is not very difficult. One must walk with a slow pace initially. It takes only two hours to reach at Lamdal Lake. This lake is L shaped and is spread over 1.5km. It is the biggest and the deepest lake in the Dhauladhar range.
Day 05: Drakund - Dunali. Drakund onward to Dunali is a bridle path. This path being made jeep able now. The track passes through beautiful villages. One can enjoy the hospitality of villages by getting fruits and vegetables and stay overnight if the schedule permits. It takes about two hours at an easy pace to reach Dunali, which is located along the Chamba -Bharmour road on the confluence of Ravi and Lamdal stream.
Day 06: Departure from Dunali to Delhi.