SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE is located at the base of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. Many famous Himalayan treks start or end within a few hours drive from the lodge. We can provide you with everything you need to enjoy the trek (camping equipment, donkeys, mules, a good cook etc.)
or give you all the information necessary for a self contained trek.
On this page you can find some information about the following treks, all a few hours drive from the lodge:
Name of Trek
Valley of Flowers
Bedni Bugyal Trek
Roopkund Lake Trek
Kuari Pass Trek
Rudranath and Kalpeshwar
* General Rating
** Days Trekking
end June - early September
May - mid October
May - mid October
April - June, September - October
May - mid October
May - October
* Assumes a basic level of fitness and willingness...
** To this you need to add half a day of driving there and driving back.
VALLEY OF FLOWERS TREK
4-5 days excursion from SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE
The valley of flowers was announced a world heritage site by the United Nations. There are over 300 species of wild flowers in a relatively small high altitude valley (3,600 meters). Camping and sleeping in the Valley of Flowers is forbidden making the tiny travelers’ town of Ghagaria the base camp for excursions into the valley of flowers.
The high season for seeing the valley of flowers in full bloom is during the Monsoon (July – September), the only drawback being it turning into a mass tourist destination. Ghagaria is the base for all Sikh Pilgrims going to the sacred temple of Hem Kund Sahib, creating a human and mule highway on the walk from Govindghat up to Ghagaria. The valley itself is still a fairy land sight worth the loss of tranquility on the way up and down…
From SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE drive to Joshimat (113 km, 5 hours) where you will spend the night. The next day, a short drive (21 km, 1 hour) will take you to Govindghat where the walk begins.
This is in the entrance to The Valley of Flowers in May. You can see Vishnu Ganga flowing under the ice. Mesmerizing!
In season, helicopter flights to Ghagaria are available from Gauchar (10 km upstream from SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE).
Here is a beautiful internet site describing the trek to the valley of flowers:
Badrinath temple is not far from Govindghat (28 km, 1.5 hours drive). You could go and visit the temple before returning to SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE.
Day 1: From Govind Ghat you can walk up to Ghagaria in one day (9km, 4-6 hours). It’s quite a steep climb, so it really depends on your fitness level.
Day 2: After sleeping the night in Ghagaria, your excursion into the valley will take place the next day (4 km from Ghagaria to the Valley of Flowers and 4 km back to Ghagaria).
Day 3: The way down from Ghagaria to Govindghat can be comfortably done in one day. You can drive back to SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE on the same day or spend a night on the way in Joshimath or another place en route.
In the valley in August
BEDNI BUGYAL / ROOPKUND TREK
4-5 days / 6-7 days excursion from SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE
Bedni Bugyal is a Himalayan Meadow located at an altitude of 3,354 meters.
It is considered to be one of the prettiest accessible meadows in the Indian Himalaya.
From SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE,
drive 107 km (4-5 hours) to Lohajang.
The road to Wan where the trek starts is 15 km ahead, but is a rough dirt road. If you reach Lohajang in time, you might consider carrying on to Wan (2,436 meters, 15 km, 1.5 hours) or spend the night in Lohajang. There are quite a few guest houses in Lohajang. The sleeping options in Wan are few. There is a GMVN and a Forest Rest House, but it is advisable to camp out at the beginning of the trek.
The valley of Wan is untouched, clean and beautiful. Try to plan to spend an evening wondering around the village in the beginning or at the end of the trek.
Day 1: Trek from Wan to Bedni Bugyal (3,350 meters, 11 km, 5-6 hours)
Camp the night in Bedni Bugyal, wake up with a fairy tale view in your eyes…
Day 2: trek up to Ali Bugyal (3,300 meters, 10 km, 4 hours) and back to sleep in Bedni Bugyal.
Day 3: Trek down from Bedni Bugyal back to Wan.
You can drive back to SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE the same day you trek down or spend another night in Wan, in Lohajang or in Mandoli and drive back the next day.
Roopkund lake is situated at a height of 5,029 meters which is why the trek is rated medium difficulty.
This area is usually called is the ‘mystery lake’, due to human skeletons and remains of horses from the Paleolithic age which were found in the vicinity of the lake.
If you have been spending time in Bedni Bugyal, trekking to Ali Bugyal, you will not need a days acclamitization. If not, you need to spend a day around the Bugyal, acclimatizing to the altitude.
Day 3 (instead of trekking back down to Wan): From Bedni Bugyal trek to Bhagwabasa (4,100 meters, 10 km, 4-5 hours).
Camp in Bagubassa.
Day 4: From Bhagwabasa trek to Roopkund (4,450 meters, 15 km, 7 hours) and back to Bedni Bugyal.
Camp in Bedni Bugyal.
Day 5: Trek down from Bedni Bugyal back to Wan.
Again, you can drive back to SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE the same day you trek down or spend another night in Wan, in Lohajang or in Mandoli and drive back the next day.
BEDNI BUGYAL - in OCTOBER
RUPKUND TREK - in MAY
KUARI PASS TREK
8 days excursion from SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE
Part of the view from the Kuari Pass
From SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE drive to Ghat (93 km, 5 hours).
Ghat is a large village with a bustling market.
The forrest rest house at Ghat is fairly descent and can be your last night in a room and a bed...
Pictures from a Trek done in April
Day 1: Ghat – Selu Bagar – Ghunni (6 km, 2-3 hrs)
The drive from Ghat to Selu Bagar is 7km on a rough unpaved road. The trek starts at Selu Bagar.
The climb from Selu Bagar to Ghunni is quite a steep climb, and it will put you immediately into trekking mode… Ghunni is a vast Plato where you camp the first night.
Day 2: Ghunni - Vinayak Pass - Jhinjhi Village (13 km, 6-7 hrs)
The walk up to Nivnayak pass is quite moderate. On the pass there is a Ganesh temple. From the pass you can see some great views of the Himalayas and a first view of Kuari pass from a distance. From this point on, the trail starts to drop down gently, at times becoming very steep. The 4 hrs of descent through the well laid path finally takes you to the village of Jhinjhi where you will camp for the night.
Day 3: Jhinjhi - Pana Village (8 km, 4-5 hrs)
The trail continues to descend through the village. After a 2 km descent the trail brings you to a high suspension bridge over the Birahi Ganga river. After crossing the bridge the trail zig zags steeply initially and flattens out at the ridge. From here the path is gradual and goes through a beautiful forest of Rhododendron finally going past Kaliagad to the village of Pana. A final ascend of less than a kilometer will bring you to the campsite above village of Pana. The campsite is very small and often with smaller groups it is better to stay over with a family in the village.
Day 04 : Pana - Dakhwani (3,300 meter, 14 km, 5 hrs)
The trail is well marked above the camp site passing through a thick Rhododendron forest with a few false summits. After 2 km, you finally reach the ridge. The trail now, gradually passing through the forest enters an open meadow at Sartoli - which serves as a camping site as well as pasture land for sheep & cattle. This is an ideal place to view KuariPass dominating the horizon.
Initially the trail from Sartoli starts to descend gradually for a couple of kilometers but in the latter part, the final descent to the side stream is very steep with loose gravel. You need to cross over the side stream and start a steep ascend with a series of switch backs to the ridge top. From here the trail traverses slightly and finally takes you across the stream just below Dhakwani. From this point it is no more than a half an hour climb to the campsite at Dhakwani.
Day 05: Dakhwani - KuariPass (3,800 meter) - Tali (9 km , 5-6 hrs)
This day requires an early start in order to get the best view at the pass. The trail from Dhakwani continues to climb through the forest until you cross the tree line. The path continues with a series of switch backs straight to the pass. The pass looks deceptively close and seems to take ages to reach . It is customary to make an early start so as to see the sun rise at the pass.
The trail from the pass slightly ascends to a hump from where you can get an excellent view of Dronagiri peak. The trail continues for another 5 km of slippery gravel. The last leg of the day’s trek leads to a ridge with a temple and prayer flags having covered 2 kms of an uphill climb. From here the Great Nanda Devi peak comes into view. The trail goes through pasture land and enters the forest and finally leads to the campsite at Tali.
Day 06: Tali - Auli - Joshimath (2,550 meter, 17 km, 5-6 hrs)
The trail from Tali is a gradual climb across the mountain ridge. This trail is narrow and requires cautious walking until it reaches Gorson meadows. From here it is Himalayas all around. The great Nanda Devi peak dominates all the other peaks. The crossing of Gorson meadows with its vast meadows and wild flowers is great fun. Finally the man made structures can be seen from a distance, marking the location of the village of Auli. It is now time to bid farewell the ponies and porters, and to drive by Jeep to Joshimath – a 13 km drive away. The town of Joshimath serves as the main bazaar for nearly all the nearby villages.
Depending on the time you reach Joshimath, you can either spend a night in a hotel and carry on to the lodge the next day, or drive 5 hours back to SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE and sleep in your comfy homely bed again.
MANDAL VALLEY TO URGAM VALLEY / RUDRANATH TO KALPESHWAR
6-8 days excursion from SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE
Somehow, there are some treks which have become very famous. Like some of the treks above. But there are less famous treks which are not less strikingly beautiful. The drive to Mandal takes 4 hours from SHIVANANDI RIVE LODGE. From Mandal there are various trekking routes available through amazingly beautiful mountains and valleys. The trek for you should be personally customized to your fitness level and time in hand. In the meantime, you're invited to take in the views and moments around this route in the following picture album.
Pictures taken in May 2013
Shalabh, Maya, Arjun and one Babaji they met on the way
6-8 days excursion from SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE
Another hidden jewel is the mystical, strikingly beautiful Dronagiri trek, which is located in the Malari valley, east of Joshimath. From SHIVANANDI RIVER LODGE drive to Joshimath. From Joshimath, a two hour drive will bring you to the village of Jumma where the trek begins. You can trek up to Dronagiri village in one or two days (Jumma to Rwing, Rwing to Dronagiri). Dronagiri is located at the height of 3,600 meters. Elegant Bhutia people walk slowly from one ancient stone and slate house to the next. From Dronagiri there are various trekking routes available through amazingly beautiful mountains and valleys. Your trek should be personally customized to your fitness level and time in hand. In the meantime, you're invited to take in the views and moments around this route in the following picture album.
Dronagiri is the place where as per Indian Mythology, Hanuman, the monkey God picked the Himalayas up from. Laxman was injured in a battle with Rawan who kidnapped Sita, Laxman's brother's wife. In order to heal Laxman, a sacred plant was needed (Sanjeevni Bhuti). Hanuman went to the Himalayas and looked for the blue plant. When he couldn't recognize the plant, he picked up the whole Himalayas in his palm and brought them to the medicine man who picked the correct plant. Hanuman then returned the Himalayas to their place. Since then... Hanuman ji is not worshiped by the people of Dronagiri village who were not happy with Hanuman uprooting the Himalayas.
Pictures taken in August 2017
4 parents, 5 kids and one grandmother