Shepherd Trail Gaddi Trekking Tours
Duration: 18 Days
Grade: Alpine to Tough
Altitude: 4800 mts/15744 ft
Season: Sep - Oct
One of the most beautiful treks in Himachal Pradesh that engrosses the mind of travellers, the Sepherd trail, locally known as Gaddi trek, connects the rich and pictorial valley of Kullu with Kangra valley. The journey stretches from an elevation of about 2,050 meters to 4,800 meters. The highest point on this trail is the Kalihani pass at an elevation of 4,800 meters. The journey traverses through several other high altitude mountain passes, namely the Khanpari pass at 3,600 meters and Thamsar Pass at 3,500 meters. The Gaddi Trek, which is one of the alpine treks in Himachal Pradesh, passes through numerous shepherd villages and grazing cattle farms tucked high in the mountains. The trail is enriched by several alpine woodlands and meadows, wild animals and colourful orchards and gushing streams. Filled with adventure and cultural grandeur the journey becomes more strenuous when coming in contact with the tricky and slippery glaciated tracks. Moreover, the silver spectrum of the Himalayan range that forms a crest parallel to the spotless blue sky simply is a treat to the eyes. The pristine waters of the lakes reflecting the surrounding mounds and spectacular view of the Dhauladhar range further makes the trail worth the strenuous walk.
The shepherd trek commences from Manali at 2,050 meters and leads to Lamadugh at about 2,500 meters. The journey passes through several streams and a thick forest of cedar trees. From Lamadugh the trail heads upward with a steep climb to Dohra Nalla at 3,100 meters and crosses the Khanpari pass. Thereafter, the trail embarks up on the moraine tracks and passes through a lush green forest to the base of Kalihani at Sangohar, which is at an elevation of 3,800 meters. The shepherd trek from this point turns out to be strenuous as it climbs up a steep and elevated stretch to Kalihani Pass and follows a gradual descend to reach Gaddi Gote at 3,600 meters. The journey then leads to Lamba Phad at 3,300 meters via Devi Gote and along the bank of Soony River. You will come across a small temple constructed by the shepherds. From Lamba Phad to Soony the path winds through rocky terrain and ascends gradually through a thick forest. The shepherd trek continues to head towards Bara Bhangal at 2,540 meters and there again it follows a steep ascend to Thamsar Pass. Slowly the journey steps on to a different terrain as it leads to Panihartu at 3,200 meters and thence moves down to Raj Gundha at 2,900 meters. The route then descends through a thick forest of oak and rhododendron towards Bir at 2,080 meters and one can get enchanted by the panoramic view of the Kangra valley. From Bir the shepherd trekking tour in Himachal Pradesh finally ends at Dharamshala.
The shepherd trek being one of the longest trekking tours in Himachal Pradesh and covering different elevations every day requires some serious acclimatization after reaching certain altitudes. Fitness is of utmost importance and hence it is recommended for trekkers having proper knowledge of trekking and having prior experience of high altitude trekking.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
On arrival met our representative and then transfer to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 02: Delhi - Manali
In the morning half day sightseeing and in the evening drive to Manali by AC Volvo coach. Overnight journey.
Day 03: Manali
Arrival at Manali by morning. On arrival transfer to hotel for relax. At leisure visit Hadimba Devi Temple, old Manali, Tibetan Monastery and the mall. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Day 04: Manali to Lamadugh (2500 mts/8200 ft) 5 hrs
The first day of the trek leads through cool forests of giant deodars (Cedar), climbs gently through Manalsu valley with the Manalsu torrent for company. campsite in the lush green meadow of Lamadugh.
Day 05: Lamadugh - Dohra Nalla (3100 mts/10168 ft) over Khanpari pass (3600 mts/11810 ft) 6 hrs
The trail now begins to ascend steeply through woodlands and meadows. With wild alpine flowers strewn all around. The brilliant shrubs of Rhododendron and Birch pave the way to the pass after which a descent leads to the campsite.
Day 06: Dohra Nalla - Sangohar the base of Kalihani (3800 mts/12465 ft) 5.30 hours. Trek
A lovely walk through the lush forest and over the debris of glaciers. A short ascend to the campsite. All around the famous mountain peaks of the Kullu and Lahoul valleys afford an unforgettable evening.
Day 07: Sangohar - Gaddi Gote (3600 mts/11818 ft) over Kalihali pass (4800 mts/15744 ft ) 8 hrs
Today the landscape slowly begins to change, as forests and meadows give may to rocky outcrops with patches of snow starring to appear. A rather steep climb through glacial debris and snow, and the top of the pass is reached. Breath taking views envelop the crest of the pass and after a brief stopover, descending through glacier and moraine leads to the campsite on the bank of the sparkling mountain stream.
Day 08: Gaddi Gote - Lamba Phad (3300 mts/10824 ft) 4 hrs
Now the trail leads down in to the Soony river, via Devi Gote. A small temple constructed by the shepherds (Gaddies) for the protection of the sheep and themselves from the natural catastrophes and the animal. Pay the homage to the Goddess and continue to the campsite.
Day 09: Lamba Phad - Soony (3500 mts/11480 ft) 5 hrs
Leaving this beautiful campsite, the path winds through rocky terrain, soon replaced by meadows again. The trail begins to ascend, a forest begins to appear, the river rushes through spectacular gorges: as soon as crossed via snow bridge or temporary wooden bridge, campsite is reached.
Day 10: Soony - Bara Bhangal(2540 mts/8332 ft) 6 hrs
The trail now winds its way down towards the valley floor, after which almost level walk leads to the camp just before the tiny ancient village of Bara Bhangal.
Day 11: Visit the village
A remote and isolated village open only four or five months in a year. The inhabitants are the legendary Himalayan shepherds (the Gaddies) who lead a nomadic life, leading their vast flocks of sheep and goats in high mountain summer pastures, and in autumn returning back to their isolated existence in the village.
Day 12: Bara Bhangal base - Thamsar pass (3500 mts/11480 ft) 7 hrs
A steady climb to the camp site: the scenery changes there quite dramatically while the air became cooler. The cill of the evening is replaced with the comfortable warmth of a lively campfire.
Day 13: Base - Panihartu (3200 mts/10500 ft) over Thamsar pass 6 hrs
Today the trail steeply emerges from the rocky and glacial terrain in to the softer landscape. The lakes on both side of the pass offer a spectacular view of Dhauladhar range with mighty Manimahesh Tibba on the north of the pass. Steep descend to the campsite of the Pannihartu.
Day 14: Panihartu - Raj Gundha (2900 mts/9512 ft) 6 hrs
A very pleasant walk through a leafy bridle path meadows forest and the cascading waterfall; soon, the tiny village makes appearance literally hanging on the shoulders of the hill side, giving them a magical, surrealistic appearance.
Day 15: Raj Gundha - Bir (2080 mts/6823 ft) 6 hrs
The trail goes through the forest of oak and rhododendron. From Billing direct descend to the Bir. As the Billing is well known for the paragliding, the participants from all over the India as well as foreigners use to take part in the competition. On the way extensive view of the lush green Kangra valley are speated and soon the steep descend ends at the tiny Tibetan settlement of Bir. A delightful last day to this most wondrous of the trek through the land of the legendary Gaddis, tough and wiry Himalayan shepherds.
Day 16: Bir - Dharamsala
On the way visit the Tibetan settlement and the monastery at Bir, Chamunda Devi temple in Palampur. After driving 50 km., reached at Dharamsala. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel.
Day 17: Dharamshala - Delhi
After breakfast half day sight seeing tour of Dharamshala & in the evening transfer to Pathankot railway station to catch train for Delhi. Overnight journey.
Day 18: Delhi
Arrive Delhi by morning and then transfer to hotel for relaxes. In the evening transfer to airport to catch flight for onwards journey.