Brahmtal Trek, amid snowy fields and a frozen lake
Posted on September 14, 2019 by Ghoomophiro
Having been to many treks in our lifetime, mountains and breath-taking views are nothing new to us ghoomophiro sisters. But when it comes to the Himalayas, we always feel the challenge enthralling us, tempting us to come to see what lies beyond the city life. Brahmatal is a trek with the most fantastic views of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti. So let’s take you on the journey to the Brahmatal summit with us.
Brahmatal is easy to a moderate winter trek. With two frozen lakes and panoramic views of the mountains, one has to walk approximately 24 km to undertake this 6-day trek. Situated in Uttarakhand, the Brahmatal Lake surrounded by snow-covered forests is at its grandest during December, January, February, and even March. The maximum altitude you have to endure is 12,100 ft.
How to Reach?
By train, via Kathgodam railway station which is connected to Lucknow, Delhi, and many other places. Train ticket for both sleeper and A/c class is cheap from Delhi with costs ranging between Rs 180 and Rs 450. But remember to book in advance.
By Bus, it is an 8-hour journey from Delhi to Kathgodam.
Day by day Itinerary
Day 1- Kathgodam – Lohajung
Our journey began once we reached Kathgodam from Delhi by train. We had already booked a trekking organization and many options are available online. As soon as we reached the station, we saw that the vehicles were waiting to pick us up and take us to Lohajung. It was 15 of us who were going on the trek. The road journey from Kathgodam to Lohajung was nothing but exposure to the beauty of Uttrakhand. The view was fantastic as we saw the marvels of nature on both sides. While the mountains stood tall and proud, the river flowed gently by. We crossed the Bhimtal Lake, Kausani and Dhewal on our way to Lohajung. It was a long and wonderful journey that took approximately 12 hours. We did stop at different places to have breakfast, lunch and the occasional tea. Once we reached the base camp at 7 in the evening, we ate dinner and were briefed about the upcoming days. We, the trekkers had already gotten familiar with each other. We sat and listened calmly about medical tips, trekking etiquettes, staying hydrated, etc. The day-long travel had already tired us and so we got inside our blankets and went to sleep.
Day 2- Lohajung – Bekaltal
The second day, our actual trek began and it spanned five hours with us trailing in and out of the treeline, all exposed to the marvelous views. The snaky trail took us firstly to a village called Mandoli. That was our first rest stop after moving from Lohajung. The trek got gradually harder as we ascended the mountain and we saw a breath-taking valley formed by the confluence of Mountain Kali and Pindari. There were many muddy huts on our way and we did stop to take pictures with them. From there, the rhododendron forests began which are a treat to the eyes. They grow red during February but while we were trekking, it was a light trail. The rhododendron trees are not too tall but give ample shade while walking. The oak forests and rhododendron forests right on our first day of trekking was proof that this trek was going to be memorable. As soon as we moved out of the forest cover, we saw a wooden bridge and reaching Begum, our next resting spot. Then on, we saw Gujrani Stream and many other streams. Then finally our long trail had ended and we ate dinner before resting for the rest of the night.
Day 3:- Bekaltal to Brahmatal
The next day when we woke up, we saw snow all around. There was snow on our tents and even though we felt like sleeping in for a little longer, we had to wake up at 6 in the morning and head out for our journey. There was no internet access but we chatted among the other trekkers and mainly enjoyed the walkthrough meadows of Telandi, all spread like a snowfield. After we crossed the meadow, the highest point in the trek, we started feeling the altitude shift since now we had to descend to reach the basecamp of Brahmatal. The atmosphere at Brahmatal was fantastic. There was a small temple there with bright yellow flags. Brahmatal Lake was a small walk from the temple and it was frozen in the stone-cold weather. We were surrounded by the Almora and Nainital valley as the Mountain peaks of Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and Himalayas stood strong and tall. As far as eyes could see, there was a soaring beauty of nature. The aura of Brahmatal Lake was simply incredible.
Day 4- Bramhatal – Bramhatal summit – Bramhatal
The next morning we woke up to the beauty of the frozen lake with the sunlight falling on it. As we walked ahead seeing streams being made out of melting snow, we felt like each slope was going to be the last. We had essentials in our backpacks and sometimes the beauty of trek was overshadowed by the tough times but the will to reach the top kept us going. The last 1 kilometer to the top was the hardest and a fight between going on and giving up. As the final walk ended, we sighed with relief. It was an inexplicable experience making it to the top as there we saw magnificent views of the mountains from the Brahmatal summit. The feeling of finally accomplishing what we had come to achieve was beyond imagination. It was one of the moments we would cherish all our lives. The trail down is different than the trail that got us there since we saw a 180-degree view of the Himalayan Range. Click fantastic pictures of Nilgiri mountains, peaks of Mandi, Mana, Maitoli, Haukhambha and Nanda Ghunti.
Day 5: Brahmatal – Lohajung
Now it was the last day of walking and we were supposed to descend to Lohajung. It was a 10 km long trail with villages like Wan on the way. We started the trek back early in the morning and though the trail was mostly downhill, somehow we weren’t motivated enough for it. We wished to explore the trek, even more, stay there for little longer and capture as much as we could both on our cameras and our mind. The mental struggle of not wanting to leave with the physical struggle of hurting limbs and knees was weighing us down but our fellow trekkers and trek leader kept us going with fantastic mythological tales of Brahmatal. Time seemed to pass a little slower than expected and it was still an hour till we reached the basecamp and yet we already wanted to pass out in a tent nearby. When we finally reached Lohajung, it was still an accomplishment since now we had finished the complete trek successfully. Despite the adversities, we had made it back.
Day 6:- Lohajung to Kathgodam
Our last day was spend travelling back to Kathgodam from Lohajung. The night before, we had slept like dead horses with our limbs aching and us knowing that there was no more walking to be done the day after. We moved from Kathgodam after breakfast and said goodbye to the beautiful Uttarakhand. The trek wouldn’t have been truly complete without our pitstop at Kausani where we went souvenir shopping to commemorate a successful trek. After reaching the railway station, we were off to our journey back to Delhi.
It was when we were on the train that we thought about our entire experience. Life in the mountains is entirely different from city life. While city life is stressing, busy and challenging, the mountains challenge more than just your brains. They calm your soul, challenge your body, can be exhausting but the trekking experience is addictive. Trekking makes you feel closer to nature and also makes you realise how close you can be with the earth. The sight of clouds so near to us, marvellous sunset and grand mountains left an imprint on our hearts. Go Trekking towards Brahmatal whenever you wish, though we definitely recommend the winter trek. It might be harder but the views of snow-covered peaks and snowfields are worth it.