Kaliheni Pass Trek
Kaliheni pass (also known as Kalihani Pass) trek is one the offbeat trails in the Himalayas offering contrasting beauty of green and arid regions. Come conqueror majestic heights of 4800 metres.
- A moderate to challenging trek starting from Manali.
- The highest pass in the shepherd route from Kullu valley to the remotest Bara Bhangal area of Kangra valley in Himachal Pradesh.
- 70 kilometres of trekking distance.
- Service of experienced mountain guides and good-quality tents.
The pass at 4800 m/15750 ft, 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 rightly named as you can observe ancient glaciers with old ice formations both to the approach and at the pass. The pass itself is glacial. The route to Kaliheni and back to Sangchur village takes 7 days and 70 Km of trekking through Alpine forest inside Manali Sanctuary, splendid rolling meadows and glacier moraine zones. In jest, this interior high altitude mountain pass between Kullu and Kangra is a unique Himalayan trail of its own kind with unexplored wilderness.
Day 1: Manali - Vashisht | 3 km
- You will have to arrive at Manali by noon. Your guest house accommodation is at Vashisht (2050 m/6725 ft), 3.5 km further up from Manali town (Rs 150 by Auto Rickshaw).
- Vashisht has a temple and is famous for its hot spring inside the temple.
- In the afternoon take a walk towards Jogini falls for a couple of hours. The trail is well defined.
Day 2: Vashisht - Lamadugh | 10 km - 6/7 hours
- On the second day morning, your trek starts. You take a short car ride from Vashisht to reach the opposite side of Beas river cutting Manali town.
- The trek starts from the upper reaches of Manali (7000 ft) behind the Hadimda Temple. The PWD road transforms into a narrow foot-route which vanishes into the jungle
- Initially, the trail moves along Manali Sanctuary within the dense and beautiful forest with overwhelming large trees like the Deodars, Walnut, Maples with steep up rise having only a few intermediate reliefs.
- About three hours of uphill march one reaches a distinct clearing, more like a field with a few stones scattered around.
- Take a lunch break in this serene place surrounded by forest all around and having glimpses of the faraway Kullu valley we left beneath. The next stretch of the trek starts with considerable steepness for the next 2/2 and half hours.
- At the last couple of kilometres stretch, the slope eases out and walk continues through dense forest with mosses and lichens all around. At last after crossing couple of humps, one emerges into a large bowl-shaped clearing with an abandoned remnant of a trekkers hut in the middle. Herein the place, Lama Dugh(3050 m/10000 ft), to camp for the night.
Day 3: Lamadugh - Riyali Thatch | 11 km - 6/7 hours
- The trek starts early the next day and gradually ascends on the stony trail with the receding tree zone around. As one gradually approaches the Khanpari pass (12000 ft), view of the prominent massifs of the CB range, Indrasan and others is all seen towards the right.
- Close to the trees are all gone with extensive high altitude meadow region all around and the steepness becomes harder.
- The pass itself at the end of Tree Line and denotes the starting of Alpine meadows, (called “Thatch” locally as compared to “Bugyal” in Garhwal & Kumaon).
- Looking ahead from pass the meadows of Riyali encompass the vista. A gentle walk and followed by a steep descent of one and a half hours and later by a kilometre of the relatively gentle trail.
- One reaches the end of the Riyali Thach (3400 m/11200 ft) in the afternoon to camp for the night. Total distance is 11 km and can take 6/7 hours. The beauty and the variety of the day’s trail will leave one ruminating in the night.
Day 4: Riyali Thatch - Kaliheni Base | 9 km - 5/6 hours
- The trek starts off early the next day and immediately leaves the Riyali area and descends into a zone of trees. Soon after a km of up and down walk, the openness of the Bugiyal comes once again and the glimpse of the Kaliheni Pass can be seen far away and up above in the front.
- The path descends slightly again and soon comes to the first river crossing. Crossing this and just taking the right is the next crossing, the stream here is flanked by amazing old glacial edges jutting out with black ice visible underneath.
- Immediately after the crossings, an arduous climb follows on grassy mountain slab and with a ridge walk, which takes the trekker to the other side of the mountain. Once the ridge is finished we can see the base camp area a kilometre ahead.
- You will be camping for the night in the base camp. A good rest and sleep are required to undertake the next day’s attempt.
Day 5: Kaliheni Base - Kaliheni Pass - Kaliheni Base | 12 km - 7/8 hours
- The trek should start early morning to reach Kaliheni Pass and back to base feasibly. The walk starts over the immense rocky destruction zone, a difficult stretch.
- However, the toiling is immediately rewarded with the stunning view of the range containing the Sanghor Jot standing like an immense wall and guarding the route to Bara Bhangal. Movement is really slow here and steepness is considerable.
- Finally, reaching on the top of the ridge, the other side comes into view with breathtaking ice fields.
- Kaliheni Pass (4800m/15750ft) itself on the glacier, with a distinctly beautiful opening of about 50m between two steep rocky ridges. The pass has a crevasse in the middle.
- One can spend some time on the pass but should get off early and start the descend downwards and the weather here is treacherous and could become foggy, leading to snowing in the later half of the day.
- Exhausted after the day’s hard toil, one reaches the camp shelter with a day’s trek worth remember for life.
Day 6: Kaliheni Base - Dor Nullah via Riyali Thatch | 15 km - 6/7 hours
- The trek starts leaving behind the Kaliheni Base and retracing the same path all the way to the Riyali Thach camping ground.
- After 10 minutes you will take a detour from the main trail ( the trail through which you came) and take the trail right of you. Your campsite can be located from here but will take a couple of hours from this place. A 200 m/650 ft of descent takes us to the bed of a stream. We gradually follow a stream down and cross to its left bank.
- After the crossover the trail is somewhat long but rewards with the beautiful expanses of the sprawling meadows at Dor Nullah, and the campsite (3200 m/10500 ft) is itself at the top of a round Thach/Bugiyal.
Day 7: Dor Nullah - Intermediate Camp | 8 km - 4/5 hours
- The trek starts and you traverse the meadows on the last day of the trek, back descending towards Sangchur.
- After a couple of hours, you will reach the tree line distinctly marking the edges of the meadows. The trail turns narrow and the steep descent starts through the bushy and shrubby undergrowth.
- As one descends, the valley rises up and gets more distinct. After an hour of descent, one can suddenly see a fantastic view of the vast stretch of Kullu valley, from Manali to Kullu town with the meandering Beas in the middle, an unforgettable bird’s eye view. You will camp at a suitable spot.
Day 8: Intermediate Camp - Sangchur - Manali | Trek 6 km - 4 hours | Drive 30 km - 2 hours
- Today is the last day of your trek and you will negotiate a steep and muddy (at places) descent marked with high stepping stones. The sustained lower gradient continues for more than an hour.
- Entering in the Sangchur Village (2150m/7050 ft) brings again a relief and joy of seeing a habitation after a break in the wilderness.
- You will take a pre-booked car from Sangchur to Manali, 30 km via Patlikuhl.
- 1 Night’s accommodation at Vashisht, Manali (Day 1) on sharing basis. Meals at Manali are on your own
- Car drop from Vashisht to trek starting point (Day 1) and pick up from trek end point Sangchur to Manali back
- All meals during the trek (From Day 2 lunch to Day 8 lunch). Regular Indian style nutritious vegetarian food during the trek (including occasional eggs), breakfast packed/hot lunch (depending upon the time you reach a campsite), snacks, dinner along with coffee/tea/soup
- Excellent Trekking Guide(s), who will be a local to this particular area and has a profound knowledge of the trekking trails around
- Specialised Cook, Support staff, Porters/Packed Animals for carrying the central logistics of the trek
- Stay in tents (3 persons dome or ridge shaped tents) on triple sharing basis during the trek
- Camping equipment like a sleeping bag, Carry mattress, Gaiters, Micro spikes/Crampon. (Bring your own sleeping if you have a high altitude specific personal Sleeping Bag. This is always better for hygienic reasons.)
- Kitchen tent, dinning tent and toilet tent as required during the trek
- All permit fee, camping charges, forest levy required for the trek
- Basic Medical & First Aid kit
- Accidental Insurance Policy covering high altitude trekking tours (For Indian nationals it is included in the TREK FEE, up to 60 years of age). It covers your trek as well as your return journey to home (10 days)
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₹ 14190 Per Person