Bali Pass Dhumdhar Kandi trek can prove testing even to the most experienced hikers as it is full of steep slopes, river crossings and tricky tracks. However, you will encounter beautiful alpine meadows and verdant forests that will not let you deter from having a memorable time on this trekking expedition. It is certainly one of the less populated hiking tracks with no human civilisations found along it.
The Bali Pass Trek via Dhumdhar Kandi starts from Jhala in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. Hike through shrub forests and some river crossings to reach the campsite at Durai Gaad. A long ascending walk will take you among beautiful vistas of flowery meadows and vast grasslands, which is known as Kyarkoti – lying before Bali Pass. Spend a full day here and on the next morning, camp near the majestic Sian Gaad rivulet. Furthermore, cross a delightful snowfield, perilous ridge, the Sian Gaad stream and make a sharp ascent to reach Dhumdharkandi Pass. Feast your eyes on the spectacular views of the surrounding mountain peaks. After conquering a tough descent on the other side of the pass and crossing the Bandarpoonch Glacier, reach Arjun Charra. Captivating views of the Kalanag Icefall and surrounding mountain ranges can be enjoyed from here.
Further ahead on the Bali Pass trek, Kyarkoti, another place by the same name, awaits you. Following a night, spent in this beautiful meadow, your next camping spot is in Bali Udiyari. Next morning, embark on a difficult, in fact challenging walk to reach the summit of Bali Pass. Mesmerising spectacles of the Swargarohini and Bandarpoonch Peaks, commanded from the top, will make you forget all the exertion you have gone through till now. Spend the night in the camping area of Damini. At the end of this Dhumdharkandi Pass trek, you will take with you a plethora of cherished memories of the journey.
Day 00: Delhi to Haridwar
You can arrive in Delhi two nights before the Bali Pass Dhumdhar Kandi trek starts. The following day can be spent in visiting numerous historical monuments like India Gate and Red Fort. At the appropriate time in the evening or at night, take a train to Haridwar.
Day 01: Haridwar to Uttarkashi (1150 metres/approx. 7 hours)
In the morning, arrive at Haridwar railway station, and then drive to Uttarkashi by road from here. Upon reaching Uttarkashi, pay homage at the revered Vishwanath Temple and enjoy an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 02: Uttarkashi to Jhala/Gangotri (2575 metres/approx. 4 hours)
Following a healthy breakfast, embark on a picturesque drive to Jhala village. Upon reaching the village, set up camps for an overnight stay. You can spend the rest of the day at leisure, exploring the holy town of Gangotri.
Day 03: Jhala to Durai Gaad (3440 metres/approx. 4 hours)
Enjoy a filling breakfast, and thereafter begin the Bali Pass trek via Dhumdhar Kandi by walking on the trail, following the left bank of the Sian Gaad rivulet. A demanding walk can be expected today, so gather all your strength. Post crossing a few rivers and flowering shrub forests, reach your retreat for the night, Durai Gaad.
Set up tents here, and enjoy a peaceful overnight stay.
Day 04: Durai Gaad – Bakar Thach – Kyarkoti (3850 metres/approx. 4 hours)
Be prepared for a difficult trek as most of the walk is a climb. However, the en route sights of scenic meadows and beautiful forests will keep you refreshed and energetic. The uphill walk to Kyarkoti will finally take you to a picturesque meadow. Surrounded by a birch forest and with the meandering Sian Gaad flowing through, Kyarkoti is expansive grassland, used for camping. On reaching here, set up tents and enjoy an overnight stay.
Day 05: Rest and Acclimatisation
Bali Pass trek is bound to have taken a toll on your energy by the time you reached Kyarkoti the previous night. After all this time of difficult trekking, you may need some time to rest and acclimatise. Therefore, spend a day at leisure in Kyarkoti; meanwhile you can explore this beautiful camping area as well. At night, enjoy a peaceful sleep in your tent.
Day 06: Kyarkoti – Rocky Camp (4250 metres/approx. 6 hours)
Expect a stark change in scenery as you head to Ghantraro from Kyarkoti. The path will demand stamina and energy as it includes sharp stretches, along with boulders and glacial moraines. A long walk will take you out of the birch forest to the hissing Sian Gaad. An entire day of hiking will have you tired, but the surrounding vistas of gorgeous alpine flowers will prove revitalising. On reaching the rocky camp, set up your tent near the gushing waters and spend the night.
Day 07: Rocky Camp – Advanced Base Camp (4600 metres/approx. 5 hours)
Early morning, cross the Sian Gaad stream while its water level is still low. Though the level is at its lowest during mornings, you might still need to use ropes to cross it. An easy uphill climb through delightful meadows will lead to the advanced base camp of the pass. Upon reaching here, see the Dhumdhar Kandi Pass in a distance, and then enjoy an overnight stay here.
Day 08: Advanced Base Camp – Dhumdhar Kandi Pass (5300 metres) – Arjun Charra (4850 metres) | Approx. 8 hours
The following phase of the Dhumdharkandi Pass trek has to be started quite early in the morning. Take a packed breakfast, and proceed on the track, leading to a snowfield, through a ridge. From here onwards, the ascent to the pass is steep and difficult. It will take another three to five hours to finally reach Dhumdharkandi Pass.
The tough stroll to the crest is worth it because of the spectacular views that can be enjoyed after reaching here. Breathtaking vistas of the Black Peak, Bandarpoonch Peak and Gangotri Range will duly treat your eyes. Take a break to get some rest and have breakfast. Later, commence the descent towards Arjun Charra, your next camping site. A sharp decline to a rock ledge will have to be negotiated, possibly with the help of ropes. Thereafter, proceed to traverse the Bandarpoonch Glacier in order to reach Arjun Charra. The place is enveloped in surreal beauty of the surrounding natural treasure. Enjoy splendid views of the Kalanag Icefall and various magnificent peaks from here. Later, enjoy an overnight stay in tents.
Day 09: Arjun Charra to Kyarkoti (3650 metres/approx. 3 hours)
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in the morning; thereafter, a challenging descent to the enchanting meadows of Kyarkoti has to be undertaken. The path will require full attention as it is a dicey one. Walk among boulders and moraines to arrive at the destination. Here, you might find local shepherds with their cattle going about with their daily chore. You may start a conversation with them if you wish. Thereafter, spend the night in your tent, set up in the meadow.
Day 10: Kyarkoti to Bali Udiyari (3850 metres/approx. 6 hours)
Today, find a suitable point from where you can cross the river. Enjoy the picturesque walk, complete with captivating spectacles of the expansive grassland. After having crossed the rivulet, head to the upper part of the enchanting Thangi meadows. The mesmerising Ruinsara Valley, which is located below, is certainly a sight to behold. After getting some rest, a steep ascent to Bali Udiyari, a small cave area, is to be conquered from here. You might even spot some brown bears on the way to the campsite in Bali Udiyari. After reaching Bali Udiyari, enjoy an overnight stay here.
Day 11: Bali Udiyari – Bali Pass (4780 metres) – Damini (3900 metres) | Approx. 7 hours
Early in the morning, begin the most exciting leg of this Bali Pass Dhumdhar Kandi trek yet. The path goes on in an ascending fashion, and though the walk is not perilous, it will require a lot of energy. Starting from the campsite, climb along the stream to reach the ridge located on top. A stroll along this ridge leads to a glacier at the base of the pass. From here, commence a short, yet exhausting hike to the summit of Bali Pass.
Having reached the top, admire the arresting views of the Swargarohini and Bandarpoonch Peaks. Some other magnificent mountains tops can be viewed from here as well. To reach the camping area in Damini, a formidable descent along the other side of the pass will have to be negotiated. You can use a rope for this purpose if you need to. After reaching Damini, enjoy a relaxing overnight stay at the campsite.
Day 12: Damini - Yamunotri – Janki Chatti - Mussoorie (2000 metres/approx. 10 hours)
Take a short walk from Damini to the renowned Yamunotri temple, say your prayers and stroll down to Janki Chatti to catch the vehicle going to Mussoorie. This marks the end of the exciting Dhumdharkandi Pass trek, and you will definitely want to go on more such ventures in future. Upon reaching Mussoorie, check-in at the hotel, and get the much-needed rest.
Day 13: Mussoorie – Dehradun – Delhi
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading out to explore the town. Indulge in some shopping at the charming markets of Mussoorie, and later in the afternoon drive down to Dehradun. On reaching the city, catch a train to Delhi.
Duration: 12 Nights/ 13 Days
Region: Garhwal, Uttarakhand
Maximum Altitude: 17388 feet
Best time to go: May to October
Price based on 4 persons travelling together.
1. All road transfers by private vehicles from Haridwar to Haridwar
2. Accommodation will be provided throughout the trip as mentioned in the itinerary on twin sharing basis
3. Meals: As per itinerary. Tea /coffee, snacks & drinking water during the trek. All meals would be vegetarian. The cuisine would be a mix of Indian, Chinese & Local
4. English speaking & professionally trained mountain guide
5. Kitchen staff would accompany the group on the trek
6. Camping equipment: 3/4 season tents (Quechua, camp or similar), sleeping bags, ground mattress, mess tent & camping tables & stools
7. All trekking permits and park entry fees
8. First Aid Kit
1. Air Fare/ train fare
2. Travel Insurance
4. Single supplements
5. Additional meals/services not mentioned in the above
6. Charges for video/ still cameras etc.
7. Alcohol, beverages, soft drinks etc.
8. Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
9. Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
11. GST @ 5.0%