To trek or not-Hampta Pass Trek in India

“What is so great about trekking?”, I asked my 4 time trekker husband.”You’ll know once you actually go on one”, he replied.And I wondered what could be great about freezing in low temperatures, scarce food, kuchha toilets, sleeping on the floor and an aching body. What could it be that actually led people like him to not just torture themselves again and again but actually enjoy it?

Wanting to solve this mystery, one day I finally declared to him-:Let us go on one then”. And then what ensued for 2 months was a series of torturing 5 km runs, push-ups and exercise that almost made me faint(All this for a so called ‘moderate’ level trek).

And then it happened. The day I reached the summit(I really didn’t believe I’d be able to), I realized what the entire fuss was all about.

A trek isn’t about the destination, its about the journey(actually isn’t that true for everything in life.We wait for the destination and realize it was actually the journey which made all this worth it).Its about constantly challenging yourself, pushing your limits, staying motivated despite the harsh weather and the resolve to reach there. It is the experience of earning those beautiful landscapes.You come back refreshed, recharged and motivated in the truest sense.The mandatory “digital detox” makes you understand yourself. “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” Edmund Hillary, the first person to put a foot in Mt Everest famously said.

An experience that no vacation at the most popular tourist spot can give you-the chirping of birds, blazing waterfalls,flowing rivers, unfiltered rays of sunlight kissing you every morning and stars occupying every speck of the night sky before the moonlight overshadows them.Its true-you don’t come back as the same person.

How to reach?

  • Take an afternoon flight to Delhi. Various overnight Volvo buses run from Delhi(Majnu ka Tilla) to Manali. Reach Manali early morning(It is almost a 12-13 hour journey).
  • Remember to take a day’s rest to enjoy Manali before starting your trek.
  • On day 2, reach the first base camp. and start your trek!

General Itinerary when there is extreme snow(Not crossing the pass to the Spiti side):

Day 1: Manali-Prini to Jobra
Day 2: Trek from Jobra to Jwara
Day 3: Jwara to Balu Ka Ghera
Day 4: Balu Ka Ghera to Hampta Pass; descend to Lower Balu ka Ghera
Day 5: Lower Balu Ka Ghera to Bhujdhar
Day 6: Bhujdhar to Jobra; Drive to Manali

General Itinerary when there is less snow(Crossing the pass to the Spiti side):

Day 1: Arrive early in the morning at Manali. Start for Jobra immediately after lunch (2 hours drive). Trek to Jobra campsite (30 minute trek). 
Day 2: 
Trek from Jobra (9,379 ft) to Jwara (11,194 ft); 4.5 km, 4 hours
Day 3: 
Jwara (11,194 ft) to Balu ka Ghera (12,411 ft); 5 km, 4 hours
Day 4: 
Balu Ka Ghera (12,411 ft) to Shea Goru (12,864 ft) via Hampta Pass (14,065 ft); 5 km, 9 hours
Day 5: Shea Goru (12,864 ft) to Chhatru (10,898 ft); 6 km, 4.5 hours; visit Chandrataal and return to Chhatru camp
Day 6: 
Chhatru to Manali; 4-5 hours drive.

Here are the many major attractions while doing Hampta Pass Trek:

  1. Waterfall at Chikka
  2. Jwara Meadows
  3. Plains of Balu ka Gera
  4. Hampta Pass
  5. Chandratal Lake

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