The Lord Curzon Trail Kuari Pass Trek

Kuari Pass Trek

The Kuari Pass trekking which is also known as the Lord Curzon Trail being first achieved by Lord Curzon, (the famous former Viceroy of India and a keen trekker) is a spectacular trek to the Kuari Pass skirting through the outer wall of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, crossing passes and beautiful river systems in the Garhwal trekking Himalaya. A trek to Kuari Pass is exclusively popular among the European and American travelers. At an elevation of 4265m in the heart of Chamoli District of Uttaranchal in the northeastern region of Garhwal, the Kuari Pass Trek brings the high altitude meadows of Gorson Stunning views of the big Himalayan peaks, of Nanda Devi, Hathi Ghodi and Dronagiri. The trek will take the travelers through the blossoming green fields, remote villages and the virgin forests of the area along some mightiest rivers of India like the Ganges, Alaknanda, Bhagirathi, Mandakini etc.

Basically, there are two ways through which one can arrive at the Kuari trek; one is through the Curzon Trail i.e. from Ghat via Ramni and the other one is from Auli Bugyal through Gorson Top which the trekkers generally avoid during winters. If anyone takes the Lord Curzon trail, she/he would be able to notice the royal twin peaks of Nanda Devi, Kamet, Dronagiri, and Hathi- Ghodi Parvat. Rare Himalayan flora and fauna are found galore on the track.

The Kuari Pass trek was the route followed by Shipton and Tilman on their way to the Rishi Gorge and by other mountaineers en route to the peaks on the Indo-Tibetan border. In 1905 Lord Curzon reached Kuari pass from Ghat via Ramni. It is said that the path was specially improved so that he could do the trek and today many trekkers prefer to undertake the trek in the reverse direction. The crossing of the pass is a fitting conclusion to a trek that takes in three lesser passes and five major rivers - the Pindar, Kaliganga, Mandakini, Bheriganga and the Dhauliganga. The Pass (Khal) is approached through a narrow goat track at an elevation of 4265 mts. A trekker might even be lucky enough to come across the leopard pugmarks or a Himalayan black bear on his route.

The spectacular views of Himalayan peaks like - Trishul (23,496 ft/7,120 m)  Kedarnath (22,994 ft/6,968 m), Kamet's pyramid of granite (25,595 ft/7,756 m), Nilkanth (21,767 ft/6,596 m), the square-topped summits of Gori Parbat and Hathi Parbat, Badrinath, the icy crest of Dunagiri, Rishikot, Changabang (22,651 ft/6,864 m), Kedarnath and Chowkhamba (23,522 ft/7,128 m) and the legendary twin peaks of Nanda Devi, (25,643 ft/7,740 m), surrounded by the majestic walls of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary will add delights to the trail.


Day 1   Delhi - Haridwar - Rishikesh (230 kms/6 hrs)
In the morning take an AC train for Haridwar by 06:55 hrs. Arrival at Haridwar by 11:25 hrs and then drive to Rishikesh by car. Check in to hotel. Evening explore the religious town of Rishikesh, which is considered as town of saints and Sadhus. There are several ashrams and temples that add to a distinctive flavor of the town, The Ganges aarti at ashrams is really worth it. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 2  Rishikesh - Ghat
After an early breakfast drive to Ghat via Devprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnprayag and Nandprayag, the most famous confluences of Garhwal Himalayas. Ghat is a huge village with more than a couple of schools, government offices and more or less happening market for the nearby villages. Overnight in guest house/ hotel.

Day 3   Ghat - Selu Bagar - Ghunni (6 kms/2-3 hrs)
Its time to board typical Himalayan village jeeps which will take you to Selu Bagar, a small center with a handful of shacks serving as village shops and is our starting point for the trek. This drive is of 7 km and will take around 30 minutes. You meet our ponies/porters at this point. The trail from here is well distinctive with continuous switch backs winds to the ridge from where you can see settlements of Ramni and Ghunni villages. From here its walk through the village full of colors of Himalayan inhabitants makes hike more entertaining. After passing through couple of cluster settlements the trail takes you go past the village to an open plateau above Ghunni which is our campsite for the day. Overnight in the tents.

Day 4  Ghunni - Vinayak Pass - Jhinjhi Village (13 kms/6-7 hrs)
The day requires an essential early start not only to negotiate the long days but also to acquaint beautiful Himalayan views. The trails winds up to the ridge top towering high above the campsite at Ghunni. After crossing the ridge you will come to an open meadow with stunning views of some of the Himalayan jewels i.e. Nanda Ghunti, Chaukhamba and an awesome view of Ramni and Ghunni settlements just lower down the valley. From here the trail continues to climb gently, passing through beautiful forests of Rhododendron, followed by pasture grasslands for sheeps and cattles with some nomadic huts. The trail from this point climbs with a couple of switch backs which again becomes gentle and takes you to an open meadow with gorgeous views of Nanda Ghunti peak. Continue with the trail which is more or less gradual finally takes you to Vinayak Pass. The pass is marked with a Ganesha temple with a prayer flag. From here you will get to see some excellent view of Himalayas and first glimpse of Kuari pass at a distant. From the pass the trail starts to drop down gently and in point in times becomes steep, which continues to drop passing through Sem Kharak and finally takes you to the village of Jhinjhi. Overnight in the tents

Day 5   Jhinjhi - Pana Village (8 kms/4-5 hrs)
The days walk starts with an aroma of living style and culture of people of Jhinjhi village. The trail continues to descend through the village finally comes to the valley floor and brings you to a high suspension bridge over river Birahi Ganga. After crossing the bridge you get to the true right of the valley. The trail now climbs steeply with zig zags initially and later with some false summits finally to the ridge. Again some compensating views of the nearby settlements and some Himalayan peaks are really appreciable. From this point path is gradual and passes through a beautiful forest of Rhododendron finally go past Kaliagad to the settlement at Pana. A final ascend of less than a kilometer will bring us to the campsite above village of Pana. Overnight in the tents.

Day 6  Pana - Dakhwani (3300 mts/10824 ft) 14 kms/5 hrs
The trail is well distinctive above the camp site passing through a forest of Rhododendron with a couple of fall summit and finally takes you to the ridge. Now trail continues gradually through the forest to an open meadow of Sartoli which serve as camping site as well as pasture land for a sheep & cattle. This is an ideal place to view Kuari Pass dominating the horizon. Initially the trail from Sartoli starts to descend gradually for a couple of kilometers but in the later part the final descend to the side stream is very steep with loose moraine (The guest are required to use their trekking poles during this stretch). Cross over the side stream and start a steep ascend with a series of switch backs to the ridge top. From here trail traverses slightly with a couple of ascend again and finally takes you to another side stream just under Dhakwani. From this point its about a half an hour climb to the campsite at Dhakwani. A cup of tea with cherishing flavor is worth it. Overnight in the tents.

Day 7   Dakhwani - Kuari Pass (3800 mts/ ft) - Tali (9 kms/5-6 hrs)
This day requires an early start in order to get a magnificent view at the pass. The trail from Dhakwani continues to climb through the forest until we cross the tree line. From this point the path traverses to the left of the valley just under the pass and continues with a series of switch backs straight to the pass. Ohhhhhhhh what a fabulous, stunning, magnificent views of greater Himalaya is waiting to be admired. Take your time, relax and enjoy photography at the pass. The trail from the pass slightly ascends to a hump. From where you will find an excellent view of Dronagiri peak. After this the trail descends to a point with a bifurcation to Tapovan & Tali. Continue on the trail to Tali which leads to a ridge with temple and prayer flags. From here the Great Nanda Devi peak comes in view. The trail goes past through pasture land and enters the forest and finally leads to the campsite at Tali. Overnight in tents.

Day 8  Tali - Auli - Joshimath (2550 mts/8364 ft) 17 kms/5-6 hrs
This morning is the morning at ease. The trail from Tali is a gradual climb across mountain ridge. This trail is narrow and requires cautious walking until it reaches Gorson meadows. From here its all Himalayas all around. Great Nanda Devi peak is utmost admirable and dominating amongst the many. The crossing of Gorson meadow is real fun and most enjoyable walk. Finally the man made concrete contractions could be seen from a distant marks the village of Auli. Its time to say bye to the ponies and porters. Board a Jeep to town of Joshimath which is 13 kms drive. Joshimath is a happening market place and serves as a supply to nearby villages. Overnight in hotel.

Day 9   Joshimath - Rishikesh
Early morning drive to Rishikesh. On the way visit Rudraprayag where river Mandakini and Alaknanda meet. Lunch enroute. Arrive Rishikesh by evening. Check into the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 10  Rishikesh - Haridwar - Delhi
In the morning transfer to Haridwar and from here catch an AC train for Delhi. Arrival at Delhi by afternoon.

Cost includes
• AC train from Delhi to Haridwar & back
• All road transfers by Mahindra Max car from Haridwar – trek point & back.
• Accommodation in Hotel at Rishikesh, Tourist rest House/Tents at Ghat and Joshimath on twin sharing basis with breakfast. While on trek Dome/Alpine tents will be provided.
• Meals: At Rishikesh & Joshimath only breakfast will serve. On trek we will provide you all the meals. Meals will be freshly prepared by mix of Indian, Chinese and Continental
• Camping equipment like tents, mattresses, Kitchen tent, camping stools, Table etc.
• Professional and experienced local trekking guide
• Cook, porters, mules
• Camping Fees
• Trekking permit fees
• Driver allowances
• Toll Tax, state tax, parking

Cost does not includes
• Enroute meal
• Any meals/services not mentioned above
• Liquor, soft drinks, bottled water, beverages, etc.
• Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
• Any expenses rising due to bad weather, landslides, etc.
• Travel insurance

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The Lord Curzon Trail Kuari Pass Trek
  • Duration:9 Night/10Days