”Where the world is resilient and the mind is all buoyant, is it a place called heaven or is it a perceived clairvoyance? These havens, I believe are the mirrors to the unknown, that lies amidst the variations and constants bemoaned. So the incessant chatter here becomes so quiet because all what lies here is beauty and its alluring pride.” by Raveena Paul
We think these are the exact feelings one would encounter while visiting Hampta pass, a place which we will discuss about in this particular blog. This destination is exquisite in a sense that it combines elements of adventure, beauty, thrill and is totally enough to quench your wanderlust. We visited Hampta half a month ago and trust us when we say this, the place is a total magic. So if someday you plan for a trip up here, below are the details.
1. Why should one visit Hampta pass?
Okay! Now one may ask what is it about Hampta that makes it special. We would say its the very nature of this trek and as said before its a combination for all your expectations. You can trek, ski, camp, walk under beautiful waterfalls and over frozen glaciers or gaze at the night sky full of stars. And of course you can brag about your experience of crossing that thrilling river at Aara. So seeing this through, Hampta gets a win over.
2. What comprises of Hampta trek?
The trek has wide ranging options when it comes to choosing your starting point. Manali, Prini, Hampta village, Sethan, Panduropa or Jobri(The most convenient one) all these are the options. But basically the term ‘Hampta trek’, is defined by the stretch starting from Prini and ending at Hampta pass top.
3. How to reach Hampta pass?
We thought you would find it interesting to know about the trek through a map. So here is a map we created to make the route seem simpler to understand.
Route: Manali-Prini – Hampta village – Sethan – Pandu Roppa – Jobri – Aara – Chikka – Juara – Balu ka Ghera – Hampta pass top – Shea Goru
Our itinerary: Took our bus from Chandigarh to Manali at 9 P.M. reached Manali at 10 A.M.
DAY 1: Reached Manali and bought our essentials from the market. Boarded our next bus for Prini from Manali. Started trek at 2 P.M. from Prini and reached Aara at 7P.M. There we set up our tent for the night while enjoying the view of beautiful starry sky.
DAY 2: Woke up to the mesmerizing morning view. For our breakfast, our sole saviour was MAGGIE and yeah we struggled hard cooking it ourselves 🙂 . But to mention, a local couple helped us a lot with everything and shared some golden hacks for staying put in the mountains. Moving on we crossed a treacherous river at Aara and reached Chikka top, the view from here rendered us speechless. From here the trek was laid under a waterfall and 2-3 more as such. Walking under them was an experience in itself. Next we reached Juara at 12:30 P.M. This place gets its speciality from the fact that it gives you a direct view of Indrakila. Indrakila gets its name from a kila like appearance which is due to the placement of a stone slab horizontally over a mountain top, astonishing isn’t it? Most interestingly this place inhabits wild animals such as Bears, luckily we didn’t encounter one. At last we reached Balu ka Ghera and set up our base camp here for the rest of the trek.
DAY3 After resting at Balu ka Ghera, we were all ready for the Hampta top but due to heavy snowfall we could not cross the pass so we had to return back the same day.
4. How long is the trek?
Starting from Jobri and ending at Hampta pass top, the trek is approx. of 24 kms. It should take around 2-3 days to complete the entire trek. Difficulty level : Easy (for regular trekkers); Moderate (for beginners).
5. Is there a requirement for a guide?
Yes, Hampta trek would be much safer with a guide if you have no experience with snow trekking or if you have never trekked before. Also if you are not much familiar with the hills then it would be better to take the safer option.
6. Who can trek?
A person with a proper fitness regime and a sound mind can easily trek this stretch. Also if you can survive in a bit adverse and harsh climates with just few facilities available, you shall be good to go. Lastly if you are a ‘being’, keen of witnessing spectacular views and experiencing adventurous hikes, then Hampta would be the best option for you.
7. What are the essentials for the trek?
Here are a few things to mention:
- Warm clothes esp. a warm jacket
- tent (if you have your own)
- waterproof shoes
- woolen cap
And anything which would keep you comfortable throughout the trek.
NOTE: try to keep your bag (preferably rucksack) light enough so that you can trek while carrying it along.
8. What are the options for stay at Hampta?
Sethan has the last chain of hotels and all the possible lodging options end at Aara. From here it is essential that you carry your own tent and also all the required amenities. The stay options (available only till Aara) are as follows:
- Guest houses and hotels (till Sethan)
- huts and homestays (Hampta village and Sethan)
- Camping sites (uptill Hampta top) with main base camp at Balu ka Gera.
What we did: We camped at Aara (day 1) and then at Balu ka Gera (day 2) using it as our base camp for further trek.
9. What is the best and safest time to visit?
The best and safest time to visit would surely be from mid of May to October.
10. Additional interesting facts about Hampta pass
- Hampta pass is used by the Gaddi tribe as a route to Spiti.
- From Hampta pass top you can witness the plethora of three beautiful peaks: Indrasan, Deo tibba, Chandrakhani.
- Mythology says that Hampta pass is a gateway between hell and heaven.
- Pandu Roppa is believed to be sacred and houses a lake with a garland over it.
- The entire stretch from Manali to Sethan is enriched with beautiful apple orchards.
So, I must tell you a secret about the mountains I hid in, for they do not reveal easy what their story is since. About the ones who seek their depths and listen to their mumble, its just for them that their their magics remain woven. By Raveena Paul
Content Writer: Raveena Paul
Image Courtesy: Rohit Sharma and Aditya Bhardwaj
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