Brahmatal Trek is one of the most beautiful treks in Uttrakhand. It is also ideal for beginners. The trail is easy and has all the elements to make this a perfect trek for beginner trekkers – camping, snow, stunning views, and connectivity. Well, connectivity is something which not everyone would like in mountains. However, for a lot of trekkers, it would be a boon as they can stay connected to their loved ones (and do an occasional live video call). Not to forget, the avid social media enthusiasts out there can also do posts on a day-to-day basis and share their journey with the world, something that other Himalayan treks do not offer.

The trek starts from a small village called Lohajung (2,300 Meters above sea level). This village is around 300 km from Rishikesh and it takes around 10-12 hours by road. While there are other routes to reach Lohajung, we chose Rishikesh as it was our assembly point.

Through this blog, we would like to give you a glimpse of the beautiful Brahmatal trek. We will give you practical tips and information. This will be especially useful if you’re a beginner Himalayan trekker.

Basic Information about the Brahmatal Trek:

  • Total Trek Distance – 21 Kms (Avg Trekking per day – 7kms)
  • Max Altitude – 3,600 Meters
  • Min Temperature – (-5) Degrees if less/no snow, (-15) if heavy snow – at night
  • Connectivity – 4G available at Lohajung, intermittent connectivity at Jhandi Top or Brahmatal Top
  • Best Season for the trek – Dec to Feb (for snow)
  • Number of camps – 3 (Camp 1 – Bekaltal, Camp 2 – Near Brahmatal, Camp 3 – Daldum). If it snows heavily, Camp 2 will be cancelled
  • Terrain – Forests in first 9 km, then meadows
  • Homestays at Lohajung – Basic amenities, may get hot water for bathroom, western toilets at few homestays, a good number of shops available for water, snacks, toiletries, fruits, etc.
  • Food – mostly vegetarian (may get eggs)

Photoblog on the Trek to Brahmatal Top:

Devprayag
We began our journey from Rishikesh to Lohajung early in the morning and stopped at Devprayag, about 70 Km from Rishikesh to witness the sunrise. Devprayag – The holy confluence of Alakhnanda (top) and Bhagirathi (bottom). These two river merges here to be called as Ganga.
Group Pic
Our Group at Devprayag. We left Rishikesh around 5 am to avoid traffic during the day. We stopped at Devprayag for photography and breakfast. Please keep wearing masks during the travel. It will protect you from viruses, dust and fines from the local police. Also, please carry motion sickness medicines for the travel. Eat lite and sit next to a window if possible.
First glimpse of snow-covered mountains. We were around 25 km away from Lohajung and had stopped for a tea break.

Tip: In case you forget to carry enough winter wear, this pit stop in between is a good place for you to shop for winter wear. You may not get it in Lohajung.

Early morning view of Lohajung. This is a small village and acts as a basecamp for Brahmatal and Roopkund treks.

Tip: As mentioned earlier, the facilities in the village are basic. So go prepared with your medicines and other required items. Road and transport availability is good at Lohajung. Avoid travelling or going out at night. There are wild animals like leopards, jackals, dogs, and bears in the surrounding jungles.

Early morning view from Lohajung. We can see Mount Trishul in the front as well as the Roopkund trail.
Our group at Lohajung. Ready to start the trek.

Tip: It is advised to not shower on the day of the trek as you would need to start the trek early. So try to take a good shower at Lohajung (if you get hot water).

The trail starts from the main market chowk in Lohajung. The initial 400 meters are straight climb.

Tip: When you do a winter trek, it is advisable not to wear thermals while climbing. Keep a light jacket or fleece, if you feel too cold. Don’t carry a lot of luggage during the trek. If you have more luggage, you can hire a porter or pony. They charge around Rs 300 per bag per day. Read more on winter trekking here.

The initial part of the trek with Lohajung in the background.
After the initial climb of 400 meters or so, the trail becomes relatively flat for around 3 km. The path is well laid with rocks and through a forest trail. Do not stray off the trail and always be in sight of your group. We went at a time, where the snow had not come yet, hence the trail was dry.
This is the second dhaba on the first-day trail to Bekaltal. The trail is relatively easier till this point in time. From here, the trail becomes steeper. We are around 2.5 km away from our first camp.
The steep climb begins from dhaba 2. There are mules also on the trail to carry luggage and camping equipment.

Tip: If you are trekking on a trail where there are mules, always move towards the hillside when the mules are coming. The mules may accidentally push you on the valley side. Avoid feeding or beating the mules or any other animals on the trail. Carry at least 2 litres of water on the trail. Keep on drinking water every 10/15 mins to keep yourself hydrated.

After trekking for about 7km, we reached our campsite. We also saw the first snow of the season. The groups took a lot of photographs and played in the snow. During the heavy winter season, one can find snow in Lohajung as well.
The group taking pics on the trail.
Trekkers after an exhaustive photo session.
Our first campsite at Bekaltal. The pond we see in the above picture is not Bekaltal. Bekaltal is a bigger pond on the other side of the campsite, around 400 meters ahead.
This is Bekaltal. Our campsite was behind those trees. This lake was partially frozen. During peak snow season, the lake is completely frozen.
Another view of the Bekaltal. The lake is almost 50% frozen.

 

Our campsite while coming back from Bekaltal. We got very good photos of the sunset.
Beautiful sunset from the campsite.
Beautiful sunset from the campsite.
Day 2: we started early in the morning for our next camp at Brahmatal. We had trek all the way up to Tilandi Top, Jhandi Top, Brahmatal lake, and our camp 2. The distance from Camp 1 to Camp 2 is around 7 km. The first 2 km are steep and later it is gradual once we come out in the meadows.
The initial trail from Bekaltal is steep for around 2 km and is through a dense forest. During the peak snow season, this climb would be tricky.
Huffing and puffing, the team was slowly climbing to the next station. Carry 2 litres of water, as there are no water sources for the next 4 km.

Tip: Each trekker must carry 2 liters of water as there is no water source on the trail from Bekaltal to camp 2. During peak winter season, you can fill up a thermos flask with water so that the water in the bottle does not freeze.

brahmatal trek
Views from Tilandi Top. Few groups also camp here. However, it is windy and cold here.
Views from Tilandi top – the other side.
Beautiful sky with serene blue colors greeted us at Tilandi Top.
Another shot of the layered colours in the sky – at Tilandi Top
From Tilandi top to Jhandi top, the hike is steep for 300/400 meters at the start and then is gradual. Now we have entered the meadows and the views are simply awesome.
brahmatal trek
The majestic Mount Trishul, at a height of 7,120 meters above sea level. Almost throughout the Brahmatal trek, we can see this mountain.
On top of Brahmatal Summit. Actually, there are no known summits for the Brahamatal Trek. Around the Brahamatal lake, there are few small mountains that are connected through a common ridge. The ridge can be climbed directly from the Tilandi Top. The views are also the same. We decided to climb to one of these summits to bring finality to our trek. We had also decided to go for an early morning sunrise trek at the same peak – the next morning. However, the group was not in a mood to wake up at 3 am in morning. So we dropped the plan.
This pic was taken at Jhandi Top. Earlier when we climbed the Brahamatal Summit, we did not carry the flag, so we celebrated it the next day at Jhandi Top. Jhandi top and Brahamatal Summit have almost similar height and similar views. Post this, we started descending to Lohajung via Daldum camp. We skipped Daldum camp and directly went to Lohajung.
brahmatal trek
Finally, from Lohajung, we traveled to Mussourie and ended our trip with this beautiful sunset.

We went on this trek from 19th to 24th Dec 2020. The Corona pandemic, lockdown, and social distancing had taken a toll on all of us. So this was a very nice break for us. We were expecting heavy snow during this time. However, we encountered very less snow. As per the latest news, it started snowing around 8th January 2021. The batches from January till February will experience perfect winter trekking.

brahmatal trek

Few things to note while travelling/trekking during Corona.

  • Do not travel if you have flu-like symptoms – for your and other’s safety.
  • Read government guidelines and keep paperwork ready before the trek.
  • Always wear the mask during the travel and in the trek if possible.
  • Maintain social distancing with the locals and fellow trekkers. Try to avoid handshakes or any kind of contact.
  • If you develop symptoms during the trek, inform the trek leader and try to go down to basecamp and quarantine till the trek completes.
  • Carry sanitizer, soap, and basic medicines while trekking.
  • Self-quarantine yourself for 3-4 days after coming from the trek at your home location.
  • Respect locals, the environment, and your fellow trekkers.

One more thing I want to highlight in a big way is, tipping. Indians generally do not believe in tipping culture. In a few western countries, tipping is almost mandatory. For example, in Kilimanjaro Trek, the tipping amount is decided by the government and is mandatory.

We should also be considerate and be generous tippers during the trek. The local helpers, cooks, local trek leaders, drivers are mostly from poor families with an average income of <Rs 2,500 per month. Most of their livelihood is during the trekking season.

As trekkers, we should tip at least Rs 300-500 per trekker. You can also give your old jackets/clothes, shoes, medicines to the needy.

Stay Safe and Happy Trekking!

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