Masar Tal Lake via Khatling Glacier Trek

Region: Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand
Duration : 18 Days
Grade : Tough
Season : July-Aug-Sep

Trekking Routes for Khatling Trekking :

Delhi - Rishikesh - Uttarkeshi - Mala - Sillachhan - Kushkalyani - Kyarki Khal - Parital - Sahastral - Kalyani - Kharsoli - Tambakund – Khatling – Chauki -Masar tal - Vasuki tal - Kedarnath- Rudrapryag - Rishikesh - Delhi

This trek is graded “difficult” owing to its high altitude, snow, and the duration, and should be attempted by those with a previous experience in trekking. The trek is specifically designed for those with a desire to visit High altitude grasslands, High altitude lakes (some of religious importance) Glaciers, Trek through snow(that is present till June) The trek starts in Uttarkashi district, crosses over to Tehri and finally terminates in Rudraprayag District  in Uttrakhand. The Khatling glacier is a lateral glacier, at the source of the river Bhilangna. Sahasratal and Masar Tal are on the west and east of it respectively. The Valley of Bhilangna affords a panoramic view of snow capped peaks and hanging glaciers. Kirtistambha and Meru are sublime and magnificent.The entire trek passes through thick forests and beautiful lushgreen meadows in the beginning. Later, it crosses two passes above 17,000 ft. and negotiates glaciers moraines and a snow patch.

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Upon arrival at Delhi met our representative and transfer to hotel for overnight stay.

Day 02: Delhi - Rishikesh (230 kms/6-7hrs)

Early in the morning catch an Ac 6.50hrs to Haridwar and meet with our Guide and transfer to hotel check in at the hotel. Evening free in Rishikesh. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.

Rishikesh : Situated at the foothills of Garhwal hills along Ganges, Rishikesh is a gateway to the important religious places of Badrinath, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Yamunotri. Places of interest includes visit to Bharat Mandir the oldest temple in Rishikesh, Neelkanth Mahadev, this is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison churn out of the cosmic ocean among many other temples. Also visit some of its many Ashrams: Ashrams are centers for spiritual studies, meditation, Yoga, sacred prayers besides being residential centers for the resident gurus.

Day 03 : Rishikesh - Uttarkashi (170 kms/ 4-5 hrs)

Morning after breakfast proceed for Uttarkashi (1150 mts), which takes 5-6 hrs. Upon arrival check-in at Shikhar Nature Resort. After lunch visit NIM (Nehru Institute of Mountaineering) Institute & Museum.

Uttarkashi is the principle town in the region. Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is situated here. It is also the gateway to many mountaineering and trekking expedition in Gangotri area.

Day 04 : Uttarkashi - Malla (25 kms) - Sillachhan (9 kms/6 hrs)

In the morning after breakfast drive 25 kms to Malla and from here 9 kms trek to Sillachhan with packed lunch The trek is continuously uphill, and one must take care not to overexert on the first day of the trek. Sillachan (Silla Chhanis) are the temporary dwellings of the cow herds of the adjoining villages, since the thawing of the winter snows are responsible for the lush green grass that grows on these meadows. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.

Day 05 : Sillachhan - Kush Kalyani (2040 mts/6692 ft) - Kushkalyani (11 kms/6 hrs)

In the morning after breakfast trek to Kushkalyani  a beautiful grassland on the upper reaches of the mountain, with its undulating ground covered with grass. The trekking is much easier on this day while traversing this terrain as one is not required to negotiate steep inclines. Kush Kalyani is named after Lord Rama’s sons Lav and Kush. In the backdrop one can see Draupadi ka Daanda (Draupadi’s mountain – named after Draupadi from the epic – The Mahabharata), and Jyonli 1, 2, and 3 series of mountains..  Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 06 : Kushkalyani - Kyarki Khal (4077 mts/13373 ft) (14 kms/6 hrs)

After breakfast trek to Kyarki Khal via lush green meadows, waterfalls and much more. The route traversed on this day takes one on a series of ups and downs, as the initial 2.5 – 3 kms are an ascent, and the latter part of the day’s trek  takes one over the pass into Kyarki Khal- a descent of over 5 kms.  Dinner and overnight stay in tents.

Day 07 : Kyarki - Parital (18 kms/7 hrs)

Post breakfast, continue the trek to Parital taking a series of ridges one after another via a Kyarki Bugyal. If done in peak summer months, this area assumes a hue of yellow, as the tall grass wilts to a hay coloured yellow, and provides the local villagers ample opportunity to stock up on their previously dwindled grass supply. Pari – means Fairy and Tal – means Lake: It is believed by locals that in the days of Satyug when Gods roamed these areas, fairies would dance near the lake to please them- hence the name Parital! The lake itself is fairly small, and not much to look at, but the surrounding area is surrounded by  staggering natural beauty!  Dinner and overnight in Camp.

Day 08 : Parital - Sahastral (5000 mts/16405 ft) (12 kms/6 hrs)

After breakfast,  trek to Sahasratal via Taddiudyar with packed lunch. The initial part of the trek takes an upward route and the distance covered is within the range of 2.5 - 3 km- thereafter the downhill stretch covers an additional 4 – 4.5 kms, bringing one to Sahsratal. The name “Sahsra Tal” means - 1000 Lakes! Visit to this divine lake is in itself a religious yatra!  This lake is located on the western end of Khatling glacier, the Sahastra Tal of Uttaranchal allures a number of trekkers and adventure seekers offers excellent panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks and glaciers. Watch the magnificent glaciers of Jogin group, Kirti Stambh and Meru glacier. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 09 : Sahastral - Kalyani (2683 mts/8800 ft) (16 kms/6 hrs)

In the morning trek to Kalyani with packed lunch. Sahsratal is located on the mountain and Kalyani is located in the valley originating from the Khatling Glacier. The descent takes one on the thickly wooded ridge and the way is said to be very trechearous the path has to be searched and it is not uncommon to get lost here with the service of a professional guide. On reaching the base and camping ground is small and undulating (but can support upto 20 tents if tightly packed! There is a nearby water source  Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 10 : Kalyani - Kharsoli (2896 mts/9489 ft) (11 kms/5 hrs)

In the morning trek to Kharsoli via Biroda with packed lunch. Kharsoli used to be an unblemished meadow earlier. Now it has been bifurcated by the dried stream, full of boulders. A few years back, the stream just above the Kharsoli meadow changed its regular course and ran through the middle of the meadow leaving behind a gigantic scar in its wake. The approach to Kharsoli  ascends all the way, through the small meadows and small clumps of stunted trees consisting of Rhododendron and Birch. There is a wide array of flowers all along this route. The camping point at Kharsoli is a rather uncomfortable undulating and inclined surface on a ridge top! Dinner and overnight stay in tents.

Day 11 : Kharsoli - Tambakund (3413 mts/11195 ft) (8 kms/5 hrs)

In the morning trek to Tambakund with pack lunch. Next morning we started for Chowki. There are numerous glacier-fed streams flowing down on both sides of the river. The trek passes through meadows and a thick good tree cover; across the valley on the other side steep mountains with innumerous streams and waterfalls can be seen. Arrival at the river bed followed by an ascent flanked by a towering mountain on one side and high ledge on the other. Continuing the ascent the tree gives way to barren mountainstill the tree-line is crossed followed by a massive land-slide region. The careful and safe negotiation of this obstruction brings one to Tamba-kund. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 12 : Tambakund - Khatling Glacier- Chauki (3717 mts/12192 ft) - Tambakund

In the morning trek 3 kms trek to Khatling Glacier with packed lunch. The visit to Khatling glacier is only possible till the “Zero Point” and one can only go another 500 metres or so over the glacier (the detailed visit to the glacier takes 2 days) .Since the remaining part of the day is spent in the return trek back to Chauki, the photos are quickly taken and preprations are made till 1PM  In the afternoon, return trek to Tambakund. Arrival after a 2 km descent to the river bed is followed by crossing a makeshift wooden bridge, that is made by local shepherds every year (without any Government help), as it gets swept away each monsoons! A 2 – 2.5 Kms ascent is continuously flanked by a towering mountain on one side and high ledge on the other. Crossing the makeshift bridges above the fast flowing river beneath is an experience in itself. a welcome sight after the ascent!  This beautiful meadow is an oasis of wild flowers,  green grass, and the legendary flower “the Bhrama Kamal”.   One will also find many shepherds and hundreds of sheep here. This is the area falling within the Kedarnath National Park. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 13 : Chauki - Masar Tal (3675 mts/12054 ft) 6 kms/3 hrs

In the morning trek to Masar Tal with packed lunch.  The trek goes uphill from here continuously from the word “Go” till one reaches the windy Campsite at the top- marking the day’s end!. As the trek progresses the  view of the peaks around and the Khatling valley become even better, and the bluish-green Bhimtal lake can be seen down below. The Doodhganga – aptly named for its frothing white colour - falling down from the glaciar appears like milk, and presents a staggering sight. Progressing further, the Khatling Glacier finally looms into view. A small place serves as a camping ground near Masartal. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 14 : Masar Tal - Vasuki Tal (4135 mts/13563 ft) (15 kms/6 hrs)

In the morning one starts for Vasuki Tal via Mayali pass (5400 mts) , when one has to cross the Mayali glacier to reach Painya Tal and Teental with packed lunch. This is a crystal clear pearl set in an unrivalled setting the Vasuki Tal Lake is next. All the lakes are 1 kms apart from each other and present difficult terrain consisting of boulders and loose moraine. From Vasuki Tal the Vasuki Ganga starts which mingles with the Mandakini at Sonprayag.. Camp on the side of the lake with breathtaking views of the snow clad mountains. The lake is named after Vasuki the serpent – According to our ancient scriptures-, Vasuki allowed the devas (gods) and the asuras (demons) to bind him to Mount Mandar and use him as their churning rope to extract the ambrosia of immortality from the ocean of milk. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Day 15 : Vasuki Tal - Kedarnath (8 kms/4 hrs)

In the morning trek down to Kedarnath with packed lunch. The initial 2 kms of this trip is a steep climb till the Vasuki top, from where one can clearly see the Kedarnath temple, Kedarnath peak, Meru Parvat, Sumeru Parvat and the Manda Parbat. The next 6 kms are a continuous descent terminating near the Kedarnath Bazaar. The temple is magnificent in its style and architecture and to construct such a temple at this height over one thousand years ago must have been quite a feat. It is the abode of Lord Shiva and one of the famous Jyotirlinga. Dinner and overnight stay in TRH/ guest house.

Day 16 : Kedarnath - Gaurikund (14 kms/4 hrs) - Rudraprayag (130 kms/4 hrs)

After breakfast trek down to Gaurikund with packed lunch. As per religious texts Goddess Parvati meditated here for a considerable time to win a consort in Lord Shiva, Gauri is another name of Parvati. Also a famous temple of Gauri is at Gaurikund. Further drive to Rudraprayag. Dinner and overnight stay in hotel/ Tourist rest house.

Day 17 : Rudraprayag - Haridwar - Delhi (160 kms/6 hrs)

In the morning take a holy dip in the confluence (Mandakini & Alaknanda River). After breakfast drive to Haridwar.In the evening take Ac train for Delhi on arrival at New Delhi railway station meet with our representative and transfer to the hotel. overnight stay at hotel.

Day 18 : Delhi Departure (210 kms/5 hrs)

In the morning transfer to airport to catch your onwards flight.

Tour & Service End.

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