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  • Experts Opinion

A journey through shepherd's trek: Bara Bhangal

Published On 08 May 2021 by Mohit Goswami

If you ask me for my favorite color, favorite song or favorite food even, I will be embarrassed at my struggle and inability to answer. But if you ask me for my favorite state, I will scream ?Himachal Pradesh? in a heartbeat. Call me a maniac to have a ?favorite state? but I will absolutely not shy away from expressing how I drool over this state. The state of Himachal Pradesh truly has my heart. It is so rich in topography, landscapes and cultural variety, that it has a little something for everyone. From quite, remote places to crowded tourist hotspots, from lush green meadows to ice-capped mighty mountain peaks, from easy trails that lead to fascinating peaks to difficult, challenging and thrilling expeditions into the wild, the state literally has desirable, cost-effective packages to suit all pockets, really. If you want to indulge in a long, nail-biting, stimulating and lavish expedition like never before, the trek to Bara Bhangal has to definitely top the list. 

With its starting point in Manali, the trek to Bara Bhangal is distributed across 11 good days of extensive trekking. The itinerary in expeditions so long, plays a vital role and demand even distribution of the distance to regulate acclimatization and maintain good health of the trekkers. A 4-5 hours long trek from Manali through dense forests of deodar and pine trees will lead you to the beautiful meadows of Loma Dugh. As you ascend, you will be able to spot the majestic peaks of Mt Indrasen and Mt Deo Tibba. Find a suitable patch of land and pitch in your tents to rest for the day. Wake up to a beautiful sunrise next morning and buckle up to trek to Riyali Thatch situated at an altitude of 11,155 ft. Brace yourself as you witness a bird?s eye view of the valleys of Kullu and Manali and the magnificent Beas River, from Riyali Thatch. The next day will begin with a trek to Kalihani Base. The trek from Riyali Thatch to Kalihani base is quite steep with a river crossing in between. The peaks of Mt Indrasen and Deo Tibba will continue to accompany you all along the top, appearing closer and magnified as and when you climb higher. The Kalihani Pass Base is a good place to halt and catch some sleep for the night. You can resume the expedition with a trek to Devi ki Marhi, the next day. This day remains startling, taxing yet thrilling with the trail sneaking across Kalihani Pass from Kalihani Base, all the way to Donku Thach. It will indeed be strenuous but absolutely worth it. You will come across dramatic screes, moraines and the enthralling Kalihani Glacier as you trek to reach the Kalihani Pass. The mighty Ranges of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal will also tend to appear clearer than ever. You will also cut paths with many glaciers as well as glacial lakes on your trek towards Donku Thach. Donku Thach is an ideal place to pitch tents and spend a quality night within the realm of wilderness. You will have to begin the trek to Devi Ki Marhi, early in the morning.  The Kalihani River will accompany you along the route as you venture into dense forests of Oak and Fir to reach Devi Ki Marhi. Find yourself secluded into remote and quieter areas with every foot upwards. Halt at Devi ki Marhi and begin your trek towards Dal Marhi, next day. You can expect to find wild sheep grazing and enjoying their time along the trail. You will also cut paths with the Kalihani Nullah and enter a fresh batch of forests of Birch and Oak trees on your journey towards Dal Marhi. The trek from Dal Marhi to Bara Bhangal remains most anticipated and desired across the entire expedition. You will be able to spot the Ravi River at this point as you dive into a patch of Deodar forests that will open into the most sought village of the expedition; Bara Bhangal. Relish the unexploited, pious beauty of the Bara Bhangal valley, located at an altitude of 9,456 ft and admire the surreal serenity of the landscape. Enjoy a pleasant and delightful weather at night, at the village of Bara Bhangal and wake up energized for the trek Marhi. The trek to Marhi is also interesting and vibrant with Himalayan forests of Birch and oak re-entering the frame. However, it is the trek from Marhi to Plachak via the Thamsar Pass that makes for the most happening and nail-biting part of expedition. The trek gets tricky and challenging as you climb higher yet all the more mesmerizing and fascinating at the same time. As you reach the top, via the alluring Thamsar Pass, you will be spellbound by the exceptional beauty of the Kangra district. On the one hand, will be the enchanting Kangra valley in all its glory and on the other will be a stark descend. Enjoy a relaxing sleep at Plachak and wash off the exhaustion of the day here. Gear up to trek towards Billing, this morning. Billing is also a hotspot for paragliding. The trek from Plachak to billing is easy and vibrant with many streams and meadows entering and exiting the frame. Enjoy the journey while it lasts before you reach Dharamshala; the end point of your expedition. 

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