Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is India’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also the second highest mountain in India and the highest entirely within the country (Kangchenjunga being on the border of India and Nepal; Owing to this geography it was the highest known mountain in the world until computations on Dhaulagiri by western surveyors in 1808. It is part of the Garhwal Himalaya, and is located in the state of Uttarakhand, between the Rishiganga valley on the west and the Goriganga valley on the east. Literally the name means Bliss-Giving Goddess and the peak is regarded as the patron-goddess of the Uttarakhand Himalaya.
The main Nanda Devi summit stands guarded by a barrier ring comprising some of the highest mountains in the Indian Himalayas (one of which is Nanda Devi East), twelve of which exceed 6,400 m (21,000 ft) in height.The Nanda Devi national park has a unique combination of flora and fauna. It is spread over 630 sq. kms. Of area in the vicinity of Nanda Devi peak (7816 mtrs). This park was established in 1980. The faunal species include snow leopard, brown and Himalayan black bears, bharal, Himalayan tahr, serow, monal and chir pheasants. The best time to visit is May to October.
Arrival at base camp - Peaches and Pears Homestay, Gopeshwar.
Get an awesome view of the valley with high snow peaked mountains and river Alaknanda. The house is surrounded by fruit trees, flowers and vegetables and is 20 minutes away from the nearest big town Gopeshwar. There are plenty of treks around the house leading to famous temples, forest, orange gardens, special tribal villages, step farms etc. Fishing or swimming is possible in rivers nearby. Bathing in the waterfall and Bridge Rappelling are complimentary.
Drive to Lata Village road head (80kms). Trek to Lata Village (2kms)(1hr).
Where you are introduced to the porters and the trekking team. The trek to the village of Lata is a steep walk through fields and clusters of abandoned houses. After a series of switch backs arrive to the village of Lata. A warm welcome at the village is a totally unique experience. Inhabitants of Lata are considered as friendly and are renowned for hospitality. Evening visit the Nanda Devi Temple and explore the village. Overnight in the tents at Lata village.
Trek to Lata Kharak (9kms)(7hrs)
The trail from Lata village is distinctive through forest of Oak, Rhododendron and Pine to a ridge followed by a traverse to cross a side stream. After this you climb over another ridge and continue to another side stream. After crossing the side streamthe trail now becomes more incline, with a series of switch backs to the campsite at Lata Kharak. The walk of the day is challenging at times, but the view of the peaks i.e. Hanuman, Hathi Godhi cherishes the spirits. The campsite is an open space on ridge top with Himalayan peaks i.e. Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Dronagiri, Hathi Ghodi and Dev Sthan all around. Overnight in the tents at Lata Kharak.
Trek to Dharansi Pass (10kms)(4-5hrs)
Wake up at dawn to breathtaking view of Mount Bithartoli-Himal (6354 m), Nanda Ghunti (6309 m), Ranthi Peak (6003 m) Dronagiri (7066 m) and the vast view of Kunwari pass, Auli, Urgam Valley and Lata Village. After breakfast, the trek begins with a steep climb up to Jhandi Dhar and further up to Bagfyana pass. From Bagfyana, the trail passes through a very narrow gorge of Satkula with steep ascents and descents and finally one arrives at the meadows of Dharansi pass where we stop for the night. Overnight in tents at Dharansi Pass.
Trek to Debrugheta (3kms)
Like the inner sanctuary, the prominent Malthuni-Bethartoli ridge, between Dharansi Pass and Debrugheta, divides the outer sanctuary. Both these ridges form a magnificent Pass to Rani Kholi. Up to Donidhar is a gradual descent and then from Donidhar to Debrugheta is a steep descent of 750 mts. till one crosses the improvised bridge over the stream. Afternoon return trek to Dharansi Pass. Overnight in tents at Debrugheta.
Trek to Hitoli Camp Site (12kms)
Return trek of about 7.5 km up to Jhandi Dhar and further steep descent of 4,5 km, through the rich forest of rhododendron, birch and raga fir. Overnight in tents at Hitoli Camp Site.
Trek to road head via Tolma Village (8kms)
After breakfast, a 5 km trek down to Tolma village through the rich forest of Thuner, Kail, Devdar and Surai. Then further trek down 3 km to road head Surai Thotha. Drive to Joshimath (30 km). Drive back to Gopeshwar (80kms).