This is my first post on Brahmatal trek experience with GoAdven. This trek journey is dedicated to all the enthusiastic people who are willing to experience the lush green meadows, beauty and aroma of dense rhododendron forest and mesmerizing view of Himalayan ranges at its best. As I am a trek enthusiastic and I have decided to trek with GoAdven one of the Best Trekking Company in Uttarakhand.
I want you to know that any one can sign up for a high-altitude trek and that the most important thing that needs a work out- is our state of mind and positivity.
Once we channel that optimism, everything else before and after the journey will fall into place and re-energize our very soul.
So get rid of the misconception that high-altitude treks are only for the pros, because this was my and my trek mates first Himalayan trek.
Now before I start, here is a brief introduction of Brahmatal, it’s a lake situated in mountain ranges of Uttarakhand Himalayas. Which is at an altitude of 12,100 ft from mean sea level approximately 24 km from the Lohajung Base camp. Brahmatal summit is at an altitude of 12,500 ft from mean sea level approximately 27 km from the Lohajung Base camp.
It was 14th September 2019, I boarded my flight to Delhi from Mumbai, so my trek mates who had reached Mumbai from Solapur along with my Senior Colleague also boarded a different flight from Mumbai to Delhi. We met in Delhi Cant Train Station to catch our train to Kathgodam. Delhi weather was very hot however our overnight journey brought us to a very cool and pleasant weather at Kathgodam.
Day 1- Kathgodam – Lohajung
We were in Kathgodam to start our unforgettable journey of 5 days to the abode of Gods. We were doing the trek with a trekking organization called ‘GoAdven’. We were picked up from Kathgodam railway station in a tempo traveller which was waiting for us and we started or to Lohajung the base camp. The road journey from Kathgodam to Lohajung exposed us to the beauty of Uttarakhand.
The view was breathtaking. We crossed Bhimtal lake, Almora, Kausani and Dhewal to reach Lohajung. This journey was long almost 12 hours including pit stops for breakfast, lunch and evening tea. We reached Lohajung around 6.00PM. We were welcomed by base camp coordinators Dinesh sir and Pradeep sir. Later were served hot dinner after a small briefing.
We were asked to assemble after dinner for going over the itinerary. During this assembling, we were formally introduced to our Trek Leader Pradeep. He started with the team introduction and briefed us on various aspects of the trek like trek itinerary, etiquettes, medical tips, green trail, do’s and don’ts during our trek etc.
After this, we went to our respective rooms and got under the blankets, thinking and fascinating about the upcoming journey. A small intro about the base camp village, “Lohajung, as the locals say, is the place where Goddess Parvati had a war (jung) with the demon, Lohasur. Hence, the name, which translates to war with Lohasur.” Interesting indeed.
Day 2- Lohajung – Bekaltal
Next day morning everyone was awake by 6.00 AM and were excited to the core and was ready to take a giant leap of faith and overcome the thought of dubiousness of reaching the summit. Pradeep sir introduced us to our Trek Guide Manoj.
Pradeep sir was supposed to lead us and Manoj ji played the role of a sweeper (the last man in the group) to make sure no one is left behind but he joined us a bit later along with the cook Prakash and the mules that were carrying our offload bags. Pradeep sir was constantly motivating us to move ahead. We had to cover a distance of 6 km to reach Bekaltal, our next camp.
We started our trek, a climb through the village to reach our next camp. Through we travelled along the track the view was sufficiently beautiful to keep me going. I got so excited that I forgot about my tiredness completely, and thus we reached the Bekaltal camp. I was exhausted, but I was ecstatic for surviving my very first day of trekking.
Everyone was tired after a long trek of 6 hours. We did some stretching exercise to be relived of muscle pains and after that were served lunch at 2PM and had a small nap till 5 PM. In the evening we were served tea and snacks and went to visit the Bekaltal Lake which was located 500m away from our camp. We had our dinner at 8PM and then everyone retired to their tents.
This was our first night in meadows and it was terribly cold, thanks to our trek organizers they had made proper arrangement and were equipped with tents and sleeping bags of superior quality that could withstand -5 degree temperature.
But since it was our first time it was a bit difficult to tuck ourselves inside the bag although our trek leader had given us a demo on “how to use the sleeping bag”. We could hardly sleep on our first day. This was something beyond our regular lives. But in mountains 4 hours of sleep is more than sufficient to rejuvenate ourselves.
Camp at Bekaltal Bekaltal lake
Day 3- Bekaltal – Brahmatal
By the second morning, we woke up at around 6 in the morning; we could see the sun rays entering to our tents. I had gained enough energy and was feeling ready for the day’s trek. The surroundings were sublime and I started thinking that the trek was the best thing of all artificial means of entertainment. Mobile network were getting on and off and whenever we got a chance to speak to our home we did speak to them.
Our trek leaders kept us engaged by narrating inspiring but relevant anecdotes so as to keep us going without thinking about what lay ahead. Crossing the splendid views of mountains and valleys all immersed in fog, we finally managed to reach our stunning basecamp in Brahmatal. I took a stroll around the campsite. The atmosphere was wonderful. And the source of drinking water was the mountain water.
After having some tea in the evening we visited Brahmatal Lake which was around 10 min walk from the camp site and the mesmerizing view of still lake was breathtaking. There is also a small temple made of mountain rocks dedicated to Lord Brahma.
Camp at Brahmatal lake
Day 4- Bramhatal – Bramhatal summit – Forest Base camp
This was the day of the summit. We started our summit walk at 6:40 Am. There was so much excitement in my head. This was going to be our last great ascent in the entire trekking itinerary and all my trek mates really wanted to reach the summit as soon as possible.
Fortunately on this day, the beauty of the route was enough to keep us going. Although the ascent was really tough some times, the trek was a steep climb; the last 1 kilometer was a bit difficult compared to the entire past days trek route.
It was going to be an impeccable journey which was going to leave an indelible impression on us and we had realized that if we were mentally prepared for it, we will achieve it and we did it. We reached the summit by 10:30AM.
The sense of achievement had surpassed the feeling of happiness by a mile. And here all of us, clicking celebratory pictures with our group and making merry quietly in our hearts because this was one moment everyone in my group wanted to cherish forever.
We stayed there for around 2 hr. and started our decent towards our last camp site and the decent was comparatively relaxing to our heart but our knees were getting the pressure.
At the summit
Brahmatal squad September 2019 Batch –
The GoAdven Team
Day 5: Forest Base camp – Lohajung
Today we descend down to our base camp Lohajung which was a 4 km trail. We started early morning and almost ran through the straight trails. Since it was mostly downhill, the knees were punished. But the thick forest and huge trees were pleasant for eyes.
Everyone was more than helpful to everyone else and there was no envy, no pride involved. The concept of team building that I learned here. Finally, after continuously descending for half a day, I got a whiff of the basecamp from where we originally started the trek.
Even though there was still over an hour to the destination, just a sight of it was comforting enough to bring a sigh of relief. And in no time we were at the basecamp. I had never been happier at having achieved something in my uneventful life than I was at Lohajung that afternoon. My first Himalayan trek was a success. Later at 2:PM Our organizers arranged for a transport from Lohajung to Kausani.
Note:Brahmatal is one of India’s few high-altitude treks accessible in the winter months. I have to say with all my heart, that I had a brilliant experience with The GoAdven Team. As a traveler, I like to honestly review and recommend companies I’ve had a good time with. As a first time trekker, I had the best possible introduction to high altitude trekking with their team. Mr. Pradeep Kuniyal and all their other crew members ensured that we had a blast up in the mountains. Especially the cook Mr. Prakash dished out the most delicious simple meals, including kheer and mountain cuisines during camp.