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Debangana Sen Mar 10 2014

Could you tell me about hiking stretch to the Kanasar Lake and how many days it should be divided into?

Benazir Khan Mar 10 2014
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
This trek is tough at certain stages. Also, this is a completely unexplored region and there are no bridges in the area. Makeshift bridges have to be established
to cross several rivers. Put aside at least 12 days for the trek, and go with a
good operator and support staff.


We started our trek at Sangla (2,700m) in Kinnaur. Typically, treks begin around the 2,000m level, but starting at a higher level gave us an advantage: we bypassed
the forest sections and, in a matter of hours, were walking through beautiful
meadow stretches. Also, the Kinnaur side has a fairly moderate gradient, which
makes it easier to gain altitude. After two days of gentle walking, we were at the
base of Nalgan Pass (3,900m). On day three, we moved through progressively
deeper snow as we got closer to the pass.

A photo of Kinnaur (by snotch)

Situated at a height of 4,200m, Nalgan Pass gave us some excellent views of both
the Kinnaur and Garhwal sides. Later in the day, we were out of the snow and
comfortably settled in an inviting campsite in the Nalgan Valley.


For us, the closest access route to Kanasar lake was through the Panchodar valley, which lies to one side of the Nalgan valley. The Panchodar valley is pristine, as it is so seldom visited. Quite near the place our team had intended for the campsite, three bears showed up; fortunately they moved on soon, bored of
our affairs. On day five, as we gained height, we passed through endless
meadow stretches strewn with tiny purple and yellow flowers. We tried our
best to avoid hurting the pretty things, but it was futile — the meadows were
carpeted with flowers. At the end of that day, we camped at Bijouri (3,950m),
which offered an almost-panoramic view of the surrounding heights.

A photo of travellers in conversation in Uttarakhand (by solarshakti)


We began the approach to Kanasar by claiming a grass-covered ridge near the
camp. The going got more complicated once we hit the snowline at 4,100m;
there were long sections with knee-deep snow. Finally, we reached the top of a
ridge at 4,450m; a little lower down was Kanasar Lake. I’d put the size of Kanasar
at about a kilometre — enormous for a high-altitude lake. Our guide Surendra
explained that the lake gets its name from its shape, the shape of an eye. And the
islands in the lake, he said, look like the spots in the eye of a blind (kana) person. Quite like a lot of spots in Mussourie as well.

A photo of Uttarakhand (by Paul Hamilton)


On the way back, we walked down the Nalgan valley, which merges with the
Rupin valley and finally leads to Netwar, the roadhead. As we reached the confluence of the Panchodar and Nalgan valleys, we met shepherds coming up
from Dodra Kwar, looking for pasture land, enough of which is also found in Kausani. We were headed in the opposite direction, looking for a wide trail with a gradual descent. What we got instead was a faint trail overrun by boulders, which isn’t surprising, given that Nalgan is a narrow valley with steep slopes and so highly prone to landslides.

Finding a good campsite was a challenge on our way back, but we managed some picturesque sites between the edge of the forest and the Nalgan river. Finally, on the fourth day of our descent, we reached Netwar. And that was the end of our trek to one of the quietest corners of Garhwal.

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