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Rupin Pass – Boasts Beauty at Every Turn

Trekking in Himalayas made me embrace the fact that beauty lies within the simplest of things. The thrill of going on a trek in the mountains for a week made me work out every day. I had to especially strengthen my shoulders to carry the 60L back pack throughout the trek.

Rupin Pass is one such trek which boasts beauty around every corner. It had lush green forests, stunning alpine meadows, snowy terrains, gigantic glaciers, gorgeous villages and breathtaking water bodies.

DAY 1: Dehradun to Dhaula camp

Distance: 209kms            Time: 11-12 hours

Dhaula in Uttarkashi district was approximately an 11-hour drive from Dehradun. A friend from UrbanARCKS helped us get in touch with Himalayan Hikers who organized our private trek to Rupin Pass. The drive to Dhaula was slightly challenging and it needed an expert driver considering the narrow Himalayan roads.

We were given a warm welcome by the entire Himalayan Hikers team on our arrival at Dhaula. We gorged on yummy food made by our cook while getting to know the trek leads and helpers.

Rupin river
The view I woke up to, after reaching Dhaula

I was able to listen to the rhythm of flowing water very close to our camp, but it was too dark to be able to see anything. On the next day, first thing I did in the morning was to follow the rhythm of gushing water and reach this point which was just about 100 meters away from where we camped.

DAY 2: Dhaula to Sewa (5100ft to 6300ft)

Distance: 11 kms             Time: 6-7 hours

Started our trek at 8am in the morning crossing one of the very first hanging bridges in the course of the trek. The excitement of starting a trek rushed in. We got to make friends with trekkers from other trekking groups.

chai shop during trek
In front of Surthilal Basiyam’s chai shop

There were chai shops on the way up to the mountain. The mountain crossed villages where the villagers and us were awed seeing each other.

The trail got steep with every climb and we reached the Sewa village where we saw a Kinnauri style temple and I still have questions in my mind as to why there were so many medals and trophies stuck to the temple walls.

Sewa temple
Temple at Sewa village

A km from the Sewa village we crossed Uttarakhand-Himachal Pradesh border and entered Himachal to camp for the night.

DAY 3: Sewa to Jakha village (6,300 ft to 7,700 ft)

Distance: 9kms                Time: 6-7 hours

Trek day 3
Starting DAY 3 in the morning cold

This was the first challenging day of the trek. When we started the trek, it was very cold, and we wore 3 layers of clothing. As we started trekking, we felt so sweaty that we had to remove our jackets within 400 meters of the starting point. The initial trek wasn’t much of a challenge because we were walking on relatively flat Himalayan roads.

We had lunch at a village called Bhauta. The people were so loving, and they were equally excited to get their pictures clicked with us.

Garhwal ladies
Lovely Garhwal ladies
Garhwal cousins
Mountain people
Mountain people
Siblings in Garhwal
Siblings in Garhwal
Chai in Garhwal
Chai in Garhwal
Garhwal mom and son
Garhwal mom and son
Cousins who had come to spend their summer vacation at their grandfather’s house
They felt shy when I clicked pictures of them. How beautiful can that innocence be?
Siblings who had come to their grandparents house for summer vacation.
Mr.Jisamlal Basiyam was their grandfather who made us tasty chai.
Mom asking her son to smile for the picture I was taking
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Cousins who had come to spend their summer vacation at their grandfather's house
They felt shy when I clicked pictures of them. How beautiful can that innocence be?
Siblings who had come to their grandparents house for summer vacation.
Mr.Jisamlal Basiyam was their grandfather who made us tasty chai.
Mom asking her son to smile for the picture I was taking
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Day 3 had steep climbs and at some point, it was tiresome to climb anymore. That feeling of finding a thatched shop selling Maggi (popular noodle brand) in the middle of nowhere while trekking up was incredible during the difficult climbs. As we reached our place of stay in Jakha after a grueling day, the helpers and porters cheered us up for reaching the destination for the day.

DAY 4: Jakha village to Suruwas Thach (7,700 ft to 10,300 ft)

Distance: 10 kms             Time: 6-7 hours

Jiskun
Starting DAY 4 from Jakha village

This day showered us with many exciting views and experiences. The adrenaline rush was at its peak. As soon as we started the trek the Rain Gods decided to bless us which made the trek more challenging. There were sections on the trail where anything could have happened if we weren’t careful with where we place our footsteps.

Jakha village
Jakha village
Filling water
Filling water
Rupin trails
Rupin trails
Rupin mountains
Rupin mountains
Rupin glacier
Rupin glacier
The village you see at a distance was Jakha. How beautiful the view was!
The village you see at a distance was Jakha. How beautiful the view was!
One of our water filling spots.
One of our water filling spots.
New trail every hour
New trail every hour
Mountains are calling
Mountains are calling
First Glacier encountered
First Glacier encountered
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The village you see at a distance was Jakha. How beautiful the view was!
One of our water filling spots.
New trail every hour
Mountains are calling
First Glacier encountered
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We cautiously climbed onto the glaciers and reached the other side of the mountain which bestowed us with even more fantabulous views.

Rupin glacier
I was so happy standing over a glacier for the first time

After few more hours of trekking we found our camp for that night’s stay, and the view around it made me realize how blessed I am to live my life to the fullest.

Campsite on day 4 rupin
Sense of peace kicks in seeing our campsite

DAY 5: Suruwas Thatch to Dhanderas Thatch (10,300 ft to 11,700 ft)

Distance: 5 km                 Time: 4-5 hours

rupin day 4
Starting DAY 5

The trek was soothing with breath-taking views of green meadows and flocks of sheep whichever side we turned. The trail was beautiful with colorful flowers which were a feast to the eyes.

green white patches
green white patches
up the mountain
up the mountain
camp at day 4
camp at day 4
Rupin mountain stream
Rupin mountain stream
drying clothes over tent
drying clothes over tent
View from tent
View from tent
Patches of white and green
Up the mountains
The river in between separated our camp and the one on the opposite.
Mountains and streams side by side
Drying clothes when the sun still shines.
View from home
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Patches of white and green
Up the mountains
The river in between separated our camp and the one on the opposite.
Mountains and streams side by side
Drying clothes when the sun still shines.
View from home
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We were able to see the lower water fall of Dhanderas from some distance and the view was splendid. As usual we camped right next to the river and the night hit lower than -3°C which made us shudder inside the sleeping bag even with 4 layers of clothing.

sheep in Dhanderas thach
Flock of sheep near the camp

DAY 6: Dhanderas Thatch to Upper Waterfall Camp (11,700 ft to 13,100 ft)

Distance: 2.5 kms            Time: 3 hours

Spikes and pole
Heading to Upper Waterfall camp with spikes beneath our shoes

We were given spikes to wear beneath our trek shoes to get a grip while crossing glaciers. Day 6 was very chilled out. The white and the green patches kept appearing one after the other while trekking, until the point where there were no green patches but just snow drops on all the sides.

I remember us enjoying our camp stay over the snow and it felt like a dreamland. We enjoyed that day clicking pictures everywhere in and around our camp.

Upper waterfall camp
Upper waterfall camp
India flag in snow
All my friends in one frame 😀

We experienced heavy snowfall which made our trek leads double think if we would be able to cross the pass the next day. We wrapped ourselves with multiple layers of clothing into our tents praying that the snow fall should reduce when we start for the trek and the Snow God acknowledged it.

Snow at camp
This is how the view turned in few minutes after we reached the camp and clicked pictures to heart’s content

DAY 7: Upper Waterfall camp to Rupin Pass to Ronti Gad (13,100 ft to 15,380 ft to 13,100 ft)

Distance: 11 kms             Time: 10-11 hours

The ‘D DAY’ of the trek started at 3.30 am and this was the longest and most difficult trek day. The slopes were very steep and whichever side we turned to was white and snowy. It looked like a snow desert. We had to be watchful of our steps since it easily sunk inside the heavy snow.

Rupin pass moment
The moment at the pass :’)

From loving the snowfall, the previous day, I remember us getting irritated with the snowfall because it was heavy and non-stop.

There was a very steep slope which had to be climbed up to reach the Rupin Pass. Once I reached the pass, I had the moment where I shed tears of joy for the achievement of climbing 15,380 ft.

Shiva shrine
The small Shiva shrine at the pass

The fun and scary part started while descending from the pass. We had to slide down on snow most of the times. It was risky but it gave an adrenaline rush.

Trekkers in Rupin
Trekking down from the pass

Finally, we reached our campsite at Ronti Gad which had very less patches of snow and the view of the greener side of the mountains started increasing.

Kinnaur Kailash
View of the mighty Kinnaur Kailash

All the days except the pass crossing day we had dogs accompany us for long distances. What more could dog lovers ask for?

DAY 8: Ronti Gad to Sangla (13,100 ft to 8,600 ft)

Distance: 11 kms             Time: 5-6 hours

trek last day
Busy packing on the last day of the trek

This was a day with mixed emotions because the reality hit hard that we had to bade goodbye to the mountains and the Rupin Pass team, to get back to the city life which provides us our bread and butter.

Trek group photo
The entire team except our friend Abhi who is behind the camera as usual

I personally love the descending part while trekking. If you know which stone to keep your toes on, your body will take you at the speed you want.

We reached Sangla in Kinnaur which had the Baspa river flowing. It was a Buddhist town with the view of the mighty Kinnaur Kailash. The village was full of wooden houses and provided us the warmth of welcome.

Sangla baspa
Beautiful Sangla by the sides of river Baspa

Until Next Time

As soon as we reached Sangla we had to look for our means of transport to reach Chandigarh the next day. The Rupin Pass trek had surprises every hour and it made me feel like life has more to offer and it is never a bye to the mountains, but it is just ‘until next time’.

Kinnaur Kailash
Sangla at the foothills of Kinnaur Kailash mountain

Click here to read more about my adventures.

Aarthy Chinnaiya

Hola, you travel-prying soul! Welcome to my blog and thanks for stopping by! My name is Aarthy Chinnaiya, exploring new places, food and people gets me excited. I focus on budget travel and exploring places to the fullest in limited number of days (being a Software Engineer I don't get much leaves you see :P). Follow me for a constant dose of my travel stories, experiences, tips and much more.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Rathiya Angeline

    Really enjoyed reading about your trekking adventures 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Aarthy

      I’m glad you liked it 🙂

  2. Solo Backpacker

    Beautifully Written. Wish to do this trek one day. Your journey was awesome from loving the snowfall to get irritated with that finally. It was unfortunate that you couldn’t visit Chhitkul Village despite being so closed to it. May be another time. Pictures are beautiful.

    1. Aarthy

      Thank you! I have plans to do Buran Ghati soon. I ll try to visit Chitkul then 🙂

  3. Ratna

    Wow…that was a very informative write up….should definetly mention this…….you have a great collection of photos..???

    1. Aarthy

      Thank you! Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂

  4. Sampath Kumar

    Nice ways of presenting your experience. Reading through this created an interest in me to visit Rupin Pass some day in future.

    1. Aarthy

      Thank you! You should definitely do it.

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