Nanda Devi Area

  • Nanda Devi - © Flickr user
  • nanda Devi East - © Flickr user deeltijdgod
  • Nanda devi - from Auli - © Flickr User - Michael Scalet
  • A peak from the Himalayan Nanda Devi Range emerging above rain clouds - © flickr user
  •  kuari pass camp - © alpenglow flickr user
  • Kuari Pass Camo - © flickr user
  • Kuari Passed by our mules - © flickr user
  • Nanda Devi - © Flickr user
  • Nanda Devi, Lenticular Cloud  - © flickr user

Key information: Nanda Devi Area

    • The Nanda Devi area is home to miraculous mountains and its own UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It remains one the loveliest and remotest areas of the Indian Himalayas 
      • Many trekking options among the massif's peaks and the ridges and valleys which radiate out from it. The  best-known trek, the so-called Curzon Trail, winds upward near the western edge of the reserve, crossing the Kuari Pass and gaining outstanding views of the high range.
        • Walking in remote mountains, where altitude can affect you. Come fully prepared.
        • ANYONE GOT ANY GOOD PHOTOS? WE WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO POST THEM!

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating90
  • Beauty35
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points3
  • Total rating90

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: 3,658m
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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Nanda Devi - © Flickr user

WALK SUMMARY

The Nanda Devi area, until fairly recently closed to visitors, is home to miraculous mountains (most famously the Nanda Devi Sanctuary), and its own UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It remains one the loveliest and remotest areas of the Indian Himalayas, often called "Himchal" or "snowy mountains". Ironically, it was long beloved by adventurers of the British Raj, but fell into benign obscurity when Nepal opened up for tourism. Seen from Tibet to the north, white-cloaked Nanda Devi dominates all around it.

As well as Nanda Devi itself, at 7,817m, India's highest (exclusive) mountain, other peaks in the massif include the pyramidic Kamet (at 7,756m), and Trisul (7,12m). To the west, the mountains curve round in a huge horseshoe, to create the vast and dramatic Nanda Devi Sanctuary.

The area has many trekking options among its massif's peaks and the ridges and valleys which radiate out from it.

The area's best-known trek is the so-called Curzon Trail, named after the famous Viceroy, who walked here in 1905. The trek is relatively moderate altitude-wise (the Kuari Pass isn't all that high, at 3,658m, after several days' acclimatization). Its winds for 5 days upward in the "Outer Sanctuary" near the western edge of the reserve, crossing the pass and gaining outstanding views (claimed to be among the best in the world).

There are many variants of the route: you can walk the essentials in 5 days, and we have seen a 13-day wander in the area, which perhaps is overdoing it.

Other options include

  •  Trekking to the high meadows at Bedni Bugyal (3,400m - ish), which have huge and stupendous views, in 5 days or so, You can extend this to the Bhogubasa cave and Roopkund (4,000m). This can be an extension to the Curzon Trek.
  •   A 4 day trek, along with a Throng of Sikh pilgrims in the high season, to the superbly sited Hem Kund lake (at 4,330m), surrounded by seven peaks, and the Bhyundar Valley (Valley of the Flowers ), a large and magnificent glacial valley with floral life considered to be outstanding even in Himalayan terms - to the extent that it is a National Park.
  • A 7 day trek to the high and mysterious Rup Kund lake.
  • Milam Glacier and Nanda Devi East Base Camp in the Kumaon Himalaya. 10 days or so. 

A good sign that the area is off the beaten track: Tripadvisor had (in 2015 anyway) few answers to a destination search! Yippee!

This page is at an early stage of development. Please help us by recommending your best walks in the area, making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

A peak from the Himalayan Nanda Devi Range emerging above rain clouds - © flickr user

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Kuari Passed by our mules - © flickr user...
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