During my last visit to India, I fell in love with the state of Himachal Pradesh. Although the weather in the north of India can be too cold for a summer person like me, the natural beauty and the kind locals won me over. I resolved to go on a Bhabha Pass Trek in Himachal, and with winter fast approaching one of the first stops on my second Indian trip had to be back here.
After a fantastic time in the Kullu valley for the Dussehra festival (a story for another time), I made my way to meet my trekking guide in his home in the village of Kafnu.
About the Trek
Bhabha Pass Trek is located in between two regions: Kinnaur (Land of the Gods) and Spiti (The Middle Land). From the beginning of the trek to the end, you experience wildly different landscapes, people, languages, and religions.I chose Bhabha because of its scenic beauty and because it was rated as a challenging trek. More on this later.
The challenge of Bhabha Pass Trek starts with the bus ride to the start of the hike. It winds through the mountains, making many travellers nauseated. A friend had warned me that some travellers even throw up. Luckily, my stomach was up to the task. (I admit that my nerves were not as strong. I prayed for dear life every time we went around a curve and I lost sight of the road below us.)
Bhabha Pass Trek can be done in either direction, and I chose to go from the village of Kafnu to the village of Mudh. Stuffed full of homemade chai, eggs, parathas, and the famous Himachali apples, I set out with my guides. Mountains ahead of us and behind us, we set out along the Bhabha river.
Bhabha pass Trek is typically completed in 4 or 5 days. We had aimed for 5, but on Day 1 we arrived at our campsite very early, so we agreed to combine days 2 and 3. (According to Prem, “You walk well.” What a compliment!) I used the extra time on Day 1 to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and make friends with the local wildlife.
The second day of the trek involved a journey up to base camp at 4100m. It was another day full of beauty. It was getting late in the season to attempt this trek, as the weather can be unpredictable and it starts getting colder. The advantage – the four river crossings were much shallower than in the summer!
We climbed up to the pass, then made the long descent to the next campsite. The transition from Kinnaur to Spiti was dramatic, as the next two photos will show.
A word of advice: When you are trekking over large rocks, watch every step! I had a nasty fall because I was too busy looking around while walking. Luckily, I didn’t fall far.
After a very cold night, we made our final trek to Mudh village. Once again, the landscape did not disappoint.
The Bhabha Pass trek was challenging but not exhausting, thanks to my awesome guides Prem and Lakhan. They took care of all the food and camp setup so I could focus on walking, photography, and enjoying my time in nature. I did not train specifically for this trek, but I had already completed one trek at a similar altitude and I lead an active lifestyle. I also took a few days to acclimatize at the starting altitude.
Farewell Of Bhabha Pass Trek in Himachal Pradesh
Well, not so fast… buses out of Mudh to the next bigger town Kaza only go once a day, and similarly, buses out of Kaza only go once a day. So unless you are renting or sharing a vehicle, it may take a while to get to your next destination. I was just happy to have a warm shower and a warm bed to hop into at night, and not in any rush to get back to the city. Just the opposite, I can’t wait to come back one day!
A lifelong traveller, Ivana is happiest in the mountains. She loves warm weather, hot tea, and never goes far without her camera. She recently took a sabbatical to travel and spent most of it travelling around India.