Kagbhusandi Tal : A Lake Where Crows Fly to Die
Season : May – Jun and Sep – Oct
Kagbhusandi Tal is a beautiful high altitude oblong lake adorned with emerald green waters and awe striking mountain views. Perched at an elevation of 4730 m, this glacial lake is cradled at the bottom of Hathi Parvat (6730 m), one of the most prominent Himalayan Peak of all the Six Thousanders. It’s water has a striking greenish tint while it’s banks are overrun by flower blooms in various shades- pink, mauve, orange, purples, crimson, ochre, rust and greens. Kankul Khal (Pass), 4630 m above sea level is the gateway for this lake. This sacred lake is 500 m long and 250 m wide.
Due to its remoteness there is a very high possibility of coming across wildlife, especially bears. This trek offers panoramic views of the several Himalayan peaks in the region. One can have a clear view of Neelkanth, Hathi Peak, Chaukhamba, and Nar-Narayan Peaks while moving towards Kagbhushundi Tal. The area comes under the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, a UN world heritage site for natural diversity.
The trail of this amazing trek initiates along the most visited Valley of Flowers, veering off to east of Bhyunder Village. There are so many beautiful meadows in route to Kagbhushundi from Bhyundar. Kargila, Semartoli, Bankbara, Dang Khark, and Raj Khark are the most beautiful campsites in the region. These grasslands are used by the nearby villages for grazing their livestock and used as pasture lands. The route to Kagbhusandi Tal veers through different terrains from dense and colorful forest of pine and maple, to pristine glaciers and gushing streams, making this offbeat trek a fascinating experience for trekkers.
Apart from the splendid lake, the other attraction of the trek are two huge irregular rocks on a spur of Hathi Parvat, often described as crow (Kaga) and an Eagle (Garuda). According to the local folklore, the crow is animatedly conversing with Garuda on the affairs of the universe. Another version has it that a learned Brahmin of Ayodhya once incurred the wrath of the sage Lomas who lived near the lake, and was changed into a crow by the sage. Several such mystic stories make this trek all the more fascinating. As the journey involves walking long distances across glacial moraines and over slippery rocks deep in the Garhwal Himalaya, it is still less explored and is also considered as one of the toughest treks in the Garhwal Himalayan region.
Day 01 : Drive Rishikesh to GovindGhat (1828m) via Joshimath; 272 km, 9-10 hour.
On the first day of your trek, you’ll be driving from Rishikesh to Govindghat (1,828 m)via Joshimath. The entire journey takes you through the mountain side, with the river Ganges flowing below you. You also get to witness the confluence of rivers Alaknanda and Bhagirathi to form river Ganges. Govindghat is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. This place is a base for many treks including Kuari Pass, Pangarchula Peak, and Valley of flowers.
Day 02 : Trek Govindghat to Bhyundar Village to RoopDhungi (1828m); 12 km, 6-7 hour.
Start early and mark your way towards Bhyundar village, the starting point of the trek to Kagbhusandi Lake. Though, there is steep climbing for the first hour of the trek, but it is easier in gradient later on. You will encounter rocky areas, glaciers, shrubs, rivers, etc on the first day of your trek. Enjoy the sounds of gushing water of River Alaknanda, while you move forward. The trail after Bhyundar village passes through dense bear-infested rhododendron forests. It is here that you’ll have a first glimpse of Hathi Parvat while moving towards Roopdhungi. Overnight stay in tents at Roopdhungi.
Day 03 : Trek RoopDhungi to Samartoli to Raj Kharak (3900m); 14 km, 8 hour.
Post breakfast, we move from Roop Dhungi to Simartoli, and later to Raj kharak. The entire trail is beautiful and soothing to eyes. You will be walking on a colorful route with variety of flowers blooming in full blossom and snow-clad Himalayan peaks in the background. Passing through Kargil, Simartoli, Bankbara, and Dang Khark we camp at Raj Khark for the day. These are all beautiful campsites for trekkers. A lot of shepherds from the nearby villages use this area as pastureland to graze their livestock.
Day 04 : Trek Raj Kharak to Kagbhusandi Tal (4730m) via Kankul Pass (4960m); 8 km, 5 hour.
This is the most exciting day of our trek as we head to Kagbhusandi Tal from Raj Khark. The initial path to the lake is through green valley and beautiful meadows, later followed by climbing huge boulders and walking on narrow paths. However, the instant thought of the mesmerizing lake will keep you motivated through all the tough routes. On the way, you will witness stunning views of Neelkanth (6596 m.), Hathi Peak (6727 m.), Ghodi Parvat (6590 m.), Chaukhamba and Nar-Narayan Peaks. There is the wide variety of flora and fauna in the valley. You can see Brahma kamal, Myriad, Fen kamal and many more flowers. Once you reach the lake, you will be awestruck by the beauty of nature. Overnight at Kagbhusandi.
Day 05 : Trek Kagbhusandi to Gounchha Udiyar; 8 km, 3-4 hour.
After a healthy breakfast, continue your journey to our next campsite. The 8 km route to Gounchha Udiyar is covered by sprawling green meadows, gushing streams, lofty panoramic views, and alpine forest. Do not forget to click some amazing pictures on this route. This is where you can capture the best of what the nature has to offer. Reaching Gouchha Udiyar take a stroll in the area to meet the villagers and get a glimpse of their nomadic and peaceful culture. Take rest after a hectic day at a makeshift tent in Gounchha Udiyar.
Day 06 : Trek Gouncha Udiyar to Painka to Govindghat (1828m); 10 km trek, 7 km drive.
Put on your hiking shoes and begin your journey to Painka village, the last day of our on foot excursion of the trek. After reaching Painka, we head towards Govindghat for overnight stay. Painka is a small and beautiful village located in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas. The trek passes through the rocky and narrow paths, along with some dense forest area. You’ll also come across the spring coming from Barmal Peak. The beauty of this place will leave you astonished and you would definitely want to visit here again. The blissful walk ends on reaching Govindghat. Check in at the guest house arranged by us. Enjoy hot dinner and relish the entire evening.
Day 07 : Drive GovindGhat to Rishikesh; 272 km, 9-10 hour.
This is the last day of our trip and the sentiment of the trekking experience is unforgettable. We take back some amazing memories and incredible moments to rejoice for the rest of our life. Board our awaiting vehicle and drive back to Rishikesh. Lunch on the way and trip finishes at Rishikesh.
What is included
- All arrangements for staying and camping while on the trip.
- Travel (in a comfortable car/suv/similar vehicle) and meals while on trek (Veg | Egg).
- Trek equipments including Tents, Sleeping bags, Mattress, Kitchen & Dining Tent and other utensils.
- Safety equipment and Medical Kit.
- Trek Permits and entrance fees.
- Mountaineering qualified & professional Trek Leader, Guide and Support staff.
What’s not included
- Personal Insurance and Expenses.
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.
- Tips and Gratuities (We recommend 5-10% of your trip cost – To be distributed among the Team) – Personal Choice
- Anything not mentioned under the head inclusions.
What to pack
Sunscreen SPF 20 above | Sunglasses (UV proof/polarizer) |
Hiking Hat & Scarf | Balaclava or Face mask
Poncho | Waterproof Jacket & Trouser | Waterproof Backpack Cover |
Waterproof hiking shoes
Cold Cream & Moisturizer | Lip balm | Thermal Inner Wear | Base Layer | Sweater or Fleece | Down Jackets | Woolen Gloves & Socks | Mufflers
Ruck Sack | T-shirts | Hiking Pants | Undergarments | Quick dry Towel | Paper Soap’s | Toilet Paper and Wipes | Head Lamp or Torch | Thin Multi-purpose Nylon Rope | Extra Batteries and Charger | Water Bottles or Hydration Pack | Hand Sanitizer | Toothbrush and Toothpaste | Personal Medical and First Aid Kit |Photo Identity Card
Camera and Tripod | Day Pack | Hiking Pole or Stick | Snow Gaiters | Drone | Energy Bars or Dry Fruits or Electrols