Kugti Village – Hadsar is a small village in the Chamba Valley of Himachal Pradesh, most famous for being the gateway to the Manimahesh Kailash Yatra, a pilgrimage to a holy lake situated at a whopping 4,080 meters. Right beyond Hadsar (13 km), lies a quaint village of Kugti, the base camp for the lesser explored difficult trek to Kugti Pass connecting the Chamba and Lahaul districts of the state. Most people of Kugti belong to the Gaddi community. There is only one proper lodging option: that is the Forest Rest House, apart from a few homestays. The most famous attraction here is the ancient Kartik Swati Temple. It is about a two hours’ hike from the village and is almost entirely covered in snow during winters.
Kugti is a village of extreme serenity and untouched natural beauty surrounded by the Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary. Even in the summers, this village is less frequented by tourists. The village is mostly self-sufficient on food. Moreover, the Kugti Sanctuary is the second largest in Himachal Pradesh with an altitude ranging from 2,195 meters to 5,040 meters! This sanctuary is famous for the snow leopard and the Himalayan ibex. It is a pristine area untainted by commercialization. There shouldn’t be a need for any more reasons to visit this pristine land of Mother Nature, through a road trip covering this offbeat destination in the Himalayas.
Furthermore, the Budhil river flows through this valley. In addition to this Kugti Sanctuary has a total of 22 mountains peaks. Some of them include Crog Dhar, Sapad Kinnaur, Bukhar Dhar, Mundi Dhar, and Dawel Dhar. Villagers grow some food crops and have abundant fruits. Some of them include rajma, potato, cabbage, walnut, apple, peach, and khurmani.
Bharmour, the ancient capital of Chamba district is at an elevation of 7000 feet in the Budhil valley. This beautiful town is famous for scenic beauty and temples. Bharmour is Shiv Bhoomi and Gaddi people (tribe) live here. Chaurasi Temple is in the center of the Bharmour town. It was built here in the 7th century. Besides, there are 84 total temples in the whole complex.
Khajjiar & Dalhousie
This road trip will also cover Khajjiar and Dalhousie. Dalhousie was established by Britishers in 1864 as a military station. Built around five hills, it retains its old-world charm even today. In addition, this hill town is famous for a wonderful view of the Pir-Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. It also has numerous beautiful churches built against a backdrop of tall pine trees. Khajjiar the famous tourist spot is within the Kalatop sanctuary. It has good patches of coniferous and oak forests.
Khajjiar is a surrounded by thick deodar forest with a lake in the middle. Also, the temple of Khajji Nag by the side of the lake is a revered place. This place breaths mythology. Khajjiar is also known as the Switzerland of India (mini-Switzerland)
If solitude, sky-gazing, wilderness, a night out under the stars and a warm campfire is what you want, this trip is undoubtedly ideal for you.
Kugti Village Map
Day 1 (18 April) –We begin our journey in the morning from Chandigarh to cover the 350 kilometres towards Chamba in about 10 hours. Chamba is a big town in the Chamba district of the state, situated on the banks of the Ravi River. The town is most famous for its several temples and palaces, and also is home to two annual fairs. We rest in a comfortable hotel overnight and feast on some mouthwatering dinner as we prepare for our journey ahead!
Day 2 (19 April) –After an early morning breakfast, we begin our 60 kilometres drive towards the town of Bharmour. This is a beautiful land lying between the Dhauladhar Range and the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas. This is a land blessed with nature’s bounty consisting of massive alpine pastures, home to the nomadic Gaddi tribe of the region. With several famous temples located in Bharmour, this town is also an alternative starting point of the Manimahesh Kailash Yatra.
From Bharmour, we continue on the rod and drive another 22 kilometres towards Kugti. Here, we pitch our tents beside a stream of the River Budhil and camp under a spread of a billion glowing stars. And with the Milky Way season beginning, you can also try your hand at astrophotography and try to capture some of the best astronomical phenomena.
Day 3 (20 April) –After going around the village and exploring its raw beauty, we start our 100 kilometres drive and reach Khajjiar, our destination for the day. Khajjiar is a town located in close proximity to Dalhousie, a big city in Chamba district. Also known as the Switzerland of India, Khajjiar is known for its sprawling lush green meadows surrounded by thick alpine forests and a small stream fed the lake. We spend the night camping at Khajjiar near the Kalatop sanctuary and making memories while feasting on a delicious dinner!
Day 4 (21 April) –On our last day, we rise early for a hearty breakfast with majestic sunrise views and start our drive to Dalhousie. This bustling commercial hub of Chamba district is known for its archaic colonial-era buildings and impressive views of the Dhauladhar Mountains. With churches, waterfalls, a wildlife sanctuary and quaint cafes along colourful markets, Dalhousie is rightfully a much-loved tourist destination.
After exploring Dalhousie’s beauty, we head on back to our last leg of our road trip towards Chandigarh with memories to last for a lifetime!
Meals- Vegetarian Nutritious and Tasty Meals during the Trek with Evening Tea and Snacks.
Breakfast on Day 2, 3 and 4
Lunch on Day 2 and 3
Dinner on Day 1, 2 and 3
Experienced tour leaders and cook.
Transport from Chandigarh and back.
First-Aid Kit/ Oxygen Cylinder.
Travellers are reminded that there is a 15kg limit on personal luggage for all trips.
Cameras, whether video or film, needed to be protected against the severe cold either in a warm pouch or the interior pockets of your clothing. Do not keep your camera in your backpack at higher elevations.
We do not provide donkeys or porters to carry luggage.
No insurance is provided during the trek.
When between camps, please carry your daily personal rubbish to the next camp.
Remember – “Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints”. So, keep the mountains clean and green.
Aspirins and Paracetamols are highly recommended for headaches and because they also thin the blood that will help improving circulation & oxygen delivery to the body. Strong painkillers are not recommended as they can suppress respiration.
Personal expense of any kind will not be entertained.
Personal Equipment Required:
A good sturdy pair of shoes and a backpack with plastic or water-proof lining.
Comfortable, lightweight clothing.
Sunglasses or goggles.
Woollen hat for warmth.
Scarf or bandana.
Ear plugs. (Optional)
Spare contact lenses or glasses.
Extra polythene bags.
Reading materials, Games, Cards. (Optional)
Towel especially lightweight quick-dry type.
Track pants with more pockets. Carry around 2 pants. Avoid jeans.
Waterproof jackets and gloves.
A raincoat since the weather can be unpredictable sometimes. (Optional)
Identification proof like Passport, Driving license, Aadhar card etc.
1 Passport size photograph.
REFUND & CANCELLATION POLICY
Cancellation of booking of tour 31 days or more before the date of Departure will result in a 20% deduction in the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 21-30 days before the date of Departure will result in 40% deduction of the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 11-20 days before the date of Departure will result in 60% deduction of the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 6-10 days before the date of Departure will result in 80% deduction of the cost of the tour.
Cancellation of booking of tour 1-5 days before the date of Departure will result in 100% deduction of the cost of the tour.