TRIP TO BANIAKUND, CHOPTA, UTTRAKHAND A nature-loverís paradise

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#16 Oct 10th, 2015, 15:19
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#16

View of Mountain range from Baniakund

...................
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#17 Oct 10th, 2015, 15:25
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#17

The green alpine meadows.....

"my heart leaps up when I behold/ a rainbow in the sky:/ so was it when my life began,/ so is it now I am a man,/ so be it when I shall grow old/ or let me die!"
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#18 Oct 10th, 2015, 15:30
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#18

Baniakund - birders' paradise....

At a distance from our camp site a group of Himalayan Griffon Vultures were feeding themselves on a carcass of a cow. Vultures are now a days very rare to find in the plains; they are almost extinct there. We have never seen himalayan vultures from so close a distance.

We were lucky to come across Mr. Suresh C. Sharma, an eminent ornithologist and Mrs. Sharma, an enviornmentalist on that very day. They were passing by the road and being attracted by the griffons came down from the road near our camp site to photograph the birds.

We asked Arvind to invite them to the camp site as the view was superb from there. Mr. Sharma was also delighted to watch the griffons from so close a distance.

We learnt so many things from Mr. Sharma about the vultures and other birds of this locality. According to Mr. Sharma the area is birdwatchersí paradise. We also learn about Mr. Yashpal Negi, a renouned ornithologist, who lives nearby in Makku village. We were deeply touched by their love of nature.
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#19 Oct 10th, 2015, 15:33
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#19

Eminent ornithologist Mr. Suresh C. Sharma and his wife...

Birding at Baniakund....
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#20 Oct 10th, 2015, 15:45
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#20
Hi Himadri,
As Amit'da said your trip log actually helping us a lot. The first hand experience of Baniyakund- we were searching that in recent past. Thanks a lot for showing us the lovely images from the area. I am delighted to hear about your meeting with Mr Sharma & Mr Negi of Makku.
As Amit'da asked can you share few contacts & accomodation rates of Baniyakund, if possible?
We're in packing mode actually.
-Paglaghora
Paren Asola Gue Leh Ajmer Gurudongmar Hogennakkal Orchha Raiganj Agartala

Phadamchen AritarTop Gnathang Lunghtu Akpa Gramphoo Hee Osiyan Rampur Attargo
#21 Oct 10th, 2015, 16:28
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#21
Himadri,

What lens have you used for the bird shots? They are quite impressive.
#22 Oct 10th, 2015, 17:28
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#22
Oh Avishek!!

Please have mercy on me and my camera....these are record shots only....my camera doesn't allow me to take more detailed bird shot. I am sorry. But believe me, such is the abundance of birds variety there, any one with a good lens will just rock.

And....oh my god!!! what should I call you....A mad horse (Paglaghora), the most feared ones on any mountain trails!!! We actually stayed as guest at Himalayan Home, Baniakund....However, the accommodation charge in tent is Rs.300/- per person/day. They have their own canteen for food also. You may contact Arvind Chouhan at 08954640570.
#23 Oct 10th, 2015, 18:15
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#23

Thanks a ton

Quote:
Originally Posted by himadri kar View Post Dear Amit,

Thanks for your compliments.

It is nice to know that you will be travelling to the same place I am writing about. My labour will be successful if in any way my travelogue helps you.

Answer to your queries:
1. We took a Himgiri bus from Haridwar for Ukhimath. The bus left Haridwar at 10.30 am and reached Ukhimath at 6.30 p.m. Fare per head was Rs.300/-. It was comfortable as we traveled in a lean season. Upto Srinagar there were only 6 passengers. The bus halted at Rudraprayag for more than an hour. But you will be travelling in a peak season. So the situation will definitely be different. So plan accordingly, as you also have a 4 years old child with you. Jeep service is fairly available from point to point. I think it will be better to board on a Rudraprayag bound bus from Haridwar early morning and from R.Prayag to take a dedicated car for Sarigram, assuming you will be going to Deoriatal first. A bolero type car will be taking around Rs.2500/-. It will be cost effective also. You can also take a car which will pick you up from Rudraprayag, drop at Sari, again pick from Sari drop at Baniakund, take you to Chopta and again drop you at Baniakund and from there drop you at Rudraprayag.

As for rate asked by Lakhpat, it will always be on the higher side. The reason......ask your self.

2. From Deoriatal you will be going to Tungnath, which is 3 km trek from Chopta. My suggestion is, stay at Baniakund which is only 4 km down to Chopta for your trek to Tungnath. Next day after having early breakfast go to Chopta and trek to Tungnath and again come back to Baniakund for stay. Baniakund is not only less expensive than Dogalbitta, but also more beautiful a place than the first. There are more than one option to stay at Baniakund. We stayed in tents at The Himalayan Home, Baniakund. Keep reading my travelogue.

3. There are frequent bus as well as share jeep service from Rudraprayag for Haridwar. It will not be a problem to board Kumbha/ Upasona.

Please let me know the dates you will be travelling and your budget for accommodation at Baniakund.
Thanks for ton for your detailed reply . As usual we are we have more questions...
Our itinerary is as follows:

17/10/15( sat): 12369 Kumbha Exp from HWH @13:00

18/10/15 (Sun): Reach Haridwar @ 16:00 Stay in Kali Kamli Dharamshala ( Near Rail station & bus stand) .....watch sandhya arati in Ganga....

19/10/15 (Mon): Haridwar to Ukhimath (~200km). Stay in GMVN tourist rest house

20/10/15 ( tue): Ukhimath to Sarigram ( 12 km by jeep) ...Sari to Deoriatal ( 2.5 km easy trek). stay in Tent beside the lake(lakhpat singh negi-s tent @ Rs 700 per 2 man tent)

21/10/15 ( wed): Watch Mt.Chaukhambha reflection glow red in the lake during sunrise. after breakfast walk back to Sari and then by zeep to Chopta ( 2-2.5 hrs, ~ 40km) 2915m. Have early lunch and then 3.5km trek to Tunganath (3686m). watch excellent sunset from Tunganath. Stay in Kali kamli Dharmasala.

22/10/15 (thu): Early morning Tunganath to Chandrashila 3969m (1.5km, 2hrs walk). watch sunrise while you be on the top of the world....Back to Tunganath..Relax..watch sunset....night stay

23/10/15(fri): Tunganath to Baniyakund .... bird watching

24/10/15 ( sat): Baniyakund to Haridwar....Catch night train....Haridwar HWH Doon Exp @ 22:30

25/10/15 (sun): Train

26/10/15 ( mon): morning Howrah.

1. Is our itinerary ok? Please give your opinion...

2.Regarding Baniyakund accomodation we had talked with Lakhpat Singh Negi, and he has assured us of 2DB rooms @ 800-1000 rs each...but we didn't booked it yet or paid anything to him regarding baniyakund. If the Himalayan home tents are cheaper ( Rs300 per day as you have suggested) we can talk with Chauhan guest house or Devendra...what is your suggestion?

3.Regarding our onward journey from Haridwar to Ukhimath...I think we should take an early morning bus to rudraprayag, and from there take a full indica type car .... how much time the whole journey will take if we leave haridwar at 6AM...and give a break at rudraprayag for 30-45 mins.

4.For return journey, can we get share zeeps to Rudraprayag from Baniyakund? or we have to do something else... please suggest...

5.Do we need to take a guide to Tunganath from Chopta? or can we do it ourself...same question for chandrashila....

6.Can we drop our main luggage @ Sari and @ Baniyakund while we go for the trek to Deoriatal and Tunganath repectively....

Waiting eagerly for your reply...
Thanks again
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun
#24 Oct 10th, 2015, 21:42
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#24
Amit,

Your itinerary is OK. A few questions...

Why are you wasting a day at Ukhimath, when you can go to Sarigram and trek to Deoriatal on the same day?

No need to book Baniakund accommodation via Lakhpat. You can speak to Arvind at the given number. By the way... Who is Devendra? One knock.... Baniakund doesn't have too many options and you will be travelling during the peak season (durgapuja/ navratri). So prebook your accommodation early. Hope you have already booked the one at Tunganath.

Regarding the journey from Haridwar, take an early morning bus to Rudraprayag and from there take a jeep to your destination, be it Ukhimath or Sarigram. You can also take a dedicated car for the entire trip from Rudraprayag to Rudraprayag. This may cost you around 5000+ in bolero type car. This will be comfcomfortable hasselfree.

There are no regular jeep service from Baniakund.

No need to take a guide to Tunganath. I think there will be porters/mule to carry your loads. Just follow.
#25 Oct 10th, 2015, 21:43
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#25
Amit,

Your itinerary is OK. A few questions...

Why are you wasting a day at Ukhimath, when you can go to Sarigram and trek to Deoriatal on the same day?

No need to book Baniakund accommodation via Lakhpat. You can speak to Arvind at the given number. By the way... Who is Devendra? One knock.... Baniakund doesn't have too many options and you will be travelling during the peak season (durgapuja/ navratri). So prebook your accommodation early. Hope you have already booked the one at Tunganath.

Regarding the journey from Haridwar, take an early morning bus to Rudraprayag and from there take a jeep to your destination, be it Ukhimath or Sarigram. You can also take a dedicated car for the entire trip from Rudraprayag to Rudraprayag. This may cost you around 5000+ in bolero type car. This will be comfcomfortable hasselfree.

There are no regular jeep service from Baniakund.

No need to take a guide to Tunganath. I think there will be porters/mule to carry your loads. Just follow.
#26 Oct 10th, 2015, 23:01
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#26
Quote:
Originally Posted by himadri kar View Post And....oh my god!!! what should I call you....A mad horse (Paglaghora), the most feared ones on any mountain trails!!! We actually stayed as guest at Himalayan Home, Baniakund....However, the accommodation charge in tent is Rs.300/- per person/day. They have their own canteen for food also. You may contact Arvind Chouhan at 08954640570.
Ha Ha . I understand your fear. I came across such situation at EBC trail last Nov , when a young untamed yak ran towards us , terrifying moment that was .
Thanks for the contact of Arvind, though .
#27 Oct 11th, 2015, 13:56
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#27
Quote:
Originally Posted by himadri kar View Post Amit,

Your itinerary is OK. A few questions...

Why are you wasting a day at Ukhimath, when you can go to Sarigram and trek to Deoriatal on the same day?

No need to book Baniakund accommodation via Lakhpat. You can speak to Arvind at the given number. By the way... Who is Devendra? One knock.... Baniakund doesn't have too many options and you will be travelling during the peak season (durgapuja/ navratri). So prebook your accommodation early. Hope you have already booked the one at Tunganath.

Regarding the journey from Haridwar, take an early morning bus to Rudraprayag and from there take a jeep to your destination, be it Ukhimath or Sarigram. You can also take a dedicated car for the entire trip from Rudraprayag to Rudraprayag. This may cost you around 5000+ in bolero type car. This will be comfcomfortable hasselfree.

There are no regular jeep service from Baniakund.

No need to take a guide to Tunganath. I think there will be porters/mule to carry your loads. Just follow.
Thanks a lot Himadri for quickly answering my querries and clearing my doubts..

1. Since we will have to do the whole day journey from Haridwar to Ukhimath, we thought it's better to take rest at Ukhi that day and see the Ukhimath temple by the evening, and then start the trek next day in fresh legs... Even if we had reached Sari village on 19th, it will be really tough for us with my kid to trek to Deoriatal the same day after the day long journey.....

2. We had already talked with Lakhpat...now what to do .... we can call Arvind and know the price...thats not a big deal... Regarding Devendra I have read it in your previous post
see post no 20, 21 and 24
Deoria tal, Chopta, Tunganath

Yes we have booked Kali kamli dharamshala @ Tunganath for 2 nights 21 and 22nd oct.

3. Yes, we had also planned the same mode of jorney as you had suggested. If rudraprayag to rudraprayag is 5000+, that will be great..as Lakhpat has quoted 600 for Ukhi to Sari, 1000 for Sari to Chopta and 400 for Chopta to Baniyakund...that means total 2000... adding 3000 and getting it to and fro from Rudraprayag will be really great... lets see...

4. if there is no service from Baniyakund then how will we arrange transport from Baniya to Rudraprayag during our return...Please suggest...
#28 Oct 11th, 2015, 14:49
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#28
Great snaps himadri...Love them all
Rules r meant to be broken
But!!!!!!
Don't break rules in Himalaya
Please Keep Himalaya clean & plastic free
#29 Oct 11th, 2015, 20:51
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#29

Birds around Baniakund

Scaley bellied woodpecker and the Himalayan vulture ... Photo courtesy Mr. Suresh C Sharma
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#30 Oct 11th, 2015, 20:56
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#30
Welcome Amit. Feel free to ask for any assistance.

Thank you Legend. The joy of sharing is my reward.
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