The Pankhu Top (Pakhwa Bugyal), also known as ‘the trek through the biggest alpine meadows of the Himalayas’, is a scenic and beautiful trek in the Bageshwar district of Kumaon, Uttarakhand. You cannot miss the mesmerising sights of the snowy Himalayan Peaks, and camp at gorgeous locations. The trail consists of many lone settlements, green valleys with beautiful wild flowers, waterfalls, wild forests and varied landscapes that grab the attention of every explorer! It is a moderate level trek appropriate for all that love and enjoy nature! Staying in tents and campsites makes the experience of this trek even more adventurous. The view of different Himalayan peaks, like, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Nanda Khat, Changuch, and more while trekking or while resting at campsites never fails to bring peace and joy to the trekker.
Max Altitude: 13000 ft.
Base Camp: Kharkia.
Best Season: Jan – April – Sep-Oct
Day time temperature: 17-20°C. Night time temperature: 3 -4°C.
Meeting Point: Kathgodam Railway Station
End Point: Kathgodam Railway Station
Day 1- Kathgodam to Kharkiya (7,200 feet) (Duration: 8 - 10 hrs)
Pick up from Kathgodam railway station early morning at 6.30am, and we start our journey towards Kharkiya which is our first basecamp. Total distance by road is 240km approx. and it will take 8/9 hrs. The beautiful and scenic routes we will be taking are through Bheemtal, Almora, Bageshwar Kapkot. These are the only places where you can find an ATM during your journey. We will stop for Breakfast and Lunch on the way. At Kharkiya, accommodation will be in the homestay. Once we reach our destination we will have a briefing and an introduction round. After dinner, we will rest at the homestay.
Day 2- Kharkiya to Khati (Distance - 5km) (Duration 3-4 hours)
Our breakfast will start at 8am. After breakfast, we will start our trek to Khati. This day’s trek is short, it will take 3/4hrs to reach our camp. Kharkia is the last village on this road, and in some parts of this area you can find BSNL network. Gradual zig-zag route through the beautiful landscape of Oak and Rhododendron forest. Our lunch will be at the Khati campsite. Khati camp is the ideal place for trekkers, from here you can see peaks like Nandakot, Nandabaner many more. Khati is the last inhabited village on the way to Pindari Glacier. Dinner will be served at the campsite, Overnight stay in tents on a sharing basis.
Day 3- Khati to Bajlingdhar (Distance - 6km) (Duration - 5-6 hours)
We start in the morning with a packed lunch by 8.00 am. The trail is quite pleasant for about 100 m but, as soon as we reach the dense forest, the actual climb starts. A cool breeze throughout the journey helps us walk uphill. After reaching the mountaintop, the tree line gradually recedes, and the plain mini grasslands start. Continue climbing up on the ridge, you will see a vast expanse of lush green meadow kissing the sky. On the way (if the sky is clear) you can see snow covered mountains like Nanda Devi East and Nanda Khat peak in front of you. You can also see the Pindari River flowing below. This camp is peaceful and undisturbed and you can explore the surrounding camps. Camping & overnight stay at Bajlingdhar. Participants will be staying in tents.
Day 4 - Bajlingdhar to Pankhu Top and back to Banjlingdhar (Distance 12 km) (Duration 7-8 hours)
Today is a crucial day in the trek. After having breakfast, we start the trek towards Pankhu top (Pakhwa Bugyal). Carry energy bars, ORS, and enough water. The ascent to Pankhu Top becomes steeper and rougher as we cross several steep ascends but after reaching the top you will realize that all the pain was worth taking to be where you are! The cool weather, clear skies, fantastic views are magnificent, you can enjoy the view of Nanda Devi East and Nanda Khat and Changuch while admiring the scenery. After spending some time at Pankhu Top, we will take group photos and start descending towards Bajlingdhar camp. Overnight stay at Bajlingdhar. Participants will be staying in tents.
Day 5 - Bajlingdhar to Kharkia (Distance 11 km) (Duration 5-6 hours)
After breakfast we start trekking down towards Kharkia village. It will take 5/6 hrs to reach Vaan village. The descent is equally long and tiring through the pine forest. We reach Kharkia camp around 1/2pm. Retire for the day and overnight stay in homestay.
Day 6 - Kharkia to Kathgodam
We start early in the morning after having tea so that we reach Kathgodam at 5-6pm. We advise you to keep one extra day in your plan so that you can avoid missing flights or trains. We will arrange the vehicle (on request) to reach Kathgodam and vehicle charges payable in cash to the driver directly.
What is included in the tour
Activity: Trekking, Camping, sightseeing etc
All meals while on trek (Vegetarian)
Permits (Foreign national need to pay extra on spot)
Basic First aid medical kits
Qualified and Experienced Trek Leaders (2), Support Staff, Helpers
Camping Tents, Kitchen tents, Dining Tent and Sleeping bags and Carry mats.
Local route guide
What is NOT included in the tour
Meals during transit
Mineral Water or Soft Drinks
Transportation of any kind (Can be shared between trekkers)
Mules or porter to carry personal luggage
Cost Escalation due to natural reasons.
Unscheduled stay due to landslide.
Ruck Sack: Compulsory to carry strong and steady rucksack, Between 55 to 60 Litre
Ruck sack cover: Protect your things from quick rain or snowfall
Day Pack: Optional, carry only if you are planning to offload your bigger bag. If you are offloading your bigger backpack, then you have to carry your personal valuable things, water bottles, pack lunch, raincoat/poncho etc.
Trekking Shoes: Good quality, rubber soul shoes with ankle support is advisable. Please make sure that shoes are well used before trek.
Note: Sports shoes are not recommended but you can carry as additional back up shoes.
T-shirts: As per your need, carry at least one quick dry type, avoid too bright/dark colours T-shirts. Cotton T-shirts avoid especially while walking. Full sleeves T-shirts are recommended.
Track Pants: As per your need, one synthetic quick dry type track pant is highly recommended.
Warm Jacket: Highly recommended one thick fleece jacket/ Down feather jacket is must to carry. You can use this when you cool down at camp.
Windproof Jacket/ Windcheater: We advise you to carry one as it resists wind chill/snowfall and quick burst of light rain.
Thermal Wear: You can use this once you reach the campsite. Thermal will keep your body warm especially during harsh winter temperatures.
Towel: One medium sized light weight towel quick dry type
Raincoat/ Poncho: Raincoats/ ponchos are water-resistant to protect the body from rain.
Woollen Cap / Balaclava: Mandatory to carry woollen cap or balaclava to protect from cold.
Sun cap / Hat: To protect you from direct sunlight
Undergarments: As per your need.
Socks: Hiking socks have the ability to wick moisture and keep feet dry. Full length socks are advisable.
Hand Gloves: Compulsory to carry, few gloves are constructed of water resistant or waterproof material that keep your fingers dry.
Walking stick / Trekking pole: Trekking pole provide useful literal stability on rough terrain and give balance while descending while also reducing pressure on knee.
Water Bottle/ Hydration pack: Compulsory to carry, please do not carry packaged drinking water bottles.
Sunglasses: Compulsory to carry. It is protecting from snow blindness. Person who use spectacle need to carry custom make powered sunglasses.
Head Torch / Torch: It is mandatory to carry with extra batteries. Head torch is advisable to keep your hands free while walking.
Sunscreen Lotion: Optional, advisable to carry sunscreen lotion (SPF 50+ and more)
Chapstick/ Cold cream: Optional, as per your need
Toilet Kit: Must carry, Personal toilet kit (toilet paper)
Sandals / Slippers: Optional, to walk around camp
Small Lunch Box & Tea mug: Compulsory, sometimes we give pack lunch so you can carry pack lunch items in it (one small leak proof lunch box is the best one), also carry one tea mug/glass
Dry Fruits / Energy Bars: We provide healthy adequate food on trip. Some do feel very less energetic compared to others, so you carry energy bars, dry fruits etc.
Repairs Kit: Must, one small repair kit which includes safety pins, needle, thread and string
Personal Medical Kit: Must carry small basic first aid. If you are taking any specific medicine from your doctor please inform us in advance. There will be a basic first kit will be available throughout the trek. Our Instructor has done a first aid course.
Camera: Optional, to capture your lifetime memories.
Masks: To cover your nose and mouth.
Hand Sanitizer: To maintain hygiene throughout the trek.