Exploring The Upper Himalayas

Hurray, so we are  finally going for a trek in the upper Himalayas. Our plan is to to trek along Milam Glacier route, camp at Lilam  and then Bogudyar and return to Munsiyari on the third night.

(c) Vandana Kandpal

We take the night train from Dehradun and arrive early morning in Kathgodam. We hire a taxi and break our journey at Chaukori. This is the view from our hotel room in Chaukori.

Enroute Munshiyari

Enroute. After acclimatizing for two days in Chaokori, we leave for Munshiyari.

Enjoying a cup of Masala Chai

After a long drive we finally arrive in Munsiyari.


View from out hotel balcony.


As we explore Munsiyari, we make a new friend. This mountain dog walks all the way uphill with us, then sits with us to admire the beauty of the Himalayas and escorts us downhill as well.


Our trek begins the next day.

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Midway through our trek. It’s been a steep climb and we take a short break. I shudder as I see the Gori Ganga flowing furiously below.


We finally arrive in Pungdiu. I ask my husband, but where is Lilam, there is no Pungdiu in our itenary, weren’t we supposed to camp in Lilam the first night? He says, gone past long back. That’s when I realize we are on the old trekking route to Milam. The tough one. It’s our first time on this route so that explains the confusion.  The new trekking route was washed away by the deluge in 2013 that caused so much destruction. Its still not opened for trekking. Maybe soon the locals tell us.


My husband and eight year old want to continue upto Nain Singh Top, another four hour arduous trek. I am told, after Nain Singh top, Bagodyar, the trek up till Milam Glacier is easy as the terrain becomes flat. I am nervous about the idea of climbing upto Nain Singh top although it feels good to know that we’ve managed to complete fifty percent of the tough part of the trek.  Meanwhile, we camp on the only piece of flat land we can find on that stretch.


After a warm meal we settle in for an early night. Is been raining on and off, I am unable to sleep. I have decided not to continue up to Nain Singh Top. The plan now is to descend and camp by the river instead. I finally drift into sweet sleep and feel very snug in my sleeping bag. At dawn, I hear the shepherds herding their sheep and the tinkling of mule bells. Its a different life, a different world. We have now abandoned the idea of camping by the river as my eight year old is complaining of nausea and tummy ache. We decide to go back to our hotel in Munshiyari.


We trek back to Munsiyari and arrive by noon. While descending, my eight year old decides to throw up on the steepest and narrowest bend possible!! I am so glad we are back. It has been raining incessantly with periodic showers of hail stones.  We now sit comfortably in our hotel room discussing what an adventure its been.

There is a change of plan again. I call mom to tell her to expect us in her neat little cottage in the middle Himalayas by afternoon the next day!!


  1. I haven’t heard of Milam glacier trek in recent years because trek companies have made other treks accessible.
    So where did you head to meet your mother, Vandana?


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