Experience nature at its most idyllic and pristine form as you witness new landscapes stretched out before you every day on the Bhabha Pass trek. Considered a more picturesque and less treacherous alternative to the other nearby passes, the Bhabha trek also offers a river delta along it, which is a rare feature in Himalayan treks. As you cross the mountain pass that is perched at a mind-blowing height of 16,125 feet, you get to come wonderfully close to some of the most enchanting Himalayan peaks.
Unlike any other trek offered in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the Bhabha Pass trek will surprise you with its stunning beauty comprising a variety of landscapes that range from knee-deep white snow to a rush of abundant greens. The breathtaking journey commences at the meadows of Kinnaur and goes all the way to the sublime beauty of the valley in Spiti, covering the secluded and serene base point at Mudh.
The 8-day trek takes you not only across distinctive landscapes but also through varying Himalayan cultures including unique ways of life, structure of houses, and lifestyle. As you cross over from one side of the mountain to the other, you will stay in tents, walk through forests and apple orchards, experience unique cultures and communities that are a result of their environment.
Maximum altitude: 16,100 feet
Duration: 8 Days
Trekking distance: 51 km
Trail type: This is essentially a crossover trail that runs through passes
Rail head: Kalka is the nearest railhead to Shimla
Airport: The nearest airport, Jubbarhatti is about 22 km away from Shimla
Snow Season: Best snow season is between June to October
Service from: Shimla to Manali
Base camp: Kafnu
Best season: If you wish to try the monsoon treks, the best months to go are from July to August. If you wish to go on the Autumn treks, the best months are September, October, and November
Region: Himachal Pradesh
Who can participate: Participants should be above 10 years of age. The expedition involves moderate to difficult levels of trekking and thus any previous experience in Himalayan trekking is welcome. You should maintain a basic level of fitness where you can carry a 10-15 kg backpack. You should also have sufficient stamina that enables you to cover a distance of 5 km in 30 minutes without stress.
Day 1: Shimla to Kafnu: 7- 8 hours drive.
Day 2: Kafnu – Mulling: About 6 hours trek.
Day 3: Mulling – Kara: climb up to the border of Kinnaur and Spiti.
Day 4: Kara – Phustirang: trek along the river’s left bank.
Day 5: Phustirang -Bhabha Pass – Baldar: ascend to Bhabha Pass and climb down on the Spiti side.
Day 6: Baldar - Mudh , Mudh – Kaza: reach the village of Mudh and then you will be driven to Kaza.
Day 7: Kaza - Kunzum La, Kunzum La – Chandratal: 3 hours trek from Kunzum La to Chandratal.
Day 8: Chandratal – Manali: 3 hours trek to road head and then you will be driven to Manali.
Drive from Shimla to Kafnu
Start your day early at around 7 AM and meet your trekking partners at the decided place in Shimla.
Board the vehicle which will take you from Shimla to Kafni. The distance of 208 km from Shimla to Kafnu is covered in approximately 7 to 8 hours by road.
The drive takes you through scenic spots like Narkandaand Rampur all the way to the quaint hamlet of Kafnu in the Bhabha Valley, Kinnaur.
Check in at a local hotel to spend the night at Kinnaur and start your Bhabha Valley trek the next morning.
The Bhabha Pass trek is one of the most picturesque moderate-difficult trails and a must-visit if you are a mountain lover. The magnificent views you are greeted with as you pass along a variety of landscapes is an experience you would not want to miss. The vast valleys are covered with uninterrupted stretches of wildflowers in a riot of colors and lie in perfect contrast with the pristine white snow on the summits above. You also walk through forests, apple orchards, along the river banks, and sleep under clear skies in tents. Each of the campsites such as Mulling, Karah, Phutsirang, and most importantly, Spiti offer unique settings, cultures, and experiences.
Carry a medical kit that should include
Do not try to cross streams on your own as the flow can be stronger than what it seems. Avoid any form of distractions during this time such as talking to other trekkers or recording your traverse with mobile phones and cameras in this section.
As you will be required to brave heavy snow and difficult trails, you will need appropriate shoes. You will also have to ensure that your microspikes are worn before you step on the snow. Keep an eye out for deep footholds that have been made by trekkers before you. Always put your foot on the footholds as far as possible as opposed to trying to make new paths of your own.
If you feel any symptoms of AMS, take adequate rest at a campsite before venturing further. If the symptoms persist you should head back to Kafnu immediately.
Wear layers as much as possible and include dry-fit t-shirts as they quickly dry your sweat and are easy to wash in case of a rainy day.
Go for pants with zippered pockets as they are quite handy when you need to keep things like phones, snacks, and handkerchiefs.
Do not take off your sunglasses in a snowy section.
Keep your head covered at all times and try to get sun caps with flaps since they cut out almost all UV leaks.
The Bhabha Pass trek has been placed at the trek difficulty level 1, which demands a certain level of physical fitness to embark upon. Besides clearing the fitness criteria, if you have prior experience in Himalayan trekking, it is going to help you a great deal.
The trek is a moderate-difficult one and what makes it particularly challenging is the altitude which goes up to a jaw dropping 16,105 ft. Besides, the day of the trek when you go across the actual pass that involves crossing a 10 km long stretch to the next camp site, is the toughest of all the days.
From your starting point at Phutsirang, you have to go up approximately 2,500 meters of steep terrain over a distance of about 3 km all the way to the summit. You then have to follow it up with a steep descent for 2 km, a river crossing, and then a gradual descent to the campsite. The trek requires you to go through moraines and boulders and thus needs you to maintain a certain level of fitness to attempt it. If suffering from chronic illness, you need to consult your medical practitioner before embarking on this trek.
The Bhabha Trek is approximately 50 km long which commences at the Kafnu region in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur region. You cover most of this distance on foot with the maximum of 16-18 km that you cover on a single day.
The last point on the Bhabha Pass trek where you will get electricity is at Kafnu. However, here too, you may experience long periods of power cutoffs and hence it is advisable to bring additional batteries for cameras as well as a power bank with more than 10,000 mAh to last you the entire trek.
The last point on the route to Kafnu where you can withdraw money is at Rampur Bushahr. It is advisable that you keep some cash handy as you will find an ATM next only after you cross the Pass at Kaza.
You will be able to find mobile phone networks only for Airtel, Vodafone and BSNL at the base camp. After that, you will be able to get only the Airtel 4G network, but that too only up to Kafnu. Once you cross the pass you will find a mobile phone network and internet connection at Kaza, although it is intermittent and quite unreliable.
The Bhaba Pass trek involves significant challenges and requires a certain amount of fitness. There are days when you are likely to trek around 12-20 km with extremely steep ascents and descents. Hence, it is advised to travel between the age of 12-55 years with excellent physical fitness.