At some point in life, everyone has a will and wish to trek. And, if you happen to be an Indian, majestic Himalayas is where you should head to. Himalayas offer multiple trekking options, each with specific features to offer. For a beginner, deciding on which trek to go to can be a very tedious task. It’s extremely important to choose your trekking site and pathway very carefully. Else, the hard work you put into getting fitter for the trek and the entire journey in itself can seem very disappointing.
Hampta Pass and Bhrigu Lake are both very popular for trekkers to start their trekking endeavours with. We have put together a comprehensive guide for you that will help you understand the differences and similarities between the two treks and make an informed selection between the two.
1.What will you see?
As the name suggests, Bhrigu Lake Trek ends up at the Bhrigu Lake. The lake is situated at a height of 4,240 metres, which makes it astonishingly beautiful. Based on the season, the lake changes color and shape. Even though the trek’s main attraction is the high altitude lake, what is equally or even more pristine about this trek are the meadows that you will find on your way. Bhrigu Trek is one of the only treks in India that can get you to see isolated meadow grasslands within 30 minutes of your trek.
By Kartik.a.rokde (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tag: The reward at the end of the trek
Hampta Pass Trek is perfect if what you love is Snow. Even though it is not a high altitude trek, it offers extremely unique snow covered views and you literally walk on them. Unlike many other treks, Hampta Pass is a narrow valley trek that stays with you for the most part. This allows the snow to spread in a gorgeous sheet like structure. If you are don’t make it in the Snow season, Hampta Pass has excellent combination of diverse features to see: glacial valleys, open grasslands and green meadows.
mkasiak [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tag: Views on the Hampta Pass
Bhrigu Lake Trek is one of the simplest and most gorgeous treks out there. There are plenty of short treks that will consume much lesser calories, but you will feel disappointed at having spent them at all. As mentioned above, Bhrigu’s meadows start very soon into the trekking and they stay along for almost the entire trek. This not only keeps you refreshed and energised, the trek also feels worth the effort. Also, the trail to the lake is a relatively easier one. Hampta Pass is an extremely convenient to trek to undertake. If you are a beginner, it will help you ease yourself into trekking step by step. The trek doesn’t have any high cliffs to climb or slopes to hike on and maintain a gradual gradient throughout making it a perfect fit for beginners as well as experienced trekkers.
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3.Origin and the trail
Bhrigu Lake Trek starts not far from Manali. You can reach Gulaba to start your trek, which is barely 22 km from Manali. The trek begins from here and crosses many hamlets and meadows on the way including Hanuman tibba, Kolang Nallah, Rola Khaoli and finally ending into the steep ridge of Vashistha, famous for its hot water springs. Vashishta marks the end of the trek, from where one can head back to Manali (3 km away).
Hampta Pass Trek starts from Jobri or Chika with its first step as an entry into the thick pine forest. Here, you can spot a variety of trees and fauna. While you trek, you cross Rani River, Balu ka Gera popular for its sandy land and the famous Chandratal lake (which needs an extra walk beside the hike). The trek ends in Chatru which is around 3 to 4 hours drive away from Manali.
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4.How many days?
Bhrigu Lake Trek takes about 3 to 5 days to complete. One can choose to finish it in 3 days (over a weekend) or keep it slow if you want to relax on the way and click multiple pictures.Hampta Pass is a little longer trek than Bhrigu. If you include Chandratal as a stop, the trek takes around 5 nights and 6 days to complete. You can skip the lake to comfortably complete the trek within 5 days as well.
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5.Who should you trek with?
Bhrigu Lake Trek is suited for anyone and everyone. It’s ease of travel and huge returns makes it a great site to go with groups, family, or even children. If you happen to plan Manali with friends or family, just step a little further and instead take this trek to the lake.
Similar to the Bhrigu Lake Trek, Hampta is suited to go with family or friends, young and old. Since the gradient is not very steep and stays comfortable to trek for all five days, it is a convenient location to go to with mostly everyone. However, given its length, it is not the best suited treks to go with those looking for quick rewards.
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6.Fitness Level Required
Trekking, as one can guess is not a typical holiday. Instead of luxurious hotels, there are base camps and food cooked on wood replaces the fancy buffet. Preparing yourself for the trek is as important as preparing oneself for a marathon. Both, Bhrigu and Hampta are moderate treks and require basic level of fitness. Bhrigu lake trek starts at Gulaba, which is at a height and goes up double its height in just two to three days. Hampta, on the other hand requires long walks throughout the day. Before you set on either treks, build endurance by jogging everyday for about 30 minutes for a period of a month or so. Apart from this, building strength in your legs is a must for both the treks. You can achieve this by working on your calf muscles, knees and thighs. Overall, both the treks need you to be fit enough to walk and endure the heights. Make sure you also stock up basic medicines as suggested by your hiking guide.
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There’s nothing that one can deem a pitfall when it comes to the majestic treks to Bhrigu Lake and Hampta Pass. If one has to think of a potential pitfall for Bhrigu, it can be the number of trekkers you might find on your way. Bhrigu Lake Trek, which was once quite an offbeat trek has now gained quite a lot of popularity. The end of the trek, Vashishtha is famous for its hot springs and hence attracts a lot of tourists. Nevertheless, it is not crowded and you will enjoy the views.
Very similar to Bhrigu, Hampta Pass Trek has no pitfalls. It’s as gorgeous as any trek can be. For a beginner, one of the only pitfalls one can suggest to think about is the duration of the trek. Even though the duration is relatively on the longer side, it is pretty well balanced by the convenience of the trail itself.
Be that Bhrigu or Hampta or any other trek into the magnificent Himalayas, an experience worth a million is guaranteed. Selecting a trek to go is a very personal and subjective decision. It depends on many factors, choice and the time you have in hand. It’s good to be aware of what each trek offers and make a choice based on the experience you wish to create for yourself.