Bhabha Pass Trek Information

General Information:

‘Bhabha Pass’ is a high altitude pass located at a height of 4850 meters (15912 feet) above sea-level. The Bhabha Pass trail is an old trade route that used to be taken by people from Spiti to come into Kinnaur and go ahead to Rampur. Cattle and goats also used to traverse in either direction as soon as snow would start receding. This 5 day trek is an enjoyable adventure for first-timers and experienced trekkers alike.

Altitude Information:

Location

Altitude in meters

Altitude in feet

Kafnu

2400

7874

Mulling

3200

10499

Kara

3600

11811

Phustrang

4100

13451

Bhabha Pass

4850

15912

Baldar

3900

12795

Mudh

3700

12139

Distance Information:

From

To

Approximate Distance (km)

Kafnu

Mulling

12

Mulling

Kara

6

Kara

Phustrang

5

Phustrang

Bhabha Pass

4

Bhabha Pass

Baldar

12

Baldar

Mudh

11

Difficulty Level:

Moderate

Trail:

Bhabha-Pass_Trek-Route_Full

Bhabha Pass Trek Complete Route

  • Kafnu to Mulling

Bhabha-Pass_Trek-Route_Day1

Kafnu to Mulling Trek Route

Day 1 starts from Kafnu after a good night’s rest in a cosy hotel or home-stay. The initial few kilometres of the trek are on a motor-able road after which you hit the actual trail. The climb is mostly gradual except at a couple of places where it can get a bit steep. It is around 12 km to the night halt at Mulling, which will normally take 6-7 hours including breaks. One has to carry a packed lunch. Most of the trail is through green cover and there are small streams crossing the path at various places. Overall it is a long but easy walk on the first day. The campsite at Mulling is in an open valley on the banks of the Bhabha Khud. It is colder and less greener than Kafnu. This is the last place on the trek where you will see any tree-line near the camp site.

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  • Mulling to Kara

Bhabha-Pass_Trek-Route_Day2

Mulling to Kara Trek Route

Mulling to Kara is a short trek, mostly a gradual climb with one steep portion before reaching Kara campsite. After the initial couple of kilometres walking among trees, the terrain changes to one with short grass and high altitude shrubs by the time you reach Kara. The distance travelled on Day 2 is around 6 km which takes 3-4 hours. Kara is like a wide valley near the banks of the Bhabha Khud. It is very windy in Kara, so the wind chill effect is very high – even in bright sunshine one feels cold due to the wind. Hot lunch can be prepared on reaching Kara if one leaves early from Mulling.

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  • Kara to Phustrang

Bhabha-Pass_Trek-Route_Day3

Kara to Phustrang Trek Route

Start early from Kara since it is easier to cross the Khud in the morning hours (water levels rise later in the day). After crossing the stream, the trail goes into a steep climb. The trail towards Phustrang after the steep section is pretty narrow at some points and therefore proper care should be taken while following the trail so that one doesn’t slip into the Khud far below! The trail however eases to a gradual climb to the campsite at Phustrang, which is the Base Camp before the Bhabha Pass. The distance from Kara to Phustrang is around 5 km which normally takes 3-4 hours. Hot lunch can be prepared on reaching the campsite at Phustrang.

One can also trek from Mulling to Phustrang in a single day as on both the days the distance and time taken is not much. Also, the steep sections are not too long but combining Day 2 and 3 is advisable only if the trekking group has above average fitness.

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  • Phustrang to Bhabha Pass

Bhabha-Pass_Trek-Route_Day4A

Phustrang to Bhabha Pass Trek Route

This is the most strenuous and longest day of the trek. Leave very early from the campsite at Phustrang so that the Pass can be safely crossed before noon as weather tends to deteriorate at high altitudes after noon (it is also advisable to reach the night camp before sunset). There is a steep climb from the campsite to the first ridge and the trail can be seen up to the first ridge from the base. After reaching the first ridge, there are two more ridges to the Pass, where one has to walk through moraines. The climb to the Pass from base camp is roughly 4 km which will take 3-4 hours, but it requires a lot of lung capacity and strength.

Snow is expected around the Pass so extra care is required while walking to avoid any accidents (since we did the trek in the last week of September, there was negligible snow at the Pass). From the Pass you can see two very different kinds of landscapes on either side. While Kinnaur is greener and the mountain colour is dark, the other side of Spiti is leaf-less and the mountains have different colours.

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  • Bhabha Pass to Baldar

Bhabha-Pass_Trek-Route_Day4B

Bhabha Pass to Baldar Trek Route

There is a steep descent to the base on the other side of the Bhabha Pass and on reaching the bottom one can stop near the stream for packed lunch. Then it’s a gradual descent to the night halt at Baldar. The initial part of this gradual descent is very irritating as there is no defined trail and one has to walk over rocks, which is time consuming and tiring. Thereafter this it is a nice trail through beautiful surroundings of the Pin Valley to Baldar.

One can also catch a glimpse of the Pin Parvati Trek route from this trail. The distance from Bhabha Pass to Baldar is roughly 12 km which will take approximately 5-6 hours. The total distance travelled on Day 4 is around 16 km which will take 10-11 hours.

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  • Baldar to Mudh

Bhabha-Pass_Trek-Route_Day5

Baldar to Mudh Trek Route

The distance from Baldar to Mudh is around 11 km which will take 4-5 hours. The trek is mostly downhill with a few uphill sections. After the first four days of climbing, the fitness level is likely to be better, and hence the last day’s trek feels more like a walk, where one can enjoy the view of the landscapes of the Pin Valley. One can stay overnight at Mudh in home-stays or can hire a cab to Kaza or Tabo from Mudh which is approximately two hours additional journey.

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