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Rupin Pass – A Twisted Journey Filled With Surprises!

By: Poonam Khandelwal

An ardent trek lover will definitely relate to Rupin Pass as it happens to be one of the most sought-after and beautiful treks in the Himalayas. This trek begins from Uttarakhand and ends in Himachal Pradesh. It takes about 8 days to cover the 60 km stretch, located about 15,350 ft above sea level.

If you are someone who loves surprises, then you are sure to love the trek and every bit of this journey. With every turn, you are likely to experience widespread meadows, gusty waterfalls, steep hills, easy walks, snow-packed hanging villages and frightening yet exciting crossings that leave you mesmerised and awestruck at every step!

Best Time To Visit Rupin Pass

Best Time To Visit Rupin Pass

PC: Pavan Lulla

Pre-monsoon (May and June) and post-monsoon (September and October) months are best months to take up this trek.

How To Get To Rupin Pass?

How To Get To Rupin Pass?

PC: Nikitaparwani

By Air
Jolly Grant Airport is the airport serving Dehradun. It is well connected to major cities. Jubbarhatti Airport serves Shimla; it has limited flights to and fro Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and Pune.

By Train
Excellent railway network connects Dehradun to other important cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Mussoorie, Lucknow and Kolkata.

The railway station closest to Shimla is Kalka. It is a 96 km drive away. You can also reach Kalka by opting for the narrow-gauge train from Shimla.

By Road
Dehradun is easily accessible from major cities of the country. NH 72, NH 72A, NH 58 are few national highways connecting to Dehradun.

Shimla, too, has access to major cities across the country.

Major Attractions En Route The Trek

Major Attractions En Route The Trek

Dehradun To Dhaula

PC: Shilpi bhatnagar

Be prepared to witness nature at its best. The journey from Dehradun to Dhaula will not want you to keep off your camera even for a second. Most of the trekking groups will make your cab arrangements from Dehradun railway station to Dhaula. It will cost approximately Rs 1000 per person.

During your road trip, you can stop at Patiala and Bathinda to gorge on some scrumptious food. Deep valleys, Yamuna flowing alongside and dense forests will keep you occupied. After an 8-10 hour drive, you will reach a petite village, Dhaula, which is apparently the last road heading to Uttarakhand.

Dhaula To Sewa

Dhaula To Sewa

PC: Nick Irvine-Fortescue

From an altitude of 5,100 ft in Dhaula, you reach up to 6,300 ft in Sewa. After exiting the Dhaula village, you will cross a cattle shelter. This will be the point from where the sharp climb will commence. Just a reminder to pull up your socks. This climb will ease out in about 20 min, followed by a picturesque view of Rupin river flowing below into its bed.

Another trail descending amidst apple and apricot trees and you will arrive at Sewa village. Explore the famous Kinnaur Temple, where medals and trophies achieved by villagers are hanging outside the temple.

Sewa To Jiksun

Sewa To Jiksun

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The route from Sewa is prone to landslides. As you start from Sewa, you will fall into huge fields of potato and barley. You will cross impenetrable forests before you land in Rupin's bed. Swerve towards your left to reach narrow bridge. It does not belong to either of the states of Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh and hence, is named as No-Man's Land.

Take the road towards Kwar, which leads to Jiksun village. As you approach Jiksun (7,700 ft), you will be welcomed by voluminous waterfall cascades.

Jiksun To Burhas Khadi

Jiksun To Burhas Khadi

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The 3.5 km route to Jhaka is considered to be one of the most gorgeous trails of Rupin Pass with forests of deodar and walnut. Jhaka happens to be last village on the trek.

Descending down fir forests, having tall pine and apple trees, lands you on the white bed of snow. Going further, another distinct forest commences that offers a charming view which completely soothes your soul-a forest filled with rhododendron trees of different colours. Next stop is one of the best places to camp-Burhans Kandi (10,100 ft). Cows grazing in the meadows is a sight to see!

Udaknal To Dhanderas Thatch (Lower Water Fall Camp)

Udaknal To Dhanderas Thatch (Lower Water Fall Camp)

PC: Ssteaj

This is one of the best treks in the entire trekking expedition of Rupin Pass. Just when you were about to get over adorning the rhododendron, Saruwas thatch begins. This is a sight to hold in your heart forever. Rupin gushes out through a gully from where it merges into the river ahead.

Here you will discover bhoj leaves on which the epic Ramayana was written. After you traverse through the narrow snow bridge, there comes a shower of meadow with heaps of vivid multicoloured flowers. Climb onto a snow bridge that is the biggest of them all. Next best camping point arrives i.e. Dhanderas thatch (11,700 ft).

Dhanderas Thatch To Upper Waterfall

Dhanderas Thatch To Upper Waterfall

PC: Boykat

Moving further, you will have to cross plenty of rivulets. There will be a time where you end up in a meadow that is bursting with yellow marigolds.

The series of walking continues till you reach a snow bridge from where you can see the waterfall flowing from the sky and disappearing somewhere below the bridge. On the other side of Rupin, followed by a steep slope, you will reach the campsite of Upper waterfall at 13,100 ft.

Upper Waterfall – Rati Pheri – Rupin Pass – Ronti Gad

Upper Waterfall – Rati Pheri – Rupin Pass – Ronti Gad

PC: Nikitaparwani

The trail to Rupin Pass is unpredictable with risks of loose stones falling from above. Rupin Pass is a low point of the hill from where Dhauladhar range starts and Sangla Kanda is visible here for the first time. You have now reached your summit at 15,350 ft.

Slide down the snow to reach Rukti Gad. A sharp descent brings you to Ronti Gad. Camp here as this will be your last campsite in the snow-capped area.

Ronti Gad To Sangla Via Sangla Kanda

Ronti Gad To Sangla Via Sangla Kanda

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The altitude drops drastically while descending towards Sangla Kanda. The trail starts with a mild climb and you gradually set your foot on the Ronti Gad valley. After traversing down about 1,500 ft in altitude, Rupin Pass will be out of sight. Fascinating view of Mt. Kinner Kailash is here to welcome you with its serenity.

From this point, you can see your next halt, i.e., Lake of Sangla Kanda. Set your foot loose with the villagers and enjoy remarkable views of the lake. There are lot of trails that will help you reach Sangla. Pick the one that passes through the Blue Pine forests. Once in Sangla, head towards Shimla either by hiring a vehicle or ply a bus.

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