The Darma valley is on the eastern border of Kumaon and is in the trans-Himalyan region behind the Panchchuli range. Still untouched by tourists the valley still holds old world Himalayan charms. The Dhauli Ganga River cuts through this pristine valley with remote villages and meadows dotted with hundreds of sheep and a brilliant variety of flora and fauna. The villages around the base of the Panchchuli have a distinct culture and the customs are based on the legend of the Panchchuli massif and the reigning gods and goddesses of the peak.
From Duktu, our base camp, a trek to the base of Panchchuli peaks is extremely intriguing and the highlight of the trek. The trek being in the trans-Himalayan region is of moderate difficulty and is not disturbed by the monsoon rain. The rain is very sporadic and moderate if at all.
The Panchchuli Peaks Stand Proud
Panchchuli peaks (6,904 mts.)
It is believed that this is the place ‘five chulis’ (cooking hearths) where the Pandavas cooked their last meal on the way to heaven. They are majestic and form a famous barrier between Darma and Gori valleys. On the same divide, a number of fine peaks merit attention, like Nagling, 6,041 mts.
Glacier Waterfall On The Way
The best (recommended) mode of travel is on the overnight train from Delhi to Railhead. Chartered jeeps can transport the clients up to the road head (stopping on the way for meals). Return will be likewise. Due to any unforeseen weather conditions or landslides/ road blockage the trekking objectives may be altered as deemed fit after discussing with the clients.
Guides, Porters and Cooks
The guides from Wildrift, porters and the cooks (who are professionally trained and have a wide experience in trekking and thorough knowledge about the area and its challenges) accompanied our group. Clients may choose to carry only a few personal belongings to enjoy the trek (Hire porter for personal rucksack). Meals are well planned and nutritious and often prepared with fresh ingredients from the passing villages (or with local villagers).
High altitude flowers
Local Culture and Interaction
The Treks that I did with Wildrift had an active interaction with the local villagers. Many times we stayed with the local people as paying guests thereby getting a chance to savour the local food and get an insight into their lifestyles.
Village Party in Celebration of our arrival
Darma Valley in All it's Glory