If you are looking for an offbeat trekking journey filled with calming views of nature, Panwali Kantha Trek is the perfect destination for you. With a short duration of 4 days and an easy-to-moderate ranking on the trek difficulty scale, Panwali Kantha is for the busy adventurer in you.
Along with the classic Himalayan activities like trekking and camping, the Panwali Kantha trek also offers the unique opportunity of village tourism. Explore the stunning landscape and greenery of the Himalayas as you cover the 24-kilometre distance between the base camp at Ghuttu and the highest point of the trek at Panwali Kantha (3500 metres). As you trek through vast meadows, lush green forests, and quaint villages, spot the snow-capped mountains of popular pilgrimage destinations like Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri.
While the weather is pleasant during the summer and autumn months, the Panwali Kantha trek in December and other winter months is covered in snow. Admire the local wildflowers and unique plants as you spot Himalayan wild animals and witness the sunset at Panwali Kantha.
Maximum altitude: 11500 feet
Duration: 4 days
Trekking distance: 40 kilometers
Rail head: Rishikesh Railway Station
Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
Snow Season: January and February
Service from: Rishikesh
Base camp: Gaurmanda
Best season: April- June & September- October
Rishikesh - Ghuttu – Gaurmanda
Start early in the morning at 5:00 AM from the Rishikesh bus stand towards Ghuttu village, which is the base camp of the Panwali Kantha trek. The 187-kilometre-ride crosses numerous villages, meadows, and forests, and takes approximately six hours. The trekkers reach the base camp located at an altitude of 1,524 metres by noon, and after a short break head out for the day’s trekking journey. The trek from Ghuttu to Gaurmanda is ranked as easy, and it takes approximately five hours to cover the ten-kilometre distance. Rest for the night at Gaurmanda, which stands at 2,733 metres and is among the best-camping destinations.
Gaurmanda – Panwali Kantha
The second day of the Panwali Kantha Trek itinerary covers the two-kilometre distance from Gaurmanda to Panwali Kantha. Start on the trek right after a healthy breakfast and gain altitude from 2,733 metres to 3,500 metres in approximately one hour. The trek from Gaurmanda to Panwali Kantha is ranked as moderate and offers stunning views of the lush green forests as well as snow-covered landscapes. Experience the pristine beauty of colourful wildflowers, unique herbs, and snow-filled meadows as you trek in the lap of the Himalayas and watch the sunset. Relax and unwind as you stay overnight in tents at Panwali Kantha.
Panwali Kantha – Gaurmanda
Watch the bewitching views of the sun rising in Panwali Kantha and start on your trek towards Gaurmanda after savouring a hearty breakfast. The trek involves an easy descent of two kilometres from Panwali Kantha to Gaurmanda and takes approximately one hour to complete. Admire the stunning changes from snow-filled surroundings to lush greenery as you walk down from 3,500 metres to 2,733 metres altitude. The trail is lined with picturesque views of snow-capped mountains, vast meadows, and beautiful flowers and plants that are found nowhere else. As you reach Gaurmanda, set up your tent for the night and relax under the starry skies.
Gaurmanda – Ghuttu – Dehradun
The final day of the Panwali Kantha trek is a long journey down from Gaurmanda to Ghuttu, for which trekkers are required to start early. After your breakfast at the Gaurmanda campsite, embark on the ten-kilometre trek which is ranked as easy. Admire the magnificent views during your descent from 2,733 metres to 1,524 metres and reach Ghuttu village base camp in approximately four hours. As you reach Ghuttu by noon, take a short break and then hop on the local transportation provided. By the end of the day, you would reach Dehradun, from where you can further go home.
Mandatory documents: Carry the originals and photocopies of your identity proof as well as the various important documents detailed in your Panwali Kantha Trek itinerary.Quick edibles: It is highly recommended that you carry light snacks like energy bars, chocolates, biscuits, nuts, and hydration packs (ORS) so you can have a quick bite whenever you feel low or hungry.
Medical kit: Pack your regular medication along with essentials like paracetamol, vomistop, combiflam, Digene, band-aid, cotton, antiseptic cream, Volini/Moov spray, and crepe bandage.
Personal kit: Toiletry items like toothbrush, toothpaste, sanitiser, sunscreen, cold cream, lip balm, and tissues need to be a part of your customised personal kit for the Panwali Kantha trek.
Essentials: Items necessary for the Panwali Kantha trek includes a 50-60 litre backpack with rain cover, trekking shoes, a water bottle, a torch, rainwear, and warm clothing like thermal inners, socks, scarves and gloves.
The base camp for Panwali Kantha trek is Ghuttu village in Tehri Garhwal, which is easily accessible from Rishikesh by bus or car. To reach Rishikesh, one can take the air route or the train route.
By Train: The nearest railway station from Rishikesh is Yoga Nagri Rishikesh Station and is connected to various Indian cities. From here you can take a bus or taxi to Ghuttu.
By Air: The nearest airport from Rishikesh is the Jolly Grant Airport, which is 21 km away and is well-connected to many Indian cities. Take a taxi to reach Rishikesh, and then board a bus to Ghuttu.
From Ghuttu to Panwali Kantha: The trek from Ghuttu to Panwali Kantha is an easy-to-moderate trail that is well-suited for beginners as well as professionals. The trek itinerary lasts four days during which trekkers explore local villages and reach Panwali Kantha from Ghuttu via Gaurmanda. At 24 kilometres, this trail is shorter than the second Panwali Kantha trail.
From Sonprayag to Panwali Kantha: The trek from Sonprayag to Panwali Kantha is 46 kilometres long, and covers numerous locations like Triyugi Narayan, Maggu Chatti, and Kyunkhola Khal before ending at Ghuttu. The trail has villages, meadows, waterfalls, and lots of snow and can be covered in four days.
It is advised that you plan your Panwali Kantha trek a month before to spare enough time for getting acclimated to the high altitudes.
Consulting a physician before the trek is important, as well as carrying a first-aid kit with basic medications.
Avoid trekking at night unless it's part of the itinerary or you are accompanied by a guide.
Using earphones on the Panwali Kantha trek is not advisable as it would hinder your audibility.
Trekkers are requested not to litter the trail and maintain the ecological balance of the locations on the route.
It is recommended that you carry light snacks and keep your luggage to the minimum to avoid discomfort.
Charging points for mobiles might not be available at all common points, and electricity is available only at rare locations.
The trek guides for the Panwali Kantha trek provide valuable guidance and information regarding the trail, so remember to pay attention to details.
Where is Panwali Kantha trek located?
The Panwali Kantha Trek is located at Bhinlgana Range, Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand. Situated along a now-abandoned pilgrimage route from Gangotri to Kedarnath, the trek starts at Ghuttu village and covers the scenic locations of Gaurmanda and Panwali Kantha.
How difficult is the Panwali Kantha trek?
The Panwali Kantha Trek is ranked as an easy-to-moderate level trek, making it accessible for amateurs and beginners. Anyone with a good fitness level can embark on the trek, but it is not suitable for children younger than seven years and those with health problems.
What is the best time to do Panwali Kantha trek?
The best time to do the trek is during the autumn months of September and October and in the summer months of May and June, when the chances of rainfall are negligible and the natural beauty of the Himalayas comes alive in the forests and flowers you see on the trek. Panwali Kantha Trek in December is relatively difficult but offers stunning views of snow-capped peaks and landscapes.
What is the highest altitude of the Panwali Kantha trek?
The highest altitude of the Panwali Kantha Trek is 3,500 metres above sea level. From this altitude you will be able to witness the grandeur of the Himalayas with a picturesque view of the landscapes.
Are there horses available for offloading at Panwali Kantha trek?
No, horses are not available for offloading at Panwali Kantha trek and all the participants are requested to carry minimum and only essential luggage during the trek.