Milam valley (also known as Johar Valley or Gori Ganga valley)
is a valley which is located in Uttarakhand, India, along the
Gori Ganga river. The valley used to be a major trade route
with Tibet. The best known villages in the valley are
Munsiyari and Milam.Milam Glacier is about 28 km long, it is the biggest glacier
of the Kumaun, Uttarakhand. It originates from the slope of
Kohli and Trishuli peaks and is situated on the south facing
slope of the main Himalayan range. Milam Village which is
located near the glacier is one of the highest villages in the
Himalayan range. Munsyari is the base for the trek route
leading to Milam glacier.
The trek to the Milam Glacier is among the best of treks in
this region, which takes you through some of the remotest
areas with amazing views. Finally reaching the glacier, one is
impressed by the splendor of the imposing Mt. Trishuli (7070m)
and Hardeoli (7151m).
The Gori Ganga & Milam glacier valleys are the central valleys
in the Kumaoun region. On its Eastern branch there is an
excellent climbing area of Kalabaland glacier. The peak
Chiring We (6559mts) rises from the Kalabaland glacier and was
climbed only once in 1979 by the Indian team. Little to its
south raises Suitilla (6373mts) which is a terrible and
difficult goal. The Panch Chuli group rises in the
southeastern valley of this section. It has five different
peaks which are climbed with great difficulty, both from the
East and the West. At the head of the Milam glacier there are
the attractive peaks Hardeol (7151mts) and Trisuli (7074mts).
Nanda Devi east has been climbed from the valley.
The major river valley in the central Kumaoun is the Goriganga.
It Emerges from the huge Milam glacier and it is joined by
Goankha gad at Milam village. Several small nalas join it in
the west, as all of them drain the walls of the northern Nanda
Out of them Lawan gad is a major nala. From the east the major
river, Ralam gad joins it, little before Munsairy. Ahead,
joined by the Madkani nala it flows down into plain. The main
Gori valley mainly comprises of Kalabaland, Milam, Goankha,
Yankchar, Sankalpa, Ralam, Balati and Pancha Chuli valleys and
from Munsairy to Milam is known as Johar.
The eastern rim of the Milam valley comprises of Ikualari
(6059mts), Kholi (6114mts), & another peak of 6160mts on top
of Ikualari glacier (4730mts). Further south Nanda Gond
(6315mts) and Nithal Thaur (6236mts), followed by Nanda Pal
(6306mts) and at the last Shangas (5931mts), Kalganga Dhura
(6215mts)and another peak of lesser height (5208mts).
The Himalayas are better for trekking rather then driving was
a unanimous verdict. To trek the central valleys of Kumaoun
along Milam and Gori Ganga one should reach Munsiary via
Almorah, Kathgodam and Tejam, collecting Inner Line permits
from Didihat which can also be collected at Munsiary itself.
The trek to Milam generally starts from a small village on the
banks of River Gori Ganga which is about 18kms ahead of
Munsiary, downhill crossing Jitu Ghat and Darkot village,
leads to Lilam where one will encounter countless flies &
I.T.B.P. (first check post on the way), the apparent
inhabitants of here.
is the last village situated in Johar valley of Pithoragarh
district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. The river Gori
Ganga originates from Milam Glacier and flows past the village
to meet with Kali ganga at Jauljibi.
trek to Milam village starts from Munsiyari a road head that can
be reached from Pithoragarh or Almora. The trek passes through
Rilkot, Lilam, Bilju, Bogudiar, Burfu and Martoli. Prominent
peaks situated above the glacier are Nanda Ghoonti Trisuli,
Hardeol etc. Some of the camping places above the glacier are
Suraj kund, Nitwal dhar etc. Nandadevi East base camp can be
reached through a side valley from Pacchu and Ghangar villages.
The ideal trekking period is from May to October excluding
monsoon months. However, as the inhabitants of the upper
villages tend to move down the valley for the winter months
trekkers may find that food and accommodation is not available
especially after the festival of Diwali.
Historical trade with Tibet
is on a route over high mountain passes (Kingribingri Dhura ,Jandi
Dhura, and Unta Dhura) to Gyanima mandi in Tibet. The border is
closed since the Sino-Indian War of 1962, and Milam is now a
ghost village with very few inhabitants. Before the war, it used
to be a trade center bustling with 500 families. As of now all
trade with Tibet is stopped and the families have settled in
Munsiyari and other places in the lower ranges. In summer months
very few people go there and cultivate medicinal plants, high
altitude Buckwheat and Jambhu. Tibetan merchants visited this
place and traded in precious stones, Borax, salt and Pashmina.
The inhabitants of Milam too travelled along with pack mules to
Tibet. They took cotton clothes, rice, sugar, jaggery, etc. to
sell in Tibetan markets. The famous pandit-explorers Nain Singh
and Kishan Singh who mapped Tibet territory belong to this