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Panwali Kantha
About Panwali Kantha

Panwali Kantha is a trek that offers unique visual treats in every season. From lush green meadows after the monsoons to snow covered bugyals with attractive kind of slopes in winters. The moderate altitude and easy access make it an ideal winter trek. Panwali Kantha is situated at 3963 mts altitude, it is one on the well-known bugyal and one can enjoy the beautiful view of Himalayan Peaks and it is also best for sun set view. In ancient time this trek is used by pilgrim while coming from Gangotri to Kedarnath. After road development this route is used by trekkers or by local villagers. This trek can be approached from two side either from Triyugi Narayan or from Ghuttu.

Panwali-Kantha a high altitude meadows which is situated on the south-western ridge of Kedarnath region in Uttaranchal state. There are two ways to approach this Bugyals (Meadows), one is to begin at Triyuginarayan, the temple town marking a spot where Lord Shiva is said to have celebrated his wedding with Parvati. The other route begins from Ghuttu in Tehri or Mala in Uttarkashi district.

In winters however it often becomes too tricky to cross Panwali Kantha and venture over to Trijuginarayan because of excessive snowfall. A short trek to Panwali Kantha however makes for just the right amount of snow filled adventure and can be safely completed without requiring expedition grade preparations. Contingency planning is necessary though because of the likelihood of heavy snowfall resulting in trekking paths getting blocked.

This trek provides you with one of the rarest view of the whole range of Yamnotri- Gangotri- Kedarnath- Badrinath mountain peaks. In the process you pass through the seven Bugyals of Panwali Kantha, Where if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of blue mountain goat. This trek is part of the ancient pilgrim trail from Gangotri to Kedarnath, in the tradition of Vamavrta Yatra that began from Yamnotri and ended at Badrinath after paying respect at the Kedarnath and Gangotri shrines.

The glory of the Garhwal Himalayas is enhanced by several alpine meadows called bugyals which lie in its vicinity. In summer time the wandering people who live between the Shivalik Ranges and the Greater Himalayas mostly shepherds use these meadows for grazing their cattle.

Panwali Kantha is one among the famous bugyals in the Garhwal region. This trek was the ancient pilgrimage route from Gangotri to Kedarnath but is now a popular trekking route and it is mostly used by locals, as alternative roads have been built between the two holy towns. The trek begins from Lata which is about 22 km from Uttarkashi. The well defined path is initially through the pine forests and then breaks out to the grassy plains at Belak. The trail is fairly level upto Jhala after which there is a steep descent to Budhakedar.

The trail to Guttu from here is again a series of ascent and descent via Bhaironchetti. Guttu is the last road head for other treks in the region like Khatling Glacier, Masartal, Sahastrtal etc. From Guttu there is a long, steep ascent to Panwali Kantha. The wonderful peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas, and the other Bughyals are clearly visible from atop here. The vegetation is a mix of grassland scattered with Birch trees. On the other side of the Panwali Kantha, the camp can be established at one of the shepherd huts. The path on the other side continues on the ridge, and begins downhill at Kankhalikhal. The camp can be set up at Magguchetti or the trail continued further to Triyuginarayan. Triyuginarayan is a famous religious town and the trek can either be completed here or continued to Kedarnath. The trek path is well defined and travelled on frequently. While the trail is not crowded by pilgrims it is fairly populated with tea stalls, shepherd huts on the way. The scenic landscapes relatively lower altitudes makes for a pleasant trek amidst the Garhwal Himalayas.

Panwali Kantha Trek

Panwali Kantha Trek in Uttarakhand is a remote trail that’s physically demanding due to its steep uphill climb. The climb of Panwali is strenuous and requires good physical & mental fitness level. There is a local saying – “Panwali ki Chadai aur German ki Ladai, ek jaisi”. It means the ‘climb of Panwali’ and ‘Germans world war efforts’ are just the same.

Panwali Kantha trek allows tourists to retire into wilderness and seek time for self-introspection. Throughout the trail one can experience nature’s bounty. The forests of Oakwood, Alpine and Deodar are in abundance. High density of Himalayan Black Bears in the region means one must not venture alone and try to stick with the group. Bears avoid humans, but a sudden encounter is something we always fear. It will be great if one carry pepper spray in bag. The area is also well-known for Musk Deer, Monal (Pheasant) and other wildlife that are found nowhere else.

Large peaks like Kedarnath and Kedar dome peak can be witnessed while doing trekking through Panwalikantha trail.

Activities Nearby

Uttarakashi is a religious town of huge importance apart from the natural beauty of the town. The Lord Vishwanatha temple here is considered holy. Uttarakashi is often the base for the pilgrimage to Yamunotri and Gangotri. The Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarakashi promotes a wide variety of adventure activities. Triyuginarayan is an attractive temple town which is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, close to Kedarnath. Kedarnath is one of the most sacred religious centres in Hindu culture.



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