Buran Ghati Trek
Buran Ghati Trek is one of the most beautiful treks of our country. It is in the Pabbar valley. The general route taken for this trek starts from a village called Janglik. After an overnight halt/ stay at Janglik, trek to the Dayara site and camp for the night. Next day trek to Lithum. From Lithum go and explore the Chandranahan lake. Take a days time for this exploration. Next day trek from Lithum to Dunda, right below the buran pass. Next day start early morning to reach the pass and get down the other side. This could be either on stones and boulders or if there is excessive snow, rapel down !! Reach the river side ground and camp for the night. Next day trek to Barua village and get a vehicle to take you down till Shimla.
How to get there
Buran ghati is also called as the Barua pass by some of the local villagers. The nearest airport is the Jubbarhatti airport in Shimla and the nearest railway station is Kalka, Himachal Pradesh. Most people prefer to book trains to Kalka from Chandigarh, Delhi or wherever it is they are travelling from. Other than trains, buses are another option as well. There are direct buses from Shimla to Chandigarh and Delhi. There are local Non AC govt. buses, 2+2 AC buses, Volvo buses available as well. The local buses keep running at approx half an hour to an hour time gap, while the volvos have fixed time departures.
Best season/ time to do
Buran ghati is a trek that has beautiful meadows to start with. It has narrow muddy trails to trek on as well, which makes it hard to cross during rains. Also on the pass crossing, rains or soft snow could make the trek from moderate to difficult, or even impossible to negotiate. That is why we have identified certain months safe to attempt this trek. Keeping in mind the beauty of the place, limited amount of risk, snow line at the pass crossing, we suggest April, May & mid June, Sept. & Oct as a good time to do this trek.
Closest Evacuating points
Other than the beauty and duration of any trek, a trekker should also know this important fact as to what is the safest evacuating route in case of any medical emergency. For Buran Ghati, we start the trek from the village Janglik which has very basic and not those easily available medical facilities. There are no pharmacists in the entire village. Tanglu and Damwari also are small villages that might not have proper medical facilities. Chirgaon has a few pharmacists where medicines would be available. Anywhere from Janglik, Dayara, Lithum or Dunda if one needs medical aid, they must have basic meds and temporary aiding kits and techniques on themselves. Similarly after crossing the pass, basic medicines are available in Barua only. The road connectivity ends at Janglik at the beginning of the trek and starts at Barua on the 7 th or 8 th day of the trek (as per your itinerary). There is no mid way to reach the road. There are no chopper services available on this trek. Dial #108 for free ambulance sewa in the mountains, that could be available either at Tanglu (before the starting point) or at Barua (ending point).
Mobile network availabilities
In janglik, mobile networks like Vodafone, Idea, BSNL are sometimes available. Airtel on the other hand is available most of the time. After starting the trek from Janglik to Dayar, there is Bakkerwal hut a couple of kms before the Dayara campsite. Airtel network has shown its existence mostof the times. At the Lithum camp, your guide can identify the stone near which you could get strong Airtel network. Other than these places, the next available network zone is Barua.
Rating/ Grading of the trek
There are a lot of factors we need to consider that lead us to rate or grade a trek. The average distance in kms/ time taken each day to trek, highest altitude of the trek, maximum height gain on a particular day, mobile and road connectivity, water sources availability, closest medical facility (general pharmacy or a hospital, govt. or private) available, technical equipment and guidance required to negotiate, all need to be thought of. On the basis of the mentioned we rate Buran ghati as a moderate trek.
Gear and equipment required
For personal clothing, quick dry tees, quick dry track pants, basic thermal layers (1set), a fleece layer, wind/ water resistant jacket, rain gears/ ponchos, rucksack, trekking shoes, a pair of woollen socks (only while camping), sun screen, sunglasses with UV+4, a trekking pole is gear which is required. During the pass crossing over the ice patch for rappelling you will need technical equipment such as Harness sets, mittens (gloves while rappelling), harness jacket for each trekker, ropes for fixing and belaying, caribiners, descenders, ice pitons, ice axes etc. The technical equipment is to be carried by the local guides/ trek operators for safely crossing the pass only on hard ice patches.
Gradient and terrain
As per the general itinerary, we have mentioned the per day gradient;
Janglik to Dayara – Trek starts with a 30 mins of climb in between the local housing areas, small fields entering into forests. Have a couple of river crossings which can be negotiated with the shoes on. A couple of steep climbs of about 100 metres, within the forest patch. End the forest patch into the widely open meadows and reach Dayara.
Dayara to Lithum – Trek over the high and low land meadows thru narrow mud trails. Negotiate a 100 to 150 metres of a minor land sliding zone. This zone has rocks and boulders that would be used to negotiate that patch. Trek on a similar muddy narrow trail and reach the Lithum campsite. Lithum to Chadranahan lake excursion and back – To the left side of the camp is a steep climb of a thin trail through dry grass. Climb for about an hour and reach a water source that flows down to the main river – the Pabbar naala. Follow this water source over a gentle ascend for approx. 45 mins to see the Chandranahan lake. Retrace the route to return to Lithum. The way back is the steep descend.
Lithum to Dunda – Start the trek following the Pabbar naala to your right and negotiate a small patch of about 50 metres of boulders and reach a small lake to your right. Walk for about 10 mins straight to see another lake bigger in size that is a beauty in itself. Keep trekking for about 90 mins and take the climb to your left. This is a steep climb of about a 1.7 kms and will take approx 45 to 60 mins to climb. The top spot is a small patch of land that could be covered in snow as well. This is the Dunda campsite. The route for the next day's pass is visible from the site.
Dunda to Riverside camp – Start the trek by 6.30 am. Climb the boulders patch via zig-zag technique and reach right beneath the pass. From here the pass is at a distance of about 850 metres. This route is a mix of scree and boulders till the top of the pass. Reach the pass and get down the other side either through the boulders route on the left or by rappelling over the ice patch. Rappelling or the boulders both would be approximately about 1 km and would take time. On reaching the bottom is a gradual descend to reach the river camp site. This day is the longest and the most tiring day of this trek.
Riverside camp to Barua – Riverside camp to Barua is through gradual and steep descends on a thin mud led trail. There is a beautiful rock phase that needs to be descended from. There is a wooden bridge that needs to be crossed over a high force flowing water source. Trek through ajjwain fields to reach the Barua village.