photo by: Nitish Thakur

Kuari Pass Trek - Lord Curzon Trail

The trek to Kauri Pass starts from Joshimath which is the hub for trekkers and pilgrims. The Winter Kuari Pass trek gives you a golden opportunity to admire the impressive skyline of the mighty mountains from close quarters. On some occasion, you might come across the footprints of the rare Himalayan Bear or Leopard. 

The best of the Kuari Pass is that you can camp amidst the lush green meadows, consisting of vast green pastures with Himalaya Views. In addition to this, the trekkers can also bag the opportunity of visiting Auli, the ski capital of Uttarakhand.

Why Kauri Pass Trek?

By commencing the Kuari Pass Trek, the avid trekkers can explore the sHimalayan areas that are waiting to be discovered. With every climb, a totally different hue of the natural vista unfolds in front of your eyes. From the rosy rhododendrons, the green meadows to the pristine snow-shrouded lakes, one can see everything here. 

The Kuari Pass offers spellbinding views of the imposing Himalayas. From here, one can behold a magnificent sight of the Chaukhamba Range, Mana (7272m), Kamet (7756m) and Abl Gamin (7355m), extending to the Tibet border. In the middle foreground, a number of spectacular peaks including Dunagiri (7066m) and Changabang (6864m) enclose the Nanda Devi Sanctuary while the snowcapped ranges extend to Gangotri, on its west. Apart from these, Nanda Ghunti, Hathi Ghoda Parbat, Neelkanth, Dronagiri, Mukut Parbat, Mana, Rishi Pahad, and Changbang are some of the peaks that can also be seen from here. 

The trek to Kauri Pass begins from Joshimath, which has evolved into the hub for trekkers and pilgrims. The best of the Kuari Pass is that you get to visit the most remarkable Gorson Bugyal (meadows), consisting of vast green pastures with Himalaya Views. On this trek you will also visit Auli, which is famous for its beautiful skiing slopes in the winter.

Kuari Pass Winter Trek: The snow-clad Kuari pass winter trek is also equally popular among trekkers. It offers totally a different scenic beauty when the meaodws are covered with snow and lakes are frozen. Also you get to visit Auli in its best season and you can also enjoy skiing as well.

There are four routes to reach Kuari Pass

Trek Route 1 or Curzon Trail: Ghat, Ramni, Sanatoli to Kuari Pass ( 06 days)
 Ghat is a small friendly settlement in the Nandakini Valley and located about 19 km from Nandprayag. From Ghat, the trekking route goes via Ramni, Sarkot, Jhenjipatni, Pana, Irani, Sanatoli, and Domabhiti to the Kuari Pass.

Trek Route 2 : Joshimath, Auli and Gorson to Kuari Pass (05 days)
From Auli, the trekking route trails its way though the bugyals and rich green forests, with the Himalayas always in view, to Gailgarh and Kuari. The camping grounds are an absolute delight – areas of undulating slopes, carpeted with rich, green grass and set in beautiful natural surroundings. From Tali to Chitrakantha, there is only a goat track and horses and mules cannot go along here.

Trek Route 3 : Joshimath, Mirag, Tugasi and Khulara to Kuari Pass (05 days)
This trek starts from Joshimath via Mirag, Tugasi and Khulara to Gailgarh and Kuari pass is popular with those who have no interest in the bugyals of Auli and Gorson.

Trek Route 4 : Tapovan, Khulara to Kuari Pass (05 days)
 This trek starts from Tapovan, which is 16 km from Joshimath on the main road to Malari. The trek begins and ends with a climb and takes one through the glorious Tapovan Valley. Although it is the shortest route and meets the third trek at Khulara the climb on this route is very steep and tiring. It is always better to climb down on this route.

Staying in Kuari Pass Trek

Situated in the vast Garhwal Himalayas, Kuari Pass is a trek to remember due to its breathtaking views of some of the majestic peaks in Uttarakhand. Trekkers tend to take camping equipments along with them and set up camps at suitable location at night. Tour and trek operators usually provide tents and other equipments to the trekkers.

Kuari Pass Trek Food Guide

Again, it is not possible for anyone find a restaurant at Kuari Pass as the place is uninhabitable. Trekkers take the some snacks with themselves that they can purchase at lower altitudes, preferably before starting the trek. A cook can prepare a delicious cooked meal provided the ration is taken along with. Packaged food is usually the best option when travelling to higher altitudes.

History of Kuari Pass Trek

The Kuari Pass Trek got famous after Lord Curzon, Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman used the passage in their pioneering explorations of the region in 1905. The Kuari Pass trek is also known as The Curzon Trail (named after the former British Viceroy Of India “Lord Curzon”) and it is said that the path was specially improved so that he could do the trek.

In 1905 Lord Curzon reached Kuari pass from Ghat via Ramni, crossing few lesser passes (Vinayak Pass, Tali Top) and five major rivers - the Pindar, Kaliganga, Mandakini, Bheriganga and the Dhauliganga. This trek is very popular among European and American Travelers.

Suggested Trekking Itinerary for Kuari Pass

Day 01: Rishikesh - Joshimath (255 kms)
Catch the state transport bus from Rishikesh to Joshimath. Behold the marvellous sight of the celestial river Ganga flowing in eternity at Rishikesh. A mere 7-8 hours journey will make you reach Joshimath which is a hub for the pilgrims travelling to Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib. On reaching Joshimath, check in at a guest house and have an overnight stay.

Day 02: Joshimath- Chitrakhana (Drive to Dhak Village- 12km/1hr, Trek- 6km/4hrs)
Travel to Dhak village (12 km), from where the trek to Kuari Pass begins. Make your way through the hemlock, oak and rhododendron forests. After a 6 km descent, you will reach the lush green meadows and the campsite at Chitrakhana perched at 3,310 metres. Savour a panoramic view of the snow-shrouded Himalayan peaks including the massive Chaukhamba peaks seated at 7,138 metres above sea level beyond Joshimath. The shepherds can also be seen here grazing their flock.

Soon a pleasant view of a small spring line will open up that will lead you to the velvety meadows. Pitch you tents amidst the captivating vistas and pack yourselves in your sleeping bags.

Day 03: Chitrakhana-Tali Top (Trek- 6 km)
Wake up early to have a glorious view of the sunrise. Post breakfast; tighten your belts to commence the 6 km trek to Tali Top. You need to move along the swift trail that involves a steep climb through the forested ridge of rhododendrons, spruce and silver birch above Chitrakhana. In an hour or so, you will reach the prominent ridge top at 3,500 metres and a short 30 minutes trek will take you to an open meadow, where the trail meets the well-defined trek to Tapovan. You can camp amidst the meandering meadows at the end of Tali Top.

Day 04: Tali Top- Kuari Pass via Khullara-Tali Top (Trek- 15 km)
Start off early as it is a long day trek. This trek involves a gradual ascend till Khullara top and from there one needs to traverse through a snow patch that leads to Kuari Top. From here you can feel the fresh wind blowing off your worries while you admire an obstructed view of the great Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Devi (7,816 m), the highest peak in India.

Kuari Top is enveloped by the mountains forming an outlet in between, where the Rishi Ganga forges a route through the deep gorges before flowing into the Alaknanda River. Return to Tali Top set up a bonfire and have scrumptious dinner at the campsite.

Day 05: Tali Top-Joshimath via Auli (Trek- 8 km, Drive- 13 km)
Post breakfast trek downhill beside the Rishi Ganga River till the road, from where you can get the taxi to Joshimath. En-route you will pass through Auli which is famous for its winter sports. On reaching Joshimath, check in at a hotel and have an overnight stay.

Day 06: Joshimath/Auli - Rishikesh
Say goodbye to the hills, have breakfast and drive early to reach Rishikesh.

  • Kuari Pass trek is of moderate difficulty level, thus it is a perfect trek for amateur trekkers, adventurers and first timers to gain some experience. 
  • Kuari Pass trek is also famous during the winters when the snow is just the right amount thus making it a perfect trek to introduce amateur trekkers to snow. 
  • Hire an experienced trekking guide to accompany you on your trek. These guides have much knowledge and expertise about the route. 
  • It is wise to check with local authorities, tour guides or tour operators about the weather and road conditions during monsoons before you actually start your trek.

What is Kuari Pass Trek famous for?

Kuari Pass Trek is famous among tourist as Trekking, Pass, Expedition, Snow Trek.

Kuari Pass Trek is recommended destination for Foreigners, Groups, Solo.

Kuari Pass Trek is popular destination for following activities/ interests - Adventure, Camping, Christmas and New Year, Trekking.

Kuari Pass Trek Photo Gallery

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