Situated in the Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand, Panchchuli is a group of five majestic snow-capped peaks with altitude ranging from 6,334 metres (20,781 ft) to 6,904 metres (22,651 ft). The peaks’ name is derived from the Mahabharata Pandavas’s ‘Five Chulis’ (cooking hearths), where they cooked their last meal before left for their heavenly abode. The five peaks and their respective elevation are as follows:
Panchchuli I (6,355 m)
Panchchuli II (6,904 m)
Panchchuli III (6,312 m)
Panchchuli IV (6,334 m)
Panchchuli V (6,437 m)
The highest peak is Panchchuli II, which was first scaled by an Indo-Tibetan Border Police expedition, led by Mahendra Singh, on 26 May 1973. The first ascent of this peak was made in 1992 by an Indo-British team jointly led by Chris Bonington and Harish Kapadia by the south ridge.
- Eastern approach: via the Sona Glacierand Meola Glacier.
- Western approach: Uttari Balati Glacier via Balati Plateau.
HOW TO REACH
The nearest place to Panchchuli which is accessible through motorable road is Munsiyari. This place is starting point of many treks into the Kumaon Himalayas.
- ROAD: Munsiyari is very well connected to all the important town and cities in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Buses and taxis are easily available from Kathgodam, the major transport junction for the Kumaun Hills.
- RAIL: Ramnagar railway station is the nearest railway station from Munsiyari from where you can commute to all important cities. You can take a bus, taxi or any other mode of transport to reach here.
- AIR: Pantnagar Airport is the closest airport from Munsiyari located at a distance of about 188 kilometers. With the available means of transport you can easily reach the airport which is well maintained and ensures convenience.