Raktisar Trek

Getting into the heart of GHNP Book

Duration 6 to 8 days
Difficulty (stamina)
Difficulty (technical)
Altitudes Lowest : 1770 m / highest : 3900 m
Difference in altitude Ascent : 2030 m / Descent : 2030 m
Best time to go April to June and October to November

Route with timing
8 day trek 7 day trek 6 day trek
Day 1 Niharni (1770m) to Shakti (2260m) Niharni (1770m) to Shakti (2260m) From Niharni (1770m) to Maraur (2530m)
Day 2 Shakti (2260m) to Maraur (2530m) Shakti (2260m) to Parkachi thach (3000m) From Maraur to Parkachi thach (3000m)
Day 3 Maraur (2530m) to Parkachi thach (3000m) Parkachi thach (3000m) to Raktisar (3900m) From Parkachi thach (3000m) to Raktisar (3900m) and return to Parkachi thach
Day 4 Parkachi thach (3000m) to Raktisar (3900m) Raktisar (3900m) to Parkachi thach (3000m) Rest day at Parkachi thach (3000m)
Day 5 Raktisar (3900m) to Parkachi thach (3000m) Rest day at Parkachi thach (3000m) From Parkachi thach (3000m) to Maraur (2530m) or Shakti (2260m)
Day 6 Rest day at Parkachi thach (3000m) Parkachi thach (3000m) to Shakti (2260m) To Niharni (1770m)
Day 7 Parkachi thach (3000m) to Shakti (2260m) Shakti (2260m) to Niharni (1770m)
Day 8 Shakti (2260m) to Niharni (1770m)  

Trek description - 7 or 8 days

Day 1
The trek starts from Niharni in Sainj valley whose charm has been spoiled by an hydroelectric project under construction.

It takes about 3 to 4 hours along the beautiful Sainj River to reach the Shakti trekker huts. It is an ideal walking day to get accustomed to the trail and the altitude. The route goes through beautiful forests with amazing biodiversity. Shakti is a small village where resides a very powerfull local god. The god has refused the shifting of both villages Shakti and Maraur at the time of creation of the Park.
The tents are pitched up at the comfortable camp site. You enjoy your evening dinner under the stars and then retire for the night to your tent.

Many Gods live in the Sainj valley. Photo courtesy of Rolf Leurink.

Day 2
On day 2 either one can hike up to Maraur or directly to Parkachi Thach.

In case one camps at at Maraur for the night, the day hike can be completed at a relaxed pace. This is advised only for those who are not sure about their stamina. The night at Maraur is comfortable like the previous night at Shakti.

In case one decides to proceed directly to Parkachi via Maraur in one day, it will be a long day walk. One starts early in the morning after breakfast so that there will be time to halt on the way. Lunch is at Maraur. One reaches Parkachi in the evening.

View from Maraur

Day 3
Maraur to reach Parkachi Thach. Parkachi Thach is located at an altitude where forests fade away to be replaced by beautiful grasses and flowers. Once again enjoy dinner under the stars and retire to your comfortable tent at the camp site.

Sainj river just below Parkachi Thach. Photo courtesy of Rolf Leurink.

Day 4
The forests give way to grasses as one goes above the tree-line. The trail becomes rocky.

The distance covered in this stage of the trek is not much but the path is steeper.

There might be snow around in some months of the year. This part of GHNP is also the abode of musk deer, blue sheep, Himalayan Thar or even snow leopards around Raktisar.

Himalayan Tahr

One arrives at Raktisar by the afternoon.

Camping at Raktisar is a fabulous experience. Wear warm clothes, the weather can get cold rapidly at this altitude. No camp fire is started since there is no forest and no wood.

The mountains above Raktisar seen from Parkachi. Photo courtesy of Rolf Leurink.

Raktisar is at the heart of the GHNP and it is the source of the Sainj River. It is the meeting point of two large glaciers which have retreated because of global warming. You can see their impressive crevices in both the converging valleys. Notice also the large moraines that they have left in the valley.

On a clear night, enjoy the light from the stars reflected on the glaciers. It is an unforgettable and magical experience.

Day 5
Spend the morning exploring the valley. There are spots high up in the valley where our guides can take you. It is a excellent place to spot wildlife.

After breakfast start going back Parkachi Thach and set up your camp again.

Day 6
Day 6 is a rest day at Parkachi Thach.

There is a rich variety of birdlife.

Day 7 and day 8
A relaxed descent back to Niharni with a night at Shakti.

Trek description - 6 days

This trek can be done in 6 days

This mode of the trek is only suitable for fit trekkers. Even then care has to be taken to not climb too fast as there are chances of altitude sickness.

The route is the same but the first day is a long day walk directly to Maraur. On the second day, one climbs up to Parkachi thach. On the 3rd day, one climbs to Raktisar and comes back in the same day.The 4th day is spent resting in Parkachi thach.Then there are 2 days to descend to Niharni.