Nanda Devi (7816m) as seen from the place between Badagaon and Dhak on Joshimath-Malari Road.
Starting point of the trek at Lata winter village located on the road side.
Yelloe cobra lily seen on way to Lata summer village.
The zig-zag villagers path from Lata on the road side to Lata summer village. This path is steeper but shorter than the one used by us.
Dhauliganga river at Lata winter village.
Post Office at Lata summer vilage.
Raghuveer Singh's house where we had homestay.
Nanda Devi Temple at Lata Summer Village. The temple and court yard appears to be renovated.
Nanda Devi Idol inside the temple.
The dome of Nanda Devi temple.
Artifacts lying in the court yard of Nanda Devi temple.
The water supply from two stone woods inside the temple complex has stopped for the last few years.
Dhaliganga river seen from Lata summer village.
This cluster of houses in Lata summer village is at a distance of about 500m from the main cluster of village.Raghuveer Singh tells me that this cluster of houses belongs to lower strata of the society. However, there is free movement of people between these two cluster of villages.
We are waiting in the balcony of our home stay to start the trek to Lata Kharak.
Lata Kharak summer village.
The trek route from Lata winter village at the road head to Lata summer village is seen from our trekking route to Belta on way to Lata Kharak. Villagers use the ziz-zag route which is steeper but shorter than this route.
Not sure whether it is a cobra lily?
The initial trekking path is smooth until the village boundry but.......
------afterwards its all walk on the stony path with loose slabs.
Looks like Primrose. On way to Belta.
The forest through which we came out on a ridge from where this picture was taken. The forest is dense mostly of pines, silver oaks and even walnuts tress at the lower altitude.
Wallich Geranium - Botanical name : Geranium Wallichianum. On way to Belta.
Looks like a Bell flower with petals fully opened.
Same flower upside down.
A pair of Wallich Geranium - Botanical name : Geranium Wallichianum. On way to Belta.
Plenty of strawberries on the sides of trekking path up to Belta camp.
Belta camp site. There is a big cave which serves as a kitchen as well as sleeping place for porters and the guide. This campsite is in the midst of dense forest and does not have a great view. But the plus point is the good water source nearby.
Wild flowers - Gentiana Verna- on way to Lata Kharak.
Same flowers shot from top.
We have come out of the forest cover once again. This picture was taken from a ridge.
This cluster of flowers were found at many places on the side of the trek path on way to Lata Kharak.
As we reach the final climb, Dhauliganga looks narrow.
Anemone Sylvestris on Belta-Lata Kharak route
Looks like a nature made bouquets in conical shape.
Yellow Himalayan Lily - Botanical name : Lilium Oxypetalium. On way to Lata Kharak.
A side view of the same flower.
Himalayan cinquefoil - Botanical name : Potentilla atrosanguinea . On way to Lata Kharak.
Yellow Wood Violet - Botanical name : Viola Biflora. On way to Lata Kharak.
Pink Scaly Rhododendron - Botanical name : Rhododendron lepidotum. On way to Lata Kharak.
Himalayan Slipper Orchid - Botanical name : Cypripedium himalaicum. On way to Lata Kharak.
Roof Irish - Botanical name : Iris tectorum . On way to Lata Kharak.
Me on the final climb towards Log Hut on Lata Kharak. One can guess how much we have climbed from the road. The gain in altitude was about 1800m in two days.
Sun rise view of Hathi Parvat , 6727m (east face) at Lata Kharak..
Sun rise view of Bethartoli Himal (6352m) at Lata Kharak.
Morning view of Bethartholi Himal from Lata Kharak.
A range of peaks seen from Lata Kharak. In the foreground is the Saini Kharak ridge.
Nanda Ghunti (south face partly seen) with Ronti (6063m) from Lata Kharak.
Mid-day view of peaks on way to Saini Kharak.
Nanda Ghunti and Ronti seen on way to Saini Kharak.
Devistan II (6729m) & Devistan I (6678m) seen from Saini Kharak.
Peak view from Saini Kharak
Bethartoli Himal seen from Saini Kharak.
Photography session in progress on the Saini Kharak ridge.
This was the only possible spot to place the tripod for photography as rest of the walk on Saini Kharak was on the narrow rock/stone filled path.
Bethartoli Himal from Saini Kharak. The ridge on the right behind Bethartoli is a part of Trishul which is not visible from Lata/Saini Kharak.
The first glimpse of Nanda Devi from Saini Kharak. Since sun rises behind Nanda Devi, there is a shadow on the face of Nanda Devi. The best time to take the picture of Nanda Devi is in the afternoon and evening. But most of afternoons and evenings in summer are cloudy.
Himalayan fleabane - Botanical name : Engeron multiradiatus
On the Saini Kharak ridge.
Rishiganga gorge from Saini Kharak. The river looked like a white line but soon shadow covered the river..
Wild flower - Delphinium Elatum - Taken with leaves on way to Saini Kharak
Wild flower - Delphinium Elatum - On way to Saini Kharak
Nanda Devi (left) and Devistan I & II on the right from Saini Kharak. These peaks are not visible from Lata Kharak as the Jhnadidar-Saini Kharak ridge blocks the view.
Walking back to Lata Kharak on the ridge.
After a moderate climb from Saini Kharak, it is all downhill to Lata Kharak.
Raghuveer Singh is in smile as he has a good collection of herbs to and fro Saini Kharak. The bunch of different grasses which he is holding gives a strong aroma of onion and garlic and he will use these for dal and other food preparations..
Dunagiri (7066m) from Lata Kharak.
Some observations on a non-descriptive peak, the top of which looked like Trimurti to KS.
I took the picture of this non descriptive peak, the top of which seemed to resemble Trimurti but.........
,,,,,,a zoomed view of the non-descriptive peak seemed to resemble Ganesh.
A moth at 3800m. Yes, lots of wildflowers around Lata Kharak attract moths and bees. This picture was taken by Sonu after 10-15 minutes of running as I did not have that much patient to take the picture of the moth.
Forest Log Hut. It has 4 rooms. Each room can accommodate 5 persons comfortably. all but one room was occupied by Gorkha Regiment Jawans waiting for the return of their rescue team from Trishul Expedition.
Dunagiri at sun set time from Lata Kharak.
The next day, once again a clear sky tempted us to take a repeat picture of Bethartoli Himal from Lata Kharak.
...... and also of Nanda Ghunti and Ronti. KS calls Ronti peak as Jaw of a whale!
KS took my picture against the Bethartoli and Ronti peaks and.......
......I reciprocated the same for KS.
A rhododendron flowers with Hathi Parvat as background on way to Jhandidar.
KS and Sonu checking GPS for altitude.
Himalayan Saxifrage - Botanical name : Saxifraga parnassifolia. On way to Jhandidar.
A wild fowl seen on a mountain slope just below Jhandidar.
On way to Jhandidar.
These flowers grow in bunches over Jhandidar path, mostly in red, orange and yellow colours.
Jhandidar tri-junction (4210m). Paths from Lata Kharak, Dharansi and Tolma/Surithota join here.
Jhandidar cairns. Jhandidar is also a camp site but due to water scarcity - both at Jhandidar and Dharansi, trekkers are preferring to make Lata Kharak as the base and make a day trek to Dharansi Pass.
Only the top portion of Chaukhamba is visible from Jhandidar.
Hathi and Ghodi Parvat east face from Jhandidar. One is familiar with the shapes of these two peaks from Auli-Kuari Pass sides but here they look quite different.
Dunagiri peak (7066m) is at its closest at Jhandidar and it looks massive.
Resting at Jhandidar when a groupof villagers (on the left) came from Dharansi after collecting herbs.
Lampak II (6181m) was partially visible from Jhandidar but as we walked towards Dharansi, it was fully visible.
Sonu standing in the midst of stone slabs as we discussed the risk of continuing the jumping on the rocks and stone slabs, most of which were loose and decided not to proceed towards Dharansi Pass which was 1.5 km further.
The gap in the middle of the picture is the Dharansi Pass.
Returning to Jhandidar and ....
.... to Lata Kharak. The mountain slopes above Lata Kharak is above the tree line but it is mostly covered with dwarf rhododendron bushes and trees.
Ronti Nala gorge seen from the ridge connecting Jhandidar-Saini Kharak-Lata Kharak.
Forget me not - Botanical name : Myosotis alpestris. On way to Jhandidar.
Since grazing is not permitted beyond Lata village, grasses grow tall and they fall on one side by their own weights. This patch was near Lata Kharak.
We found Nathu Singh (right) who had accompanied Bill Aitken to Nanda Devi Inner sanctuary in early 80s, doing repair jobs on pre-fabricated forest rest house next to our Log hut. When I asked as to how he took Bill Aitken on his back to cross Dibrugheta Nala, he smiled shyly. By the way, many villagers in Lata use Himachali caps.
This was the beginning of our jungle trek - Tarzan style - from Lata Kharak to the junction point on Jhandidar-Tolma route. The heavy rains in the previous night made the path muddy and slushy.
The Himalayan poppy found on our jungle trek. The botanical name is Meconopsis Baileyi
Dunagiri looks like two open flaps near Tolma. The forest cover in our trekking route did not give me an opportunity to shoot this picture clear of trees.
Kadwa Chound camp site which is now preferred over Himtoli as latter require some diversion from the main route and also there is no water source as of now.
Wild mashroom on way to Tolma.
Sonu seems to have found an interesting thing to shoot in the forest near Tolma.
Tolma villagers cliam that this is world's second largest cedar tree........
........see the trunk size of the world's second largest cedar tree located on the farm land of Tolma village.
A house in Tolma village.
Suraithota village on the road head.