About Milam Glacier
The Milam Glacier is the source of Gori Ganga River, means “PLACE OF SNOW”, and serves as a major tributary of the Kali Gandaki River. This is a long, exciting, exhaustive and thrilling trek though classified as a moderate trek. This glacier is located 60 Kms from Munsiyari, and the trek, besides providing stunning views of the Himalayas also presents trekkers with beautiful, lush green meadows, pine forests and remote villages. During the the trekkers have to cross-huge mountain peaks, flowing river of Gori Ganga and harsh terrains. The Milam Glacier trek is in the Kumaon region, Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3438 m above the sea level, and is located on the south-facing slope of the Himalayan peaks. The trek passes through several forests and several waterfalls in the largest glacier of Kumaon region of the Himalayas.
The Milam glacier is located on high mountain peaks like Unta Dhura, Jandi Dhura and Kingribingri Dhura to Gyanima Mandi in Tibet. This region has been closed since the Sino- Indian War of 1962. Before the war, this route (Milam villages) through the Milam glacier served as a trading center to more than 500 families that were living here. This village is also home to few famous Himalayan explorers like Kailash Singh and Nain Singh Rawat who discovered the territory of Tibet. Earlier when the trading route was open, the Tibetan merchants frequently used to come to this place and in search of Borax, precious gems, stones, pashmina and salt with the local people of this region. Likewise, the locals of this region also travelled often to Tibet for business. They used to carry cotton clothes, jaggery, rice and sugar on their mules for them to sell in local Tibetan markets.
Milam Glacier Trek starts from Munsiyari, at a distance of of around 300 Km from Kathgodam. The trek is simple but trekkers have to traverse all along till Jimighat. The next morning they set out for Bugdiyar, passing through dense forests. After crossing Bugdiyar further they traverse through deep gorges to reach Martoli and lastly to Milam. The whole trek from Munsiyari to Milam reveals the true color of nature in full bloom. There are thick forests with trees close to each other, beautiful flowing rivers and the sound of murmuring streams passing to the huge glaciers that makes this trek enjoyable though challenging for explorers and adventure enthusiasts.
About Milam Glacier Trek
The Milam Glacier is situated at an altitude of 4268 m, it is spread across 37 square kilometers. Trekkers can see the splendid views of the Mt. Trishuli in the eastern side (7070 m) and Hardeol (7151 m). There are several other peaks surrounding this place like (Mangraon at 6,568 m, Deo Damla at 6,637 m, Sakram at 6,254 m, Nanda Gond at 6,315 m and Nanda Pal at 6,306 m). This place is truly a trekker’s delight in the Kumaun region of the Himalayas, perched at an altitude of 3,872 meters coupled with a silver lining and beautiful blue skies at backdrop. This trek passes through quiet, small villages; green alpine forests, wild flowering plants evergreen forests, and the beautiful landscape and will certainly hypnotize every trekker. Ideal time for undertaking the trek is from May – October – after that there are rough winds in this region. Milam Glacier Trek commences from Munsiyari and ends in Munsiyari with a 14-15 day trekking exploration and trekkers need to get themselves to the different altitudes. The first lap of the trek starts from Bog Udyar that is a short drive from Munsiyari.
Highlights of Milam Glacier Trek
Some of the highlights of the Milam Glacier Trek are as follows:
- Trekkers can explore the unknown villages surrounding the Kumaon Himalayan region.
- Camping at the foot of the majestic Nandi Devi East base camp at an altitude of 7816 m, also called as the signature peak.
- Experience different colors of nature – ie. Alpine meadows, splendid gorges and the beautiful ridges.
- Trek to the top of the majestic peak of Milam Glacier.
- Enjoy leisurely night stays at guesthouse, camps and hotels.
- Milam Glacier that is the source Gori Ganga is the largest glacial peak of this region. Several other wonderful peaks of Timphu, Sakram, West Bamchu, Mangraon, Surajkund, Ikualari, and the Bilanlari glacier peaks surround it.
- Capture magnificent views of the Trishuli, Nandakot, Nandadevi, Hardeol, Mangraon, Sakram, Bamchu, Deo Damla, Latu Dhura, and some other peaks surrounding the Nepal region.
- Trekkers also can get stunning views of deep valleys – Shalang and Lawan gad in particular!.
Key facts About Trek To Milam Glacier
- Region: Kumaon Himalayas, Uttaranchal
- Starting Point: Munsiyari
- Ending Point: Munsiyari
- Duration: 13 Days and 12 Nights
- Ideal Time: March – October. The temperature during this time warm and pleasant with clear and sunny skies. Winter – November- February is not a good time to visit as the entire region has dense snowfalls besides landslides.
- Temperature: 15-27*C in the morning and can drop to -3*C at night.
- Level: Trek to Milam Glacier is suitable for mountaineers, high altitude trekkers, glacier enthusiasts and nature lovers. Provides an opportunity to explore and experience the beauty of Himalayas. Good amount of physical fitness and health is needed and trekkers are always required to keep themselves hydrated.
- Total Distance: 116 km.
- Maximum elevation: 4150 m at Budgiyar and reaches a maximum altitude of 13621 ft at Martoli and finally reaches Milam.
- Weather: Mid-March – June is the best time to visit this place as the weather is pleasant and warm. Post monsoon the temperature drops to -10*C. In addition, heavy snowfall and landslides can occur.
- Communication: Communication networks are not reliable in this region. BSNL and Airtel have better connectivity. During emergencies, Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) networks work. For emergencies, CDMA and satellite communications should be used.
- ATM Point: Pithoragarh is the last ATM point in this region
Delhi – Kathgodam – 300 Km – Train – Trekkers from Delhi come to Kathgodam by morning. Further from here, there are travel guides to take them to the hotels.
Kathgodam – Almora – Munsyari – 2290 m / 300 Kms – 8 – 9 Hrs – Bus / Taxi – The trekkers meet the guides who will transfer the trekkers to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Munsiyari – Lilam – 1850 m – 14 Kms – 5 – 6 Hrs – The trek starts from Munsiyari to Milam. Trekkers have to cross the lush green meadows to reach Bugdiyar, where they can sight goats and sheep and have their dinner in the tents. Overnight stay will be at the camps.
Lilam – Bugdiar 2500 m – 12 Kms – 5 – 6 Hrs- After getting up trek uphill to Bugdiar. On the way, see delightful views of lush green forest, lined with trees. Flock of sheep and goats are a common sight at the meadows. Stay will be at campsite for the night stay.
Bugdiar – Martoli – 3430 m – 14 Kms – 5 – 6 Hrs – Trekkers will have to trek from Martoli to Rilkot, and see the sight of the deep gorges that is located at the edge of the Lwan Gad Valley. Overnight stay will be in the tents in the village of Martoli.
Martoli – Milam -3450 m – 11 Kms – 5 – 6 Hrs – This is the most important site for the trek of Milam. Trekkers cross the Lwan Gad and Gori Ganga for reaching the Barphu village (3350 m). Trekkers will stop at Milam where they will camp for the night.
Milam – Milam Glacier – Milam – 3870 m – 6 Kms – 3 – 4 Hrs – Trekkers again head out for a trek to Milam glacier where they see views of splendid peaks of the Rishi Parvat (6692 M), Hardeol (7151 M) and Tirsuli (7074 M). After enjoying the thrilling site of these peaks, they head back to Milam for dinner and as usual overnight will be at the camps.
|8 to 11||
· Day 08 – Milam to Rilkot – Descending trek for 17 Kms. Stay in tents.
· Day 09 – Rilkot to Bugdiar – Descending trek for 12 Kms. Pass thru narrow gorge of Nahar Devi. Stay in tents
· Day 10 – Bugdiar to Lilam – Descending trek for 12 Kms. Overnight stay in tents.
· Day 11 – Lilam to Munsyari – Trek till the road and then proceed to Munsyari. Freshen up and stay in guest house.
Munsyari – Kathgodam- 158 Kms – 10 Hrs – This day is rejuvenating and relaxing as the trekkers travel through the dense and lush forests. Trekkers take overnight train to Delhi.
Arrive at Delhi – Reach Delhi early morning. After trekkers arrive at Delhi and get transferred to the hotel where they can freshen up. They will be dropped at the airport / railway station and travel back to their respective destinations carrying pleasant memories of the trip!.
Meals During Milam Glacier Trek
Different foods specific to the Uttarakhand region is served. Uttarakhand is famous for the variety of dishes. This innocence and pure air adds to the appetite of the people who visit this region. Trekkers when walking through the roads of this region come across small vendors selling dishes cooked with clarified butter adds to the taste.
The cuisine of Uttarakhand has plenty of ingredients specific to this topography and region many of which are found in forests, mountains and lakes – ie. Cereals, pulses and vegetables that are rarely found in other parts of the world. Dairy products are found in all regions of Uttarakhand that heavily influences the cuisine of the region in number of ways. This region is famous for organic food, spices garhwali and kumaoni food, beverages and sweets. This place has a unique lifestyle, habits and culture and coarse grain is common to the cuisine of Uttarakhand. This special cuisine always keeps the body warm, stomach healthy and detoxifies.
The foods are cooked in wooden fire that adds nutritional and energy to the body. Some of the vegetarian dishes are Aloo Daal Pakora, Gahat ke Paranthe, Bhang Ki Chutney, Aalu Ka Jhol, Kafuli, Phaanu, Baadi, Chainsoo, Aalu Gutook, Kumaoni Raita, Sisunak Saag, Rus/Thhatwani, Dubuk, Arsa, Singodi, Jhangora Ki Kheer, Green Chutney, Pear Mango Chutney, Til Ki Chutney and some non- vegetarian dishes are Chicken Korma, Tabakhmaaz or Qabargaah, Rista, Damiwal Korma, Rogan Josh, Gushtaba, Marchhwangan Korma and Aab Gosh. The rich aroma, taste and the cultural heritage and diversity attracts tourists to Uttarakhand from all over the world.
Accommodation During The Milam Glacier Trek
Accommodation will be provided in lodges at Munsiyari. The types of accommodation during the trek are:
- Guest houses
- Tea houses
- Home stay
- Parachute tents
- Insulated mats
- Down or fiber filled jacket
- Shepherd huts
Accommodation is provided on a single, twin or triple sharing basis. Rooms are of good standard and high quality like rooms with a/c and non-a/c rooms are provided. Both the a/c and non-a/c rooms are clean and hygienic. In case the traveler is going alone, accommodation is given on the first and last day of the trek. The rooms are well maintained and hygienic. Wi-Fi connections are available.
There are plenty of Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) hotels at a distance of 4 km from Munsiyari in the interiors of Ramgarh district. By far the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) offers economy accommodation in dormitories with basic facilities like i.e- clean linen, hot water facilities and an attached bathroom.
Travelers should book through travel portals to avail discounts and cheap rates on hotel bookings.
|Vijay Mount View Resort||3 Star|
|Milam Inn||4 Star|
|KMVN Tourist Rest House Munsyari||4 Star|
|Bilju Inn||4 Star|
|Hotel Pandey Lodge
|Hotel Royal Palace||4 Star|
|Hayat Paradise||3 Star|
|Balraj Inn Hotel And Restaurant||4 Star|
|Hotel Monal||3 Star|
|Zara/ Zuha Resort||4 Star|
|Johar Hilltop Resort||4 Star|
|Hotel Bala Paradise, Munsiyari||4 Star|
|The Riverview Retreat – Corbett Resort||4 Star|
|Hotel Aananda||3 Star|
|Hotel Urvashi||3 Star|
|Hotel Omkar||4 Star|
|Samskara and Samsara Homestays||4 Star|
|Hotel Trishul||3 Star|
|Hotel Sagar||4 Star|
|Sun n Snow Inn||4 Star|
|Hotel Aditya||3 Star|
|SB Mount Resort : Best Hotels in Lansdowne||4 Star|
Other Inclusions During Trekking To Milam Glacier
The other inclusions that are given during the trek are:
- Accommodation: Hotels in Munsiyari given on a twin-sharing basis.
- Trekkers are give dome/ alpine/ high altitude tents.
- Camping mattresses, kitchen tent, dining tent, camping stool, camping table
- Train- AC from Delhi- Kathgodam and back.
- Transport: SUVs from Kathgodam – Munsyari and back.
- Airport transfers
- Meals: Meals are usually freshly prepared and will be a mix of Indian, Chinese & Continental.
- Porter and mules: For carrying camping equipment, rations, vegetables and some amount of personal gear of the clients (one bag not weighing more than 15 kg).
- Professional local trekking guide and kitchen staff would accompany the group
- Camping charges
- Trekking Fee
- Group medical kit
- Trek pack including sleeping bag
- Down or fiber filled jacket
- Insulated mat
- All park entrance fees and trekking permits
- Fluent English speaking guide during the trek.
- All inner line permits and wildlife fee.
- All taxes as applicable.
- Forest Permission Charges
- All monastery entrance fees
- Price based on 6 person travelling together
- All Arrival/Departure transfers as per the tour itinerary.
- Parking and toll tax, driver allowance, fuel.
Munsiyari can be reached by either air, train or road.
The Pantnagar Airport is the nearest airport to Munsiyari at a distance of 304 km. The airport is well connected to some Indian cities.
The two nearest railheads to Munsiyari are Tanakpur and Kathgodam railway station, situated at a distance of 286 km and 275 km respectively. These stations are also well connected to major cities all over India.
By Bus :
Munsiyari is well connected with cities in Uttarakhand and with other northern cities. Travelers can take a bus from Delhi, ISBT Anand Vihar to the nearest villages of Munsiyari like- Champawat, Almora, Tanakpur and Pithoragarh. Travelers from here can hire taxis and reach Munsiyari comfortably.
Weather Conditions During Milam Glacier Trek
The best season to visit Milam Glacier is between mid May – June and September- October. The weather is warm and pleasant and the temperature ranges between 20*C-30*C. The months November- February is not advisable to go for trekking because the temperature drops and the entire region has dense snowfalls.
Winter (December – February):
This season is very cold and the temperature drops to freezing point, to -0*C. During day time the temperature is warm and pleasant with 20*C. December is the month of full snowfall and the region is covered with sheets of snow and ice in rivers and lakes. Highways are inaccessible and closed. People should be careful of the frostbites and cracks they develop on their skin.
Monsoon (July – September):
The temperature is pleasant with 20*C with pleasant and bright sunshine. During monsoon, this region has torrential rainfall from 150 mm -300mm and the route is slippery and remains inaccessible for trekking. Not a very good season for trekking.
Summer (March – April):
This season is better as compared to March- June and the weather is hot and sunny. The weather goes upto 40*C in the day and can drop to 1*C in the night. April is pleasant and warm and temperature ranges between 12*C-20*C and sometimes it can drop to 8*C. This is somewhat a good time to visit this region.
Spring (Mid-September – October):
This season has the maximum inflow of tourists, and the weather is moderate. The weather is sunny and pleasant and the temperature is 21*C and is 1*C in the nights There are infrequent rains during this season. The weather is quite good and pleasant and it is sunny. Good time to visit this place. Except for August the weather is cold, and extra blankets have to be carried. Trekkers need to take extra woolen clothes to keep themselves warm. The breeze is a lot dusty and it is fierce and are high-pressure winds. Milam in spring is cool and humid.
The trek provides an opportunity to visit the source of Gori Ganga River and full of unique and vast natural glacial formations, festivities, traditions, activities. Travelers when coming to this place enjoy the place so much that they are submerged with the regions’ culture, cuisine, local people and the love and hospitality in general. Besides, any trek relaxes ones’ body and soul to regain a whiff of positive thoughts and a drive for increased productivity as and when the trekkers return to normal life! This is truly leaves a lasting positive experience!
The following are some guidelines that travelers should follow:
- Climatic conditions in the high altitudes differ from those of that in the plains; hence, trekkers should take enough time to get themselves acclimatized to the high altitudes.
- Listen to the Guide’s instructions and follow the guidelines given by him for a safe, smooth and enjoyable trekking experience.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol or any other intoxicants during the course of the trek.
- Do not trek during nights.
- Consult a physician the individual is fit enough to undertake the trek.
- Do not litter the local sites or campsites as the whole trek takes place through eco- friendly zones.
- Physical and mental preparation is essential, be ready to trek in high altitudes. Trekkers should be ready to trek in high altitude terrains and face rough weather and trek in harsh climate.
- Trekking crew is essential since they may help in dealing with any sort on emergencies that arise on the way.
- Getting a proper insurance is necessary and it should cover medical rescue evacuation in case of emergencies. It is advisable to have safety backup like oxygen pressurized altitude chamber in emergency cases.
- To prevent frostbites from extreme freezing temperatures, wear good socks.
- Avoid wearing more than one pair of socks to have good blood circulation.
- Wear track pants instead of denim jeans.
- Wear proper dress while going to temples.
- Vision and contact lenses- A spare will help in case the one in use is damaged.
- Suture Kit- Kit is for use by local health care providers and requires a letter from the doctor on a letterhead stationery.
- Syringe Kit- ( for diabetics)
- Medical alert tags, necklace, bracelets ( for emergency identification)
- Antifungal ointments
- Insect bite ointments
- Bandages- Multiple sizes, adhesive tape and gauze
- Moleskin or molefoam for blisters
- Elastic compression bandage wrap for sprains and strains.
- Disposable gloves
- Digital thermometer
- Scissors and safety pins
- Eye drops
- Cotton swabs
- Oral rehydration drops
Trekkers can reach Munsiyari which is the starting point of the Milam Glacier Trek. The travel time is approximately 10 hours and Munsiyari to Milam Glacier trek is 350 km. There are lot of bus services from Munsiyari going through the small villages that are close to the Milam Glacier:
- To Tanakpur: 170 km
- To Almora: 154 km
- To Haldwani: 164 km
- To Champawat: 200 km
- To Pithorgarh: 127 km
There are lot of taxi services to Milam Glacier from Munsiyari travelers can book cabs and taxis. Buses are frequently plies between the small towns listed above to Munsiyari from ISBT Anand Vihar. Travelers can take their own cars that gives the flexibility to enjoy the best attractions and sightseeing before reaching the destinations. There are three routes to Munsiyari i.e- Delhi- Munsiyari (17 Hrs) and Lucknow- Munsiyari (15 Hrs) Haridwar- Munsiyari (15 Hrs).
Documents Needed For Milam Glacier Trek, Uttarakhand
- Health insurance cards and policy waiver.
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination – If in case the trip needs travelers to take completed International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis card or medical waiver.
- Copies of all prescriptions- Be sure to have copies of all prescriptions that have generic drug names. Also carry prescriptions for eyeglasses/ contact lenses and other essential medical supplies.
- Photo Identity ID card, PAN, Driving License, Voter ID ( better to carry copies for submission to any higher authorities)
- Contact details
- Travelers must carry cards having contact numbers and e- mail id of their friends/ relatives in case of any emergencies.
Some of the basic essentials that trekkers need to carry while going for the Sham Valley Trek are:
- Warm shirts
- Light micro fleece pullover
- Light gloves
- Full sleeve t- shirt
- Waterproof trekking pants
- Windproof/ water resistant jackets
- Sleeping bags
- Thick fleece
- Trekking pants
- Full sleeve Woolen pullover
- Thermal inner wear
- Woolen cap
- Inner fleece gloves
- Outer water proof gloves
- Thick woolen socks and regular socks
- Bandara scarf/muffler (optional)
- Hiking shoes with a thick sole
- Trekking shoes
- Gore- Tex jackets
- Walking stick/ trekking poles
- Wind proof and water resistant trek pants.
- Cotton socks/sneakers
- Water purification filters
- Towel/ Camp towel/ sarong / Small light weight towel
- Duffel bags down/ synthetic camp booties
- Headlamp/flashlights with extra batteries
- Insulated water bottle
- Hydration pack
- Cap / floppy
- Sun glasses
- Sunscreen Lotion
- Skin ointment
- Swiss army knife
- Sun hat/ baseball cap
- Extra passport photos
- One liter water bottle wide open mouth
- Wind and rain gear with hoods
- Vitamin tablets
- Money pouch/ belts
- Note book with pen and pencils
- Energy bars
- Lip Balm
- Torch / Flashlight (with extra batteries)
- One pair cotton trousers or shorts
- Two shirts/ T- shirts one warmer ( jacket with hood)
- Personal toiletries
- Personal medication
- Wet wipes ( tissues and wipes) in the mountains is not advisable since these are not biodegradable, sanitary pads should be carried in a Ziploc bag and after using them dispose them after coming to the city.
- Travelers should carry a spoon, lunchbox and coffee mugs with them. If needed they can also bring their own cutlery set with them for hygienic reasons.
- Carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.
- Medications for common ailments:
- Diamox- To prevent acute mountain sickness
- Dexamethasone- One strip
- BP tablets as necessary
- Crocin- for fever
- Avomine- to prevent motion sickness
- Avil- for allergies
- Combiflam- Painkiller
- Disprin- Headaches
- Norflox TZ and Lomofen- Diarrhoea
- Digene- for acidity
- Omez/ rantadine- antacids
- Crepe bandage- 3 to 5 meters
- Guaze- 1 small roll
- Band aid- 10 strips
- Cotton- 1 small roll
- Oral Rehydration solution fluids- 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray ( aches and sprains).