Darma valley is a Himalayan valley situated in the Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand state of India. This valley is located in the eastern part of Uttarakhand.
The Darma or Darma Ganga valley is formed by the Darma River. The valley is situated between two other valleys—Kuthi Yangti valley to the east and Lassar Yankti valley in the west. The Darma valley links with the Lassar valley by Gangachal Dhura and connects with Kuthi valley by Sinla pass and Nama pass.
Darma valley starts near Dawe village on the Sino-Indian border and flows southwards. At Tidang it joins the Lassar Yankti and is called Dhauli Ganga until it confluences in the river Kali at Tawaghat. Darma valley has rich flora including orchids. A rivulet called Nyuli Yangthi that drains Panchachuli east glaciers flows into Dhauli Ganga at Dugtu-Dantu villages. Mandab River joins Dhauli at Sela.
The Darma valley is inhabited by some 12 villages with population less than 1000. The villagers have been livestock rearers and traders, cultivating land in the valley with common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) and potatoes. After migration of 1970s, cultivated land has decreased to 25% of former size, allowing biodiversity to return to Darma Valley.
Arrive at Kathgodam railway station, Drive 3 hrs to Almora. Evening visiting market and stay in Hotel.
After breakfast drive 206km; 8hrs to Dharchula via picturesque Kumaoun valley. We cross Jouljibi; At Jouljibi there is the confluence of river Gori with Kali that crosses into India from Nepal at Dharchula.
The route now travels northwards past Dharchula and Tawa Ghat and diverts westward into a gorge following the Dhauli Ganga river up to Sobla. Sobla (1670m) is the entry point to the Darma Valley and is the starting point of our trek. Our destination is Dar Village (2134m) which is 5 kms. From Sobla we pitch up here for the night.
Today’s walk is long but easy. The mule track from Dar to Sela goes through hill sides of green pastoral land. The campsite is on the outskirts of Sela.
It is another relatively trouble free day. The trail to Baling goes up and down hill sides but the altitude gained is moderate. The views of the distant glaciers are exciting and the temptation to push ahead is high. Nevertheless we camp here for the night.
Duktu and Dantu are two adjacent villages which are the last centers of human habitation in this part of Darma valley. The view of the Panch Chulli peaks from here is just magnificent. On the outskirts of Duktu is a huge meadow that provides a perfect setting for viewing the Panch Chulli glacier with the backdrop of the Panch Chulli peaks. This particular spot is almost picture perfect. We pitch up here for the night.
Today is a momentous day when we set out to explore the Panch Chulli glacier from our base camp at Duktu. The glacier projects outwards from the East face of Panch Chulli and a 4 kms. Trek from the campsite along the Yuli river leads to the massive glacier itself. The place itself provides an incredible scenery of a sprawling meadow bordered by tall oak and birch trees with the Panch Chulli (6904 mts./22652 ft.) looming in the background.
We start on return trek today. The trail from Duktu to Nagling is a gradual descent and the days’ walk takes around 5 hours.
This is the last day of our walking. We arrive at Bungling by noon. From here after a brief rest we get on to a waiting jeep that drives us back to Dharchulla.
Today we board a vehicle that drives us to Mukteswar. We check in for the night at Trisul orchards. Mukteswar is a beautiful place and popular for its amazing views of Himalaya.
Today is a day when we can chill out and relax. Late afternoon we board a vehicle that drives us to Kathgodam. There is also the option of leaving Mukteswar after breakfast and driving to the Nainital; visiting Mall, High altitude Zoo and Boating on Naini Lake. The train to Delhi departs from Kathgodam at 20.40 hrs. Trip End