Best Season: May to June | September to October
Price Per Person: 14,999/- (Trek) + 1,999/- (Transport - Dehradun > Sankri; Hanuman Chati > Dehradun)
Trek Duration: 7 Days - 6 Trekking Days, 2 Days' Travel in Vehicle
Maximum Trek Altitude: 4,275 meters | 14,025 Feet; Trek is moderate in terms of difficultly
Total Trek Distance: Approximately 40 KM of trekking distance

Fachu Kandi, is a mountain pass that connects Sankri, a base for many treks in Uttarkashi, to the Yamunotri Valley, concluding at Hanuman Chatti. The pass compares to the likes of Hampta Pass or Sar Pass in terms of altitude, which is relatively low at 4,275 meters, but make no mistake, for this is both a scarcely trekked route, with virgin meadows along the way and unparalled beauty of the Himalayas in its full glory.

The trek starts from Sankri village following the route of Kedarkantha almost upto Juda ka Talab, The trek takes us to the rare ridge section of Phulara ridge, which in itself is a beloved trek within the trekkers community. We get to camp on the peripheries of Pushtara Meadows and even visit a glacial lake, Saru Tal before we finally crossover the pass into the Yamunotri valley.

The Fachu Kandi trek combines the thrill of these 3 treks, namely - Phulara ridge trek, Saru Tal trek and finally the pass, rising just above 14,000 feet. Furthermore if one has enough time, Kedarkantha summit can be added to the itinerary as well, making this very unqiue as you have the possibility of having been through 4 unique trekking routes in under 7-8 trekking days.

Phulara-Ridge
Phulara Ridge crossing on the way to Fachu Kandi Pass; PC: Vasu Rajendran

Below is the short itinerary for Fachu Kandi Pass Trek -

  • Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri (1,940 m), to Kotgaon - 8 h drive
  • Day 2: Kotgaon to Juda ka Talab (2,840 m), 5 KM 3-4 h trek
  • Day 3: Juda ka Talab to Bhoj Gadi (3,400 m), 5 to 6 KM 3-4 h trek
  • Day 4: Bhoj Gadi to Pushtara Meadows (3,600 m), 6 KM 4 h trek
  • Day 5: Pushtara Meadows to Saru Tal (4,160 m), 6 KM 4 h trek
  • Day 6: Saru Tal to Fachu Kandi Pass (4,275 m), descent to Leka Dogri (3,280 m), 10 to 11 KM - 6-7 h trek
  • Day 7: Leka Dogri to Hanuman Chati (2,100 m), 5 KM, 3 h trek & drive to Dehradun, 7-8 h drive

How difficult is Fachu Kandi trek?

  • Fachu Kandi is moderate trek in difficultly.
  • The first day's trail is albeit steep, yet the well paved trail across the dense forest isn't difficult for most due to good oxygen saturation and lower altitudes. Henceforth the trail climbs gradually during most of the trek.
  • It can be done by most people, including children generally above 12-14 years in age.
  • We camp near Saru Tal with over 4,100 meters of altitude and it can be a challenging experience for some to camp at such high altitude. However based on the participants experience, the itinerary can be slightly modified to camp at slightly lower altitude, at times by increasing itinerary by 1 day.

How is the weather of Fachu Kandi?

  • The trek remains open for 4-5 months in an year with route opening in late April or early May and until June end, after which Monsoon rains make it very risky to attempt the trek. The days are very pleasant, it can be windy on rigde line at Phulara or while we are around the pass. Evenings can be cold with the temprature hovering above 0 degrees even at night.
  • Weather is pleasant in September when the trek re opens, although evenings can be slightly more cold as compared to Summers. The chances of rain are least in September. It begins to get colder as October approaches and winters are around the corner. Expect early snowfall spells in late October or early November in higher reaches, around Saru Tal. The trek can close anytime after mid October depending on snow conditions around the pass.

What are the top highlights of the trek?

  • Juda Ka Talab can be visited on the first day (thus making it the second lake we visit during the trek)
  • The Pushtara Meadows are spellbinding
  • The Phulara ridge is a very unique feature which is very rare on any Indian treks
  • Saru Tal is an alpine tarn which stays frozen during winter months and adds a beautiful touch to the landscape that surrounds it.
  • The exposed approach to the pass that runs parallel to the ridge is both thrilling and pleasing.
  • Kedarkantha peak can be summited by addition of 1-2 days to the itinerary

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  • Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri, to Kotgaon drive

    We start the journey early from the city of Dehradun and drive initially to the queen of the hills - Mussoorie. Consecutively we cross Kempty Falls, known for its waterfall. After Kempty we rarely encounter any tourists and either the locals or trekkers or those headed to Yamunotri are our only companions. After just over 100 km, we pass close to the temple of Lakhamandal. According to locals, Duryodhana of the epic Mahabharata conspired to burn the Lakshagriha house of the Pandavas around this area. We continue on the banks of river Yamuna, until Naugaon, from where the roads forks into two, with the right headed to Yamunotri & the right towards Sankri. Purola is the last big settlement on the route with a large market. So, it is recommended that the trekkers can buy anything they might have missed out by Purola itself. It also is the last village where most of the mobile networks work.

    The arrival of Mori, where you will find the last ATM, is preceded by a beautiful drive along the river Tons, through a straight strecth of road running parallel to the river. The river Tons flows beside us till about Netwar. We enter the wildlife sanctuary (Govind Pashu Vihar) at Netwar. Tiuni, located not far from here, habors the confluence of the rivers of Rupin and Supin to form Tons. The peak of Kedarkantha can be seen from various points along the way from here.

    We reach Sankri by early evening. It is a small village with a central market lined with a few shops. The village has numerous apple orchards which are harvested starting from late summer. The market area is new compared to the old village area, a part of which is known as 'Saud'. We drive a KM towards Kotgaon by taking a road headed uphill, right to the village of Sankri. The views from Kotgaon are panoramic.

  • Day 2: Sankri to Juda ka Talab

    Our trekking journey starts from Kotgaon after a walk to Sankri from where we continue heading inwards towards the Saud (Saur) village and after a walk of approximately 1 km from Sankri, take a right turn towards the trail headed to Kedarkantha. The trail is steep from here, all the way up to Juda ka Talab. We come across tea stalls halfway through the journey, and cross a stream which can be used to fill your water bottles. The trek is through dense forests of pine and the trail is well marked. We camp either at Juda or slightly ahead of Juda Talab. The path diverges into two from the Lake, with the left heading towards Phulara and the straight one heading towards Kedarkantha. We take the trail to the left.

  • Day 3: Juda talab to Bhoj Gadi

    We continue on this eastward trail to Bhoj Gadi, through the dense pines. After almost 2 KM we cross a stream where a broken bridge can be seen. We can use this stream to fill water bottles and take a short break here. After another 20-30 min of walking we come across a small clearing, before loosing the sight of the trail again in the forest. The ridge that can be seen to our right, connects Pushtara meadows all the way to the Kedarkantha peak, and is knowns as Phulara Ridge. One can even summit Kedarkantha and follow this ridge to Bhoj Gadi, which is slightly below the ridge. We trek one section of this ridge on our way to Pushtar Meadows. The ascent from Juda to Bhoj Gadi is more gradual than day 1.

  • Day 4: Bhoj Gadi to Pushtar Meadows via Phulara Ridge

    After a climb of 20-30 mins from Bhoj Gadi campsite, we reach the ridge top, from where we simply follow the astounding trail to the east, all the way to Pushtar Meadows. It is an easy day with very little ascent. The day can be well utilised to enjoy the beauty of the ridge with panoramic views on its either sides. We can even see Kedarkantha from here.

  • Day 5: Pushtar to Saru Tal

    Saru Tal is an alpine Tarn, situated at an altitude of 4,150 meters. It is a small lake with a ridge surrounding it on one side, similar to Roopkund, although not in as grandeur setting. Yet the beauty and solitutde that this lake provides, is bound to leave you speechless. Wild grass and flowers bloom alongside this lake in summers. The trek can be challenging for some, as the high altitude leads to lack of oxygen in the atmosphere, and each steps becomes slightly more difficult. It is important to find a steafy but comfortable pace. The journey is not very long, so it isn't required to rush through any stretch. We can camp near the lake, but with caution, so as to not damage these fragile environs in any way.

  • descending the fachu kandi pass
    Descending the Fachu Kandi Pass
    Day 6: Saru Tal to Leka Dogri via Fachu Kandi Pass (4,275 meters)

    The ascent to the pass from Saru Tal is short but steep. We are required to gain an altitude only around 140 meters vertically, before we start the descend and the trek henceforth becomes easy, as we no longer struggle with the altitude. The pass takes under an our to reach even at a slow pace. The views from the top are magnificent. The long walk down to Leka Dogri is at places gradual, while at other times it is a steep descent. We rest midway to eat our packed lunch. Arriving at the camp in this secluded forest, by late afternoon, we can spend rest of the day exploring the floral surroundings.

  • Day 7: Leka Dogri to Hanuman Chati trek, drive to Dehradun

    The trek to Fachu Kandi pass concludes today as we leave for Hanuman Chati, which is downhill. After covering the stretch in under two hours, we take the vehicle back to Sankri.



Inclusions

Transport support from and to Dehradun: starting from pickup on day 1 to drop on day 7.

Guide and cook fees.

Rent for camping equipment.

Forest entry charges.

Porter and mule support to carry camping equipment. Please note that personal luggage can be carried by mules and/or porters on chargeable basis.

All veg meals starting from day 1 dinner to day 7 breakfast.

Tented accommodation throughout the trek.

Trek Insurance.

Exclusions

Transport to reach Dehradun from hometown.

Personal expenses like tips, personal medicines, phone calls etc.

Any transport support during the trek apart from what is included above.

Accommodation in Dehradun.

Personal luggage with mass not exceeding 12 kg per bag per person can be carried by porters/mules @ Rs 300 per day per bag.

  • Trekking Boots: Waterproof, high ankle with good grip.
  • One Raincoat or Waterproof Jacket and Waterproof Pants
  • Backup Poncho
  • 2-3 t-shirts/shirts � preferably quick dry
  • 2 trousers (avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris or cotton lowers)
  • Warm Fleece, Alternative: a woolen sweater
  • Extra pair of quick dry socks
  • Trekking Pole
  • Rucksack with rain-cover
  • Water Bottle
  • Slippers/Sandals/Floaters: Non-slippery
  • Hat or sun protection cap
  • Woolen cap/scarf
  • Head Torch (recommended over a hand held torch)
  • UV Sunglasses - Frame should be plastic (not metal), & for treks with snow, UV+Polarized sunglasses are recommended
  • Identitiy cards
  • Personal Toiletries (toothbrush,toothpaste etc)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Dry tissues
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Towel
  • Personal medical kit
  • Sunscreen cream/moisturizer/lip balm
  • Thermal inner wears
  • One pair of woolen socks
  • Waterproof thick gloves
  • Hot water bag if needed
  • Paracetamol - fever
  • Avomine - (motion sickness)
  • Avil 25mg or Allegra 125- (allergies)
  • Combiflam - (Pain killer)
  • Digene - (acidity)
  • Norflox TZ & Lomofen - (diarrhea)
  • Any prescription medicines
  • ORS
  • Crepe bandage - 3 to 5 meters
  • Gauze - 1 small roll
  • Band aids
  • Cotton - 1 small roll
  • Betadine powder or any antiseptic powder
  • Moov/Volini spray (aches, & sprains)
  • Knee caps

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