Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Landscapes: Panchachuli Glacier And Lassar Yankti River Valley Kumaon Himalaya

I'm back. It was epic. There was geology. I saw the South Tibetan Detachment fault zone. I saw rock deformation. I saw Pleistocene -Holocene glacial deposits. I saw glaciers... I trekked, I photographed, I lived with the local nomads and farmers.

I need a little time to write more on the geology. Meanwhile, here is a glimpse of the absolutely wonderful landscape I wandered through for the past couple of weeks.

Here is an interactive map of the area I traveled through.

and these lands...

1) The crown jewels of the region- The Panchachuli Range seen from village Dantu. There are five peaks. From this angle, the fifth is hidden behind the peak on the left.

2) Sunrise at the village of Nagling.

3) Himalayan valleys, forested slopes and snowy peaks. En route from Nagling to Dugtu. View looking south towards Nagling.

4) Village Baaling with northerly dipping metamorphic rocks of the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Sequence

5) Climbing towards the Panchachuli Glacier. This is a superb 2 hour walk from village Dugtu passing through birch and pine forests, scrubland, meadows and finally glacial moraines and ice.

6) On the Glacier! About 13,500 feet ASL.

7) Terminal Moraine and the place of origin of the river Dhauliganga.

 8) The Dhauliganga river with biotite-tourmanline granite boulders sourced from the Panchachuli massifs. This is a Miocene granite intrusive into the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Sequence metamorphics.

9) The Lassar Yankti river valley with village Goe at a distance.

10) View from village Tidang of the surrounding rock massifs. The northerly dipping rock slabs are phyllite to medium grade metamorphic rocks of the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Sequence.

11) Another view of the Lassar Yankti river from village Tidang

12) View from village Philam looking north towards some impressive mountains. These are mostly made up of phyllite grade metamorphic rocks of the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Sequence... but with mystery rocks at the very top! 

13) A little piece of heaven. Nagling Glacier over the Pleistocene ice ages has carved a perfect U shaped valley

 14) Village Dugtu. We were close to ten and half thousand feet ASL here. Most of these villages were still uninhabited. People who had migrated to lower altitudes the previous November had locked up by placing wooden shafts and thorny scrub branches against their doors to ward of evil spirits...  and I suspect the occasional Himalayan bear who might fancy hibernating in their home. When we reached here, villagers were just beginning to return with their livestock for their summer stay.

 15)  Relaxing at village Dantu with my friends.

 16) Mystery solved. That's me pointing to the South Tibetan Detachment Zone.

How did I figure that out? What were the geological indicators?.. Coming soon!


  1. I love reading about trekking and nature. It makes me feel happy and same goes for your post :-)
    One suggestion, your picture are so nice. Why don't you post these in bigger size.

    1. thanks for reading.. you can click on the pictures to get a larger size

  2. Such striking landscapes, spectacular! What a great experience, congrats :)

    1. thanks Hollis; geology was great too. hopefully a post on that soon!

  3. Absolutely breathtaking scenery! You and your friends take excellent photos, really have an eye for photography. Thanks for sharing the landscape!

    1. Thanks Malcolm.. the landscape is stunning.. pictures come out good any way you point the camera :)