Char Dham Yatra 2024
Char Dham 2024

Painya Tal Trek

At the foothills of the Himalayas in the Doodh Ganga valley, 16 km above Kedarnath, the Painya Tal, full of clear water, is still out of sight of tourists. The shadow of the Meru-Sumeru mountain range falling in the pool has added to its beauty. Painya Tal is found at an altitude of 4,400 metres, in the middle of the beauty of the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, the lake is in proximity to Mayali Pass Trek.

The trek route to Painya Tal starts from Gaurikund, crossing Kedarnath valley, then Vasuki Tal, which further leads to Painya Tal. This lake is perched in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. Brahmakamal, Fen Kamal and many other species of flowers bloom all around the pool and on the way. Amit Kavar, DFO of Kedarnath Wildlife Division, said that there is no information about Painya Tal. Soon, complete information will be gathered by visiting the pool.

There is no lake in the Kedarnath area named Painya Tal in Google Maps, but the pool which is visible in the pictures seems to be situated in the Doodh Ganga valley above Kedarnath. Which is at an altitude of about four and a half to five thousand metres above sea level.

Trek Route of Painya Tal

The Mayali Pass trek starts off at Reeh which is a small village which is about 12 km to Gangi. Gangi is the last village on the trail. The next day is a 15 km long trek to the camping ground of Kharsoli. You can see Khatling glacier during the trek. Masartal is a camping ground with lots of boulders. Way to Masar top is on the left side of the Masar lake. From Vasukital to Vasuki top is another steep climb of 2 km.

Route to Mayali Pass : Dehradun– Ghuttu Village – Reeh – Gangi – Kharsoli/ Kalyani –  Chowki – Masar Tal – Mayali pass – Descend to Vasuki Tal – Kedarnath Temple – Gaurikund

Way Back : Painya Lake – Vasuki Tal – Kedarnath – Gaurikund

History of Painya Tal

Earlier, only Baba, who was living in Garudchatti, had reached the Tal. From Kedarnath, the holy land of mountains, water streams and pools, the Painya Tal is reached via Vasuki Tal. Geologists have also described this rhythm as new. Only in recent times two youths of the district Sandeep Kohli and Tanuj Rawat went to Kedarnath with their two companions. From there these people reached Vasuki tal, where they met Balaram Das. Who was meditating there in a cave. Although the Baba has been living in Garudchatti for the last five years, at some point in the year he comes here for spiritual practice.

The Baba informed the youth that there is a grand pool in the Doodh Ganga valley, about which no one has any knowledge of. About three years ago he went to Painya Tal for the first time. After this, 7 km from Sandeep and Tanuj Vasuki Tal. After covering the distance, he reached Painya Tal in about two hours.

Best Time to Visit/Trek

The right time to do Mayali pass trek which is very closely associated with the location of the Painya Tal is from May third  week to the last of June and then from the last of August to the second week of October every year.

The Mayali pass trek starts from Ghuttu Ghansali in Uttarakhand. In May and June, you get a combination of both greenery and snow, which makes the trek very spectacular. The weather in May and June is quite good and trek friendly, which makes trekking a lot of fun.

During the day the temperature of Mayali pass trek is around 3°C to 8 °C  and during the night the temperature comes down to almost around -8 °C  which is not an easy trek. Mayali pass trek in September or October should not be taken as a joke as during this time the snow becomes very solid after masar tal. 

Best Places to Visit During Painya Tal Trek

Gaurikund : Situated at an elevation of 2,650 mts above sea level, Janki Chatti is familiarly known for its hot water springs. Janki Chatti encompasses the last village in the region and it acts as the major hub for the pilgrims travelling to Yamunotri. The thermal springs of Janki Chatti act as an inevitable part of the Yamunotri pilgrimage. Ponies and palanquins are available at Janki Chatti. Janki Chatti is surrounded by mountains on all sides and lies in close proximity to the Indo-China border.

Kharsali : The untouched village of Kharsali also known as ‘Khushi Math’ is cradled with love in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. It is perched at an astounding elevation of 2,675 metres above sea level. The tiny hamlet of Kharsali has a religious significance as it is the winter seat of Goddess Yamuna. Since the Yamunotri shrine becomes inaccessible in winters, due to heavy snowfall, the deity is brought here for worshipping.

Masar Tal : Is cocooned in the Tehri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand. It is perched at an astounding elevation of 3000 metres above sea level. This lake is located below the Masar Top and on the left flank of Doodhganga Bamak (W), en route Mayali Pass.

Vasuki Tal Lake : Vasuki Tal or Vasuki Taal is a high glacial lake situated at an impressive altitude of 14,200 feet above sea level in Kedarnath Dham of Uttarakhand. One can spot Brahma Kamal and other Himalayan flowers blooming around the placid lake, making the aura divine.

Kedarnath : Kedarnath is one of the Char Dham, renowned as the most sacred pilgrimage in India, in Uttarakhand and the most important dham among Panch Kedar situated in Rudraprayag district of Garhwal region. This holy site is placed in a divine environment that is Uttarakhand, also referred to as Devbhoomi, amid lush green forests, snow clad peaks and rivers. Kedarnath Temple (more than 1000 years old temple) is the most revered shrine of Hindu deity Lord Shiva. The Shiva Temple which is a popular Hindu shrine and pilgrimage, attracts devotees from all over the world.

Location/ How to Reach

Via Kedarnath

  1. The Kedarnath Temple is situated at an altitude of 3586 metres near the head of river Mandakini where Kedarnath range stands one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva. It is perched at an elevation of 14,200 feet above sea level on the charming hills of Kedarnath Dham Vasuki Tal.
  2. The Motorable Road to Kedarnath Stretches Till Gaurikund. From Gaurikund, there is a 18 km trek to the temple. Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun is the nearest airport to Kedarnath situated at a distance of 238 km. From here one can hire a taxi or take a bus to Gaurikund. Rishikesh Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Kedarnath, at a distance of 215km. This railway station is well connected to major cities of India. Trains are also available from Haridwar (238 km), Dehradun (257 km) and Kotdwar (246 km) and many other destinations.

Why Visit Painya Tal Trek During Chardham Yatra

There is a long ceremonial puja at the time of opening of Kedarnath shrine Kedarnath. The Kapaat opening day is one of the auspicious moments for many pilgrims visiting Kedarnath from all round the country and the world. The gates open for the pilgrims to take darshan only after first opening Puja at Kedarnath Temple by priests.

The opening date and time of Kedarnath Temple depends on the auspicious day of Akshay Tritya and is declared on the Maha Shiva Ratri. The shrine is also closed for 6 months. The town, built around the revered Kedarnath temple, is located at an altitude of 3,580 m, near Chorabari glacier, which is the source of the Mandakini river. Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the ancient temple has exquisite architecture and is built of extremely large but evenly shaped grey stone slabs.

The Kedarnath temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is a part of Char Dham pilgrimage circuit, and is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in India.

While on a Kedarnath dham yatra of the char dham pilgrimage circuit, adventure lovers can plan a trekking trip to Painya Tal Trek as well.

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