Mani Mahesh to Kalah Pass - Trek overview

Mani Mahesh to Kalah Pass - Trek overview

The short 2.3-kilometre trail between Mani Mahesh and Kalah Pass is the best place to watch the sunset over Chamba Kailash. In the south, the landscape stretches endlessly till the Dhauladhars. A huge glacier and Kuja peak welcome the weary traveller in the east.

After the dirty Hadsar-Mani Mahesh trail, the Kalah pass trail comes as a breath of fresh air. This is how a trekking trail should be - clean, pristine and accompanied with some breathtaking views.

Find out what it takes to walk up to Kalah Pass in our trek overview.

Kuja peak and glaciers to the east of Kalah pass

Chamba Kailash from Kalah pass

Trek Details

The trail to Kalah pass is well marked from Mani Mahesh. The stones along the route have been dabbed with white paint and the trail is visible from the south end of the lake. The entire Kalah Pass trail is scree and moraine and it is important to watch your step. The trail starts with a steep ascent for the first 500 metres. The path zig-zags its way to the top of the knoll. The next kilometre is a relentless yet a slightly less steep ascent over large slate and boulders. The prayer flags looming over Kalah pass are visible in the last 500m. Prayer flags and three cairns mark Kalah Pass.

At Kalah pass with Decathlon's Speed 50 backpack and Forclaz 500 trekking poles

The view south from Kalah Pass. Zoom in to see the trail towards "Tiyari" village along the mountain stream. The white capped mountains in the background are the Dhauladhars.

Trek Summary

DIFFICULTY

Moderate. T2 on Swiss Alpine Club Scale (SAC) - from June to October. (Understand SAC)

DURATION

90 minutes ascent and 50 minutes descent

DISTANCE

2.3 kilometres one way

MAX. ELEVATION

4624 metres (Kalah Pass prayer flags)

AVERAGE CLIMBING GRADIENT

30%

START AND FINISH

Mani Mahesh Lake and Temple

GETTING THERE

A lot of pilgrims from Holi travel to Mani Mahesh via Kalah Pass. Kalah Pass links Holi (Google maps) with Mani Mahesh. The pass is accessible from "Tiyari" village (Google Maps) or from "Hadsar" (Google Maps). The trail from Tiyari is a steep ascent and usually requires an overnight stop at "Jail Khud". The easier access is via the Hadsar-Mani Mahesh trail

ACCOMMODATION

None at Kalah Pass. Mani Mahesh has a tea shop that's open from June to November (usually till Diwali). The tea shop provides food, bed and blankets and there is a shop where you can buy souveniers and snacks. A meal costs Rs. 100 and overnight stay complete with bed and blanket costs Rs. 150/night (2016 prices).

WEATHER

Extremely fickle weather at the lake and even more so at Kalah pass. The best time to attempt Kalah pass is September-October.

CONNECTIVITY

No phone connectivity beyond Kalah village when approaching from Tiyari village. No phone connectivity beyond Hadsar on the Hadsar-Mani Mahesh trail.

Satellite view of the Mani Mahesh-Kalah Pass route (view in Google Maps)

Elevation Profile (what is this?) for Mani Mahesh-Kalah Pass Trek route.

Elevation Profile (what is this?) for Mani Mahesh-Kalah Pass Trek route.


caution-watch your step.png

CAUTION

Kalah pass is at 4624m altitude and receives heavy snowfall. Whiteout conditions can make descent tricky. As with all passes, the trick is to start early and descend quickly if the weather turns inclement. The descent down to "Jail Khad" should not be attempted in anything but clear weather.


The Descent to Jail Khud is a rocky, slippery and steep affair. That's why we do not recommend doing it in anything but good weather.

Essential Gear

  • Sunscreen, cap and sunglasses on a clear day
  • A litre of water per person. There is no potable water between Mani Mahesh and Kalah Pass
  • Trekking poles can make your ascent a lot faster and easy on the knees

Downloads and GPS Logs

  • Download GPS tracks and waypoints in GPX format (compatible with most GPS devices and apps)
  • Download GPS tracks and waypoints in KML format (compatible with Google products)
  • View/download on wikiloc
  • View/download on Google Maps

Kalah Pass 4624m (+-2m) recorded with Garmin Etrex20x GPS (inditramp's review)

Mani Mahesh to Kalah Pass - Trek Photo Gallery

Mani Mahesh to Kalah Pass - Trek Photo Gallery

My Musings on 'The Way'

My Musings on 'The Way'