Pithoragarh : 6 December, 2015
The famous Milam glacier, which is one of the biggest glaciers in Asia, attracts thousands of trekkers every year from all parts of the country and abroad. The track route that passes through lush evergreen Himalayan meadows and birch forests from Munsiyari town to the Milam glacier was originally of 18 days starting from New Delhi. However, it has been reduced to 15 days now after some new tracks were developed, reducing the distance. “On reaching Milam village, trekkers have to ascend 2 km to reach the majestic Milam glacier, the place of origin of the Gori river,” says Puran Pandey, who runs Milam trek trips.
The Milam glacier is 15 km northeast of the Nanda Devi peak and is situated between 3,870 m and 5,500 m. The 36-km wide glacier was closed for trekkers after the war with China in 1962. It was again opened for trekkers in 1994. “Milam village, one of the oldest villages in the area, is situated near the snout of the glacier. “The KMVN has plans to run trek trips on the route from next year. We have nearly complete lodging and boarding facilities at all camps on the route,” says a KMVN spokesman
Pandey says earlier, a trekker had to reach Munsiyari via Almora from New Delhi and then trek to Milam from picturesque Munsiyari town and return in 18 days. “Trekkers who used to travel from Munsiyari to Lilam; Lilam to Bugdyar; Bugdyar to Martoli; Martoli to Ghanghar and Ghanghar to Panchu and then Milam via Burfu, now reach the glacier in five days by trekking from Munsiyari to Lilam; Lilam to Bugdyar; Bugdyar to Rilkot and then from Rilkot to Milam,” he adds.
Devendra Singh Deva, spokesman for the Munsiyari Hotel Association, says after the 2013 natural disaster when the track route between Lilam village and Bugdyar was washed away, the track has become very difficult. Now, trekkers have to move on a 9-km track to the Radi Mainsingh Top at 2,600 m. “Due to this new ascending track, the number of trekkers has drastically reduced. Before the 2013 natural disaster, we used to entertain over 8,000 trekkers in a season but after the disaster, around 3,500 persons have trekked on the Milam track,” says Devendra. The Tribune