The BIG DADDY of all treks in Garhwal, and covering a total distance of 99 Kms, the high altitude trekking route from Gangotri - Badrinath, via Kalindikhal is popularly known is Kalindikhal Pass Trek. The trek is full of thrill and adventure and requires some fundamental knowledge of mountaineering. The trek embarks from Gangotri across the Kalindi Khal. The arduous 99 kms that commences at Gangotri (3048 mts), passes through Gaumukh (3892 mts), Nandanvan (4500 mts), Vasuki Tal (5300 mts), Kalindi Base (5590 mts), Kalindi Khal (5948 mts) and then descends to Arwa Tal (3980 mts), Ghastoli (3600 mts) and ends at Badrinath (3100 mts). The route passes through one of the most breathtaking mountainscape under the shadow of great peaks of Garhwal - Bhagirathi II, III & I, Shiblinga, Basuki, Chandraparbat, Satopanth etc, and covering terrain over boulders, glaciers, scree, and snow. The specialty of the trek is that it takes you half way round Garhwal from the Bhagirathi river Valley to the Alaknanda river Valley. This trip is advised only for those who have a prior experience of high altitude treks. The very mention of this trek gives even seasoned veterans of the trekking community a thrill, as some of the stretches on this trip are not for the faint hearted!
The trail moves on to Vasuki Tal (4900 M). With towering peaks all around the lake, its surface shimmers like a pearl and is the source of the River Vasuki Ganga that drains into the river Mandakini. One proceeds to cross the Kalindikhal pass (5968 M), a tough climb from where one feels that there is little else left to be see. It is as if you are a part of this majestic setting of snow peaks. The trail then descends to Arwa Tal and to Mana the last village on the Chinese frontier. The trek fittingly ends at Badrinath with a visit to the holy temple.
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Upon arrival at Delhi airport met our representative and then transfer to pre booked hotel. Overnight in the hotel.
Day 02 : Delhi - Rishikesh (225 kms/6-7 hrs approx)
Early In the morning take an Ac train 6.50hrs to Haridwar. On arrival transfer to hotel. Evening free to explore the nearby area by on your own. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 03: Rishikesh - Uttarkashi (170 kms/ 5 -6 hrs)
Morning after breakfast proceed for Uttarkashi (1150 mts), which takes 5-6 hrs. Upon arrival check-in at Hotel. After lunch visit NIM (Nehru Institute of Mountaineering) Institute & Museum.
Uttarkashi : Situated at a distance of 145 km from Rishikesh and at an elevation of 1158 m, Uttarkashi is a town located in the wide Bhagirati valley, and has been a centre for learning and religion since the days of the Vedas! This sacred town has been home to some very famous sages and saints. The name of the town reflects its similarity to and location (as north of) the city of Kashi (Varanasi). Similar to Varanasi, town of Uttarkashi lies next to a hill named Varunavrat Parvat, and set on the banks of river Bhagirathi at an altitude of 1158 metres, The famous Vishwanath temple here is dedicated to Lord Shiva. In front of the temple is unique Mahadev-ka-Vishal Trishul or Shiva's Great Trident, made of eight major metals (Astadhatu). It is believed Lord Shiva killed Vakasur with this trident. Other important temples are dedicated to Lord Parashuram, Lord Ekadash Rudra and Goddess Kali. Overnight in hotel
Day 04: Uttarkashi
Spare day for medical test, permit verification and visit the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), and towards the evening browse through the busy bazaar and be a part of the hustle and bustle, or visit one of the many ancient temples that are full of fascinating stories and fables. Overnight at hotel.
Day 05 : Uttarkashi - Gangotri (3048 m/10,000 ft) Drive (100 kms/4-5 hrs)
Morning after breakfast drive to reach the holy township of Gangotri via Harsil (approx 25 km before Gangotri (3048 mts) by covering approx 95 km in 4-5 hrs. The town is very important for all Hindus as this is thought to be the source of the river Ganga in the ancient times, and many a sage have been known to have meditated here. The Ganga Manidr located here is a main place of interest. On arrival check into Hotel/Guest house.
Day 06 : Gangotri - Bhojwassa (3792 m/12440 ft) Trek (14 kms /5-6 hrs).
In the morning meet our trekking staff and a brief introduction with the entire team comprising of guides, porters, and mule drivers. Post breakfast start the first day on the trek to Bhojwassa following the river Bhagirathi on the right hand side, and covering approx 14 kms in 4-5 hrs of leisurely ascent . The trek is full of fascinating views of the high altitude Himalayan terrain and stunning views of snow clapped peaks all around. Upon arrival at Bhojwassa (the last inhabited place – till the arrival of Ghastoli at the end of the trek). Set up camp for overnight stay.
Day 07 : Bhojwassa - Gomukh (3890 mts/12760 ft) - Tapovan (4463 mts / 14640 ft)
Enjoy a morning cup of tea in the presence of the Bhagirathi group of peaks. After breakfast trek to Gomukh (3890mt), the source of the Ganges. Gomukh is where the water of Ganga trickles down from the glaciers. The sages called it 'Gomukh', because in the distant past, it probably appeared like a cow's mouth. Explore the area and trek to Tapovan, one of the finest high altitude alpine meadows in the area. The trek from Gomukh to Tapovan is a steep ascent over the Gaumukh glacier, and as we climb, the view of the surrounding peaks becomes clearer, and appear to be just a stone's throw away. Tapovan known for its beautiful meadows that encircle the base camp of the Shivling peak, Tapovan is a very pleasant surprised spot with a large meadow complete with bubbling streams, wild flowers and picture perfect campsites. Herds of Bharal (blue mountain goats) are a common sight from here on steep mountain ledges. On the far side of the glacier the Bhagirathi I, II, III (6454mt), provide an equally mesmerizing backdrop. It is also the little wonder where Sadhus and saints choose this spot for extended meditation during the long summer months. Establish camp at Tapovan. Dinner and overnight stay in camp.
Day 08 : Tapovan - Nandanvan (4340 mts / 4500mts) Trek 4-5 hrs
We retreat back to Gomukh glacier, and then onwards to Nandanvan. The route from Tapovan leads from the upper section of the meadow and down onto the glacier. From Gomukh one turns towards Nandanvan and taking the right hand side, one arrives on top of the Gangotri glacier. The glacier runs between two ranges and the landslides creates a layer of rocky moraine on the ice which makes walking on it easier. The glacier walk is very slippery and a slight lack of concentration could prove dangerous. Huge crevasses gaping all around provide a thrilling progress over the icy area. After a walking for about a kilometer one is faced with a vertical ascent. Big rocks enroute offer grips and foot - holds but caution is advised as some of them are not as firmly rooted as it seems. A small grassy valley of exquisite beauty, crested by snow peaks – Bhagirathi II, III & I, Kedar-dome, Karchakunda, and Shivlinga. Flowers of almost every conceivable colour at full bloom punctuate the carpeted green monotony. At a height of 4500 mts, Nandanvan measuring 3 kms in length and 1.5 in breadth, presents the most stunning view of the dominating Shivlinga peak! Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 09 : Nandanvan - Vasuki Tal (4880 mts/16000 ft) Trek (6 kms / 4-5 hrs)
A hearty breakfast is followed by a walk along the Chaturangi Glacier . The walk along the stream presents close up views of mountains such as Meru and Bhrigupanth. After approximately 4 Kms bypass the valley leading towards the Bhagirathi valley, and arrive at a gorge created by the receded glacier. A descent across the glacier gets one to the lake at the base, known by the name of Vasuki Tal (perhaps named after the legendary “Vasuki” serpent from our ancient scriptures) . Camp on a flat patch under the Northern ridge of Vasuki Parbat. This beautiful half frozen lake, at the base of Mt Satopanth and Mt Vasuki Parbat is very impressive to look at. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 10 : Vasuki Tal - Khara Pathar (Suralya Bamak) (5480 m/17975 ft) Trek (6 kms/5-6 hrs).
Post breakfast, one starts the trek to Suraiaya Bamak (Khara Pathar) with packed lunch, for almost 5 kms of steep climb over the moraine, and then diagonally crossing the glacier to cross it to the left over loose moraine! Sounds of the cracking of the glacier under the feet, and distant avalanches in the surrounding mountains are clearly heard in the silenced ascent to the top. An early start is recommended for a safe 5 – 6 hrs of the climb. Camping on the Moraine, and stunning close up views of the Kalindi pass, Gangotri group of mountains, the Bhagitathi group, Shivlinga mountain, and the rear of Tapovan can be seen from this lofty perch. Dinner and overnight in camp.
Day 11 : Khara Pathar - Sweta Glacier (5500 mts) Trek 4 kms / 5-6 hrs
After breakfast, the 700 metres or so walk covering the steep moraine looks deceptively simple, but the altitude makes this ascent an uphill task! The 3 – 4 Kms of the day’s walk take almost 5 -6 hrs to cover. Sweta Glacier at 5500 mts sits on a very windy mountain top and tent pegs are often uprooted and tents lost due to the windy conditions here! Commanding views of the peaks mentioned the previous day are still visible. Dinner and overnight stay in tents.
Day 12 : Sweta Glacier - Kalindikhal Base
After breakfast, one sets out to the Kalindikhal base camp, an unbroken ascend to the top, over the frozen ground. The effects of the altitude can be clearly felt by the starving lungs and running out of breath a common phenomena! Set up camp over the glacier.at the point known as the Kalindi base camp. Overnight stay in tent.
Day 13 : Kalindi Base - Kalindi Peak (Kalindi Pass (5947 mts)
In the morning post breakfast set out for Kalindi peak summit. The ascent requires the use of a fixed rope and the 2.5 – 3 Km progress takes a good 3 – 3.5 hrs to cover. The walk on the pass itself covers a flat ground measuring approximately 300 metres or so! Overnight stay in tent.
Day 14 : Kalindikhal - Raja Parav (4910 m/16105 ft) Trek (12 kms / 6-7 hrs)
An early start at 6 am after a heavy breakfast marks the beginning of the 10 hr descent to the lower reaches- the first 5 – 6 hours covering frozen ground, and the remaining time loose gravel and moraine. Caution is advised at this point as tired legs and energy depleted bodies make easy targets of slipping and injury! Trek down to Raj Parav to a clearing in the moraine , in time for dinner and overnight stay in the camp.
Day 15 : Raja Parav - Arwa Tal (3910 m)Trek 14 kms
Proceed very early after a quick breakfast on the last tough stretch of the trek towards Arwa Tal (3910 mts). The glacial river increase its flow after the melt by 10 – 11 am, and crossing anytime after this time is not advised in its torrential waters. The trek on this day covers almost 14 km and takes a total time of 6 – 7 hrs, terminating at the banks of a river. Overnight in the camp.
Day 16 : Arwa Tal - Ghastoli (3796 m/12450 ft) Trek (15 kms / 6-7 hrs).
Proceed for the relatively easy 14 – 15 kms of undulating ground after breakfast towards Ghastoli (3796 m),! The path is still trechearous and one might witness several rock falls en route. The first signs of trees and shrubbery are seen from this point on, and the path is a series, of flat ground, dips and small climbs along the valley! The first signs of habitation in the form of the Indo Tibet Border Patrol (ITBP) camps are seen as the area is very close to the China border. Shepherds, their animals, and green patches of grass are a welcome sight!. Dinner and overnight stay in camp.
Day 17 : Ghastoli - Mana - Badrinath (3096 m/10155 ft) Trek (3096 m/10155 ft) Trek (18 kms / 7 hrs).
After breakfast start the trek to Badrinath situated on the bank of river Alaknanda, with a view of Nar and Narayan peaks standing like twin sentinels over the valley, and in the distance soars the resplendent Neelkanth peak. A seven hrs walk brings you to Mana Village, the last village before the border, where you break for lunch. Later a 2 kms drive brings one to the sacred township of Badrinath. On arrival check into hotel. Afternoon visit the temple of Badrinath. Return to hotel for Dinner & Overnight.
Day 18 : Badrinath - Rishikesh
Breakfast and drive (290 km) down the winding mountain roads of the Bhagirathi valley and thereafter Ganga valley to finally reach Rishikesh. On arrival check-in the Hotel for overnight stay. In the evening after wash and change visit Laxman Jhula, Thirteen storied temple, Geeta Ashram, Parmarth Niketan and later join the Aarti ceremony at Triveni Ghat – a dazzling and moving ceremony of lights, sounds, and Vedic chanting! Later return back to the Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 19 : Delhi - Rishikesh
After an early breakfast board the morning 6.20hrs Ac train for Delhi. On arrival at railway station meet with our executive and transfer to hotel. overnight stay at hotel.
Day 20 : Delhi Departure
Departure for airport to catch onward flight according to your flight schedule.
Tour & Service Ends.
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