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Kalindi Pass Trek

This trek visits the remote holy famous pilgrimage temples of Badrinath & Gangotri, plus Gomukh - glacial source of the sacred River Ganges, spiritual heart of India amid awesome mountains. Alpine forests of bhojpatra, (the famous "paper tree"), juniper, and the stately deodar. The Nandanvan & Ghastoli bugyals (Alpine meadows). Dramatic crossings of Kalindi Pass. Camping on Sita Glacier and 'Kalindi Base'. Spectacular views of the famous snow capped high Himalayas - Shivling, Mehru Massif, Bhagirathi Massif, Kedardome, Kharchakund, Basukiparvat, Satopanth, Neelkanth.

Kalindi Pass Trek

Vasuki Tal and Arwa Tal mountain lakes. Hardy bakriwale (mountain headers) with their flocks of sheep & goats, frequent sightings of families of lithe & lively langoor (like a black-faced monkey) swinging through the tree canopy high above. Chances to see ibex, snow fox, mountain crow & eagles. Visits to the unusual Mana mountain village.

Day Start Reach Hrs Kms Alt(mts) Mode/Acco
1 Delhi Rishikesh 6 225 600 Veh/Train: Hotel
2 Rishikesh Uttarkashi 6 185 1200 Veh: Hotel
3 Uttarkashi Gangotri 5 5 3000 Veh: Hotel
4 Gangotri Bhoj Basa 6 14 3700 Trek: Camp
5 Bhoj Basa Nandanvan 5 10 4300 Trek: Camp
6 Nandanvan Vasuki Tal 5 9 4500 Trek: Camp
7 Vasuki Tal Rest Day for acclimatization -- -- 4500 Camp
8 Vasuki Tal Khada pathar 6 9 4600 Trek: Camp
9 Khada pathar Sita glacier 6 8 4800 Trek: Camp
10 Sita glacier Kalindi base 6 8 5200 Trek: Camp
11 Kalindi base Arwa Tal 7 7 4500 / 4600 Trek: Camp
12 Arwa Tal Rajkhark 6 10 4000 Trek: Camp
13 Rajkhark Ghastoli 6 12 3800 Trek: Camp
14 Ghastoli Badrinath 6 10 3500 Trek/Veh: Hotel
15 Badrinath Rishikesh 10 250 600 Veh: Hotel
16 Rishikesh Delhi 6 225 300 Veh: Hotel
Legend: Alt=Altitude; Veh=Vehicle; Acco=Accommodation

Day 1 : New Delhi - Rishikesh (225 kms/6 hrs)
kalindi-pass-trek-photos In the morning drive to Rishikesh. Upon arrival at Rishikesh transfer to the hotel. In the evening visit the Aarti ceremony at Swargashram. Back to hotel for overnight stay.

Rishikesh : Rishikesh is the gateway to the four pilgrimages of Uttaranchal. It's also starting point on the journey to the sacred sources of the Ganga and the Yamuna Rivers. According to legend, Prince Bhagirath performed penance here to salvage the souls of his ancestors who had perished due to Sage Kapila's curse. The penance was answered and the river Ganga trickled forth from Lord Shiva's locks and its bountiful water revived the sons of King Sagara. In the tradition of Bhagirath, devout Hindus stand in the sacred waters here, praying for the salvation of their ancestors.

Day 2 : Rishikesh - Uttarkashi (185 kms/6 hrs)
Drive to Uttarkashi, located on the Bhagirathi River in the foothills of the Himalayas. Upon arrival at Uttarkahi transfer check into the hotel.

Vishwanath Temple : One of the major Shiva worship centers for all India, this ancient and renowned temple is an interesting and important pilgrimage and touristic monument.
Uttarkashi Town : Situated on a new lake, this clean and nature-surrounded little city features a line of ashrams along the banks of the Bhagirathi River, an early branch of the sacred Ganga.
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering : World famous institution of instruction for the mountaineer.

Day 3 : Uttarkashi - Gangotri (100 kms/5 hrs)
kalindi-pass-trekking-photos5 hours by vehicle from Uttarkashi, market center north central Garhwal, set in a valley surrounded by foothills and terraced valleys, Scenic drive along the roaring Bhagirati River, one of the source rivers of the sacred Ganges, through terraced fields, deodar forests, apple orchards, and villages to Gangotri (one of the Char Dham - the series of holy pilgrimage sites, the four sources of the Ganges & Yamuna Rivers) set in an enchanting forest of deodar pines, featuring the impressive Gangotri waterfall, and the historic picturesquel sited Gangotri temple, where the evening puja (colorful prayer ceremony) can be enjoyed. Stay in hotel.

Day 4 : Gangotri - Bhojvasa (14kms/8hrs)
Gentle 14 k uphill trek, with many colorful sadhus and pilgrims on their way to Gomukh, along the roaring torrent of the Bhagirati River with views of famous Himalayan peaks (Sudarshan, Bhagirati Massif, etc.), past Sadhus and pilgrims to Bhojbasa, with its busy ashrams. Camp with sunset view of Bhagirati Massif.

Day 5 : Bhojvasa - Nandanvan (10kms/5hrs
Gentle 4 k uphill trek to dramatic Gomukh, sacred spot where the holy Ganges River emerges from its glacier. One of the most important pilgrimage sites in all India. Moderate 4 k up & downhill trek on the Gangotri Glacier, then steep 2 k uphill trek to Nandanvan, one of the most beautiful camp sites on this trek. From it we can see the many famous mountains Shivling, Kedardome, Kedarnath, Bhagirathi Massif, Mehru Massif, Kharchakund, etc. Chaces to see, ibex, snow fox, mountain crow & vultures. Camp at Nandanvan in a large bugyal (Alpine meadow) with fabulous mountain views, featuring dramatic sunshine on Shivling peak.

Day 6 : Nandanvan - Vasukital (7kms/5hrs)
Gentle to moderate 7 k uphill trek to Vasuki Tal (lake) goes along the ridge of Nandanvan and then along the Chaturangi Glacier, seeing many high snow capped mountains - Chandra parvat, Basuki parvat, Radhanath, Chaturangi, Kalindi, etc. Vasuki Tal is a beautiful camp site is on a dramatic, large mountain lake - it is also Base Camp of Vasuki parvat , Satopanth, Chandra parvat, Sita, Chaturangi, etc.

Day 7 : Vasukital - Rest day for acclimatization
kalindi-pass-trek-images Day at leisure to explore the interesting sites around Vasuki Tal, and to prepare for the higher altitudes.

Day 8 : Vasukital - Khadapathar (9kms/6hrs)
Gentle to moderate 4 k uphill trek along the ridge line brings those above mentioned mountains into dramatic close range. Then moderate 5 k uphill trek on the moraine follows. Now can be seen the Sita Glacier, with a fantastic view of Satopanth mountain (second highest peak in the Gangotri region), and on to the camp which is on the glacial moraine at Khada pathar.

Day 9 : Khadapathar - Sita Glacier (kms/8hrs)
Gentle to moderate 8 k up and downhill treks on the moraine and the glacier - cross the Suralaya bamak get on to the Sita Glacier (named for the wife of the god Ram). The mountains we have been seeing are now even closer and visible from a different angle. The camp is actually on Sita Glacier and provides even more fantastic views of the towering Himalayan peaks all around.

Day 10 : Sita Glacier - Kalindi Base (8kms/6hrs)
Gentle to moderate 7 k up and downhill trek to Kalindi Base Camp continues the crossing of Sita Glacier and then enters onto Kalindi Glacier, and features more spectacular mountain views and the famous view down the snow capped, peak lined valley. The camp is now on Kalindi Glacier, with views of the Kalindi Pass.

Day 11 : Kalindi Base - Arwatal (7kms/8hrs)
kalindi-pass-trekking-imagesSteep 3 k uphill trek continues across Kalindi Glacier and over the Kalindi Pass (ripe ice axe, crampons, ice pitons, etc.), featuring spectacular views down both valleys, then a steep 4 k downhill trek down the other side, through the glacier to Arwa Tal (lake), with a camp on the banks of the Arwa river - views down into the valley from the camp.

Day 12 : Arwatal - Rajkharak(10kms/6hrs)
Gentle to moderate 10 k downhill trek continues down the valley along the Arwa River through bugyals with mountain views. Meet hardy bakriwale (goat shepherds) with their flocks of sheep & goats. Camp on one of the bugyals at Rajkhark.

Day 13 : Rajkharak - Ghastoli (10kms/6hrs)
Gentle 10 k downhill trek continues down the Arwa River with its charming bugyals to another bugyal camp at Ghastoli.

Day 14 : Ghastoli - Badrinath (10kms/6hrs)
Gentle 10 k downhill trek continues through the dramatic valley and arrives at the famous Mana village, with its distinctive architecture and the traditional folkways of its friendly inhabitants. The trek continues down the road to Badrinath, one of the Char Dam (see Day 1) with its fantastic views of Neelkhant pravat peak (amongst others), its interesting temple, colorful devotees, and other manifestations of this important pilgrimage site. Also there is the famous hot springs to soak away the aches and pains of trekking. Stay at hotel.

Day 15 : Badrinath - Rishikesh (250kms/10hrs)
Eight hour scenic drive in vehicle to Shrinagar. Pass first through the spectacularly deep gorges of the Alaknanda River. Then along and above the Alakananda River, with its terraced valleys and tiny villages clinging to their sides to Karanprayag, Rudrapariyag and Devpriyag. Then follow the scenic system of river drive along the Ganga to Rishikesh. Stay in hotel. (Possible to reach Haridwar to explore this popular and beautiful shrine town as opposed to Rishikesh. One hour further).

Day 16 : Rishikesh - Delhi(225 kms/6 hrs)
Return to Delhi.

Best time to visit Kalindi Pass Trek : June, August and September First