Kalindikhal Pass Trek

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Region                  : Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand
Altitude                 : 5946 m/19502 ft
Duration                : 18 Days
Season                  : Mid June – July & August
Grade                    : Tough

At 18,046 feet, Kalindi Pass is known to be one of the most difficult treks in the Himalayas.  It takes you half way round Garhwal from the Bhagirathi Valley to the Alaknanda Valley.Actually this trek takes you near China border. The highest point in the Kalandi Pass trek reaches upto 5980m. The trek starts from Gangotri and culminates at Badrinath, all the 13 days of trek are really Challenging.

The journey begins from Gangotri through Bhujbasa to Gaumukh- the snout of the Gangotri .The trek then continues across the rocky moraines to the meadows of Nandanvan- base of the Bhagirathi peaks, a place that offers an unparallel view of  Mount Shivling.  From here we ascent to Vasuki Tal at the base of Vasuki Parbhat and then it continues to Shwetha glacier on the left lateral moraine of the Chaturangi glacier. The entire trek is filled with movement on rocky ridges, crossing fast flowing streams, hard ice and snow of the Kalindi glacier to the base-camp at Kalindi.

The pass at 5946 mt located on the ice-field, surrounded by Kalindi and Avalanche peak . After crossing the pass, the trek continues down the difficult terrain of Arwa valley. The first human settlement of any kind at this altitude finds at Ghastoli as an ITBP camp . The trail then descends to Arwatal and to Mana – the last village on the Chinese frontier. The trek finally ends at Badrinath with a visit to the holy temple. It is one of the most difficult treks in Garhwal Himalaya owing to the length of the journey as the trail traverses through sustained high altitudes . Movement on the rocky moraines, scree, and crevasses in the snow field are real dangers, along with the uncertain weather and avalanches in the neighboring regions.

Day 01: Arrive Delhi

Upon arrival at Delhi airport met our representative and then transfer to pre booked hotel. Evening is free for local sightseeing & necessary shopping at Delhi. Overnight in the hotel.

Day 02: Delhi – Rishikesh, 230 kms,  6-7 hrs drive, car /deluxe bus.

Morning after breakfast drive (227 km) to reach Rishikesh. Stop at Haridwar for sightseeing of Ganga Ghats & Temples then proceed to Rishikesh. Arrive & check in at the hotel. Evening free to explore the area. Dinner and overnight stay at Hotel.

Rishikesh: Situated at the foothills of Garhwal hills along with Ganges, Rishikesh is a gateway to the famous Chardham Yatra. i.e  Badrinath, Gangotri, Kedernath and Yamunotri. Places of interest includes visit to Bharat Mandir the oldest temple in Rishikesh, Nilkanth Mahadev, this is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva drank the poison churn out of the cosmic ocean among many other temples. Also visit some of its many Ashrams: Ashrams are centers for spiritual studies, meditation, Yoga, sacred prayers besides being residential centers for the resident gurus.

Day 03 : Rishikesh – Uttarkashi 148 kms, 7 hrs. jeep / bus.

Morning after breakfast drive to Uttarkashi (1885 M) by covering approx 148 kms in 7 hrs. After lunch visit NIM (Nehru Institute of Mountaineering) Institute & Museum. Overnight stay in Hotel.

Uttarkashi  – a  district in northern Uttarakhand, often referred to as northern Kasi due to its  location on the right banks of River Bhagirathi and is known for its temples  dedicated to Rishi Parasurama, Datatryea, Goddess Annapurna Devi, Goddess Kali,  and Bhairon.In cidentally there was a time when there a total of 365 temples in  this town.Nehru Institute of Mountaineering is also situated here. It is also the gateway to many mountaineering and trekking expedition in Gangotri region.

Day 04 : Uttarkashi – Gangotri , 101 kms, 5 hrs. Jeep.

Post breakfast we will drive 98 km to Gangotri via Bhatwari , Gangnani, Sukhitop, Harsil & Bhairon Ghati . We will stop at Gangnani for a refreshing bath in the hot springs followed by lunch . This Scenic drive along the roaring Bhagirati River, through terraced fields, deodar forests, apple orchards, and villages ends to Gangotri (one of the Char Dham – the series of holy pilgrimage sites). On arrival transfer to hotel at Gangotri. This 18th century Gangotri temple made of granite rock was built by Amar Singh Thapa, a Gorkha commander, and later rebuilt by the Maharaja of Jaipur. The temple here is dedicated to the Goddess Ganga. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Gangotri: The shrine of Gangotri is situated at an elevation of 3200 m surrounded by deodars and pines. The original temple was constructed by the Gorkha General Amar Singh Thapa. Every year people from all around the world visit this shrine. A number of ashrams and Dharamshalas are located on the other side of the river. It is believed that Raja Bhagirath used to worship Shiva on a slab of rock “Bhagirath Shila” situated near the temple. Submerged in the river there is a natural Shivling where, according to mythology, Lord Shiva sat when he received the Goddess Ganga in his matted locks. A days trek takes one to Gaumukh, the source of the mighty Ganges.

Day 05: Gangotri Bhujbasa ( 3658m ),14 kms trek, 5 hrs.

Morning after breakfast we proceed towards Bhojbasa via Chirbasa (3600mt). From Gangotri we move along the beaten track towards Chirbasa, which is on treeline. The entire trek of today is along the roaring Bhagirathi river with views of famous Himalayan peaks – Sudarshan, Bhagirati group & many others . Beyond Chirbasa the terrain becomes really desolate and barren up to our camp site at Bhojbasa . Afternoon free to explore the area and to enjoy excellent sunset on Bhagirathi group of peaks while have a hot cup of tea. Dinner and overnight in tents.

Day 06: Bhojbasa – Nandanvan (4337 m/14230 ft) Trek (6 kms / 4-5 hrs)

Morning trek 4-5 hrs to reach the beautiful base of Bhagirathi group of peaks, Nandanvan. The trek across the Gangotri glacier, cutting across the glacial moraine, you shall reach the spaciouos alpine meadow of Nandan Van, at the juncture of Chatrungi Glacier and Gangotri Glacier and the base of Baghirathi I (6856 Mts.), II (6512 Mts.) and III (6454 Mts.). You should also have views of Mt. Kedar Dome (6831 Mts.), Karcha Kund (6617 Mts.), Kedarnath (6940 Mts.) & Mt. Meru (6672 Mts.) across the Gangotri Glacier. You shall camp at the meadow of Nandan Van for two nights.

Day 07: Nandan Van ( Acclimatization Day )

This free day brings you another photo opportunity to film & shoot the mighty, majestic north face of Mt. Shivling, this time across the Gangotri Glacier. Day will be utilized for acclimatization, you shall set off for a day hike at higher altitude and shall return back to the camps after spending at least a couple of hours at higher altitude, Hot lunch shall await for you at the camps. Afternoon shall be free for independent activities. Overnight in Tents.

Day 08: Nandanvan – Vasuki Tal (4880 m/16000 ft) Trek (6 kms / 4-5 hrs)

With an early breakfast start for a 5-6 hrs trek along the Chaturangi Glacier with a 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 . Camp on a  flat patch under the Northern ridge of Vasuki Parbat. This beautiful lake, at the base of Mt Satopanth and Mt Vasuki Parbat is very impressive to look at. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 09: Vasuki Tal – Khara Pathar (Suralya Bamak) (5480 m/17975 ft) Trek (6 kms/3-4 hrs) :

An early start is recommended today to use the best snow condition for a safe 5 – 6 hrs of the climb to Suraiaya Bamak (Khara Pathar). The day starts with an early 5 kms steep climb over the moraine, and then diagonally crossing the glacier to cross it to the left over loose moraine . Camping  on the loose Moraine, and stunning close up views of the Kalindi pass, Gangotri group of mountains, the Bhagitathi group, Shivling, and the rear of Tapovan can be seen from this lofty perch. Dinner and over night in camp.

Day 10: Khara Pathar – Sweta Glacier (5500 m/18040 ft) Trek (8 kms / 4-5 hrs)

As you start trekking in morning, you shall leave the alpine vegetation, which will not be visible for next few days, from now onwards you shall be in mountain country, pass through the Suralaya Bhamak, which leads to Satopanth (7075 Mts.), one of the two seven – thousand meter mountains of Gangotri Glacier. Morning after breakfast trek 10 Km to reach Kalindikhal Base (Sweta Glacier) (5500 mt). Dinner and overnight stay in the camp.

Day 11: Sweta Glacier  – Kalindi Bhamak (5450 Mts.)

Its scree, moraine and boulders as we cross Sweta Bhamak, above which rise Chandra Parbat (6728 Mts.) We are now traversing Chaturangi Bhamak, which is a major tributary to the Gangotri glacier. Chaturangi Bhamak is approximately 13-15 Kms long, which makes it approximately half the length of Gangotri Glacier. Chaturangi literally means a glacier of four colours and the moraines over the glacier range from pink, yellow to brown. Arrive at Kalindi Bhamak camp, which is just next to the Kalindi Glaciers snout. Up ahead lies the Kalindi Khal (5940 Meters), meaning pass, it’s a deep gap between Avalanche Peak (6413 Meters) and Kalindi Peak (6102 Meters).

Day 12: Kalindi Bhamak – Kalindi Pass – Raja Parav (4910 m/16105 ft) Trek (12 kms / 6-7 hrs)

Today we start early as we slowly climb the Kalindi Khal pass, from the pass The summit of Kalindi peak is only 150 Meters higher, in fact the summit camp for Kalindi peak lies below the pass. Once on the pass, you shall have most panoramic views of Mt. Kamet (7756 Meters), Mt. Mana (7272 Meters), Abi Gamin (7355 Meters) and Mana Parbat (6797 Meters), on a very clear day one can also see the Tibetan plateau across the Mana Pass (6728 Meters),

also seen are the mountains of Gangotri Glacier; Chandra parbat (6728 Meters), Vasuki Parbat (6792 Meters), Bhagirathi Parbat (6512 Meters). You shall then descend and cross the glacial terrain before reaching to the camp of Raja Parav.

Day 13: Raja Parav – Arwatal

Trek to Arwa Tal, surrounded by the moraine fields of the Arwa Glacier, exactly northwards from Arwa Tal is Mana Pass (5600 Meters), which was sought by the first Jesuit explorers to Tibet. It was in 1624 when Antonio de Andrade and Manuel Marques went to Tibet by this route, two centuries before any other explorer can reach Tibet, to our west is Mana Parbat – I (6797 Meters), Mana Parbat – II & III (6771 & 6730 Meters). Overnight in Tents.

Day 14: Arwatal – Ghastoli (3796 m/12450 ft) Trek (16 kms / 5-6 hrs)

Proceed for the relatively easy 14 – 15 kms of undulating ground after breakfast towards Ghastoli (3796 m), The path is still treacherous 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 15: Ghastoli – Mana – Badrinath (3096 m/10155 ft) Trek (18 kms / 5-6 hrs)

After breakfast start trekking with a gradual descend, the route follows the river Saraswati to down streams, we cross the river just after leaving our camps through out eh walk we follow the true right bank of the river, the river has its origin from the slopes of Mana pass (5600 meters) leading to Tsaparang in Tibet. Also visible are the peaks of Mt. Kamet (7756 Meters) & Mt. Mana (7272 Meters), former being third highest in Indian Himalayas. You shall be met by the vehicles at Mana and shall be transferred to Badrinath, one of the holiest shrines for Hindus, at Badrinath we shall experience an atmosphere of devoted spiritual pilgrimages, for many  Hindus this is an emotional experience, above Badrinath is the spectacular conical Mt. Nilkantha (6596 Meters), literally meaning “Blue Throat” one of the 1008 names of Lord Shiva.

Badrinath – Badrinath Temple is the abode of Lord Vishnu. It is situated at an altitude of 3130 m at the banks of Alaknanda. In the backdrop, is the Neelkanth mountain peak situated between the twin peaks of Nar and Narayan. The name is derived from wild berries called Badri. Adi Shankarcharya established the idol of Vishnu in the temple. Near the temple is a hot water sulphur spring, Tapt Kund.

Day 16: Badrinath – Srinagar

Early in the morning visit the temple. After breakfast drive to Joshimath. Morning after breakfast drive down to reach Joshimath 44 Km from Badrinath. Overnight stay in the Hotel Dronagiri.

Day 17: Joshimath – Haridwar

Haridwar is a celebrated spiritual town which is situated on the bank of holy Ganga and it is surrounded by the Himalayas mountain range Shivalik. Being a starting point for the Four Dham Pilgrimage of the Hindus in which pilgrims go to Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath for spiritual salvation. It is also famous for meditation and Yoga . Overnight stay at hotel.

Day 18 : Haridwar – Delhi

Morning after breakfasts drive to Delhi (227 km). lunch enroute. Upon arrival at Delhi transfer to airport for onwards journey.

Tour & Service Ends.

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