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Indian Mountaineering Foundation  Pacific Asia Travel Association
 
  Kalindi Khal Pass Trek  
Season : Mid May to Mid June & September to Mid October
Duration : 21 Days
Grade : Strenuous (Expedition Style)
Highest Point : 5950 Meters
Ladakh Tour

The Central Himalayan Region of Garwhal, also known as Uttrakhand, this region is also revered as the Sanctum of Hinduism’s God’s and goddesses, and has many times been called as the “Land of the Gods”. Situated amongst lofty peaks in this mountain heartland, are the four places of the pilgrimage for Hindus. There are temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu – the preserve, Shiva – the destroyer and goddess Ganges and Yamuna, both
 
incarnations of Goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva. All the shrines are located near the sources of the major tributaries of the Mighty Ganges.

This is high altitude Trekking, Moraines, Glaciers, Glacial Lakes, Mountains & Pinnacles! Sheer rocks, but clad with snow and Ice and they are most beautiful of all Himalayas, most of them rising abruptly from glaciers to the skies. This is a high altitude trek taking us from one Hindu shrine of Badrinath to the other, Gangotri – literally meaning “Ganges flowing to the North”. Gangotri is a small hamlet with a small stone temple built in the 18th Century by the Gurkha General Amar Singh Thapa.
For the next few days you shall be driving and trekking, through the land, most sacred to Hindus, the land of Ashrams, Sadhus, Temples, Mountains, Glaciers, Roaring Holy Rivers and Pilgrims.
You shall spend time traversing the mammoth Gangotri Glacier 28 Kms long with numerous feeder Glaciers, this is the longest glacier in the central Himalayan region of Garwhal. We shall trek through the biggest Himalayan amphitheater of very famous mountains, some of the major peaks you shall be viewing are – Nilkanth (6597 Mts.), Meru (6672 Mts.), Kedarnath Peak (6940 Mts.), Kedar Dome (6831 Mts.), Bhagirathi I, II & III (6856 – 6455 Mts.), Satopanth (7075 Mts.), Chaukhamba (7138 Mts.), Sri Kailash (6932 Mts.), Kharchakund (6617 Mts.), Vasuki Parbat (6792 Mts.), Mana Parbat (6794 Mts.), Bhrigupanth (6771 Mts.) and many more.
 
Day 01: Arrive Delhi
Arrive at New Delhi’s international airport a Mountain Trails representative will be waiting for you outside the EXIT gate of arrival terminal, holding a Mountain Trails placard. Met upon arrival and transfer to your hotel for overnight stay, accommodation will be protected for you from the previous night for immediate occupancy.

Overnight at Hotel
Day 02: Delhi – Haridwar, (Train) Shatabdi Express 0700-1200 hrs
     Haridwar – Uttarkashi (1550 Mts.) (Drive 185 Kms, 5-6 Hours)

Early in the morning you will be transferred to New Delhi Railway station to board the Shatabdi Express to Haridwar, gateway to Garwhal Himalayas met upon arrival at Haridwar Railway station and drive to Uttarkashi, considered as the Northern Kashi or Varanasi. The town is situated at an elevation of 1,550 m on the right banks of river Bhagirathi. It is a district located in the northern Himalayan state of Uttaranchal. Its boundaries also mark the Chinese precincts. Uttarkashi is known for its temples dedicated to Rishi Parasurama, Datatryea, Goddess Annapurna Devi, Goddess Kali, and Bhairon. At one time, there were 365 temples in this town. The town is also known for its various ashrams, which are the homes of the sanyasis and hermits.

Overnight at Hotel / Guest House / Deluxe Camps

Day 03: Uttarkashi – Gangotri (3140 Mts.) Drive 5 Hours
In the hinterlands of the Himalayas is Gangotri where, it is believed, Ganga, the stream of life, touched earth for the first time. According to the Hindu religious scriptures, the heavenly goddess Ganga manifested herself in the form of a river to absolve the sins of King Sagar's sons. After three generations of severe penance, performed over several centuries, Ganga conceded to descend to the Earth. At the legendary source of the river, Goddess Ganga is worshipped in the form of deity. The Gangotri temple was built in the early 18th century by a Gorkha commander, Amar Singh Thapa and later rebuilt by the Maharaja of Jaipur. By November, Gangotri is snowbound, and so the deity is taken 25 kms downstream to Mukhba, so that her devotees are not thwarted. Despite the severe cold, however, several "SADHUS" remain at Gangotri year round, even through the very severe winter. Gomukh, the identified source of the river Ganga, is 18 Kms. further uphill. The trek to Gomukh is gradual, and several pilgrims undertake the journey to pay homage to the river at its known source.

Overnight at Camps/Guest House
Day 04: Gangotri – Bhojbasa (3658 Mts.) Trek 6 Hours
Begin trekking, easy walk, the broad trail initially passes through dense deodar forests, carries on to a small isolated forest of pine at Chirbasa, before emerging above the tree line at Bhojbasa.

Overnight in Tents
Day 05: Bhojbasa – Tapo Van (4463 Mts.) Trek
     4-5 Hours
Continuing along the pilgrim grassy hillsides. A couple of hours walk, reveals mighty Mt. Shivling (6543 Mts.), a breathtaking view of wild flowers studded meadows crowned by the Bhagirathi group of peaks. Halt at Gaumukh, where the holy Ganga gushes out of the snout of the Gangotri glacier, is set in a wide moraine-studded valley, Mt. Shivling stands tall, raising to touch the skies above, while the Bhagirathi I, II and III tower above. Enter the moraine and cross the glacier to reach the meadow of Tapovan, the Mountains all around making it a great Himalayan amphitheatre.
Overnight in Tents
 
Day 06: Tapo Van – Nandan Van (4450 Mts.)
    (Trek 4-5 Hours)
Wake early as, the top of Mt. Shivling lights up with golden rays of the morning sun, perfect photo opportunity slowly the tower becomes bright and shiningas the sun goes high in the sky. After breakfast
set off for trek to Nandan Van, 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.

Overnight in Tents
 
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: Nandan Van - Vasuki Tal (4600 Mts.)
Today we shall leave the meadow of Nandan Van, today you shall have opportunity to view Bharal (Mountain Goat) walking through high ridges & Lammergeyer, arrive at the Vasuki Tal “not so big” glacial lake in the serene surroundings of Chaturangi Bhamak. Left of the lake is Bhagirathi Bhamak, leading to the Bhagirathi group of the peaks.

Overnight in Tents
Day 09: Vasuki Tal – Sweta Bhamak (4900 Mts.)
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 Sunalaya Bhamak, which leads to Satopanth (7075 Mts.), one of the two seven – thousand meter mountains of Gangotri Glacier. Overnight in Tents
Day 10: Sweta Bhamak – 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).

Overnight in Tents
Day 11: Kalindi Bhamak – Kalindi Khal (5940 Meters) – Avalanche Bhamak
     (5500 Meters)
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. (You shall not attempt the summit in any condition, as all climbing expeditions have to take prior permission from Indian Mountaineering Foundation – IMF and involves climbing fee). 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 the camp of Avalanche Bhamak, (we can however, continue till next camp).
Day 12: Avalanche Bhamak – Arwa Tal (4800 Meters)
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 13: Arwa Tal – Arwa Camp (4200 Meters)
Leave the snout of the glacier and follow the Arwa stream, a steep descend will be followed by a gradual descend till you reach the Arwa camp.

Overnight in Tents
Day 14: Arwa Camp – Ghastoli (3600 Meters)
Today the terrain changes dramatically, glacial moraines gives way to the glacial streams, also today’s day is full of river crossing you shall be crossing rivers including the Saraswati river at times, also the vegetation also starts to appear.

Overnights in Tents
 
Day 15: Ghastoli – Mana – Badrinath
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.

Overnight in Guest House / Tents
Day 16: Badrinath – Joshimath – Auli
Drive through the narrow and swinging journey to the alpine meadow of Auli, a ski resort in winters with slopes to cater all needs.

Overnight at Hotel
Day 17: Auli (Day Hike to Gorson Top)
Morning proceed for a day hike to Gorson Top, on a clear day views of Mt. Nanda Devi (7817 Meters) are great. Return to Auli.

Overnight at Hotel
Day 18: Auli – Srinagar (Garwhal) – Rishikesh
We shall drive Rishikesh, known for Ashrams or religious retreat centres Hub of various religious activities including lessons in meditation, and treatment for a variety of stress-induced ailments using the ancient medical techniques. In the evening visit to one of the ghats at Rishikesh to witness Aarti on the banks of River Ganges, an important Hindu ritual.

Overnight at Hotel
Day 19: Rishikesh – Delhi Drive 6-7 Hours
AM: sight seeing of Rishikesh, afternoon proceed for a half day drive to Delhi. Arrive Delhi and check into your hotel.

Day 20: Delhi – Outbound
Delhi, India’s modern capital is also an ancient city tracing its origins in legend. It is dotted with hundreds of landmarks and offers more than a millennium of history in stone. From here various Hindu and Muslim dynasties including the Mughals ruled India. No fewer than 7 cities had stood on this site before the British rulers of India created here their dream capital designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Full day combined city tour of Old and New Delhi visiting Qutub Minar, India Gate (War Memorial), Lakshimanarayan temple – modern Hindu temple, drive past President’s House, Parliament House and Secratariat buildings. Also visit Raj Ghat and Shanti Vana – cremation sites of Mahatama Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Also visit Jama Masjid and drive past Red fort and Chandni Chowk.

 

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