About Kalindi Khal:
Ever heard of the Garhwal Himalayas? In the northern state of Uttarakhand, the Garhwal Himalayas are mountain ranges which cross the two regions of Garhwal division and Kumaon division. These ranges are arranged with an assortment of different cities that span across its entire expanse. It is to be noted that this region is laden with some of the most popular tourist spots and locations, the the hill stations of Mussoorie, Dhanaulti, Tiuni, Nainital, Bhimtal and Kausani. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park are also located in Garhwal Himalayas.
Enclosing upon an approximate distance of a near-hundred kms, lies the trekking route from Gangotri – Badrinath, via Kalindikhal, known popularly as the Kalindi Khal Trek. The route, adorned with snow and glaciers and having several boulders in the path, sidles through some of the most magnificent points in these ranges and this path – Bhagirathi one, two and three, Shivlinga, Basuki, Chandraparbat, Satopanth etc. The trek is full of adrenaline rushes and exciting chills and requires for the trekker to understand some fundamental knowledge of mountaineering. The arduously assiduous track, stretching nearly 100 kms, as mentioned above, begins at Gangotri (3048 mts), the primary spot, which then passes through Gaumukh at 3892 m, Nandanvan (4500 mts), Vasuki Tal (5300 mts), Kalindi Base (5590 mts), Kalindi Khal (5948 mts) and then goes down to Arwa Tal (3980 mts), Ghastoli (3600 mts) and concludes at Badrinath (3100 mts).
The route that you trace when on this trek is amazing in a way that the trekker saunters on a road that takes him almost all over the Garhwal Himalayas especially Garhwal from the Bhagirathi river Valley to the Alaknanda river Valley. This trip is recommended only for those who have a previous moderate experience of high altitude treks. This is a trip that demands basic fitness and is not really recommended for the people who cannot stand extreme experiences. The mention of the trek provides even experienced veterans of this trekking community a joy.
The next point in the trail is Vasuki Tal (4900 M). The River Vasuki Ganga flows in to commiserate with the river Mandakini. The location is ensconced within several perching peaks whose reflections shine on into the lake which shimmers radiantly. One moves on to cross the Kalindi Khal pass at an approximate 6000 m, a tough climb from where one feels that there is little else left to be seen. The track takes you to the Tal called Arwa and finally lands you on Mana which is the last town after which begins the Chinese frontier. At Badrinath, the trek comes to an end with a visit to the holy temple.
The Kalindi Khal Trek:
This trek causes a rush of excitement as the adrenaline pumps up in your blood as you scale right up to a Himalayan pass 6000m high. It is encompassed right within the snowy folds of the Himalayan ranges. It is literally a spiritual haven decorated by gorgeous mountains and the grandeur of nature, a source of joie de vivre.
This trekkin adventure is started in the Gangotri, which is near the holy waters of the river Ganga. Gaumukh is the source of origin of River Ganga, holy for many and you have the option of starting your journey at this point. Get full of enthusiasm by the grasslands in Tapovan and mesmerized by various streams and peaks of Shivling, Bhagirathi and Meru.
This trek is evergreen. You can enjoy the several treats that wait for you on this trip but make sure you have gone through briefing and informed about what can be the things that happen on this trek. Every part of camping here is delightful and you can relax within several picturesque views that include moraine, glaciers and majestic high peaks.
Kalindikhal is really the most difficult expedition touching round the fantastic heights of nearly 600 m high pass at the Himalayas rewarded with magnificent views. Trekking across Kalindikhal ranges is really brings the high experience in a really distant and religious area. Kalindikhal Trek adds an interesting flavor in memories and great things about Tapovan are undulating alpine meadows and community of gurgling streams.
This trek definitely boasts views of the Gaumukh, the source of Ganges but there are also other perks. Kalindi Khal expedition begins at a point which falls at the foothills of the Shivling peak which sits at 6543m, called the Matterhorn of Garhwal. The route reaches the Bhagirathi Valley and then takes you through Nandanvan, the base of the Bhagirathi peaks. This gives you the chance to admire the beauty of the Shivlinga peaks and take in the breathtaking sights before you head towards Alaknanda.
You can set up camp at this wonderful section which is surrounded by towering snow-covered peaks is the Vasuki Tal. After proper acclimatization, the trekkers can find the opportunity to go up here for enjoying. It is across the Sweta glacier that one begins to cross the Kalindi Khal. This is a tough climb for climbers where the trekkers feel the summum bonum of their expedition. Finally, the Kalindi Khal trail then descends to Arwatal as mentioned above and later goes onto Mana. Passing over large pass at near 6000 mt , the trek goes through many glaciers, valleys and lakes. This is a two-in-one way of visiting both the holy sacred Dhams of Gangotri and Badrinath.
Kalindikhal Pass Trek offers the best of everything. You get to experience nature at its very best, visit holy places of worship and also get the climbing experience too. Your adventure begins at the Gangotri and takes you further on to Nandavan, the base of the Bhagirathi group of peaks.
Route: Rishikesh – Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Gaumukh – Chirbasa – Bojbasa,- Gaumukh – Nandanvan – Vashuki Tal – Khara Pather – Rajaparav – Arwa Tal – Mana – Badrinath – Joshimath – Kalindikhal.
Travel from Dehradun to Harsil (2600m, 8 hour drive for 280km)
Begin your trek for Kalindi Khal trek by driving from Dehradun to Harsil en route Uttarkash. Harsil is an idyll located amidst the striking natural gusto of the Himalayas. Upon arrival at Harsil, check into a lodge/hotel and relax for the rest of the night.
Drive from Harsil (2600m) – Gangotri (3050m, 20 km drive), Trek from Gangotri to Chirbasa (3550m, 3 hour trek)
Have a hearty breakfast and then begin your journey along the superb path to the sacred place of Gangotri from Harsil. This location is gifted naturally and is bewitching beside the banks of Ganga. Travel through this holy land, which has numerous pilgrims and sadhus and visit its temple and the sanctum sanctorum and the ghats. Religious and spirirtual people can relax in the peace. The Gangotri National Park is a must-visit so you can go there and get enjoy watching the magnificent visuals of the Bhagirathi mountains. Set up camps on reaching Chirbasa. This is after a few hours of trekking. Here you can begin your acclimatizationand get adapted to the climate and altitude of this place.
Trek from Chirbasa – Bhojwasa (3850m, 2 hour trek)
Begin today’s itinerary using a brief visit to Bhojwasa and put your eyes to the lovely; landscapes of the neighbouring peaks of Bhagirathi, Shivling and Bhrigu Parbat. Bogged down your decks get acclimatized to your location. Following a tasty lunch, thrill around Gaumukh and then spend some time to return Bhojwasa. This is where the holy waters of Ganga originate and hence this is a famous tourist attraction. You will see several mountain antelopes or ‘Bharals’ here. Spend the night in your cosy tents here and bask in great comfort.
Trek from Bhojwasa – Gaumukh (3890m) – Tapovan (4463m, 4 hour trek)
After a hearty breakfast, resume your trek up to Gaumukh again and traverse through numerous moraines, until you arrive at the beautiful location of Tapovan. Enjoy the wonderful sights of the gorgeous place that’s a penchant for trekkers with higher elevation lush prairies, funny little rivulets and magnificent mountains functioning as the ideal backdrop. Set your decks in the Shivlng summit and revel in the stunning views of Meru and Bhagirathi I, II and III peaks. Sleep in the comfort of the pajamas also have a fantastic night’s sleep
Relaxation and acclimatization day at Tapovan
Trek from Tapovan – Nandanvan (4337, 3-4 hour trek)
Begin your day and leave the Gangotri glacier for Nandanvan. Keep walking till you reach the Nandanvan grasslands. Here this trail is adorned with streams and glaciers and moraines. Arrive at Nandanvan when you have completed a three-hour trek and enjoy the view that is offered by the peaks of Shivling, Thelu, Kedardome and Bhagirathi and others. We’ll stop here and sleep in the camps/tents.
Trek from Nandanvan – Vasuki Tal (4880m, 4-5 hour trek)
This Day’s trek is going to be quite easy with paths ascending to the lake of Vasuki Tal. For most of the aspect of this journey you will need to trek upon the Chaturangi Glacier. After some time, there might come a point when a rope would be hnady because of a challenging element in the crossing which should be done carefully and cautiously. Upon arriving in the lake, enjoy the scenic views of the area and see other trekking groups climbing the peaks that are nearby. Set your decks and get a fantastic night’s sleep.
Relaxation and acclimatization day at Vasuki Tal
The trekking journey to come in the following days can be an arduous task, so this day will be spent in total relaxation at Vasuki Tal. Sleep in your tents for this night.
Trek from Vasuki Tal – Khara Pathar (5480m, 3-4 hour trek)
Begin your day with a healthy breakfast and you’ll be able to start the day’s trek up the moraine-filled paths. Witness the stunning array of hills as you keep trekking till you arrive in Khara Pathar that’s also surrounded by moraine. Bogged down your decks and retire at evening.
Trek from Khara Pathar - Shweta Glacier (5500m, 4-5 hour trek
Get ready for an enjoyable evening of Kalandi Pass trekking amidst a landscape consisting of glaciers, mountains and moraine. After a few hours of trekking, set up camp on the moraine and spend the night here in tents.
Trek from Shweta Glacier – Kalindi Base Camp (5600m, 4-5 hour trek)
Begin this thrilling day with breakfast and during trek explorestunning terrains. Wield your way through a puzzle of mountains and paths. After a long trek that lasts a good few hours, reach the Kalindi base camp from where you can actually view and trace the route lying ahead till the peak on a clear day. You can stop here and set up camps while the guides will head out for a revision on the trails that you are to go on for the remainder of the trek, to figure out the safest and easiest routes. A briefing and advisory caution will be held after dusk. Then indulge in a tasty dinner and retire to the evening.
Trek from Kalindi Base – Kalindi khal (5950m) – Arwatal (3980m, 8-13 hour trek)
- After climbing early in the morning approximately 1:00 AM, set off to trek ascending hard trails based on the weather and snow conditions. This may involve crevasses and catchy stains that will necessitate one being roped for the whole climb in addition to the descent. You have to be quite careful of this snow all across the way in addition to the hidden crevasses. Enjoy a hot cup of tea/coffee when hitting the peak where you are able to observe the day’s exciting trek. Cuddle in the comfort of the pajamas and get a fantastic sleep.
Trek from Arwatal – Ghastoli (3796m, 5-6 hour trek
With several river crossings and a nice stroll, this day is to be started with a few hours long trek. Arrive at Ghastoli. Here there is an army establishment that you will be taken to. Here lies the border that separates Tibet and China and thus is important and rid with high-level security. You can choose to converse with the soldiers and have refreshments in the form of tea. Bogged down your decks here and enjoy enchanting Arwa River.
Trek from Ghastoli – Mana Village (5-6 hour trek), Drive from Mana Village – Badrinath – Auli (2 hour drive)
Fill in your tummy and initiate your day with a trek passing through well-developed trails from Ghastoli and then decending paths to Mana. You can even hitch a ride on the army truck. Mana was actually the last place on the Indian side of the border before the Tibetan border was drawn. It is a beautiful little place. From here you can ride to the holy place of Badrinath. Engage in your religious self here before you move ahead. Drive on to reach the exciting skiing destination of Auli. Later, relax and retire for the day.
Transfer from Auli – Haridwar/Dehradun (8-9 hour drive)
Depart from Auli after you have had a good breakfast. As this is the day of departure, this will involve a drive from Haridwar or Dehradun. After this, you can move towards homeward bound transportation. The amazing thus trek comes to an end.
Accommodation (Camping): Tents are required when camping at base camp. A guest house in Leh (Day 1, Day 2 & Day 8 Night)
2. Meals: Three meals per day will be given as part of the tour during the trek.
3. Trek equipments- Several equipments and climbing gear will be provided to the trekkers.
4. IMF Permits are officiated.
5. First aid medical kits are kept handy in case of AMS and other medical emergencies and oxygen cylinders are carried because of the consequences of a rarefied air.
6. Qualified & experienced trek Leader, Guide and Support staff to help trekkers.
7. Transport from Leh to Road and return.
By Air: The Closest airport to Kalindi Khal is Jolly Grant in Dehradun. The airport is 215 kms away from Uttarkashi.
From Road: Uttarkashi could be reached from Haridwar/Rishikesh by direct busses or common jeeps. It takes approximately 6 – 7 hours to reach here. Buses are accessible from morning, and it’s advised you depart early to reach your destination.
Basic gear necessary such as backpack, rain cover (in case it drizzles), head torch, a walking stick, a water bottle and a hydration pack and snacks to nibble such as energy bars, dry fruits and ORS for hydration and rehydration. Also carry with self at least one thermos flask.
To keep warm and be comfortable in an unforgivable weather, make sure you carry comfy cotton T-shirts , Fleece T-shirts, Fleece jackets, (Alternative: a woollen sweater), a windbreaker and a waterproof jacket, thermal inners (upper and lower, at least one pair), Trek pants (two, avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris).
Also keep handy a set of amenities for your personal usage that might prove useful in the course of the trek such as Sunscreen cream, Hand sanitizer, Antibacterial powder, Toilet Paper & wipes, Toothbrush and toothpaste, Lip balm, a quick-dry towel.
And the most important of all factors in a trek: SHOES. These ensure the smooth flow of a strenuous trip and hence are very important.
- Trekking shoes (Waterproof and ankle-length or above with grip)
- Floaters/flip-flop (Optional)
- Cotton socks
- Woollen socks
Also, carry woollen gloves for the hand for protection in sub-zero temperatures.
To protect your head from the sun or the snow, whatever weather conditions prevail during the time of your trek, carry adequate clothing and protection.
Sun cap (One that covers the neck as well), Woolen cap, Balaclava, Neck-gaiters
Sunglasses, Dark with side cover, it should be U/V protected.
People who wear spectacles-
(A)- Contact lenses
(B)- Photo chromatic glasses
- Make sure you adapt and acclimatize properly before everything else.
- Uncertain weather conditions can prevail and hamper the journey as the topography is greatly variant. The weather can be unpredictable and cause certain obstacles too.
- Expect crevasses, river crossings and some difficult traverses. Remember that evacuation if need be can be a little hard and so be ready to listen to the guides with you.
- It is not mandatory to have knowledge of technical climbing/mountaineering. There will be a lead climbing guide, an assistant guide and a safety guide accompanying the group who will assist you along the way.
- Any kind of spirit consumption whether alcohol or smoking cigarettes is strictly prohibited.
- Carry AMS medicines and make sure you consult with your doctor before setting out.
Before taking the trek, evaluate the following points:
- 1. Being mentally staunch to face the challenges of remote areas and conducive weather
- 2. Power of endurance and fitness for trekking in high altitudes
- 3. Be ready to face challenges and be fit and ready for everything.
The Kalindi Khal trek is covered with an uncertainty over what the prevailing weather conditions would be. Judging by the kind of climate experienced, it is generally said that the best time to visit is between summers (mid June) and Monsoon (July to early September).
In summers, the weather of Kalindikhal Trek remains pleasant. The Himalayas are distinctly visible and a cool, settling breeze adds to the subtle charm.
In the Monsoon, the rainfall enhances the beauty of the trek. The forest and meadows become lush green with foliage and the flowers outgrow in number. The weather remains moderate and pleasant.