The Most Popular High-Altitude Treks in India's Garhwal Himalayas

The Garhwal Himalayas are known as an 'abode of the God'. Besides being the source of India's holiest rivers, the Garhwal has beautiful variations in landscape like deep gorges, hanging valleys, sparkling streams, water cascades and lush green meadows. Garhwal trekking is very popular as there are many treks of varying difficulty that are ideal for beginners and for veterans.


Kalindikhal Trek

Daddy of all the treks in Garhwal Himalaya, The Kalindikhal Trek is a challenging trekking expedition as the route is an uneven one which involves trekking over glaciers and crevassed snowfields. This trek covers the entire distance from the Bhagirathi Valley to the Alaknanda Valley. The route begins from Gangotri onto Nandanvan which is the base of the Bhagirathi peaks from where one gets a great view of the high peaks of Gangotri area. The next stop is the Vasuki Tal Lake, surrounded by white peaks, the Shweta Glacier and then crossing the Kalindikhal Pass itself. After reaching the summit height of 5697 meters, the trail descends to Arwa Tal and Mana village. The best time for this trek is mid June to mid August.


Auden's Col trek

Auden's Col stands at a height of 5400 meters and joins the Jogin I and Gangotri III peaks on one side. On the other side, it binds two glaciers, one of which is the Khatling glacier. The trek begins in Gangotri and on the way to Nala Camp, one passes through pine and birch forests after which there is a one day trek to the Rudra Gaira Base Camp which offers a fantastic view of the Himalayas. The next stop is the Gangotri base camp and from here begins the ascent to the Auden's Col base camp. The long trek to the Khatling glacier is tiring but well-worth the view. The descent begins after Masar Tal, Vasuki Tal and finally Kedarnath.


Khatling Trek

This trek is a scenic one and touches an altitude of 3900 meters. Khatling trekwhich begins in Ghuttu includes the Bhilangana Valley which has many hanging glaciers and white peaks. The trek covers both forests and lush green meadows at the beginning although the route does become steep, uneven and full of loose glacial debris later. One can also visit the Panwali Kantha which is high altitude grassland and the best months for this trek are April, May, September and October.


Nanda Devi Trek

This moderately trek features the Nanda Devi sanctuary which consists of a number of peaks that are connected by massive rock walls. One needs to enter this place through a gorge that features a ring of 12 famous mountain peaks in order to reach the Nanda Devi which stands at a height of 7816 meters. This trek begins in Lata Village, goes through the Dharansi Pass and ends in Surai Thotta. Trekking in Garhwal Himalayas doesn't get any more scenic than this!

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