Pindari Glacier, Uttaranchal
Glaciers in Uttaranchal attract many tourists. While some glaciers are considered holy and sacred by Hindus, others are visited for their sheer beauty and serenity. Treks to glaciers are also very sought after adventure in Uttaranchal. While there are hundreds of glaciers forming in amongst the snow capped regions of Himalayas, only few of them are significant from tourism point of view.
Famous Glaciers In Uttaranchal
Bandarpunch Glacier is located in the Yamuna basin of Himalayas.
This glacier is important as well as interesting for geologists
because of its interesting formation style. It is formed on the
northern slopes of three peaks, Bandarpunch peak (6316m), Bandarpunch
west (6102m), and Khatling peak (6387m). This 12 kilometre long
glacier owes its formation to three cirque glavier and it later joins
river Yamuna. Some moraines left by the glacier mark its last level.
The trek route to the glacier is via Dehradun to Sankr-Saur, Taluka and finally to Osla Ruinsara tal. This is the best camping site to the glacier and from here you can visit the glacier which is around 23 kilometers from here. The total distance from Dehradun to the base camp site is 207 kilometers.
This lateral glacier serves as the source for river Bhilangna. The glacier is surrounded by snow capped peaks of Jogin group (6646M), Sphetic pristwar (6905 m), Barte Kauter (6579 m), Kirti Stambh (6902 m) and Meru. The moraines deposited by the glacier on the sides give impressions of gravel walls bordering the glacier. Coming under the Tehri district, the trek to Khatlang Glacier is one of the most sought after treks in Uttaranchal. A moderate trekker can under take this trek easily. The trek starts from Ghuttu which is connected fairly well with other prominent places like Dehradun, Tehri, Mussoorie and Rishikesh. The trekking distance from Ghuttu to Khatling is 55 kilometers. The trek to Khatling will bring you face to face with nature in its true beauty. You pass through small villages, grassy terrains, thick forests and Bhilangna valley on the way is perfect for camping. The trek will take you through Reeh, Gangi, Kalyani and Bhomkgufa. But once you reach the Glacier, the sight of it will allure you into forgetting everything else.
A well known religious pilgrimage by Hindus, Gangotri Glacier is the source of the holiest river of Hindus, Ganges. Gangotri is one of the largest Glacier in Himalayas, its volume is estimated to be approximately 28 cubic kilometres. The glacier originates at a height of 7,100 meters above the sea level. It is formed as a result of coming together of several small glaciers. Covering some 143 square kilometres, the glacier descends to 4000 metres. At its origination point, it is plain bluish ice but towards the end it gets muddy because of the debris. The moraines have accumulated over the years forming natural walls. The glacier is easily approachable, the trekking distance is also easily manageable. There is motorable road upto Gangotri temple which is 85 kilometres from Uttarkashi and the glacier is 17 kilometers from there. The trek to the glacier is a visual treat, the greens keep getting thicker and thinner.
Dokriani Glacier or Bamak (bomak means glacier) is a glacier in Bhagirathi basin. The glacier originates at a height of approximately 6000 meters and is formed due to joining of two cirques at the northern slopes of Draupadi-ka-Danda (5600 metres) and Jaonli (6000 meters). This five kilometer long glacier flowing in the north west direction finally terminates into streams of water at the height of 3800 meters. The water melting out of this glacier in many streams is called Dingad, this water finally merges in to the Bhagirathi river. The area around the snout of the glacier is an ideal camping site . Trekking to the glacier is also an interesting one. From Uttarkashi, 56 kilometers is Bukki village. 23 kilometers from there is Dokriani glacier. On route is tela camp, Gujjar hut and Dingad streams. thick forests of Deodar, Rhodedendron, Oak and Pine welcome you on the way. The place, its beauty, its tranquility all leave you mesmerised. The features formed by the glacier, the ridges, the snow covered peaks and the adjoining areas are worth exploring.
Originating from the Southern slope of Kedar dome, Chorbari Glacier is six kilometers long. Kirti stambh, Bhartekhunta and other glaciers divide it from the Gangotri glacier group. It comes under Rudraprayag district. At the snout of the glacier, there are huge deposits of moraines and debris. The glacier melts into streams of water called Mandakini, which merges into Alaknanda at Rudraprayag. The trek to this glacier is also an easier one. The motorable road is upto Gaurikund which serves as the base camp to Chorbari Glacier. From Gaurikund 78 kilometers is Rudraprayag and 17 kilometers from here is Kedarnath. The route via Rudraprayag to Chorbari will take you through Gaurikund, Guptkashi and Soneprayag. The trek begins from Gaurikund and goes upto Kedarnath and from there a three kilometer trek will take you to the snout of the glacier. A lake is formed at the snout of the glacier between the rocks and moraines. This lake is called Gandhi Sarovar. Also get to see the Alaknanda glacier situated nearby.
Satopanth is formed with two words, Sato meaning heaven and panth meaning path, literally meaning the path to heaven. Satopanth along with Bhagirathi Kark serve as the sources of river Alaknanda. The glacier is just 17 kilometers from the famous holy temple of Badrinath in Chamoli district. The glacier originates at a height of 7000 meters. The peaks of Chaukhamba (7068 meters ) and Badrinath (6974 meters) serves as the originators of this glacier. Spreading over some 13 kilometers, the glacier melts into water at the height of 3810 meters. The route to the glacier passes via Joshimath. The route upto Badrinath is motorable road, from there on after Mana you take the route along with the Alaknanda river. You will come across Vasundara falls at the height of some 3000 meters and there on 5 kilometers ahead is the snout of Satopanth glacier. The trek can be undertaken in summers only and the left bank of Alaknanda is suitable fro camping.
There are some 16 glaciers forming in the Bhuyender Ganga Basin and Alaknanda catchment but only Tiprabamak and Ratanban are of some significance. There is a cave at the snout of this glacier where the melted water of the glacier comes out from. You will see that the surface of the glacier is covered with heavy deposits of debris. The Joshimath - Badrinath road will take you to Govind ghat and from there 20 kilometers further, a bridled path will take you to the glacier. On this route only further up, there is the Valley of Flowers. Appropriate time to visit the glacier is from mid June to mid October.
One of the important glaciers of Dhauli Ganga basin, Dhoonagiri is one of the five hundred glaciers that are formed in the basin. Small large, in assorted shapes, these glaciers lie in the valleys formed here. Forming at a height of some 5000 meters, the glacier's snout is at 4240 meters. Water stream from the glacier merges into Dhauliganga near Juma Village. The base camp for this trek is Juma village from where Doonagiri is 8 kilometers and Doonagiri glacier from there is 12 kilometres. You can reach Juma from Joshimath easily (43 kilometers). The best time to visit this glacier is from May to October.
One of the most easy treks in Pindari Glacier in Kumoan region. Every year hundreds of trekkers undertake this trek. What lures people here is the rugged beauty of the place. Lying between Nandadevi and Nandkot peaks is Pindari glacier height is approx 3000 meters. This five kilometer long glacier gives birth to Pindari river which drains the valley. The best part of the trek is ofcourse the scenic beauty, nature at its undisturbed best. The colour of the glacier is pure white with tinges of blue and brown here and there. Song is the base camp for trek to Pindari glacier. From there it is a 45 kilometer trek to the glacier.
Just west to the Pindari glacier is Maktoli glacier on the southern slope of Sunderdhunga Khal. This 5 kilometer long glacier serves as the source of a river that flows for 25 kilometers on the steep slopes before joining Pindari river. Base camp for Maktoli glacier is Song and the trekking distance from here to the glacier is 44 kilometers.
Nanda Devi Group Of Glaciers
The glaciers around Nanda Devi are fairly large. The main glaciers among these are Nanda Devi North and Nanda Devi South. Originating from Nanda Devi peak at a height of 7108 meters. Spreading over some 19 kilometers, these glaciers are located in the Rishi Ganga catchment area. The water from these and other glaciers in the area flows in streams and these streams later on joins Rishi Ganga.
The place is known for its tranquility and the charm which mesmerises anyone and everyone. Kaphini glacier lies just close to Pindari glacier. The valley is broader then Pinder valley and the trees of rhododendrons here are especially very beautiful. You can see Nandkot and Nandabhnar from here. Base camp for Kaphini glacier is Song, it is a 45 kilometer trek from here to the glacier.