KALINDI KHAL TREK
Discover the Mystical Highs: Kalindi Khal Pass Trek
Nestled in the heart of the majestic Garhwal Himalayas, the Kalindi Khal Pass Trek is a journey of adventure, spirituality, and nature’s grandeur. It is a challenging odyssey that beckons those with a thirst for the extraordinary, taking trekkers on an unforgettable quest through some of the most mesmerizing landscapes and glacial terrains in the Indian Himalayas.
Your expedition commences at Gangotri, a revered site near the holy waters of the Ganges. Here, you can seek the blessings of the Gangotri goddess, and from there, your journey to Gaumukh, the birthplace of the sacred Ganges River, begins.
This is where your adventure truly ignites. The trek envelopes you in the serene charm of Tapovan’s lush green grasslands and introduces you to the dance of brooks and the glorious peaks of Shivling, Bhagirathi, and Meru.
As you venture deeper into the heart of the Garhwal Himalayas, you’ll be greeted by close-up encounters with Himalayan giants, including Mt. Shivling, Mt. Meru, Mt. Bhagirathi (I, II, and III), Kedar Dome, Mt. Satopanth, Mt. Vasuki, and Chandra Peak. The treacherous path of the Kalindi Khal trek allows you to witness the breathtaking grandeur of glaciers such as the Gangotri Glacier, Chaturangi Glacier, Shweta Glacier, and Kalindi Glacier.
The trail is characterized by moraines, crevasses, and boulders, making the journey an exhilarating challenge. Crossing the ever-changing Gaumukh Glacier, you’ll find no visible trail, demanding your full commitment to the adventure.
Kalindi Khal is the pinnacle of this trek, a high-altitude mountain pass sitting at a lofty 5,942 meters (19,495 feet). This geographical marvel connects Gangotri and Ghastoli, and its significance in the Garhwal Himalayas is undeniable. The pass is heavily glaciated, with the glacier west of the pass feeding into the Gangotri Glacier, the source of the sacred Ganges.
The roots of this iconic trek date back to 1936 when John Bicknell Auden mentioned the col in his survey of the Garhwal Himalaya. Auden’s account served as an inspiration, leading to the first Indian expedition to cross this pass in 1945, under the leadership of Swami Probodhananda and the guidance of Dileep Singh.
The Kalindi Khal trek is not for the faint-hearted. It is typically undertaken from mid-June to mid-September. An innerline permit is required to embark on this extraordinary adventure.
The Kalindi Khal Pass Trek weaves together history, mythology, and the allure of uncharted territories. This 86-kilometer trail connects two sacred shrines: Gangotri and Badrinath. It unfolds over glacial passes, moraines, and deep crevasses, offering glimpses of high-altitude wildlife and picturesque glacial lakes.
This is a journey that transcends the ordinary, where every step reveals the ancient soul of the Himalayas. It’s a challenge, an adventure, and a spiritual awakening that will etch unforgettable memories into the fabric of your being. The Kalindi Khal Pass Trek awaits those daring enough to tread its extraordinary path, offering an experience like no other.
Kalindi Khal Trek Videos
Your adventure begins with an early morning drive from Dehradun to the sacred town of Gangotri. This picturesque route follows the Bhagirathi River, offering glimpses of charming villages, cascading waterfalls, and the evergreen valleys of Uttarakhand. This day is designed for you to acclimatize to the higher altitude and explore the serene town.
Acclimatization is crucial at this stage of the trek, so you’ll spend a day leisurely exploring Gangotri. Visit the ancient Gangotri Temple, a place of devotion dedicated to the goddess Ganga. Take short walks around the town to become accustomed to the thin mountain air.
The real trekking begins as you embark on the trail to Bhojbasa camp. Following the banks of the Bhagirathi River, you’ll pass through enchanting forests and scenic landscapes. After covering approximately 9 kilometers, you’ll reach Chirbasa at an altitude of around 3,600 meters, where a break for lunch awaits.
Continue the journey through the captivating terrain, and after about 5 kilometers, you’ll arrive at Bhojbasa, perched at an elevation of about 3,800 meters. The campsite here offers stunning views of the Bhagirathi peaks.
Today’s trail leads you to the iconic Gomukh, the sacred source of the Ganges River. The route winds through rugged terrain, providing awe-inspiring views of the massive Gangotri Glacier. After visiting Gomukh, your journey continues towards Nandanvan, a pristine high-altitude meadow.
This segment of the trek, spanning approximately 9 kilometers, concludes at an altitude of about 4,600 meters.
The trek continues as you make your way from Nandanvan to Vasuki Tal, a stunning high-altitude lake. This part of the journey is known for its challenging terrain, including steep ascents and rocky trails. The distance covered today is approximately 10 kilometers, and Vasuki Tal, situated at an altitude of about 4,800 meters, provides a breathtaking campsite.
A well-deserved rest day awaits at Vasuki Tal. This break is vital for acclimatization, considering the high altitude. Spend your day exploring the surroundings, capturing the mesmerizing views of the nearby peaks, indulging in photography, or simply enjoying the tranquility by the pristine lake.
The trail today leads to Khara Patthar, another picturesque high-altitude campsite. This part of the trek, spanning approximately 7 kilometers, treats you to sweeping panoramic views of the Bhagirathi peaks, including the majestic Shivling and Meru. Khara Patthar is perched at an altitude of about 5,000 meters, underscoring the need for complete acclimatization.
This day’s journey takes you to the awe-inspiring Shweta Glacier, a segment known for its demanding terrain, including glacier crossings and rocky landscapes. The Shweta Glacier presents a dramatic contrast to the lush meadows and serene lakes you’ve encountered earlier in the trek. We will set up a camp at the glacier amidst this untouched landscape.
Your journey proceeds to the Kalindi base, the launch point for your ultimate challenge: the Kalindi Khal Pass. This base camp stands at an altitude of about 5,200 meters and serves as your final stop before tackling the formidable pass.
Dedicate an extra day at the Kalindi base for acclimatization. Rest, stay hydrated, and ensure you’re in prime physical condition for the demanding pass crossing awaiting you tomorrow.
Today marks the climax of your trek as you conquer the formidable Kalindi Khal Pass, standing at approximately 5,950 meters. This segment demands physical endurance and mental fortitude. The rewards, however, are indescribable.
The pass offers sweeping views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers, a sight few are privileged to witness. After crossing the pass, you’ll descend to Arwatal, your campsite for the night.
Trek from Arwatal to Ghastoli camp, continuing through rugged terrain and challenging landscapes, while reveling in awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding mountains. Ghastoli camp is situated at an elevation of around 4,000 meters, providing a serene atmosphere.
Your expedition proceeds towards Mana, the last inhabited village on the Indo-Tibet border. This unique village offers insights into local culture and traditions. After exploring Mana, you’ll trek to Badrinath, a significant Hindu pilgrimage site. Here, you will visit the revered Badrinath Temple to seek blessings.
Conclude your extraordinary Kalindi Khal Trek by driving back to Dehradun, reflecting on the incredible journey you’ve just completed. This journey not only tested your physical limits but also allowed you to connect with the untamed beauty of the Himalayas.
Map Of The Trail
Price Inclusion & Exclusion
- Transportation: Transportation from Dehradun to the basecamp and back to Dehradun is included in the package.
- Accommodation: Enjoy comfortable stays during your trek with accommodation in hotels, guesthouses, or dormitories, offered on a twin, triple, or dormitory sharing basis. When camping, rest in spacious tents on a double or triple sharing basis.
- Meals: We provide nourishing and delicious vegetarian meals. Our meals are designed to keep you energized throughout the trek.
- Camping Fees/Permits: All necessary trekking permits and woodland camping fees are included in the package, ensuring a hassle-free experience.
- Trek Equipment: We provide essential trekking equipment, including dining tents, kitchen tents, sleeping tents with mattresses, and sleeping bags. Utensils, ropes, micro-spikes, and gaiters (if required) are also part of our equipment offerings.
- Mules and Porters: Mules and porters are available to carry central equipment, easing your load and allowing you to focus on the trek.
- Qualified Team: Our team comprises experienced and qualified guides, cooks, helpers, and porters who are dedicated to making your trek safe and enjoyable.
- Basic First Aid: A basic first aid kit with an oxygen cylinder and a helmet (if required) is available to address any potential health concerns during the trek.
- Expert Assistance: You can always reach out to our experts for any queries or assistance during your trekking journey. Simply contact us at +91-8089693825.
- Backpack Offloading: If you prefer to offload your backpack, an additional fee of INR 1050 per bag applies.
- Mules or Porters for Personal Bags: The service of mules or porters to carry personal bags is not included and can be arranged at an extra cost.
- Emergency Costs: Any expenses arising from emergencies during the trek are not included in the package.
- Tips: Tips for the trekking team are optional and not included in the package.
- Items Not Mentioned: Any expenses or items not mentioned in the inclusion section are not covered.
- Stay at Dehradun: Accommodation and meals in Dehradun on the last day of the trek are not included.
- Meals During Transportation: Meals during transportation are not included.
- GST: A 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is applicable and not included in the package.
Things To Carry
- 45-60 Ltr Bag Pack With Rain Cover & Comfortable Straps: Choose A Spacious Backpack With A Rain Cover And Comfortable Straps To Carry Your Essentials.
- Hot & Cold Water Bottle Like Borosil & Milton: Stay Hydrated With Hot And Cold Water Bottles, Such As Borosil And Milton, To Keep Your Beverages At The Right Temperature.
- Snacks Like Energy Bar, Dry Fruits & ORS: Pack Energy-Boosting Snacks Like Energy Bars, Dry Fruits, And ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) To Keep Your Energy Levels Up During The Trek.
- Personal Medical Kit: Bring A Personal Medical Kit With Essential Supplies For Any Minor Health Concerns That May Arise.
- At Least 3/4 Full Sleeves (Non-Cotton): Opt For Non-Cotton Full-Sleeve Shirts To Protect Your Arms From The Elements.
- 1 Full Fleece T-Shirt: A Fleece T-Shirt Provides Warmth And Comfort In Chilly Weather.
- 1 Fleece Jacket (Woollen Or Sweater): Keep Warm With A Fleece Jacket Or Woollen Sweater.
- 1 Down Feather/Hollofil Jacket: A Down Feather Or Hollofil Jacket Offers Excellent Insulation Against The Cold.
- 1 Waterproof Jacket/ Poncho: Be Prepared For Rain With A Waterproof Jacket Or Poncho.
- Thermal Inners (Upper And Lower) - 1 Pair: Thermal Inners Provide An Extra Layer Of Warmth.
- 2 Trek Pants (Avoid Shorts & Denim Pants): Trek Pants Are Comfortable And Suitable For Trekking Conditions.
- 1 Pair Waterproof Gloves: Waterproof Gloves Keep Your Hands Dry And Warm.
- 1 Pair Woollen Gloves: Woollen Gloves Provide Additional Warmth.
- 1 Sun Cap: Protect Yourself From The Sun With A Sun Cap.
- 1 Woollen Cap: Keep Your Head Warm With A Woollen Cap.
- 2 Pairs Of Sunglasses (U/V Protected): Sunglasses With UV Protection Shield Your Eyes From Harmful Rays.
- 1 Waterproof & High Ankle Trekking Shoes: Quality Trekking Shoes With Waterproofing And Ankle Support Are Essential.
- 1 Pair Of Floaters: Comfortable Floaters Are Perfect For Resting Your Feet After A Day Of Trekking.
- 4 Pairs Of Cotton Socks: Bring Cotton Socks For Comfort During The Trek.
- 1 Pair Of Woollen Socks: Woollen Socks Provide Warmth In Cold Conditions.
- Hand Sanitizer & Sunscreen Lotion: Maintain Hygiene With Hand Sanitizer And Protect Your Skin With Sunscreen Lotion.
- Toothbrush And Toothpaste: Basic Dental Hygiene Items Are A Must.
- Toilet Paper And Wet Wipes: Carry Toilet Paper And Wet Wipes For Convenience During The Trek.
- Quick Dry Towel: A Quick-Dry Towel Is Compact And Useful For Freshening Up.
- Lip Balm & Antibacterial Powder: Protect Your Lips With Lip Balm And Maintain Hygiene With Antibacterial Powder.
- 2 Neck Gaiters (Buff): Neck Gaiters, Like Buffs, Keep Your Neck And Face Covered.
- Moisturizer: Keep Your Skin Moisturized In Varying Weather Conditions.
How To Reach
Best Time To Travel
The best times to undertake the Kalindi Khal Pass trek are during the months of May, June, September, and October. These months offer the most favourable weather conditions and stunning landscapes for this challenging Himalayan adventure.
May and June mark the early summer season in the region. During these months, the weather is relatively stable and pleasant. The high-altitude areas are still covered in snow, which adds to the scenic beauty of the trek.
The blooming alpine flowers and the lush green meadows make this a picturesque time to visit. However, snow and ice conditions on the Kalindi Khal Pass may still pose challenges. September and October signify the post-monsoon and early autumn period.
These months are considered one of the best times for the Kalindi Khal trek. The monsoon rains have rejuvenated the landscape, and the skies are generally clear, offering stunning mountain views.
The snow on the higher reaches of the trail has usually melted, making it more accessible. This is a perfect time to witness the transition from the vibrant greenery of the meadows to the golden hues of autumn foliage.
More Info about Kalindi Khal
The Kalindi Khal Pass, situated in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India, is not only a marvel of nature but also carries immense historical and cultural importance. Over the centuries, the Kalindi Khal Pass has served as a vital trade route connecting the Indian subcontinent with Tibet.
This pass played a pivotal role in facilitating the exchange of goods such as salt, textiles, and other commodities between these two regions. Traders and merchants from diverse parts of India and Tibet have traversed this route, leaving behind a historical imprint.
The roots of this iconic trek date back to 1936 when John Bicknell Auden mentioned the col in his survey of the Garhwal Himalaya. Auden's account served as an inspiration, leading to the first Indian expedition to cross this pass in 1945, under the leadership of Swami Probodhananda and the guidance of Dileep Singh.
The region surrounding the Kalindi Khal Pass is steeped in religious and spiritual significance. Pilgrims and trekkers embarking on the Kalindi Khal Trek often view it as an integral part of their spiritual journey. Many of them visit nearby temples and shrines in places like Gangotri and Badrinath, making it a part of their cultural and spiritual exploration.
The Himalayas, including the Kalindi Khal region, are deeply entwined with Indian mythology. It's believed that the source of the Ganges River, Gaumukh, is a place where the sage Bhagirath meditated to bring the Ganges down to the Earth. The journey to Kalindi Khal is infused with the profound Hindu mythology that envelops these sacred mountains.
The region surrounding Gangotri and the Mana Valley in the Garhwal Himalayas is a haven for diverse flora and fauna.
Flora: The lower altitudes, where the journey commences, are adorned with lush forests of deodar, pine, oak, and rhododendron trees. As you ascend on your trek towards higher elevations, the landscape undergoes a transformation.
Alpine meadows come into view, dotted with vibrant wildflowers, particularly in spring when rhododendrons bloom in various shades. You'll encounter a variety of high-altitude plants, such as the hardy saxifrages and gentians, which thrive in the rocky terrains near glaciers.
Fauna: The Garhwal Himalayas offer a diverse range of wildlife. In the lower regions, you may come across langurs, leopards, and Himalayan black bears, although they tend to remain elusive.
As you ascend, you might spot the Himalayan tahr, a sturdy mountain goat adapted to steep terrains. The region is also home to the elusive snow leopard, a rare and highly sought-after sighting for wildlife enthusiasts.
The colourful Himalayan monal, Himalayan griffon vulture, and various pheasants, such as the koklass and cheer pheasants, add to the region's charm.
- Goddess Ganga Temple: Begin your journey in Gangotri, where you can visit the revered Goddess Ganga Temple. This sacred shrine dedicated to the river Ganges is an embodiment of spirituality and offers a serene environment for reflection.
- Harsil: A picturesque hamlet near Gangotri, Harsil is known for its stunning apple orchards and pristine landscapes. The serene beauty of Harsil is a tranquil escape from the bustle of city life.
- Gaumukh: The origin of the Ganges River, Gaumukh, is a significant pilgrimage site and a must-visit during the trek. Witness the magnificent glacier that feeds the holy river. For those interested, we also offer a Gaumukh Tapovan Trek to explore this remarkable area.
- Kedar Tal: For those looking to extend their Himalayan adventure, a trek to Kedar Tal is a rewarding choice. This glacial lake, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, is a sight to behold and a challenging trek for enthusiasts. You can also check out our Kedartal Trek for an unforgettable experience.
- Badrinath Temple: A pilgrimage to the sacred town of Badrinath is a spiritual journey in itself. Visit the Badrinath Temple, one of the Char Dham temples, and seek blessings in this revered Hindu shrine.
- Tapovan: Nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas, Tapovan is a hub for meditation and yoga enthusiasts. The serene surroundings and the Bhagirathi peaks in the backdrop create an ideal setting for spiritual pursuits.
- Vasudhara Falls: A trek to Vasudhara Falls is a thrilling adventure. This pristine waterfall, surrounded by lush greenery, is a refreshing stop to witness the marvels of nature.
The Kalindi Khal Pass trek, is undeniably a challenging and demanding expedition in the Garhwal Himalayas. The difficulty level of this trek is notably high and is best suited for experienced trekkers and mountaineers who are well-prepared both physically and mentally. Several factors contribute to its demanding nature.
First and foremost, the trek involves reaching altitudes of over 6,000 meters, which puts trekkers in the realm of high-altitude mountaineering. Altitude sickness and acclimatization become significant concerns, and those attempting this trek must be well-versed in acclimatization techniques.
Furthermore, the terrain is rugged and includes glacier crossings, steep ascents, and challenging crevasses. Technical knowledge of navigating such terrains is invaluable, highlighting the need for prior experience in high-altitude treks.
The unpredictability of weather in the Himalayas adds another layer of complexity. Trekkers must be adept at reading nature's signals and making crucial decisions to ensure safety.
The Kalindi Khal trek covers a total distance of approximately 97 kilometers from Gangotri to Badrinath.
The highest point on the Kalindi Khal trek is the Kalindi Khal Pass, which stands at an elevation of around 5,950 meters (19,550 feet) above sea level.
The best times for the Kalindi Khal trek are May, June, September, and October, when the weather is relatively stable, and the pass is accessible.
Yes, the Kalindi Khal trek is known for its high difficulty level. It involves trekking at high altitudes, crossing glaciers, and challenging terrains. This trek is recommended for experienced trekkers and adventurers.
The temperature during the trek varies with altitude and time of the year. During day it remains from 1°C to 8°C and in night it can fall as low as -10°C.
The Kalindi Khal Trek is not suitable for beginners. It requires prior high-altitude trekking experience, physical fitness, and familiarity with challenging terrains.
The nearest ATM to Gangotri is located in Uttarkashi, which is approximately 97 kilometers away from Gangotri. However, cash availability can be limited, so it's wise to make cash withdrawals in Dehradun.
Mobile network reception is limited along the trek. After Gangotri you won't find signal connectivity. Charging points are scarce; it's recommended to carry power banks or Solar charger.
Yes, there is a risk of high altitude sickness due to the high elevations reached during the trek. Trekkers should acclimatize properly and be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness.
During the Kalindi Khal trek, you can witness stunning views of prominent peaks like Shivling, Meru, Bhagirathi, and other peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas.
The Kalindi Khal Pass trek involves crossing several glaciers, including the Gangotri Glacier, Chaturangi Glacier, and Sweta Glacier, among others.