With unwavering faith, devotees trudge to the four temples of Chardham in Uttarakhand. The upper reaches and the hardships determine the faith of believers who walk on the paved and unpaved roads and cover the distance of hundreds of kilometers only to fold hands and say a small prayer in front of the deities. Chardham in Uttarakhand is not only about religion, it is a place to put strength and stamina to test, and those who pass this endurance test find a new perspective altogether, if not God. Except for Badrinath and Gangotri, the two Dhams, namely Yamunotri and Kedarnath require trekking to be reached and this part of the Yatra becomes quite memorable for many.
So, if you are one of those people, who have an inclination towards trekking then there are more treks for you around the Chardham in Uttarakhand. You can simply add one or more to your Chardham Yatra to make it even more memorable or maybe can do them separately when you think the time is right. Without further ado, here is the list of treks around Chardham Yatra Destinations.
Chitkul Yamunotri Trek
Chitkul Yamunotri is a less frequented trail, however it is one of the most scenic ones in Uttarakhand. One requires good physical strength to do this rough terrain. The trek starts from Chitkul, which is the last village on the Indo-China Border and is part of Himachal Pradesh. The trek passes through dense forest and lush meadows, wherefrom the extensive view of surrounding Himalayas is simply stunning. The trail traverses through one of the most beautiful valleys of Garhwal, Har ki Doon that is inhabited by remote area villagers. The Chitkul Yamunotri trek can be one of the most memorable treks in your life and undoubtedly doing this trek while going for the Chardham Yatra in Uttarakhand can make it a lifetime memory.
Trekking Route: Chitkul – Doria Camp – Zupika Gad – Lal Patthar via Barasu Pass – Har ki Doon – Osla – Ruinsara Tal – Yamunotri Pass Base Camp – Damni – Yamunotri Pass – Damni Base Camp – Yamunotri
Ruinsara Tal-Yamunotri Trek
If trekking from all the way from Chitkul looks a difficult, one might consider doing a fascinating trek across the Ruinsara Tal and Yamunotri Pass trek. This exciting trek passes through Har ki Dun valley and Bali Pass, which is also being called as the Yamunotri Pass. The trek gives opportunity to witness the unique cultural practices of shepherds of Thangi; the source of the Karmanasha stream which meets the Obragaad stream to form the Supin River which unites with the Rupin River to become the Tons River – a major tributary of the Yamuna River. And of course, trekking along this region gives one the chance to make a visit to the holy shrine of Yamunotri.
Trekking Route: Sankri – Taluka – Osla – Har Ki Doon – Debshu Bugyal – Ruinsara Tal – Bali Pass – Yamunotri
Dodital – Darwa Pass Trek
Before you bow your head at the Gangotri Dham, how about trekking on an exhilarating trek near Gangotri? The Dodital- Darwa Pass trek promises tranquil surroundings, babbling streams and dense alpine forests. Dodital is situated amidst dense deodar forests at an elevation of 3307m in Uttarkashi district. According to Hindu mythology, Dodital is the birthplace of Lord Ganesha. The lake originates from natural springs of River Asi Ganga and has a circumference of 1.5km, it is also the home of Brown and rare Himalayan Trout. Dodital – Darwa Pass Trek begins from Sangam Chatti, from where 5km ascent to Agora village via dense forests and scenic terrains can be taken. From Agora Dodital is a continuous climb via Bebra and Manjhi.. From Dodital onwards, the trek route is pretty steep until it reaches Darwa top (4131m). The top offers a magnificent view of snow-clad peaks including the Banderpoonch (6317 m) and Swargarohini (6252m).
Trekking Route: Sangam Chatti – Agoda – Bebra – Manjhi – Dodital – Darwa Topi
Gangotri – Gaumukh – Tapovan Trek
Gangotri-Gaumukh Tapovan trek is a popular trek and doing this trek while you are on a Chardham Yatra can be an ecstatic experience. Beginning from Gangotri, the trek heads to the original place of River Ganga at Gangotri glacier or Gaumukh. On the other hand, Tapovan is located above the Gangotri glacier and is a meadow that must be explored. The trek passes through many beautiful glaciers like Gangotri, Meru, and Kirti Bamak. Also, one also gets the opportunity to witness the beautiful views of some of the leading peaks like Mt. Shivling, Gangotri group of Peaks, and Kedardome Peak. This trek will also give you a chance to visit Bhojwassa, wherefrom the panoramic view of the Bhagirathi group of peaks is spectacular. At Tapovan, which is a beautiful high-altitude meadow one can catch sight of Blue Mountain goats (Bharal in local language) on the mountain ridges.
Trekking Route: Gangotri – Bhojwassa – Gaumukh – Tapovan
Shivling Base Camp Trek
The Shivling Peak looming at an elevation of 6543m is amongst the most sacred peaks in Uttarakhand. Close to the snout of the Gangotri Glacier, the peak symbolizes the Shiva Linga. Let me warn you the trek is not for the novice or faint-hearted. One needs serious acclimatization at different altitudes as the trekking trail encounters several steep gradients along with rocky, snaky and paths. Throughout the trek, one has to tackle boulder-ridden ramps that cut through narrow ridges and deadly cliffs. However, the view of the peaks like Hanuman Tibba at 5,370 meters, Bhrigu Parbat at 6,000 meters, Bhagirathi I, II, and III at 6,856 meters, 6,512 meters, and 6,454 respectively, and Mt. Meru at 6,400 meters are the major attractions and motivations for attempting this trek.
Trekking Route: Gangotri – Bhojwassa – Gaumukh – Tapovan – Meru Glacier – Nandanvan – Vasuki Tal – Bhojwassa – Gangotri
Kedarnath Vasuki Tal Trek
Approximately 5kms above Kedarnath, Vasuki Tal is beautiful alpine lake that makes it all worth for a challenging trek. The thrilling trail allows one to get acquainted with the wildlife along with different hues of natures. Camping at the shore of this glacial lake is a unique part this trek. The new route to Kedarnath diverts from Sonprayag to Gomkara, where one needs to cross the River Vasuki Ganga. The Kedarnath Vasuki Tal trek continues to ascend towards Dev Vishnu through a dense alpine forest and thereafter turns to Dhungaj Giri. From Dhungaj Giri the journey ascends to Kedarnath and further, a climb of 5kms leads to Vasuki Tal.
Trekking Route: Gaurikund – Rambara – Kedarnath – Dhungaj Giri – Vasuki Tal – Kedarnath
Khatling Sahasratal Trek
The Khatling glacier is a massive and beautiful glacier, which is the source of the river Bhilangana. On the other side, Sahasratal and Masartal are the two lakes that are situated on the west of the Khatling Glacier. The trek allows one to witness some of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Uttarakhand along with lofty peaks of the Jogin group (6466 m), Barte Kauter (6579 m), Sphetic Pristwar (6905 m), Kirti Stambh (6902 m) and Meru. While on the trek, one has the opportunity to explore the Valley of Bhilangana, which is certainly an ideal place for nature and photography lovers. The trekking trail traverses through lush green fields and thick forests and crosses through high mountain passes and meadows that certainly add thrill to the trek.
Trekking Route: Malla – Sillachhan – Kushkalyani – Kyarki Khal – Parital – Sahasratal – Kalyani – Kharsoli – Tambakund – Khatling Glacier – Tambakund – Masartal – Vasuki Tal – Kedarnath
Panwali Kedarnath Trek
Panwali Kantha – Kedarnath Trek can be a thrilling experience. One get to see the verdant green grasses, alpine meadows and forests of deodar accompanying the trekkers all through the way. It is a short trek and begins from Ghuttu or Sonprayag and ends at Kedarnath. Expect to see a lot of red and pink rhododendrons if you are doing this trek during the Chardham Yatra. Also, get the bonus of splendid views of the Greater Himalayan peaks and of Kedarnath, Badrinath and even Gangotri with Yamunotri while on this trekking trail. Mountain Peaks like Thalay Sagar, Kirti Stambh, Kedar Dome, Neelkanth and Meru are prominently seen from different places on this trek route.
Trekking Route: Ghuttu – Panwali Kantha – Magguchatti – Triyuginarayan – Sonprayag – Gaurikund – Kedarnath
Where most of the treks on this blog are around the Chardham destinations, this particular trek is slightly offbeat in this sense. Nonetheless, Chopta-Chandrashila is a trek that is doable as well as a must if one is visiting Uttrakhand. The Chopta Valley is perched at an elevation of 2680m and is surrounded by a forest of oak, deodar, and rhododendron. The spellbinding Chandrashila Summit stands at an altitude of about 4000m and offers a feast to the eyes with a gorgeous view of the Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi (7817m), Trishul (7120m), Kedarnath (6831m), Bandarpunch (6316m) and Chaukhamba (7138m). Chopta is the abode of Tungnath, the highest Shiva Temple in the world, and is also one of the Panch Kedars.
Satopanth Lake Trek
One of the most popular trek around Badrinath is the Satopanth Lake. The alpine lake is said to have religious importance as it is said that on the holy day of Ekadashi, Lord Vishnu took bath in this lake and is the only place where all Hindu Gods assemble to embark their divine presence. The triangular-shaped lake boasts emerald and utter scenic vistas. Bathing in this on the 11 days of the solar and lunar fortnights is considered quite auspicious. The starting point of the trek is at Mana, which is a village 3kms away from Badrinath. Crossing through natural rock bridge, Bhima Pul, Vasundhra Falls and Laxmiban, one can reach the Satopanth Lake.
Trekking Route: Badrinath – Mana Village – Vasundhara Falls – Laxmiban – Satopanth Lake
Hope you liked the blog, if you did, give it a LIKE and SHARE on different social platforms. You can also let us know about other treks that I may have missed out in this write-up in the comment box. And, if you are thinking to perform the Chardham Pilgrimage or would like to do one of these above-mentioned treks, please allow us to help you with it.